Elli Jacobson

Elli Jacobson is a 4th year in the College majoring in Biological Sciences. She started college as a resident in Stony Island House, and is now an RA for Rickert House in Max Palevsky West. She is originally from Rochester, Minnesota. 

How did you first get interested in UChicago?
My dad actually went to Pritzker School of Medicine, and so my three siblings and I all considered UChicago when we were looking at colleges. It first struck me as a school that balanced a Midwestern-feel with a great education, and I was definitely interested in the challenges it offered.

What is one of your favorite things about UChicago?
I really love the College House system. House members live, eat, and do many activities together, like trips throughout Chicago to the Art Institute, Lincoln Park Zoo, or to one of the many diverse neighborhoods in Chicago. As a first year the house system gave me an opportunity to get to know people I would not have met in the classroom either because they were International Relations or Philosophy majors, or because they spent their free time designing lighting for University Theater or playing for the varsity baseball team. Our paths likely would not have crossed otherwise, but instead we ate every meal together at our house table in Bartlett Dining Hall. Leaving my comfort zone has been a huge part of the growth and education I have received as a person at UChicago, and that is all due to the house system. 

What is your favorite study spot?
I love to study outside in Hutch Courtyard whenever the weather is nice. It’s an especially beautiful part of our already beautiful quad and the tables make studying outdoors easy. Eckhart Library is also a great study place that is definitely under-utilized.

What is your favorite UChicago tradition?
My first favorite UChicago tradition is Dollar Shake Day. It is an excuse to get together with friends and not work for a while in the middle of the week while drinking milkshakes.  My second favorite UChicago tradition is the gold seal in the floor of the Reynold’s Club, which if you supposedly step on will doom you to not graduate in four years. I am a building manager in Reynold’s Club so I do hourly rounds of Reynolds and I am always surprised by how far people will go avoid stepping on the seal. I have seen groups of people suddenly and awkwardly jump and dive to avoid stepping on the seal or even people carrying huge, heavy equipment add an extra 10 feet to their route to avoid stepping on the seal. The threat of not graduating on time really scares people apparently.

Do you have any leadership roles on campus?
I am a Resident Assistant in Rickert House which has been a great leadership opportunity. I have been able to give back to the Housing system that made my first years at UChicago so great and help others have the same great experiences. As an RA I have had the chance to get to know my residents and impart some of the wisdom from my experience here. I have learned a lot from my residents as well. The RA job at UChicago is great because RAs are not expected to be strict disciplinary figures for our residents, but rather we are peers and friends who residents can count on for fun events and activities as well as for support when needed.

What do you want to do after UChicago? How is UChicago preparing you for that?

I am in the middle of applying to medical schools, and am planning to go straight to medical school after I graduate. The intense academics of UChicago have shown me just what I am capable of in the classroom, which has helped prepare me for the rigor of medical school. I took the MCAT a week ago and it was extremely helpful to have completed the deep and broad biology coursework that the Biology major requires. Medicine incorporates sociology, psychology, humanities, and more into science, and so the introduction to these fields from the Core has certainly helped me prepare for the study of medicine. Additionally, I have had opportunities to work with patients as a hospital volunteer, a clinical research assistant, and to volunteer at the local Ronald McDonald House. These opportunities have shown me a new side of medicine and combined with my broad coursework I am confident that I am ready for the many sides of medicine.