College Spotlight – St. Olaf College

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Freshman Update

by Lilly Pihart
February, 2023

College Expert Counselor: Sue Luse

Greetings from Northfield, MN!

My name is Lilly Pihart, and I am currently a freshman at St. Olaf College. I am planning to double major in Environmental Studies and Studio Art with a concentration in Asian Studies. I just finished my first semester here at St. Olaf and I am having a blast!

St. Olaf is a liberal arts college with about 3,000 students located 45 minutes south of the Twin Cities. We have 350 acres of protected wetlands, woodlands, and native tallgrass prairie for students to explore and appreciate. Here at St. Olaf, efforts are being made to reduce carbon emissions, restore the natural lands, correctly dispose of waste, source food locally and sustainability, and even power ⅓ of our whole school with our wind turbine ‘Big Ole’. 

Here at St. Olaf, I am a part of many co-curricular clubs such as The St. Olaf Student Naturalists, Feminists in Politics and Law, OUTS (Oles Under the Sun), and more that allow me to engage with my peers and freely express myself. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to go on a five-day backpacking trip with OUTS this past fall of 2022. We traveled to Duluth and hiked the Superior Hiking Trail. 

Three smiling girls in faded jeans sitting on bench holding black and gold pom-poms.
Showing Ole Pride at the homecoming football game!

During my first semester at St. Olaf, I took four classes in the fall, and one during the interim – or J-Term. I took a Spanish class, an environmental studies course, a 2D art class, and a first-year seminar course. I was able to make close connections with my classmates and professors because the class sizes are quite small. 

I am from Hopkins, MN so I am about 40 minutes from home. Coming to St. Olaf I was worried I would be too close to home, however, I have just the right amount of freedom while also having the comfort and support of my family close by. College is a big step into adulthood and can be really difficult having so much change so fast, so having the support of my family has really helped me adjust to the college environment.