If you’re a current student at Lafayette, an alum, or a prospective student, you will definitely benefit, or even remember some major hallmarks of Lafayette College. Keep reading for classic signs you go to Lafayette and what I feel to be the most significant points from my time here as a first year student. Go Pards!!
1. You can pronounce “Oechsle.”
OK, I know this word looks intimidating at first. I know looking down and seeing “Oechsle” written on my schedule as a first year, I ended up embarrassing myself each time I asked for directions to my Intro Psych class. So, how do you say this word exactly? Try it with me: Ox-slee. Now, you might find yourself (if you end up coming to Lafayette) hearing this word again, but not in reference to the building for your Psych or Neuro class. Don’t Panic. There’s a building that was just completed also named Oechsle, but for Global Education and Social Science classes. Confusing right? Well, you’ll find during your time here at Lafayette this stuff happens for more buildings than you think.
2. You know which “Kirby” someone’s referring to.
This goes along with my previous point, but it’s worth mentioning as it is highly unlikely that someone won’t mess up the building they have in mind in their first few days on campus.There’s a Kirby gymnasium where the fitness center is located, as well as a Kirby dorm. You probably won’t hear much about the latter in conversation too often, as it is an all boys dorm that houses mostly upperclassmen. There’s also two William’s Centers: the old Williams that is located near the old Oechsle (Psych/Neuro building) as well as the new Williams that is located further down the hill. ‘Down the hill’ as in down the many flights of stairs until you find yourself in Easton. It’s worth the walk though, as it’s a fairly new and modern building that houses many of the visual art classes.
3. When someone asks you where you go to school, you have to reference Lehigh.
I know my friends can attest to this, as we have all be in the situation when a not-so-close family relative asks you “where do you go to school again?” My first response is, “Easton, Pennsylvania. It’s only about an hour and a half ride from my home.” When they still don’t know, I just come out with, “It’s near Lehigh,” and call it a day. A school as small as Lafayette will not be the first school that comes to people’s minds unless they are aware of high ranking liberal arts schools in the northeast. Don’t worry if you feel like your school is not as notable as the larger state schools all your friends attend- the ones that are aware of Lafayette’s reputation (which are more than you think!) will surely be aware of the school.
4. At least one article of clothing in your closet is Vineyard Vines.
If I were to say that the majority of Lafayette’s class did not dress in the style commonly referred to as, “Preppy” I would be lying. You’ll find it hard to go one day without spotting a male wearing colored pants accompanied by a pair of Sperry’s. And even if you are not a fan of the preppy style to begin with (like me), it will rub off in one way or another when a new item at the school store, probably by Vineyard Vines, catches your eye. You can’t help but to give into the peer pressure when you see everyone donning that new shirt that you rationalize doesn’t resemble the typical Prep anyway.
5. Simon’s is the only place you tend to eat on the weekends if you live on that half of campus.
For those that live in Ruben, Conway, the Fisher’s, or Kamine, like me, will end up at Simon’s for their evening meal at least once a week. This dining spot offers make your own flats, hoagies, and salads, in addition to their classics on the menu. The Simontella is a favorite down there, consisting of Nutella spread on dough with your choice of marshmallows and sliced bananas. Simon’s is the hot spot on the weekends when Marquis is closed and no one can muster the energy to walk over to Upper for dinner.
6. You get a crepe from Marquis for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (sometimes even with!)
A perk about Marquis, one of the main dining halls on campus, is that it has a crepe station operating for each meal of the day. From sweet to savory crepes, you’ll be satisfied, either by themselves or enjoying them on top of your meal already.
7. The farmer’s market is a regular excursion with friends on the weekends.
One of the big things most people at the beginning of the year enjoy about Lafayette is the farmer’s market in downtown Easton. When the weather’s nice, people like taking a stroll around the main circle and seeing what the vendors have for display. There’s a crepe place (can you tell we really like crepes?), a smoothie place, and many more interesting stands worth exploring.
8. Downtown Easton is your favorite spot to get away from the chaos of college life.
In addition to the farmer’s market, there’s the Easton Public Market, an indoor shopping center that has a variety of delicious treats on display, as well as culinary events and classes. From fresh produce to a bakery and chocolatier, the Public Market is a favorite go to spot to immerse yourself in good food and entertainment.
9. You see friends from classes everywhere you go.
The familiar faces you see in your freshman year Gen Bio Lecture, you will most likely see again, either in your next class, or on your walk back to your dorm. In my experience, I’ve noticed that most science majors end up having the same familiar people in their classes because of the similarities in the course loads. You’ll always have a familiar face, either in a class, or somewhere around campus, and if that person shares similar interests with you, count on seeing them more often in your college career.
10. Your closest group of friends are the people on your floor.
The friends you make on the floor of your first year building will end up being your closest friends throughout your college experience. I can’t speak for everyone, but from my experience at Lafayette most of the people I tend to hang out with are friends I’ve made either on my floor or in my dorm. Close proximity and familiarity really do breed likeness then, right?
