An Interview On
Rhodes College

Background

Interview Date:January 2019

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: White
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: A public high school in Denver, CO with a graduating class of about 500 students.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Neuroscience with a focus on the pre-med track
Minors: Religious Studies and Chemistry
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a varsity athlete, I do research, and I’m part of the Health Professions Advising Group. 

Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience? In what ways?
Being a varsity athlete has had the biggest impact. Coming into college, it gave me a set group of friends and a group I could go and talk to about issues I was having. It also gives an outlet to get away from school and do something physical to relieve stress. It takes my mind off of classwork and anything else that’s going on.

Academic Experience

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
There is a lot of reading and outside work that goes into knowing what I need for class. Professors are really big on knowing the why of things. For example, not just knowing that an electron is part of an atom, but knowing what it does and why it does those things. Knowing that requires studying and understanding.

Is there anything you feel the Neuroscience department or business school do especially well or poorly?
They’re good at helping the students understand the material long term. In the way they teach and the way they expect you to understand the material, you learn it better than you would if you just skimmed the surface. It’s a fairly new program so they’re changing it and there are a lot of moving parts because it’s an interdisciplinary major. There are certain classes that I can’t take next semester because the professor is not here, so they’re still getting things like that smoothed out because it’s fairly new.

How would you describe the learning environment? Is it particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s definitely collaborative. A lot of us like to study in groups and try to help each other understand things that we maybe don’t get. A lot of people seek group learning. If there is any competitiveness, it’s not competitiveness to beat out another person, it’s more about competitiveness with ourselves and doing the best we can do on the test.

How accessible are your professors?
I haven’t had any issues with that, I think they’re all pretty accessible. Even though it’s interdisciplinary, there are still a lot of advisors who are very dedicated to it. I think a key part of what makes Rhodes good is the professors are very accessible.

Why did you pick your majors? Are you happy with your choices?
Yes, I’m happy with the choice. The interdisciplinary piece of it is what first caught my eye. I’ve always known that I want to go pre-med, so it brought in a lot of different parts that would help me get to that goal. This way I could study all of the things I’m very interested in through one major rather than focusing on one of them.

How is managing both your sport and your coursework?
It’s good. It’s something I’ve done my entire life. There is definitely an adjustment period coming to college because college athletics are different. At times it can feel overwhelming, but, for the most part, the professors are willing to work with you. The coaches are also willing to work with you. I’ve never had a situation where I had to choose my sport over my schoolwork.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived during college?
Freshman: Williford Hall with one roommate
Sophomore: Stewart Hall with one roommate

What was your favorite living situation?
I’ve liked both of them. Stewart is a new dorm and the rooms are bigger, so that would probably be my favorite living situation.

How was transitioning from Denver to Memphis, TN?
It was different. I came from a place where it’s really cold and Memphis is not, so that was different but not necessarily bad. There’s also a lot of humidity here. Going from living outside of the city to inside the city was also a big change, but that is one that I liked. Everything is very close and convenient to get to. You never have to go very far to get to anything.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
For the most part, it’s fairly high. There are gates around campus with a guard and you have to fob into buildings. It’s pretty much closed off to the outside world.

What are the pros and cons of being located in Memphis, TN?
Pros:
1) Being in the city and having access to a lot of different things.

Cons:
1) We’re on the edge of being in a good side of town and a bad side of town. That’s something you get with a city where you know the places to avoid.

Social Opportunities

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Rhodes?
There is also something to do, there are football games, basketball games, trivia nights, and karaoke nights. Greek life is fairly big on campus but that is more laid back, you don’t have to be in a Greek organization to go and you’re not pressured to drink if you don’t want to. It’s a much more relaxed scene than a lot of other schools had. [About 52% of students belong to social fraternities or sororities.]

What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
On campus there are trivia nights and game nights. Otherwise, there are movie theaters and lots of restaurants you can visit.

