By Bailey Klingaman – Digital Editor
For most students, the decision to attend Lasell is a distant memory. With COVID-19, upcoming commencement for seniors and growing amounts of classwork, students may have forgotten the Lasell that they love. They may have forgotten why they believed Lasell is the right college for them. Despite regulations on campus activities, Lasell still maintains many of the factors that students find attractive.
Freshman Emma Chai says COVID-19 did not impact her decision to attend Lasell, “I knew that I wanted to leave Hawaii and attend college in person to gain as much of a college experience that I could. I feel comfortable being tested twice a week, because it helps me to feel safer on campus.”
Chai is a Fashion Merchandising major and says the extensive variety of clubs and organizations on campus was a significant factor in her decision. She credits her ability to chase her passion for fashion to these opportunities to immerse herself in the campus culture. Chai especially enjoys her experiences in joining Polished Magazine and the Student Government Association as a freshman senator. “Just from getting involved, I have learned so much about myself in regards to my strengths, my areas of improvement, and my goals,” says Chai. She chose to leave her home-state of Hawaii so that she could experience a new environment.
Harry Spaulding, a first-semester senior studying Fashion Communications, felt differently when he was applying to colleges. “I decided to choose Lasell because it is only 55 minutes away from my hometown, which is very convenient,” Spaulding says. He also liked the proximity of campus to Boston and the environment of Newton.
Due to COVID-19, Spaulding has been forced to retire from his campus job in the mailroom. He says that spending time with his boss and coworkers has been the most memorable part about being at Lasell, and “it’s sad to see that I can no longer do that because of COVID.”
“Lasell students are often incredibly involved on campus. The sheer number of campus events, clubs and organizations is really impressive and we try to showcase our community as much as possible,” says Director of Admissions Yavuz Kiremit. According to Kiremit, most students consider Lasell because of the location of the campus, the majors being offered and the campus activities. “We are incredibly lucky to have such a large suburban campus that is also only a few miles down the road from Boston,” he says.
But Felipe Bida, a junior Journalism major and full-time employee at Lasell, stresses that a degree here was about more than the campus experience. “I am 34 years old and married with 2 kids. Getting my undergrad means more opportunities for me,” Bida says.
Previously, Bida had attended four years of college, changed his major multiple times and ultimately fled from the idea of higher education. He had started his own video production business and done a few freelance jobs for Lasell before being offered a full-time job making videos for their social media. It was through this opportunity that Bida became inspired to return to school.
“I know it sounds cheesy, but hearing students talk about having such a great experience and hearing alumni talk about going into their chosen careers after Lasell inspired me to finally go back and finish my degree,” Bida says. “I think it was one of the best decisions I have made.”
According to Kiremit, the most important factor in a student’s decision to attend Lasell is visiting the campus. “Students who visit our campus and see it for themselves are substantially more likely to enroll than students who do not visit,” says Kiremit. He emphasizes that giving examples of the Connected Learning philosophy and hands-on academics usually intrigues students.
Assistant Director of Admissions for international students Saly El Dayaa agrees, saying “…program of study and academic opportunities are two of the important factors when it comes to international students applying. They are interested in our career-driven teaching methods and Connected Learning philosophy.”
Because international students may not have the opportunity to tour campus in-person, El Dayaa answers lots of questions concerning campus life and class structure. “Because of our small campus size, students really get to connect with their professors and build long lasting relationships as their professors,” says El Dayaa. She also has information on-hand about financial aid, scholarship opportunities and what documentation is needed for international students to enroll.
“We also want students to know that Lasell is career-driven and prepares students for life after Lasell because as much as we care about their success during their four years, we also care about their success after,” says El Dayaa.
Chai and Spaulding say this is one of the reasons why Lasell appealed to them. “I have made some wonderful connections with my professors and friends,” Spaulding says. Chai agrees, saying, “I wanted to gain a strong relationship between my professors, advisors and peers.”
Whatever the primary factor in their decisions to attend Lasell, Bida, Chai and Spaulding seem to have a consensus on their choice.
“I decided to attend Lasell because I love the campus atmosphere. It’s beautiful here. Given the chance I would apply here again,” says Spaulding.