College Spotlight: An Emory University Experience

Sometimes it’s good to learn about a college from a student’s perspective. After all, students are the ones taking classes, involved in clubs and extra-curriculars, partaking in campus activities, and exploring the surrounding city. Check out A-List Tutor, Alice Halter’s take on her experience at Emory University.

I recently graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Emory University with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Dance and Movement Studies. My time at Emory was filled with joyous friendships, rigorous academia, and unexpected challenges. I arrived as a first year from New Mexico, where I had attended a small private college preparatory school and was accustomed to building my own schedule to fit my passions. These freedoms prepared me well for the university environment in which my schedule became a balancing act of academic inquiry and extra-curricular commitments.

A Little Bit About Emory

Emory is in Atlanta, GA nearby the city of Decatur. The campus is stunning with Italian inspired architecture and new Leed-certified freshmen dorms with floor-to-ceiling windows. Emory is comprised of various undergraduate colleges and graduate schools. There are about seven thousand undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the Goizuetta Business School, and the Woodruff Nursing School. The medical school, law school, public health school, and other graduate programs surround the undergraduate campus. In addition to its highly-ranked business school and notable research labs, Emory is home to one of the top creative writing programs in the country. Overall, Emory is a medium-sized research institution whose academic fields are as diverse as its student body.

What I did in High School

My high school experience was slightly more unconventional than others’. My school did not offer AP classes, but rather utilized their own curriculum developed by the teachers. We had strong sciences, theater and arts programs, and countless clubs. In high school I was vice president of the community service club, a member of the thespian troupe, a varsity team dancer, and a dedicated singer. My love for science was sparked by my high school biology teacher leading me to pursue science further. I decided to take two science classes both my junior and senior year, forgoing my language class.

While this route may deviate from the conventional path, it allowed me to pursue what I loved the most and when it came time to apply to college, my passion for science was clear. In addition to my strong interest in science, I led and organized many events for our community service club. I also took two trips to the Dominican Republic where I taught English and Spanish literacy to children in a learning center for 4 weeks. I believe it was the fervor with which I followed my passions which led me to the right university. Rather than checking every single box, I saturated my experiences with what I loved. Thus, when it came time to write about myself in personal essays, I knew what I valued and what mattered to me.

My Experience at Emory

During my time at Emory, I explored and pursued many of my passions through rigorous academics and involved extra-curricular activities. As a pre-med student, I was determined to complete my medical school requirements in the first two years. I continued my pattern of doubling up on science classes, taking requirements in advance to free up my schedule in later years. I studied abroad at the University of St Andrews and took exciting higher level biology classes, from epigenetics to primate social psychology. These classes were complimented by my research in a neurotoxicity lab in the Rollins School of Public Health and, later, in the Neuroplasticity Research Lab in the Rehabilitation Hospital.

I balanced my demanding sciences with a strong dedication to dance, taking multiple dance classes each semester, choreographing for Emory’s dance company, and serving on the executive board of the largest student-run dance organization. Overall, I found Emory to be an institution which fosters the development of well-rounded, inquisitive students. Its strong Residence Life and Student Life programs foster growth in its incoming class each year and its self-motivated students create an inspired community of forward thinkers and innovators.

This blog post was written by A-List Tutor, Alice Halter.