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Hampshire's campus is surrounded by beautiful woods, although weather only permits hiking for about 4 months of the year. Am...
Hampshire's campus is surrounded by beautiful woods, although weather only permits hiking for about 4 months of the year. Amherst and Northampton are easily accessed by the free buses and are both really fun. Hampshire's administration is horrible. If you have to deal with the administration in any way then you can count on it being extremely complicated and stressful. Div I is very structured and completely deviant from Hampshire's original ideals, so all students pretty much hate it. The largest controversy at Hampshire this year was about race issues. A massive percentage of students pressured the administration to become actively anti-racist, with limited results. Hampshire students tend to be very cliquey, but in my experience everyone is very nice and the size of the school provides a comforting intimacy.
Intense drug use isn't really common and there is actually a really large sub-free population. It is true that Hampshire is essentially entirely rich white kids and hipsters and hippies certainly outweigh any other look.
Hampshire students are stereotyped as rich white kids, who mainly identify as hipsters or hippies. Hampshire students also have a reputation of being all potheads.
So basically Hampshire was designed to give students more freedom concerning their area of study, and to allow them to work (...
So basically Hampshire was designed to give students more freedom concerning their area of study, and to allow them to work (kind of) at their own pace. At first I guess there was a lot more wiggle room, but Hampshire is expanding at a pretty good rate. By good I mean fast. Most of the classes are discussion based so it's important that the class sizes remain small. Last year people had to stay at hotels. The campus needs a lot more funding... some of the mods (on campus houses) are being renovated each year, but others havent been touched since the 70s and are pretty much falling apart. Lots of school pride... and people lovvve Amherst. It's a pretty cute town, and Northampton is right next to it.
Hampshire has a lot of diversity... or tries to. Anyway there are special mods (houses) for people of color, homosexuals, vegetarians, cowboys... No one really feels out of place. Unless they aren't weird enough. It's easy to feel that way at Hampshire. I'd say most of the students are pretty well off, since it's an expensive school. But they give a lot of financial aid, and scholarships (James Baldwin). I'd say it's a good mix A lot of students are politically active, a lot aren't. But the environment is very encouraging of those that are. A primarily leftist school. PC also I've never really been into forming my own groups on campus... drives, sales, recruiting... whatever people do. But it's a good environment for that too. Some crazy Brits, and other foreigners... not enough I'd say.
Lots of people stay at Hampshire for longer than 4 years. Lots drop out after the first year. It all just depends on who you are and how you learn.
There are indeed many "hippies"..... but they are all unique. Some do drugs, some don't. Some are vegan, some carnivores. There's really a huge range. And actually I'd say there are far more hipSTERS than hippies. You know, the people who listen to really obscure music and film. Lots of artistes. And then there are the studious kids, the kids who get drunk every night, the gamers. Awesome school to go to if you're a people watcher.
Since the student is allowed more freedom, in terms of choosing classes and designing a unique concentration, he or she must also assume a lot of responsibility. The first year is a good introduction to the types of classes offered, as the student must take one course in each of the 5 "schools". All of the courses I chose were similar in that they required much reading and writing and discussion in class... even the natural science courses. I am not sure the leniency concerning the completion of assignments is necessarily beneficial in a science course. The professors are, for the most part, very helpful and always willing to chat after class or during scheduled meetings. I wish I had taken advantage more often. During the 2-4 years, students are expected to work closely with a committee of carefully chosen faculty members. It was a bit difficult to find professors that were understanding and supportive of what I wanted to do, but once I did it helped me immensely. One thing to be wary of: Hampshire students are given a lot of freedom, and rarely is a professor consistently nagging at you. You are treated as an equal, usually. As a result, a lot of the professors are just as lazy as the students, and you might end up having to nag at them. Having said that, know your teachers... know their limits... and don't just expect to slack off. There are plenty of professors who won't necessarily scold you for slacking, but will give you the surprise of your life when they write you a way critical evaluation.
Ultimate Frisbee. otherwise no real sports teams on campus.... which isnt to say there arent those that play. People leave their doors open, which sometimes bothered me. you'd have to look at them while you walked down the hall, obligated to say hi. but i can be kind of antisocial. Parties are ok... mostly cramped. No frats or sororities. The best is just hanging outside with a few good friends, drinking... smoking... or not. I met my best friends there while in the dorms. We'd have to eat at the dining hall so mostly we'd just complain about the food and diarrhea as ice breakers.
Hampshire is said to be a hippie school, with lots of laid back people roaming around... drugs everywhere.
