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Five Questions with…. Fátima Reyes

Fátima brings back an Admissions Blog trend from 2016 in this unorthodox blog.

Fátima brings back an Admissions Blog trend from 2016 in this unorthodox blog.

The other day while procrastinating, I came across some Admissions Blogs from way back in the day (from 2016, to be exact!). And I decided to hijack their super fun, unorthodox version of blogging, so without further ado, here it is! 

Let’s start off with the basics: 

  • Fátima Reyes ‘25, is from Guatemala City, Guatemala.
  • Campus/Northfield Involvement: Fellowship in Christ, Undergraduate Journal of Humanistic Studies, Project Friendship, Educational Studies Student Departmental Advisor.
  • Favorite spot at Carleton: Honestly, it changes all the time. But the Weitz practice rooms are up there. 
  • Fun Fact: Fátima has tried learning five languages (besides English and Spanish) but has never mastered any of them.
Profile picture of the author
Meet me! (And appreciate my thrifted leather jacket).

Question Time!

Why did you choose Carleton? “As clichè as it may sound, I wanted the Liberal Arts experience. I came in knowing I was going to be a SOAN major, but I also wanted the opportunity to branch out and explore other fields (I mean, I ended up with three minors, after all). Similarly, I was looking for an academically challenging and rigorous place where I wouldn’t encounter the competitiveness and toxic intensity that is often associated with such places. Carleton offered all of this, so when I got accepted with an extremely generous financial aid offer, committing to Carleton was a no-brainer!”


What challenges did you experience during your first year? “I had the privilege to attend a school before Carleton that in a lot of ways prepared me very well for college life, including the boarding aspect. It was, however, a small school (less than 200 students total), and while Carleton is relatively small for a college, it was still very daunting to go from knowing everyone on campus to being around 2,000+ strangers. I coped with that by sticking with the same group of friends I made during New Student Week and, while those people still mattered a great deal to me, I think that prevented me from getting to know other students and making new friends. In that sense, it took me a while to find ‘my people’, and it wasn’t until my second year that I sort of began to realize that and take initiative in putting myself out there more.”

Selfie. A group of friends hang out around the table and make dinner.
Throwback to freshman year and the gang that hung out on Third Nourse.

How did you adjust?  “I think I just got used to the rhythm of a Carleton trimester. As I grew more comfortable in the routine and gained a better understanding of the expectations that my classes and clubs had of me, for example, I also became more confident and more willing to take risks. Slowly, I took on more responsibilities because I knew I could handle them. A big thing for me was realizing that not everything has to be a priority. Emphasizing quality over quantity in my academic, personal, and social lives allowed me to dive deeper into the things I truly cared about and prevented me from burnout.

Another important element in my Carleton journey, which I believe is relatively unique to me compared to my peers, is having a life outside of campus, so to speak. The more relationships I formed with the Northfield community that did not directly involve Carleton, the more I realized that everything is relative and that the things that seem huge on campus are actually not that transcendental to the rest of the world. For me, that was a huge relief and it allowed me to be more open-minded in my Carleton experience, which in turn has made me a happier, and a more relaxed person.” 


What kind of student thrives at Carleton? “I believe the people around me who seem the happiest and making the most out of their Carleton experience are also those who are not afraid to be versatile and adaptable. ‘Be yourself’ is some of the greatest advice to thrive in college, it is also the one you’ll hear the most. I think something equally important is to learn that it is also OK to deconstruct and reconstruct yourself -to unlearn the things that are no longer useful or right to you and to venture into unknown territory. That willingness to be a ‘jack of all trades’, in a sense, is at the core of the liberal arts philosophy, and I think that rings very true for many Carleton students.

For example, I have a friend who is an athlete, has leadership positions in religious and artistic clubs, is pursuing a STEM major and social science minor, and has friends from all over campus. I really admire his refusal to let himself be pigeonholed; it has worked out great for him. He’s also one of the nicest, most caring people… so that definitely helps!”


What advice would you give someone who is considering Carleton? “I don’t think there is such a thing as universally helpful advice, but I’ll give it my best shot. Something I wish I had done more of was getting rid of my expectations before coming to college. Listening to other people’s experiences can be a fantastic way to gain insight into the Carleton community and you should absolutely talk to as many people as you can, regardless of which college you are considering, but ultimately your experience will be your own. No matter how much some of us may gush over it, Carleton, like everywhere else, is not perfect, and trying to keep a realistic perspective going in can make your own college experience all the better.”

Students walk down the Arb.
Thanks for hanging out with me!

As a junior, Fátima (she/her) is excited to continue her pursuit of a SOAN major and (hopefully!) Educational Studies, Latin American Studies, and Cross-cultural Studies minors. Outside class, she enjoys her leadership roles with Fellowship in Christ and the Undergraduate Journal for Humanistic Studies. In her free time, Fátima likes spending time with her mentee, poorly playing the piano, watching cartoons, and desperately missing her dog, Cosmo. Meet the other bloggers!