The Freshmen: Class of 2010

Emily Passey

They may have arrived here only a few days before their upperclassman peers, but the class of 2010 has already made Lawrence University home.
The freshmen arrived with boxes, bags and parents in tow Wednesday, Sept. 13. Welcome Week officially kicked off the next day, replete with the usual activities: a welcoming convocation issued by President Jill Beck, a class dinner and Playfair.
The assortment of concerts, shows, meetings and activities certainly kept the freshmen busy for their first few days as college students.
Gabriela Johnson from Little Chute, Wis. and Grace Christiansen from St. Paul, Minn. are freshmen roommates in Ormsby who shed some light on this year’s freshman mentality.
For Johnson, a possible biology or biomedical ethics major, Lawrence was her first and only choice. She also applied to Beloit but knew all along that she was going to Lawrence.
Lawrence was also Christiansen’s first choice, but she applied to a few other big universities including University of Chicago and University of Minnesota.
Johnson cites Lawrence’s liberal arts learning philosophy and general campus atmosphere as her two deciding factors. Christiansen, a prospective English and/or anthropology major, speaks of Lawrence’s philosophy of educating the whole person as being important to her in her decision, and remarks that she “visited and loved it” before applying.
As for Ormsby, Lawrence’s oldest residence hall, the roommates both say it was their first choice based on the hardwood floors and architecture and are happy to be living there.
“I love it,” Johnson says of the family-like feeling of the small Ormsby community. Christiansen shares many of Johnson’s sentiments, and the two gush over how well they and most of the other freshman roommate pairs on their floor are matched.
Johnson and Christiansen are excited to be the youngest kids on campus again. Johnson puts it aptly: “[As a freshman] you can mess up and no one’s going to care.” She says the prospect of four full years ahead is exciting.
Christiansen says it’s nice to be rid of the feeling of “senioritis” and thinks the best part of being a freshman is “getting to explore and find what works.”
And what of that pillar of a Lawrence education, Freshman Studies? Johnson thinks the reading list sounds broad and intriguing and she is ready to hear many different viewpoints. She looked forward to her first class on Monday, but remarked, “I’ve got to finish reading the book!”
Christiansen says that while the Welcome Week activities may be “a little campy,” she believes that they accomplish their goal of allowing freshman to mix, mingle and generally bond before the invasion of the upperclassmen.
Lawrence’s student body represents a mixing of cultures and Christiansen is finding it fun to hear all sorts of stories from her peers from all over the world. She finds the Welcome Week leaders to be engaging, saying, “The pink shirts and orange name tags do it all.”
Welcome Week leader Jessie Justmann, conspicuously dressed in hot pink, spoke about participation in welcome week activities.
“Everyone seems to be really friendly,” said the junior. She describes the freshman class as ready, willing and open, and seems enthused about their free and friendly mingling, even, she says, at the ever-awkward Playfair.
Nora Taylor, an RLA in Plantz, gathered the first impression that this year’s freshmen are a little more preppy and not quite as quirky as past freshmen; however, she notes that she has had no stupid questions yet and finds that all in all the freshmen have smarts and are “acclimating well.”
Shaunna Burnett, the RLA in 203 N. Union, has a wise philosophy to share with upperclassmen who are not fortunate enough to live in Hiett or Big Exec who may be finding themselves surrounded by hyper freshmen with too many questions. While it may seem like the wizened and dynamic upperclassmen are what give Lawrence its vitality, it is in fact the green yet thoroughly unstoppable freshmen who bring tons of energy to the campus. They “make Lawrence Lawrence.