BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2019
High School Experience: Public school in Long Island, NY and my graduating class was about 550. Pretty much everybody in my grade wanted to move on to college.
First Generation Student: No
Majors: Double major in Economics and Psychology in the college of arts and sciences
Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Athlete
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
They’re both fairly different. For Economics, I have a bunch of problem sets usually. For Psychology, it’s more textbook reading and you have to come in maybe with notes that they want you to prepare beforehand.
What are your major graded assignments?
For Economics, you have three or four big tests. Some teachers offer a homework portion and some teachers also have a participation portion. For Psychology it’s usually tests, maybe a handful of papers and participation.
Is there anything that you feel your either of your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
I would say the Psychology department is very successful at bringing in the right staff. All the teachers are very personable. The Economics department tends to be pretty selective, so when you apply to be an Economics major you don’t necessarily get it. It’s a capped major, so all the people in your classes genuinely want to be there and have a strong economic background.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
There are small class sizes. The biggest class I’ve been in is about 30 people and I’ve been in classes with three people, so generally it’s collaborative depending on the difficulty of the class. There are some classes that are particularly difficult where the tests will be graded on a curve. You might see a little more competition in a class like that, but generally it’s pretty collaborative.
How accessible are your professors?
Pretty accessible for the most part. All have office hours at a certain time every week so you can go in and do that, or you can just send them an email and they’re usually free to meet or get coffee or something.
What have been your favorite classes in your majors?
Psychology: Research Methods in Learning, which was a class where the subjects were dogs, so we were able to run experiments on dogs which was very cool.
What have been your least favorite classes in your majors?
Psychology: A requirement for the Psychology major at Bucknell is you have to take a very general Research Methods class that introduces you to the research process. So, my least favorite class was that introductory class.
Economics: Intro to Microeconomics
Why did you choose your combination of majors? Are you happy with your choice?
Yes, I am happy. Part of the reason I chose it was because I think it’s important to have a strong economic background regardless of what field you go into. I think that the Psychology aspect brings a unique perspective because it’s important to know why people make decisions. The combination of them both kind of serves as a behavioral analysis type approach where you can kind of understand why people make the economic decisions they do.
How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
I pretty quickly figured out what I needed to do, like the time management skills that were necessary. It was definitely a lot, especially during your season. There are times you’re waking up at 6AM to lift and then you have practice during the day. But I found as the season went by, it became more of a routine.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Vedder Hall with one roommate. Vedder is a strictly freshman hall Downhill. Bucknell is on a hill, so a lot of the dorms are referred to as “Uphill” or “Downhill.”
Sophomore: I was lucky enough to get a high lottery pick and lived in Roberts Hall which was brand new with three roommates. We had two bedrooms, so two people per room.
Junior: In the Mods [Bucknell West] with five other roommates. It was basically the same thing as sophomore year because we had four bedrooms
What was your favorite living situation?
Probably this year because they’re not brand new, but they’re kind of like your own little apartment. You have a kitchen, bathroom, and refrigerator.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I have never experienced any form of feeling unsafe at all on campus. Public Safety is pretty much always around any hour of the night.
Favorite off-campus restaurant?
The Rusty Rail
Favorite place to get away from campus?
The movie theater in Selinsgrove
Pros and cons of being in Lewisburg, PA?
Pros: (1) I like how you can get to any city you want within two to three hours, so New York, Philly, and Washington D.C.
(2) At times the rural landscape can be pretty peaceful. There are certain experiences that you can have. For example, you can go pumpkin picking pretty close to campus. It’s definitely different from how I grew up, which is pretty refreshing.
Cons: (1) There isn’t much around outside of Lewisburg, so you’re not really close to any neighboring town. You have to drive a little bit.
(2) It’s a pretty small population. You see a lot of the same people in the restaurants or around town.
How did you meet your closest friends?
The good thing about being an athlete is that I had a guaranteed group of friends coming in, so the majority of my friends are from my team. I think people are very friendly, especially going out, so a lot of my friends came through mixing with other teams and sororities.
How would you describe the social scene?
I’ve been very happy I have to say. I know I wouldn’t change my choice. I love the fact that there’s the small classroom cohesion. The teachers all know your name, and you don’t feel like a number. You feel like your own person and people know you.
How would you describe the student body?
Unfortunately, it’s pretty homogenous. It’s generally a white population from the northeast. Every once in a while, you’ll see someone from out west, but it’s very common to see someone from New York, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I would consider our campus to be very accepting, so you will see other populations and they do mix. But, the majority is definitely the White population. [About 72% of the Bucknell population is White.]
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Bucknell by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Bucknell?
I would say yes, for sure. It’s very rare to see someone transfer. Once you’re on this campus you feel like you’re part of the Lewisburg community, which is great. I would say people love the school.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I personally have not gotten an internship or job through Bucknell yet, but that’s just because I kind of went my own route. But, the Bucknell alumni network is very, very strong and we have a bunch of career fairs and they’re always looking to hire people from Bucknell. I have not received an internship or job from a Bucknell alum, but I know people do and it’s a strong presence.
Have you used the career office?
I haven’t used them much. I know you can go there and they’ll help you do your resume. They have a presence on campus and I know people use them.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally through your coursework?
The obvious one is Microsoft Excel, and that comes up in some of our classes. The interesting thing about Bucknell is that we’re required to take some sort of natural science and math course, and a lot of people take statistics, in which you have to use SPSS. So, I’ve had some experience with SPSS, Excel, and I also took an intro Computer Science course, so I have used Python.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Bucknell before entering as a freshman?
That the fraternity presence is strong. I had heard it was, but I didn’t really understand the magnitude. Once you get there you kind of understand that a lot of the social life revolves around whether you’re in Greek life or you’re on a sports team.
What is something a prospective athlete should know that we haven’t touched on?
Bucknell is a D1 school, so they expect high levels of performance. At the same time, Bucknell is a strong academic institution, so the coaches expect high levels of performance on the field and off the field. If you’re not performing off the field you might not see the field. They report team GPA’s every semester, and it looks bad on them if their team GPA is low.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Before going to Bucknell I think it’s important to go out and see it as a social setting. After visiting other schools, I think a lot of the social scene is different because a lot of our houses are small and the is a kind of a small party feel where you know everybody. I think that plays a part in the cohesive nature of the student body and I think it’s important to do before coming. If that is something you’d enjoy, try experiencing it.
Reasons to attend Bucknell:
1) It will never feel like you’re lost in the crowd. You’re going to feel like your own person.
2) Although we’re a small school, we have a ton of school spirit. You’ll get that rah-rah feeling, just in a small setting.
3) If you want to challenge yourself academically, you will.
4) It’s a very big work hard play hard environment. Although people expect high results in the classroom, they also know how to have fun.
Reasons to not attend Bucknell:
1) You can’t really hide from the professor. If you don’t do well on a test they’re going to reach out to you to try to figure out what’s going on. You can’t not attend class.
2) If you want to be in a big city, this is definitely not the school for you. We are nowhere near a big city, the closest one is three-hour drive away.
3) If you’re not planning on being on a sports team or if you don’t have any interest in Greek life and you think that whole concept is not for you, it might be important for you to come down and check out what the Greek life is before committing.