When going to Kline (dining hall), generally people might sit with different groups of friends every time. Students who would feel out-of-place at Bard: kids who are really only into sports/cars, that sort of thing. Also, girls here tend to be pretty low-maintenence: in GENERAL, but not neccessarily, no one straightens their hair and primps and puts on makeup all the time. There is a lot of unique style here. People make an effort to look "nice," but the standard of looking good here is really atypical. I would say that showering is not too important here.
To an extent. The people here are often shy and socially awkward, but in a comfortable way. I have found most people to be very friendly, especially if you show you are interested in getting to know them. A lot of kids do smoke cigarettes. A lot of kids are not extremely hip, snobby rich kids. A lot of kids are. There are a good deal of extremely intelligent kids, and mostly it is a bunch of students who are uncertain if they even really want to be in college at all.
Many professors are great. Class participation is generally a big deal, but the more classes you take, the easier it becomes. Lots of students are too eager to speak up and bore you with their tangents, but if the teacher is good, they can try and stop that. Most professors know your name right away, and many make themselves accessible to you outside of class. The workload is certainly not light, but is usually manageable, and teachers almost always will grant an extension if you need one. Students are NOT competitive here, which is a relief. It seems like most students are actually interested in learning, not just in the grade or in taking easy classes to get through it. The education here is definitely not geared toward getting a job. Moderation is really annoying but seems like it is an ok experience.
Bard students are often self-stereotyped as socially awkward, intelligent kids who smoke a lot of cigarettes. Some are often referred to as "hipsters," most claim to hate "hipsters," many like experimental music, and many are very shy. I think that they are stereotyped as drug-addicted "weirdos" or super hip kids depending on where you're from: while I know that many kids from LA and New York City thought of Bard kids as very hip, sophisticated art snobs, the impression given to me, living in the suburbs of New Jersey, was that the kids here are drug-addicted "weirdos."
People complain all the time here: about the other students, about the distribution of funding, most of all about the administration. But, I find that rarely do any of them actually want to leave. I think the kids here are really great, especially coming from a place where no one had even heard of this school. Bard is a great in that, in almost all cases, a hobby or interest or personality that may have been thought of as "weird" in high school is totally embraced here. People are more prone to finding other people's obscure interests exciting and interesting. There is generally a lot of work, but if you take classes you like it tends not to get too overwhelming. Also, people generally always find a lot of time to hang out. This is a place that can get boring, especially in the winter, but I have found the kids here to be much more willing to have an adventure or try something new than at other schools. Many people here compare Bard to summer camp, except with homework, because people really take advantage of the outdoors (when the weather is nice) and participating in activities that many kids at other schools might not embrace, like picnics, fort-making, embroidery...etc. People here are generally interested.