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The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

Lexi Pope headshot

Hometown: Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Major: Psychology
Minor: Human Development 
Pathway: Bodies/Embodiment
Activities: Student Advisor, Admission Tour Guide, Co-President of Club Lacrosse


Favorite aspect of Connecticut College:
My favorite part of Conn is the small, tight-knit community. On my very first tour, I could feel it. The people, the place, all of it just has this welcoming feeling. Coming from a small high school I knew a small college would be right for me as well, but now I really understand the beauty of this small school. I love that the student body here is not competitive. There is no race to the finish line Instead we all seem to work together and help each other out. Our community holds students to a high standard, creating the warm, kind environment we have and manage to uphold.

Favorite memory at Connecticut College:
My favorite memory at Conn so far happened during my very first week on campus. I was walking around with my little group of women who lived on my floor. They were my first friends, but of course I was still looking for more. We stopped on the green to watch some kids playing games ranging from Frisbee to Spikeball. There was a woman walking by herself also watching. My friends were in a group together, so I decided to go over and introduce myself. She was so friendly and asked if I wanted to go on a walk and check out the Connecticut College Arboretum since we both hadn’t seen it yet. We took the walk and got to know each other and had more in common than we thought, especially connecting on the idea we were both pretty homesick. Our friendship grew from then on and we are still close, often going on runs and walks in the Arbo!

Favorite activity in New London or the region:
I love anything near the water. I enjoy runs along the water through the Coast Guard Academy, going to  Ocean Beach Park in New London, or going to Muddy Waters Cafe in downtown New London and enjoying the view of the boats.

The Advisee Becomes the Adviser

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

Lexi Pope and two of her classmates hold up a sign they made for their FYS
My fellow Student Advisers and I holding up our First-year seminar sign waiting for our advisees on Tempel Green!

I do not like not knowing what to expect–and going into your first year of college is basically jumping into a new experience completely blind. As the fall of my first year at Connecticut College approached, however, three student advisers reached out to me. These advisers were rising sophomores who dedicated their year to making mine better. I immediately connected with one over email and bombarded her with questions throughout the summer, trying to prepare myself as much I could for this new place. Once I arrived I continued to text her throughout the year with questions or opinions on different classes, and more. My particularly outstanding student adviser made my transition to college so much less terrifying. She also became someone I looked up to. After meeting her and getting a sense of her interests, I realized we were very similar in that sense. She was also a tour guide, something I wanted to be a part of at some point during my time here. She helped me choose my classes. She also picked up my application to be a tour guide, always being the person to set me up to succeed. This made me feel at home because these were not things she needed to do. And she was doing it because she genuinely cared. I felt comfortable and often asked her to meet me for lunch during stressful times, (such as mid-year when it came time to choose classes). She took the time to talk everything out with me and helped me organize myself, leaving me feeling so much more in control. All of this made me decide to become an SA, to give back, and try to make another student feel as at home as she made me.

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Stepping Outside My Comfort Zone

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

Lexi and her group of five friends pose for a photo in the dance studio during their class
My group for our upcoming hip-hop performance!

I was excited to start my sophomore year, particularly academically. I thought I had it all figured out. I had begun to discover my passion for psychology and philosophy and planned on taking one philosophy course. But at the last minute, I decided to take two. I emailed Simon Feldman, my Introduction to Philosophy professor, and he encouraged me to join his Philosophy of Law course. I was excited, believing I was checking another box and that philosophy could become my minor.

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Sophomore Leadership Program

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

Lexi poses with seven girl friends at the Sophomore Leadership Dinner
Part of the group at our graduation dinner!

One of my biggest fears going from a high school class of 45 students to a college of about 1,900 was how I would leave all of the clubs and activities I was involved in and somehow restart in a different, much larger place. It’s hard to imagine having to transition while also trying to find places, groups and clubs on campus that you want to get involved in. When I arrived at Conn for my first year it was important to me that I joined clubs and took on other responsibilities outside of academics because I wanted to meet new people that I had shared interests with.

 

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Pressing Pause

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

A photo of the Connecticut College track at sunset
Getting a quick run in before sunset!

