First-Years’ First Thoughts on Hamilton
First Semester Reflections
Coral Gables Senior High School
What is something you’ve done at Hamilton that “high-school you” would be surprised about? How outgoing and determined I was (and still am) to use Hamilton’s extensive network of support to better my experience here on the Hill. From the faculty I have randomly engaged in conversations with while on the treadmill, reaching out to alumni, and seeing how eager they are to help me chart a career that makes me happy, and professors always willing to lend a helping hand in times of stress, I could not be more grateful for Hamilton’s networking opportunities. Making the most of what this college has to offer is something I would have rarely done in high school, and I am extremely proud of this decision.
My orientation trip: Basecamp Venus
Complete this sentence. “Something I recently added to my Hamilton bucket list is...” Finally taking the time to walk through the Glen!
Campus involvement: Club Soccer, The Hamilton Spectator, French Club
How has working with ALEX helped you navigate life at Hamilton? Working alongside the ALEX advisors has been a blessing, especially as a freshman coming into college with little to no knowledge of Hamilton’s vast resources up for grabs. Kevin Alexander, my ALEX advisor, introduced me to the Reyni Leadership Fund, an opportunity for students to attend academic off-campus events related to their intended major. Thankfully, I was able to attend the Society of Professional Journalists’ National Convention in Washington, D.C., surrounded by pillars of the industry, an eye-opening experience I will not forget. This was only made possible thanks to the ALEX advisors’ constant support and belief in my abilities to be successful on and off campus!
Classes I took during my first semester: International Relations, Intro to Economics, Intro to Women and Gender Studies and Intro to Sociology
Which class have you enjoyed the most? International Relations since it has offered me insights into today’s geopolitical landscape that I had never been exposed to before. The course’s challenging nature pushed me to go beyond the classroom itself, with the goal to learn more about the topics discussed. In the future, I see myself applying this newly-acquired knowledge in the professional world, whether my career path veers toward journalism or political science.
Favorite place on campus: Withiam Field
My go-to campus dining spot and meal: Diner, Buff-Caesar Wrap, fries, two bananas, and an apple.
San Francisco, Calif.
San Francisco University High School
Classes I took during my first semester: Lit: What is it good for?; Conversations in Hispanic Culture; History of American Christianity 1600-1890; Intro to Psychology
Which class have you enjoyed the most? My Spanish class because of our close community. There were only seven of us, and every class was a lively discussion about current events in Latin America. My Spanish improved exponentially, and I enjoyed the opportunity to work so closely with my professor.
Campus involvement: Hamilton Outing Club, WHCL 88.7 FM, Hamilton Theatre Department (roles in the mainstage production and director’s showcase)
My orientation trip: Cranberry Lake Canoe and Hike
What has been your most memorable Hamilton moment? Climbing both Giant and Rocky Peaks in the Adirondacks with the Outing Club on 46 Peaks weekend. We left campus at 3 a.m. to reach the trailhead on time and ended up hiking around 14 miles, which was utterly exhausting and incredibly rewarding. And, of course, the views were unmatched.
Favorite place on campus: Fojo South
What is something you learned about yourself during your first semester? How important it is to get involved in as much as you can. I met so many incredible people through joining different clubs this semester, and I learned that putting yourself out there is always a good thing.
My go-to campus dining spot and meal: McEwen breakfast sandwiches
Which extracurricular activity has been your favorite? I loved being a part of the mainstage production of Measure for Measure this fall. It was an incredibly talented cast, and in addition to learning so much about theater, I also formed close friendships with many people throughout our rehearsals and performances.
De Pere, Wisconsin
Phantom Knight School of Opportunity
My go-to campus dining spot and meal: Chicken fingers and fries at the Howard Diner
How did having a career advisor help you during your first semester? Hamilton’s career advisors have been an invaluable resource. They are supportive and intelligent individuals who clearly want to see students succeed beyond just academics. I worked with Ginny Dosch earlier this semester to discuss a critical language scholarship that would’ve given me the chance to study abroad in Japan this summer. After meeting with her, I decided to wait and apply next year so I have more skills and time to thoughtfully complete the application. During our meeting, Ginny also helped me think through various scenarios so that I could decide what was right for me.
