Turning Over a New Leaf

Jaime Coyne

I was a bit of an overachiever in high school. I wasn’t invited to any parties involving alcohol. After all the tedious sessions of learning to ‘just say no’ throughout the school years, I never once had to make the decision. My peers, who had pigeon-holed me into their preconceived notion of who I was since the third grade, made that choice for me. Much like how each time I swore in front of people, they would repeat what they always said, ‘I’ve never heard you swear before!’ To which I couldn’t help but point out, ‘You said that last time.’

I think my classmates would have been shocked to find, if they had ever invited me to a party or offered me something, I might have actually said yes. Needless to say, I had been overeager to go to college for quite some time – not to get invited to every party possible or get drunk every night of the week, but simply to escape the assumptions and attitudes of the majority of the people surrounding me at home. It was exhilarating, during the first week or so of Colgate, to have every person I passed smile, say hello, and introduce him or herself, knowing that, as I introduced myself in return, I was a blank slate to that person. I could show that person the real me.

Possibly due to my incredible lack of experience in the area, I am awful at finding parties. So, even a few weeks into school, now, I’ve still been to relatively few, especially compared to my enthusiastic first-year peers. It is definitely safe to say that, as of yet, I am not that person who was too sheltered and then goes crazy once they find college and independence. I don’t really want to party on weekdays, and then have to get up for my 8:30 class with a hangover or still drunk, or at least with even less sleep than normal. I would much rather have a little fun on the weekends. I don’t understand why Wednesday nights are so much more popular going-out-nights than Fridays, when classes are fairly universal for Thursdays. What are you doing on a Saturday morning that is so important that you need to substitute your Friday nights with Wednesday nights?

I’m optimistic about how I will be perceived at Colgate. Even on such a small campus, there is some anonymity. Despite the fact that it is human nature to judge others based on their appearance, I feel that the majority of the people we get acquainted with at Colgate only see us in one class, or only see us at one activity, or only see us in the dorm, and that is often not enough to form a real opinion of who we are. This gives us an amazing opportunity, to shape other people’s perceptions of us based on our words and actions, essentially, founded on our true selves, rather than the lie they create for us.

I hope I haven’t made a mistake telling you about my past, or that in doing so I have given you your beliefs about who I am. Get to know me! There is more to a person than what we think we see.