LailaLaila Shawwa

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Hometown: City, Country - Originally from Amman, Jordan but I moved here from Doha, Qatar
Major: - English Education
Minor: - Psychology

Why did you choose Marist College?

I chose Marist because my aunt is a college counselor and encouraged me to consider this school in my applications. One of the reasons she recommended this school to me is because it had the major I initially wanted; Athletic Training. However, she also knows how indecisive I am and explained how Marist has a wide variety of majors to choose from, if I ever decided to switch. Another reason why I chose Marist is because it was in a state with all four seasons (which I had never experienced prior to living here), and the location is perfect because it is just close enough to easily take the train and experience New York City.

What was your favorite class? Why?

So far I've had two favorite classes, College Writing and Foundations of Education. I really enjoyed my College Writing Class because my professor really put the time and effort into making sure we understood what we had to do, where we went wrong and how we could improve our work. I also enjoy writing and, for the majority of the time, being able to pick our own topics. This course lead me to consider English Education as a new major because of how much I loved it. My Foundations of Education course helped me to completely decide that I wanted to become a teacher because it is an extremely interesting and insightful course.

What is the best part of living on campus?

The best part of living on campus is meeting all the people in your dorm and getting to know them. Initially you don't think anyone is feeling the same way you do, but it's nice when you get to know people and realize that they feel the exact same way you do and you aren't alone. Also, the campus is really pretty, it is easy to get around and being so close to your friends is fun and convenient.

Where is your favorite place on campus?

My favorite place on campus would have to be in front of the James A. Cannavino Library because the view from there is absolutely phenomenal. The front of the library overlooks the Hudson Valley River and no matter what time of day it is, the view always looks beautiful.

How do you connect with friends and family at home while at Marist?

Skype and Facebook are the two main ways I keep in touch with my friends who are scattered all around the United States and The United Kingdom and my family back home.

What kind(s) of extracurricular activities are you involved in?

I am currently in the Booster club- which I LOVE because I really enjoy watching the sports games, and it's a great way to get to know people.

Tell us about a “cultural” moment you had at Marist (culture shock, funny story, etc.).

A lot of my friends here had so many questions about where I was from and what it was like back home. One of my friends who knew about the Middle East thought it would be funny to convince another friend that back home I lived in a house made of sand. We kept this going for a few hours until I felt really bad and decided to tell her the truth about how we live in normal houses.

What do you do for fun outside of Marist?

On the weekends, Marist makes it extremely easy to get around and there are always things to do! Marist has shuttles that take you to and from the mall and there are a lot of performances and concerts that are both on and off campus. Usually if the college organizes a trip to see a certain performance they provide the transportation. There's always something fun to do whether it is on or off campus!