First-Year Lily Vining, Ready to Leave Her Comfort Zone

By Isabel Paris || Managing Editor

Photo courtesy of the subject

Meet Lily! Lily is eager to step outside her hometown bubble and explore the intricacies of both F&M and Lancaster city at large. Her need for adventure and her curious nature makes her excited to join various clubs on campus while also bringing her school spirit in tow. She wishes to hopefully travel the world and learn not only about other cultures but also about herself. While her senior year of high school and fall of freshmen year was not what she expected, she is ready to move forward into her next four years as a Diplomat!

1. Where are you from? What was your high school like? What made you choose F&M?

I am from Wallingford, Connecticut, and recently graduated from one of two public high schools in town. I chose F&M for a multitude of reasons. I loved the feeling of a small, liberal arts school in an eccentric city like Lancaster. I also fell in love with the campus, which reminded me of the grounds of a prep school near my house that I often wandered. F&M felt like home, and everyone I met felt like my new extended family.

2. What clubs and organizations are you interested in joining?

I am interested in joining The College Reporter staff (of course), as well as the Writer’s House. I would also love to get a job in Admissions and aspire to work as a tour guide so that I can play a part in other students’ decisions to come to F&M!

3. What are you passionate about? What do you geek out about?

I am deeply passionate about volunteering, fitness, and literature. I geek out over a good novel or podcast. Some would say that I am perhaps *too* passionate about using correct grammar, but I wear this trait with pride!

4. What are you looking forward to most about starting college in a new place? What are you least looking forward to/ nervous about? 

I am looking forward to starting school in a new place because I get to start fresh by meeting new people from across the country and globe. I am more than ready to venture out from the bubble of my hometown and experience life in college. While I am eager to meet new people and begin classes, I am nervous about interacting with others under COVID regulations. I worry that others will not know that I am very welcoming and friendly, since my smile is covered by a mask!

5. What are you looking forward to most about starting college in a new place? What are you least looking forward to/ nervous about? 

I hope to find a deep sense of community and engagement on campus. School spirit and civic engagement were fundamental characteristics of my high school culture, so I look forward to continuing this at F&M. Though we cannot attend sporting events this fall, I am still ready to display my Diplomat Pride!

6. Where do you want to travel? Do you want to study abroad? 

I have always dreamed of traveling to Scandinavia and other parts of Northern Europe. I am extremely interested in learning about the culture, as well as seeing the Northern Lights in person. I would be open to studying abroad if COVID does not interrupt this in upcoming years.

7. What are you interested in exploring in Lancaster? 

I cannot wait to explore the Central Market in downtown Lancaster. I also am interested in checking out the different art galleries and ethnic cuisine in town. I am always up for an adventure and look forward to discovering the ins and outs of Lancaster during the next four years.

8. In what ways do you want to grow/change in college? 

I want to grow and change in college not just as an academic, but as a person. I wish to develop skills that will benefit me in the workforce, the community, and in relationships. I want to grow a deeper sense of civic responsibility and contribute to the college community, city of Lancaster, and country.

9. What’s it been like graduating high school and going into college during COVID-19 How do they feel about the possibility of spring semester being online for freshmen? 

Graduating high school and beginning college during COVID has been challenging, to say the least. I have had many family members and friends express their sympathy for my situation over the past several months, but I am working on finding a silver lining to the event. I have missed out on many things including my senior prom, many other senior festivities, and a regular start to my freshman year of college; yet I have gained so much self-awareness, empathy, and patience. I feel that my experiences with virtual learning taught me how to manage my time effectively and advocate for myself, which will come in handy with hybrid-style classes this semester. I also learned how to be open to change, which allows me to stay optimistic about fall and spring semester. So much can occur in six months, so we must live for today and enjoy the present moment!

We cannot wait to see what Lily will accomplish at Franklin and Marshall!

Senior Isabel Paris is the Managing Editor. Her email is iparis@fandm.edu.

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