by Chloe McConnell, Class of 2010
“What will you miss most about Vassar?” a friend’s father recently asked. I took a moment. The campus, the academics, the activities? I went with my friends; “Living in such a high concentration of 20- to 22-year-olds,” I responded. “I’ll never again be surrounded by so many incredible people my age. All my closest friends live with a 15 minute radius.” To me, Vassar is about making meaningful connections: relationships between people, parallels between classes, and analogies between academics and life-experiences. From frustrating days in the library freshman year to quirky evenings in senior housing, the past four years were absolutely extraordinary.
I started classes freshman year by making a pact with myself: that academics would always come first. I spent most days in the Library, but luckily had incredible friends in Cushing House to return to each evening. While I’ve stood by my academic goals, I eventually realized that the relationships made here are just as significant.
I joined The Miscellany News sophomore year and immediately developed great relationships with my colleagues whilst working through the grueling weekly production schedule. Being on the paper spurred an active engagement with the College’s inner workings. Learning about Vassar’s history, understanding the administration and tracking current arts events fostered a deep respect for the institution.
After a diverting junior semester abroad in London, I wasn’t ready to return to the rigid Vassar schedule and the tiny campus. Moving in to the new Town Houses, however, refreshed the school for me. I lived with ten girls who transformed from mere acquaintances to close friends by the semesters’ end. I met professors that challenged me and took courses that reformulated my interests. This continued into senior year, which has outdone the rest in terms of meaningful friendships and social excitement. I wrote two theses and took on new opportunities with a WVKR radio show. I fully immersed myself in Vassar’s peculiar social traditions, and I explored the beautiful campus. Even after walking the same paths thousands of times, I still gaped at the huge trees and magnificent buildings. Leaving this idyllic environment will definitely come as a shock.
I haven’t yet come to terms with leaving the place that has been my home for the past four years, but maybe I don’t have to. While my time on this campus will conclude on May 23, and the concentration of smart minds and affectionate hearts will disperse, I know that Vassar will stay with me. This somehow makes graduation and the thought of starting another chapter of my life a little less terrifying. Absorbing Vassar’s culture and ethos is inevitable. It will remain inside of me through all that I have learnt; it will remain around me through my continued friendships.
For the rest of my life, these past four years will persistently shape my character and thoughts. I want to say thank you to all my professors, friends and classmates. Thank you for building this unforgettable experience.