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Life Advice

Before we get to the mushy gushy end of the year stuff, I would just like to rant for a moment about how finals suck. So much of your grade depends on this one moment, and if you have a bad day or something goes wrong then you can’t perform your best. Furthermore, finals week involves excessive cramming of information, which is the worst way to learn information and has a very low retaining rate. In these final moments before everyone departs, everyone is stressed about exams and then just wants to get out of here as fast as possible. Something should be done about this!

Okay, thank you for putting up with me through that. Now onto the main topic.

My experience at Colby has been unique. As every student constructs their own opinions and walks their own path, we must each decide for ourselves what to do next. Freshman year was truly one of the happiest times in my life. I met so many amazing people and had such great times with all of them. But sophomore year was somewhat a drag and there are many reasons that made it not as good. For one, I had a lot more work. Secondly, my friend group dynamic changed. Thirdly, I haven’t been as active in terms of putting myself out there. I haven’t been hanging out with or even talking to nearly as many people as before. I have been so focused on work and finding a job and figuring out my future, that I haven’t been able to enjoy my time here. I haven’t been able to explore what makes me passionate and excited. Last year, I would play the ukulele all of the time and I miss that. I miss not worrying and just being happy. I miss mellow days of doing just what I want to and not feeling too tired or too lazy to do it.

I have one simple advice to you all….Do What You Love.

This will guide you to happiness. I think people get bogged down on the social pressures of having to know what you want to do with your life and having to make a lot of money. But evaluate for yourself what is important to you. Maybe it is making money and that’s is completely understandable. If that’s what’s important to you then do whatever it takes to make it there. Maybe it’s becoming amazing at photography. Alright, do it. Find something that you love and pursue it.

I recently realized that I always do what I don’t like first because if I do what I like first, then I will get carried away doing that and never do what I don’t want to do. But another problem arises from this. I end up procrastinating on stuff I don’t want to do and then get NO WORK DONE! Terrible right? So I realized that I should do whatever will make me productive. Give yourself a break and stop worrying about the future and all that “needs” to get figured out. Take everything one step at a time and just do what you enjoy :)

I guess the problem arises when you have mixed interests and you don’t know how to satisfy them all. Life isn’t that simple. You can’t just do photography because you will still worry about finding a job and making money and your parents may want a different future for you and you want to make them happy. You want to make them proud. But where is the middle between making them happy and making yourself happy?

I truly, with all of my heart, with all of my being, believe that if you really love something that you can accomplish greatness doing it. In this world where people have become wildly successful making Youtube videos, taking pictures of people in New York City, blogging about cooking, being a personal shopper, designing new apps, leading ski trips, new jobs are being designed every day! If you become spectacular at that one thing that you love and really push yourself, I truly believe that you can both do what you love, make a lot of money, and be happy. That’s my philospphy anyways.

My issue with this is that I haven’t found something that I love. Thus I am wandering aimlessly and that’s scary. But know that that is okay. People are lost, but you will find your way. Just keep trying new things and reviewing your interests and goals. And just keep doing you.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
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The Time I Had a Mid-College Crisis

This year was so much harder than last year. Freshman year was all about fun times, when everything was new and exciting. My workload was not that tough and my friends and I participated in everything from dorm events to dances to concerts. But things change. Sophomore year is when you need to start getting your shit together as you declare your major, decide if you’re studying abroad, and start looking for internships. Your classes get more difficult and intense and you really need to be on top of your work. If it even slightly gets away from you, you will be perpetually behind. It was a lot to handle.

At the start of the semester, I began looking for a summer internship. But the problem was, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted. I thought that doing something in computer science made sense so I could be exposed to the field and learn a lot from the experience. As I began my search, I noticed a bunch of other jobs that looked interesting. I would love to work with a nonprofit, something I was passionate about in high school. I have no clue what I want to do with my life, but the one thing I do know is that I want to help people. I hope that I can put every ounce of my knowledge and labor towards helping others. Was I accomplishing this with computer science? Furthermore, I really wanted to do something with marketing or graphic design, two interests of mine that I was not able to pursue at Colby. But those internships required one to be studying those topics and I was not. Could I never work in marketing or graphic design? Were those dreams gone forever? Then I realized that internships are the perfect opportunity to try out different fields, but I was limited. I only had 3 summers and had already wasted one. I was running out of time.

If I wanted to pursue computer science, I should really have internships in computer science, but what about advertising, marketing, public relations, communications? All of these wonderful options were slowly slipping away. People say that coming out of college, you can still end up anywhere but why would a company choose me over someone who has a degree in marketing? Then I doubted everything that I had done. Was computer science actually what I wanted to do in the future? Was I going to end up in a dead-end job that I dislike? What was I doing with my life?!