11. You’re doing work during “sylly” week, while your friends from home are going out at their schools.
It’s the first week of the semester and you’re getting accustomed to your class routine and your professors. Some of your friends from home have started their classes a couple weeks before you, and are celebrating at their designated schools, in what is known as “Syllabus Week.” Syllabus week exists at Lafayette, but not in the same degree, as let’s say, most state schools. Yes, we get a syllabus, but we also jump right into the course material. If you’re expecting a fun filled week with no work, you may want to think again. Although there isn’t much work at all, Syllabus week is not comparable to other schools’ that have larger enrollments and less student focused attention. Hate to break it to ya, but if you’re going to anticipate anything, have it be a quiz at the end of the week on the syllabus.
12. You’ll get in the habit of taking the elevator, even when your dorm only has three floors.
My freshman year dorm has three floors, but it’s also one of the newer dorms and has an elevator. After walking back and forth campus all day, sometimes the stairs don’t seem like the most desirable option, and you’ll end up being lazy and opting for the elevator instead. Don’t feel bad about it though, more people do it than you think.
13. You’ll recognize the tour guides giving tours across campus.
As I’ve said before, you will know most of the people that go to Lafayette because of its small enrollment. However, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Many of the tour guides will be recognizable faces you’ve seen before either in a class, at the library, or at the dining hall. Even your close friend could end up becoming a tour guide, in which you’ll always have that familiar face to shout you out in front of a group of prospective students and their parents. You’ll always have a feeling of being cared for while on campus, in some way, shape, or form.
14. You’ll most likely end up at Wawa after a night out.
So it’s 1 am and you and your friends decide to ditch a party because you’re tired and hungry. What sounds better in this time of need than a convenient store open 24/7 only a few blocks off campus?? That’s right, nothing. No wonder it is the place to be, even on Monday and Wednesday nights.
15. You have acronyms for most student roles on campus.
If you ever happen to hear a student or professor talking about a “WA,” “TA,” “TAA,” or “PLA,” it may sound like these people are talking in some secret language never heard before in your life. But really, these are just acronyms describing the teaching assistants at Lafayette, in a shorter and easier way for students to communicate. A “WA” is a writing associate that meets with students in classes that require some form of creative writing, and helps with editing and crafting your essay. Every freshman will get to have a WA in their First Year Seminar class. The other acronym, “TA” is mostly in reference to the science classes at the college that require a lab. The TA is the teacher’s assistant that helps run the lab, answer questions, and occasionally grade papers. The “TAA” is the assistant teaching assistant that has a lesser role than the TA, but is present for the lab and helps everything run smoothly. Finally, a “PLA” is a psychology lab assistant that functions similarly to a Biology TA, for example, and is present in the Psychology Lab section to help the professor throughout the lab.
16. You can’t resist Mojo on the weekends for breakfast and killer smoothies.
Mojo is the family owned and operated cafe located right outside of campus. Here you can pick from a wide variety of different smoothie options as well as breakfast sandwiches, grab and go, and even acai bowls! Plus, campus affiliated shops and cafes have a flex budget included on your semester flex cash. In other words, the college puts money on your account to use it for a variety of purchases during your time here, and it is reloaded each semester! Go treat yourself to a smoothie once in a while (or everyday)!
17. You end up at Baileys once a semester due to the newest health alert affecting all of campus.
A downside about a smaller school is that once someone gets infected with something, you are bound to get it. College is like this in general, but the risk factors are higher when it is a smaller population of people. Most of my friends have gotten sick both semesters and find themselves taking a trip to Bailey’s, the health center on campus. Some easy tricks to stay healthy throughout the semester including washing your hands, trying to keep your hands away from your face, eating healthy, and staying active.
18. You’re excited for the Lafayette vs. Lehigh game.
With 152 total games played against each other, this rivalry is one of the most played in the history of the nation and one of the more famous ones to date. You don’t want to miss a second of this game as the anticipation and excitement leading up to it is contagious. Friends, family, and alumni come from all over for the big game adding to the fun!
19. You make wonderful connections with the teachers in your classes, leaving you feeling recognized and important (yes, even in first semester freshman classes!).
Some of your classes might be lecture halls as an incoming freshman, but don’t let that discourage you from all of the opportunities you’ll have to connect with your professor and let them know who you are. Two of my classes were lecture style as a first semester freshman, with over 60 people in each class. Although that number has no comparison to an average lecture size at larger universities, Lafayette is known for its smaller class sizes and individualized attention. Although there were many students in these classes, I still felt engaged in the course, and I’m most certain my professors noticed I was. Coming to office hours, asking them questions, or even occasional emails expressing interest or concerns will definitely get your name and face out there, and they will most likely start to notice you more from thereon.
20. You meet amazing people from all over the world who are ready to take on what college has to offer!
I don’t know where I’d be without my friends I’ve made in my dorm, or the ones I’ve made along the way in my classes. They have become more than just acquaintances, but close friends that I share parts of my life with, and wouldn’t wish it to be any other way! We’re ready to face the challenges that college has to offer and have each other to lean on through it all.