BackgroundInterview Date:June 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2018, but I’m in grad school now so I’ll graduate that this year. It is a 3+2 program, I’m in my last year. The program is not going to be around anymore.
High School Experience: Public school in the Baltimore, MD area with about 350 people in the graduating class. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Health Sciences major with a Physician’s Assistant specialty.
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete.
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
We had big lectures every week. The first year was all biology and chemistry, so for that, you had three big lectures and then lab once or twice a week for two hours. The big grades were mostly exams, the labs didn’t count for that much. Second year was anatomy and physiology, there were no labs for those but all exams. In the third year was where you specialize more, so I did advanced anatomy, and once again all exams and no labs. It was a lot of studying and team projects and other things like that.
Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
It was a really confusing program. I signed my letter of intent for my sport and they sent me this letter asking me if I wanted to do the accelerated program and I didn’t really know what it was but it sounded good so I just signed it and then I got there and nobody really knew what it was. They just said you need certain GPA and if you get below a B you’re automatically kicked out of the program. So, if you don’t get below a B, and you have a successful interview then you’re into Physician Assistant School. But even if you do all those things and don’t have a successful interview you cannot get in. It was really confusing because in the class before us only 10 out of 50 people got in, and there was a lot of gray area and a lot of stress figuring out if you’re getting in or not. For my class, everybody except for two people got in and then they got rid of the program entirely. So, we’re not going to have an accelerated program anymore.
Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
It’s really competitive. So, with my experience, we were all competing for those fake 10 or 15 spots, so no one really helped each other unless you were really good friends and it was just a really hostile environment. Once I had my group of friends it was a lot better.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
Advanced Anatomy 2. I realized how hard you have to study and I spent probably 30 hours a week studying and then got an A in the end.
What has been your least favorite class in your major?
Advanced Anatomy 1, which I took the beginning of my junior year. It was really hard and I just didn’t study and I did awful.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I’m definitely happy with my choice. My dad and my brother are surgeons, so after seeing what they went through I didn’t want to go to medical school. I talked to them and figured out that being a physician’s assistant would be a better route for me.
How was managing both your sport and coursework?
It really wasn’t too bad. You have to be really time managed. Whatever free time you have during the week, you’re either studying or doing work. It puts you on a schedule, and I liked that personally.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Freshman year I lived in Kelly Hall with one girl on my team.
Sophomore: University Crossing with four other girls in three rooms. But I luckily had my own room.
Junior: House on 32nd street and I lived with four other girls. They were sorority girls and one was on my team.
Senior: I lived on Powelton Avenue with five girls from my team.
What was your favorite living situation?
University Crossing was really fun. The one on Powelton was really fun but I was in grad school at that point and all my friends were in undergrad, so I wasn’t able to go out as much but I still really liked living there.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I always felt really safe, even though we always get Drexel alerts saying there was a robbery or something. I’ve never experienced that and I don’t know anyone else who has. We have Drexel security everywhere. You’ll see them in their yellow suits and on their bikes. They’ll stand outside where the parties are and they’ll walk a girl home, or, if they see a bunch of girls walking, they’ll follow them home and stay a few steps behind them. It sounds creepy, but it’s actually really nice. They give you the number freshman year and you can call them any time and say, “Hi, I would like an escort from here to here,” and they will just walk their bike next to you. I’ve done that a few times.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Oh my God, there are so many. Philly’s so good. I always go to Center City. Talula’s Garden, Cuba Libre, and Dim Sum Garden in Chinatown.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Center City, or Kelly Drive for running.
Pros and Cons of being in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia?
Pros: (1) It’s close to everything. You can walk to get food or anything you want.
(2) You’re never bored. There’s always something to do.
Cons: (1) You don’t have that campus feel. There are some patches of grass and you can tell which buildings are Drexel, but you don’t have that open area.
(2) Our sports field was pretty far away from campus. It was like a mile away and kind of in a sketchy area. I’ve walked there before but you usually have to drive.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
We definitely went out more at night than to day parties. We would usually go to one of the boys’ houses before. Sometimes they had a party but there are also a lot of bars in Center City Philly which are really fun. We’re like a mile away from Center City so an Uber is cheap or you can walk if you feel like it.
What nights of the week do you regularly go out? Are there certain places you go on certain nights?
Tuesday night people go to Wahoo’s, which is a bar on campus. Then on Thursday night we go to bars on Penn’s campus. We’d usually have a game or something on Saturday, so we wouldn’t go out Friday. Then Saturday night we’d have a house party or go to a bar in Center City.
What have been your favorite times at Drexel?
I really like the fall term for us because sports are easy for us then because it’s not the actual season and we can go out a lot. Drexel’s weird because classes go until June, and sports end in April, so we have from April until June not playing a sport. It’s really fun to be a normal college student for a few months.
What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like to do?
There’s a bar in Center City called Field House that always has a live band and that’s really fun. Some people like to go to 76ers games or the Flyers games, but I’ve only been to a Phillies game.
How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I was pretty happy with it. We usually relied on the boys to have house parties and there was one year where they didn’t get a good a house for parties. I think the years were the best when the boys would rent out a house with a huge basement or a house with a rooftop.
How did you meet your closest friends?
How would you describe the overall social scene?
I like it a lot. I feel like I became really close with all of the teams. It’s kind of hard because I don’t know what to say for people who are in Greek life, but for us, it’s a large group of people and everyone knows everyone. The lacrosse teams, soccer teams, wrestling team, basketball teams, and hockey team, you do so much together that it’s a very big social crowd.
Do athletes mostly hang out with other athletes?
To what extent do you think people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think definitely well. Drexel is very diverse outside of sports as well. It’s an extremely diverse place and I think it’s very good for everyone.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of Drexel by the time they graduate?
I think so. I think people kind of figure out soon if this isn’t what they want. It’s a pretty unique school. Three or four of my friends transferred out, so I think you figure out pretty soon if the city school is for you or not. [For the Class of 2021, about 89% of students returned the next year.]
How would you describe the student body?
Very diverse. [In the Class of 2022, about 50% of students are White, 22% are Asian, 10% are international students, and 6% are Hispanic.]
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Drexel before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew what my program was because it was very vague. I also wish I knew what kind of coach my coach was going to be. The coach who recruited me got fired, so my assistant coach got moved to head coach my freshman year. She was very strict. She had us go out as little as possible, and ran us to the ground for everything she could. No one really knew what kind of coach she was going to be, so I wish I knew what she would be like.
What is something a prospective student may have missed on a visit that is worth checking out?
I’d say Center City.
What is something that we haven’t touched on that a prospective athlete should know?
All the teams got along pretty well. We’re all really good friends.
Reasons to attend Drexel:
1) There’s always something to do.
2) Once you have the right friend group, they’ll be your best friends.
3) I thought the academics were really good, at least for Health Sciences.
Reasons to not attend Drexel:
1) If you’re looking for the football scene and day parties, Drexel doesn’t have those.
2) If you don’t find a close friend group, then that can be kind of hard. Being on a sports team, I found some friends out of sports, but my closest friends were on my team. If you don’t like the people on your team that kind of sucks.
3) It’s a different experience than what people think of when they think of college. It’s not the classic college experience.