Sydney Jackson, ‘14, is a freshman at Franklin and Marshall College, located in Lancaster, Penn.

Q: What are you studying?

A: I don’t have to declare a major until the second semester of my sophomore year, but right now I’m on the government track. My four classes are International Politics, American Government, Before The Law and I’m taking Latin for my language.

Q: What was your first impression?

A: I was kind of intimidated. We came in to move, and we opened our truck to find this whole swarm of football players. They grabbed all my stuff. It was intimidating being surrounded by all of these big people. We also went through the basement to get to my dorm. It’s definitely not somewhere you want to go at night. My dorm is so nice, though.

Q: How nice are the dorms?

A: We call them houses instead of dorms. The nicest house is called New College house, and they have granite countertops and lotion in the bathrooms. It’s crazy. But my house is the second nicest house. I’d definitely call ours homey. I’m really lucky to have a suite which includes a common room. No other freshman house gets that. The only complaint is that I wish the furniture were taller for me. I don’t mind calling it home at all.

Q: Any surprises?

A: Any stereotype you have about someone you see is wrong. Just because someone is a football player doesn’t mean that they don’t know X, Y or Z. This huge football player sat next to these international students, and he answered their question in Chinese. Everyone here is so different and unique in so many ways.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about F&M?

A: I love just about everything. I love the people, and I love my Before The Law and International Politics classes. The campus is so nice as well. The leaves are changing and it’s the perfect time of year. It’s beautiful.

Q: What are your favorite classes?

A:  My Before The Law class and International Politics class. (Before The Law) is the coolest thing I’ve ever taken in my life. We brief actual cases and our teacher is a lawyer. Thinking about and briefing the cases is so fun. And I strive to be my International Politics professor. She’s a hardcore girl that can do anything. I can’t even explain it. We were talking about relativism and constructivism. It’s so cool to be taking a class like this.

Q: Did Country Day prepare you?

A: I see AP Euro everywhere. Any time I read anything, I see stuff connecting with AP Euro. I really wish I had taken economics in high school. I was waitlisted in five classes of economics. (SCDS) did prepare me, but I feel like I’m getting a lot more prepared being here as well.

Q: Any extracurriculars?

A: I’m actually doing too much. I’m the yearbook editor-in-chief. A lot of people graduated, so I took the initiative. I loved doing yearbook in high school. I’m in Hillel, a Jewish group. I’m on debate, but I haven’t been going to practices lately. I’m also co-chair of Logistics for Relay for Life.  And I’m trying to get involved with something called F&M Unleashed, where you go and try to raise money for shelter dogs.

Q: How’s the grub?

A: There are some days that you don’t know what to call the food, so you just say, “Can I have that?” Every Friday, I go to Hillel, and we have shabbat. We get real food from there which is nice. The cafeteria food is definitely edible, though.

Q: Weather?

A: Right now, it’s raining, and there’s a possible chance of thunder. During orientation, the sky was really clear, and it was really nice. We were out at a park playing Frisbee and kickball, and suddenly we saw a tiny drop. No big deal. But suddenly, it was like the biggest flash flood I’d ever seen in my entire life. It was raining so hard that I couldn’t see in front of me. It was crazy, but it was so fun.

Q: Does this happen a lot?

A: I would definitely say that there are a lot of flash floods. You go outside and you see that the ground is soaking wet, but there aren’t any clouds outside.

Q: Who’s the typical F&M student?

A: I’d definitely say that the defining thing for F&M students is that no matter what time or day where you are, you will find people doing work. Everyone is doing their best and trying to succeed. You can’t ever leave a class without someone asking if there will be a quiz. No one is happy with a B. It’s kind of like Country Day.

Q: Any advice for the class of 2015?

A: Don’t just try to go to an Ivy League for the name of the place. Go to a school where you feel most at home and where you feel you can make it your own. There are a lot of people the Ivies are great for, but there are good schools that aren’t considered the top 10.

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