One in Two Thousand: Nicholas Mancuso ’26

Alexa Cohen

(Alexa Cohen/The Williams Record.)

Each week, the Record (using a script in R) randomly selects a student at the College for our One in Two Thousand feature, excluding current Record board members. This week, Nicholas Mancuso ’26 discussed his intramural team, slow walkers, and New York pizza. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Alexa Cohen (AC): What’s your favorite activity for snowy days like today?

 Nicholas Mancuso (NM): There was a day when I was just doing some work in my room. I looked out and there was all this snow. I heard loud noises outside of Frosh Quad. It was a lot of my friends [and] people I knew throwing around snowballs, building snowmen, and just having so much fun in the snow. We were running around, being little kids again. That’s something I used to do in New York with my friends. That took me back to New York. 

AC: You live in Frosh Quad. What are your thoughts on Frosh Quad versus Mission? 

NM: I really think Frosh Quad is superior. I get to just walk backwards to Paresky. Like, I can close my eyes and find my way to Paresky. I know that Mission has a dining hall, but it’s only [open for] dinner. [Also,] I have my own common room.  

AC: Oh, that’s really nice. So you basically have two rooms? 

NM: Yup, it’s a common room attached to my room. I leave my coats there. I leave my shoes out there. It feels like such a personal space. I leave my snacks out there. It’s organized in the way that I keep my room organized. I think I forget that people could just walk through sometimes. But I think our entry is very close, because of the common rooms attached to a lot of the rooms. It’s easy to gather for snacks or just run into someone. 

AC: If any New York City establishment were to open on Spring Street, which would you want it to be?

 NM: Pizza. Dollar pizza. It’s my favorite thing back at home. Why? Because it tastes so good and the price makes it taste that much better.

 AC: What do you think of The Log compared to New York pizza?

NM: I actually think it would pass in New York. I think that the slices are pretty good. Surprisingly, I don’t go that much. I actually really like ’82 [Grill] pizza.

AC: Go-to spot on Spring Street?

NM: Blue Mango. I went there twice yesterday.

AC: Oh wow. You and I are on the same intramural team, The Potatoes, [which competes in several sports]. What has been your favorite memory on The Potatoes so far?

 NM: Well, I was a late addition to The Potatoes. One day I decided to show up and Jamie [Woods ’26] was asking for an extra person, and I was like, “Seems like a good group of people. I know a few of them.” I think my favorite parts are when someone on The Potatoes does something you’d least expect, like hitting a three from very far away or making an insane layup. 

AC: Exactly. What season of The Potatoes are you most looking forward to?

NM: Soccer. I’m really excited to get back into playing soccer. That’s something I did a lot in high school, basically every day. We had a courtyard to play soccer at lunch. [We’d] come back to the last period of class drenched in sweat. 

AC: What’s the best class you’ve taken thus far?

 NM: I took MATH 140 last semester. The best part was the professor and the structure of the class. I even took him to Lyceum Dinner. Every time I went to office hours, it ended up being a good conversation. He was always someone that took genuine interest in my life, and I loved hearing about his life too. The class was structured [for students] to actually learn, whereas I feel like a lot of classes that I took back in high school, and even here, put a heavy emphasis on the grade, which I get. But truly, I think the grades reflected the amount of work you put into [MATH 140]. I think that Professor Athukorallage did a really good job.  

AC: How has the adjustment been to Williamstown from New York City? 

NM: I was probably the fastest walker here, and now I’m the slowest walker. My pace has just gone to zero. I know when I get back to New York it’ll go back to 100. But wow, now I take tiny, tiny steps. And I eat really, really slow.

 AC: How have you taken to this slower pace of life?

 NM: I appreciate walking slower, because I get to observe everything and I get to have longer conversations. If I’m walking with someone, I don’t feel like I’m in a rush. There can sometimes be a lot of pressure here. I know that I like to leave early now, so I can take my time and get there early. But in terms of slow eating, that’s really frustrating, because when I eat, I have to fully focus on that. If it takes an hour to eat, then it’s an hour of time [lost]. We have a lot of responsibilities. I would like for [meals] to be less than half an hour.

 AC: If you could give yourself advice when you started at the College, what would it be?

 NM: It’s gonna sound cliche, but it’s your journey. There are going to be a lot of people around you that are a part of [different activities]. There are a lot of impressive people here, but you’re one of those people too, no matter what. So don’t get caught up in feeling like you need to do a million things. There will be a lot of multi-talented people, but you have your interests, you have your focus, [and] you’re here for yourself.  

AC: What’s something that you do for yourself on campus?

 NM: I mean, there are a lot of opportunities to go on random walks. Just choose a direction to start walking. The Hopkins [Memorial] Forest walk is really nice and Stone Hill is a classic one. 

 AC: Any other favorite spots in Williamstown? 

 NM: I think there’s nothing better than laying down on Cole Field when it’s warm enough and looking up at the stars. In New York City, you’d see maybe one star. So that’s been nice.