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

Social Scene: Life Beyond Lectures at Colgate

Printed with permission of Sarah Hatchett, Aidan Scully

The first year at college is a daunting transitional period for many students trying to find their place and identity in a new environment. For the Colgate University Class of 2024, their experience as first-years is unique in that much of the social life throughout their first year was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senior Sarah Hatchett entered Colgate during the COVID-19 protocol and explained that quarantine certainly made it difficult to develop a social life, but despite the challenges, she made an active effort to meet people and took advantage of the various opportunities for involvement on campus.

“I did my best to reach out to people to get food and walk into town. I was really lucky for two reasons. Firstly, I met one of my best friends on my floor during quarantine my first-year,” Hatchett said. “Secondly, I got into Outdoor Education which connected me to other first-years and upperclassmen.” 

Hatchett explained how meeting upperclassmen as a first-year helped to grow her love and excitement towards being a student at Colgate, despite the COVID-19 restrictions. She offered the advice that her parents gave to her before entering college, which applies to many first-years who may be struggling to navigate social life at Colgate.

“Your first year of college is really hard. There are going to be moments where you feel overwhelmed or isolated. It’s important to know that those negative feelings are normal and happen to everyone at some point. Even if no one is talking about it, just knowing that others are probably feeling the same [way] makes it easier to get through it and see the other side,” Hatchett said.

She also offered advice on the importance of being friendly towards other people in hopes of making connections.

“Everyone is starting out at the same point, so there is no reason not to reach out,” Hatchett said. “No matter what dorm or classes you find yourself in, just be curious about getting to know other people and you’ll find your people eventually.” 

Fast forward four years and the first-year experience has adjusted back to the non-pandemic standard. Incoming students do not have to worry as much about a global pandemic hindering their social experience. However, adjusting to Colgate’s social scene can still be an intimidating experience.

First-year Aiden Scully described his first semester as a mix of both good and bad. 

“My social experience has been somewhat mixed,” Scully said. “For the first semester, I found it difficult to find a group that I really felt I fit into, but as I’ve come into the second semester, I’ve been able to expose myself to more people and really find my niche.”

Nevertheless, Scully remains optimistic about his future at Colgate.

“My overall goal for my social life at Colgate is to, of course, have an outlet for social gatherings, but also to build meaningful relationships that can hopefully outlast my years on this campus,” Scully said.

The pandemic may be over, but its legacy remains in the memories of this year’s graduating class, and while the circumstances are much different for current first-years, it is inevitable that all first-year students will experience highs and lows in their social lives. As Hatchett and Scully touched on, it’s important as a first-year to reach out to people, have patience in finding your groove and remember that many students feel the same nerves when entering college life.

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About the Contributor
Mehek Singh
Mehek Singh, Special Projects Manager
Mehek Singh is a senior from Baltimore, MD concentrating in international relations and minoring in global public and environmental health. She has previously served as an Assistant News Editor and staff writer for the News section. On campus, Mehek is a peer consultant in the Writing and Speaking Center, and is also involved in Class Council, Link Staff, and the Benton Scholars.

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