Leslie Rieger, ‘13, is a freshman at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore. Rieger is undecided about her major but is leaning toward sociology.
Q: What classes are you taking? Which do you like best and which least?
A: Right now I’m taking Approaches to Religion, Intro to Mass Communication, Human Adapted Strategies(HAS)—which is an environmental/anthropology class—and Psychology 101.
My favorite class is from last semester, and it’s called The American Appearance. It’s one of the required English writing classes. We just talked about American history through literature, and it’s actually very interesting. I don’t really have a least favorite class, but I’ll tell you that HAS is the hardest. It requires a lot of reading and writing.
Q: How is the workload?
A: It’s not that bad. It’s a lot of of reading that you have to keep up with. For my classes at least, there are lots of essays and papers and reading. The professors would tell you, “You guys have a paper due,” and you have to keep on top of it or else you fall really behind.
Q: How’s your dorm? The food?
A: The dorm is really good. I live in one of those corner rooms, and my roommate and I have a really big room despite the dorm building being one of the smaller ones. But everyone in the dorms is close, and we are all really good friends.
Q: How’s the weather?
A: Rainy. It’s really a lot of rain. The interesting thing about Oregon is that you have to expect it to rain during some part in the day. It will drizzle every now and then. Couple days ago, the temperature was 85 degrees. It was hot so everyone was outside, and it’s funny to see everyone showing so much skin. But now it’s back to raining.
Q: Does the rainy weather get to you?
A: Well…it can be depressing sometimes. Bad weather can affect your mood. It’ll make you feel crappy but also makes you appreciate the very nice weather days.
Q: The food?
A: The food here is okay. Actually (this will sound kind of mean) it’s not great, but there are a lot of nice restaurants downtown. Because our school is in the Luana Valley, there are a lot of wineries here and, therefore, some really, really good foodie restaurants. It’s really nice to go down there on the weekends when you don’t want to eat the food at school.
Q: So what’s the campus like?
A: The campus is really green. Everything is green, and there are lots of trees. It’s in a really small town. It’s a little bit secluded, but it’s not that bad. The downtown is cool and a 10-minute walk away. The town of McMinnville is sort of like Ashland. When you walk there, it’s store after store and restaurant after restaurant. Everything is close by.
I’ve also gone to Portland, which is about an hour away, so the seclusion isn’t too bad. You can easily get off campus.
Q: Are you participating in any extracurricular activities?
A: Yeah. I’m part of SAGE, which stands for Student Advocate for Gender Equality. That has been a lot of fun to be a part of, and I met several amazing people through that club. I’m also part of a club called Greenfield, which is about how to live a sustainable life. That is really fun as well.
Q: How’s Greek life at Linfield?
A: I wouldn’t say it’s huge. We only have four sororities and four fraternities. I know a lot of people in the system, but it’s not like if you’re not in it, you’re not “part of the system.” Everyone is very welcoming and nice. I thought about joining one but decided against it because that’s just not who I am. However, I also realized that not joining is totally fine.
Q: What’s the most embarrassing freshman mistake you’ve made so far?
A: Ah, there are so many! First, always bring your swipe card, but I have a horrible habit of leaving it in the dorm, so I got locked out a couple times.
Not knowing how to get into buildings is embarrassing, too. On the first day of school, people say that you should know how to get to your classes and buildings. So on the first day, I knew where the buildings were, but I couldn’t find my classes! The building layout is weird—for example, the main floor is actually the second floor, and the first floor is underground. It was definitely embarrassing wandering around the building trying to find my classes.
Q: What has disappointed you about your school? Delighted you? Surprised you?
A: For disappointment, I would say that I didn’t realize how secluded and all the town was. There’s enough places in town to get by, like there’s a Walgreens and an Albertson’s. But it’s definitely very different from Sacramento, where the mall is five minutes away. It was a little bit of a letdown.
I was, however, surprised by the amount of clubs and things you can get involved in. I met a lot of people through joining clubs and attending sponsored events from the school.
Q: What’s something really cool that happened during the school year?
A: Our school has a big art department, and it built a structure—I don’t even how to describe it—and left it outside for a really long time. Then we had the Linfield Annual Burn, and they took the structure, went out to the backfield and burned it. People did skits, read poems, and some people dressed up for it. There were kids playing tribal drums in the background, and it was just a very cool experience.
Q: How are the sports at Linfield?
A: Sports are a big deal. Our biggest sport is football; we have a really, really good football team. The morning practice is from 5-8 a.m., and then evening practices resume after classes. Though sports are big, it’s not like you have to do sports here.
Q: Is there anything you should have known before you went off to college?
A: I would say I wish I didn’t overpack. I brought way too many winter clothes, and I found out later that you can always bring things later. It was really difficult bringing everything up and traveling up the stairs.
Q: Any advice for the class of ’15?
A: For the juniors, definitely start making a list of colleges. Just think about where you want to go; you don’t have to be dead set. But start a list.