Be Here Now

Be Here Now

How my promise to myself for the next few years was inspired by Andrew Jillings.

Since moving into Hamilton College less than two weeks ago, the Class of 2020 has been talked at a lot. I guess it comes with the territory of being freshmen and going through orientation, but the ambush of words have definitely gone over the heads of myself and a lot of my fellow students. We've come close to falling asleep during the plethora of lectures, we've dragged our feet on the way to Wellin Hall, we've sat there trying to discreetly, or not so discreetly checking our phones and snapchatting our new friends who are also forced to sit and listen when we mostly just want to nap.

The talks we've received over the last week have been filled with a plethora of information and tips about maximizing our time here on the Hill. The advice has been endless, but there was one talk that truly resonated with me, and hopefully with the rest of my class-and no, it not the terrifying fire safety talk that had us all running to check the posters in our dorms to be caught up on evacuation procedure. It was one of the few talks we got from Andrew Jillings, one of the leaders of the entire orientation program and the outing club.

This particular talk was the first of several given by Andrew Jillings, and by the time we were sitting down in the Field House, the air was so heavy with humidity and the threat of thundershowers, it was the end of possibly our longest day on campus-move in day- and everyone was probably wishing for just a couple of free moments to relax and decompress.

He started by acknowledging that he too hated having to keep us cooped up inside, but stressed the importance of paying attention for the crucial rules of orientation week, particularly for our Adirondack, Exploration, or Outreach Adventures. Perhaps eliciting the most laughs and really securing the attention of the crowd was the rule "No loss of life, and no gain of life."

While that last part definitely lightened the mood and engaged the crowd of tired, new students, it was what came towards the end of the talk that really stuck with me the most out of every talk we've sat through, and what has motivated me throughout the entire orientation process, and what I hope will continue to inspire me and motivate me and the rest of my class. Andrew looked at us and said, "What I hope the most for all of you is that you can just be here now."

Be here now. Three simple words that seem like common sense but is so important to remember. He continued with something along the lines of, "I wish that we could all stick our fingers into the ground, this earth. I wish we could reach through the grass, dirt, and mud and be here, in Clinton, New York, and just be here now." These are the words that have been the most inspiring throughout a jam-packed week of advice and lectures meant to guide us. Those three words are the ones that have been stuck in my head.

What makes the phrase so powerful, to me at least, is the truthfulness and the importance of staying aware and engaged as we start these new lives, especially in the age of technology. It is so, so tempting to stare at our phones all day to use Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook or to constantly Snapchat, text, call, and Facetime your best friends, significant others, and families back home.

And I'm not saying don't call your parents and cut off everybody from home-please call your parents. It's just incredibly important to focus on being here now. Now is the time that we'll develop bonds and lasting friendships with the people around us, now is when it's crucial to learn your way around campus, now is when it's important to figure things out with your roommates and develop new schedules. Now is when it's important to be here now.

And with the hundreds of promises we've heard from the administration and older students-that we're sitting among our life-long friends, that we'll be safe in any emergency situation, that the opportunities of a Hamilton education are limitless, that we can study what we love and be who we are, that we will survive without our iPhones during our Adirondack, Outreach, and Exploration Adventures; I think it's important that we make some promises to ourselves for the next four years. And not just the cheesy, New Year's Resolution type promises like eat better and actually go to the gym. We should make a meaningful promise to ourselves like never holding back you true personality, being unapologetic about our passions and the pursuit of our passions, and testing new things outside of our comfort zones.

My personal promise to myself, though, is to be here now; to embrace my surroundings with open arms, to try my best to not obsess over my phone, to be present with my classmates, and to just be here now, in Clinton, studying at Hamilton College, digging my fingers into the ground and establishing a good life here at Hamilton, focusing on the present.

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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The Football World Loses One Of Its Finest Players

Bart Starr passed away and NFL players, coaches, and fans all mourn the loss of the Packer legend, but his life and career will live on in hearts of Packer nation forever.


Bart Starr passed away at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama. The NFL lost a great player. The Green Bay Packers lost a hero. And, the world lost a true gentleman. Starr's legacy has surpassed his accomplishments on the gridiron. He inspired not only his peers but the generations that have come after him. He is — and always — will be remembered as a Hall of Famer, a champion, and a Packer.

Bart Starr was a Packers legend. Starr led Green Bay to six division titles and five world championships. As the quarterback of Vince Lombardi's offense, he kept the machine going and executed the plays like no other. His mastery of the position was a large part of the Packers success in the 1960s. Starr was also the perfect teammate for the perfect team. His leadership put him in command of the Packers. Starr's time in Green Bay will not be forgotten by former players, coaches, and the fans.

Bart Starr's resume is rivaled by few in NFL history. He played in 10 postseason games and won 9 of them. He led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and won the MVP award in both games. He was the MVP of the league in 1966 and was named to the NFL All-Decade Team of the 1960s. The Packers retired his number 15 and Starr has been inducted into the Packers and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After his playing days, Starr would become the head coach of the Packers. He could not repeat the success he had on the field from the 1960s teams. His coaching years do not take away from his legacy as one of the all-time great Packers. Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

One of Starr's last visits to Lambeau field was on a cold November night in 2015. Starr and his wife attended a ceremony in which the Packers retired Brett Favre's jersey number. Starr was the perfect personification of what it meant to be a Packer. His most heroic moment came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game. The Ice Bowl came down to a third and goal in Lambeau Field's south endzone against the Dallas Cowboys. Starr came to the sidelines and bravely told Vince Lombardi that he can sneak it in for a game-winning touchdown. Lombardi then replied, "Run it, and let's get the hell out of here." Starr ran a quarterback sneak for the game-winner and the Packers were off to Super Bowl II. Without Starr, Green Bay would not have won a second straight Super Bowl. His leadership in big game moments will live with Packers fans for a lifetime.

Vince Lombardi: A Football Life - The Ice Bowl

Starr leaves behind his wife Cherry, his son, and three granddaughters. Packers fans will have a tight grip on the memories Bart Starr and the 60s teams created. Starr left behind a template for being a Green Bay Packer. He also left a template for being a good man and a gentleman of the game of football. He was a competitor and a leader. Packer nation mourns for the loss of one of the finest human beings the game has seen.

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