Many reading this may be in the process of visiting different schools and trying to make decisions about where to apply and attend college. Maybe Colby is on your list, or a potential candidate for “the list”. Senior year of high school, I remember having more conversations than I would’ve liked that consisted of the question “So Katie, you’re a senior, right? Where are you applying?” And following this redundant and oh-so-familiar question, I would quickly try to remember the 11 schools that were on my fateful “list”, all liberal arts schools, all in New England. Looking back, I really should have had some sort of pneumonic device to help me remember. Something like…
Some Caterpillars Won’t Accept Credit Cards But Some Will Vocalize Youthfully.
Okay, yes, that was a waste of time now considering that only would’ve been useful 12 months ago, but oh well. I’ll let you guess which of the C’s represents Colby.
So anyway, you may be in that same position right now. You’ve looked at the websites of so many small liberal arts schools and you know that basically all of them have beautiful campuses, great professors, athletic opportunities and arts opportunities and too many clubs to remember. You may be thinking in your head, they all seem so similar, it’ll be pretty much impossible to choose in the end.
Well, my friends, what you’ll find is that while many of these schools have unifying characteristics, they also each have their own ways of being different. So therefore, the logical question is, what makes Colby different?
Ask any Colby student that you meet, “what makes Colby different from other liberal arts schools,” and a likely response that you will receive is “the people.” And maybe you’ve heard this response a million times, and it seems very general and vague. The thing is, it was this very fact, the fact that there is something different and special about the students you meet at Colby, that made me ultimately decide to come to Colby. But I don’t want to just be another of the hundreds that will tell you this. I want you to understand what I mean.
Colby students have a certain openness about them. They are the type of people that want to introduce themselves when they see an unfamiliar face, and want to hear about your life and where you’re from and your dog’s name and your favorite food to eat for dinner and the story of how you lost your first tooth. Colby students are confident being exactly who they are, and they want to get to know the purest, realest, most genuine version of you. They are the type of people that can make you feel included in a second, and make you feel like you’re part of a new family within a few days.
Colby students always hold the door for one another, know the janitors and dining hall workers by name and make pleasant chit-chat with them, and respect each other’s personal space and belongings. You could leave your laptop sitting on a table in the library for hours and no one would so much as think of touching it.
Colby students love to learn, and their curiosity about the world is infectious in the best way possible. When you spend a lot of time with other Colby students, you’ll find yourself becoming more and more curious about all of the mysteries of life and having late night conversations about our perceptions of colors and why we exist and how you would spend your last day on Earth if Obama suddenly announced that an asteroid was going to demolish the planet. You’ll find yourself wanting to work hard in your classes, not because you care about getting an A, but because you have a true, personal desire to learn.
Colby students smile at each other and attend each other’s sports games and theater performances and concerts and fundraisers. Colby students feel proud to wear their Colby sweatshirts because they love their school and the people in it. Colby students are the people that want to be your friend, and many of them will be your friends for life.
Without the people, Colby is just another beautiful liberal arts school that blends right in with the rest, like a little blue house on a street of identical little blue houses. However, with the people, Colby is that little blue house where you step inside and you immediately feel the warmth of the fireplace and the happy energy that permeates the air. You notice that the walls are painted all sorts of colors, greens and purples and oranges and reds with sparkles and polkadots and stripes everywhere, and in every corner you discover something new. And you realize that this little blue house is very different from the rest. It may look similar on the outside, but on the inside, what you find is a family.