There are two types of people in this world: those who love the Jug and those who hate it. Or so I thought. I’ve somehow managed to oscillate between the two extremes over my four years and, depending on where you stand on the issue, my final year at Colgate has been either a complete failure or total success.
My former jaunts to the Jug have been notably nonexistent during this last semester. The two times I did go, I was quickly reminded of its unique ability to make people feel either incredibly overjoyed or, perhaps more likely, unbelievably uncomfortable. (I think the playing of 50 Cent’s “Magic Stick,” although undeniably a musical masterpiece, may have contributed to the latter, given the song’s tendency to elicit overly suggestive dance moves.)
My first-year self would most definitely consider my infrequent visits to the Jug a sin. In those days, every night out involved a trip to the Jug, lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to upwards of two hours, and it was generally considered a faux pas to leave before Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” With each passing year, the true die-hard Jug fans were distinguished from the stragglers who were just coming along for the very unpredictable, yet potentially rewarding, ride.
Although this may be a stretch (and kind of odd), I think my changing relationship with the Jug has been akin to my overall experience at Colgate. As a first-year, the Jug seemed like the natural and easiest choice. I didn’t give much thought towards weighing the advantages and disadvantages of dancing in a 15′ x 15′ area that threw any notion of “personal space” out the window.
My attitude towards the Jug (i.e. mindlessly following the crowds of people) was similar to the beginning of my academic experience as I convinced myself I needed to major in the ever-popular Political Science or Economics if I ever hoped to have some semblance of a career. However, after one too many unsettling experiences at the Jug (I’ll spare you the details, but feel free to use your imagination), I realized it might be time to reevaluate my nightly activities and branch out a bit.
In the same way, after one too many lectures on supply and demand and the downfall of American politics, I decided it was time to reconsider my major. I soon realized this was one of the best parts about college, especially when you’re a freshman – nothing is set in stone. If you don’t enjoy something, whether it be socially or academically, the only one holding you back from changing your experience is yourself.
So, just as I ultimately chose a less conventional academic path (Classics was a far cry in practicality from Economics), I also decided to branch out of the standard nights at the Jug, for better or worse. There is a certain freedom that comes with being able to step outside your comfort zone (not that the Jug is particularly “comfortable”) and try new experiences. The risk is relatively low, and the potential payoff is
usually quite high.
I may not be a Jug rat anymore, but my sporadic visits over the years have made me realize that the Jug can be either an endless (well, until 2:30 a.m.) source of excitement and reasonably good music or a demoralizing place that has a few too many sweaty people. It all depends on whether you approach the situation with the right mindset. Colgate’s not much different (maybe a little less sweaty). It’s full of opportunities outside the conventional path, and the only way to find them is to experiment with something new. You always have the option to return to your original path, just like you can always revisit the Jug.
Contact Laura D’Angelo at [email protected]