My first year at Colby: a success story so far

By Yusuke Fukuda

Photo courtesy of Jean Yuh ’20

The Princeton Review ranks Colby College ninth in terms of “Happiest Students,” so I entered college with already high expectations.

Three months into the school year, it is safe to say that I am as happy as I could be here. The minute you enter Colby, everyone tries to do whatever they can to make you feel at home. You have no time to miss your parents or friends from back home because orientation keeps you busy. I found the entire first week was a great way of meeting my classmates and getting accustomed to life here.

Colby fosters an inclusive and collaborative environment, and their commitment to that can be felt in all facets of student life. The professors are always available to help, and I’ve often found myself taking advantage of office hours several times a week. The students are also eager to collaborate with one another, and I’ve made some amazing friends through struggles in classes and late night cram sessions in the Miller Library.

The work has been challenging, but unlike in high school, where I felt like I was doing a whole lot of busy work at times, every assignment I do feels rewarding. I feel a sense of accomplishment turning in my Calculus problem sets that I worked on

until three in the morning.

I came into Colby wanting to get involved with clubs, so I joined the Baseball Analytics Club because of my love for baseball. I also joined Club Volleyball and Frisbee, two sports I had no prior experience in before. While I’m not great at either sport, it’s been a lot of fun to play. I got a job as a sports information assistant, which allows me to cover sporting events, and I’m very happy that I’m able to get paid for being involved in something I’m passionate about.

Everyone at Colby is extremely friendly, and although I have yet to meet most people on campus, it’s hard for me to go five minutes without running into someone I know. There are obvious advantages to living on a small campus. After speaking with some of my friends from back home who attend large state universities, they have told me that for them, it’s hard to get to know people well, and even if you met someone you really enjoyed talking to, there’s a good chance you won’t see them again.

As Colby continues to revitalize its campus, there are a lot of things for us first years to look forward to. The new Athletic Center that is arriving our junior year looks magnificent, and I will definitely be taking advantage of it. I recently had the chance to see the downtown apartments, and I found myself looking around in awe at how nice they are. I wondered if I’d ever have the chance to live in a condo that nice. I’d definitely consider living there in a few years, especially if I want to learn more about urban development and economics through studying how Waterville is being built up now.

The transition to college has not been all smooth sailing, and I still have a lot to learn. I still find myself missing my parents and friends from home at times, but I am happy to be here and cannot see myself anywhere else. I’m very excited to try new things. For example, I’m looking forward to taking African Music for Jan Plan. I’m also starting to get a clearer idea of what I want to pursue, and I definitely feel ready and excited to take on the next four years here.