I think Dickinson is a good school- full of opportunities that make it a rich experience and produce people who want to make a difference in a positive way for their community.
Dickinson actually gets better every year as you move up. Sophmore year is better than Freshman, etc...The size is perfect, especially for someone coming from a small high school because it's not a huge adjustment. There are a lot of small but fun traditions, such as not walking on the crest in Britton Plaza, that make this school stand out from other small liberal arts schools.
Dickinson is a great size. It is large enough that I constantly meet new people, yet I do not walk around amidst a sea of unknown faces. I feel comfortable walking around by myself. Class size is small and intimate, and very conducive to an engaging, participatory environment. Even shy people contribute to classroom discussions as conflicting opinions and debate are encouraged by professors, who facilitate discussions.
The best thing about Dickinson is the ability to change your own experience and really blaze your own trail. Students are given a ton of influence in the direction of the college and are able to take on leadership positions that carry a great deal of responsibility. Dickinson's size is both an advantage and a weakness-- professors will know your names and interests and be willing to bend over backwards for you, but you will also know gossip about everyone whether you want to or not. Dickinson's reputation has definitely improved over the past few years and even in my 4 years here I have noticed a change in how people respond to the name. The campus is also terrific. Carlisle is a small town with little "nightlife", but there a bunch of delicious and affordable family-owned restaurants, cute shops, and the big-box stores (Wal-Mart and Target) within a few mile radius. There are several bars in town, which is plenty considering only a few hundred college students are of legal drinking age. While there is little school pride when it comes to sports (we are DIII and not tops in much of anything), there is still a lot of Dickinson love. You will see as many students rocking Dickinson apparel as you would with students at Penn State or a more spirit-oriented school.
The best thing about Dickinson is the professors. They are very accessible. If I could change one thing, I would abolish Greek life. I find Dickinson to be the perfect size for me, but I went to a high school of just over 500. Students from large high schools may find it a bit stifling. Most of my time on campus is spent in my room or in the student union building. Carlisle is a cute college town, tons of restaurants and a smattering of things to do. The administration, on one hand, can be very accessible and willing to talk, but on the other, they frequently overlook major student issues. One experience I will always remember is sitting on Morgan field in the sun with my friends.
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