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Sophomore Year Roundup

May 9, 2012   

I’m finishing up my final paper for Anglo-American Modernism right now. My thesis asks how two models of femininity—Mrs. Dalloway and Lily Briscoe—both serve to represent the idea of the New Woman. It seems only right that I began and concluded this year thinking in Woolfian terms; Mrs. Dalloway served as one bookend for my sophomore experience, To The Lighthouse as the other.

I’ve learned a lot as a sophomore, in my classes as well as through extracurricular pursuits. Here are just a few of the myriad lessons:

1. Hamilton ties are strong: At a small college like this one, it isn’t entirely surprising that the alumni network is tight-knit. I’ve been hearing this since I was a freshman, but it wasn’t until this year that I began to connect with some of the outstanding graduates this school has produced. I’ve met and spoken to so many incredible people who genuinely support my passion for writing. Through a chain of alumni connections, I even managed to land a job as a journalist for a startup called The Leapyear Project. I’m excited to someday pay it forward by helping Hamilton students like myself expand their horizons.

2. Skipping breakfast is not an option: Once you join what I like to call the Breakfast Club, you never leave. Breakfast is, in my opinion, the most essential and consistently delicious meal that the dining halls serve. There’s something at breakfast for everyone, whether you’re an eggs-and-toast kind of guy, a bagel buff, a muffin (wo)man or a cereal craver. I’m a morning person, for sure, but that’s only because I fuel up early.

3. Twitter isn’t useless: On the contrary, it’s really useful! I’m addicted to updating my timeline and keeping up with the latest news via Twitter. I also found the job posting for my summer internship through a tweet (literally). Use it, folks, if you don’t already. You won’t regret it.

4. Espresso is kind of expensive, but it totally boosts productivity: I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker. A tea devotee, I always prided myself on having abstained from the bean through high school and my first year of college. But this year, there came to be a point when black tea just wasn’t enough caffeine for me anymore. I’m still not into straight coffee, but I love a good dirty chai—a chai latte with an espresso shot added.

5. Late nights lead to serious bonding sessions: As an editor at The Spectator, I’m accustomed to staying up late at least one night every week. Some people would bemoan this responsibility, but I embrace the wee hours of the evening as opportunities to get to know my peers a little better. To all my Spec staff members: Thanks for being so pleasant and interesting at 2 a.m. (CAITLIN, THIS IS YOUR SHOUTOUT)