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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

Mia Buchband: Lessons & Legacy of a Lead Link

Printed with permission of Mia Buchband

Senior Mia Buchband is a sociology major and education studies minor at Colgate University. Throughout her time at Colgate, she has been involved in Link Staff, Mad Tutors, SAT prep and Greek life.

As a lead link, Buchband led orientation this past Fall. From directing ice breaker activities to managing the Link Staff, lead links have an imperative role in facilitating the transition to college for incoming students.

“Since joining Link Staff halfway through my first year, it has been my favorite community on campus,” Buchband said. “Being a lead link this past year and overseeing orientation and the Link Staff team was super special. One of my favorite moments of my time here was move-in day this past year. I spent the morning standing on the Colgate sign at the bottom of Oak Drive, holding the infamous ‘honk if you love Colgate’ banner and banging pots and pans to welcome the new students and their families. The energy was unmatched.”

Buchband noted the huge difference between her experience and the experience of this year’s first-year class on their respective arrival days. 

“It was a complete 180 from my move-in-day, where we were all dropped on Whitnall [Field] wearing masks, left to move in alone before starting orientation on zoom,” Buchband said. “It was just really cool to be part of a great college tradition and, most importantly, give the new incoming students a different experience from the one our class had.”

In addition to leading orientation, another moment throughout Buchband’s college career that stands out as a favorite for her is her experience studying abroad.

“My junior fall, I went abroad to Vienna, Austria, and I absolutely loved it,” Buchband said. “My family is from there — I’m a dual-citizen — and I had never been, so it was really cool to explore a place that has a deep personal history. During the semester, I was able to travel to 11 countries, which really felt like an opportunity I won’t get again. It was so much fun, but it was also a great exercise in learning new things and putting yourself out there.”

Colgate’s study abroad program is highly ranked, with around seventy percent of students choosing to take a semester abroad.

“I highly recommend that anyone thinking about going abroad should do it while at Colgate,” Buchband said. 

After returning from her time abroad, Buchband spent her senior year focusing on her sociology thesis, which featured the spin studio SoulCycle. Titled “Riding Alone, Together: Social Cohesion at SoulCycle,” Buchband’s thesis dove into the tight community that the spin studio creates. SoulCycle has been criticized for its cult-like behavior and toxic environment.

“The crux of my research stemmed from a recent interview, where the co-founders claimed that the product they sold at SoulCycle wasn’t actually a workout but was connection with other people,” Buchband said. “I found this to be weird that a for-profit thought they could sell friendship for $40 a class, so my paper was analyzing if social cohesion actually happens at SoulCycle and why or why not.”

Buchband explained her inspiration for the project, which she felt was something she truly enjoyed.

“It was such a fun topic,” Buchband said. “I knew I’d have to be genuinely excited about a topic to study it for nine months.”

Beyond her thesis, Buchband shared that she has learned several lessons throughout her four years at Colgate. In terms of advice for younger students, Buchband had some words of wisdom to offer.

“Spend time doing things you actually like,” Buchband said. “Don’t major in something just because you think you should. Take classes that sound interesting. Don’t join a group just because you think you should. Spend time doing things that make you happy.”

On a campus like Colgate, where expectations and pressures are high, Buchband has learned to value her time.

“I think there can be this idea on campus that your plate needs to be full all the time, but something I’ve learned in the past few years is that it’s not worth joining the group, taking the class or assuming the role if you don’t really love it,” Buchband said. “It’s your time and no one else can tell you what to do with it, so spend it in ways that make you happy.”

After graduating from Colgate, Buchband will be working as a client services associate at The Trade Desk, a digital marketing company, in their New York office.

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