Elle Winter and Kyle Kadziolka on their Colgate Connection

Seniors Elle Winter and Kyle Kadziolka have known each other since their first days on campus. Members of the same residential link group, they met on the first day of orientation and became close friends throughout their first semester. They shared the same friend group, yet found themselves spending a lot of time one-on-one over Frank dinners and movie nights. Long story short, Winter and Kadziolka have been together for over two years now. 

From Duxbury, Mass. and Burlington, Conn., respectively, Winter and Kadziolka have had their fair share of long-distance experience. 

“Going from spending so much time together to being apart for several months out of the year is never an easy switch. We’re lucky we live driving distance away so we’re always sure to visit each other a couple of times a summer. It’s been fun getting to show each other around our hometowns.”

COVID-19 posed additional during the couple’s sophomore year. To cope with long distance, Winter and Kadziolka made the most of online classes and visited each other when possible. 

“Losing some of our college experience that we had hoped to share together was definitely difficult,” Winter and Kadziolka said. “The end of our spring semester sophomore year was especially hard, being apart from each other and our friends alike. During that period, we visited each other for a week and did our online classes together. Trying to continue life as usual during [COVID-19] was hard but being able to rely on one another definitely helped.”

Since returning to a more familiar Colgate experience this year, extracurriculars have consumed more free time for Winter and Kadziolka, but the couple has prioritized time with friends and each other. 

“Life on campus now is quite a bit different from last year. Having more events and meetings in person means we’re both busier,” they said. “On the bright side, we’ve been able to hang out with our friends together, which is a nice change from being more isolated last year. We’ve kept some of the past times we shared together during [COVID-19] we’re currently working on watching every Marvel movie. It’s been nice incorporating what we did for fun together during the pandemic into normal life.”

As campus begins to return to its pre-pandemic routine, Winter and Kadziolka shared advice for students navigating Colgate’s hookup and dating culture. 

“People at Colgate might benefit from taking the time to consider what kind of relationship they really want,” they said. “Whether it’s something casual or serious, try not to get wrapped up in what you think other people expect from you. Focus on what makes you happy.” 

And for students looking to ignite a new flame, Winter and Kadziolka offered some final words of wisdom: “The key to someone’s heart is pictures of your dog.”