From sketchpads to skyscrapers...

Photo by Braxton Maclean.

Photo by Braxton Maclean.

Jessica Barnett


From day one, it felt like this semester set itself apart from every semester before it. It’s almost as if the campus got dumped into an alternate but mostly similar universe, where it’s close enough to reality that we assume it is but just different enough that we feel the need to comment on it.

I say “we” because all it takes is attending one class or eating a meal on campus to hear other students saying the same.

The first-years are different. Our classmates have changed. There’s something off about the way we’re doing the same thing we’ve always done. Sometimes we can’t quite put our finger on exactly what changed, so it’s not like we can say it’s a bad thing. 

In fact, in a lot of ways, it feels like a change for the better.

I think the bar has been raised all across campus. We want better for ourselves, better for our fellow students and better for the students that come after us. As a super-senior who often discusses this observation with other seniors and super-seniors, it seems like we have finally decided to do something about it instead of sitting around and wanting it to happen. 

I look at the events list for campus, and I see organizations that are going out of their way to make this year better than any year before it. I see groups of students coming together from unconnected backgrounds to achieve a shared goal. 

There’s a sense of potential in the air, and I have to be honest – I’m digging it. If we can make a small but noticeable difference in the first month of the semester, what kind of changes can we initiate with the remaining three? What will we accomplish next semester? And if the goal is to keep pushing forward and be better than the year before, what kind of wonders will the juniors, sophomores and first-years of today accomplish as they move up the ranks?

One of the articles in this edition required some unexpected research, and it didn’t take long before I was discovering old photos of the campus from 100 years ago. I’ll admit that I was mostly interested in the photos related to Cromwell and Spectator, but I was able to learn a lot about the campus as a whole.

Some people will tell you that looking into the past is a waste of the present, but I don’t believe that. It’s a reminder of how far you have come. I look at those photos and look around the campus today, and I am blown away. 

Honestly, I’m proud.

We aren’t just correcting a past or striving to make today better for today. We are discovering new big dreams and making them realities. We have started with sketchpads and building blocks, and we are finding ourselves with the skyscrapers and breathtaking landscapes that will stretch along that long blue line into our personal empires.

And on the day we are finally able to stand at the top, looking to the past and the future at the empires that came before or will follow, I believe it will be beautiful.

I can't wait.