How happy were you with the nightlife at Rhodes? Is there anything you would change?
Yes, I enjoy it. If I were to change something, I think there should be a bigger outlet for people to do stuff on campus. We have the Lynx Lair, which is supposed to be a hangout space for students, but there are very few things to do in there, so I think they should expand what they have in there.

Campus Culture

How did you meet your closest friends?
A lot of them I met through classes, living in the dorm, or work-study. I also met a lot of people in my [Peer Assistant] (PA) Group at Welcome Week. During Welcome Week you get to know Memphis and the class. It’s a great time for freshmen to get to know other freshmen and get settled before everything starts.

How would you describe the overall social scene at Rhodes?
It’s fairly social. There is always something going on that people can go to, but it’s not a big party school and it’s not a very, very conservative party scene either.

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I don’t think there’s any discrimination about people mixing. It’s a hot topic on campus and is on the forefront of people’s minds. There’s no hostility towards people of different races and sexual orientations, and there is room for them to mix through extracurriculars and classes.

Do you ever feel that you are more so a resident of Memphis than a student at Rhodes?
I would say I’m both. I’m fairly involved in the community doing outreach and volunteering. I’m also a resident of Rhodes because I spend the majority of my time on campus and live on campus.

How do you like the size of Rhodes? How has it influenced your social experience? [Rhodes has about 2,000 students.]
I love the size of our school. I think it offers a lot of different things. I can walk around campus and see a lot of people I know, but also see people I don’t know. it’s not such a small pool that I know everybody, but it’s small enough that I still know a lot of people. The size is also helpful in class sizes. Your classes are smaller, so your professors know you are willing to work with you.

Do people generally seem happy with their college choice of Rhodes by their senior year? Do you think people leave loving Rhodes?
I think so. Overall, most people really like it. I know a handful of people that have transferred, but, for the most part, everyone that I talk to loves it and is happy with their choice.

Careers

Has the alumni network helped you find internships or jobs?
Being pre-med, it’s a little bit different. I haven’t been in great contact with them. It’s certainly there and can be used as a tool. As I get older and closer to applying to medical school, I will use it more.

What have you used the career office for? How helpful have they been?
I’ve not been to the career office for one on one advising, but I’ve been to some of the group events they hose. Those are really helpful. Again, I’m on a different path because I’m going to medical school, so my experience will be different than others.

Have you learned any computer programs or computer languages that have been or will be especially helpful professionally?
I use Excel a fair bit in the research that I do. I’ve gotten to know the ins and outs of Excel through research and the lab classes that I do with my science classes.

Financial Aid

Have you used financial aid? If so, accommodating was the office to your needs? Were they responsive to your questions?
Yes, I’m on financial aid. I think Rhodes is better about financial aid than other schools. When my mom lost her job last year they were more accommodating and gave us more money to supplement the [loss in family income]. I think they do the best they can.

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Rhodes before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew what I was going to do on my own in terms of advising and other things like that.

What is something a prospective athlete should know that we haven’t touched on?
Professors are very willing to work with college athletes here when they miss class and when they have things for their sport. Generally, they never hold it against you when you have to extend deadlines on assignments and projects because of your sport.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
It’s a very beautiful campus. You can look at pictures of it, but you don’t get the full breadth of it unless you come and visit. You also don’t’ get the sense of community here if you don’t visit when students are here. I think visiting is really important and helpful getting a feel for Rhodes.

Reasons to attend Rhodes:
1) The size of the student body because you can be in smaller classes and get more one on one time with your professors.
2) You have opportunities to do research and get hands-on experience doing the things you may want to do in the future. [See research opportunities here.]
3) The location. Memphis is a big city and there are so many things that you can do and ways for you to get involved in the community.

Reasons to not attend Rhodes:
1) The administration can be frustrating because they make changes without consulting students and seeing how that will affect their lives. [Editor’s Note: We could not find any relevant articles to support this claim.]
2) The location is also a bad thing because there is more crime around you. [Although Memphis is one of the most dangerous cities in America, the Hein Park and Rhodes View neighborhoods surrounding Rhodes’ campus are low-crime neighborhoods.]

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

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