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  • Ava Cargan

How is the Class of 2027 adjusting to Hamilton?

Students in the Class of 2027 attend Convocation after completing their orientation trips. | Zack Stanek for Hamilton College

August 15th was a huge day for all first-year students as they arrived on campus for the first time. The Monitor spoke with seven first-year students from a variety of backgrounds and interests, and found they came to Hamilton for a wide range of reasons and were excited to get started.

Sources told Monitor that they were, “excited to start meeting people on campus and finding their place in the community” and that they “couldn’t wait to surround themselves with likeminded people.”

Margot Wilder ‘27, India Macdonald ‘27, Jakob Narrow ‘27 and Emma Hirsch ’27 all shared that they felt comfortable with the community at Hamilton. Meg Lambert ‘27 shared, “I can’t wait to be a part of a community that has intentions of bettering themselves and others around them.”

Many shared the sentiment that the community felt welcoming and inclusive. In addition to valuing the sense of community at Hamilton, many shared that they came to Hamilton for academics and athletic opportunities.

New students began their year with an orientation trip, and all those interviewed shared that they enjoyed the experience. Hirsch, Wilder, and Lambert all enjoyed their trips and said that they loved the chance to meet people that they have not met otherwise. Carolina Suero Pino ‘27 loved her trip and said that her leaders did a great job (shoutout Julien and Natilie).

Wilder shared, “I thought that the trips were a great way to start the school year and to meet new people.” Wilder also mentioned that she also would have appreciated a little more facilitated conversation over the trip so that the students could bond.

Others mentioned that the trip made their adjustment difficult saying that it was hard to move in and then immediately not be able to reach out to anyone. Overall, students seemed to enjoy their orientation trips and valued the experience.

Once on campus, orientation continued in the form of lectures. Many of those interviewed said that they felt the lectures could have been condensed and that orientation on campus was too busy. Some recommended that lectures be shortened or condensed, and many wanted more interactive lectures. Another source mentioned that she would have rather started classes right away. Students said that the orientation on campus was tiring; a source said “it was difficult when events overlapped because I felt like I was picking and choosing what I went to.” Many said that orientation on campus was very tiring.

Most new students interviewed said that their adjustment period has been hectic and difficult. A source said, “everything is very new but there is a lot of support on campus.” Many said that even while they are struggling with the adjustment period, they have found that there have been great support systems on campus. Even those who mentioned that they were missing home said that they were having a great experience and were finding a lot of sources of support to lean on.

Pino, who is a member of the Posse scholarship program and matched with Hamilton, said “Posse is the best experience in the world,” and that Posse has been the reason that she has been able to navigate college. She is very grateful that she knew fellow Posse students before coming into Hamilton. “I don’t know how I would do it without them.” The program provides a group of mentors and connections at Hamilton for students who are part of the program.

Lambert also shared about the Opportunity Programs, saying that the program was intense but rewarding. She says that this program was a great support for supporting low income students or students from disadvantaged schools.

After their adjustment period, the students who were interviewed have a variety of activities that they are excited to get involved in.

Wilder, who currently lives on the Wilderness and Outdoor Leadership Floor (WOLF) floor, said that she is looking forward to more anthropology classes and getting involved with Model UN. Macdonald shared, “I am excited to start [figure] skating.”

Hirsch explained, “I am excited to be on the dance team, and to meet new people.” Myles Derabertis ‘27, who is on the men’s rowing team is “excited to continue branching out, and for more STEM opportunities.”

Pino wants to work on making Hamilton more inclusive for students of color, while Lambert is “looking forward to sharing about my unique life experiences and learning more about those around me.”

Overall, first-year students shared that they had positive experiences on their orientation trips but still had critiques for the on-campus portion of orientation. All of the students have a variety of activities that they are excited to get involved in and all of the students have unique experiences and stories to share.

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