The Last First Semester
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
My last semester at Colby, Fall 2019, provided me with new academic and intellectual insights that I am incredibly grateful for. I took small-sized, challenging courses with professors who opened my eyes to see beyond the classroom, challenge my previous understandings, and reach a deeper level of thinking.
My favorite class was "Modern American Fiction," taught by a legendary (and incredibly challenging) Colby professor. His captivating lectures covered the infamous Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, William Faulkner, and Willa Cather, whose novels reignited my love for classic literature that had recently taken a backseat to newer, "millennial" pleasures such as Netflix's "Big Little Lies" and trashy television that I wouldn't dare name! I wrote four essays throughout the duration of the course, each covering the Modern themes of time, language, and value. I saw my grades notably improve throughout the semester as I felt a deeper connection with each book we read as a class. It was through McCarthy's "The Road," in particular, that allowed me to understand the true value of finding purpose in one's life. If you have read this book, you will know that the father and son protagonists are only able to cope with the post-apocalyptic world through their deep love for one another. Although the text only shows brief dialogue between the two, their ephemeral love shown between the lines of text is evident, particularly at the end of the novel. Their love is what keeps them going in a cruel, loveless world, and serves as an inspiration for all readers who are trying to navigate the strange world in which we now live.
Finding a purpose, thus, is an essential tool for life. As evident throughout this site, my own quest for purpose is clear. I am driven by the idea of finding meaning in life (however cliche that may be), and it is what keeps me motivated day-to-day. I have found this to be all the more important and necessary as a senior in college, as I am constantly thinking about who I am, what my interests are, and where I hope to be after school. Although these are large questions that I will most likely be playing with for years to come, I am very grateful to say that my Colby education has allowed me to develop a solid foundation for my interests and purpose to grow. For example, my courses in "Global Public Health" and "Human Health and the Environment" recently ignited my passion for health and led me to study the topic of HIV/AIDS in South Africa for my senior honors thesis this year. Right now, as I gear-up for my trip to South Africa to conduct field research on the topic, my purpose feels more clear than ever, and I am confident and hopeful that it will last me far beyond my college years.