I’m in college. A conversation with two or more people can’t last too long without it eventually turning towards Jimmy Stewart or Harry Potter.

I read the series. I’m familiar with all the Potter lore. I hated the movies. People (girls) rag on me all the time about this. I hate them. But the great thing about talking about these teenage wizards is that it’s easy to draw a lot of lines between the fantasy of Hogwarts and our campus.

We don’t shop for wands, and if you are the kind of person who keeps an owl as a pet, you would be one of the more unique people on our campus, but there is something special about this place.

As I was working in the Psychology Lab this summer, I was in a meeting with one of the chief members of ResLife here at the College. During that meeting our conversation migrated towards the media efforts of the admissions office. If you’ve ever talked to a C of I student, they will give you testimonials on the community of the College and its atmosphere. But this is something that’s incredibly hard to put on a brochure and actually forward on to prospective students and parents.

It’s an indescribable energy that fills the air of the school, something that each of us is attuned to. We know who belongs to the school, who calls it home. We know each others’ faces and names and we can recognize each other halfway across the campus. People stand out here. If someone has been sick or is missing for a few days, you’re missed by your circle. It’s hard to blend into the shadows.

There’s a rhythm that we all follow each day. Monday, Wednesday, Friday are all busy days. The campus is alive as we scurry to the most popularly scheduled classes. Tuesdays and Thursdays are slower and more subdued. If the weather is nice, you’ll see Yotes lounging in the Quad after class, catching up on reading or doing homework for the next day.

We eat together, we study together, we live together, and we all go to the same Dutch Bros on the Boulevard.

I had a friend who finished up his senior year, and is now taking a few part-time classes at BSU this fall. Strangely, this little limerick he posted as a Facebook update is the best description of how I think all of us feel at heart: “My ‘Bronco Pride’ is empty; it’s hollow, insincere / But that’s the sort of thing you just don’t say around here / I guess I’m trying to say no matter how far away I float / There’s really no escaping it; I’ll always be a Yote.”

(Thanks Bradley).

I visited this school once before I decided to go here. That was all I needed. You don’t enroll at The College of Idaho. You fall under its spell.