When I think about my perception of college before my arrival to Ithaca, I honestly thought it was going to be something like “Zoey 101,” with bigger lecture halls and a multitude of mopeds. However, when I got here, I realized many of my college classes were of similar sizes to those I had in high school, some even smaller than that. I really hadn’t considered how beneficial it would be to go to a smaller school until I was sitting in Quantitative Chemistry. I remember thinking about how difficult some concepts like ICE tables and Gibbs free energy were to learn and how even more challenging it might be in a classroom of 200 students compared to 30. I never felt alone in my confusion because I was always in an environment where I could ask my professors anything without fear of judgment from my peers. The small class size was a positive attribute to being a chemistry major.
Chemistry can be a very intensive and rigorous major at times, but the style of Ithaca College and the professors and staff it attracts made it impactful and enjoyable. I have been fortunate enough to be in such a concentrated major that I have had experiences, academic opportunities and access to ample resources that I might not have had at a more populated school. One of my longest-lasting gifts from the college has been working in the Chemistry Prep Lab as a lab assistant. I have worked there since I was a freshman and never want to leave because of how much I adore my professors, advisers and work buddies.
Another notable instance in which I was offered an interesting academic opportunity was during my sophomore year where I and four other students were asked to be a part of a student hiring committee to interview the candidates on their research and teaching experience, and give feedback on a potential new professor. I had never even heard of students being a part of the hiring process at their own school, let alone conduct an interview and sit–in on a teacher interview presentation for my future professor.
Outside of my academic life, I spend my time dancing and choreographing for a dance company on campus called IC Unbound Dance Company. I generally dance hip-hop, but the intriguing aspect about Unbound is that there are dances of every style, so students can explore varying forms of dance and step outside of their comfort zones. I am very appreciative of the college for offering such an inclusive and multifaceted dance organization with creative and innovative students that make it one of my favorite activities that the college has to offer.