Beyond the brochure: freshmen expectations

By Daweed Abdiel

Special to The Denisonian

After our third week at Denison, I believe freshmen now have enough experience to fairly assess which of our initial expectations Denison has surpassed. I did not set too many expectations because I thought that doing so would leave me vulnerable to disappointment.

I think this disposition has left me open to uncertainty, and would allow me to comfortably assess my satisfaction with Denison. For the few expectations that I did hold, I had ardent feelings about it.

I expected to behave at Denison the way I behaved in the real world: bringing my belongings with me every time I need to go somewhere or do something. But the integrity at Denison is amazing. I have left my things around at the library several times. When I return, I find myself relieved and impressed to see all of my items in the same spot and condition; however, I am not necessarily encouraging anyone to leave their items unattended. Nonetheless, this environment has a great level of integrity that surpassed my initial expectations.

One of the main reasons I chose Denison was because of its small campus size. The campus is 900 acres, but, depending on your priorities, it can seem bigger than expected.

I expected all of the buildings to be centered in a small radius of campus (similar to A-Quad); however, the buildings seem to be, with the exception of the biological reserve, stratified throughout the campus’ area.

The walk from Curtis West to the Mitchell Center is a little more than a half a mile. Additionally, consider the sharp incline, which makes the journey much more intimidating, going up from Mitchell to West quad.

I go down to Mitchell two times a day, and I leave from and return to west quad. This means that I walk two miles every day. I have learned that everyday, here at Denison, is truly leg day.

Denison’s academic prowess is stupendous, and I believe the professors constitute a large portion of a student’s experience with academics. The professors are eloquent and enthusiastic. 

The teachers are the fuel that inspires me, motivating me to spend every class, to consecrate a large fraction of my time in the library, in hopes of acquiring knowledge similar to theirs. They not only teach, but they are living up to their purpose “to inspire and educate [our] students to become autonomous thinkers, discerning moral agents and active citizens of a democratic society,” as the school’s mission statement says.. 

Additionally, my assignments have been enlightening and thought provoking. After eighteen years in my life, Denison’s academic environment is incumbent or, should I say, a catalyst for my ability to think. I look forward to learning and pursuing my passions here at Denison.

By no means am I trying to advertise the school, but I do give credit to Denison for exceeding, and confounding, a few of my expectations.