200 Days in the Life of the College

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Saturday, August 14, 2010

The masks come off

By Julia Wilber ’11

After a tough first day, it is amazing to watch genuine friendship replace facades of friendliness. For Nick Brewer ’14 and his Adirondack Adventure rock-climbing group, the transition is swift. Day Two of the weeklong Adirondack Adventure finds them on Minor Field participating in the Low Ropes Elements and Field Initiatives program, constantly laughing and in conversation. They can hardly wait to talk to one another.

Spontaneous events like these are what brought Brewer to Hamilton in the first place, bumping Hamilton up from his “big list of colleges” to his top choice. “I liked the way people seemed to interact … and everyone is friends,” he says, reflecting on the events from the previous spring during Accepted Students Day — including National Mustache Day, where the People Who Like To Do Fun Things club handed out fake mustaches to everyone on Martin’s Way. “I came from a high school where people were lazy and rude. It’s nice to be in a place that’s just filled with that” friendliness.

Day Two aims to create a friend network and, through this network, stability in challenging moments. For Brewer’s rock-climbing group, the trust being built is critical for the trip ahead. He is later belayed upon reaching the top of his toughest climb, and with calls of support from his group echoing off the mountains below, he descends, grinning wildly. “Michael was right,” Brewer says, speaking of the group’s gear tech and the difficulty rating he had assigned the climb: “It’s a 5. Fun.”