BackgroundInterview Date:August 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Bisexual
Graduation Year: 2022, I’m in a five-year program.
High School Experience: Private school in Severna Park, MD with about 100 students in the graduating class.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Architectural Engineering
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
Basically, everybody in the engineering program does the same thing their first year, no matter what area of engineering you’re in, so my coursework is math and science-based. I have a lab every other week but it’s not really a lab heavy [course]. Homework is usually problem sets.
What are your major graded assignments?
For the science and math courses we have exams, but a lot of the engineering courses have either big coding projects or final presentations of something you’ve designed.
Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I think everything is done very well, especially because there are a lot of engineering majors at Drexel and it’s one of the more well-known majors. They offer a lot of extra help and resources you can use if you’re having trouble in school, and they also have a lot of resources and equipment that other schools may not have. They’re very good at communication as well.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s a healthy mix of both. It’s especially competitive because a lot of the kids you’re in class with were at the top of their classes or are very smart individuals, but a lot of classes require you to work together as a team to do well in the class. It’s very helpful to know other people and work together on big projects.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I wanted to go into architecture, but I also had a strong interest in engineering, so I mixed them both. I was unable to study strictly architecture since it’s a six-year program at Drexel and it’s also very intense. I’m very happy with my choice so far.
How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
It’s very tough. [It helps] if you’re really well organized; I keep multiple planners. That’s the main advice I’d give to people struggling- just stay organized. When I was in season I didn’t have very much time to have a social life, but I was able to have one after we were done the season. Once I wasn’t doing any sports or practice it actually became a lot easier to manage my time.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in North Hall. It was a suite style house, so I lived with three other people and we had our own kitchen and living space. It was very accommodating and very nice for a first-year college dorm.
Sophomore I’m living in the Summit and I will have three roommates, one of whom is random. It’s the same kind of living space.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
Safety is one of Drexel’s main concerns and there’s always security guards and police patrolling, but there are times that you feel very unsafe, especially if you’re going to be on the sports field which is about a mile away from campus. It’s in the projects and I’ve walked home from practice alone before and felt very unsafe. Shootings have happened very close to campus, but if you take the right precautions and call the safety patrol and get an escort you will definitely be safe. They’re also making a lot of changes to try to prevent those things from happening.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
My favorite off-campus restaurant is Valanni. It’s in Gayborhood and it’s a Mediterranean restaurant. It’s on the more expensive side but it’s really good.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
My favorite way to get away from campus is taking a walk on this trail down by Boathouse Row.
Pros and cons of being in University City, PA?
1) There is always something happening.
2) You’re within walking distance of everything, so if you need medicine or anything you can walk there and get it, or have something delivered within 30 minutes.
3) It’s just fun. You’re around other people who are also experiencing college, but who are from so many different places. You’re able to meet people from so many walks of life, and University City is one of the only places that has three or four major colleges in one place.
1) Feeling unsafe since you’re in the city.
2) When it rains you’re screwed because you have to walk everywhere.
3) It’s always very noisy. Sometimes I found it hard to concentrate or sleep when I first got there because we lived right behind the train station, and it’s always noisy in University City.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you participate in at Drexel?
I mainly just go to house parties with my friends, or just over to my friend’s houses. I normally go out either Friday, Saturday or Tuesday.
Has being an LGBT student affected your nightlife experience at all?
Not really. It was only ever a factor once and that was at Penn’s Landing way off campus. Everyone on campus is very inviting, especially to the LGBTQ community. When I first came to school I was kind of afraid of how people would perceive me because of how I dressed and stuff like that, but nobody really cares. It was not a factor whatsoever. I never got judged for it.
How happy are you with the weekend options? Is there anything you would change?
I’m pretty happy with the nightlife so far. We are in such a unique location with five different colleges nearby, including UPenn. You can always find something to do or somewhere to go in the city. Drexel is a big college but it’s not always house parties because we’re in a city and a lot of people are in apartments. Because of that, a lot of the nightlife involves going out to bars.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Through athletics. I’m friends with a lot of the athletes on different teams, and then my friends also introduced me to their friends. I also knew people who went to Drexel already and they introduced me to other people.
How would you describe the social scene?
The social scene is definitely unique. There are so many different types of people that go to Drexel and you’re going to find somebody you get along with, no matter what.
How would you describe the student body?
The student body is definitely inclusive. It’s very large and oftentimes alumni are even included in the student body because it’s a network of people you can ask anything of. It’s the most unique experiences you’ll ever have because it’s such a different school.
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Yes, I feel that they can mix.
How would you describe the LGBTQ community?
There is a separate LGBTQ social scene, but a lot of my [LGBT] friends just mix with everybody.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Drexel before entering as a freshman?
The rigor of the courses. A lot of the courses you take as a freshman are [very difficult] and that weighs on your shoulders. Even though the majority of the classes I was taking Freshman year I had already taken in high school, it was nothing like I had ever seen before. Drexel is one of the fastest paced universities out there since you’re on a quarter system. You have to get done in a 10-week period, what most students do in a 16-week semester, and it definitely weighs on you.
What is something a prospective athlete or LGBTQ student should know that we haven’t touched on?
There’s a lot of resources to help both athletes and LGBTQ that exist just for those specific groups, but you have to know how and when to use them.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
[On the tours] they show you the buildings and dorms, but I have I wish they would have shown more of the day to day life. It would have been nice if they incorporated the dining hall because that got skipped over, and last year I was surprised to learn we only had two choices for dining.
Reasons to attend Drexel:
1) The reputation that you get when you get that Drexel degree in the end.
2) If you’re a student that wants to learn how to work in the field, Drexel is definitely a school for you.
3) It’s very inviting. I’ve had pretty much no negative encounters with people. Most people are just very nice and friendly.
Reasons to not attend Drexel:
1) Some of the professors seem like they don’t care about teaching or they don’t want to be in class. I think they are too [invested in their research].
2) The city isn’t for everybody. Being pretty much in the center of the city throws a lot at you at once.
3) The cost to attend. They do give very generous scholarships but the education is very expensive. [For the 2018-2019 academic year, tuition cost about $17,000 per quarter.]