Coming to Clark was the best decision I ever made! Oh gosh where do I even start describing Clark. I'm a freshmen (well, as of when I write this review in October 2012) and I've only been here for a full month and a half, but I've never had more fun in my life already. The people here are SO friendly and open and accepting, it's impossible not to fit in. If you felt like the odd one out at high school, this is the place for you. If you were pretty popular, this is still the place for you. It's a place where the old you doesn't matter, only who you are now. There's always something going on, and I know all colleges say this but it's literally true. Like, if you sign up for clubs, you will be BOMBARDED with emails of stuff going on, as well as emails from faculty regarding campus and neighborhood activities. The academics are fantastic, and even in classes I hate (French Pop Culture. Don't take it.) I still realize that there are so many opportunities here that don't exist at other schools.
My only qualm with Clark is that it's rather small (I was looking for a school of 4,000-7,000 and Clark is just over 2,000) and well, Worcester. BUT, Worcester is NOT that bad! The area around Clark isn't pretty, but we do a LOT of community service and work with the neighborhood a lot. It's just another city neighborhood, and it has both families and Clark students in it. Main South isn't a fantastic area, but it's not dangerous during the day, so just grab a friend and check out all the cool things to do! There's 3 Asian markets, a Hispanic market, pizza and Chinese food, Annie's Clark Brunch (a FANTASTIC diner that you will be eating at quite a lot because it's cheap and delicious) and Acoustic Java (a fabulous little cafe) right outside of the Clark campus, so go explore! It's actually a pretty neat area. Main South as well as Worcester as a whole has a ton of restaurants as well- in fact it should be known for it's food if anything else. In addition to good food and a lot of culture, there are 13 colleges total in Worcester, so it definitely caters to college life. My father recently told me that he read that Worcester was one of the biggest up and coming cities for 20-somethings, and young people are moving there at an extremely fast rate because the growth is so huge. So don't judge Worcester on the outside! As for my first comment, after living here, it's still not my cup of tea, but I definitely don't HATE it. It definitely wasn't what I was looking for, but it doesn't ruin my experience here at all.
The stereotype for Clark students is a middle class analytical type person who wants to challenge convention. To some extent this is very accurate, the people who end up at Clark do not usually choose it as their top choice. However past experiences make up for B+, A- averages. Everyone who goes to Clark for undergraduate studies has had a very interesting life behind them that has shaped them to be a unconventional thinker. At Clark you can still find different assortments of this stereotype, even though there are no frats here a frat-type party can always be found on weekends, also there is a large jock population - the sports here are taken very seriously, there is also different artistic groups on campus: drama kids, visual arts, dance societies, singing groups and all different types of bands and DJs. There is even a huge international population here. The one thing that clumps Clarkies together is the amount of acceptance that can be found on campus, there is no need to categorize people here to put them down. We work hard, play hard and question society.
Clark is a small school. There is always a friend (or an enemy) who you will bump into at least 4-5 times a week. This can be comforting and annoying at the same time. Although Clark is extraordinarily diverse and most of the kids are friendly, one might feel like they are being watched all the time. Also, Clark is not set in what you would call a college town. Like every big city, crime is rampant and one should not walk around by themselves past 9pm. However, if you have a car and a handful of good buddies, getting off campus (to go to Boston or New York, or even Providence) can be such a relief. And if you don't have a car (like me) well, then you know you the library stays open 22 hours a day. After all, you are paying for an education.
Clark has a really unique environment. It's a highly accredited (and expensive) private school smack in the middle of a city hit by economic ruin after its main industry left (hot dog carts and barbed wire fence). However, it's full of culture and interesting people. The school reaches out to the community in so many ways, and the relationship with the surrounding neighborhood increases daily. The administration heavily promotes diversity, and not just racially; you can find students from all walks of life, economic backgrounds, religions, sexual orientations, and other backgrounds. This makes for an incredibly open and accepting campus.
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