Hi! I'm Lily Mandell and I graduated from Elon University in 2018. I double majored in Media Analytics and Arts Administration and minored in Theatre Arts. On campus I worked as a Facilities Manager for Campus Recreation, was on exec for Colleges Against Cancer and Relay for Life, held leadership positions in my Greek organization, was a recruitment counselor for Panhellenic recruitment, and was in the Elon Media Analytics Club.
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Why Elon University?
What do you love about your school?
I love how Elon values individualized education and small classes. I had amazing relationships with all of my professors and none of my classes had more than 30 students. You can't walk across campus without seeing someone you know. Everyone is super involved in extra-curriculars and it is incredibly motivating to see how passionate everyone is. Elon puts a huge emphasis on experiential education and requires its students to pick two of the following to complete in their time: Internship, Study Abroad, Research, Leadership, or Service. Also, Elon has been rated the most beautiful college campus by Business Insider, Forbes, and Best Colleges.
Why did you choose your school when you were a senior in high school? Walk us through that process.
I chose Elon for its small class sizes, beautiful campus, Communications program, and highly rated theatre program. When I stepped onto campus for the first time in 2011, it truly just felt right. I was also attracted to Elon because the students seemed really involved in multiple things, and I had many different passions. I knew I'd be able to study something I'm truly interested in, volunteer, participate in Greek Life, and have an on-campus job.
What has been your favorite class so far? Tell us about it!
My favorite class I took was my Senior Liberal Arts capstone: Virtues and Vices. At Elon, we had to complete many Arts & Sciences requirements, and one of them is a senior capstone outside of your course of study. In the class, we explored how virtue and vice are expressed in movies, television, ancient art, and philosophical writing. All of the course work was split up into case studies, presentations, and literary analysis. The professor really challenged us to question everything we've ever thought about, what is right and what is wrong. It was an amazingly enjoyable class and really taught me how to think deeper about everything.
What fun traditions do you like to partake in at your school?
Elon has MANY traditions. There is Sportsfest: a team-based field day at the beginning of the year run by Campus Recreation. College Coffee: where free coffee and pastries are available every Tuesday in one of the beautiful quads and you can swing by on the way to class and chat with professors and friends. Elon's current President is there every week and really makes an effort to get to know as many students as she can. SURF Day: where students present research they have been working on for multiple years of college. Luminary Celebration: where the main quad is lined with luminaries and we light the huge tree in the middle of campus to reign in the holiday season (I never missed that one, it's beautiful). Greek Week Dance: Where each Greek organization works for months to choreograph themed dances and the winning organizations earn money for their philanthropies.
Tell us about Jewish life on campus. How have you been able to engage with this aspect of your identity while at school?
Elon's Hillel has changed a lot over the years. Unfortunately, when I was a first year student they were in a period of transition, and did not do a great job at keeping kids engaged. Being from the Southeast, I did not grow up with many Jewish people. However, most of the students on campus are from the Northeast and there is a huge Jewish population. Even though I was not able to have a Jewish community through Hillel, I connected with many other Jewish students through my other involvement and was really able to find my own Jewish community. That being said, I know many students who had an amazing experience at Hillel and considered it vital to their college experience.
Share your favorite road trip song that we can add to our college road trip playlist!
The Middle, Chainsmokers
Hillel connects with students at more than 550 colleges and universities across North America and around the world, creating lasting connections with students, inspiring and training them to become leaders and build their own communities.
Check out Hillel’s Guide to Jewish Life at Colleges and Universities.
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