[Jay Shen]Hey everyone! Welcome to Carleton College!
My name is Jay Shen and I am a rising sophomore (Class of 2015). I am originally from Dalian, China, but I first came to the United States since I was 14 so I have been here for more than five years, attending high school in Colorado Springs, CO. I will be declaring History and Music as my majors, and Medieval & Renaissance Studies and African/African-American Studies as my concentrations.
I love singing and I am currently a member of Carleton Choir and Carleton Singers as a Tenor One singer. I am a huge fan of hip hop/rap music (especially songs before 1999); I have listened to over hundreds of rap albums and have produced two albums with my group during high school. I also love playing basketball and have played intramural basketball here, winning my team a Division II Championship during the Winter Term. Apart from these I also like playing volleyball, playing tennis, running X-country, and listening to R&B, soul, funk, classical, and new age music. Generally music and sports are my drugs. Many times I change my habits and way of living because of them.
At Carleton apart from all those activities that I have mentioned above, I am also heavily involved in the international and intercultural community. There are many opportunities for you to get involved as well. Cultural clubs, chili nights, and festival celebrations are great ways for you to meet new people whom you have common language with. If you have questions of any kind, please feel free to contact me via e-mail: email@example.com. I look forward to meeting all of you!!
What are the academics at Carleton?
Since you have decided to come to Carleton, I suppose you have already more or less known about Carleton’s rigorous and highly demanding academics. The challenging trimester system means that you do not want to fall behind at any point of the term. And for students who are actively involved in extracurricular activities or are overloading with classes it is hard for them to find much free time. But you shouldn’t be overwhelmed because first, classes are very interesting. As you find what you love and what you want you will enjoy your classes more than treating them as a kind of torture. I can read about Ethnomusicology 24/7 without feeling tired at all. Second, there are lots of helpful resources to facilitate your learning. For instance, prefect sessions, writing centers, and individual tutors. Carleton also has the best professors in the entire United States out of all universities and colleges. As a History major, I know that Carleton’s History professors are very dedicated into their work. For example, William North, my Medieval History professor, is generally acclaimed by students here as the “best professor ever” as his lectures are extremely engaging. But at the same time he assigns tons of readings everyday and has high expectations on his students. In fact, this is one huge advantage you have for attending Carleton because professors at a liberal arts college are more devoted into their work compared to professors in those huge universities, and professors at Carleton are even more helpful than the ones in other liberal arts colleges, so make good use of them.
How does one manage time at Carleton?
Time management is an important skill not only in college but also in life. Personally managing time has not been a problem. But according to many friends of mine, prioritizing is the first option. When there is a certain activity that you cannot participate anymore due to huge workload, you need to know what is more important for you and decide what you should do. In fact, this term I have been extremely busy with taking two 200-level History classes, a Political Science class, attending both Choir and Singers, playing a little bit of intramural volleyball, taking voice and piano lessons, being the co-chair of the Chinese Club and a member of the CHS (Coalition of Hmong Students), and attending many activities sponsored by cultural organizations or the International & Intercultural Student Offices. I hardly had any free time until 10pm everyday. Even though I finally made it, I do not recommend you doing the same thing in your freshman year because maybe prioritizing is something I still need to learn according to this experience. So definitely know what you are enthusiastic about and what you can do without getting tired of it, and prioritize. A daily planner is highly recommended, as many Carleton students tend to engage in many extracurricular activities while completing their academics. Sometimes it is easy to forget what activity you should be attending and when you should go to your changed voice and piano lessons without noting them down on a planner. Another thing I would emphasize is getting enough sleep. Personally I do not have the habit of taking a nap during the day, so I try to sleep and get up early to get energized for the entire next day, and it has worked out very well. But I realize that it is hard for every Carleton student to sleep early because there might be too much workload to handle. But if you can, definitely get enough sleep so you do not get tired on the next day!