College of Charleston
BackgroundInterview Date:December 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2021
First-Generation College Student: Yes
High School Experience: Private school in Lynn, Massachusetts with a graduating class was about 100 students. There was a culture of going to college.
Major: Undeclared with an intent to pursue a Marketing degree.
Extracurricular Activities: Off-campus job.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Having a smaller class is better to get to know the teacher, and allows you to be focused on yourself. [50% of classes have between 20-49 students in them.]
What has been your favorite class so far?
Yoga has been my favorite elective course. My favorite real class would be Macroeconomics, mainly because of the teacher.
What has been your least favorite class so far?
How accessible have the professors been?
They are very accessible. I’m not a student that typically goes to a professor and talk, but my friends are always doing it.
What made you choose Marketing?
I wasn’t really sure of a major at all, but I naturally have an interest in marketing. That I think has pushed me toward it, and I’ve also enjoyed my Business classes so far.
How was transitioning academically as a first-generation college student? Are there systems in place that help you transition?
They haven’t had anything for first-generation students, which I was looking for. It’s not as hard of a transition as I expected. [Editor’s Note: College of Charleston offers the SPECTRA Summer Transition Program for first-generation students and students of color.]
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Liberty Hall with 1 roommate and 2 suitemates
Sophomore: On campus apartments
How was transitioning from Massachusetts to Charleston, SC?
The people are different, but I like it so far. A lot of my friends are from the South, where people seem so polite and proper. Where I’m from in the North, people are so straight forward.
Can you describe the level of safety you have experienced on and around campus?
The campus is very safe, but there are a lot of homeless people. This isn’t really a problem, but there is an area resembling a border, between campus and the streets you don’t go. [See Charleston crime statistics here.]
Pros and cons of being in Charleston, SC?
1) Being in a city is convenient because everything is around you.
2) It’s by the beach.
1) I don’t like all the tourists. [For eight consecutive years Charleston was voted top small city in the U.S. by Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Readers’ Choice Survey.]
2) The price of food is expensive.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
There are usually fraternity parties, which are a big thing as a freshman. Bars are also a large part of the college scene here. There are 18+ events at these bars, where the fraternities and sororities will hold events.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
Not that big. I’m not in a sorority, and I can attend any party or event. I go to events with girls that are in sororities just as friends, so I don’t think anyone needs to be in one when going to Charleston.
What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
Depending on homework, usually Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
How happy were you with the nightlife at Charleston? Is there anything you would change?
Unlike larger schools, Charleston doesn’t allow fraternities to have parties in the actual on-campus fraternity house. All of the parties are moved off-campus.
How did you meet your closest friends?
My suitemate was a close friend, but I met my other friends in classes freshman year.
How would you describe the social scene at Charleston?
I love the social scene. You see so many people you know, but it’s also the perfect size to meet new people every night. Every night of the week there is something to do, like going to events, bars, or parties. [There are 9,880 undergraduate students.]
Do you feel that people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Yeah, I see this a lot. [Minority groups make up 20% of the student population.]
How would you describe the student body?
It is a city, so there are a lot of different types of people. We have earthy crunchy people, and people who dress nice and shop all the time. There are also many people from the North. [Excluding South Carolina, the top five states students come from are New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, New York, and Massachusetts.]
Do you ever feel more so like you’re a resident of Charleston than a student at your school?
Yes, I feel a lot of that. This year I live in an apartment off-campus up on King Street, which is the main street in Charleston.
How has the size of your school influenced your social experience?
The size is perfect. You always meet new people but also see everyone you know.
Have you learned any computer programs that are helpful or will be helpful to you professionally?
I learned a lot of Excel in my Biology class.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What’s something you wish you knew about The College of Charleston before entering as a freshman?
Transportation is hard if you do not have a car. Freshman year is the only time you typically live on campus, and living off-campus is expensive which is something to think about.
What’s something that a prospective student may miss out on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Folly Beach, and all of the good restaurants in Charleston.
Reasons to attend The College of Charleston:
1) The location is perfect. It’s right by the airport, you are in the city, and have the beach nearby.
2) The campus is also a good size. It’s pretty small, which is convenient to walk to class.
Reasons to not attend The College of Charleston:
I don’t have any.