Four Cliche Lessons that Made Colgate Worth It (Because 13 Would Just Be Annoying)

James Bourne

Colgate is expensive. But after paying an exorbitantly high tuition, student fees and getting nickel-and-dimed by the petty rent-a-cop outfit we call Campo, I still think that the time and money we invest in Colgate is a low price to pay for the amazing amount of growth, maturation and insight that we gain in a frighteningly short four-year period.

So, here’s a list of total clich?es that briefly recount the most important life lessons I learned at Colgate – each corresponding roughly with a lesson learned each successive class year.

1) There’s no point in being right if you just piss everyone off. What’s the point of arguing if no one wants to hear you? Sometimes what you say, no matter how important, correct or obvious, can be overshadowed by how you say it. Burning bridges for the sake of being right or getting the last word won’t get you far. The world isn’t that meritocratic.

2) Knowing how to think is more important than knowing what to think. Knowing how to formulate thoughts, arguments and opinions are skills that you might take for granted at a school like Colgate. But you’ll appreciate them when you enter the real world and meet people with the facts but no idea what to do with them.

3) The worst moments reveal the best people. The people that bring you soup when you have mono or who stand by your side when you’re up to your neck in trouble are the people you can count on. True friends don’t run away from difficult situations, they rise to the occasion and pull you up with them. Period.

4) Don’t waste the moment. You’ll never be as young again as you are right now. Your time at Colgate, like your time on Earth, is waning. Take advantage of it. Looking back at my time at Colgate, I won’t remember the tests or the papers or my cumulative GPA. After I’ve forgotten the factors influencing foreign aid to Niger or the specifics of United Nations treaties or the nebulous definition of modernity or the definition of polysyndeton, I’ll probably only remember the friends that I made and the memories I made with them.

When you look back at your time at Colgate, you will realize it seemed shorter than this reflection. It really is a shame to go.