Why I Chose Hillsdale: Lydia Hall
Written by Lydia Hall
When I was a freshman in high school, my best friend’s elder brother started attending Hillsdale College. When she returned from visiting the school with him, she told me that I would love it here. This was the extent of my knowledge of Hillsdale College, besides that it was conservative, academically rigorous, and essentially a Christian school.
During my senior year of high school, I made the trek from Oregon to the Midwest, an area I had never been to before. Although the cold winds and rolling hills did not appeal to me as the mountains and forests of my home, after I sat in on my first English class, I knew I had to attend Hillsdale College. I could see how enthralled the professor was with his topic, and the mastery he had over it. The students enhanced the class, actively answering questions and taking notes. The class buzzed with vitality; I could feel the ideas bouncing back and forth from student to professor.
The same thing happened in the following two classes. It happened when I ate lunch in the cafeteria and sat in AJ’s, talking to the few people I knew in attendance here. Each was so genuinely excited at my visit; each showed me a different side of campus, but the same love for learning.
The biannual English major party (most recently entitled “Party of the Century”) is a prime example of Hillsdale’s community. At the end of every semester, a professor invites us into his or her home to commune together over food, conversation, and comedy. Many students attend; all are welcomed. The party shows the dedication the professors have to their students, the importance the professors place on personal relationships with students, and the desire of students to form these relationships. It is not just a major, something to work through to graduate, but a shared fascination within language and human thought. Every time I go to these parties, I cannot help but think how lucky I am to be an English major with a department so talented and caring.
Ultimately, my choice came down to the attitude of the faculty and students toward learning. Education has higher purposes than holding down a job, and education does not stop when classes do. The student body at Hillsdale College is alive and buzzing with the ideas it learns in class and explores outside. I wanted to be surrounded by people who would push me to learn and challenge me to be better. Every day I gain inspiration to be a better student not only from professors, but also from my peers. No matter how intimidating this college may be, or how seemingly impossible the professors’ standards are, or how over-eager the students can be, everyone shares the same desire to learn and to help others learn. And that is what matters.
As a junior, I can now say that my friend was right; I do love it here. I get to spend my days reading, talking with friends, and listening to lectures about the things I love. Hillsdale College creates the perfect community for the student who wants an active mind and a loving heart. The student who attends Hillsdale College knowing its mission and desiring to continue it will find a perfect home in this rural, midwestern town.
Lydia Hall, ’19, traveled 34 hours from Oregon to Hillsdale to study English and classical education. When she’s not crushed underneath a workload primarily consisting of reading, she enjoys experimenting with super foods and searching for Bigfoot.
Published in November 2018