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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

’Gate Take: Winter Break Is Too Long

Graphic: Riley Farbstein

For the last week, I have been reacquainting myself with some of the many fantastic people, restaurants and events that Colgate University has to offer. Yet I can’t help but feel slightly cheated and unfulfilled. I couldn’t put my finger on why. I was enjoying the snow, sharing laughs with friends and getting genuinely excited about the courses I’ll be taking this semester — but again, something felt off. I struggled to place it, but then it hit me: Why on Earth didn’t I come back sooner? Winter break is simply far too long.

As a second-semester senior, I have been feeling pretty sentimental about Colgate, and I’ve begun to appreciate just how much I’ve truly enjoyed my time here. I am well aware that a student asking for a shorter break seems backwards — twisted, even. In years past I could not wait to finish my finals, hop in my car and race home. Five weeks without classes, relaxing, sleeping in and catching up with family sounded like a dream. Don’t get me wrong — I had a wonderful break and I was lucky enough to spend lots of time with family and friends. But by about Jan. 5, I was more than ready to return to Hamilton. With only one semester left, I wanted the opportunity to spend as much time on campus as possible.

That said, this is certainly not a plea for more classes or the stress that is often associated with time spent on campus, but rather a proposition that students, especially juniors and seniors, should be given the opportunity to return to campus a week or two early to enjoy this special place without academics looming over them. My fondest memories of Colgate tend to come during the rare times when students are back in Hamilton, but courses and studying have either not fully kicked in or are winding down for the semester. Whenever I am given the chance, I always choose to come back a couple of days early, or leave a couple of days late, and many of my friends do the same.

This idea does introduce the question of what students will actually be doing with all of this newfound free time. Two weeks without any classes is objectively a lot of time, especially in a town that offers a fairly limited number of dining options and other activities. However, if Colgate were to host a number of events during this time, I am confident that students would not only attend, but appreciate them. These events wouldn’t need to be particularly extravagant, but I think that having a few activities for students to take advantage of would be enough to make this idea worthwhile.  

All of this is, without a doubt, slightly ambitious. But at a minimum, I am certain that seniors would jump at the opportunity to not only spend more time in Hamilton but also just be with each other. Something like this would be fun and exciting, but more importantly, it would help create a better sense of community. Colgate prides itself on the closeness of its community and the values within it, but I would argue that there are not enough events created and hosted with this in mind. 

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    Roger WigginFeb 2, 2024 at 5:54 pm

    Bring back the Jan Plan…