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I love Lehigh. There are so many good opportunities that Lehigh presents its students, I'm sure I'm getting a fantastic education. For starters, I love the size of Lehigh. It's small enough that when you walk around campus, you always know or at least recognize most of the people you see, but big enough where you don't know everyone and everyone doesn't know you. I spend most of my time on campus either in the Performing Arts building (Zoellner) or in the Design building (Wilbur). Even though most people know Lehigh as an engineering school, we have excellent facilities for the arts. Up to date computer labs with the latest design software available to all students as well as unbelievable theater equipment for lights, sound, etc. One of the best things about Lehigh is that the professors who I've come across all care about their students. They want you to succeed and they will help you achieve your goals in their classes. I know specific professors who go out of their way to make sure that you get all the help that you need and teach you everything they know. They honestly care about you and what you want to do with your life. I feel like there is a lot of school pride, especially when it comes to the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry (the oldest college rivalry in history). As for things to do off campus, you're pretty limited if you don't have a car. Bethlehem is a little scary at night, but as long as you're cautious, the Lehigh police try to patrol and do their best to keep everyone safe.
Lehigh is great- I feel like I have met people with many differing opinions and likes and it has really expanded my views and my likes as well. The size is pretty perfect, small enough that you know lots of people, feel comfortable, and class sizes are small. Big enough that there are lots of opportunities. The town of South Bethlehem is definitly underrated. Alot of students are afraid to venture off campus because of the not-so-hot reputation but it is an awesome place! There are lots of cool shops, galleries, and ethnic eateries within a few blocks of campus. It is also a really great place to volunteer. I started working with local kids twice a week and it is one of the best experiences I've had at college. Lehigh is also in a great location- 45 min. to Philly and an hour and 1/2 to New York City! I love being able to take a bus or quick drive to these amazing places. The freshmen dorms are tiny but upperclass living is awesome! In both situations I have made amazing friends and experienced a real sense of community and family. People stay on campus for the weekends, so it's a good place to be if home is far away or not too exciting. There are definitly lots of things to do- Greek life is big but there are concerts, performances, and excursions happening that are sponsored by student organizations or the Universtiy. I was terrified to come to college but Lehigh made the transition very easy and you couldn't pay me to go anywhere else!
Lehigh, is known for it's strong business and engineering programs. So much so, people sometimes assume that's what you are doing here if you do attend, and it has some world class research coming out of the faculty here. Most of your classes freshman year will be large lecture type classes, and its not until your upperclassman years that you can really get into the smaller, more personal classes. Some of the teachers though, like any college, are not very good at teaching, so you just need to know who to look out for. They are here mainly for research, as some do not even like teaching. Lehigh, as you may or may not know, is set upon the hillside of south mountain, so there will be a lot of walking up and down hills/stairs to get to classes, but if you don't mind that, it is a very beautiful campus, in any season. The architecture is Gothic/Romanesque and though old, quite nice. The best part about Lehigh, though, is the rivalry. Lehigh vs Lafayette is the oldest college rivalry in the nation, and the week we play each other in football, even if you don't go here, it's worth going to at least once in your lifetime. The entire week is caught up in school spirit, pep rallies, celebrations, events, parties (naturally), and is quite possibly the funnest week (even the professors get into it sometimes!). There is a stark contrast though, between Lehigh and the surrounding area of Southside Bethlehem. There are mostly residents of Hispanic/Latino descent, and is a poorer area of Bethlehem. Relations could be better, but they aren't bad. Southside does offer many small shops (like Main St in north Bethlehem as well) and there is a thing called First Friday (first Friday of every month) where usually music can be heard, and the place comes alive.
