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Skidmore College

My Life at Skidmore: The very first month edition

September 27, 2019
by Melanie Nolan '23

As a first-year student, most of my Skidmore story hasn’t been written yet — a concept that’s equal parts overwhelming and cool.

Like a blank notebook, there’s nothing but potential ahead, and starting has been my biggest feat.

I’m from the Philadelphia suburbs. I arrived here after a four-hour ride in my dad’s silver minivan. I thought it was quite the journey, but I quickly learned it was nothing compared to the multiple flights, ferries and other modes of transportation some of my new friends took.

Still, the distance for me is measured in change — both in life and culture. 

This is my life at Skidmore … so far. 

I recently purchased a pink Razor scooter off of Craigslist, and one of my favorite things to do is zip around campus on it. When I’m not doing that, I’m writing, reading, watching “Dance Moms” reruns with friends or making collages on the walls of my dorm room.

Melanie Nolan poses with the Skidmore sign at the entrance to the college campus

Me, as a high school senior, just waiting for my Skidmore moment

Gone are the comfortable sights and smells of home, like Eagles fans screaming at the television in my living room as they munch on hoagies from Wawa.

Instead, it’s a mixed-up world of Giants, Bills, Patriots and Jets fans arguing over skin-on or skin-off chicken wings. And I haven’t ventured to map how far the closest Wawa is. 

Nightly dinners and conversations with my parents are now occasional texts and maybe a weekly phone call. And I’ve gone from my beloved private room in my childhood home to one big room I share with two other people in a hallway with dozens of new faces. 

While there’s some sentimentality and discomfort in adjusting, there are also new emotions I feel pretty good about: pride, excitement and hope. 

Melanie Nolan

Me, as a college student, just beginning my Skidmore story

Every time I see the Skidmore logo I’m overcome with the urge to pinch myself because, frankly, I’m still so excited that I’m here. It kind of feels like a dream. But it’s not. It’s very real. I even have a skidmore.edu email address and ID card to prove it. 

Recently, I even swiped my student ID to buy movie tickets. I was so excited, much to the bemusement of the group of seniors I was with, that I sent a picture of the receipt to my mom. I thought:

“It’s real. I’m a college student … and I get discounts!”  

That card has so much power, too. I purchase my books. Swipe! I enter my dorm building. Swipe! I open my dorm room door. Swipe! I do my laundry. Swipe! I enter the dining hall. Well, more accurately, someone else swipes me into the dining hall, but I hand them my card to swipe me in. 

It’s all so new to me. And it’s all so exciting. 

Since I’m so new to Life at Skidmore, I look forward to taking you along with me as I learn and grow. Whether it’s new classes, events or experiences, I’m excited to discover it all. 

And hey, if it’s an award-winning dining hall, their cheesesteaks have to be pretty good, right? 


About the Author

Melanie Nolan

Melanie Nolan is a first-year student at Skidmore from the suburbs of Philadelphia. She likes to read novels and poems, analyze pop culture and hopes to major in English. Someday, she wants to hike every trail in Skidmore’s North Woods.

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