College and Foliage: A First Year's Reflections

Hey there!

My name is Haley Pelleter, Class of 2017, and I will be your blogger today.

It's nearing the end of October and fall, my favorite time of the year, is in full swing.  My roommate (Olinsider blogger Anne LoVerso) and I have had our room decked out with Halloween decorations since the beginning of the month and plans of group costumes have been in the works for weeks, including Firefly and Doctor Who ensembles.  The leaves have been turning all sorts of fantastic colors and the view from the fourth floor of the Academic Center is stunning.  As a Massachusetts native, hearing people from other parts of the country talk about how the leaves don't change in their warmer climates is always entertaining.  It also reminds me of how excited I am for the first snowfall this winter, as there has been much concern and even fear expressed among the Californians, Floridians, and Hawaiians in our midst.  If you are one those people, I would like to take this moment to assure you, you will be fine.


As October and the first half of the semester are wrapping up, I've been thinking a lot about the incredible, whirlwind experience that has been my first two months of college.  In this time, I have:

  • Learned how to use MatLab and sworn vengeance against the world's scallops when the graphs for my first ModSim project refused to behave how they were supposed to (see Anne's post)
  • Been introduced to the almighty breadboard and the art (yes, art) of circuit building in ModCon
  • Been chided for my lack of "circuit hygiene," or ability to make my breadboard look neat and pretty (though this is steadily improving)
  • Learned how to use SolidWorks and been amazed by all the awesome things you can do with it
  • Finished and demonstrated a functional hopping toy for Design Nature
  • Watched 13 science fiction films spanning a period of 60 years for my AHS class
  • Joined OFAC and spun fire around my head in front of an audience during Family Weekend
  • Traveled approximately 20 feet on a unicycle

Of course, there are many things I'm forgetting, but this is a pretty good overview of what my time at Olin has been like so far.  Even though there's always work to be done, doing that work can be a lot of fun.  So while you may have noticed that we hold the #2 spot on the Princeton Review's list of colleges where "Students Study the Most," this is not to be equated with holing up in your room and crying over math problems every night.  Here, that means spending much of your time working through problems with other people and tinkering with your breadboard or your hopper simply because you want to.  And, of course, there's always extra time left to join clubs and pick up some new skills.

As I sit here contemplating my college experience thus far, sipping some hot chocolate and appreciating the fall scenery on this lovely Friday, I can't help but realize just how happy I am to be here.  I think this, above all, speaks volumes about what a remarkable place Olin really is, and confirms that I made the right choice in coming here.


I hope wherever you are, you're enjoying the season as well! (Even if your leaves aren't quite so colorful.)

-Haley, c/o 2017

Posted in: Haley '17