Jaycee McCarthy's essay was one of the winners of the "My Colby-Sawyer Essay Contest" in spring 2009. President of the Class of 2011, McCarthy is an active student, serving as vice president of the CSC Players, Special Weekends chair for the Campus Activities Board, a tour guide for Admissions, a mentor for students at Kearsarge Elementary School, a career ambassador for the Harrington Center for Career and Academic Advising and a resident assistant in Lawson Hall. He is also a full-time student!
My Colby-Sawyer Experience: Jaycee McCarthy '11
My Colby-Sawyer experience is wondering what that strange painting is on the stairwell down to the 'Rot. It's wondering how many times I can look out between Hogan and Mercer and lose my breath. It's telling my professors the real reason I missed their class, knowing they'll understand. Or maybe it's all of this and everything in between. Like wondering where the baseball field is exactly, the name of the person I pass every day in the quad going to breakfast, or the person I want to become by the time I leave here.
Colby-Sawyer gives an 'experience' to all those that pass through this campus. Whether it's the high school senior who visits and never applies or the senior class president with a career waiting for him as soon as he steps foot off the campus; we all share an experience.
Take for example, when I was giving a tour one afternoon with a group of four families who showed interest in attending Colby-Sawyer. As we were walking between the Lodge and Mercer, a car sped down the hill with a backpack hanging out the car door (unbeknownst to the driver or the backpack's owner). Paper, notebooks and agendas were flying away from the car, while my tour watched in laughter. I commented, jokingly, So this is how you'll remember Colby-Sawyer. That was their Colby-Sawyer experience.
From my own first tour, I had an experience as well. I recall a tired high school senior who wanted to get home to his friends after spending the weekend in Burlington, but had a persistent mother who wanted to see this campus. He got out of the car, walked over to the Admissions Office and asked for a tour. Luckily, the young woman who was working that day led him around the windy campus.
That is when my Colby-Sawyer experience started.
I believe that my Colby-Sawyer experience isn't just one big epiphany or one giant sign; but rather, a hundred million smaller things that all add to this one experience. Each breath becomes an experience. As my favorite author, Chuck Palahniuk, says, You have a choice each day is a choice. Every minute is a choice. To be or not to be.
I imagine my Colby-Sawyer experience as a puzzle, with hundreds of pieces that interlock within each other and form this giant, beautiful, worth-the-work picture. Every day becomes my own puzzle piece, and, right now, though my puzzle has yet to form any sort of picture, it's getting there!
Since my first experience, I have had many, and will have many more. Of course, they will not end the day I accept my diploma and head down off the hill, but the day that all of my experiences end, because the experiences here will affect me until then, and, possibly, even live on afterward.
So, every day I try to find something to make me love the place where I live. I try to look for the little things, and I think I am finding them. So next time, on your way down to the dining hall, stop for a second and examine that strange painting on the staircase. Or on your way to breakfast, stop and ask for that person's name. Who knows, maybe it will turn into a friendship. Like I've said before, my Colby-Sawyer experience is everything and anything in between.