The swing is a humble invention that has been around since ancient times, and Centre College is lucky enough to have one. Back when I decided to attend Centre as a high school senior, I didn’t know the swing on Centre’s campus existed. It wasn’t until I arrived for my orientation last August that I happened to see the swing hanging from the tulip tree on the lawn in front of Old Centre, and didn’t know what to make of it.

After asking around and making a few inquiries as to what was hanging from the tree, a few of my new friends and I decided to pay a visit to the swing one night when we had nothing better to do. The design of the swing is simple: a wooden board, with a rope through the middle of it tied in a few knots, which is then attached to a branch of the tree. Since the rope is in the middle of the swing, this allows the swing to twist around while the person on it swings. This also means that the person on the swing can’t really push themselves, so someone else has to help.

One of my friendships also started at the swing while we were waiting for mutual friends to join us. I had just met her earlier that day, but we both decided that a trip to the swing in the early fall was a great way to pass the time. Since then, we refer to each other as the “swing squad,” and have become permanent swing buddies.

The lawn around the swing is also a peaceful place to take a break. There were a few times that I needed a respite from doing homework, and what better place to go than the swing? I would gather a couple of friends, and we would forget about homework for about 10 minutes. Each of us would take a turn on the swing before returning to the library to finish our homework.

There were also a few times this year when I just needed to get away from many people and just take a breather, and the swing was a perfect spot for this. The swing can be pulled back a little up the hill before running and jumping on the wooden board, giving the person a small head start to someone pushing them.

I have many fond memories of the swing just from this past year, so I would like to thank the former students who put up the swing and the administration for keeping it. I had no idea that such a small and simply designed swing could transform the space around it into a refuge from the stresses of the academic world and allow for new friendships to form.

Here’s to many more happy memories involving the Centre swing!