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Just a Feeling


By Wil Stowers '19 on January 4, 2016

A few weeks ago, I walked into a study room on the fourth floor of Case Library and sat down with several other first-years. An interviewer told us that he was conducting research as part of his work on Colgate’s marketing. He asked us a series of questions such as our hometowns, our majors, our plans for participating in Greek life, our opinion on Colgate, and ultimately why we chose Colgate.

Ever since then, I’ve been thinking about my answer. I hate that last question. So much. Because, truth be told, I had no idea. It was just a feeling.

Just a feeling.

Colgate community in mourning

Picture via CNYCentral.com

My first answer to this question came out of tragedy. A little over three months ago, our community was rocked by the sudden loss of two beautiful people: Carey Depuy and Ryan Adams, both first years. I was unbelievably blessed to know Carey, and it is still hard to describe the feelings of many of us when we heard the news and in the days after. But Colgate was there. The students, the faculty, the administration – they were all there for us. Like several others, I felt that the grieving process was made easier by the fact that we were all going through it together. I now have a new sense of what a “community” really is. And that community is at Colgate.

Center for Women's Studies

My second answer to the question is that the conversations I have at Colgate are of incredible intellectual quality and value. And they don’t just happen in my classes. In fact, most of the conversations happen at Frank Dining Hall. Whether it’s social justice debates over hamburgers or political arguments during Frank’s Thanksgiving meal, deep conversations run rampant here. There are several spaces on campus that provide just as, if not more meaningful discussions: The Center for Women’s Studies, ALANA Cultural Center, the Memorial Chapel basement, and many more.

That’s not to say that Colgate is without its faults. But here, the community does what it can to rectify any wrongs and injustices. At no other school can you find members of Greek life that fight against systemic oppression, are part of the Student Government, and are D-1 athletes.

Link Staff

Link Staff, just some examples of the vibrant personalities one can find on Colgate’s campus

To sum up the third reason, people here have eclectic personalities, and the fact that there are near-3,000 of them running around in Hamilton, NY makes me grateful to be a part of it. In my first semester, I sat in an eight-person Russian language class. My Civil War history class had no more than 30 people. Same goes for my Calculus 3 section. And my first-year seminar? I wouldn’t trade them for any other 18-person group. To think that everyone in these classes makes up only a small fraction of the population at Colgate is exhilarating.

Colgate Campus

Colgate may not be for you, and that’s alright. Be warned, though, that if you visit, you might fall in love. And if you fall in love, you might not be able to tell people why right away.

That’s alright, too.


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