[Fresh] Katie

John Immerwahr (john.immerwahr@villanova.edu)
Fri, 02 Feb 2001 13:49:21 -0500

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Interview with Katie

Several of our subscribers have suggested that it might be interesting
to have an interview with a member of the class of 2004, so we
interviewed with Katie, a first year student who lives in St. Mary's
Hall. Obviously there is no "typical" Villanova student, but we enjoyed
talking to Katie and we thought our subscribers might be interested in
her thoughts and experiences.

Fresh@News: Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you come to
Villanova?

Katie: I'm from Connecticut. I didn't go on the world wide tour of every
college on the east coast. I was interested in Villanova mostly because
I know someone who was a junior here. She was so happy with Villanova
that I decided to come. We visited on Labor Day weekend. The campus
was beautiful, everyone seemed so friendly, and it felt right to me. I
could picture myself being here. Another thing was the distance from my
family. I wanted to be close to home. My brother goes to Georgetown
and even that seems too far away. I have to admit that I was anxious
about going to college, and being away from home, and all of that. I
don't really travel that much, and I have lived in the same place all of
my life. I wanted to leave home, but also I am sort of a homebody and
the idea of living somewhere else seemed weird to me.

F@N: So what were your first impressions when you actually arrived?

Katie: I came to New Student retreat over the summer, and I loved it.
I met a lot of really great people, and many of the counselors told
stories about their own adjustment. You realize that there are a lot of
people out there who are nervous about going to college, and it is good
to hear their stories. My counselor was an amazing girl. I'm not
Catholic myself, so I wasn't as interested in the religious aspect of
the retreat, but it really helped me get used to the idea of going away
to college. New Student Orientation was good too. I liked learning about
all the things that are available at Villanova, but I haven't really
kept in touch with too many of the students in my group.

F@N: Where do you live now?

Katie: I'm in a program called the Villanova Experience that is housed
in St. Mary's. What I heard about it was that it was a program that
helps you make friendships with people you live with. Everyone takes a
Core Humanities Seminar at Villanova, but in the Villanova Experience
all the kids in your Core Humanities class live with you in your dorm.
Also the group meets for a "fourth hour," an extra session once a week
to vent and talk about issues, and to get help from the people who
facilitate the fourth hour meeting. I really liked the fourth hour, and
it has worked out well. When I came to visit I had seen the rooming
set-up in St. Mary's where the Villanova Experience is located. The way
it works is that a student and her roommate get two rooms, one they can
use for a bedroom and another to use as a study. I was intrigued with
this. I also liked the idea that we had our own gym and workout room,
and I really liked the fourth hour. I have some concerns about the
seclusion of the dorm. We are pretty far away from South Campus where
many of the other freshmen live. I did really get to know the people
in St. Mary's, but from first semester to second it is all of the same
faces.

F@N: What about your classes?

Katie: I think my favorite class was Sociology. It is something about
real life, and we talked a lot about issues such as family, and
interactions between different people. The Core Humanities class --
Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Thought -- was interesting too. My
class was a great group of kids and we always had great discussions.
One of the things that interested me about this particular class was
that we read a lot of material that I was not familiar with. For
example, the Bible was a required text. What I liked about it was that
we approached the Bible as literature with characters rather than
strictly from a religious standpoint. This was a perspective that I
never had before and I found that very intriguing. We also read about
ancient philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle, which gave me new
insight concerning the ancient world and also tied in with my philosophy
class. When several of your courses correlate you can begin to see the
bigger picture of what learning is all about and you feel like you are
getting more out of your classes

This semester I like my English class (the Literary Experience) a lot.
The teacher is great. When she walks in the room, the whole class
lights up. One of her main goals is to get us to write better, to use
stronger and clearer language. We do a lot of peer editing, where we
help each other write better. Usually if I have a paper due, I take it
to the writing center. Sometimes they are helpful, and sometimes less
so, but I am always interested in what they have to say.

F@N: What about activities outside of class?

Katie: I have been participating with the dance ensemble, and I also
worked with Special Olympics. I really enjoyed watching the athletes and
talking to them and getting to know them. Before Christmas break, I
went for the first time to St. Barnabas, which is a shelter for women
and children in Philadelphia. I really liked it and I want to go back
and work there more. The week I went was when they were helping the
kids celebrate Christmas. I really enjoy kids and I want to go back on
a weekly basis.

F@N: Have you thought at all about majors, or even careers?

Katie: Since coming to Villanova, I've really thought that what I want
to do is to be a teacher. At home I have had a lot of contact with the
school kids, and helped supervise at recess. I talked to the adviser
here about doing the joint Rosemont-Villanova program for Elementary
Education. In addition to my education major, I hear that I'll also
need a major in a subject here at Villanova. I think that might be
psychology, which I haven't taken yet but I have always been interested
in.

F@N: What was it like to go home for Christmas break? Was it difficult
at all being back in your parents' home after living at Villanova?

Katie: I am always excited to go home. My parents are pretty
considerate of what I want to do? If I want to stay out late, we talk
about it. Once you go to college your high school curfew is not a
problem.

F@N: What advice do you have for parents of freshman?

Katie: Parents can relax a bit. Usually Villanova can take care of most
of the problems that come up. I call my parents all of the time, but
when I have a problem I don't call them about it, unless it is something
personal. The parents don't need to be worried about how the kids are
doing. But I do love to get mail and packages. The mom of one of my
friends sent her and her roommate little packages for the 12 days of
Christmas. That is the kind of thing I still love. I would also say to
encourage your kids to get involved in things is really good. There are
a ton of things you can do, so don't waste all the opportunities.

--
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