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Summer in Northfield

Kelly reveals some of her favorite activities living in the small town of Northfield, MN over the summer.

Kelly reveals some of her favorite activities living in the small town of Northfield, MN over the summer.

Coming from a town of about 50,000 in a suburb of Chicago, I was slightly worried about spending my summer at Carleton in Northfield, a town with a population of 20,347 people. During the school year there is always so much going on on campus that I never worried about staying busy. But over the summer, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, similarly to the school year, I found myself happily overwhelmed by the many activities and social options that surrounded me.  

Here is a non-exhaustive list of what has been happening in Northfield this summer:

  • Pie baking contest
    • Put on by Carleton’s Dacie Moses house, my housemates and I won a pie baking contest! Check out Zoë’s blog for more details.
      Sigrid and pie

      My housemate, Sigrid ’24, showing off the impressive lattice on our black raspberry pie.
  • Dacie’s Sunday Brunch
    • Carleton students, alumni, and Northfield community members gather for a free meal and good conversation.
  • Outings with coworkers
    • The other Admissions Fellows and myself have really enjoyed collaborating and getting to know each other better. After work we have gotten ice cream and dinner as a cohort, and love bumping into each other on the weekends.
  • Trips into the Twin Cities and surrounding areas
    • My friend Zoë’s parents took us to a vegan restaurant in St. Paul when they visited.
    • My friends and I have ventured into Apple Valley and Burnsville for dinners.
    • My house and I attended a Twins game. Check out my overview of the Twins game we attended here!
Twins Game
Our house at a Twins Game.
  • Pick-up soccer and basketball games
    • Other than working and catching up on sleep, playing soccer has definitely taken up most of my time this summer. As a captain of the Womxn’s Club Soccer Team, I love playing soccer and staying active. It has been great to meet new people and goof around with other sports enthusiasts. People have also been playing basketball, tennis, and frisbee, as well as swimming, running, and working out at the Rec Center over the summer.
  • Poker and card nights
  • Movie nights with housemates
  • Birthday parties, barbecues, and social gatherings
    • We’ve celebrated multiple summer birthdays with cake, streamers, grilled corn, and hamburgers, and had lots of fun listening to music and dancing.
ben, kelly, zoe
Myself and my coworkers Zoë ’23 and Ben ’22 at our friend Ben T.’s birthday party this summer!
  • Swimming in pools, lakes, the Cannon River, and going fishing
  • Practicing cello in the Weitz Center for Creativity
  • Hanging with my mentee
    • I am a mentor for Project Friendship, so myself and the other Carleton mentors have been doing various activities with our little buddies this summer such as going on walks, baking pies, and arts and crafts.
  • Seeing friends from St. Olaf
    • My friend from high school goes to St. Olaf, so we’ve gotten to meet up and meet each others friends from our respective schools.
  • Barbecue for Fourth of July
    • The summer RAs put on a barbecue with hot dogs, water guns, and temporary tattoos.
My friend Sean ’23 (who is doing chemistry research this summer) unfortunately got nailed by someone wielding a water gun. That someone may or may not have been me.
  • Downtown Northfield Activities
    • Farmers market on Saturdays.
    • Outings to the Northfield Public Library.
    • Live music at The Cow, the Town Square, and elsewhere. 
    • Copious amounts of ice cream from Blast.
    • Eating at local restaurants.
    • Upcoming Defeat of Jesse James Days.
Hill of three oaks
Scenic views from the Hills of Three Oaks for my friend Caroline’s birthday.

My friends and I also have plans to go to the Mall of America, play a round of golf, paint, and more, but we have been so busy we have not gotten to do everything yet! 

Don’t knock the small town and college until you try it!

Despite Northfield’s small size and Carleton’s small student body, there is so much to keep you busy even during the summer. This is in large part due to Carleton students wanting to get to know anyone and everyone they can during their time here. If everyone holed up in their respective rooms and did not seek out opportunities to meet new people, it would lead to a very boring and unfulfilling summer. Luckily, my peers have gone out of their way to include me in their activities and interests, and I have done the same. I have met tons of new people with fascinating interests and I cannot wait to grow the relationships I have made this summer during the school year.

If you are scared by the small size of Carleton and Northfield, don’t be. There is always so much going on that I sometimes wish less was happening so I could get a break from socializing! When this occurs however, I just sneak off to the public library, pick up a book, grab a snack from a shop in Northfield, and sit by the river and read my book. But shhh, don’t tell anyone, or else they’ll come find me and drag me to a pick-up game of basketball. 

Kelly is a rising Junior at Carleton. She is a Psychology major and is considering a minor in Cognitive Science. Her other academic interests include Neuroscience and Educational Studies. Kelly considers Northfield her home as she is spending the summer here as an Admissions Fellow. Outside of the classroom, Kelly enjoys hosting programs for her residents as a Resident Assistant, planning practices for the Womxn’s Club Soccer team where she is one of the captains, and playing the cello in the Carleton Orchestra. Meet the other Bloggers!