BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Graduation Year: 2019
Sexual Orientation: Straight
High School Experience: I went to a public school in Long Island, NY with a graduating class of about 550 students. There was a strong culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Animal Behavior. I consider myself Pre-Vet, so I have to take extra courses for that. The Animal Behavior major is pretty intense with many required courses. For Pre-Vet I have to take additional science classes, like Chemistry and Biology.
Extracurricular Activities: Sorority
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Each semester I take two different courses for my major. I had one or two labs most semesters. All science classes require you to go to recitation, and that’s a time to go over material or sometimes you have to take a quiz. I’ve also had recitations where the professor will keep teaching the material. Between class, lab, and recitation, you could have like 7 hours of a single class per week. The other Animal Behavior classes will meet just for three class hours a week.
Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
The major itself is very unique, it’s not very common for other universities to have it. It’s definitely more rigorous than it sounds. They make you take two research methods courses, so they improve your research skills. Something really cool about Bucknell is that they have a primate lab, meaning that they have four different species of monkeys in a lab that are mostly utilized by Animal Behavior majors. You can do independent research with them, and in the two research methods classes required you do research with them.
What I think the department doesn’t do well is that you really have to be on top of the course load because the advisers won’t help you as much as you think. You don’t realize how many other courses you have to take if you’re trying to go to veterinary school. If you’re planning on going to vet school, you have to make sure you’re on top of what you’re taking every single semester and possibly even taken some courses over the summer. I did two semesters of physics over the summer just to not be completely stressed out with all those classes during the school year.
How would you describe your learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s competitive in that the classes can be difficult. It’s not a hostile environment, but you do want to try to do better than your peers and get the best grades you can. People do compare how they do to others, but none of the courses are on a curve and based on how others do. It’s collaborative in that there is a lot of group work and opportunities to work together. A lot of the classes, especially as you move up in the major, become very small, so you get to know the other majors.
What made you choose your major? And are you happy with your choice?
I had the idea that I may want to go to vet school and I was interested in the monkey lab, so I applied into Bucknell as an Animal Science major. I was advised to do that, and I recommend others doing that because there are so many classes it can be hard to fit it all in. Every once in a while, I did regret that major because it can be so much work, but it helped me figure out how to do college and study effectively.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in Vedder in a double. It was a very popular freshman dorm.
Sophomore: I lived in Trax in a single. That place was good because I lived up the hill right next to one of the academic quads. That building was close to two other sophomore dorms, so there were a lot of other sophomores in the area.
Junior year: Hunt Hall in a single. I shared a hall with people from my sorority. It can get really loud because it would get really loud on going out nights because that’s where the sororities would congregate.
What was your favorite living situation?
I think Hunt was my favorite because it was really fun being with a lot of other sorority girls. It’s also downhill, which is near downtown, and most of the parties are downtown.
Pros and cons of being located in Lewisburg, PA?
1) It’s a cuter town than you would think.
2) Lewisburg is very safe.
3) There’s always a lot going on on-campus, so it doesn’t really matter that you’re in the middle of nowhere.
4) A lot of cities are only three hours away, so you can get to them if you need to.
1) You don’t really leave the campus because it’s not a city. There isn’t much to do around town.
2) It’s farther to get to cities.
How much you like the location depends on your personality. Some people are fine with it and others absolutely hate it.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I go out a decent amount. You rush as a sophomore so you have all of freshman year to go out and do whatever and figure out your scene. Because we’re in the middle of nowhere, it is very Greek life-oriented. It’s a lot of frat parties. Another big thing at Bucknell is Super Saturday, which is a day party on Saturday. It’s guaranteed that there will be a day party every single Saturday during the day. The culture at Bucknell is work hard play hard. You’ll see students in the library all week but then you’ll also see a lot of people going out. People tend to be pretty responsible, so there’s not a big pressure to go out if you have work.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
We would get together with whatever friends I had on my hall. You do freshman orientation with your hall so it’s common for people to make their first friends on their hall. You’d get together in someone’s room and [have a small party]. You’d have to wait later to go out because you don’t rush until sophomore year and mixers between fraternities and sororities are a big thing. Those parties don’t open up until like 11:30, so as a freshman you have to wait until those parties are open.
How happy were you with the weekend options at Bucknell? If you could change anything, what would you change?
I go back and forth with how happy I am with it. I think I appreciate it more now, but when I was a freshman I was getting very tired of it very quickly. There are a lot of things going on each night, which is nice. You can frat party hop because they’re all on the same street, so if you’re not having fun at one you can go to another. When I was a freshman and I didn’t know any of the upperclassmen it all seemed like it was the same party. I don’t think it was fun because I didn’t know anyone except for my friends that I went out with. As I got older and was immersed in Greek life, I would know people there and it was a more comfortable situation. One thing I wish is that there was an 18+ bar or club scene. It’d be nice to have that option for another night. Now that I am 21 it’s fun that I get to start experiencing that scene.
How did you meet your closest friends?
The thing with Bucknell is you have your freshman year friends because you don’t join Greek life until sophomore year. I made a lot of my friends either on my hall, I still have one best friend from my hall, and then also through mutual friends. A lot of freshmen develop groups, but over time those groups completely change or not friends with each other anymore. I was lucky enough to stay close to my core group of four friends. Then sophomore year you make more friends because you join a sorority, and I made some of my best friends from that. My friends were girls who I didn’t know. What’s cool about Bucknell is people aren’t just friends with their friends in their sorority, people branch out. All of my group of four friends from freshman year went to different sororities, but we are all still friends.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Bucknell?
It’s highly based on Greek life, which can be a little unfortunate for some people. [About 60% of students who are eligible for Greek life are in Greek life.]
Has the alumni network helps you find internships or jobs?
They aren’t that relevant to me because I’m doing vet stuff. My internships have been shadowing veterinarians in the area. Based on what my friends have said, they are very helpful.
To what extent have you used the career office? How helpful have they been?
I’ve only been there once or twice and they’re very good about editing resumes. There is a pre-health adviser who works in the career development center and she knows stuff about medical schools and vet schools and will help keep you on track.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew before entering Bucknell as a freshman?
I didn’t realize how difficult the work would be. I wish I knew how much time I would be spending in the library and how stressful things would be for me. I also wish I knew that it could be like high school sometimes in that there are different sororities and fraternities that are [perceived as being at different tiers].
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The prevalence of Greek life on campus. If it’s someone who doesn’t intend joining Greek life or being on a sports team I would [be cognizant] of its prevalence. Notice that Greek life is a big thing. [60% of eligible students are part of a fraternity or sorority.]
Reasons to attend Bucknell:
1) It’s a great school with great alumni connections.
2) Generally, the people there are very nice. If you like partying, it’s a very fun school.
3) It’s a beautiful school and the town is really cute and nice.
4) I feel that I’m getting a very high-quality education. I’m very impressed by the professors and the small class sizes. I feel like I’m learning and retaining the information.
Reasons to not attend Bucknell:
1) It’s a very expensive school.
2) It can get very small. If you try, you can learn who everyone in your grade is. I wish there were more people there sometimes. You see the same people everywhere when you’re walking around.
3) It’s in the middle of nowhere.
4) The school work is really difficult and you have to take it upon yourself to take care of it.