First-Year Olivia Schmid, Close to Home but Eager to be Immersed

By Isabel Paris || Managing Editor

Photo courtesy of the subject

Meet Olivia! While living near to F&M, her close proximity never swayed her from looking at everything that Franklin and Marshall have to offer. As an incredibly active person in extra-curricular in high school, she is prepared to jump into the various clubs and organizations on campus. Her bright positive attitude throughout the pandemic shows her eagerness to continue furthering her education while also learning more about herself and what she hopes to accomplish in the future. Her thoughts and feelings regarding both her high school experiences, her passions, and her expectations for F&M show her readiness for college!

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

I am from Ephrata, PA, so I grew up maybe only half an hour from campus! I went to Ephrata Senior High and overall had a great high school experience- I was involved with a lot of extra-curricular and served as vice president of my class!

F&M was the last school I visited when looking at colleges.  I visited all the big schools in the state (Penn State, Bucknell, West Chester, to name a few) and it wasn’t until I visited F&M that I really felt like it was the place for me.  Since it’s so close to home, I feel like it’s a school that often gets overlooked by students from my area; however, there’s a lot about F&M that really drew me in. I love how we get the opportunity to actually know our professor one-on-one, instead of being in large lecture halls all the time. I feel like I will gain very personal college experience and I will have access to priceless opportunities through F&M. Plus, you can’t beat Lancaster City!

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

Music is one of my passions, so I would love to be involved in the choir and maybe even the orchestra.  I’d also be interested in getting involved in Diplomatic Congress since I was involved in student government in high school.  InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is something I am also looking at as well.

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

I’ve grown to be really passionate about civil rights, as well as feminism.  I’m a firm believer that people should be treated equally, no matter race or gender.  In high school I’ve had the chance to research wage discrimination (both between race and between gender) that really opened my eyes to all the discrimination and bias that can- and does- happen in the workplace, and in life in general.

I definitely geek out about coffee.  In the last 3 years, I’ve worked as a barista, so I’ve had the chance to learn and understand the science behind coffee and creating different drinks.  My current job back at home is at Stonehouse Café, which is only about 25 minutes from campus!

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 really looking forward to having my own space away from home to grow into my own person and to be more independent.  I’m also excited to meet new people and expand my knowledge of the world in new ways!

Honestly, I’m probably most nervous about finding my way around campus, which I know will come with time!

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

If I am able, I plan on studying abroad sometime during my career at F&M, and I would love to travel back to Europe.  During my junior year, I had the opportunity to travel to London for a week in March, and I loved it!  The culture is something I am very drawn to, and it would be a dream to either go back to London or visit France!

6. What are you interested in exploring in Lancaster? 

I LOVE Mean Cup, so I expect to be there quite a bit.  I’m mainly excited to take new friends into the city and make new memories in a place I’ve known for the majority of my life. Perhaps seeing shows at the Fulton Theatre and/or trying new cafes, too!

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

In college, I hope to learn and work towards a business degree of some kind, and I wish to make the most of my college experience (no matter how different that will be this year).  If it’s anything I regret in high school, it’s the fact that I didn’t take a whole lot of risk.  Now that I am in college, I hope that I can push myself out of my comfort zone more, because that’s when life gets interesting, and I think it will help me grow and become a more well-rounded individual.

8. 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? 

As I’m sure most students can relate to, things definitely didn’t play out the way I had always envisioned them to play out in my head all my life.  That being said, it was amazing to see how my high school community found different ways of honoring my class.  We had a drive-thru graduation ceremony, and I’m the only one in my family who can say they graduated in shorts and a t-shirt in their dad’s Honda Pilot!  It was definitely disheartening to miss out on senior prom, our big senior class dinner cruise, and normal graduation, but I really grew through this experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I’m honestly just grateful that I’m able to be on campus for the first semester! It definitely sucks to hear of the possibility of spring semester being online for the freshmen class, but at this point, I will take what I can get!

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

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

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