What's the most important thing you've learned at Carleton OUTSIDE the classroom?
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.
Giving yourself permission to try things is the most important step to doing really cool and satisfying projects, and meeting wildly different and fun people. At Carleton there have been a couple upperclassmen who really took me under their wing and introduced me to activities and people I wouldn't have met otherwise, and have really enriched my experience exponentially.
If you are interested in something, don't be afraid to start a club or host an event: chances are, other Carls are interested too! I thought it was a cool (and far-fetched) idea to have a TEDx conference at Carleton. So I sent out some emails for funding, got a license from TED, started a club, and gathered a motivated group of volunteers. Everyone I talked to about TED offered encouragement and support--two of my professors even helped me get funding to attend an official TED conference in California! The first ever TEDxCarletonCollege will take place October 12, 2013 with a speaker lineup of Carleton students, faculty, and alumni. I hope to see some of you prospective students as attendees or speakers in this or future years!