Franklin & Marshall College
BackgroundInterview Date:October 2018
Gender Identity: Female
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: K-12 Private School in Baltimore, MD with a graduating class of 84 and a strong culture of going to college.
First Generation Student: No
Major: Undeclared but leaning towards Business and Spanish
Minor: Undeclared but leaning towards Women and Gender Studies
Extracurricular Activities: Women’s Varsity Sport, Colleges Against Cancer, Greek Life
How has being an athlete impacted your experience?
It’s very social. We have practice every day, and when we’re in season we do a lot of traveling, so it takes up a lot of time. I think it’s worth it because it’s really fun.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your majors?
A lot of my homework is reading. For Spanish, sometimes we have to read and analyze different texts and answer questions about them. I’m also in a math class right now and the assignments are usually basic problem sets that prepare us for the next classes [in Business].
Is there anything that you feel your majors’ departments do especially well or especially poorly?
I’m only in the intro courses for my Business major right now, so I don’t know enough about the department to answer that yet. I will say there is a lack of fluency in my Spanish classes because everybody went to different schools and learned Spanish differently. Some people are really good at reading and writing but struggle with speaking, and it can affect the class discussion.
How accessible have your professors been?
They all have office hours, and when I’ve gone to office hours they’ve been very helpful. My Spanish professor always had office hours during my squash practice, so I always had to schedule a time outside of office hours to meet with her. She always worked with me to find a time that was good for both of us.
What has been your favorite class so far?
My favorite class was Introduction to Economic Principles. I liked the textbook for that class and I enjoyed doing the readings. The exams were all really straightforward and mainly essay questions, which was similar to my high school experience.
What has been your least favorite class so far?
My least favorite class was Intro to Sociology. I didn’t enjoy that class because of the professor. The class discussion was often just a yes or no question, and the class was at 8:30 in the morning which didn’t help.
How is managing both your sport and your coursework?
I don’t find it that difficult. In high school, I played sports all three seasons, so I’m used to having practice after class and then doing my work after. I think it honestly helps me with time management because I know I don’t have as much free time as other students.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in Brooks College House with one roommate. Those are the smallest dorms on campus but because of that everyone hung out in the common areas and it was a very social environment.
Sophomore: I live in The Loft with 2 other girls. We each have single rooms, and the apartment has a kitchen and washer and dryer.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I live off campus and have to walk 10 minutes to get to campus, and I feel safe enough that I don’t cross the street when I walk past random people. I’ve never been approached by anyone.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
The Fridge. It’s cheap food but it’s almost gourmet.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I don’t go off-campus that often, but since I only like about an hour and a half away from Lancaster, sometimes I’ll go home for a weekend, which is always a great opportunity to relax.
Pros and cons of being in Lancaster, PA?
1. Campus is in walking distance from the downtown Lancaster area, which has lots of restaurants and little cafes and live music events like First Friday.
2. There’s a lot located within a short drive of campus. There’s a big mall about a mile away right down the highway.
1. Even though freshmen aren’t allowed to have cars, there are not enough parking spaces on campus for the people who do have cars.
2. There are some issues with the housing situation. Some of the dorms are kind of gross, and last year F&M didn’t have enough housing for the Sophomores.
What kind of nightlife do you participate in at Franklin & Marshall?
There are two bars, so it’s not a bar school at all. A lot of the time we’ll go to a bar after Greek parties have died down. When there isn’t a big event happening on a weekend, we’ll go over to a frat house for a smaller party.
What have been some of your favorite times at Franklin & Marshall?
Some of my favorite nights are the ones where we don’t have a big mixer with a frat, and my pledge class and the class above me will go over to the frat where most of my close guy friends are. It’s much more chill because there aren’t as many people there and it’s not as hot temperature wise, but you’re still going out and hanging out with your friends.
What nights do you typically go out?
Thursday, Friday and Saturday. As a Freshman, usually just Friday and Saturday. Maybe the occasional Wednesday night.
How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change?
Overall, I’m happy. When I visit my friends at other schools that are more bar oriented I feel overwhelmed. I like that F&M isn’t like that and that when I go out I know the majority of people I see.
How did you meet your closest friends?
My best friend and I lived next to each other last year in our dorm. I met a lot of other friends last year in our Connection Course, which is like a freshman seminar with people in your college house. It helps you get to know the people that you’re living with. Joining a sorority helped me meet a lot of people who are some of my closest friends now.
How would you describe the social scene?
It’s pretty easy to manage work and being social. The parties aren’t amazing, so if you have a lot of work it’s pretty easy to prioritize.
How would you describe the student body?
It’s diverse in the sense that we have a lot of international students. [About 15% of students are international.]
To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
My team is very diverse. There are people on the team from a variety of different countries including Switzerland, India, and Egypt. But I don’t think many students are part of a diverse community like that; a lot of friend groups are made up of students that are all the same race.
Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
I haven’t used the alumni network at all yet, but I know people who have gotten jobs and internships through the alumni network. We also had a squash event where we got to talk to alumni about their careers after college and how they were successful.
Have you used the career office?
No, but each college house has its own advisor, to help you with your resume or find internships.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Franklin & Marshall before entering as a freshman?
I wish I had known how difficult it was to go out as a freshman. Until I met guys in my grade who were involved in frats it was hard to get onto the list for any parties. There’s also a dry period the first two weeks of freshman year, during which time we weren’t allowed to go to any parties.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
There is a security team at the registered frat parties, which is something I’ve never heard of happening at any other school. They don’t really do much, but they are there just in case anything bad happens. If you’re under 21, you will get a wristband, but it’s usually still possible to drink or play drinking games in the basement.
Reasons to attend Franklin & Marshall:
1. It’s great if you want a smaller school, where you know your professors and classmates and you can participate in class discussion. It’s also nice to go out and know who you’re partying with.
2. The campus is really nice and pretty. There are a few good dining options as well.
Reasons to not attend Franklin & Marshall:
1. The dining options don’t change very often.
2. The housing situation. Like I said earlier, some of the dorms are kind of gross, and last year F&M didn’t have enough housing for the Sophomores.