The Engineering Learning Community has students living and taking coursework together in their first year. Abby Sofia Pollock, a mechanical engineering student in the class of 2023, joined the ELC as a first-year student in 2018. Since that time, she has stayed connected with her fellow ELC group throughout her time at Drexel, serving as a Peer Mentor to new students.
When did you first learn about ELC and what made you interested in it?
I was trying to figure out where I wanted to live in my first year, and while researching I found out that Myers Hall was a Living Learning Community. I then started doing research on Living and Learning Communities (LLC) and decided that that was the exact environment I wanted to be in as a freshman. I thought it would be easier to make friends and keep in touch with them if we were all taking the same classes and living under the same roof. In addition, the on-site tutoring twice a week and ELC events were super appealing.
How did ELC help you acclimate to college life?
Living in the ELC made it so much easier for me to acclimate to college. Since we were all in the same college and everyone in my hall was in my classes, it was easier to ask questions about for help because I could knock on anyone’s door. In addition, the ELC felt like a family. I am still really close to all of the people I lived around. We used to study to exams all together in the lounge and play games together on our downtime.
How did your ELC experience extend beyond your first year?
I am really close to all the friends I made in the ELC, especially my friends who are on the same co-op cycle. We will actually make our schedules together so that we can take all of our classes together and continue to help each other. In addition, our friend group tries to occasionally get together and either have a dinner together or a game night, even if it is through Discord.
Why did you decide to continue on as a Peer Mentor?
I decided to continue to be a Peer Mentor for the ELC because I think I learned a lot in my freshman year that I wish someone could have told me about. I have been able to help a lot of people feel more comfortable talking to their professors, or how to study for certain classes, or know how to deal with the ups and downs of the first year of college and its complications. It is comforting to know that I can help other students going into college to not be blindsided about things that can’t really be taught or known by professors and advisors because they are not a student. I am also honored when a student comes to me with even the smallest question. It makes me feel like they more capable with tackling engineering when they know they can talk to someone who has already gone through it.
What advice would you give a student who is considering ELC?
If you are considering joining the ELC, just do it. I have never heard anyone regret doing it. Every person I have talked to has said they felt a sense of camaraderie with the people they were living around very early on that would probably not have happened otherwise. It is an amazing experience and you will make lifelong friendships. There are so many benefits to living in the ELC, so if any single aspect of it is appealing to you, you should just go for it and I promise you, you won’t regret it.