February 4, 2022 | ACTIVE LIFE | By Zoe Wirth
As Colorado College students flocked back to campus in anticipation of the spring term, there were a few new faces to greet.
CC’s Winter Start program allows roughly 30 individuals each year to begin their time at CC in January. This delayed start enables students to indulge in deeper passions and explorations a fall course load could not afford.
“The nice thing about being a Winter Start is that before you even arrive on campus, you immediately have a community of students who are undergoing the same experience,” said Izzy Nagle ‘23, a former Winter Start and current Winter Start Mentor. “Your arrival on campus is also met by Winter Starts from previous years who can empathize with the transition.”
This program has been slightly different during the pandemic, for better or worse.
“I think any new transition is difficult in some ways; I spent my fall semester on a boat. I was not on land or in a bed that stood still, so I had a pretty low bar in terms of navigating living in the dorms during COVID,” said Megan O’Brien ‘25, a current Winter Start.
“We all joke that we travel in packs of 10 or 15 people everywhere we go,” said O’Brien. “When the fall starts first came back, they all wanted to hang out with friends they had not seen in a while, and we were all connected; so there was a pretty strict divide.
O’Brien noted that as clubs and dining halls opened up for the spring, it became easier to get to know the fall starts, but even so, it remains challenging to make friends with people who are already in existing friend groups.
For Lenny Lorenz ’25, another Winter Start, starting the new year at CC has been both exciting and nerve-wracking.
“One hand, I’m having a great time,” said Lorenz. “However, there is also the aspect of not knowing what is happening and getting lost almost every day … the stress of going into Rastall and not having someone to sit with.”
Winter Starts have had the opportunity to cultivate independence in their time between high school and college. Their experiences range from traveling internationally to working in local shops and restaurants, all of which allow them to bring refreshing perspectives to campus.
Perhaps planning a meaningful fall experience amidst COVID-19 guidelines has prepared winter starts to successfully begin at CC more than any of us.
“It was my initiative that engineered my entrance to clubs and activities combined with the optional sessions the school provided [us] to learn about what is fun to do on campus,” said O’Brien. “I am on the intramural hockey team and getting involved with activities like broomball, both of which have been great ways to meet people.”
While the transition to CC is still fresh, it seems like the Winter Starts are already making their mark on the class of 2025.