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200 Days in the Life of the College

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

New faces, new spaces

By Nora Grenfell ’12

It’s the first day of orientation, and the first­-years are moving in. One heavily trafficked dorm is Dunham, where Scott Milne’s sister Michelle is helping her brother settle into a quad on the second floor.

It can be both a blessing and a burden to have a sibling on campus. The connection to home makes the transition to college smoother, but some students don’t like arriving with the shadow of an older sibling hanging over them. Scott and Michelle Milne are having a different experience. They arrived at the exact same time: They are twins from Los Angeles.

Although they first planned to attend different colleges, the Milnes were each interested in finding a small liberal arts school on the East Coast. Scott was looking for a place to play baseball; Michelle was interested in pursuing the arts. And both were attracted to Hamilton’s strong writing program.

The two are excited about attending school together again. “I have someone who knows who I am,” Michelle says. Continues Scott, “And you don’t feel like as much of a stranger.” When speaking, they finish each other’s sentences.

Neither is nervous about becoming a crutch for the other. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet new people. They aren’t enrolled in any of the same classes, nor are their residence halls near one another. “It’s great dorming in different buildings, because it forces us to not rely on each other for making friends,” Michelle says.

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Despite the distance between their dorms, the Milnes have already noticed that students across campus make the effort to connect. And for Michelle, living in North means that, for the first time in her life, she won’t be sharing her living space with a boy. “Boys are messy,” Michelle says. “It will be different to live with all girls!” But she is happy to have a place to hang out on the second floor of Dunham. “I might camp out here,” she says. “It’s a four-flight trek to my room.”

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