Purple haze floated above the Pines on Messalonskee Lake as crew practice came to an end. The sun was just beginning to peep through October clouds as we paddled to Colby’s dock, and I began to reflect on the parallels between my time at Deerfield and the beginnings of my experience here at Colby.
In many ways Colby seems to be the natural outgrowth of a prep school like Deerfield. Classes are small (and intense), you recognize people as you walk through the student union, and my IBM laptop still crashes. So in a sense Colby is a larger, colder, more independent version of Deerfield. (Consequently there are more kids in my class from DA than from any other school!)
I think Deerfield prepared me most to hit the ground running. As a new sophomore a few years ago, I spent the entire year trying to find my niche, and it took me till senior year before I felt comfortable in it. Deerfield prepares you to be able to juggle a bunch of different things, and college is definitely the place to use that skill. Thanks to Deerfield, I haven’t really been starting from scratch, so it’s been an easy transition. But there were some surprises after I left Deerfield.
When you graduate you feel like you have reached fruition. Everything comes together in a dramatic crescendo, heightened for me by New England’s and my birthday; you feel complete. As though I were suffering separation anxiety, when I was in Alaska for a month over the summer, I found it difficult to talk about anything but Deerfield. What I realized building trails in the tundra was that I still had a lot to learn. It took being in a different environment for that to sink in.
As an Army brat I have lived in seven different places. With such short spans spent at each, it has been difficult for me to establish roots anywhere. I know the word “community” gets thrown around a lot, but Deerfield was like a family to me, and that enabled me to establish hardy roots in the fertile valley. I consider Deerfield my home more than any other place, and while I’m excited and happy in Maine, I do miss it. I look forward to coming back and can’t wait to see a burning “C” again!