"It is not my wish to lounge about the college and fatten on a fellowship all my days. I am always trying to look upon a college life as a medium not an end."
This quote by T.E. Brown beautifully captures a dilemma many students run into upon the beginning of their college careers. There is an alpha and an omega during our times at college, first year orientation and then graduation. As we begin our college careers, we go through a marvelous transformation akin to that of a butterfly. As freshman we are "fresh-faced" (excuse the pun) and full of potential. For many first year students it is their first time being on their own. Mothers and fathers are no longer around to guide them and watch over them like a hawk (again, excuse the pun).
We begin to adjust to our new surroundings, make new friends and receive a glimpse into what life is like being independent. As sophomore and junior years roll around we become ever more confidant. We know the campus and community like the back of our hand, and gaze upon newer first year students with a combination of intrigue and pity; those poor souls have no clue what is in store for them! By senior year our metamorphosis of sorts is complete. We are masters of the campus, outside of the administration of course. We know all the hot spots to go to that offer a good time and even those hard to find places that offer repose to a hectic year. The sadness and goodbyes then kick in during May when graduation is in full swing.
Before we know it, our cars are all packed up and we are waving goodbye to our closest friends and Oyaron Hill for the future. You try to stay in touch with everyone but it is impossible; who is in grad school, who is working and who moved beyond easy communication distance. Quite a transformation isn't it? I had to sit down and ask myself that same question. How did I go from being that underclassman enjoying his time at a great liberal arts school, to now being out over a year in the real world? I went from this opened but sheltered community that provided everything to now having to depend on my own. We take for granted what our time on Oyaron Hill gives us. This goes beyond the friends, the parties, our classes and the extracurricular activities we are involved in.
Hartwick College was my home for four years in every sense of the word. Professors and faculty staff members took over the roles of my parents for nine months of the year. They guided me toward my degree while making my experiential learning experience truly unforgettable. If I ever needed to just sit down and vent about life as a college student they were there to hear em out (this is especially true for Professor Quinn, Professors Elder & Goltz). I forged relationships with Board of Trustees members that I will certainly call upon in the future. I grew accustomed to there always being an event on campus; whether it was a Code Blue (Warn a Hawk!), an Orchesis show or one of the countless club/organization activities going on every day.
It was the friendships that I forged over my four years that linger and will never go away. You begin to heavily rely on your roommates and friends while away at college. The size of Hartwick allows for some real, true relationships to blossom. Our campus is not large; we live, eat, go to class and generally hangout with our friends everyday. They are always there to hear our problems and see to our needs. Without realizing it you quickly begin to forge your own family. Whether it is during the holidays or over the long (yet seems so short) summer vacation we are always looking forward to meeting up with our friends again. My core group of friends I made at Hartwick I still keep in constant contact with, whether it is through texting or social media. This past March I actually came back to Oneonta with two of my friends to enjoy Snommegang down on Main Street. Instantly we began talking about our favorite memories of living in Townhouse C2 or Hilltop/Oyaron. Your friends will truly help carry you through Hartwick for four years.
Hartwick gave me a bachelor's degree, but it gave me so much more. it gave me a chance to grow as a person and to experience what many deem the "best four years of your life." Before this alumnus bores you any further go out and experience life on Oyaron Hill. Experience what Taste of Wick has to offer, support your Hawks at an athletic contest, join Greek life or just enjoy the events your RA is hosting. Before you know it you will be looking back on those memories or even the time you lost not creating those memories. A piece of me will always live in Hartwick and for that I am eternally grateful. Ad Altiora Semper.