By Olivia Schmid | | Opinions Editor
Photo Courtesy of the Subject.
Shiloh Keeler, a bright and optimistic first-year student, plans to make the most of her academic year here at Franklin and Marshall College. Despite living in the Lancaster area and having roamed the city for over a decade and a half, being on campus has brought Keeler the opportunity to not only pursue her education on the collegiate level, but also experience Lancaster through a brand new lens.
Schmid: Where are you from?
Keeler: I am from Lititz, Pennsylvania, which is only about half hour away from F&M. Many may wonder why go to a college so close to home, but I really love Lancaster City. I’m very close with my parents, sisters, and two nephews (Ben and Jayson), so it’s nice that I can drive back home on occasion.
Schmid: What made you choose F&M? Was it an obvious choice for you?
Keeler: One of my best friends is a current sophomore here, so when I heard how much she loved it, I had to look more into it — and I’m really glad I did. I chose F&M primarily because of its diverse atmosphere and student body, as well as the rigorous academics. I also love the location and social climate of Lancaster. It was without a doubt my first choice.
Schmid: What are you passionate about? What are some of your hobbies?
Keeler: I am passionate about dance and music. I’ve danced since I was two years old, five of which I spent competing. In high school, I sang as well. I’m also very passionate about politics, which is why I currently plan to major in public policy.
Schmid: Are you interested in getting a student job on campus? Have you had a job at home that you’ve enjoyed?
Keeler: At home, I am a COVID-19 Screener at the Brethren Village Retirement Home. When I got to campus, I got a job as an assistant at the Sport Medicine Office.
Schmid: What clubs and organizations are you interested in joining or have already joined?
Keeler: Right now, I am a part of Dance Company, where I dance primarily contemporary and flamenco styles. I find voting really important, especially for our generation, so I am interested in volunteering with the F&M Voters.
Schmid: What classes are you taking this fall? What do you think about them so far?
Keeler: This fall, I am taking Intro to Sociology, Comparative Politics, Who Owns Culture, and Dance and World Cultures. Right now, my Sociology class piques my interest the most.
Schmid: Do you have any idea what you might want to major in?
Keeler: I want to have a career where I am able to advocate for those who cannot receive adequate health insurance. At the moment, I think a major in public policy would help me achieve this goal.
Schmid: What are you most looking forward to about starting college here at F&M?
Keeler: I am most looking forward to learning from experienced professors who want to share their knowledge with me and my peers. I also like how small F&M’s campus is because it gives each student the opportunity to make meaningful connections with each professor.
Schmid: What are you least looking forward to and are nervous about?
Keeler: I am most nervous about managing my time between friends and schoolwork. I’m so excited to meet new people as the fall semester continues, but I have to learn how to manage my time between my social life and my academic responsibilities.
Schmid: Where do you want to travel? Do you want to study abroad?
Keeler: I hope I get to travel more when I get older. Right now, I really want to travel to Eastern Europe to see and experience the culture of my ancestors. I am interested in studying abroad, although I don’t have anywhere specifically in mind at the moment.
Schmid: What are you interested in exploring in Lancaster?
Keeler: Even though Lancaster City isn’t brand new to me, I look forward to appreciating it more and experiencing it as a college student. I am interested in going to Central Market with my friends.
Schmid: In what ways do you hope to grow and change in college?
Keeler: I hope to become a more tolerant and educated person. I like all the opportunities college offers students to get acquainted with so many people of different backgrounds, so I’m really excited to.
Schmid: What’s it been like graduating high school and going into college during COVID-19?
Keeler: It has definitely been difficult but I really appreciate the way the experience has shaped my thinking and perspective. Things are not as important as they seem, and I quickly learned what matters most to me. It helped me stop focusing my energy on things that don’t serve me.
Schmid: What is something that most people might not know about you?
Keeler: Last year, I learned how to crochet, so now I actually design my own crochet tops!
It is only a matter of time before Shiloh Keeler breaks ground here at F&M!
Sophomore Olivia Schmid is the Opinions Editor. Her email is email@example.com.