The following is North alumna Caroline Palmer’s response to our questions about her college decision process, the student life and culture at Lehigh University, and more.
Palmer graduated North in 2019.
Of all the schools I’ve visited, Lehigh was the one place at which I could truly see myself. I had been told to sit on a park bench and imagine myself as a student at said school, and when I did that, I knew that Lehigh had the perfect environment for me.
It is a challenging and reputable institution, but also one that’s close to home, which fits my needs well. I really enjoyed the campus and the traditions of the school while on my tours. I wanted to go with that gut feeling that I had, so even though it was a challenge choosing my ultimate school, I trusted my initial reaction to being on campus.
In all honesty, I am doing well, and my grades are extremely reflective of my time at WW-P. I find myself having even better study habits than I did in high school.
While at Lehigh, I have come to the realization that attending a less expensive school may have been more beneficial because I do bear some guilt for the hefty price tag associated with Lehigh. For the education I’m receiving here, I think I could have chosen to attend a less expensive school and still reap the same rewards. You never truly know a school until you are living there, and you can make almost any place your new home if you try to.
Photo Credit: mcall.com
I get homesick a decent amount because I am a very family-oriented person. Due to the proximity of Lehigh, however, I am fortunate enough to be able to come home for a weekend every few weeks, for which my parents and I are grateful.
Leaving WW-P presents a culture shock; I miss the quality of conversation and the types of people I could surround myself with at North. I met up with a friend from WW-P, and he voiced the same concern as me: WW-P level discussion and character is more sparse in other areas.
To combat this, I auditioned for the performance Bhangra team at Lehigh to give myself a more diverse pool of acquaintances, conversation, and even activity.
I also miss the teachers at North like Mr. Bossio and Mrs. Wishart who truly shaped my appreciation for educators and the effort and care they put in towards shaping not only our study habits and mentalities but also how we view the world and interact with others.
The hardest part about Lehigh is probably figuring out one’s own path, especially since I am in the science field. We have graduate students at Lehigh, so it can be more challenging to get research opportunities. I think I speak for most universities when I say that one has to really search for opportunities and chase after them; they aren’t going to just be presented to you.
Photo Credit: www1.lehigh.edu
Lehigh very much has a “work hard, play hard” mentality, which can be different from WW-P. I definitely had to become accustomed to the social scene.
Lehigh has a lot of “weed-out” classes which mainly consist of lectures to, in effect, scare off people who are not serious about their studies. Fortunately, coming from a background that prioritized studying and grades, keeping up in these classes has been easier for me.
Lehigh students differ from North in that cultural diversity is much, much smaller.
I really enjoy my professors for a multitude of reasons. I am in many science/math lectures, and it is very satisfying to understand more complex material. I am also taking my second religion course, however, which allows me to stay in touch with my global awareness and text analysis skills. I always leave that class having had a deep discussion, and I appreciate that I have the opportunity to be able to speak directly to my professor and the 14 or so other students in the class.
I love the campus itself; most people hate the hill that is Lehigh University, but I find that the freshman 15 becomes weight lost, not gained!