BRUNSWICK – A warm smile makes its way across Alison Coleman’s face when you ask her what she’s looking forward to over winter break.

“Not having any papers due, no deadlines,” she says. “I can relax and de-stress.”

With the first semester of her freshman year at Bowdoin College safely tucked under her belt, Ali can let out that sigh of relief. She did well academically, played soccer, made friends, lived harmoniously with two roommates in a closet-size dorm room and learned a little more about herself.

“I’ve gotten a little better, but I still procrastinate,” she said. “I guess I’m a work in progress.”

She also tried her first taste of beer (“awful!”) and noticed plenty of Abercrombie-clad classmates tooling around in Audis.

“There are a lot of status symbols – cars and clothes – but it doesn’t bother me. It’s not who I am,” she said.

That self-awareness extends to her course selections for next semester. Ali was an undeclared major, but now she’s leaning toward a history degree, with an English minor, perhaps.

Fueling that interest are two spring classes she’s looking forward to: politics in 20th-century India and a leadership class with former Gov. Angus King.

“I’m really excited about that one (leadership class),” said Ali, then adds with a laugh, “the only thing is it’s at 8:30 a.m.”

Until then, she can relax at her Lewiston home and reconnect with hometown friends, many of whom also went away to college. She’ll also pick up her old job at Sam’s during the four-week break and try to restock her piggy bank.

“I did a lot of Christmas shopping at the campus store,” she said. “It’s pretty expensive.”

– By Carol Coultas

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