Chris Geissler '13

Hometown: Maplewood, NJ
Major/Minor: Honors Linguistics Major, Honors Minor Religion


Fencing, Quiz Bowl, Buddhist Community at Swarthmore, Volunteering at College Access Center of Delaware County


Pottery, Eastern religions, History, Education


Why Swarthmore?

During the course of visiting colleges, I noticed that I was comparing every school to Swarthmore. Of course the size and academics were exactly what I was looking for, but it was the Swatties themselves that really sold me—a beautifully accepting, creative, nerdy lot.

Favorite Food at the Dining Hall:

Sharples' lentils are surprisingly (disturbingly?) similar to my grandmother's, so they're my natural favorite. While I was initially concerned about being able to find good-quality vegetarian food, that has not been an issue by any stretch of the imagination.

Remarks on Swatties:

I have never felt as "at home" as among Swatties. They're an incredible bunch, all passionate about something or many things, and they have a unique, quietly welcoming manner. As a first-year student, I have greatly benefitted from the willingness of older students to reach out, offer advice, and guide the less experienced—and I look forward to doing the same in future years.

Dramatic Discoveries:

I find myself continually surprised with the quality of EVERYTHING here, from the professors in every department to the fencing team's record to the bagels at the coffee bars.

Favorite place on campus:

Metasequoia Allée, part of the Scott Arboretum, is located between Kohlberg and LPAC. An unremarkable walkway, it's lined on either side with plantings of Metasequoia trees, once thought extinct, which number among the few conifers to drop their leaves in the autumn. Though a major walking path, the Allée is somehow calmer and more peaceful... and very beautiful.

Most memorable experience:

On my first Sunday, I went to the Swarthmore Friends Meeting just to try to gain a better understanding of the college's Quaker heritage. I had never been to a meeting before, and the peace of the silence really amazed me.

What do you wish you had known about applying to colleges?

I wish I could have realized how quickly all the worries and concerns of the college admissions fade away once college actually begins! Yes, choosing the right college is important, but it ought to be put into the proper perspective.