True. We are supremely liberal in the sense that we do not have any patience for prejudice or intolerance. And we are quintessentially open-minded in that we understand that every single one of us entitled to our own point of view and that often our most strongly held convictions are fundamentally irrational.
True. We are quite nerdy: you can't walk around campus without overhearing a learned conversation about some author you've never read (or that you've never even heard of), or an argument about how to carry out an organic synthesis. Indeed, most Reedies are not only clever, but devoted to their disciplines.
Recreational drug use is popular, but what is understated is that heaviest users usually don't make it through, or that they tone down around the junior year. By the time you're writing your senior thesis, you're usually too busy to experiment with chemically-induced cerebral expansion, or you've had enough experience to know that there are better ways to make true intellectual progress.
We do have full blown hippies. But we've got just as many future investment bankers and annoying pre-meds who live every moment in pursuit of the perfect medical school application (although this tendency, like drug use, tends to be tempered by the junior year). And if you spend any time around Reed you will eventually meet someone who works very hard simply for the love of learning, or the desire to push themselves to the limit.
True. There is a great deal of social awkwardness, substantially more than elsewhere. People you've met will walk by and stare intently at an imaginary object just above your head, or right before your feet, and never say a word or squeak a smile. The person you built up the courage to shake hands with at a party is likely to remember your name for all the years you share the campus, but never speak a word to you again (indeed, they may even hide from you). But rest-assured, there are a few social prodigies who are so outgoing and good-natured that they set us straight: after four years even the quirkiest and most shy will see that it is possible to put away self-consciousness and the desire for approval, and will seem more normal.
True. We are hedonistic. But who isn't out to have a good time? True. We are often irreverent. But then, how much reverence does the status quo really deserve?
Finally, what is not praised enough is our sense of humor. Half of everyone you know here is ridiculously funny, if only you can wait long enough to see it come out.