Rings Doing Things
By Molly Zadell ’18
Halloween and Thanksgiving aren’t the only days worth celebrating each Fall. For many Saint Mary’s students, the weeks spanning mid-October to early November are spent obsessively checking mailboxes in the hopes that their class rings have finally arrived. Then, neon orange mail slip in hand, students line up outside of Holy Cross to pick up their rings after months of waiting. Everyone reacts differently: some people start crying, some excitedly hug their friends, some call their parents to share the good news, but nearly everyone starts taking pictures.
Once Belles receive their rings in the fall, it’s not uncommon to see students delicately arranging a pile of leaves to nestle their ring in for a mini photo shoot. Come winter, social media is filled with pictures of rings perched on Christmas tree branches. Spring brings photos of rings atop blooming flowers and graduation caps. Summer is for rings on sandy beaches and internship desks. Taking photos of your class ring, or “ring pics” as most students call them, has quickly become a tradition almost as beloved as the class ring itself.
Ring pics have found a special home on social media thanks to Rings Doing Things, a collaborative Instagram account created by Madeline Molloy ‘17. Madeline and a few friends started the account the summer before their senior year after scrolling through an Instagram dedicated to photos of women holding drinks in fun locations. Madeline’s friend told her “You need to start something like this, but more inspiring,” which sparked the idea to create an account dedicated to photos of Saint Mary’s class rings (and the women wearing them) doing incredible things.
After gaining more than 500 followers in its first five days alone, the account now has nearly as many followers as there are students at Saint Mary’s. Rings Doing Things has quickly become a space for both current students and alumnae to come together to celebrate each other’s accomplishments. The account’s newest series, #BellesBackstory, features alumnae talking about their post-graduation endeavors, reflecting on life lessons they learned at Saint Mary’s, and advising current Belles on how to make the most of their remaining time as students.
Madeline recognizes that whether followers just received their acceptance letter or graduated decades ago, Rings Doing Things seems to resonate with the entire Saint Mary’s community: “I think the account is a place where all generations of Belles can come together and be reminded of all the wonderful things about Saint Mary's, as well as be inspired by all the Belles who are doing awesome things!” After a short scroll through the account, it’s easy to see what she means—nearly every post is littered with comments from former Belles celebrating each other’s successes or reminiscing on their years at SMC.
There’s no question that the class ring is a cherished tradition, and Madeline believes it’s because the ring encapsulates the Saint Mary’s experience. She summed up her thoughts by sharing, “Someone once told me that Saint Mary's College is the best kept secret. Only those who know how special it is really know how special it is. It’s an institution of incredible women who do incredible things. The ring somehow brings together the uniqueness and secrecy of how awesome Saint Mary's is, as well as the unbelievable women who wear it.”
Whether you’re looking for inspiration, are feeling a bit Smick Sick, or want to share your adventures with fellow Belles, Rings Doing Things provides the perfect outlet to celebrate all things SMC. While the ring pics themselves are stunning, Rings Doing Things is ultimately about the women who wear them. The account acknowledges that it’s about more than just the rings in its short, Sister Madeleva-inspired tagline: “How Belles have discovered the universe & their place in it.”