Senior Reflections – Laura Stoloff

My memories at Colgate fit into a medium size storage box that sits in the corner of my living room. This clear container has traveled with me throughout my four years, from my 100-square-foot room in Curtis freshman year, to my suite in Cobb, to my room at 40 Broad, making its final stop in my downtown apartment. When I look inside the container, as I sit on my couch, I see articles of clothing twisted and scrunched together. The box overflows. I can no longer seal the top.

These items weave together into a complicated mess of shirts, pants, jackets and shoes that allow me to hold on to my past memories.

My days at Colgate seem to disappear as quickly as the flash of my camera. It takes only one quick snap for the night to end, with still images of my day floating through my mind. I look back on my Colgate experience through these images, and through the clothes I have worn.

As I dig through the box, I see my robins-egg blue oxford with thin, hot pink stripes. I wore it the day I arrived on campus with my five boxes and two suitcases as an eager 17-year-old. I can recall the feeling of seeing the campus, students and faculty as intimidating strangers, unaware that these unfamiliar faces would soon become my closest friends. And then there’s the “glitter top.”

Yes, I’m embarrassed to say I even wore this terribly tacky top that I saved for my Friday and Saturday nights. I remember buying this over my Christmas break, seeing it as the ultimate party accessory. My roommate and I would turn on our iTunes to the latest Ashlee Simpson song, “Pieces of Me.” “It seems like I can finally rest my head on something real, I like the way it feels, Ohhhh!” I would belt out. Yeah, that’s embarrassing.

Then there’s the trendiest of trendy sweatpants in powder pink that say “Juicy” on the butt. Yes, I am embarrassed again to say I wore these, but they were a crucial part of my library attire, as I would sit in the Hall of Presidents with my Oceanography book wondering why I went to a school that didn’t have a library.

Or my one-of-a-kind costumes from sophomore year theme parties: a pair of extra-large camo-cargo pants missing a pant leg and my flower leotard from the 1980s. Don’t ask.

But as I move towards the top, I see my longest surviving item, my jug jacket. My black, puffy, knee-length coat that has survived walks to Curtis in 20-degree weather and unforgettable slips on sidewalk ice. This jacket began as a “day” jacket, but with the stains collected from my late night adventures, from my friends who borrowed it and from the strangers that accidently took it, it has turned into an artifact of my time at Colgate.

Although these clothes remind me of distinct memories, they intertwine with one another in my storage box. It’s hard, sometimes, to hold onto the moments I enjoy the most.

I know that these moments will never happen again, but through these tangible objects, I can relive the times I once felt. But it’s an attachment that I know I will have to depart with as I pack up my belongings and leave Colgate for another chapter of my life.