Campus involvement: Yodapez, Writing Center tutor, Communications and Marketing Office writer, La Vanguardia, Opportunity Program
Classes I took my first semester: Experience of Reading, Intro to Making Theatre, Spanish for Native/Bilingual Speakers, First-Term Japanese
What class have you enjoyed the most and why? Intro to Making Theatre. Mark Cryer is one of the best educators I’ve ever had. Despite how advanced Mark is in the subject matter, the class is still beginner-friendly.
My orientation trip: Cooking the Books
What is something you've done at Hamilton that “high-school you” would be surprised about? I was shocked by how much I loved almost anything involving a microphone and a spotlight. I took Theatre 100, joined our improv group Yodapez, performed slam poetry, participated in a small theatrical production as a part of the Theatre department's directing class, and even sang in front of a small group of fellow music students all in this first semester. High school me would've never been willing to do any of that (especially not the singing).
Complete this sentence: “Something I recently added to my Hamilton bucket list is...” Auditioning for the mainstage play! I won't be doing it my freshman year because I think I still have a long way to go, but I would like to audition at least one time for Hamilton’s big semesterly theatrical production. I think I'll know when the timing is right.
Cross River State, Nigeria
St. Timothy’s School (Stevenson, Md.)
Classes I took my first semester: Introduction to Video, Computer Science for All, Imagining Africa, and Written and Oral Argumentation
Which class have you enjoyed the most? Being a YouTuber, I’ve enjoyed Introduction to Video the most. It’s helped me see filmmaking through a different lens and that was my goal coming into the course.
My orientation trip: Curveballs and Kan Jam (Watch my video about it!)
Favorite place on campus: Definitely the Taylor Science Center
Campus involvement: Hamilton Christian Fellowship, Digital Media Intern, Badminton Club, Harvest Volunteering
What is something you’ve done at Hamilton that “high-school you” would be surprised about? One of my part-time jobs is running an apparel company at Hamilton where I work with different groups and orgs on merch/swag. Making over $27,000 for the company in my first few months is definitely something high-school me would be surprised about.
My go-to campus dining spot and meal: Diner is my favorite and their breakfast is underrated; I love their pancakes and tots.
Which extracurricular activity brings you the most joy? Filming and editing videos for my YouTube channel for sure. My channel is like a diary where shared experiences come to life and I love sharing these with others.
Complete this sentence. “When I’m not in class, you can find me...” Catching up on episodes of NCIS or hanging out with friends around campus.
The Emery/Weiner School
Campus involvement: Varsity football
How has being a student-athlete helped you acclimate to life at Hamilton? It gave me an immediate social circle of great teammates. Those guys are my best friends, and I never would have met them without football.
Classes I took during my first semester: Intro to Existentialism, Latin, Ancient Comedy, and Marx, Nietzsche, Freud
Which class have you enjoyed the most? Intro to Existentialism because Professor Franklin is awesome.
What has been your most memorable moment? Scoring a touchdown against Colby during the season.
What is something you've done at Hamilton that "high-school you" might be surprised about? I’m taking a theatre class this year, which is something I never would have done in high school.
My orientation trip: Yoga and Mindfulness
Complete this sentence. “When I'm not in class, you can find me...” In my room, playing video games with my friends or studying in the science center.
My go-to campus dining spot and meal: McEwen breakfast.
Pine Bush, N.Y.
Pine Bush Central High School
Campus involvement: Hamilton College Orchestra, Newman Council, and I am employed at the Days-Massolo Center (DMC) as the Communications Lead where I write its newsletter.
What is something you learned about yourself during your first semester?
I learned that I regret not trying new things more often. I want to branch out and explore areas that I haven’t yet next semester, like the a cappella group I almost joined and the hike I almost went on.
Classes I took during my first semester: Neurobio and Animal Behavior; Intro to Psychology; Fundamentals and Chromatic Harmony; American Ghosts
Which class have you enjoyed the most?
American Ghosts because I got to read ghost stories written by American authors throughout the ages. It was really fun to compare ghost stories from the Victorian times to ghost stories about the pandemic that were published last year. For my final essay I got to analyze a ghost story from my own hometown, and I found learning about that story and its history really interesting.
