The only student that would feel out of place at Benn is the one who wants to just follow a curriculum blindly and get a degree. Students wear whatever they want, or don't want for that matter. All types of students at Benn exist and they all interact. Most students are from parts of the US but we have an ok out of country pop. Most students are at least middle class but, anyone who want to pay off student loans for the rest of their life can go to Benn. Some people are politically active most just let the "Bennington bubble" consume then and have no idea what is going on in the outside world. Basically everyone is left.
Bennington is mostly white kids. Some are rich, some have middle class parents, some (like me) cannot afford it and are living with hefty lones. There is definitely a focus on being weird and atraditonal. If a girl wears heels all the time and looks like every other "pretty" girl looks across America she will be frowned upon. I feel like there are a lot of stereotypes that run rampagnt. Bennington is supposed to be this badass place to people that do CRAZY things, smoking, drinking CRAZY stuff. But really, I think it's a school same as any school is.
Shapely. Ba-dah-dah. The campus has a very strong LGBT population. Some of my female friends freshman year graduated as males. They're accepted, which is no surprise for how liberal the place is. My freshmen year there were demonstrations to support campus nudity. Basically, very very liberal types. Unfortunately the racial diversity is low, which surprised me. That and we're all on financial aid. Bennington is notoriously expensive, but almost nobody pays the whole thing. We all have loans to comiserate over.
I think that the only person who would feel out of place at Bennington would be the kind of person who desperately needs to fit in with a crowd or wants to go to frat parties. At Bennington, there really is no majority crowd and there aren't any frats so that might be a problem for them. Most Bennington students are from cities, we have Boston, New York, LA, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, Baltimore, both Portlands and Philadelphia plus a few others I just can't remember but almost everyone is from a city.
Students all study something different and work ridiculously hard. Class doesn't end when you leave the classroom: discussions and work are always ongoing and pervasive. One thing I love about Bennington is that I'm around people who don't want to sit around and talk about TV shows (though there are some people like that here, too); rather, I'm around people who sit down for a meal and debate about the meaning of democracy.
In classes students can be seen wearing a variety of fashions from vintage tees and skinny jeans to Birkenstocks and flowing skirts. As a whole Bennington students are a motley crew. But people without intense passion and work ethic won't make it past first term. Students who come to Bennington based solely on the lack of tests and grades will definitely feel out of place.
I have meet very cool and interesting people at Bennington. Everyone is very much their own person. There are lots of people who don't shave or wear deodorant... its a very natural place. There are people from all over the US and some from abroad. Geographically Bennington is very diverse, in other most other respects, it is not diverse at all.
Out of the mold, completely. Collectively, we bend, torn, cement, burn, reshape, unassemble, drop, kick, rebuild and improve the mold everyday. No matter who you are at Bennington, no matter if you party or look like this, or talk like that...everyone is completely into their work, others' work, and making a difference.
Everyone is really intense; there is a sense that everyone has a lot of problems they work through while here, but at the same time there is this feeling of real camaraderie because we're all going through the same deep issues in this changing time in our lives.
My classmates at Bennington are artistic, original, passionate, intense, a little crazy, but overall brilliant academics and artists who strave for innovation in their projects and studies.