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McDaniel: #MyTopCollege

Howdy, McDaniel students in the making! I hope you’re all having a wonderful summer!

Recently, Forbes asked college students and alumni across the country to show their school pride online by using the hashtag #MyTopCollege. McDaniel students, faculty, staff, and alumi have gotten in on the #MyTopCollege action by tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming reasons why they love McDaniel.

So why is McDaniel #MyTopCollege? Well, 140 characters isn’t quite enough to express what I love about McDaniel. So here’s a list!

1. Our professors are phenomenal

One thing that immediately drew me to McDaniel when I was a prospective student was McDaniel’s faculty. On visit days, they participate in panels and open up their classrooms to prospective students to share what they can about the academic side of McDaniel. They’re very friendly and willing to talk to prospective students individually too, so when you visit, it’s worth stopping by the department of a major of your interest to see if any professors are around to chat.

As a student, my professors have helped me grow both as a student and as a human being. They respect me as a scholar and are vested in my well-being. McDaniel professors are also fun, quirky, and interesting people. We have math professors who crochet and professors who raise sheep and goats. Our professors are not shy when it comes to showing off their interests!

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Here I am with Dr. Kachur of the English department at the spring 2013 literary masquerade. Dr. Kachur is a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe and can sometimes be seen dressed up as the 19th century author and poet, as he is here.

2. Jan Term is a blast!

Jan Term is a three-week-long mini-term in January that allows students to learn about cool topics that their studies might not normally cover. Students can also complete internships during this time or go on a travel Jan Term, many of which take place abroad.

All students are required to complete at least one Jan Term during their time at McDaniel, but for many students, one is not enough. When I was a sophomore, I look an on-campus Jan Term called Coping With Stress, which taught me lots of relaxation techniques. On campus Jan Term classes aren’t very time-consuming, so I had lots of time during that Jan Term to work on other projects of mine, including personal research and starting up my popular English Major Humor blog on Tumblr.

This past year, I went on a travel Jan Term called Travel Writing Across Europe. Thirteen other students and I traveled to Normandy, Paris, Vienna, and Budapest to get a feel for different European cultures and write about our experiences. You can check out some of our writing here.

While in Europe, my classmates and I got to visit the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.

While in Europe, my classmates and I got to visit the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.

3. The rest of our academics are wonderful too :)

There were three major things that attracted me to McDaniel’s curriculum. Firstly, I really like our McDaniel Plan, McDaniel’s flexible liberal arts curriculum. The McDaniel plan requires students to take classes in a variety of areas, but students have a lot of freedom to choose which classes they take to fulfill those requirements.

Secondly, I am wildly in love with McDaniel’s English department. I’d known since high school that I really wanted to be an English major our English department at McDaniel has suited a lot of my needs–I didn’t want my English degree to consist mostly of literature classes, and McDaniel’s writing minor has allowed me to take, in addition to literature classes, classes in creative and professional writing and rhetoric, making me a well-rounded English major and giving me lots of practical skills that I will use throughout my life and career. And even before I submitted my deposit to attend McDaniel College, I knew that the English department’s faculty are among the very best professors on campus!

Lastly, I’m a fan of McDaniel’s Honors Program. The Honors Program is for exceptionally talented students at McDaniel who want to enrich their academic and social experience on the Hill. Honors students have the opportunity to take electives designed especially for them and they also can choose to live together in suite-style living situations. Honors Program students are fun people, and the classes I’ve taken through the Honors Program are some of the best I’ve taken in college.

Some fabulous Honors ladies at the 2012 Honors Picnic

Some fabulous Honors ladies at the 2012 Honors Picnic

4. Student life is fun-filled and fulfilling

Life outside of classes and homework keeps me busy. McDaniel has dozens of student-run organizations to offer, and I’m a part of our newspaper, The McDaniel Free Press, and our literary magazine, Contrast. I also try to volunteer, attend lectures and speaking engagements, and check out other cultural events a few times a semester. All of these things make life hectic, but I’ve learned a lot during my time outside of the classroom, so they’re worth it. And when I need some downtime, I can always rely on the good company and good humor the wonderful friends I’ve made at McDaniel.

Through classes, activities, dining, and living situations, I've made friends for life at McDaniel.

Through classes, activities, dining, and living situations, I’ve made friends for life at McDaniel.

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