College has been full of surprises for Thomas Flores. He didn’t expect to fall in love with the theoretical aspects of physics, or to enjoy learning about psychology, or to find a job making videos for offices on campus. He didn’t even expect to come to Lehigh.
When Flores started his college search, he focused on technical schools because he has enjoyed science since he grew up watching Dexter’s Laboratory. But a friend of his attends Lehigh and Flores was intrigued by the university.
“Lehigh was actually a last-minute addition to my college search,” Flores explains. “After visiting, everything seemed to click. The academics are superb, the student life is fun and the campus is incredible. I knew Lehigh was the right school for me.”
"I knew Lehigh was the right school for me."
Today, Flores is happy he chose a university with three undergraduate colleges and more than 90 majors. He came to Lehigh to study physics, but he also likes the opportunity he has to take classes in other disciplines. In fact, his favorite class so far has been “The Psychology of Stereotyping and Prejudice.”
“Coming from a multicultural background and living in New York City,” Flores says, “I’ve been exposed to stereotyping and I wanted to learn the psychology behind it. That class made me realize so many different things about where I’m from and the way people act. It opened up my eyes to psychology as a field and convinced me to add the psychology minor.”
Outside of class, Flores is busy filming and editing videos for Lehigh’s International Multimedia Resource Center. He started making skateboarding videos with his friends in sixth grade and he’s glad to have found a job that lets him do what he loves.
“I was always interested in art, and video is a way that I can express myself,” says Flores. “Some people might say that art and physics aren’t similar, but they’re actually almost the same. In order to be a really successful scientist, you need to have a creative spark and be able to visualize principles that are very abstract.”
Flores suggests that other students follow his lead and keep an open mind about trying new things.
“College has a way of surprising you by making you realize you have an interest in things you otherwise wouldn’t have noticed,” he says. “I have made this my mantra, and by following it, I’m extremely happy with my college experience so far.”
On the Record
What’s your favorite place on the South Side? I love Tulum for burritos, and the new skate park.
Where’s your favorite place to study on campus?
I’ve discovered the magic of Fair-Mart. You can get so much done there.
Where is your favorite place to eat on campus? Subversions, in the Ulrich Center.