How did your time at Harlaxton impact your college studies and transform you?
My time at Harlaxton was pivotal in my college career. When I went to Harlaxton, I was experiencing uncertainty both academically and personally. But I felt so relaxed at the manor, and I was able to dig into what I wanted to do after college. We really are in our own little bubble out in Grantham where we can focus on our community. The faculty, staff, and fellow students were all so supportive of one another and made the manor a place where we as people can grow to be better and come back home changed.
What was your favorite thing about studying at Harlaxton?
The freedom! We get three-day weekends which easily allowed us to make this time our own. We could visit town when we wanted or go on a day trip a couple cities over, or even hop on a cheap fight to a different country. The Harlaxton staff wants us to have a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As long as we don’t have classes, we have full access to many things and have the independence to travel.
What piece of advice would you give to someone planning to study at Harlaxton?
Take it slow. I know how tempting it is to go to a new country every weekend and cram as much stuff into one trip as possible, but you will experience burnout. My favorite trips were those without a strict schedule, where we only planned to see one big thing that day. You can truly enjoy and take in the place you visit. Don’t feel like you can’t stay at the manor for a weekend either. I was always told to spend at least one weekend at the manor and do virtually nothing and I stand by that. It was nice to just go into town, grab a bite to eat, and interact with the locals.
How has the manor become your second home? Do you plan to return someday?
The manor always felt like home because of my friends there. We were a tight-knit community which made it easier to feel comfortable there. I liked going to the Bistro, talking with the staff and the other students, and relaxing. We’d spend hours down there playing card games late into the night or singing karaoke on Thursdays. We made the effort to make the manor our home and so it became one. I wholeheartedly plan to return to the manor one day. Grantham, England will always be a home away from home for me and I will always want to travel back there.
Do you have a favorite trip from your time spent abroad?
My favorite trip was when I went to York, England near the end of the semester. I went with one of the local friends I made early on. We stayed in a cheap little hostel in the center of York and just explored. We spent hours walking around the Christmas Market, stopping at all the little stalls, listening to all the street performers, and drinking our mulled wine. We went through York’s Shambles, which was the inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. We also visited the York Viking Center, as well as the Jorvik Center and the York Castle Museum to learn about its World War involvement. It was neat to travel with a local, because they have so much insight and knowledge.