Minus the City: Lessons Learned: Reflecting on Our Time at Colgate

It’s the last full month of the school year. When rubber hits the road. When people begin to venture outside again, at least on the days when it isn’t still snowing. When SPW seemingly takes over campus for a weekend (or a week, depending on your choices). When I finish my thesis, #halp. As I’ve said earlier this semester, this is a time where I have been doing quite a bit of reflecting. If I’m procrastinating, at least I’m still doing something meaningful, right? So I’ve been reaching out to my friends and peers to encourage them to reflect as well. I have asked seniors to recount the lessons they have learned about sex and relationships during their time at Colgate, and that’s what I have for you today. These quotes come from people from various backgrounds—athletes and non-athletes, different gender identities, different races, different hometowns, different relationship statuses and different career paths. But these quotes do not fully reflect the variety of Colgate students’ experiences. I don’t know how many more articles I’ll be writing before my time concludes, so this is either the first or last installment of my series. Either way, I hope you find these little nuggets useful, whether they give words to your thoughts or encourage you as you continue to navigate Colgate life. Enjoy the following quotes from several of the individuals asked to reflect on their Colgate experiences.

“I’ve learned that being in college tends to intensify conflicts in all sorts of interpersonal relationships ranging from those with friends to those parents or those with significant others. I’ve also learned that some of my strongest relationships are the ones that have endured conflict and change. Good relationships aren’t about never having conflict. They’re about knowing how to communicate through conflict and trust that your relationship will weather the proverbial storm.”

“People change. I’ve changed a lot since coming to college. And my peers have changed too. I’m not friends with some of them anymore. It can be kind of sad and painful to drift apart from someone who was a huge part of your world as an underclassmen. But it’s not a bad thing. I’ve grown even closer to others. And I’m grateful for that.”

“Open and honest communication is the KEY to relationship success—romantic, sexual or otherwise. It’s also something Colgate students aren’t the best at.”

“The hook-up culture dominates relationships between students at Colgate. In a career driven, fast-paced environment full of good looking young adults, people are often afraid of commitments. Unlike what society has historically deemed as a normal relationship where two people meet, get to know each other, date and pursue sexual exchanges, the process flips in college campuses like Colgate. People hook-up, maybe become interested in getting to know each other and possibly date after a period of individually hooking up with others, labeling their commitment to “exclusive” and then date. Not every couple at Colgate participates in the hook-up culture, but the hook- up culture is what appears to dominate the social scene.”

“Be yourself.”

Contact Kira Palmer at [email protected]