Lafayette College student tells all: Schreiber alumnus Halli Berrebbi speaks on her college experience

Lafayette+College+is+located+in+Easton%2C+Pennsylvania%2C+about+halfway+between+Scranton+and+Philadelphia+and+is+a+private+liberal+arts+school.

lafayette.edu

Lafayette College is located in Easton, Pennsylvania, about halfway between Scranton and Philadelphia and is a private liberal arts school.

Sarah Gottesman, Contributing Writer

SG: What made you choose Lafayette College over the other colleges that you considered?

HB: I chose Lafayette because, being someone who isn’t sure of what they want to major in or what they want to do, the liberal arts education gives me a chance to explore. Also, once I do figure that out, it still gives me the chance to do things outside of my major. It stood out to me because it is also a Division 1 school, so I don’t get to miss out on the football games that some other smaller liberal arts schools miss out on, and it just felt like a really good fit for me.

SG: I know Lafayette is a small liberal arts college. What are the advantages and disadvantages of going to this type of school?

HB: It gives me a chance to explore and do all different types of things. I think being able to explore is a huge advantage and it helps to shape you into a more well-rounded person. Some disadvantages are that it is small and for that reason it does feel a little bit like high school, but in another sense that’s comforting because even if you don’t know every person specifically, it always feels like there are familiar faces.

SG: What was the transition from high school to college like?   Was it difficult to make new friends and be away from home?

HB: Personally, the transition from high school to college was much easier than I expected. I felt very welcomed when I first got here. I live in a co-ed dorm, however, it is single-gender by floor. My floor is the only floor of freshman, and since it is single-gender by floor, we are all girls, so a lot of my first friends (and most of my close friends) I made on my floor because we were all sort of stuck together in a dorm filled with upperclassmen. Living where I lived and the girls I lived with were definitely helpful in the transition, and in that sense, I got very lucky. It wasn’t difficult to make new friends because when you first get to college everyone is just trying to make friends. What was difficult was figuring out who, out of all the people you met, you could actually see yourself being friends with past the first couple of weeks, and figuring out who you belonged with. Being away from home was difficult at times but I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by great people and a great community that made my transition much easier.

SG: What is your workload like and how does it compare to your workload when you were at Schreiber?

HB: My workload is much larger than it was at Schreiber. It involves a lot more planning and time management because you can’t study for a test in one day like you can in Schreiber. Also, since there are fewer exams, they matter much more. In Schreiber, one test might not affect your grade so harshly. However, in college, if you only have two exams and one final, failing one of those exams could be very hard to come back from.

SG: What unique opportunities does your college have to offer?

HB: The school does a very good job of always making opportunities available. You can get involved with career services as a freshman. They are constantly emailing you about internship opportunities, lectures being given by guest speakers in all kinds of fields, seminars etc. They also have a very involved study abroad program. They don’t only offer semesters abroad but they offer individual three-week classes abroad during winter and summer interims that earn college credit for all years. I am taking a three-week African studies class in Senegal over the winter break and I could not be more excited! They also have volunteer trips, trips with clubs (like ski club for example), and so many other programs that you can get involved with outside of the school. The alumni program is also really strong considering the size of the school.

SG: What clubs, sports or other activities do you participate in at college?  I know you played volleyball in high school.  Have you continued playing at Lafayette?

HB: Yes, I am continuing to play club volleyball at Lafayette. The club team there is not only really good and fun, but I could not ask for a better group of girls and a better coach. They were so welcoming of me and all of the other freshman and supported us on and off the court. I work as a lifeguard at the pool for a few hours a week to make money. I am also currently temporarily replacing the Director of Fundraising in Lafayette’s Relay For Life, as she is going abroad next semester. I am very involved on campus.

SG: What are your classes like?  Are there a wide range of options when choosing classes?

HB: My classes are very similar to my classes in high school in terms of size. Some of them are definitely more lecture based, rather than discussion based, and some of them have the same dynamic as my classes in high school did. There are so many options in terms of choosing classes. Getting into classes as a freshman is much harder because we have last pick and the sophomores take a lot of the spots in classes we want to take. Professors will often let you into their classes if you are persistent, but it might not be at the time you want. It’s kind of annoying but that’s bound to happen and we get first choice next year so we can always take them then.

SG: Do you think you get more personal attention from professors given that you are at a small school?

HB: Definitely. Since most classes are similar to the size of a high school class it is really easy for your professor to know who you are and get to know you just like your high school teacher would.

SG: What type of Schreiber student would be a good candidate for Lafayette?

HB: Someone who has a lot of interests but doesn’t exactly know what they want to do and is open minded about exploring new things. Someone who wants a smaller school that still has that Division 1 school spirit. Someone who likes to go out and have fun on weekends but doesn’t feel like they have to all the time or feel like they have to go to an extreme. Someone who can get along with all different kinds of people.

SG: What advice do you have for high school students in the process of choosing a college?

HB: There are so many good schools out there and so many places that will give you the education you need, so if you are feeling stuck just think of it as choosing between a cookie and ice cream. You have two really good options, you just pick the one you’re more in the mood for. It sounds easier than it is, but just pick the one that feels the most right for you. Visit multiple times if that makes it easier for you to pick up the vibe the school has, because every school is different, and pick the one you vibe the best with.