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Musings from Windsor Mountain
by Kenzie Melvin ‘17
Windsor, NH – If there is one ritual that absolutely everyone on campus has participated in, it’s going to Windsor Mountain.
Whether you’re a new student, a student leader, a new faculty member, or if you happen to be Admission’s Mrs. Gillis (and have been all three), you have been to Windsor Mountain.
I have a sort of nostalgia towards Windsor, because at times I feel as though I was a freshman just last week, and other times I feel like I have been at LA for as long as Mr. Curran.
In short, it gives me “the feels.”
Freshman Year vs. Senior Year
Let me just say, as someone who went my freshman year and as a senior peer counselor this year, that there were not many differences in the actual orientation experience.
Ms. Ruby (then) and Ms. Horne (now) do a wonderful job organizing the whole thing and I loved each of my trips up the mountain. Both times you have no idea what you want to pack; both times you have a love hate relationship with jumping in the lake; and both times you don’t really want to come home at the end.
Unfortunately, my freshman year, I had a concussion during preseason – right before we left for New Hampshire. So that meant I wasn’t allowed to participate in any of the activities except jumping in the lake. But, even with my physical limitations that fall, I had a great time and my peer counselors and teachers like Mrs. Smith and Mr. Hawgood made sure I was still meeting new people and having fun.
Asking around, new junior Maddox Angerhofer (who happens to be my suite-mate) agreed and said of her first experience on the mountain last week, “Windsor was not nearly as scary as I expected it to be.
“It really helped me,” she added. “I walked into school on the first day and felt like I knew everyone already.”
Four years later, going back to get the full Windsor experience was definitely weird and perhaps even a little more stressful than freshman year. I overlooked how much responsibility I would have throughout the weekend and realized I wouldn’t be participating in Windsor; I would also be running it.
Yes, this time was different because we didn’t have to try to make friends, but we had to keep a bundle of new students occupied (and safe) for 48 hours.
Fellow peer counselor Grace Killian ’17 – who came in as a new sophomore and had her first Windsor experience even more recently than me – felt the same, but added, “I definitely liked Windsor better as a senior because there was less pressure to make friends, but jumping in the lake was a memorable experience both times.”
If you ask anyone to recall their Windsor experience, the most standout event that they will mention is going to be “jumping in.”
As a freshman, I saw the early morning jump into the cold lake as a momentous beginning to my LA career. I was jumping into a new school, jumping into a new community, and jumping into the next part of my life.
In short, Windsor inspires new students and gets them excited for the years ahead of them.
The senior year plunge had a different meaning. Instead of jumping into a new school year and getting ready to begin, it was somewhat the beginning of a senior’s last “hoorah,” as we got a chance to begin the year refreshed (and remember the excitement of freshman year).
With all the tasks that come along with senior fall, it was nice, just for a moment, to pretend to be a freshman again (and realize I wish I didn’t have to graduate so soon).