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C. Adam Pfander Photograph

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The Social Circle

January 29, 2013   

I do not generally consider myself a socialite or “the life of the party” among my peers.  I am often quiet and reserved in large social occasions; I am truly best at being an individual.  But on the Hill, I have been taken into a larger circle of fiercely loyal friends.  It is rare to find a group of people whose presence is almost instantly gratifying.

I have a few friends from high school who are so valued, but they are a small handful and spread across the country.  At Hamilton, I have happily added a few new faces to the ranks.  The cross country and track teams comprise most of my social interaction.  We form a group of kindred spirits.

This notion of inclusion, of kinship, struck me this past weekend while on a run.  I saw a pair of runners coming the other way.  One of these two was our XC captain Hashem Zikry ’13.  He called loudly, “Pfander-Bender!”—my nickname among Hamilton’s runners. 

Zikry is perhaps the ring-leader of our bad of runners.  He organizes team dinners of wings and pizza.  He honors those athletes who ran particularly impressive races with a coveted “runner of the week” title.  In the beginning of the year, when all first-years were incredibly awkward and quiet – unsure of our social standing – he broke many barriers; he reassured us that first-year runners stood on equal ground within the team.

Zikry has also commented that our class remains incredibly close—that we are almost a fraternity of running nerds.

I would like to think so.  We eat dinner together constantly.  We go to movies together.  I even discovered that one of my fellow first-years on the team, Evan Abelson, reads these blog-posts as a way to avoid school work.

People are loyal to one another on the Hill—my story is just one among many.  I was struck when I first came to college how open and friendly people were. Students love Hamilton because it is a place where they are unconditionally accepted.