College of Charleston
BackgroundInterview Date:December 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2021
First-Generation College Student: Yes
High School Experience: Large public school in Montgomery, New Jersey. The graduating class was about 400 students and there was a culture of going to college.
Major: Business Studies
Extracurricular Activities: Club Lacrosse
How has the club sport impacted your experience? In what ways?
It has made me a lot of friends and we built camaraderie. During my freshman year, the older guys were my role models who helped me out whenever I needed. It also gives you an extra something to do outside of school.
What is your weekly coursework for your major?
It usually consists of writing or research assignments.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
In my Entrepreneurship classes they have brought in speakers. They do a good job of finding real-world businesses owners to come and talk with us.
How would you describe the learning environment in your major? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s a mix of both. You have to work hard to get to the top, but it’s also a very helpful community.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
Entrepreneurship class freshman year.
How accessible have the professors in your department been?
I’ve never had a problem not being able to get in touch with a professor.
Why did you choose Business Studies as your major?
I want to be a business owner, and I’m happy with my choice.
How was managing both your club sport and coursework?
It’s only Division II Club Lacrosse, so it’s not that involved. I haven’t had a hard time balancing the two, but it does take a little bit to get used to.
How was transitioning academically as a first-generation college student? Are there systems in place that help you transition?
I know they have systems in place to help individuals, but I’ve never used them.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Graig Hall with 3 roommates
Sophomore: On campus apartments
What has been your favorite place to live?
Definitely the apartments.
How was transitioning from Montgomery, NJ to Charleston, SC?
It was definitely a transition. I’m from a rural town, then moved into the city. Overall, it didn’t take too long to get used to it.
Can you describe the level of safety you have experienced on and around campus?
There have been some incidences living in the city, but I’ve never felt unsafe. [See Charleston crime statistics here.]
What’s your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Carolina Ale House
Favorite place to get away from campus?
Folly Beach, which is about half an hour away.
Pros and cons of being in Charleston, SC?
1) It’s a cool city with a lot of history.
2) Usually everything is within walking distance.
1) There are some bad neighborhoods.
2) It can be hard to get around in a car because it’s an old city.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I prefer going out to bars, but there are Greek parties you can find if you’re into that. I’ve never had trouble getting into the Greek parties, but, in general, it’s harder for guys to get in than girls. I usually go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
What have been your favorite times at The College of Charleston?
The club lacrosse team parties are really fun. We have them usually once a week, or a big one once or twice a month.
What’s the alternative of going to a party or a bar?
The basketball games are pretty fun to go to. There is also a movie theatre right by campus as well.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Charleston? Is there anything you would change?
I’m happy with it and don’t think there is anything I’d change.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Either from the club lacrosse team or in my dorm freshman year.
How was it blending into the social environment as a first-generation college student?
The only thing I don’t have is the family history others might have. A lot of peoples’ parents were involved in the Greek organizations at College of Charleston, and that carries a lot of weight here.
How would you describe the social scene at College of Charleston?
It’s a very fun school, and people like to go out. Everyone is friendly and I don’t think people are necessarily cliquey. It’s down south, so there is that southern hospitality.
Do you feel that people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I’ve never noticed anyone being excluded because of their race. It’s a predominantly white school. [Minority groups make up 20% of the student population.]
Do you feel more so like you’re a resident of Charleston than a student at your school?
Based on where we are located, I feel like I’m in the city opposed to being on the campus.
Do you think that people are happy with their college choice by senior year?
Yes, the older guys have a lot of pride for the school.
How has the size of your school influenced your social experience?
I like the size. I would consider it medium, so it’s not huge or too small. [There are 9,880 undergraduate students.]
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I haven’t used it.
To what extent have you used the career office? How helpful has it been?
I have not gotten in touch with them. I have gotten my internships through my own connections.
Have you learned any computer programs that are helpful or will be helpful to you professionally?
I took a class where I learned to use Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What’s something you wish you knew about The College of Charleston before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how to relax and have a good time. I would also use the amenities offered to me more often, such as the counselors and advisors.
What is something that a prospective club lacrosse player could benefit from hearing?
Just go for it, put yourself out there, and have a good time. It’s really great when you want to have a good time while playing lacrosse and getting to know everyone.
What’s something that a prospective student may miss out on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The tours focus on the school, but you should go out and explore the city of Charleston itself.
Reasons to attend The College of Charleston:
1) It’s a fun school with a cool city.
Reasons to not attend The College of Charleston:
1) The out of state tuition can be expensive, and it’s a bit far from my home. [Non-resident tuition is $31,600.]