Aaron Freeman ’19
Why did you choose Carthage?
“I chose Carthage for three main reasons, in no particular order:
“First, I wanted to stay close to home for financial reasons, and Carthage presented greater opportunities than other local universities for a comparable cost to me after scholarships, which pay for most of my tuition. The scholarship opportunities to Kenosha residents were quite generous.”
“Second, Carthage is renowned for academic travel opportunities, so even though I ‘stayed local,’ by my junior year I had studied farther away from home than I ever imagined through Carthage’s exclusive and exciting January Term programs. Through Carthage, I have studied for two separate months in Guatemala and a semester in Chile.”
“Third, I am not a traditional student by most metrics, and I excel most when I do not feel pressured to conform to traditional paradigms in academia. Carthage’s close professor-student ratio and campus community have provided me with guidance and support to feel confident and comfortable accentuating my unique attributes.”
Did you always plan to come to Carthage?
“Carthage was always a part of my post-secondary plans, but I considered other options until I got accepted. That being said, Carthage was the only university to receive a completed application from me, because I believed deep down that my greatest opportunities were here. I have not been disappointed.”
Why did you choose to commute?
“I lived on campus for my first semester because I wanted to get out of the house and I had a good friend from high school with whom I had already talked about sharing a dorm. I enjoyed that experience while it lasted, but I had already planned on commuting for the rest of the time, and I was ready to make the switch when the time came. The commuting experience has worked out well for me, and Carthage is continuing to take steps to improve the experience of its commuters.”
Why should other Kenosha residents consider Carthage?
“For the same reasons that I did: highly competitive scholarships and exclusive travel opportunities that are easier to commit to when you are still close to your local support networks, your family and friends.”
What is your favorite part about being so close to home?
“I definitely deal with less stress than I would otherwise. At the same time, I can lean on my established support networks to reduce the stress that I do feel, as well as to find opportunities to put what I have learned at Carthage into practice. I particularly love working with old teachers, because their reflections on who I used to be, who they thought I would become, and who I am today have helped me to form my personal identity, refine my outlooks on my past experiences, and pursue my best prospects for the future.”
What is the biggest surprise you’ve experienced as a Kenoshan at Carthage?
“One big surprise has been how many fellow Kenoshans I have seen on campus, from old friends to familiar faces, and even some that I had never met. At the same time, and as a counter-balance, you see faces from all over the world at Carthage. The Target Language Experts on campus, for example, provide a crucial element of cultural diversity to the campus. As a Spanish language student, some of my most important learning moments have been outside of the classroom with the Spanish-language TLEs.”
Do you feel included in the school community? What has Carthage done to make you feel included?
“Absolutely. You could look at the long list of clubs that I have participated in or held leadership positions for over the years: the Association of Carthage Education Students (ACES), Carthage Meditation Club, Carthage WAVE Radio, Carthage Martial Arts Club, and even some time as the ACES representative in the Carthage Student Government. Through providing such a wide variety of extracurricular activities driven mostly by the student body, Carthage has fostered a diverse and welcoming atmosphere for any student looking to get involved on campus.”
Advice to potential Kenosha residents coming to Carthage?
“Introduce people to downtown Kenosha and your favorite spots around town. You will make friends, support local businesses, and contribute to the relationship between Carthage College and the City of Kenosha that has made this university so beneficial to our community, and vice-versa.”
Many Kenosha students worry about coming to Carthage because they want to feel like they’re living away from home. What would you say to them?
“You can live ‘away from home’ and still live close, and I think that this is the best of both worlds. Having a reliable support network is crucial to achieving your full potential as an undergraduate student. For many people, that reliable support network is easiest to construct at home, if they do not have one already.”
Do you feel that you are getting the full college experience?
“What a loaded term. I didn’t come to Carthage looking for more standards to fulfill. Aside from courses, I had no list of experiences to check off. I came to Carthage to make a college experience that was uniquely mine. That meant that, whatever I did, it would be for my personal and professional growth, not for any grade, prerequisite, or position. At Carthage, I have been able to maintain my academic independence through close relationships with professors, who made what appeared at first to be a long and limiting course requirement list into a flexible framework for graduation on my own terms.”
Favorite spot in Kenosha?
“For coffee and conversation: Common Grounds. For breakfast (the best meal): The Coffee Pot. For mental and spiritual strength and healing: Anywhere along the lake, or taking a stroll in the Peorio Park Nature Center right next to campus! For productivity: I usually do assignments, study, meet tutoring clients, and get my on-campus coffee fix at Einstein’s!”