Lehigh University is a fantastic place and I couldn't possibly be happier anywhere else. Yes, it is rather annoying to climb the mountain a few times a day to get to and from class, especially when you're burdened with a backpack full of textbooks. However, mostly because of all the stairs, I'm in the best shape of my life! Granted, I am a student-athlete and therefore have to work out every day, but all of my friends who are non-athletes say the same thing. If you gain the "freshman 15" here, it's probably because of all the leg muscle you gain. Lehigh is a perfect fit for anyone looking for a school that's not too big and not too small. It has a big school "feel" in that you'll meet someone new every day and everyone turns out to cheer on our sports teams, especially football and wrestling. Still, Lehigh is small enough that no student will ever get lost in a shuffle. No one is a mere number here. We're a big family. A cool thing I found out about Lehigh when I got here was that Lehigh is becoming part of something we call the "New Ivy League." When many students hear the names Harvard and Yale, they automatically assume they can't get in, so they apply to less well-known schools like Lehigh. Because of this, Lehigh's rejection rate is increasing substantially. I'm told in the next few years, it will actually be harder to get into Lehigh than into an Ivy League school. But don't let that discourage you! The best thing about Lehigh is that there is something for everyone here. We have musical groups, communtity service organizations, various clubs, Greek life, varsity and intramural sports, student government and academic honors organizations, to name a few. Students here can participate in anything from club soccer to ballroom dancing classes to Habitat for Humanity. No matter what you're interested in, there's always a place for you.
The best thing about Lehigh is that everyone is part of such a community. I recognize enough faces walking to class that I feel at home, but not so many that I feel like I know everyone. One thing I would change is the administration's attitude towards Greek life. I am not Greek, but sometimes they can be a bit harsh. The fact that fraternities are routinely kicked off the Hill is absurd, excepting when that motion is merited, which, as far as I can tell, it is not always. When I tell people I go to Lehigh, most people ask if I'm an engineering major. I am, but that's not really fair to ask. Lehigh's business school is also amazing, and although most everyone calls the arts and sciences college the "College of Arts and Crafts," it is also amazing. When on campus, I spend most of my time in Hawk's Nest (a late-night eatery on campus) or in the library. I spend a lot of time in my dorm room too, but the hallways are always bubbling with something going on, so it's not like I feel locked up. Lehigh's administration is good, for the most part. Sometimes it is a bit harsh in dealing with Greek life, but it is usually good. Most administrative department are really friendly and willing to help you out, even if that means bending the rules a bit. Things are pretty relaxed. The biggest recent controversy was the thievery of the waffle iron from Rathbone. I'm told it was part of a pledge event for one of the fraternities. The staff at Rathbone had a minor panic and tightened up security for a few days, but that was it. I think they're buying a new waffle iron sometime soon. Lehigh has TONS of school pride. People are constantly wearing their brown and white and people love talking to tour groups about how awesome Lehigh is. The rivalry with Lafayette is also pretty intense and most athletic events are well attended. Lehigh is very unusual because it is built on a mountain. Many aspects of life here are somewhat different because of this. For instance, kegs are banned on campus because some fraternities used to roll them down the hill and make pledges jump over them. You also try not to go back to your dorm more than once during the day because most of them are uphill. You also get used to the fact that almost every building here is built into a mountain. So, you generally enter a building in the front on the first floor and exit out the back on the third floor. There's also a bus that takes people up the hill. The hill is a good thing though. Everyone here is in pretty good shape from hiking to and from class every day.
I could go on about Lehigh forever. One of the greatest things about our school is that no matter which college you apply to-be it engineering, business or arts and sciences-you can switch into one of the other schools by simply signing a waiver-no reapplying like at most other schools. While Bethlehem as a college town kind of sucks-it does fit all our needs-I am in walking distance from grocery stores, gift shops, eateries, and both a cvs and rite-aid. There's also movie theatres and a good mall complete with a cosi only about ten minutes away, so location isn't much of a problem. Another awesome thing about Lehigh is the size. I had such a hard time finding a school that was bigger than 2,000, but small enough that i had a sense of familiarity. I am a really outgoing individual and yet I still feel like i am continuously meeting people. Being a freshman on this campus might be the best place to ever be a freshman. Greek life caters to freshman as they aim to attract the best new member classes in the spring, and sports teams love new additions of their freshman recruits. Even freshman boys have it good-always being wined and dined during rush and pre-rush, playing paintball and being treated to steak dinners in phili. What would I change? While people do come to sporting events I wish we had a little more school pride, and people went to the games and not just the amazing tailgate (especially for a smaller school.) Our rivalry with Lafayette is infamous and incredible popular, and basically all our spirit is ignited in o ne week of Lehigh-Lafayette festivities. The best part about Lehigh is the people- I had a very common misconception that everyone here would be rich, spoiled and self serving, but i have honestly made the best friends, with the most real and generous of people.
Lauren SophomoreReviews provided by: Unigo