I Collect First-Years.

Last week I was asked on a homework assignment to ask people about their collections and write a short and interesting piece on one that’s unusual. After asking around and hearing people talk about what they collect I realized two things.

The first being that people love talking about themselves. They love talking about things that interest them. And I love hearing them. There’s something inherently magical when people talk about what interests them, it sparks something that you don’t usually see. A light in the eyes, a catch in the voice, you get the idea.

The other thing that I learned was that my friend did indeed have a rather unusual collection. Here is my short assignment on her, and her collection.

“I collect First-Years.”

It’s an odd thing to hear when you ask college students about their hobbies and collections.

“You collect First-Years?”

Yes, she responds. This year she’s collected thirty-six.

Brittany Porydzy is a Resident Assistant at Champlain College. She is the mom of the house, overseeing a wild group of first years living at the residence hall, 396 Main.

“Why do you collect First-Years?”

They are new, she says. These students, the ones that she collects, they’re unabashedly excited about college. I am beginning to understand why she loves it, seeing their hopes and excitement and enthusiasm. They want to have fun and learn and get the most out of college, and they want her to help them.

The way they look at you, she presses on, it’s like you have all the answers. Classes, break ups, gossip, just to chat. She’s the one they turn to; the ones in her collection. She watches as they make mistakes, as they grown and learn from them.

“So. You really do collect First-Years.”

Yes, she responds. College can be one of the best experiences in someone’s life. With her collection, she gets to be a part of that over and over again. Thirty-six times, to be exact.

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