Why I decided to go to Hampshire: I was visiting people I new at all of the schools that I was interested in. Everywhere I vi...
Why I decided to go to Hampshire: I was visiting people I new at all of the schools that I was interested in. Everywhere I visited, people seemed totally unenthused about their areas of study. People were good students, but it did not occur to them to talk about a really good class or a new idea from a book with friends. Hampshire was the only place where I found people genuinely excited about their courses of study as well as interested in hearing about other peoples' intrests. People at Hampshire really are passionate about what they do, and aren't afraid to let that show.
Nobody will really be out of place. I have friends who regularly wear suits to class. Last week a friend showed up to dinner wearing only a blanket. You won't be judged.
You can find a fair number of people who fit these stereotypes. However, they are far outnumbered by self motivated, passionate people who are really involved in changing the world.
You can get away with doing very little. Most work really hard at what they're interested in. Professors are very approachable. I wish that core requirements were less arbitrary and allowed for more flexibility. Sometimes, first year courses seem like useless hoops to jump through.
Hampshire is not a huge drinking school. It is true that there is a lot of pot, but also I think that people prefer smaller, more intimate social groups. I have more often gone out in the woods, built a fire, cooked dinner and drank beer with close friends than played beer pong.
-Self absorbed hipster film students -Stoned hippies who talk about changing the world, but really are just stoned and need a shower.
While I dont regret my choice to come to Hampshire, I have found several negetives to balance the core positive trait: large ...
While I dont regret my choice to come to Hampshire, I have found several negetives to balance the core positive trait: large degrees of acedemic freedom. 1) Red Tape. There is an unbelievably convoluted system to everything at hampshire. Even professors who have been here for 20+ years dont know all the seemingly illogical twists and turns. 2)Division I. Hampshires answer to traditional college structure. Take 5 courses, at least 3 of which you won't need, want, or put any effort in to. I, a Genetics major, had to take Creative Writing and a Welding course. A waste of my and many students time and money. 3)Odd requirements. Others schools require calculus. Hampshire requires "Multicultural Perspectives" and 30 hours volunteer work. Only students majoring in these feilds find these worthwhile (and will riot, complain, and shut down buildings to maintain these). Most students pay only the thinest of lip service.
Generally a very accepting community. The only concern would be if your views are socially more conservative.
For the most part, yes. However, as part of hampshire sciences department, I can say that there is good wor being done outside of art and social sciences. There arn't many of us, but we are a close knit and dedicated group.
I have good, personal relationships with many proffessors. Instead of 5 minute office meetings they will often take you to lunch (or for a drink if you're old enough). They have often spent time outside of work hours or the semester, helping me with my research. This is one of my reasons for staying here. In my second year I was given a co-authorship on a paper. Few if any other schools can offer this kind of proffessor-student interaction.
No teams (aside from frisbee), not many real clubs or organizations. No frats. If one is awake at 2am on a tuesday its the day before a paper is due or they are too high to sleep. Reasonably good theater and arts seen. If you don't like drinking on saturdays you can smoke some weed (I'm only half joking). Dating seen is very odd, to say the least. My freinds randomly assorted from people living near me, and freinds of freinds, etc.
Druggies, Hippies, Hyper-liberal Activists, All Art and Gender studies, etc
The school is too small. You see everybody all the time. It is nice in a sense because you feel known and everywhere you go y...
