Born and raised in Connecticut, the town of Simsbury is where senior Abby Fleming calls home. Simsbury, in a way, prepared Fleming for life in a small college town.
“Simsbury is a smaller town, but a little bigger than Hamilton. It wasn’t too much of an adjustment. Hamilton just has so much life, though, because of the school. It’s very interesting to see student life and how it engages with the local community,” Fleming said.
These differences have only made Fleming’s time here more special.
“I have fallen more and more in love with Colgate every year,” Fleming said.
Fleming’s love for Colgate, however, didn’t come without some bumps in the road. While she started as a neuroscience concentrator, she ended up hating the subject and finding her passions elsewhere.
“When I first came to Colgate, it was definitely a tough time. I honestly did not start feeling comfortable with who I was at Colgate until the end of my sophomore year. I had joined SOMAC [Southern Madison County Volunteer Ambulance Corps], I was rowing and I got into the biology department,” Fleming said. “As soon as I joined [those groups], it’s like everything fell into place. I started making my best friends.”
Joining SOMAC was pure happenstance.
“I took my EMT [Emergency Medical Technician] course the summer after my first year and then, when I came back, a girl randomly caught me as I was leaving church one day. She said ‘Oh my gosh you’re an EMT. You should join SOMAC,’” Fleming said.
One of the people who helped foster Fleming’s passion for Colgate was Associate Professor of Biology and Environment Studies, Catherine Cardelús. She became a mentor for Fleming.
“Professor Cardelús has been fantastic. I love her. I had a rough patch with science for a little bit, but then, when I took her course, she made me fall in love with science all over again. She has a great way of teaching; she has such an enthusiasm for ecology and biology. She has definitely taught me a lot when it comes to being a scientist and, overall, just how to live life,” Fleming said.
As a volunteer for SOMAC, varsity crew rower, co-Head First Responder and biology concentrator, Fleming is clearly very busy. With her involvement in the Colgate community, Fleming has created a memorable college experience for herself. Some memories, however, just stand out.
“Having the opportunity to represent Colgate as a rower at the Head of Charles 2018 is one of my favorite memories. It is something I have been dreaming about since I started rowing in high school. With the help of my coaches and teammates, I was able to earn a seat and go down to Boston for the weekend,” Fleming said.
Looking back on her Colgate experience, Fleming has some advice for first-years.
“The best advice I can give is to take advantage of your resources. Colgate is always looking to help and make your life easier,” Fleming said.
Contact Ignacio Villar at [email protected]