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My First Year at Purchase

October 12, 2020
  • Students Outside Starbucks

Written by: Malachai Marzolf


My first year was certainly a memorable one…


I came from a school with a graduating class of 75 students, so to me, Purchase seemed really big; I was horrified. Coming into a new environment where I didn’t know anyone was going to be difficult, but on the first day of being on campus, I made a close group of friends that I stuck with, especially to this day.


My first year was filled with a lot of first times! I saw my first concert that was performed at The Stood, I went to my first drag show which was the big Fall Ball event hosted by LGBTQU and QPOC, and it was my first time truly feeling like I belonged somewhere. Everyone is so positive on campus, making it quick to make friends. There was not a single situation where I did not feel comfortable to speak to another student; everyone has such a welcoming approach. It was always so incredible especially when the weather was nice; you would see people out on the Great Lawn playing music, telling stories, creating art, playing games, and other things that really made you start to see the foundation of our community here at Purchase.


As far as academics go, I am a student in the Conservatory of Art and Design. Being in a conservatory your first year is brutal, but it is worth every second of it. During my first year in the foundation program, I was able to explore all sorts of mediums of art ranging from printmaking, photography, sculpture, drawing, and painting. I came in as a graphic designer very hesitantly, but after my foundation year I found my passion within the craft and I can’t imagine doing anything else. The professor pushed us my first year to find our voices as artists, helping us pave the path towards our future. I can’t imagine being in another school and having a different experience than the one I’ve gotten here at Purchase. That being said, my first year I was able to use our letterpress shop, which made me realize how much I was in love with typography. Since then, my love for typography hasn’t changed; for my senior project, I am doing a type investigation in creating visual narratives of poetry.


Purchase College very quickly became my home and my safe haven. The warming environment was memorable from the moment I set foot on campus. The energy that it holds is something purely euphoric. Even during Orientation, I got incredibly close with my Student Orientation Leaders (SOLs), leading me to apply to be one the following summer, which eventually became an annual summer job.


My first year was a difficult one, but it was all worthwhile with my friends and the supportive faculty and staff. Despite all the ups and downs, I wouldn’t change anything about my first year because I think it really shaped who I became at Purchase and the identity I made for myself.