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Nate Livingston '16

  • Nate participates in Varsity Men's Soccer, Rotblatt and Alpine Ski Club.
  • James Hall
    Nate lives in James Hall.
  • Q: Any advice for high school students on their college search?
    A: The most important thing is to be honest with yourself. It’s a time in your life with a lot of pressure around you -- from parents and friends, especially -- to apply to XYZ school because you should, without any sort of rational explanation. But then you go to visit, and for me at least, it was clear the ones I did like and the ones I did not like. That’s your decision. You have to be the one at that school for the next four years. Not your parents. not your friends. A good college fit is really important. I certainly made a good one coming here. These are my people.
  • Q: How would you describe academic life at Carleton?
    A: Compared to my high school, and from what I hear from friends about their (colleges), there’s a really unique non-competitiveness within the academic environment. People aren’t sitting around trying to one-up one another. I saw a lot of that in high school. Mine was one of the last classes to have class rank, and there are GPA adjustments you can get by taking more AP courses, stuff like that. Everyone was just trying to game the system. It was less about personal growth as a learner, whereas here, it’s so much about growing within your field as a lifelong learner.
  • Q: What surprised you about Carleton?
    A: I knew when I came here that I was going to go into chemistry. It’s what I told everyone even before I came to Carleton. Sure enough, I ended up as a chemistry major. But that’s not the case for everybody. Some people end up in the humanities when they never thought that would be the case. And that’s part of the whole liberal arts education here. You know, really, coming in, I thought the whole liberal arts thing was a bit of baloney. But now I see the value of the broad education. I’ve taken philosophy courses, taken some economics courses. It’s an opportunity that you don’t get at every school, the chance to enjoy a class in another subject. There are no barriers here. It’s encouraged!
    Tags: Chemistry
  • Q: What kind of student fits in well at Carleton?
    A: You have to be someone who is academically focused, really enjoys learning and likes to work through tough problems. Secondary to that, someone who is really open to trying things. This place allows you to work a bit outside your comfort zone. You have to do that in academics, and just the liberal arts focus kind of forces you, too. But it’s not a thing that anyone at Carleton dreads.
  • Q: What other schools did you seriously consider?
    A: The ultimate decision was between Carleton and Washington University in St. Louis. I was also considering the University of Michigan. Both my parents went to Michigan. Colgate. Northwestern, too. But when I applied early to Carleton, I pretty much stopped looking.
  • Q: What's the most important thing you've learned at Carleton OUTSIDE the classroom?
    A: You can get involved in anything you want here. We set up a Ski Club booth at the activities fair, and I always look forward to seeing the 200 other booths with all these interesting clubs I never would have thought about. And you can start one yourself. Even though we’re a small school, there’s a niche for every single type of person. Frisbee, singing a cappella … there’s a diversity of personalities to this school that I’ve never seen before. And I came from a very diverse high school in almost every regard.
  • Q: "You know you’re at Carleton when..."
    A: You’re either smelling the Malt-O-Meal factory or the turkey farm in the other direction. You also know when you see people throwing Frisbees at Sayles, seemingly toward the chapel. There’s a big campus (Frisbee golf) course, which I frequent, so I’ve been hit several times walking through. But I’ve also probably hit a few people, too.
    Tags: Frisbee
  • Q: What impresses you the most about Carleton students?
    A: A lot of people here just love to engage in conversation. And even if it’s outside the classroom, often it will turn into an academic debate. (Laughs). I guess that goes back to our nerdy stereotype, but there’s always someone to have a conversation with. And the school is small enough that you get to know a lot of people. You see them on a daily basis, they’re always saying, “Hi.” It feels like there’s a common cause running through the entire student body.
  • Q: Why did you choose Carleton?
    A: Carleton kind of fell in my lap. I had a good friend from high school -- a soccer teammate in my grade and on the team here with me -- and he had another friend who I had gone to elementary school with who was also considering Carleton. So, he kind of convinced me to come up on a visit. I spent some time with the soccer team, did an overnight, and of all the other teams I had seen, there wasn’t a more cohesive group as committed to both their academics and athletics. After that, I left feeling really sad and knew I wanted to come back at some point. So when the time came, I applied for early decision.
  • Q: How do you balance athletics and academics at Carleton?
    A: From an outsider’s perspective, it might look like, “How do you have time to do those things?” The relationship is much more symbiotic, though. The two complement each other. I find that if I have too much down time in a day, I’m more inclined to watch a movie or something. But during the soccer season, you have to be even more on top of your work, allot times when you will be doing homework. Also, during the season you’re not staying up late and you have less time to socialize with friends.
  • Q: What’s your favorite place on campus? Why?
    A: I’ve done research in the chemistry department, which started in spring when I went to work on a project at the University of Vermont. And back (in the department) is my professor’s lab. It’s a special place I can go and be by myself, with my work. You have to go through two locked doors to get back there, so it’s kind of a secret. Technically it’s not just mine, but it feels like a place set up for me and my thoughts.
    Tags: Chemistry
Nate Livingston '16
Nate Livingston '16

Nate’s Places

  • James Hall

    Nate lives in James Hall

    Completed in 2009, James Hall and Cassat Hall are Carleton’s first new full-scale residence halls since 1967. Housing approximately 230 students between the two buildings, the project allows Carleton to reduce overcrowding in current student housing and to bring back at least 100 students from off-campus housing. The halls were built using environmentally sustainable construction standards and include many energy-efficient features.

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