BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Graduation Year: 2019
Sexual Orientation: Straight
High School Experience: Public high school in New Jersey with about 270 students in graduating class. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Environmental Engineering
Extracurricular Activities: A club for online publications for music called Campus Final. We talk about different types of music and concerts and we do interviews and bring up small music groups to campus for events. I’m also a group fitness trainer at the gym and involved in Greek life.
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
[All of them because] I’ve gotten to meet a lot of different people that I wouldn’t have known otherwise, because you’re interested in different things.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
I have labs and homework. Homework is mostly problem sets and lab reports. Usually we have three midterms and sometimes quizzes.
What are your major graded assignments?
Most of them are exams.
Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
The classes are taught very well, my classes are small and it’s an interactive environment. Instead of a lecture class environment, during the class sessions we are working through problems in partner groups or with the professor. The department is poor at integrating all the other engineers with each other. We are all separated.
What has been your favorite class in your major or minor?
Environmental Planning. It was about an introduction to sustainable development, urban planning and sustainable building and how it is all tied in.
What has been your least favorite class in your major or minor?
Chemistry. It was a general chemistry class and it was in a huge lecture hall. It was boring.
How accessible have your professors been so far?
Super accessible. They are encouraging to come to office hours and they make time to meet up even if it is only to help advise you on career paths.
How would you describe your learning environment?
It’s collaborative. Especially in the engineering department we all work together on projects and stuff. I don’t think it’s competitive at all.
What made you choose your major? And are you happy with your choice?
I chose it because I was interested in and good at math and science at high school. I wasn’t as interested in reading or doing papers. I’m glad I chose it, it seems to be the right path for me. I may not like all of the material, but it gives me a good foundation for problem solving. I don’t know if I want to be an engineer after college but I think it’s a good foundation for any career path.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in a building called Vedder and I had one roommate. It was the party building for freshmen. It was close to downtown and there was a lot of fun living there, but it was loud and a lot of people were in the building who weren’t actually living there.
Sophomore: I lived in a building called Trax Hall and I had a single. The whole building was singles. It was like a hall style and you had one single and there were bathrooms that you share with your hall.
Junior year: My first semester junior year I lived in “the Mods” which is also called Bucknall West. I had one roommate in my room and then there was another room with two other girls. There was a kitchen, a living area and a bathroom that we all shared and it was a kind of a trailer. This was a bit off campus.
What was your favorite living situation?
My sophomore year at Trax because I liked having a single, but I was also next to my friends who also had singles.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I always feel safe. I walk home all the time at night myself, but there were some stories of the people who live in town. There was a stabbing which shocked everyone. But I always feel really safe.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
It is called Amami. It’s a cafe, they have breakfast and lunch and really good coffee.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
There is a town called Selinsgrove that is like 30 minutes away. They have some nice restaurants and have a market. Some days it’s a nice place to get away from school
Pros and cons of being located in Lewisburg?
1) There’s not much to distract you from your schoolwork because it’s in the middle of nowhere and there’s not that much to do.
2) It’s centrally located to major cities. It is three hours from New York, D.C. and Philadelphia. You can go anywhere, because it is not too far to get to any city.
3) It is pretty, especially in the fall when all the leaves are falling.
1) It’s in the middle of nowhere and sometimes it’s feels like you’re stranded because there’s not much.
2) There’s a lot of snow in the winter. I don’t like snow.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Bucknell is a kind of a small town in the middle of Pennsylvania, so it is mostly Greek life. There are mixers and registered parties and there are a couple of bars but you only can go to the bar if you’re a senior or if you’re 21.
What nights of the week do you usually going out?
The most popular nights are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and Sunday during the day. I go out probably one or two nights a week depending on the week.
What have been some of your favorite times at Bucknell?
Super Saturday, [a day party on Saturdays], on the first Saturday back at school. No one has seen each other and it’s great to see everyone in one place. It’s outside and open to the public.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
During freshman year you can’t get involved in Greek life, only from sophomore year. Going out is very different for guys versus girls. As a girl you can basically get into every party. After 11:30, you can go to whatever fraternity party or mixer. Freshmen guys experience more trouble getting in because the fraternities don’t want to let them in.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
With the exception of sports teams’ parties, every party is organized by a fraternity.
How happy were you with the nightlife at Bucknell? If you could change anything, what would you change?
It would be more fun if underage people can go to bars or other social places that isn’t a fraternity party. I do think it gets old going to frat parties every night if you want to go out.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I met half during freshman year, they were residents in my building. The other half I met through Greek life.
How would you describe the overall social scene at Bucknell?
Work hard play hard. People like to go out a lot, but people are also serious about getting their work done and doing well in school. The library is empty on Saturday but super crowded on Sunday.
To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientation mix socially?
I think it is separated. It’s not very diverse, but there’s definitely some diversity. I think that the LGBT community and different types of cultural groups are separated from everyone else. [About 72% of the Bucknell population is White.]
How would you describe the overall student body?
It is homogeneous. It’s predictable where somebody is from and what their background is. There is a reputation of preppiness, which I agree with. [The median family income at Bucknell is about $204,000.]
Do you think people are generally happy with their choice for Bucknell by senior year? Do you think people leaving loving Bucknell?
The majority of people do, but I do feel a lot of people have transferred after freshman year, because they hate it. There are a lot of people who love it, but also a lot of people who are sick of Lewisburg and Greek life.
Has the alumni network helps you find internships or jobs?
No, I may not have put enough effort, but I have not found it to be particularly helpful for me.
To what extent have you used the career office? How helpful have they been?
I’ve been to a career fair in the past. The office has helped me edit cover letters and I’ve practiced interview prep in their interview rooms.
Did you learn any computer programs that will be especially helpful for you professionally or for your course work?
I’ve gotten really good at Excel from doing different labs and I’m taking classes like coding in the fall, which will be helpful.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew before entering Bucknell as a freshman?
How big Greek life is. [About 60% of students who are eligible for Greek life are in Greek life.]
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The library is cool. It has many floors and it gets quieter as you go up. It’s much bigger than you think it is from the outside. Also, I don’t know if they will show you all the dorms on a tour.
Reasons to attend Bucknell:
1) The professors are really great, helpful and want to help you to understand what they are teaching and to participate.
2) It is a good balance between having fun and being studious. A majority of the students like having fun but also like to study.
3) It is a small school so you get to know most of the people in your grade and they’re always familiar faces on campus
Reasons to not attend Bucknell:
1) It is in the middle of nowhere, so you are kind of isolated
2) Greek life is competitive and it is not for everyone. If Greek life is not for you, that makes your social life harder because the nightlife revolves around Greek life.
3) It’s not really that diverse of a student population, it is very homogeneous.