Jaspreet Gill, '15, (top row, second from left) and his orientation group compete in Olympic-style games at Lafayette College, where he is majoring in biochemistry and participates in ROTC.

FRESHMAN FOCUS: Jaspreet Gill joins ROTC at Lafayette College

Find out what the members of the class of 2015 are up to in their first year of college. A college freshman is featured in the Freshman Focus every Friday. 

Jaspreet Gill, ‘15, attends Lafayette College, in Easton, Pennsylvania. He participates in Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), a college-based program for training commissioned officers for the U.S. military, and is majoring in biochemistry.

Q: What classes are you taking?

A: Calculus 2, biology, chemistry and military science (for ROTC).

My favorite class is probably chemistry. Our teacher is really fun. We do a lot of cool demonstrations in class, so it’s really in depth and we get to see what we’re learning instead of just learning the theory. It’s not really a note-taking class, and he really goes above and beyond what’s required.

My least favorite class is probably biology. I’ve never been good with memorization, and it’s just a lecture hall and rote memorization for the test. I don’t like lecture classes.

Q: What do you do in ROTC?

A: We do physical training every morning. Every Tuesday we have military science class, and every Thursday we have field lab, which is where we go to a mountain nearby and do specialty training.

Every other weekend we go out to our military base and have activities we can’t do in civilian areas, like firing range practice and convoy things, that sort of stuff.

Q: How’s your dorm?

A: I got incredibly lucky. Basically, there was a fraternity that got into trouble and got kicked off campus. I’m not sure why they were kicked off, but it was something serious. This year for freshman housing, they were running out of space, so they took the frat house and converted it into frosh dorms. So I actually have the nicest freshman dorm. Instead of doubles or triples, it’s actually suite- style housing.

Q: How’s the weather?

A: So far it’s really nice, like pleasant California winter, but it’s definitely going to get worse. But for now, it’s really nice.

Q: The food?

A: They’re really into healthy food here I’ve noticed, like it’s all natural and organic and stuff.

Q: Are you participating in any extracurricular activities besides ROTC?

A: We did have an intramural flag football tournament. It was okay. I’m not that into football.

Q: What’s Easton like?

A: (It’s) a really small town. It’s like a two-minute walk. The main street is really nice, but if you keep going, you get into the really sketchy part of town that nobody likes, so no one from the college really goes beyond the main street.

Q: How are you adjusting to the campus?

A: It’s a really small campus. I was a little confused about where to go during the first week, but after that you kind of get the feel of things.

Q: What has surprised you about Lafayette?

A: The most surprising thing is how nice everybody is. I know that sounds weird, but people here are really courteous and will go out of their way to help you.

It was just a strange concept to me, I suppose.

Q: What makes Lafayette special?

A: It reminds me a lot of Country Day because it’s really small and you really get to know your classmates. My biggest class is like 20 kids. There’s really good interaction between professors and students.

Q: Do you have any advice for the class of 2016?

A: Don’t be afraid to look for colleges that aren’t as famous. Don’t be afraid to apply to colleges you may not have heard of. No one’s heard of Lafayette on the West Coast, but it’s really good and I really like it. Don’t be afraid to explore your options.

—By Amelia Fineberg

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