This freaked me out to no end and I talked to many, Many, MANY people to try to ease my nerves. But everyone said the same thing….you can end up anywhere with your major. Computer science is really useful. At least you’ll be secure with money. I was too far in to turn around and do something different now. I felt stuck. Caged. Lost.

But I made it out and I want to help anyone else feeling lost or stuck in their major. As always, breathe. It’s going to be okay. You started this major for a reason and you really do enjoy it. Just within your major alone, you can go to so many places. I can do web design, getting the artistic and computer science aspects together. I can do user interface stuff, which deals with how people interact with the system and has a visual aspect as well. Furthermore, I can still help so many people with computer science. I can build an application to make people’s lives better, to entertain people, to connect people. I can bring technology to developing countries and open up their world manifold. I was not stuck. You are never stuck. Also, a liberal arts degree allows you to attain the necessary skills to problem solve, think critically, and communicate with your peers. These are the skills employers are looking for. This can take you anywhere.

Be calm and remember to just enjoy your time at college. Everything is going to be alright.

^^ Colby’s first pillow fight!

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
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Goodbye Colby

This past week has been a blur. As the year comes to an end, I’m filled with a cornucopia of emotions. They stem from what you’d expect–excitement for the summer, stress regarding finals, sadness because I’ll leave my friends, and happiness from the last bitersweet adventures of the year.

My brother’s graduation this Saturday helped put things into perspective. I only have two years left (!), and I know they’re going to fly by. I need to appreciate every moment. Before you know it, it’ll be me dressed in the traditional cap and gown.

 

I probably won’t have as many accoutrements as my brother, however. He was a part of a million honor societies and got pins and ropes for all of them. I’m so proud of all he’s accomplished. He was a double major in Computer Science and Math and got departmental awards in both of them. What a smartie.

To celebrate the end of the semester, my friend and I went to a Mexican restaurant in Waterville. They gave us chips to start out, and we ate so many that we were barely hungry for the main course–not that that stopped us from eating the delicious pulled pork entree and fried ice cream for dessert.

Another fun event was the school sponsored pillow fight in Pulver. It was designed to relieve stress, and relieve stress it did. They also provided delicious milk and cookies. It’s nice to be babied, especially when you feel the creeping responsibilities of adult life in the back of your mind.

I’m so grateful for this past year at Colby, and I’m thrilled it’s ending on such a good note.


About Catherine

Hi. My name is Catherine and I'm a sophomore English major, currently enjoying my first year at Colby. I was born and raised in Berwick, Maine, an exotic little town near the New Hampshire border. I am involved in Let's Get Ready, which provides free SAT prep for local high school students, and Inklings Magazine, which is a literary journal here at Colby. Like all English majors, I enjoy reading and writing, and Virginia Woolf. A hobby more specific to myself is that every Christmas I spend far too much time making elaborate snowflakes. It is a very seasonal form of artistic expression, but it is also, unfortunately, the only one in which I have any talent. Thanks for reading.
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LOUDness

To celebrate the start and end of every semester, Colby’s Student Programming Board (SPB) throws a “Loudness” weekend — basically a lot of free food, activities, and a concert. So far, I’ve been to ten Loudnesses (plural?), and the one this weekend was by far the best. Here’s why:

  • The concert was incredible. Vic Mensa, Misterwives, Aer, The Novel Ideas, and Academy all preformed during the day on Saturday and almost everyone from Colby went.
  • It was perfect weather.
  • There was a festival theme.
  • Bouncy houses were present.
  • There were food trucks from all over Maine with everything from burritos to smoothies.
  • The day ended with a dance in the student commons.
  • It was ALL free.
  •  Earlier in the week, there were also other mini concerts by student bands, laser tag, and dance shows.
The Festival Loudness was the perfect way to end Junior year.
Unfortunately, my week starts to go slightly down hill tomorrow with the start of Reading Period, which is two days blocked off before finals for just studying. I have an English paper due tomorrow at 5, so it’ll be a very early wakeup considering I spent most of today outside or in bed watching Netflix. Ah! Wish me luck… 

 

About Meg

Before moving to "The Hill," I grew up in the quiet farm town of Princeton, Mass. Whether I'm making a brownie sundae at Dana, running through the streets of Waterville, or sunbathing with friends on the quad, I love everything about Colby, but some of my favorites are the flatbread pizzas at Bobs, yoga classes at the athletic center, and Miller Library's comfortable chairs. I spend time running track, visiting my CCAK buddy, and writing for insideColby.
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End of the Year Festivities

The end of the year is my favorite time of the school year. There is something about the end that brings people together. As I mentioned in my previous post, the end is always bittersweet, but I think because it is the end, everyone has the mentality of one last hurrah. Everyone just wants to end the year the right way, together. So we all come out of our dorm rooms to play music, talk to each other, and dance.

