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| My experience at Lake Forest College was exceptional. I decided to attend Lake Forest because I wanted to play tennis at the collegiate level. I decided early on that I would go here and didn't spend much time looking at other schools although my application could have placed me at a more prestigious college.|
It is true that there isn't much to do in the town of Lake Forest. There are some fantastic restaurants including: Francesca's, Ferentino's, The Lantern, South Gate Cafe, and Egg Harbor Cafe to cure the weekend hangover. As far as the night life goes, you're better off taking the campus shuttle into Highwood to either Gabe's Backstage Lounge or Teddy O'Brien's. There are usually themed parties on campus that provide an entertaining alternative for the social underage drinker or unfortunate underclassman without a fake id. On top of that, the school recently spent $4 mil on a student center that serves food and beer and offers foosball, ping pong, Golden Tee, billiards, a stage, and more.
The clever student will take advantage of the alumni connections and relations with the town of Lake Forest's residents. The mansion-littered east end of town is stocked with CEOs, many of whom visit the college to speak or offer assistance when looking for jobs.
I'm afraid the athletics at Lake Forest are atrocious. My tennis team boasted an impressive record, but many of the teams we played were an embarassment to the sport. There's really no reason Lake Forest Tennis shouldn't win conference consistently. Our most successful team is handball, which for whatever reason wins a national championship every year.
In my opinion, Lake Forest should pump more money into the country club sports like tennis and sailing and start a golf team. I'd be willing to bet that in any given year the school could assemble a dozen students and create a very impressive golf team.
Lake Forest College advertises itself as "Chicago's" National Liberal Arts College. While many complain that Chicago is an hour train ride away, the school really does work to bring students into the city. Several of the classes I took had multiple field trips into Chicago. They even have an entire building designated to the organization of Chicago programs for students. Aside from that, community members donate extra tickets to events including the Lyric Opera, White Sox and Cubs games, and various other events held in Chicago that are given out for free on a first-come first-serve basis.
As far as academics go, you really get out what you put in. The professors are truly incredible and the small class sizes allow you to form personal relationships with them. Professors are always available for help outside of class and respond to emails in a punctual manner. Some professors even give out their cell phone numbers should students require additional assistance.
Should you attend, I suggest the following professors (if they're still there): Davis Schneidermann, Robert Archambeau, Kent Grote, Robert Baade, Ted Ahern, Robert Lemke, and David Yuen.
|Jan 14 2009|| 4th Year Male --
Class 2008 |
| The best thing about LFC is professors. They are amazingly helpful if you make time to talk with them - even if it's just a question during office hours. The point is, if you make an effort it will pay off. The academics aren't too challenging, helped by the fact that professors are so accessible.|
I was really kind of an outsider for my first semester at school - I had friends, but I wasn't constantly going to parties and often just chilled alone in my room. In the spring I decided to join a sorority even though I'd previously objected and it was really the best decision I've made in college. Joining Greek life and other clubs is the best way to make friends and become part of a group.
It's true that LFC is a bit cliquish, but people have friends from all kinds of groups. International kids and sports teams usually stick together, but it's not like you're crossing a line by socializing with them. People at LFC may slack off in their studies, but it's really impressive how many extracurriculars people are involved in. I'd just suggest getting into as many different activities as possible and not letting yourself be alone. I'd also suggest getting to know people in your hall early - they can be super helpful study buddies and friends.The town of Lake Forest is pretty boring, but campus usually has something going on. South campus always has parties to go to and there are All Campus Parties pretty regularly. The school also has movies on the weekends and different entertainers. Drinking is a big part of campus life, but it's easy to go to parties and stay sober or find other things to do.
|May 19 2008|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2011 |
| Lake Forest is a good school for the right person; I think that person has to be optimistic, self-motivated, somewhat of a leader, and willing to work to build community. |
Academically I the school is average â€“ typical liberal arts, but with a focus on good teaching. Overall the faculty are very, very dedicated and work really hard â€“ most lectures are good, most profs. prepare review sheets for students, offer many office hours and extra-help sessions, and are clear and reasonable with their exams. However most classes arenâ€™t overly challenging in their material.
Social life at LF is pretty lacking, there arenâ€™t too many school-sponsored activities (or school-spirit overall) and most of the clubs and organizations are small and not very lively (probably just the result of the school being so small). Building community is definitely something the school administration/student body could work on.
Sometimes it can feel like High School because people get very 'clique-ish', talk about other people and can be really petty. But I think if you are a mature person you can just look past that.
The town of Lake Forest is a very rich, some would say 'snobby' place, and the relationship between the school and the town is not so great. There are not many stores in town that cater to students (it's not a typical 'college town' â€“ mostly banks and upscale boutiques that close after 5pm M-F); this can be a drawback in some ways. I personally like the town because of it's beauty and because it is so safe - I don't ever feel anxious about going out alone or at night.
There is a train if you want to go to Chicago, although on average people probably only go downtown 2-3 times a month. The train ride is an HOUR-long, plus the 10-minute walk to the train station, and on weekends it only runs ever other hour so itâ€™s not the most practical thing, but I'm grateful for the schoolâ€™s accessibility to Chicago, because otherwise it can get pretty boring on-campus.
As far as the living situation, the dorms are okay, one drawback is that only one dorm and the 4 specialty apartments have cooking facilities. This makes it difficult to cook for yourself and makes the school meal plan necessary. The food is good compared to many places in terms of variety but the hours in the dining hall are limited and like anywhere the menu gets repetitive.I think you can do well here if youâ€™re willing to work towards building a community and forging your own social life.
|Dec 02 2007|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2010 |