College is what you make of it. I am a junior and so far I’ve learned that if you look hard enough, you can find exactly what you want in any school. This applies to any sort of extra curricular interest, social scene, or academic rigor. In my personal experiences, I believed that Franklin and Marshall was not terribly challenging academically. My mother went here, and I often would skype with her my freshman and sophomore years and complain that my classes weren’t hard enough, and that college was a glorified version of high school. I also was a bit bitter because Franklin and Marshall was my safety school, and I suppose I looked down on it a little.
To solve my problem, I planned to graduate a year early. It would get me out of college faster and into graduate school, where I could really start to expand my mind. But everyone around me, teachers, friends, family members, told me that I should stay the four years and try to enjoy the benefits that college offered. I didn’t really understand this at the time, but I took their advice.
By the time my sophomore year rolled around, and I definitively knew I was staying for all four years, I decided I needed to make my own sorts of challenges. A college degree at Franklin and Marshall, among many other schools, can be finished easily and quickly if you make it so. The institution itself does not require you to be challenged beyond what you wish. So I made it a point to declare a second major, and an additional minor. I went from having almost no requirements to filling all four years with courses I needed to graduate. And since then, I have been extremely satisfied with my experiences here. The school didn’t change, but I had changed. I realized that if I want to improve something about my life, I had to do it all on my own.
For future students, if you want to attend Franklin and Marshall, but are nervous about the academic rigor, either being too challenging or not challenging enough, just realize that college is what you make of it. And that you can create the academic niche that you are most comfortable with wherever you go.