A Half-Year Older…Wiser

Victoria Cubera

With sixteen days left in the semester, I have endings on my mind. A mere month away, New Year’s Eve will mark another year gone, leaving us older, if not wiser. Celebrated with fireworks, champagne toasts and the infamous midnight kiss, far from simply signifying the end of 2006, the advent of the New Year is heralded as a time of transition. January first presents a chance to start fresh, to make resolutions and maybe even keep them.

However, January is preceded by December, a month of endings; a month that begins tomorrow. For the student body, these four weeks can be a pivotal period of time, encompassing change and adaptation on a variety of levels.

For the first years on campus, the honeymoon is over. The reality of college has set in, from crazy roommates and laundry detail to learning how to take real class notes and figuring out the best way to maneuver through the party circuit. The end of this semester means our first experience with finals, and a winter break requiring re-adjustment to living under the parental roof. Some of us might be more jaded than others, but as a whole, we’re getting used to the Colgate scene; leaving first-year na’vet?e behind for the class of 2011.

Sophomores are reaching a halfway point, and hypothetically should be getting the rest of those distribution requirements out of the way next semester. With concentration declaration deadlines looming in the near future, the real question is what do you want to do with your lives? Winter recess might be less about relaxation and more about introspection for the sophomores, as they face narrowing their educational focus and committing to a concentration.

As for the juniors, perhaps the realization is sinking in that next year will be your last on the Colgate campus. With many students going abroad next semester, leaving might entail putting friendships to the test of distance and love affairs on hold. For juniors with close senior friends, departure may be especially bittersweet – these last two weeks before the end of the term could be the last time you see them for years. Though the juniors will be coming back to Colgate next August, their stay here is almost through.

In January, the seniors will embark on their final semester at Colgate. One more spring to get graduation requirements out of the way; one more spring for that last pick-up game, performance or publication before bursting out of the Colgate bubble. For the seniors, this is a formative period of time, with job searches, applications to grad school and maybe even engagements or wedding plans. Maybe these final few days will be spent stockpiling memories with your fellow seniors and your underclassmen counterparts. In any case, this is the last winter you’ll spend as an undergraduate college student.

Whether pertaining to college or life in general, endings are often the catalysts for change. Endings entail break-ups leading to new romantic opportunities, the loss of one friendship resulting in the cultivation of another or graduation and perhaps employment in the real world.