Hillsdale is a Home

Written by Katie Beemer

At the beginning of the year, you get asked the same five questions over and over again: name, year, potential major, hometown, and why you chose Hillsdale. Through this litany of questions, I began to realize that the way I had found and chosen Hillsdale College was perhaps not the most typical amongst my peers. Many have older siblings who attended or have parents who were long time subscribers of Imprimis. Many of them have come from very conservative families who had hold Hillsdale up as a bastion. Sure, these types of responses were not the only answers people gave to the last of the compulsory introductory questions, but these responses were among the more common answers. At the very least, a majority of my peers had grown up hearing about Hillsdale, and I had not.

I actually was well into my junior year of high school before I heard of Hillsdale College. I had about six different people ask me out of the blue if I had considered Hillsdale. My reaction was somewhere along the lines of “where?” But, when six people who are completely unrelated to each other told me to consider a place where I would live the next four years, I decided to look into it.

I began to look at the programs that Hillsdale offered, to explore the website, and I was excited by what I saw. Slowly, I began to fall in love with Hillsdale College. But, I still had not visited; I needed to see this place before I could make any sort of decision.

I came to visit in August before my senior year, and that was it. Everything seemed to click – everything fit. I loved it immediately. The small modern campus with an Ivy League feel did not enchant me with any specific part of the visit. Rather, it was all of the factors that made me fall in love with Hillsdale.

I did not want to commit right away; I wanted to be sure. I still visited other schools, took endless tours, and attended classes at other schools, but every time I left, I said the same thing to my parents: “I liked it; I could be happy here, but it’s not Hillsdale.” At some point, I finally realized that this over-analysis was fairly pointless. I wanted to go to Hillsdale College.

In many ways, my Hillsdale journey is fairly typical. I fell in love with the campus, the people, the classes. I still remember hearing, as a prospective student, the lecture Dr. Kalthoff gave in his Western Heritage class about leisure in Ancient Greece. I still have my notes on it in my desk. I actually met people when I visited who are some of my best friends now. I fell in love with the location, out here in rural Michigan, surrounded by beautiful countryside. I fell in love with the GOAL volunteer programs, with the extra-curricular activities, and I could go on.

Here’s the thing though: those are the reasons I chose Hillsdale, and while I still appreciate those things, but they are not why I stay. I stay because, as cheesy as it sounds, “It’s the People.” We say it in jest often, this motto of Hillsdale County, but it’s very true. The people here have become a second family – the girls in my hall, the other freshmen, my favorite upperclassmen – it wouldn’t be the same here without them. They’re part of what makes this place magical.

Without the students here, we are simply beautiful empty buildings, but when the semester begins, the buildings are filled with laughter, joy, and tears. The campus comes alive, and that was something I didn’t really get to see before I came here, but it’s why Hillsdale is and always will be a home.

Katie Beemer is a #fantasticfreshman from #puremichigan in pursuit of a degree in #politics, which should say a lot about the state of her mind. She is an #extremeextrovert, uses hashtags excessively/inappropriately, and is the proud owner of a pet reindeer named Edgar John Cervantes III #itsalongstory. When she’s not wandering around the library looking for people to talk to, she occasionally does homework #cantstopwontstop.