As a freshman, my Learning Community (LC) gave me the support system to succeed at St. Edward’s. I found friends with similar interests by taking a shared freshman seminar.

LCs are centered around a certain topic — things like pop culture, sustainability and gender & sexuality — and there are several from which you can choose. Here’s how they’ll make your freshman year unforgettable:

You’ll find your people.
Are you an imaginative writer who also loves experiencing live music around Austin? Find students who can discuss award-winning novels on the way to visit an Austin recording studio in the Pop Culture LC. Are you binge-watching The Handmaid's Tale for the 5th time? Catch a utopia/dystopia film screening after your class on Utopian literature. Each LC connects you to a network of students with similar academic interests in the classroom and passions outside of the classroom. Before you know it, starting college is a lot less intimidating.

Your classes are really interesting.
In LC seminars, you learn in unconventional ways. My LC explored the principles of community interactions at an escape room. Whether you go paddleboarding or to museums, breaking out from the lecture hall model of learning is a great way to master academic concepts applied in the real world.

Student-faculty mentorship opportunities are everywhere.
You’ll build relationships with professors early in your college experience in an LC, which is a huge plus to attending a college where the average student-faculty ratio is 15 students per faculty member. The best part? Many students land research opportunities and internships because of relationships built in the LC.

Friends become your family.
Spending time outside of class with people you connect with in class builds meaningful friendships. You really get to know and feel comfortable around the people in your class. It doesn’t take long for those friends to become your home away from home.

Bonus: If you want to take your LC experience to the next level, consider joining a Living Learning Community (LLC). Students in each LLC, such as Honors, Natural Sciences, Global Engagement, and Leadership, get all the benefits of taking a shared seminar, and they live in the same residence hall. This way, you build a community where your friends literally (and figuratively) feel like your neighbors.

Get familiar with the different LC and LLC options and choose one when you join the Hilltop.

Alyssa Chern ’20 is a Marketing major from the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She has interned for the St. Edward’s University Marketing office and sits on the Chairman’s Advisory Board at Cinemark.