Just like many current perspective students, the perhaps biggest problem for me when it came to deciding what school I wanted to spend the best four years of my life at was whether to go big or to go small. Being at Colby right now, obviously I decided to go with a school with a small student body. I decided that academic options and facilities at schools like Colby actually almost rivaled those of larger universities, yet the real deciding factor was the social life. Now that I’ve spent almost two years here, I can’t even tell you how awesome it is to be able to say hey to one out of every five people you pass, or how I can just go to a dining hall and find friends that I know. But to me, this extremely close knit society up here in Waterville mostly manifested in our iPlay sports program.
I know, I know, our recreational sporting program seems like a pretty random and specific topic to focus on. But what’s really unique about Colby’s iPlay program is that it actually encompasses a large part of social life here up on the hill. As I’ve discussed on some of my other posts, there are obviously a TON of other options besides sports – SPB activities, SGA events, and others – but iPlay holds a special place in my heart as it does for many. In high school, I didn’t really have time to play sports and sometimes I think felt a little daunted by the prospect of joining a sports team, and when I came to Colby I had the same feeling. Very quickly I realized, however, when it comes to iPlay there is literally no judgement whatsoever.
Games of any sort are extremely laid back, and if you can’t show up to a game for whatever reason, no problem. Depending on the sport, there is always a gender requirement, so you can’t have a team of same all guys competing against another, or vice versa. This not only encourages absolutely anyone to get into a certain sport, but also just creates a much better atmosphere having both genders on the field at once. If you get involved, you can either create your own team, or join someone else’s. Generally teams are groups of friends, but I think anyone at Colby will find that over the course of say their first month at Colby, they will be asked to join some sort of iPlay team – be it by your COOT leader, people in your dorms, or some people you already know. In fact, I would say going to iPlay games is one of the best ways to meet people here up on the hill.
In terms of what options there are, we have soccer, basketball, field hockey, tennis, baseball, softball, and broom ball. There are also usually iPlay ping pong tournaments, laser tag tournaments, or dodgeball tournaments once or twice a year. The winner of any of these gets a free t-shirt which is always pretty hard fought for. I won’t go into any of the sports in detail, but most of them take place at night and are a great way to end the day. My personal favorite (as I believe is most people’s), however, is broomball – if any of you guys don’t know, broomball takes place on a hockey rink and is pretty similiar to hockey, yet using a different type of stick. Games take place late at night, music blasting, and the broomball league is the largest of any iPlay sport at Colby. There’s nothing like getting matched up against another friend’s team in the finals and scoring the game winning goal as your favorite Taylor Swift song plays.