A retrospective on Fresh Studs

Mac Watson

Freshman Studies is a class that almost every Lawrence student has endured since 1945, and, at first glance, it seems to be a small attempt to sample valuable literature and relearn writing techniques that everyone should have absorbed in high school. After closer examination and two terms of the class, I have found that the course can often provide much more.
The experience is valuable not because you are exposed to a survey of interesting topics or drilled in the basics of writing analytically, but because you can discuss topics with new peers and are exposed to a more liberal way of learning. Not everyone gets a captivating professor or an interesting class, but the methods and material are universal to the class, and hopefully to the university.
Mastering writing intensive classes and conversational argument is vital to most students’ years here, and Freshman Studies may review the basics, but it also puts all students on track to mature as thinkers.
Freshman Studies provides the opportunity to speak conversationally with people you may not otherwise meet. Not all Lawrentians recreate Plato’s conversations in The Republic over breakfast, but Freshman Studies does inject a dose of intellectual discussion into the community through common academic pursuit.
In a small collegiate environment, Freshman Studies represents everything Lawrence strives to be. Though campus is not always as tight-knit, accepting or engaging as a good Freshman Studies class, hopefully the liberal learning ethic instilled by the class seeps into everyone’s greater college experience.