Colgate Chemistry

Iustin Moga

Like the tulips around Merril House, many Colgate students seem to shine brightly on warm spring evenings. This was my first thought and impression after I stepped into the Chapel at dusk on a chilly April day a little over one year ago. At the April Visit Days concert, I realized how much energy flows through Colgate students, and wondered where they found their inspiration. Incited by a similar sunset on this April evening, I find myself thinking about the Colgate spirit and what I have learned about it in the one year that I have been part of it.

My first encounter with the Colgate spirit was on April Visit Days. Excitement and curiosity were pushing my pulse as my mom drove us down into Hamilton on Route 12B, a seemingly endless journey on a snowy day. From Broad Street, I caught a first weather-obstructed glimpse of the Colgate hill. Far from the forest clearing that I had imagined Colgate to be, the campus looked impressive to say the least. Soon after arrival, a little red-headed member of the class of 2008 led me up the hill and explained all the courses she was taking, and described life on the hill. Some other students have said they remembered everything their tour guide said, and that some things, like the Colgate “Hello” were mere inventions. I cannot make the same claim, for, as interesting as Elise’s (my tour guide’s) explanations were, I was not listening to her all the while. My eyes strayed to capture images of Colgate, which stirred my imagination; the Colgate spirit began to seep into me. The images that I caught while on tour were quickly imprinted in my mind, and became part of my dreams. Those dreams led me back to Colgate.

As I found out in my Chemistry laboratory last week, when solutions are mixed, some react to form solids, while others do not. That is, some become cloudy and form a solid precipitate as expected; others eventually clear up and do not form any solids. On April Visit Days, two solutions (Colgate University and me, aqueous) were mixed, and a cloudy solution appeared. Of course, only time would tell if anything would precipitate. At the end of the summer, I came back to check on this solution, and found that it had precipitated maroon. Colgate was “solid” for me, or so I realized; it was everything I’d ever hoped it would be.

Time seemed to stand still through my first week on campus and before I knew it, I was walking up the Persson steps during the torchlight procession – my class was about to be ceremoniously inducted into the magical world of Colgate. The only thing that has made time progress for me since then was the change in seasons. Now that the winter has flown by, I find myself back where my journey began: in front of the Chapel at sunset. In this one year, I have found out that the beauty of the campus, along with all the opportunities offered to students, is what inspires them to be ambitious and energetic. I am glad to have joined their clan.

Not too long from now, I will once again be able to sit under the cherry trees that line the river on campus and read a book. Not long after that, I will have to leave my newfound home for the summer, and rely on my dreams to reconnect with it. Although I can’t bear to part with Colgate, I rejoice in the fact that I will return in the fall, because coming to Colgate feels like the first time, every time.