Reasons I’m a Raider

As I drove into town early last week for early move-in, I gazed at the gothic buildings peeking out of the green Hamilton foliage and wondered if I would belong at Colgate, a place four hours from my home in Middletown, Connecticut. Though I am lucky I did not have to fly across the world to get here, I probably had the same doubts as my peers who did. For us first-years, move-in day will be stressful; however, after a few days of adjusting yourself to life on campus and remembering why you chose Colgate, you will feel much more comfortable with your decision. I know I already am. 

My college search this past year included hours poring over websites ranging from The Princeton Review and U.S. News to Niche. Even on the university’s website, you can find descriptions of our campus, “consistently named one of the most beautiful in the nation,” a boastful yet reassuring opinion. 

While some other first-years may use these opinions on campus appearance to brag about Colgate in a race for prestige, I found that the campus comfortably reminds me of home. On my way back from a meeting for The Colgate Maroon-News,  I was stunned to see that the vaguely familiar landscape between Persson Hall and my dorm, Curtis Hall, took me back to walking through the woods behind Snow Elementary School in my hometown. Though I grew up in New England, Colgate’s homey feeling is exactly what I was looking for in a college.  

Academically, I was originally on the lookout for schools with engineering programs, so liberal arts colleges were low on my priority list compared to  bigger, technically oriented schools. Then I discovered the 3/2 pre-engineering program. As a hopeful candidate for this engineering track, I would spend three years at Colgate studying physics and completing my core curriculum. For my last two years, I would transfer to either Washington University or Columbia University to study engineering. At the end of the program, I would have two bachelor’s degrees: one from Colgate in physics and one from my second college in my selected engineering field. Should I choose to stay at Colgate for a senior year, as students in the past have done, I could then continue with a 4/2 and receive a Masters in Engineering.

It is incredible that I have flexibility at a liberal arts college when it comes to a joint pre-engineering program. The program allows me to have more options in what I choose to study. At Colgate, I know that I have options for which engineering path I want to follow and other passions I want to pursue, as I am already able to pursue my passion for journalism.

Freshmen, take the next week to reflect on why you chose Colgate and what you hope to get out of your next four years here. It helped me make Colgate my home away from home and ease the transition to college, and I hope it will for you too.

Contact Kuba Alicki at [email protected]