The end is always so exciting because, along with the last hurray mentality, all of these events spring (haha ;) ) up. This past week there was the Sexpo, the Stressbusters, and the Spring Loudness Festival. The combination of Student Health On Campus (SHOC), Student Government Association (SGA), and Student Planning Board (SPB) helped plan all of these events, which work on multiple levels. It gets everyone out of their rooms as the temperature warms up, and it also allows people to relieve some stress and just have fun before exams and before we all leave for the summer. Thus, fun times all around.

First was Sexpo, which I think is a great event because it tries to get people talking about sex. Sex is such a taboo subject, but its important for people to talk about it, especially when it comes to sexual violence. When someone is sexually abused or harassed, they often feel uncomfortable talking to people about it or to even learn more about the subject. But it is necessary to have conversations about sexual violence. Also, the whole event really shoves sex in your face with a sex toy raffle, free condoms, books about how to please someone, and posters and pamphlets with information.

The next day was Stressbusters, another event to relieve everyone’s stress from a long year of working hard. There were dogs brought on campus, because dogs are so friendly and affectionate and happy just to be pet and they just make everyone happy. In addition there were smoothies, ice cream, coloring, massages, and aromatherapy. All very good at relieving people’s stress. And it was all outside in the beautiful weather!

And finally, the greatest end of the semester event was Spring Festival Loudness, a combination of the usual loudness with the annual spring concert. This year, since we had smaller bands come to Colby, SPB/SGA decided to turn the event into a festival with more bands, food trucks, a blow up obstacle course, a mechanical bull, and an all campus barbecue. The event was so much incredible! I love how it was outside in the nice weather and how there were so many people Colby Mules gathered together at the end! These moments make me feel so happy that I chose Colby.

 

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
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See You In September, Colby

Well, we’ve made it. Yesterday marked the last day of classes for this school year. I’ve always had a weird relationship with endings – I find them both exhilarating and sad at the same time. It’s exciting to reach the end of a period of hard work and change, look back and think, “wow, I’ve made it so far.” That’s partly how I feel at this point in time. I look back on this school year, my first year of college, and I marvel at how different I was back in September than I am now. I also find the ending of this year exciting just because it has definitely been a challenging year academically. I am proud of how I’ve challenged myself and what I’ve accomplished, but I am ready for a break.

It’s funny how quickly this year passed. When I first got into college, I thought about the four years that lay ahead of me and I felt like those four years would last forever. Now that one year has passed, I realize that four years is not a long time at all. It flies by, and it’s easy to forget to really enjoy every moment because time always feels deceivingly infinite. This year was so special, and I now have so many Colby memories that already make me feel nostalgic, even though I haven’t even left for the summer yet. More importantly, I now have so many people whom I will miss seeing every day and who will make me so so so excited to return to school in the fall. My days of dreading the start of school are certainly over.

I look forward to returning in the fall with a new perspective on Colby and the world, and with the extra boost of confidence of no longer being “just a freshman.” Not that being a freshman is a bad thing in any way, it’s just that as a freshman you are new and notoriously lost and confused. Still, freshman year was a blast and I wouldn’t trade this year for anything in the world. I’ve come to really love Colby and all of the people who represent the Colby community. We’re a family, and I feel infinitely lucky to be a part of it.

Thank you for this year, Colby. To every season, turn, turn, turn.

Colby in August:

Colby in September:

Colby in October:

Colby in January:

*** Insert a VERY long winter here ***

Colby in April:

Colby in May:

Majestic Johnson Pond <3

MULES HAVE MORE FUN ;)

Yesterday we celebrated the end of Spring 2015 classes with a campus wide barbecue in the sunshine. I’ll miss ya Colby. See you in the fall!

About Katie

I’m Katie and I’m from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I'm a freshman, I live in Foss, and I love Colby! I am currently considering double majoring in Spanish and education. Some of my favorite things include: acting, singing, playing the piano, writing, fuzzy socks, chai lattes, lying in the grass, Broadway show tunes, Jane Austen, hedgehogs, TedTalks, baby animals, Gilmore Girls reruns, blue Freeze Pops, the ocean, and hugs. I’m so excited to continue my adventures here at Colby and share them with you all.
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CLAS and performances everyday…

Last week was extremely hectic and I was basically performing everyday.

