For the Review
From my observations, college isn’t all that it’s made up to be.
A student spends time getting through the application process hoping
to come across just right to an unknown panel of evaluators. Once a
student receives notification of his or her acceptance or rejection, the reward is a large statement arriving at the home address with five digits rolling across the bottom line.
And that is just the beginning of bills, which wind up beneath coffee cups, a load of towels, the couch cushions or in a file folder labeled “TO BE PAID.” Before courses begin, one must learn to co-exist with a complete stranger, grow accustomed to cafeteria food and remember to never forget to wear flip-flops when using communal bathrooms.
Course after course is eventually checked off the list. Yes, even the classes that start at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday. And finally, after parents’ billfolds are worn and tired, the student approaches the stage to receive his or her diploma. And then what? Fortunately, this description is not what most students will take away from the college experience. As one Linfield freshman said, one of the things she will miss most is the late night visits to Shari’s.
“We did the whole 2 a.m. thing to Shari’s,” said freshman Megan Beebe, who took her friend there while she visited campus. “She was like, ‘I want to go to college!’”
Beebe, who plans to transfer to Portland State University in the fall, because Linfield is no longer a viable option financially, said she values the time she spent and the people she met at Linfield this year. She discovered her best friend across the hall, who also happens to be her Resident Adviser.
“It’s creepy how much we are alike,” Beebe said. Living in a residence hall is an experience that Beebe said everyone should have.
“In the dorm life you get the chance to meet people that you would normally never get to talk to,” Beebe said. “It opens your eyes to meet more people.”
One of the unique relationships a freshman experiences in college is living with a roommate. And in Beebe’s room in Hewitt Hall, that means close quarters.
Freshman Katherine Howard and Beebe share a room on the second floor of Hewitt’s. Each wall is covered with flowers and pictures of family and friends. Identical clothes organizers they purchased together when they met for the first time this past summer hang in their closet.
The two met for lunch and then went to do some room shopping. Both roommates agreed that living with someone they could get along with, even if they weren’t best friends, made things a lot easier.
For Howard, the first few weeks of school offered change, vulnerability and the opportunity to create stronger friendships than she ever had during high school.
As a volleyball player, Howard had to arrive early for tryouts. Howard arrived for her freshman year at Linfield greeted by a campus scattered with sports players, an empty room and a sigh of relief.
“The first week wasn’t so great because I was just waiting for things to start. But it wasn’t a bad start,” Howard said. “If I would have come with everyone else it probably would have been overwhelming.”
With the extra time, Howard had the opportunity to grow close to her volleyball teammates over dinners in Dillin Hall and could practice without the chaos of strangers everywhere.
Howard eventually faced a full campus, and despite the awkwardness of meeting new people, she said she made a lot of friends in the process. This unique experience made college distinctly different from her high school experience. “Knowing that people didn’t know anyone else meant that everyone was vulnerable,” Howard said.
Her motivation to get the most out of her experience and meet as many people as she could explains why Howard was successful in branching out during first few weeks.
“She has a positive outlook in all the things she is involved in,”
Howard’s friend, senior Brian Petermeyer said.
Howard and Beebe were both drawn to Linfield when they toured
the campus because they are both from smaller cities. The McMinnville and the Linfield communities are ideal environments, Howard and Beebe said, because they felt comfortable, excited and happy to begin college.
“I remember knowing that the community felt awesome,” Howard said. “People probably always say that people are always smiling on campus, but that was true and it was nice. I could see myself here.”
Howard threw herself into the Linfield experience when she joined Alpha Phi Sorority, went to Fellowship of Christian Athletes meetings, lead
YoungLife and started a physics club.
In only her second semester, she can tell that her friendships are much deeper than anything she experienced in high school.
“In high school, I wasn’t a loser, but I wasn’t as close to anyone as I am here already,” Howard said. “It’s been really awesome. I’ve made so many friends that I’m so close with.”
As Beebe looks forward to her experience at a large university in the city, what she said she most appreciates about Linfield is its academic offerings.
“I like having people who care about learning,” Beebe said. “People came here because of higher education.” Beebe has enjoyed everything about Linfield except one thing: the food.