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

There’s No Place Like Hamilton for the Holidays!


For many, the winter break brings a sense of unmatched excitement. Going home means a lot more than leaving one’s temporary home in Hamilton, N.Y., It also means handing in your last final, ordering your last omelette from Jeremy at Frank Dining Hall, saying goodbye to your twin XL bed and hoping you have enough room in your suitcase. You get to brave the busy roads or packed airports filled with anticipation of seeing family and friends, getting a home-cooked meal and just relaxing from a long semester of coursework.

However, not everyone is able to return home for the break each December. Students like first-years Devin Dong and Chenyun Liu, who are both from China, stayed on campus over break this year because it was too far to travel back home. Other students, like sophomore Simon Labelle, stayed because of sports.

If I want to go back home, it would take about 34 hours — including layover time,” Dong said. “It’s really far away from here, so I have to stay over break.” 

With no classes to fill up the day, Dong passed the time by preparing for next semester’s classes or hanging out with other friends who stayed on campus.

“Whenever the library was open, I would go to preview next semester’s courses and read books. I ended up reading four books just over the break, but I also played a lot of video games too,” Dong said. “I often videocalled my family at about 8 or 9 p.m., which is difficult with the time difference. I also went to New York City to visit my sister who is working there.”

Liu, another first-year from China who remained on campus for the break, also traveled to New York City for a few days to visit friends from high school. Throughout the rest of the break, Liu set goals to make the most of his time off.

“I tried to enrich my holidays by making plans to get good sleep, prepare for class and go to the gym,” Liu said. “I would also cook for myself because I didn’t like the Frank food during the break.” 

For Colgate men’s hockey player and sophomore Simon Labelle, winter break meant practice and bonding with his teammates.

“Besides hockey, there wasn’t much to do over break,” Labelle said. “You have to try to fill your time by either playing video games or simply hanging out with teammates. I obviously would have liked to have had more than 10 days at home with my family, but I’ve been [not home for break] for such a long time because of hockey that I’m kind of used to it by now.” 

While staying on campus during winter break might be a bit mundane, it allows students to focus on personal goals, spend quality time with friends on campus and get some relaxation time. Students can appreciate the peaceful beauty of a Hamilton winter without the stress of classes and schoolwork.

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