My favorite place on campus: Probably the FoJo lounge area in the Schambach Center. I love to sit on the couches there to study, read, or relax.
My orientation trip: Forever Wild
Which extracurricular activity has been your favorite?
Working at the DMC because I can exercise my love for writing while simultaneously interacting with some of the most popular and most progressive groups on campus. Learning from my co-workers has truly helped me to feel comfortable here at Hamilton.
My go-to dining spot and meal: McEwen Dining Hall’s shepherd's pie with pumpkin ice cream as dessert. It always makes my day when Commons Dining Hall has lemon bars (they are so good!).
What has been your most memorable Hamilton moment?
When I watched Poltergeist with my roommate and our friend until 1 a.m. It was a school night, but we sat around talking and laughing at the old horror film anyways. Our friend slept over in our room, and it just reminded me of the freedom that being in college allows me and the fun of needing to watch Poltergeist for a class (American Ghosts).
Finish this sentence: “When I'm not in class, you can find me....”
Connecting with friends in the FoJo lounge. I’ll see someone there and then we’ll go together to the Kirkland Glen, the Howard Diner, or even the Library.
Walla Walla, Wash.
Walla Walla High School
Classes I took my first semester: Environmental Geology, Biology 100, Medieval History, Intro to Making Theatre.
Which class have you enjoyed the most? My favorite class this semester was my Environmental Geology class. It taught me to take scientific concepts and how to apply them to public policy and public perceptions. It was a nice mixture of STEM and humanities.
What adventures have you added to your Hamilton bucket list? Go into every building the same day, Do a V5 boulder, Do a paper boat race down the stream, go into the KJ fountain.
My go-to dining spot and meal: The pasta at Commons.
What is something you’ve done at Hamilton that “high-school you” might be surprised about? I’ve been rock climbing a lot on campus, and it wasn’t something that I would have expected to do very much. My orientation trip got me hooked on climbing and I try to go at least twice a week.
My orientation trip: Giant Mountain Hiking and Rock Climbing
Campus involvement: Ultimate Frisbee, working in the Glen House
Which extracurricular activity has been your favorite? Ultimate Frisbee has been my favorite extracurricular this semester. It’s a good way to get a workout in while making friends in different years or who have different classes.
Favorite place on campus: Rogers Glen
Complete this sentence. “When I’m not in class, you can find me...” Watching a movie in KJ with friends, climbing at the wall, studying in the library or going on a glen walk.
Hillsborough High School
Campus involvement: Travel Section Editor for The Continental Magazine, Site Coordinator for HAVOC [Hamilton Association for Volunteering, Outreach and Charity], editor for Suture Magazine, and working as a Sadove Support Staff member in the Sadove Student Center
Which extracurricular activity brings you the most joy? My role as a Site Coordinator for HAVOC. I work directly with the Dunham Public Library to run a creative writing workshop. I enjoy working with fellow Hamilton creative writers, helping young writers improve their craft, and simply engaging with the wider Oneida County community.
My go-to campus dining spot and meal: After my 9 a.m. Chinese class, I always go to Commons to have a bagel, bowl of fruit, and cranberry juice for breakfast.
How did having a career advisor help you during your first semester? My career advisor, Ginny Dosch, helped me organize my academic and career goals and identify the first-steps in exploring and pursuing different career paths. With my career advisor, I reviewed my cover letter and resume, explored alumni to reach out to, and discussed summer opportunities.
My orientation trip: Upper Saranac Lake Canoe
Classes I took my first semester: Intro to Linguistics; First Term Chinese; Intro to Environmental Studies; American Ghosts
What is something you’ve done at Hamilton that “high-school you” would be surprised about? I was never involved in my high school publications; only during my senior year did I join the newspaper. So, my “high-school you” would definitely be surprised that I joined two Hamilton publications in my first semester freshman year.
Favorite place on campus: Probably the third floor Burke Library. It’s quiet, and I go there when I just need to put on my headphones and focus on getting my work done.
Complete this sentence. “Something I recently added to my Hamilton bucket list is...” To take a Film and Media Studies course. For my American Ghosts class, I wrote an essay on the horror film Hereditary; this project made me interested in further exploring film as a creative medium – not just literature.