Hello! This is Pauline, a first-year student at Olin, majoring in mechatronics. I came from Oregon on the west coast to join Olin on the east coast. When I first looked at Olin, from an outsider’s perspective on my college visits, I missed many of the hidden gems you discover once you become an Oliner.

I thought I would share some of these special attributes, starting with those of us who live on campus. 

Female student smiling

Pauline Petersen is a member of the Class of 2026.

My two main hesitations when figuring out my own college decision were the size and the location of Olin. I assumed with a smaller college, I would be limited in the number of connections, unlike at a large university. Yet now, more than halfway through my first year, I believe I know more students and faculty members better than my peers at larger colleges. As you experienced from the Olin Candidates’ Weekends, we all fit together, even with diverse experiences and backgrounds. When I look to expand my network, I go to Babson or Wellesley College, for activities, classes, and meals. Building out even further, a group of us goes to Boston, usually each weekend, where we often connect with friends at schools there, and meet other students. 

Within our first-year class, we have a messaging chat where students share information such as a heads-up when laundry is finished, requests for a ride back from the commuter rail station that takes you to Boston, or announcements about freshly baked cookies still warm in our dorm kitchen. Email lists shared by all range from alerts about a spontaneous snowball fight to sharing events, like research lectures during lunch. 

The Olin campus is on the outskirts of Boston, and I am there almost every weekend. Students bike or get a ride to the commuter rail - a quick half hour into the city. I love to explore the city, study on a boardwalk, and ride along the Charles on a unicycle or the T. On longer weekends, Oliners carpool and travel to nearby states like New Hampshire and Vermont to go backpacking or head toward the snowy mountains to ski and snowboard. 

Olin College may have a small student size, but there is so much to this school. From school-wide snowball fights to midnight karaoke in the auditorium, Olin is such a special place. I look forward to discovering many more hidden gems in these next few years and hope you can be here to join me. 

Pauline Petersen is a member of the Class of 2026.