Returning as a member of the Bicentennial class will make graduation feel all the more surreal. As the daughter of two Continentals, Hamilton has been a meaningful part of my life since the day I was born. I know that Hamilton will continue to have a special place in my life after I graduate because of the long-lasting bonds students have developed with the College for the past 200 years.
If absence makes the heart grow fonder, after a semester studying away from Hamilton in Buenos Aires, I have also grown grateful (for all-campus emails written in English and libraries where one is permitted to check out books), introspective (comparing the Clinton “bubble” to the self-awareness of a major city), but above all reassured — that this snowy, 200-year-old hill is home.
I’ve felt honored to add my four
To a storied aggregation:
Ninescore and then sixteen more
Precede my generation.
A hefty sum indeed it seems
And against it we, so small.
But on our lofty hopes and dreams
Depends Carissima’s call.
Though the past is fixed, our horizons vast,
For the future’s sake, we retain our past.
I think we are in a pretty special position as members of the Bicentennial class: If we juxtapose the first collection of Hamilton students with the Class of 2012, we can probably gain a lot of insight into the ways in which we learn as young adults, the things we care about, and the vigor with which we approach both our academic pursuits and our friendships here on the Hill.
Not to sound too cynical, but I wonder if my experience has been anything like that of the original Hamiltonians. They took Greek and Latin. I took English in England. They needed fires to stay warm. I think the heaters are too hot. I suppose all we have in common is the weather. Well, that and the library carpeting.
If there are such things as dog years, then I believe there should be a distinct measurement for years at Hamilton College. Three years have passed by in approximately the same number of eye blinks as one year of high school. Two hundred years is a relatively short time period by this scale, but it is the numerous accomplishments made between each blink of the eye that we must celebrate.
There’s nothing like being away from Hamilton for a semester to make me remember how much I love the small things — midnight breakfast, spontaneous dance parties, walks in the Glen, laying out on Minor Field with friends. I have missed Hamilton like it is a long-lost friend. Two hundred years’ worth of people have called it home. I’m just another.