Tara Smith ’19
Are you a commuter or campus resident?
“I lived on campus my first two years and then moved back home for junior year and into an apartment senior year.”
Why did you choose Carthage?
“I became interested in Carthage specifically for the Kenosha Scholarship competition. Carthage was not really a school that I considered until I started preparing for the competition. There were some great programs and opportunities listed on the website and being on campus for the competition was awesome. The faculty were incredibly nice and I felt like I was already a part of the Carthage community. Luckily the competition went favorably and I was able to afford to come to Carthage.”
Did you always plan to come to Carthage?
“Absolutely not. As a Kenosha resident, I expected to go far for college. It wasn’t viewed as ‘cool’ to go to school in your hometown. Also, I kind of felt like I was maybe selling myself short by staying in town and not experiencing anything new. However, everything when it comes to college is new so that was just a stupid thought.
“Another reason why I thought that I would never go to Carthage is because my older brother attended. He is two years older and was a junior when I was a freshman. I didn’t want people to think that I followed him to school, and I wanted to have my own college experience, which of course I did but for some reason I didn’t think I would.”
Why did you choose to commute?
“Freshman and sophomore years I lived on campus. As a freshman I felt that I needed to live on campus to get the college experience and feel like I ‘went away’ for school. I also knew that if I didn’t live on campus, I would have been less inclined to join things and meet new people. I am on the swim team and I felt that living on campus would have been a lot easier to manage the different practice schedules. I decided to move off campus because I was getting really sick and discovered a lot of allergies. I needed to change my diet, which was a lot easier to manage at home where I could cook.”
Why should other Kenosha residents consider Carthage?
“The academic opportunities at Carthage are incredible. I have experienced opportunities that my friends at larger schools don’t even have the option of experiencing. I feel as though I am more prepared for post grad than my other friends, and I am actually graduating on time. I know several people from Kenosha who went to larger schools who are not graduating on time and/or had to transfer. The academics are obviously incredible, but so is the social life. I have so many friends from so many different circles. I feel as though I can be friends with anyone, which creates a really warm community.”
What is your favorite part about being so close to home?
“I am very close to my family and family friends. I am really lucky to be close to home so that I can go to important events. My cousins play high school sports and I am able to catch a game here and there.”
What is the biggest surprise you’ve experienced as a Kenoshan at Carthage?
“I think my biggest surprise is how much more I have begun to appreciate Kenosha. Hearing non-Kenosha people talk about their hometowns compared to Kenosha makes me really appreciative to live here.”
Do you feel included in the school community? What has Carthage done to make you feel included?
“I feel very included in the school community. I feel very welcomed in all aspects of the community, too. I have great relationships with my English professors and classmates. I am on the swim and dive team, which has given me an incredible family on campus and many friends. I am also in Greek life. Through my swim and Greek life communities, I really feel at home at Carthage. Carthage has given me so many great lifelong friendships.”
Advice to potential Kenosha residents coming to Carthage?
“Come to Carthage! Kenosha residents are so excited to move away but a great college experience is right in our back yard! Try not to lean on friends that might still be in high school and branch out to make new friends on campus.”
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?
“Live on campus. Living on campus is still considered going away to college because you aren’t in the same home as your parents. Don’t use younger high school friends as a safety blanket. Do not go home until November.”
Do you feel that you are getting the full college experience?
“My college experience has been incredible. At Carthage I am able to do everything; excel academically, have a job on campus (and off), be an athlete, and be in Greek life. At very few schools is one able to do it all.”
Favorite spot in Kenosha?
“Carthage. Our campus is so beautiful, and it’s where all of my friends are. Carthage is my home.”