Lewis & Clark offered the most balanced life out of the other schools I looked at.
Degree and Class Year
What three words would you use to describe L&C?
I would say that L&C is unique, passionate, and friendly. The students here are unapologetically themselves, and they embrace the unique interests and habits of their peers. They are open-minded and enjoy meeting new people and having new experiences. They are devoted and passionate when it comes to pursuing their interests. Whether this is in regard to sustainability or a sport, students put in the work and time.
What’s your favorite class? Why?
My favorite class at the moment is Molecular Biology taught by Assistant Professor Sharon Torigoe. This class has taught me more about the experimental process, and, while it’s very challenging, I can tell that I am learning a lot. Dr. Torigoe is super passionate about the subject and makes me excited to come to class and learn too.
What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?
Lewis & Clark stood out from the other options I was considering because of the variety of things I could DO here. This school had the most accessible study abroad programs, a variety of STEM majors, and I would get to play softball. I knew that if my interests changed, I would have plenty of ways to spend my time. I loved the hybrid nature of it—one exit away from a major city, but still feels like I’m living in the middle of the woods. Lewis & Clark offered the most balanced life out of the other schools I looked at.
What do you like or find most interesting about your major?
I love being a biochemistry and molecular biology major because I get to learn how the world works. I was always the kid asking her parents the annoying “why? why?” questions, and pursuing a degree that examines both biology and chemistry allows me to answer those questions. It’s a challenging degree, but I know that when I come into class, there’s a possibility for me to learn something that completely rearranges my worldview, and I love that.
Tell us about your support systems and social outlets on campus: people, activities, clubs, res halls, etc.
Being a varsity athlete has given me such a strong community to fall back on when I need it. The unique thing about playing a sport is that you surround yourself with different people that you may not get to know otherwise, and then you share so many experiences together. My teammates have seen me at my worst and have celebrated with me at my best. Also, the softball program celebrates each other outside of our sport. We go to each other’s thesis presentations or music performances. I know that I am always supported by my team in anything I do. One of the perks of Lewis & Clark is that it’s a smaller campus, meaning that you get to know the people you go to school with. When I go eat dinner, I always find people I know and enjoy talking to. I get to know my classmates, which makes it easy to have an academic support system. Finally, I also love my friends that I met in my residence hall my first year. It’s so nice to have a variety of people I know will support me and that I really enjoy being around.
If you have studied or will study overseas while at Lewis & Clark, how did you choose your program? What did your overseas study add to your L&C experience?
I’m going to study abroad in Berlin in fall 2023, and I am so excited to change up my habits and daily life. L&C makes it super easy to study abroad. You pay what you would be paying anyway at school, and then essentially just buy a plane ticket. The Berlin program is great because it allows me to take the next class in my major so that I don’t fall behind, which was one of my concerns because BCMB is such a structured major. This program is an opportunity for me to be able to study abroad and experience a new culture for a semester without having to worry about extra cost or falling off track as a science student.
What advice do you have for incoming students?
Choose the school that you think you will feel happiest at. When we pick schools, the decision has so much pressure behind it, including pressure from our parents, friends, high school, and peers, but really, you’re the one who will be attending the school. Examine your finances and decide if the cost is acceptable, and whether it will continue to feel acceptable in four years. Will you be able to allow yourself to spend money on life and experiences during school, or are finances going to be too tight to allow that? Yes, you go to college to get your degree and set yourself up for the rest of your life, but college is also a huge learning experience, where you will learn how to do life—socially, financially, academically, etc. Make sure that the school you choose will allow you to still have these important life experiences by picking the financial aid that feels best for you, and by finding a community you feel comfortable in. Do you like the surrounding area and the general community found therein? If you find a school with the right academics for you, a community you feel comfortable in, and a cost that doesn’t feel constricting, then that is the school for you. Make the choice for you, not anyone else.
Did you visit campus before deciding to come to L&C? How did your visit influence your decision to attend?
I visited L&C once before deciding to attend, and while I already had a good sense of the community because of reaching out to people who attended the school, seeing the area and campus confirmed my decision. Campus is beautiful, hidden within trees and surrounded with flowers and moss. I loved that I could go hike nearby Tryon Creek State Park in the morning, attend classes in the afternoon, and go into Portland for dinner. Campus feels secluded and hidden, but the city is so accessible that I knew I would never feel limited by the small campus.
What’s one of the best spots on campus?
On sunny days, whether it’s January or August, the lawn is covered with multi-colored blankets where students sunbathe and enjoy the weather. I love to grab my picnic blanket and a book and find a sunny spot. People will be playing frisbee or hacky sack, and you’ll hear music from different speakers floating through the air. The atmosphere is so fun and friendly that it’s impossible not to smile. On rainy days, which are more often, I grab a coffee at the Dovecote and sit in one of the gazebos near the reflecting pool. This spot is perfect to observe a misty morning, watch other students on their way to class, or laugh with friends under cover from the rain.
Why do you love playing softball at L&C? How do you balance athletics and academics?
I love playing softball because of the balance of friendship and competitiveness that I find there. Softball is a place for me to get away from the day-to-day stress of classes. My teammates are incredibly supportive, and have my back no matter what. The loving nature of the team makes it easy to devote time into practicing and playing—I want to work hard for them because I know they’re working hard for me. Sometimes it’s tough to balance athletics and academics because both are so time consuming. The easiest way to manage this is by prioritizing what really needs to get done. This way, my stress levels are much lower—I know that if I don’t get to something, it’s because it has a lower priority, and it’s okay if it doesn’t get done right away. One thing I like about being an athlete here is that we always say we’re “student-athletes” and stick to that. The student part comes first, which I value because of the value I put on my degree. My coaches and teachers are always available to help me prioritize school, and I never feel pressured to sacrifice my education for my sport, which is a very unique quality of L&C.