By Audrey Beach || Contributing Writer

First-Year Audrey Beach

Hello! My name is Audrey. I am from right here in Lancaster, PA. I am half South African on my mother’s side, and I spent most of my life growing up in Geneva, Switzerland. English is my native tongue, but I also speak French and can comprehend Afrikaans (Dutch/Flemish dialect spoken in South Africa). I’m a curious soul–I am always daydreaming, wondering, and constantly asking questions about the world around me. 

If you had told me just a year ago that I would be transferring to and attending F&M, I wouldn’t have believed you at first. F&M had always been a constant and familiar sight throughout my life; I vividly remember driving by the campus countless times, admiring its quaint architecture and seeing students walking its windy tree covered paths. The close-knit community of F&M always captivated me; it seemed to be a haven of knowledge and discovery. 

Back in March, when lockdown was going into full effect, I was home on medical leave from the college where I had completed my freshman year. During that long expanse of free time, I thought a lot about my future and what kind of college education would work for me. I definitely knew I wanted to transfer to another school, one that offered a close-knit community and more rigorous academics. As I looked into possibilities, immediately F&M my first choice. Its quaint campus, community of diverse students & faculty, and in-depth academics were exactly what I was searching for. And, as a plus, it was only 15 minutes away from home! The day I received my acceptance was one of the most joyous days of my life. I truly feel that everything has come full circle, that this was the place where I belong.

At F&M, I plan on double majoring in French and Art History. My hope is to go to graduate school and eventually become a museum curator specializing in 18th century French art & cultural history. Achieving this goal will be challenging, but I know that F&M’s support will help me get there. I’m so excited to join F&M’s fabulous French department and engage with its faculty and my fellow students. I also look forward to getting involved with the Philips Museum of Art at F&M and engaging in professional opportunities in the museum field with my fellow classmates.

I’m a huge bookworm—when I’m not studying, you can usually catch me in the middle of a good book. I also enjoy writing, embroidering, learning languages, and traveling. I’m a lover of music, whether it be singing in choir or listening to playlists on Spotify. I also love to play and cuddle with my two adorable cats, Hugo & Henri. I can’t wait to pursue these passions within F&M’s campus as well as the greater Lancaster City community, whether it be joining an a cappella group or being a part of F&M’s Knitting Club!

Though I will be entering this fall as a sophomore transfer student, I still can’t help but feel the giddy and anxious excitement of a first year. With the looming presence of Covid-19, it will definitely be a different experience, but one that I eagerly await. As I prepare for the road ahead, I can’t help but think about the meaning of the F&M mascot: Diplomat. A diplomat is, by definition, a dignitary representing a country abroad, but I think it is so much more than that. A diplomat is someone who seeks to understand the world in a broader context, who makes connections with others, and is a compassionate, curious, and critical thinker. I think it is this which makes F&M and its people so special–and I couldn’t be more proud to call it home!

First-year Audrey Beach is a contributing writer, her email is