A picture of stu­dents playing and resting on the quad on a par­tic­u­larly warm spring day. Sofia Krusmark | Collegian

Com­munity is a key aspect of any college expe­rience, and it is espe­cially important at Hillsdale. Bound together by the Honor Code, virtue, and the improvement of the mind through edu­cation, I appre­ciated how the stu­dents lived out these ideals during my visits. 

As a transfer student, I came from a school that lacked a cohesive sense of com­munity. To be fair to my pre­vious insti­tution, I was a freshman during the height of COVID-19; I grad­uated from high school during quar­antine and began freshman year during the fall of 2020. Perhaps my expe­rience was unique or not rep­re­sen­tative of the broader student body, but the toll of school-wide shut­downs, mask man­dates, contact tracing, and wild social dis­tancing mea­sures wreaked havoc on campus life and campus culture. Most clubs and orga­ni­za­tions had limited numbers of people who could attend in person, and they often sent out Zoom links so we could par­tic­ipate virtually. 

 Regardless of the varying COVID-19 restric­tions, I des­per­ately wanted to feel like there was a great uni­fying force amongst the stu­dents – some sort of ideal that we were all striving for. Ulti­mately, I did not find it at my pre­vious school. People were not as enthu­si­astic about par­tic­i­pating in campus life, and the clubs and orga­ni­za­tions I joined had sparse attendance. 

While there were a variety of factors in my decision to transfer to Hillsdale, I knew I wanted to come here because I fell in love with the com­munity and the campus life during my visits. I also admired the mission and Honor Code, since they seemed to be the uni­fying force that the stu­dents rallied around and sought to exem­plify in their everyday lives. The people were warm and wel­coming and everyone seemed so grateful to be at Hillsdale and par­tic­ipate in the student life on campus. There was a certain zest and zeal that was so marked and so dif­ferent from the expe­rience I had from my pre­vious experience. 

In my first few weeks here, I have been so pleased to see that my initial impres­sions of campus and student life have proven to be true. The people have been even more warm and wel­coming than on my visits, and attending events like the Re-source has con­tinued to demon­strate the robust variety of campus clubs, orga­ni­za­tions, and par­tic­i­pation. I hope these attributes of Hillsdale never change; I hope that the stu­dents here always remain involved in this won­derful com­munity and that we may always rec­ognize how lucky we are.