Wednesday: Piano class performance

Thursday: MU182 Music Theory 2 composition

Friday: Rehearsal for Saturday and Sunday’s concert

Sat&Sun: Carmina Burana

I really enjoyed all the performances I had in Colby College. I guess I became a lot more active this semester, especially towards the end of the semester. Perhaps because I “fit into” Colby more nowadays. I found my passion and what I want to do. Though it sounds cliché, but Colby does provide a lot of resources and opportunities, it just depends on whether or not we grab it.

**I really appreciate the idea of CLAS. I went to the Economics department for the Honor thesis presentation! Haha, I wish I can be one of them in the future:) Here are some photos that I took recently.

Haha, this is Stan Renard, our conductor for the orchestra, he’s amazing!

 

And this is the presentation by Alex Ng’15.

I’m gonna have two performances today, good luck to me! There is also Megs A Cappella group performing tonight! It’s gonna be amazing~~~

Nice weather!

About Stephanie

I am a freshman at Colby College, originally from Hong Kong. For the last two years of high school, I studied at Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC). I am very interested in economics and economic policy. Presumably, it will be my major. Living in a business hub since I was born, I am always very curious about how international and local businesses find opportunities in a tiny city. Music is very important in my life, too. I have been playing piano since I was four and I also play the clarinet. I wish to learn Jazz piano at Colby and the professors here are amazing.
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Spanish Dinner and Sunshine

On Sunday night, my Spanish professor Emma invited our class to have dinner at her apartment. She cooked us all a delicious Mexican meal of homemade enchiladas, rice, guacamole, and other Mexican dips. It was a really cool experience to get to spend time with her outside of the classroom setting.

Kat, a Sophomore in our class, noted that having dinner at a professor’s house is one of those classic liberal arts experiences, and she’s right – small liberal arts schools are the places where you will find professors who will have close enough relationships with students that they will do things like invite them over for a meal. At Colby in particular, I have felt that all of my professors have really made an effort to get to know me on a personal level. Coming from a high school where my graduating class had 68 kids, it was very important to me that I knew all of my professors well and felt that I could approach them. Professors here are not only approachable, but they also care about their students and will take the extra steps to reach out to students and see how they are doing.

The dinner at Emma’s apartment solidified in my mind that my professors really do care. They care about spending time with us and they appreciate the time that they do get to spend with us. Along with having that nice dinner experience, I’ve gotten to spend many hours lying outside in the sunshine this week which has made me very happy. Maine really doesn’t have a spring; it sort of just quickly jumps from being cold to being suddenly sunny and warm outside. I can’t say I’m complaining. I’ve already gotten a tan -er- sunburn, but it’s worth it. :)

YUM.

Johnson Pond <3

 

About Katie

I’m Katie and I’m from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I'm a freshman, I live in Foss, and I love Colby! I am currently considering double majoring in Spanish and education. Some of my favorite things include: acting, singing, playing the piano, writing, fuzzy socks, chai lattes, lying in the grass, Broadway show tunes, Jane Austen, hedgehogs, TedTalks, baby animals, Gilmore Girls reruns, blue Freeze Pops, the ocean, and hugs. I’m so excited to continue my adventures here at Colby and share them with you all.
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The End is Near…So What Have I Learned?

The end is always bittersweet. On one hand, you feel ready for the journey to end. It had its time and now it’s time for something new. But at the same time, the end requires letting go. Letting go of people, places, and of some part of you. It’s like when you grow up, you have to let go of childish whims and gimmicks and embrace the responsibilities of independence and having the power to make an impact on the world.

I hate saying goodbye. I’m one of those people who think more in the past than the present or future. So I worry about all of the missed opportunities and the unsettling unknown in front of me. What if when I let go of these people, it’s forever? I can’t fathom how it’s possible to get to know someone on a deeper level and to be around them for years and then just not see or talk to them anymore.

So, as you can guess, I am not a fan of the end. But this end is not tremendous and not permanent so I am not as worried. Although I worry about the pressures and changes that accompany junior year, I am much more excited for summer and having my first real job experience! I am ready to relax and complete the semester. Don’t take me wrong, it was a really good semester where I learned a lot, grew a lot, and had a lot of fun, but it’s been a long year and it’s just time for it to be over. It’s good to know when some things should end.