Even when you don’t have an important exam, it’s still important to reset your brain and take a break. This has been something I’ve been good at for the most part, but this year, with my schedule much heavier, it’s something I forget often. In my Psychology of Disorders and Dysfunctions class, we learned about Mindfulness Meditation— a type of meditation where you focus on nothing but the present and yourself in that moment. For a few weeks every class, we would take five minutes or so to do what was called a body scan. We all put our heads on our desks and listened to the voice of the women guiding the meditation, doing as she said, aware of our breathing and surrounding sounds. I found this to be a nice break, helping us to regain our focus for the remaining hour of class time. We were then assigned to practice this five-minute exercise, five days a week, for five weeks. After the five weeks was over I realized how helpful these types of exercises are for me, along with other breaks like running outside or going to yoga. It’s tempting to just climb in bed and take a nap after a long day of classes before starting some homework, but you end up being so much more productive if you take the time to get some fresh air or just do anything that works for you to reset your brain.

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Finding Your Nook

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

A photo taken from the study space on the upper floor of New London Hall showing the sidewalks below and Fanning Hall across the way
New London Hall
This has become my favorite day-time studying nook. Whether I have journaling to do for my Pathway course or I need to outline a paper, it’s the perfect spot to do some work while also enjoying the view of everyone walking between classes. For me, it’s a good thinking spot where I can brainstorm and look around. It’s also usually quite easy to find a quiet spot as classes are not always taking place on each floor. 

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Discovering the Unknown

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

A photo of Lexi Pope's major declaration slip
Handing in my Declaration of a Psychology Major slip to make it official!

I chose Connecticut College for many reasons. One aspect that caught my eye when scrolling through the website my senior year of high school was the College’s Connections curriculum, specifically Pathways. Pathways help you build on your major by connecting the coursework in your major, the required coursework outside your major, your study abroad experience, your internship and your senior capstone. Pathways seemed right up my alley since they are an interesting way to connect multiple interests, and I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to major in. When I was in high school, talking about college, and going on college tours and having to introduce myself always freaked me out. I tended to be the only person in the group saying that I was “undeclared.” Everyone seemed to have a plan. Even at the start of my first-year at Conn, I felt everyone knew what they were doing but me. Turns out this wasn’t true at all and I soon met many other students who were undeclared as well.

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Did Someone Say Four Day Weekend?!

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

Every college student dreams of having a four-day weekend. In fact, most students try to plan out their schedules to avoid classes on Friday, just for that extra day. Speaking from experience, this can be harder than you’d think! I have never been one to care much about my schedule, as long as no classes overlap and I’m taking classes I enjoy. A few months ago, I sat down to plan this semester's classes with my adviser, professor Jillian Marshall. I selected all of my classes and then drew out my schedule on paper to help visualize my week. Professor Marshall read aloud the days and times each of my classes met while I color-coded my schedule, and that’s when we realized I had somehow managed to have no classes scheduled for Monday or Friday. I quickly looked back to check that I had written in all four courses, thinking perhaps I’d missed one. Nope, that was it! I was pleased with my choices and already looking forward to these continuous long weekends!

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Decisions, Decisions...

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

I went to a small, private high school in East Providence, Rhode Island, where I had countless tools and people who helped me and guided me through the college process. I am forever grateful for their support. Despite this, I could not seem to figure out what I wanted and what I didn’t want in a college. I had toured multiple schools and thought they were all fine, but I hadn’t had that “falling in love” feeling every high school senior talks about when they find their new home.

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Buti Yoga

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

Lexi Pope does Buti Yoga on a dock in the settings sun
Yoga in the sunset

Everyone has their own way of clearing their head. Maybe that’s going for a walk, playing a game or taking a drive. For me, I turn to my yoga practice. About two years ago I discovered Buti Yoga. I immediately fell in love with this type of yoga and have been practicing it ever since. With its upbeat music and incorporated dance, it helps me release energy. Buti Yoga not only puts me in a good mood but doubles as my workout. The practice also consists of breathing awareness and patterns, creating a sense of clarity and focus in times that I am stressed or feel distracted. All these aspects of the practice have taught me how to ground myself and create a better sense of self-awareness. As someone who previously struggled with injuries from sports, this has been a healthy and healing form of exercise. Buti Yoga has led me to find not only a new passion but a healthy way to de-stress after a busy day of sitting in class. 

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Back and Forth

- The Experience, Lexi Pope ’21

A photo of Lexi's cute white puppy staring into the camera
Sometimes leaving my puppy is the hardest part!

In one of my very first parent-teacher conferences in elementary school, my teacher informed my mom that I had some trouble with transitions. This hasn’t been something that has changed much. From leaving the beach after a fun day to something more drastic like moving houses, I have never liked change.

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