An Interview On
Haverford College

Background

Interview Date:February 2019

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: White
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2022
High School Experience: Private school in Richmond, VA with a graduating class of about 120 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Undeclared
Minor: N/A
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete and I play intramural basketball.

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
I’ve loved them both. I’ve made a lot of friends through those activities. Being a fall athlete, it was especially nice coming in and to have a group of people who had already been here and could show you around.

Academic Experience

What has been your favorite class so far?
My first-year writing seminar called Portraits of Disability and Difference. It looks at self-portraits and writing pieces by people who are disabled. It was really interesting because I hadn’t ever taken a class on or looked at writing by people who are disabled, so it was interesting to get a new perspective on that.

What has been your least favorite class so far?
My first-semester chemistry class was probably my least favorite. I went in thinking I would really enjoy chemistry, and it wasn’t exactly what I thought it was going to be. It was a lot of work and I didn’t grasp the topics as well as I thought I would.

Is there anything you feel Haverford has done especially well or poorly so far academically?
All the professors are so open to meeting with you and making appointments. There are office hours and peer tutors too, and especially this semester I’ve used those things which have been really beneficial to me. This semester I’ve started going to the Chemistry Questions Center, which is usually led by upperclassmen that have taken chemistry and go through the problems, homework, and any questions you may have. It’s multiple times a week, so it’s very helpful.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s collaborative. Everybody really supports each other. It’s very difficult work but it’s not competitive I think because of our honor code, grades are never really talked about. It’s more each person pushing themselves than comparing themselves to others.

How was transitioning academically as a freshman? Were there any resources that helped you adapt?
I think my transition was pretty smooth. My high school was a lot of work, especially my senior year of high school. Since my sport is a fall sport, the first-semester was busy but it also helped me keep to a very strict schedule I knew when I had to work so the adjustment wasn’t too difficult.

How was managing both your sport and your coursework?
At first, it was definitely an adjustment, but I think I learned the time management skills pretty quickly because you’re forced to with such a tight schedule.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Barclay Hall in a double.

How was transitioning from Richmond, VA to Haverford, PA?
I like Pennsylvania a lot. I think the location of the school is nice because I was looking for somewhere that was near a city but not necessarily in a city. It’s not right in Philadelphia, but close enough that you can get there very easily.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
It’s so safe. The school is so small that, even when you’re going out, you see people you know everywhere, which, for me, makes it feel a lot safer. I’m never worried about walking home in the dark or anything.

Pros and cons of being located in Haverford, PA:
Pros:
1) You’re really close to Philadelphia. I went to a hockey game the other day for fun, which I’ve never done before.
2) You can walk to a fair number of restaurants in Ardmore which is nice.
3) There’s a good sense of community here. You’ll see people walking on the trail who live in the neighborhood

Cons: I don’t have any.

Social Opportunities

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
I usually go out on Saturday night and a lot of Friday nights too when I’m not in season. There’s usually one big party hosted by a sports team on Saturday nights that I’ll go to with my friends that is really fun. Those are usually in the basements of apartments.

What is the impact of sports teams on nightlife?
A lot of the sports teams host the parties, but the parties, especially the parties on Saturday nights, are open to whoever wants to go. My group of friends is made up of half athletes and half non-athletes and we’ll all go out together to the same party. It’s really fun.

What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
I like to go see the acapella concerts. A few of my friends are in acapella groups. Since you do know a lot of people because the school is so small, it’s fun to support friends and see what’s going on. There’s a comedy group show tonight that I might go to. I also like to go into Philly and see shows and do stuff there.

How happy have you been with the weekend options at Haverford? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m very happy with it. I know for some people it isn’t’ necessarily what they’re looking for if they want lots of parties and that kind of thing. There usually is just a few parties a weekend, but for me, I really like it. I also like that on Saturday nights there is no exclusivity.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
A huge amount of my friends are people I met through one of my friends on my hall. We’ve introduced a lot of people to each other.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Haverford?
I like it a lot. You run into the same people all the time and because of that, you get to know people really well. Some people may not like that as much, but for me, that’s been really nice. It was really easy to adjust to, especially because my high school was smaller.

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think it depends but, for the most part, we do mix. My friend group is a great example of lots of different types of people and groups coming together. Some people would say people don’t mix as much, but in some cases, like my group of friends, we do. [About 43% of Haverford’s student body are people of color.]

How would you describe the student body?
There’s a really good sense of community. Especially with the honor code, you feel very comfortable with everybody. People leave their bags everywhere and there’s an expectation that nobody will take them. There are lots of different types of people here in terms of personality.

How do you like the size of Haverford in terms of undergraduate enrollment? How does it influence your social experience? [Haverford has about 1,353 students.]
I really like the size. I know some people look for a much larger school, but I think you get to know more people and more people better if you’re at a smaller school.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Haverford before entering as a freshman?
Given that we only have one dining hall, I like that you can just go in and most likely see people that you know. It’s a fun little thing that I’ve found is really nice.

What is something a prospective athlete should know that we haven’t touched on?
Your team really supports everything you do. I knew that to some extent, but now I’ve really seen it. You have a second family here that is so nice. Even if you have lots of friends outside of your team, your team will always be a group of people who you can feel comfortable with and will help you adjust. My team made my transition to Haverford so much easier.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
One space that I’ve utilized a lot is the CPGC Café. It’s so quiet and is such a nice place to work.

What is something a prospective student from the South may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
It’s colder. It’s not necessarily colder than I expected but it’s definitely colder.

Reasons to attend Haverford:
1) The size I have found is a really positive thing here.
2) It’s a very comfortable community to walk around at night and be at parties in. I’ve always felt really comfortable.
3) The academics are really strong and the professors are all really helpful.
4) Peer tutors and other academic resources are easy to find.

Reasons to not attend Haverford:
1) If you don’t like seeing people you know everywhere all the time.
2) The schoolwork can be extremely difficult. Some may be very interested in that and others may not.
3) Some also might not be satisfied with the weekend and nightlife. There are usually only big events on Saturdays and occasionally on Fridays. If you’re looking for more than that, you probably won’t be happy.

Notice: Haverford College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Haverford College.

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