But wait….what is this “a lot” that I have “learned”? Well friends, let’s go on a journey through my previous semester.

Everything starts and ends with computer science. My week literally begins with two computer science classes and two corresponding labs, and ends with the same two classes (but thankfully no labs). Now that I have a foundation of the basics of computer science, how it works and how to think and write in a way that computers can understand, my classes are more in depth on how to use computer science for other purposes. Overall, I have learned how computers function, in terms of their little bits (literally), and how to analyze data sets using my CS skills. I thought that Computer Organization would be a terribly boring and confusing class and it definitely was difficult to code in machine language. In addition, I had no background knowledge on the components of a computer and I was thrown into a class where processor and CPU and byte (which I always thought was the same as a bit) terms were thrown around and I had no clue what they meant. But through the class, I now have a better understanding of the different aspects of a computer system in terms of the physical and logical/computational components. I’m proud of this knowledge that I’ve gained. In Data Analysis, I learned a multitude of analytical functions, their mathematical background, and how to code them, and then implemented them on small and large data sets. I think this is extremely important knowledge as there is so much data out there and you need to know how to sort through it and learn something from it. That’s how we grow.



^^we had class outside this week!! Such beautiful weather

Otherwise, the middle of my week consists of Spanish and Macroeconomics. I enjoyed learning the macroeconomic terms that are discussed on the news all of the time. My favorite part about economics is that it is a science of patterns and logical thinking. Seeing how people, governments, supply and demand move and react to each other. On the other hand, this Spanish class has been my favorite Spanish class that I have ever taken and that is about 10 years of it! Why, you ask. Because it has been the most interesting, useful, and relevant. In SP131, we read news articles about worldly events, such as how cities are growing underground and how people are being created with DNA from 3 “parents”. Then we come into class and discuss our thoughts on these subjects. This forces me to talk, but I also want to and feel comfortable doing so because these topics are interesting and exciting and I feel confident in my opinion. My Spanish may have improved more (speaking-wise for sure) in this class than any class I have taken previously.

Thus, it’s been a good semester. I really have learned “a lot”.

About Anh Uong

My name is Anh (yes it is very hard to pronounce). I am now a sophomore in AMS (sweetest dorm on campus) still ready to take on the world. Traveling from the far reaches of Massachusetts, I have really enjoyed Maine and the beautiful landscape that accompanies it. I am interested in everything from math to writing, which makes selecting a major difficult, but that's why I am here at a liberal arts college. Recently I have decided on majoring in Computer Science and Global Studies. Around campus, I can be spotted with a ukulele, a stack of notebooks, and a smile.
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Finding Bliss

I do not believe in perfect happiness. We are hard-wired to worry, to expect disaster even on our most joyous occasions. When, as a child, I got the guinea pig I’d been wanting for months, there was not a single moment I was fully in the moment, basking in the joy of the cuddly pet’s arrival. I held it and instantly imagined the day it would die. I went into my room, laid on my bed, and cried.

To be “without a care in the world” has always seemed to me impossible. There will always be a distance between what is and what could be–the Platonic Ideal seen only in shadows. “Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter,” mused John Keats. Perfect experiences cannot exist in hard reality, so it follows that perfect happiness must be similarly beyond our grasp.

And yet.

And yet this afternoon I laid on the grass by Johnson Pond and the smell was sweeter than cupcakes and the cool summer breeze sent silver waves through a field of clovers. My friend held her arms outstretched like a bird and was not disappointed when she didn’t take flight.

And yet yesterday my friend and I followed train tracks through the arboretum and took turns walking on the rails, so that we could catch each other when we lost our balance.

And yet last night in the common room, the dorm shared a bag of chocolate chips while discussing possible alternatives to the electoral college, and my next-door neighbor started tossing chips into people’s mouths and we all cheered when his aim was true. The couches were close, cozy, and the room felt warm from the memories of a thousand bursts of laughter.

I do not believe in perfect happiness, but it may have found me anyway.

 

About Catherine

Hi. My name is Catherine and I'm a sophomore English major, currently enjoying my first year at Colby. I was born and raised in Berwick, Maine, an exotic little town near the New Hampshire border. I am involved in Let's Get Ready, which provides free SAT prep for local high school students, and Inklings Magazine, which is a literary journal here at Colby. Like all English majors, I enjoy reading and writing, and Virginia Woolf. A hobby more specific to myself is that every Christmas I spend far too much time making elaborate snowflakes. It is a very seasonal form of artistic expression, but it is also, unfortunately, the only one in which I have any talent. Thanks for reading.
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