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