Freshman class drawn to Simpson for many reasons

by Mark Pleiss

When freshman Lyubomir Georgiev heard of a girl from his hometown attending a small liberal arts college in Iowa, he thought he’d take a look at it. Georgiev found the school’s business department to be excellent and the overall reputation to be just as good. Certainly this exemplifies one of those matches from heaven.

Georgiev, who is from Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, has joined several other new faces on campus, and like the other freshmen, he is finding that the adjustment will take time.

“There was definitely a change in lifestyles after coming to Simpson,” Georgiev said. “Life is a lot more restricted here. Back home, there’s almost no drinking age and people can venture through endless streets of cafes, clubs and such. But, I think the education I’m receiving here is much better, especially with the liberal arts classes. My time here has been nice and I’m pretty happy.”

Not unlike Georgiev, an army of his peers, 400 strong, have also left their homes for Simpson this year. This record number has surprised many of the freshmen.

“I didn’t think there would be as many kids in some of my classes as there are,” freshman Paul Ziebell said. “My history class has like 50 or so kids in it. They had to scrounge for chairs so everyone could have a seat.”

The number can be startling, but most aren’t bothered by the high enrollment.

“I came here instead of Iowa or Iowa State because I wanted to be a person, not just a number,” freshman Jeff Duis said. “Even though there are more kids than what I thought, the school hasn’t lost its small school feel.”

This “small school feel” is something that manifests these growing numbers.

“When we bring students to Simpson, the entire community is involved in their visit,” said Kara May, associate director of admissions. “Students are often impressed by the people. They’ll talk to a coach, each lunch with a student or talk with a professor and admire the kindness shown to them. Also, the Internet and technology opens Simpson up to even more people. But, we’ve had to accommodate with the growing numbers.”

Others came to Simpson for different reasons.

According to freshman Emmanual-Kodjo, the fraternities and Greek life were especially appealing. Freshman David Debaun found the staggering number of girls to guys rather nice as well.

Yet, as with any new year, many first-year students haven’t avoided the usual perplexities and screw-ups.

“I wanted to make sure I was early for classes,” freshman Marissa Campbell said. “But I accidentally came too early and ended up sitting in the latter half of the class before the one I was to attend, and the class I was supposed to attend.”

Other situations were a bit stickier.

“My roommates and I spilled pop all over our dorm carpet,” freshman Emily Adams said. “It was a real mess.”

Despite the little things, students seem to be adjusting fine.

“I’m doing very well right now,” freshman Kumud Poudel said. “I’m excited for the rest of the year.”