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My Expectations when Coming to Lafayette College vs. Reality

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Lafayette chapter.

Sense of Community 

  • Expectation: Making the transition from high school to college is never easy. I never expected to make friends as quickly as I did. On move-in day, my anxiety was higher than it’s ever been. Looking at all the other girls on my floor moving in, I was nervous to talk to anyone and expected I would have to go get dinner by myself. Everyone always talks about how they made their closest friends in college and that it’s an amazing experience, however being a person who is shy and never been away from home, during a pandemic, I was not expecting to meet people I would immediately click with.

  • Reality: The students at Lafayette are incredibly welcoming. Everyone on move-in day was introducing themselves and getting to know each other. I felt a strong sense of community as soon as I stepped onto campus, and it was really reassuring to know that everyone was going through the same process and thinking the same as me. 


Campus Environment 

  • Expectation: I expected most people to spend their days in their rooms, or doing their homework in the libraries and study spaces. I expected that students wouldn’t utilize the outside facilities as much as they do. 

  • Reality: On the first nice day of spring, when the temperature hit above 60 degrees, everyone was out on the main quad, playing games, eating, or even doing zoom calls and homework. The atmosphere was fun and everyone was able to socialize and meet new people.  



  • Expectation: Coming to Lafayette I had no high expectations for dining hall food. I figured I would get sick of the food pretty early on in the semester, and there wouldn’t be much variety due to Covid and the grab-and-go system at most dining spots on campus.

  • Reality: Although it’s not like home-cooked meals, Lafayette Colleges dining options did not disappoint. Between Marquis, Farinon, Gilberts, and the other off-campus local businesses that accept Pard Dollars, there is an option for everyone. Whether it’s a classic dining hall meal, a smoothie from the eco cafe, or my personal favorite, the grilled cheese from Gilberts, I always find something to eat and enjoy. 


Camaraderie between Classes

  • Expectation: As a freshman, I was expecting more of a divide between grades. I assumed freshmen primarily socialized with other freshmen, and upperclassmen separated themselves from the underclassmen. Especially with Covid, I thought it would be difficult to connect with others and make friends due to a lot of events being canceled. 

  • Reality: To my surprise, there is a very strong camaraderie between the entire student body. The upperclassmen I have met are very eager to introduce themselves and welcome others into the Lafayette community. Yes, my closest friends are people in my class, however, I have formed some close relationships with older students as well. 


Relationship with Professors

  • Expectation: As a college student, especially during a primarily virtual semester, I was not expecting to form a strong connection with any of my professors. I assumed I would be too afraid to reach out or discuss certain topics with them and I would simply just be another number in their class. 

  • Reality: My assumption could not be any more wrong. Throughout this semester I have felt very comfortable reaching out to my professors regarding anything I need assistance with. The classes I’m in are quite small and all my teachers know me by name. This type of relationship makes me feel actively involved and like I’m getting the most I can out of the course, which is something I longed for academically.  

Erin Diggins

Lafayette '24

Hi! My name is Erin Diggins and I am a junior at Lafayette College majoring in psychology!
Layla Ennis

Lafayette '23

Junior at Lafayette College