Choose Happiness: Return to Colgate with Less Restriction

How have the last few weeks impacted your appreciation for Colgate? I am a sophomore from Boulder, Colorado living at 113 Broad and my name is Will Rosenblatt; welcome to my first entry in the Maroon News. As the second member in my family to come to Colgate, this school has been in my life for the past five years, but it was not until these prior weeks that my expectations have finally been satisfied. With much less restriction and a reinvigorated social scene, I have been able to truly witness and experience what makes Colgate such a close-knit community. After having so much taken away from us or watered down this past year, it is essential that we redefine our gratitude for our school. Identifying what exactly makes Colgate, Colgate, helps us all function as a more mindful and thoughtful community. There is an active, everyday decision we must make to be appreciative and content with our close approach to normalcy. 

If all it takes is to follow a few recommendations — wear a mask in class, and get a vaccination booster, count me in. With all this talk of a “new” or a “more normal” life in Hamilton, we have already benefited from much more enjoyment in these last couple of weeks than much of last school year. I would say life at Colgate is plenty “normal,” so don’t expect any complaining from me. The future is always uncertain, especially in a global pandemic, so cherish these moments and this degree of normalcy before we are thrown another curveball.

There is a lot of comfort that comes with freedom; this comfort eases stress, anxiety, depression and has had a monumental impact on the collective wellbeing of Colgate students’ mental health. I am not here to say do not abuse that freedom, but just understand and appreciate how meaningful it is to so many people here. The increased social interaction that comes with lowered restrictions has empowered vibrant energy everywhere on campus; the men’s and women’s soccer games, two home field hockey games and a recent golf tournament filled a serious void in our ability to demonstrate school pride. Because of this new freedom, professors can actually meet their students and exercise the benefits of a small classroom, athletes regained access and expanded their use of our state-of-the-art facilities, dining services have expanded their reach and capabilities, social venues can host with more leniency and less COVID-related stressors and we can even use water fountains. The list goes on, but it is safe to say that we know what it was like to have everything held from us, so let us enjoy and appreciate it while we have these privileges back in our possession. This time last year, the class of 2024 was cooped up in our dorms with limited interaction and eery vibes of solitary confinement, confused as everything we had heard of Colgate faded into a distant future. Now I can pass all the time in the world hanging in my common room with friends over, listening to our favorite music with our masks in our pockets and our feet kicked up on the couch. Do not take these moments for granted. The complete benefits of our oasis in Hamilton are not guaranteed, so choose happiness while you can and enjoy this semester of liberation.