Elon University - Comments and Student Experiences|
As quick background, I'm a female Honors Fellow here at Elon University and I graduated in the Top 10 of my 270+ person class in high school. I'm an extremely involved person, now an executive officer in four student organizations and participant of seven. I have decided to create my own major called Service Event and Public Relations, which allows me to take classes in business, event management, and communications.
Now about Elon:
Elon is a community and a family. Our school President hosts a holiday party at his house every year, inviting all students by bus to attend and meet him. Every Tuesday morning, we have a tradition called College Coffee where there is free coffee/doughnuts/bagels and you can converse about anything with your friends, professors, and administrators. We have Wednesday night s'mores outside our main gym where you can swing by and roast some marshmallows with your friends. When a tragedy occurs (such as the recent passing of our famous Dr. Danieley), you will have hundreds of students and faculty come together for candlelit vigils and ceremonies. On a personal note, I genuinely consider Elon to be my first home and the friends I've made here are my family.
As far as academics go, they're not super challenging, but they are almost always useful with real-life experience. For example, in my Public Relations class, I have worked directly with the NAACP as my client, and I worked with a 4-person group to design a 46-page campaign proposal supplemented by buttons, magnets, and a trifold poster of our design. Last year, in my Entrepreneurship class, I created a high school and college mentorship program for my home community in CT, and my entrepreneurship teacher actually helped fund my program. We also work on a fall semester, spring semester, and winter term (the month of January) schedule which is AMAZING. Basically, winter term is included in your fall tuition, and you can choose to take an extra class (for your major or for fun), join a study abroad program (want to go to Kenya for a month?), or simply take a lengthy winter break at home. Most students absolutely love winter term, however, so almost everyone either takes a class on-campus or studies elsewhere.
As far as social life goes, there is ALWAYS something to do on campus. Every Thursday/Friday/Saturday, you will have movies in the student center, acapella concerts, frat parties, organization parties, themed dry parties, and other activities put on by student organizations (ranging from laser tag to mini golf to Bingo). I will admit there's not much nightlife in Elon/Burlington, but you can EASILY stay entertained just on campus.
As far as advice goes to see if Elon is your fit:
1) If you are somewhat who likes to "get out there" and be involved, Elon is for you. The majority of people here are taking 16-18 credits per semester and participate actively in 2-5 organizations. It's super easy to get involved (and over-involved) on campus.
2) Diversity has been a major theme and part of the agenda the past few years where we always have lectures, panels, and events on the topic going on. We have been trying to increase diversity...but currently, we are still a predominantly white straight school and that may be difficult for minorities to adjust. However, to help ease the transition, we do have an Odyssey Scholars program, several student organizations such as Spectrum and Black Student Union, and special spaces for minority communities such as the Center for Race and Ethnic Diversity (CREDE) and the LGBTQIA room.
3) Our political views are fairly moderate but lean liberal. General conservative opinions are accepted, encouraged, and often discussed...but extreme conservative and extreme Trump supporters may not feel very welcome. We (Elon) are promoting civic engagement and activism above all else, regardless of your party, and have demonstrated this through debate watch parties hosting hundreds of students. There are often rallies held in the Burlington commmunity that many student organizations co-host with the NAACP. Additionally, we have chapters of College Republicans, College Democrats, and Young Americans for Liberty (Libertarians) present and active on campus.
4) The classes and professors are what you make of it. If you want to cruise through class, you probably can get by with a B or C. However, I highly recommend getting to know your professors (talking to them outside of class) and actually trying your best with the workload. Many of the projects I've completed in class are now included on my resume and in my portfolio. The higher-end classes will completely give you real-life experiences...For example, I am looking forward to starting my own nonprofit (Entrepreneurship course), designing my own PR campaign for a local client (communications course), managing events for local businesses (sports and events management course), and working with nonprofit organizations (human service studies course).
5) We have a large number of people "involved" in Greek life, particularly girls. However, Greek life in general is not a huge influence...I personally decided to join a sorority and I love it - but I choose not to attend the parties. Instead, I go to the organization parties, hang out with my friends, watch Netflix, etc, and I am perfectly content. Greek life will seem like a big thing your first semester and winter term...but after that, you'll realize it really doesn't matter if you're in a sorority or not.
6) If you do decide on Elon, I highly recommend joining a Living Learning Community that aligns with your interests. Those halls tend to bond best and make for easier transitions.
7) If you like Elon, then I guarantee you will end up falling in love with it. Most of my friends are enamoured with this schools, and I personally can't stop talking about it and posting the latest rankings on our success (communications is top 10 in the nation; business is top 50 in the nation; education is top 40 in the nation; theater is top 20 in the nation; etc). Furthermore, the Elon tour guide position is by far the most competitive position on campus - not because of pay, but because we genuinely want to show you how much we love Elon. You will literally have 400+ students apply for 20 open spots.
As I said, Elon is not for everyone. But when you make your college choices, please look at other websites and talk to actual students face-to-face. Elon has done incredible things for me, and since my arrival in Fall 2015, I have done the following:
- Interned under US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
- Interned under the United Kingdom Parliament
- Worked on the Sanders 2016 presidential campaign at the Iowa Caucuses
- Coordinated appearances and speeches for US senatorial and representative candidates Pete Glidewell (D-NC), Sue Googe (R-NC) and Sean Haugh (L-NC)
- Coordinated speeches, private receptions, and dinners with renowned international speakers like Piper Kerman (Orange is the New Black) and Scott Dikkers (The Onion)
- Coordinated a two-day conference for 300+ students and faculty and 17 universities
- Debated in the North Carolina legislature building and helped draft potential legislation
Thank you for reading my whole review. Please reach out to me if you have any further questions or concerns.