Franklin & Marshall College
BackgroundInterview Date:August 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020
High School Experience: Private school in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of about 90 students. There was a culture of going to college
First Generation College Student: No
Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Athlete, and I’m a social member of a sorority, so I’m not a full member.
What is your weekly coursework like for your major?
Most of my classes are essay and class discussion based. It’s a good amount of work, I would say F&M is a pretty work heavy school. You have to do about four hours of homework at minimum a day.
Is there anything you feel the Sociology Department does especially well or poorly?
They’re really good at advising. They’re really good at finding what you’re good at and what you’re not so good at and they help you pick classes within your major and outside of your major that you’re interested in and will do well in.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think that it is competitive within different majors. I was a pre-med major when I first went and I think the science department is very competitive. I would say that it’s very productive, they have free tutoring for most subjects and people are there to help you a lot.
How accessible have your professors been?
Very accessible. They have a lot of office hours and it’s a pretty small campus so they’re always around.
What has been your favorite class in your major?
I really liked my Intro to Sociology class. I took it with my advisor and then declared after taking that class with her.
What has been your least favorite class in your major?
I had to take a Government class and I didn’t really like it that much. It was just very difficult.
Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
Yeah, I do think there are diverse schools of thought at F&M.
Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I was a pre-med major, then I changed to a Government major and then I finally picked Sociology. I decided by taking intro-level classes and more advanced classes.
How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
I had a hard time just because my team travels a lot because we play a lot of schools in the northeast. The school and the coaches are really good at helping you through that. Your coaches get weekly reports of your grades so if you’re failing anything or if your grades have dropped significantly in any subjects they’ll call you in and you’ll have a meeting with them. I think there’s a good support system to help you manage that.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Brooks House with one other girl. They interview you and then match you with a roommate. It was a pretty big, generic dorm.
Sophomore: I lived with the same girl and we moved to sophomore housing in the same kind of set up, just a double room.
Junior: I’m living in a loft with the same roommate and one other girl.
What was your favorite living situation?
Definitely my loft. I’ve already moved in and everything because it’s a 12-month lease.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
We have a really good public safety team. They’re really friendly with the students and if you see them when you’re out they don’t want to get you in trouble they’re just trying to make sure everyone’s safe. They always say hi to you and they have lunches with the leaders of Greek life to make sure everything’s safe and OK.
How was transitioning from Baltimore City to Lancaster, PA?
Lancaster is pretty small compared to Baltimore. You definitely don’t worry as much about safety as you would going out in Baltimore City.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Lancaster Brewing Company
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
There’s a lot of hiking around us and there’s a good amount of markets in Lancaster. We go shopping and walk around Lancaster. They’re building up Lancaster so there’s a lot more stuff than there used to be.
Pros and cons of being in Lancaster, PA?
Pros: (1) They’re developing Lancaster city which is nice.
(2) It’s pretty small, so on one side of the campus is the city of Lancaster and on the other side is Amish country.
Cons: It’s pretty remote and isolated from other parts. It’s like an hour drive from any big city, like Philadelphia.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you participate in at F&M?
There are only three bars that students go to, but there are a lot of Greek life parties and a lot of sports team mixers and stuff like that. It’s very centered around the campus and the groups within the campus.
What nights of the week do you like to go out?
When I’m not in season, we go out Thursday through Saturday night, but then when I am in season it’s different. You only get to go out maybe one night a week. There are lofts that different sports teams have, and they have parties there, or you go to frat houses.
Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
You get ready with your friends and then you all meet up in one room and [have a small party]. If I was with my team we’d mix with another team, like the football team, or another frat. Or, you just go to an open party with your friends.
What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
I think it has a pretty big impact just because it’s a relatively small school, so it really helps if you’re part of either Greek life or a sports team to have more friends and know where you’re going [at night].
I’ve heard that Greek life has been going through some changes this past year. Has that impacted your experience at all?
They brought in third-party security this last year and it was pretty unpleasant. The security people weren’t that friendly, but I’m pretty sure we’re getting a new president so I’m pretty sure that’s going to change. They would be outside of frat houses and they would ID you before you go in and you’d have to be on the list. Brothers found ways around it, so it didn’t end up working at all.
How happy are you with the nightlife at F&M? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy. I think because I’m involved with different groups of people it makes it pretty easy to go out and always know someone.
How did you meet your closest friends?
My closest friends were in my hall on my hall. You do a lot of stuff during orientation with the other kids on your hall and then we all became friends. I made a lot of friends through my team. You have a group of kids there that are set as your friends basically.
How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s pretty good. They definitely need to work on what they’re going to do for security at the frats and communicating between Greek life and the school. Other than that, it’s pretty good. Everyone’s very friendly there.
How would you describe the student body?
It’s very diverse. It’s much more diverse than I thought it would be. There are a lot of international students. I think F&M picks very well.
Do you think people are happy with their choice of F&M by the time they graduate? Do you think people leave loving F&M?
I think they do. It’s a very small school so I think when you graduate you’re sort of ready to be out of there, but then I think it prepares you really well for postgrad life.
Have you used the career center at all?
They have a really good office, it’s called OSPGD and they set up with internships and stuff like that. We have programs through my team where they’ll help you network. My whole team will go in and they’ll have a seminar on how to build a resume and stuff like that.
Have you learned any computer programs that will be helpful to you professionally?
In Biology, we had to use Excel.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Look into Lancaster because when you drive into the school you see a lot of farms and stuff, but if you go past the school a little bit and check out the city it’s a really cool place.
What is something a prospective student interested in Greek life should know that we haven’t touched on?
Go in open-minded because there are only about five sororities. Girls and sometimes guys go in with set ideas of where they want to end up, but I think you should be very open-minded to the process.
Reasons to attend F&M:
1) Your professors are very involved and there are always people there to help you.
2) It’s a beautiful campus.
3) Social life is pretty good.
4) It’s a really good community to be a part of.
Reasons to not attend F&M:
1) I don’t think it would be good for somebody who does not like small environments.
2) It’s not good for people who are not good at attending class. Professors know when you’re not there.
3) If you don’t want to see people you know all the time. Every single time you walk somewhere you’re probably going to see someone you know.