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Interview with Elyas

Manal Layachi

Volume 4 Issue 1

November 6, 2023

Interview with Elyas

Image provided by Elyas Layachi

Elyas Layachi (left), in a picture with Otto the Orange, Syracuse’s mascot. 


Elyas Layachi, a North alumnus class of 2023, currently attends Syracuse University. I interviewed him to see how his college experience is going so far. 


Why did you choose to attend Syracuse University? 


I chose to attend Syracuse University because of its beautiful campus, wide range of educational opportunities in so many majors/areas of interest, its big school feel, and its location in the heart of upstate New York.  


What do you miss the most about North? 


The one thing I miss most about North is definitely the people, including both the students and staff. I made such great relationships with my teachers and peers, and I miss them all very much.  


How is the college experience going so far? 


So far, college is going pretty well! I was able to adjust to it pretty quickly, but it is still definitely overwhelming despite having fewer classes and more free time than in high school. The classes are also a lot more difficult than I expected them to be, but so far, I have adjusted well. 


How did you transition from high school to college? 


To be honest, I didn’t really think much about my transition from high school to college. I kept busy over the summer working at one of my favorite places - Mid-Island Day Camp - while also spending time with family and going dorm shopping. The only time I thought about my transition from high school to college was the few days leading up to my move-in. I was originally very stressed at first, since I didn’t know what to expect, and I wasn’t mentally prepared to move into a new home. Once I moved in, however, everything settled into place, and I found that I love Syracuse University very much. It is already starting to feel like my second home! 


What extracurricular activities are you participating in? 


I am currently participating in STEM Initiative, a club that takes undergraduate students studying a STEM-related field to the local middle and high schools to educate students about STEM, and I am also a part of the running club here. I also like to watch home soccer and football games. (Go Orange!) 


Do you participate in the music program at Syracuse? If so, how is it? 


I do participate in the music program here at Syracuse. I auditioned for the orchestra a week after I moved in, and I made the cut. It is a very enlightening and fun experience, and I love having the opportunity to play beautiful, complex music with such amazing musicians, most of whom are music majors in the Setnor School of Music.  

What is your favorite thing about Syracuse? 


Right now, my favorite thing about Syracuse has to be the community. There are so many nice people on campus and the staff are awesome and always willing to help. I also love the sense of community that arises every Saturday when we have a football game. It gets super fun here on Saturdays and all of the town comes to watch the games. It truly makes me feel a part of something bigger and I love that feeling. 


What do you look forward to the most when you go home? 


When I go home, the thing I look forward to the most is seeing my family again. I miss them so much. Even though I’m not too far from Long Island, and I love coming back home to see them every once in a while. 


What is your favorite thing to do in Syracuse? 


My favorite thing to do in Syracuse right now is watching the football games with friends and getting immersed in the energetic athletic environment of the university.  


How is college different from high school for you? 


There is definitely a lot more freedom in college. I had a lot of freedom choosing my classes, as well as a lot of free time in between classes (sometimes up to 3 hours) in which I would either study, practice violin, or just relax. 


How is dorm life for you? Do you miss home? 


Dorm life is pretty fun. I enjoy living with people I just met, and it is definitely an eye-opening experience living with people from different cultural backgrounds, states, and even countries. 


Do you have any tips for juniors and seniors that are looking at colleges? 


I would definitely say do not stress the college application process, and keep in mind that regardless of whether or not you get into your dream school, you will end up where you want to be. Originally, I did not even think of applying to Syracuse until I took Syracuse chemistry with Mrs. Schroeder, and I am so glad I applied here. Even though I got rejected by my dream school MIT, I still love Syracuse University and I am super glad to be here.  


What are you majoring in? 


I am currently in the aerospace engineering program, but I am switching to mathematics education for grades 7-12 next semester. 


What profession do you hope to have in the future? 


I hope to one day become a middle or high school math teacher.  


Is there anything else you would like to add? 


College is awesome! Also, I miss you VSN! 


I enjoyed interviewing Elyas about his college experience. Be sure to wish him luck at Syracuse. 

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