When my family and friends ask me how I feel about graduating college, I usually stammer for a few seconds, throw in a few “ums” and sum up my emotions with a placeholder answer of “weird.” It’s not a lie, though – I feel really strange about the end of my time at Colgate. It’s felt like it’s flown by, yet I also see myself as far away and better than my first-year self. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s probably struggling with the ability to sum up their college experience into a few generalized adjectives – we’ve all lived deep, complex lives at Colgate. Stories and experiences that may have had transformative impacts on us simply cannot be explained by a few sentences, so it makes sense that this draft is my tenth crack at writing my senior reflection. I’m blessed with the privilege of being able to reflect on my experience in such a public forum, and I’m thankful to all of you for reading the Maroon-News during my time at Colgate. This newspaper has been a way for us to capture Colgate through our eyes and for you to be a part of our stories.
Throughout my college experience, the Maroon-News has been a constant. I began my Colgate journey at the pre-orientation program in August 2012 as an eager, naïve first-year ready to start anew. In fact, Editor-in-Chief Julia Queller was the first person I met at Colgate. I paved my way from humble News writer to National Sports Editor to Senior Staff member during my last two years. Tuesdays were a time for me to get away from whatever preoccupied me and put my creative energies into something meaningful.
However, there was a time when I seriously considered leaving. Before this year, I had planned to quit; newspaper was just a block on the schedule of my seemingly involved Colgate career. I found myself at some points chasing the archetypal Colgate life, one that I thought would validate my time as a student here. I tried to involve myself in the right groups and be the perfect version of myself that I wanted others to see. It took a while for me to see this, but there is no perfect version of a Colgate student. There isn’t anything sexy about being on a college newspaper staff, but the more I look within for happiness, the more grateful I become for my time spent on the third floor of the HOP. What pushed me to stick with the Maroon-News wasn’t only the quality content we produced on a weekly basis, but also the little things that put a smile on my face. Whether it was funny mistakes in the copy, comedy gold from one of the editors or the Tuesday slices for dinner, there were very real moments that allowed me to be me, away from some of the forces that discouraged me from doing so.
I refuse to believe that small moments do not make a Colgate experience worthwhile. Those minute moments are part of a story and part of what makes you who you are. Part of my story was being a member of the Maroon-News and surrounding myself with motivated, smart and kind people. That makes my experience unique and something valuable to me. Each Tuesday, I entered the office with a smile on my face, and it’s because I was genuinely happy to be there. When I look back at my Colgate experience, I’m going to remember those moments that genuinely made it worthwhile. The Maroon-News was one of those things that made it so, and I’ll forever be grateful for that. It’s been an honor to work with the staff, especially the seniors, and I wish you all the best.