Three Students, Three Perspectives on Campus Life
COVID, as we all know, put a pause on many aspects of our lives. For me, included in that list is my college experience. Thankfully, we’re at a point where we’re able to be on campus, which is such a privilege. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here. Campus life allows me to meet new people and make friends. The location, which is new to me, lets me travel to new places. There’s never a dull moment here.
Attending Arcadia also helped me meet three students who I find interesting, for both their perspectives and their group involvement on campus: Sammy, a member of the basketball team and the Black Awareness Society; Anna, a residential assistant, orientation leader, and president of The Hidden Opponent chapter at Arcadia, and Ilija, a member of the Honors Program (involved with multiple committees!) and secretary of the Knitting and Crochet Club. I asked them to share some of their perceptions of campus life and their group activities.
Come here with an open mind, be transparent with learning new things, and get out of your shell because [Arcadia] is very welcoming.
What was your first impression of Arcadia, and how has it changed?
Sammy: My first impression of Arcadia was that it’s a nice campus with nice people. There’s always a lot of people outside—more than I’m used to. My impression hasn’t really changed, just broadened more since I’ve been meeting new people.
Anna: My first impression was how friendly and welcoming the people were. The community was so vibrant and engaging, and I was so excited to get involved on campus and meet new people.
Ilija: My first impression unfortunately was over Zoom, but moving into in-person learning, everything was so different. The classes became more involved and exciting, and club life came back to life.
Prior to joining your group, what were your expectations? Does the current reality match your expectations?
Sammy: I expected everyone to not like me since I was coming from a rival school, Albright. I didn’t expect people to speak with me or be cordial with me. Now that I’m here, my expectations were proven false.
Anna: When joining my leadership positions on campus I was hoping for people who were passionate and friendly. My expectations were met and then some. I couldn’t have asked for a better RA or orientation staff, and I am so thankful for the people that I have met throughout the process. They truly are some of the most hard-working, passionate, and supportive people I have ever met, and I couldn’t imagine working without them.
Ilija: I will not lie: Coming from the pandemic, the bar was quite literally the floor. I was expecting someone to pull a hail Mary to get club life going, and at first, it really felt like that was not going to be the case. The campus was so full of life, and everyone wanted to be in every club. Speaking on the Honors Program, there are a consistent few that show up to each meeting. In the Knitting and Crochet Club, we found a good hearty group of members who show up to each meeting.
How has your campus involvement impacted your perception of the school?
Sammy: It Improved my perception since I’m more involved with people in the school. Being involved makes it better in comparison to focusing solely on academics.
Anna: I think getting involved on campus is the best way to become more comfortable and familiar with Arcadia. Being involved has made my experience so much better and has introduced me to so many amazing people. So many opportunities open themselves up once you take the first step of becoming involved on campus
Ilija: College is expensive, and being involved in club activities, work-study, and taking x amount of classes feels like I am fighting to get my money’s worth. It definitely allows me to make a community on campus past classes. It just really makes a nice environment.
Adjusting to college is hard, but being involved makes it so much easier. Clubs and leadership positions on campus also give such great life experience for opportunities outside of Arcadia.
What advice would you give first-year and prospective students regarding your club and Arcadia in general?
Sammy: Come here with an open mind, be transparent with learning new things, and get out of your shell because the school is very welcoming.
Anna: Get as involved on campus as much as possible. Adjusting to college is hard, but being involved makes it so much easier. Clubs and leadership positions on campus also give such great life experience for opportunities outside of Arcadia. My leadership and communication skills have grown so much as a result of my involvement at Arcadia, and it has been such a valuable experience for me.
Ilija: I think first and foremost one should always remember that they are a person before they are a student, or a worker, or a club member. That cannot be stressed enough and is so detrimental to what makes one’s mental well being. It’s fun being part of organizations and being out there with friends, but it’s not the end of the world if you join something and cannot make every meeting. It’s life.