The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

FSEM 182: Inside a Link Group

Katie Maratea

For New Student Orientation 2023, students were divided into Link groups based on their assigned first-year seminar class. The students, known as “Linksters,” spent the beginning of the semester with an upperclassman known as a “Link,” who helps acclimate them to life at Colgate University.

Junior Katie Maratea has participated in New Student Orientation as a Link for the past two years. This year, she was the Link for FSEM 182: The American School.

“Link Staff is one of my favorite organizations to be a part of at Colgate because it is such an amazing group of people who share the same passion for helping others,” Maratea said.

Maratea had the difficult task of taking a group of students who barely knew each other and building lasting relationships between them, while also introducing them to Colgate and helping set them up for success. According to her Linksters Madeline Palumbo and Maggie McCarthy, she excelled.

“I met so many amazing people in my Link group, not to mention our amazing Link Leader Katie,” Palumbo said. “She helped us all so much throughout the week and is still continuing to help us with whatever we need. We had so many laughs as a group and learned a lot together.”

“After just a few days I already felt comfortable with everyone and [now] I look forward to my FSEM every week as I am close with all of my classmates,” McCarthy added.

Allie Weiser, another member of Maratea’s Link group, also expressed her appreciation for Maratea’s work to bring the students closer together.

“Link group helped me feel welcome at Colgate, and having a Link Leader made me feel like I had a guide to Colgate,” Weiser said. “I also got very close with my Link group which made me feel more comfortable going into classes.”

Along with helping her Linksters befriend each other and gain confidence in themselves as Colgate students, Maratea was also responsible for helping make Colgate’s campus feel like home.

“I was very nervous coming to Colgate, but having this group helped a lot,” Palumbo said. “Katie showed us so many cool spots on campus I didn’t know existed. She gave us good study tips and told us about a lot of cool things that go on around campus and in the community.”

“It is so special to witness your Linksters make friends with one another and help them find their home on the hill,” Maratea added. “It was such a pleasure to get to share all the resources that Colgate has to offer as well as answer any questions that they might have had about Colgate.”

Towards the end of orientation, Maratea’s Link group played a compliment game that showed just how far the Linksters had come from the nerves of their first days.

“We made a circle and tossed a ball of yarn to each other, and after each person received the yarn, they had to compliment that person,” Maratea explained. “It was at this moment that I realized how special my group was and how much we had bonded over just a few short days. When one of my Linksters prepared a speech after that activity, it made my heart fill up with gratitude.”

“I loved our final meeting when we played this rope game and all had to say something we appreciated about another person in the group,” Weiser agreed. “It was a great way to end orientation and recognize how much we had learned about each other and bonded as a group.”

Following the game, the students attended First-Year Convocation in the Colgate Memorial Chapel. According to Maratea and McCarthy, emotions were running high.

“My group sent me a meme after Convocation wrapped up with our class photo and the caption ‘Katie is mommy,’ which made me laugh out loud and is a moment I will never forget,” Maratea said. “They even had me sing Colgate’s alma mater and fight song as we were walking up the hill right before Convocation, a bittersweet moment to conclude our orientation experience together.”

“[Convocation] was an incredible mixture of emotions, for I was proud to be a member of the Colgate community, nervous but incredibly excited to embark on my new journey, and entirely exhausted from a long week of activities,” McCarthy said. “The speeches in the Chapel were so inspiring, and it was the first moment I felt a sense of belonging at Colgate and it began to feel like home. However, some of my favorite memories are from the moments in between activities, laughing with my new friends, fantasizing about my next four years here and learning more about this special place.”

Maratea spoke warmly of the experience, and the love she has for her Linksters is clear.

“The students of FSEM 182 were funny, energetic and eager to participate and build off of each other, all traits that made for an excellent group dynamic and a successful orientation,” Maratea said.

“To my Linksters, I am so grateful to all of you for making my second year on Link Staff such a memorable one,” Maratea added. “Thank you for bringing a positive mindset to orientation every day. I am so proud of all of you and I can’t wait to witness the rest of your Colgate journey unfold!”

More to Discover
About the Contributor
LJ Coady, Baker's Dozen Editor
LJ Coady is a junior from Houston, TX concentrating in political science with minors in history and religion. She has previously served as a contributing writer for the Baker's Dozen, Arts & Features, News, and Commentary sections. On campus, LJ is the President of Colgate College Democrats, a leader of MadCrafts and Habitat for Humanity, and is a member of the University Church Board.

Comments (0)

All The Colgate Maroon-News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *