From liberal arts to the well-being of humanity

“The supportive environment and focus on people and humanity at Mount Holyoke prepared me for the next steps of my career, which will also focus on the well-being of humanity.”

Chuying (Selestia) Lin was so confident that Mount Holyoke was the school for her that it was the only one she applied to. “I felt like this school was calling me. I was attracted to it from the moment I found out about it,” she said of her choice to apply early decision to the College. “The support I received during my undergrad interview solidified that I made the right choice.”

Four years later, she has no regrets about making the College her first and only choice for her undergraduate education. Growing up in a more conservative and collective culture, many people around her had similar beliefs and views about life, gender and personal expression. That experience had her longing for something different: a space where she could learn from those different from her, with diverse perspectives and open-mindedness.

“When I got to campus, I realized how gender norms had affected and restricted me. I’ve been able to study and learn without the limits other people put on me growing up,” she said. “I especially loved studying at a [gender-diverse] women’s college because I got a chance to learn about historically marginalized communities in a way I don’t think I would have elsewhere. It broadened my horizons and gave me a chance to experience people within these communities instead of just reading about them in a lecture.”

Her favorite way to experience these communities has been through the more than 100 student organizations on campus, where she found her classmates to be friendly, nonjudgmental and always willing to help. During her time on campus, she practiced Japanese martial arts through the Kachimushi Naginata Club; served as the treasurer of , a J-pop dance team; was a member of the Chinese Culture Association and even played lute and handbells in the Lute Ensemble and English Handbell Ensemble.

“I spent a lot of my free time on clubs. From that I got to experience just how supportive the community at Mount Holyoke could be,” she said. “I got to try different forms of exercise in ODM and Kachimushi Naginata Club, I got to experience the special impact that is making music with other people and I even found a place to connect with students who share my hobbies from my home country. I don’t think I would have gotten to experience all of that in one place anywhere else.”

When it came to her studies, Lin took the approach of majoring in one field she had a personal interest in and another that she could imagine herself pursuing long term as a career. She chose history because it’s always been a hobby of hers, and studying it at the collegiate level excited her. Meanwhile her major in psychology allowed her to delve deeper into human behavior and helped decipher if becoming a mental health professional was the right path for her.

As her time at Mount Holyoke comes to an end, Lin is focusing on applying to graduate programs where she plans to study psychology with the goal of becoming a therapist. She says both her coursework and the overall community on campus helped solidify her decision to pursue a career in mental health, especially as a woman of color from a community where seeking professional help can be stigmatized.

“The supportive environment and focus on people and humanity at Mount Holyoke prepared me for the next steps of my career, which will also focus on the well-being of humanity,” she said. “Going to school abroad where almost everything is so different from your home is a process and can be scary. Thankfully, those feelings didn’t last long for me. The path of getting to know who I am, exploring all the things I’m interested in and learning the courage to do what I want to do instead of listening to others about what they think I should do has been life-changing.”

Contact us

The Office of Marketing and Communications spreads the word about Ƶapp’s distinctive strengths and newsworthy accomplishments.

Christian Feuerstein
  • Director of Public Affairs and Media Relations