Studying on the Quad

Only at Hillsdale

Written by Katarzyna Ignatik and Crystal Schupbach

“Only at Hillsdale” is a pretty common phrase at the College. Sometimes said tongue-in-cheek and typically accompanied by either an eyeroll or a laugh. But it makes sense that a group of students who power through the same core classes, share professors, and live in such close community can relate to one another so easily. “Only at Hillsdale” can you walk up to a stranger and know that he or she understands.

What exactly? Though cultural norms and jokes may change over time, Hillsdale students can always relate to these shenanigans and inside jokes that happen every year.

You know you’re at Hillsdale when…

  • On the spur of the moment, your history professor has your classmates act out a Holy Roman Emperor coronation in class.
  • You can fit twenty people at a round cafeteria table meant for half the number because, “There is always room.” (And Greek participles are a viable topic of conversation at that lunch table.)
  • Also at lunch, you either try desperately to lure the College’s president to your table for a talk, or you try desperately to avoid “getting Arnned.”
  • You see a crowd of shirtless men playing a game called “Thatcherball,” named in honor of Margaret Thatcher, out on the quad at 11:00 p.m.
  • The student union celebrates Ronald Reagan’s birthday with cupcakes.
  • You feel offended if your professor doesn’t remember your name.
  • It’s not that weird to face swap with the portrait of Thomas Jefferson in the library. Or sit in the lap of the Jefferson statue outside.
  • People get more excited over political debates than the Super Bowl.
  • Every class, whether history or physics, finds some way to work in Aristotle.
  • Your professor sends you an email after you’ve skipped class to ask if anything is wrong.
  • Your RA is also your boss, intramural teammate, sorority sister…the list goes on.

They have their quirks, but Hillsdale students share something special. They meet the challenges they are given with determination and inspire you to do the same. They enjoy a coffee date with you at A.J.’s to talk about everything from Homer and Virgil to that date last week. They might not be sure how they can best relate to the stranger standing next to them, but they’re pretty excited to find out.

Katarzyna IgnatikKatarzyna Ignatik is an English major in the class of 2020. She spends her time doing homework (of course), binge-reading, binge-writing, singing, and laughing at everything and anything. Talk to her about Tolkien, the 50s, or abstract philosophical concepts, and she’ll be perfectly happy.



Crystal SchupbachCrystal Schupbach, ’20, is a Michigan native studying psychology and journalism. A few of her favorite things include dogs, summertime concerts, and garage sales–in that order.