The school is too small. You see everybody all the time. It is nice in a sense because you feel known and everywhere you go you see someone you know and can talk to. It also sucks because no matter where you go there is someone you would rather avoid. You are never alone unless you go deep into the woods which fortunetly is not that hard to do. Good luck studying in the library....it is more a social junction than an academic stronghold. The best thing about Hampshire is that gone about the right way, you can do almost literally whatever you want to do academically and socially. If I could, I would change the academic system to be more rigorous. I would insitute not grades, but reading quizzes and some sort of system to chart knowledge gained in students. No one does the readings and for discussion based classes there are always only two or three kids with anything to say and half of these kids didn't do the readings either and are just talking out of their butts about something their brothers ex-girlfriends brother told them once. My friends think my school is a joke. I spend most of my time on campus hanging out with my friends that haven't dropped out yet and sleeping. I find most of the happenings on campus to be too radical and change oriented for me. When I am not sleeping and doing non-school related readings and research I am getting drunk and watching tv on the internet. I hate the town of amherst. The last thing that I find appealing is being surrounded by 50,000 of my peers. I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet a ton of people and make great friends but no, umass kids are assholes, amherst college students are pretentious, smith is full of militant lesbians and mt. holyoke full of those girls who wished that they were cheerleaders in high school. Awesome. Sure those are stereotypes but honestly, I am not generalizing far from the truth. The pioneer valley is abosolutely breathtakingly gorgeous. Everyday I am surpriesed that I still remark everyday about how beautiful the mountains and the fields are. Hampshire's admistration will ignore you until you become so annoying that they must pay attention to you or until you find a professor to harrass them for you. If you have any sort of financial hold on your account I wish you the best of luck registering for class and functioning within the community. Hampshire has surprise kicked out my same friend twice. Every year she has a financial hold and every year she gets an email tellling her to pack her things and be off campus within two days. The biggest recent controversy is over nooses hung around campus. Students made a list of demands and asked Hampshire to follow the demands and to become actively anti-racist. The administration side stepped fufilling the list by providing distracting, ineffective students of color only housing. The students think that the administration doesn't care and won't listen and the administration thinks that the students are being extreme and irrational. I will always remember when my friend got caugt growing several marijuana plants in her room and got off. She wasn't placed on housing probation and her parents didn't even get a letter home. If I can say one thing about Hampshire, their greatest strength and weakness lies in how laid back they are.
Hampshire is not diverse. Racially, financially or socially. Hampshire is, for the most part, a rich white school full of potential activists. Students wear whatever to class. Some come in pajamas, some in jeans and t-shirt, others in skirts. I am no longer surprised to see men walking through the library in skirts and dresses, people with overkill tatoos and piercings and people who's gender is questionable in my mind. There are people who dress everyday like pirates, drag queens and soviet soldiers from world war I. If you think you are a standout dresser, come to Hampshire. People talk about people but it is not for what they wear but how they think. Telling gender at Hampshire is a tricky thing. Everyone is liberal and pronouns can be confusing. I feel like Hampshire is a very safe place for gay, transvestite and transexual persons. I can only speak from what I have seen as a heterosexual female but it appears to me like everyone is very accepting and if someone has an issue with a gay person, the problem is never with their sexuality but with the way they conduct themselves.
Hampshire is okay. I have been there for three years and it is truly a love/hate relationship. I have tried to transfer a few times but other schools do not accept Hampshire credit. I was told that after two and a half years of college that I would enter a lesser university as a first semester freshman. If you are thinking about Hampshire I only suggest that you fully understand what you are getting yourself into. Learn as much as you can about the divisional system. Talk to students that do not work at admissions. Spend the night. Read some division III projects off the school's website. If you are not self-motivated with a lot of strong interests, I would suggest you go to a school with a set of core classes, requirements and set majors. Hampshire is a very hard school to find your place, feel comfortable and know what you're doing and if it even makes a difference.
Hampshire's stereotypes are not there because people hate Hampshire. They are there becaues people have met and interacted with the students and have visited the school and seen people run by streaking a tour group while smoking a joint, screaming about social change and how they are going to change the world but not until they come down off the mushrooms.
My professors know my name but they don't know me. They never call on students and simply rely on the consistent two people to comment on the readings and to answer their questions. Most students never study and a few students study all the time. It depends on what kind of person you are. Personally, I rarely do the lecture readings but then spend a huge amount of time on my research projects. Hampshire is whatever you want it to be. If you want it to be a joke it is, if you want it to be an academic challenge that forces you to grow as a person it's that too. The academic divisional system is a good idea but terrible in practise. A student's experience is hugely dependant on their advisor and I had a terrible advisor. I didn't know when I was supposed to pass division I and file division II and so I was a fifth semester division I student when I talked to a different professor who immediately took me in and straightened out my divisional system. You are supposed to be in division I for one year and division II for two. Thanks to my original advisor I was in division I for two and a half years and division II for only one semester. Hampshire's learning is geared towards whatever your mind is geared towards. If you are job oriented you will reasearch and study things you need to know to be successful in that field. If you are idea and fact oriented you will spend your time learning theory and concepts. Hampshire is what you want it to be and what you make it be. The rules at Hampshire are more like guidelines than rules. If there is a rule there is an acceptable way to break it.
No one is involved. I have started clubs but no one cares. People are mostly out doing things that personally interest them by themselves or with a few friends. Some students leave their doors open but people do steal. People feel safe bacause Hampshire is this "fruity, drug loving, liberal hippi school" but people are still human and they do steal. There are no athletic events save the occasional frisbee and basketball games which no one knows or cares about. There are rarely lectures at Hampshire worth going to although there are several other schools in the area. Hampshire Halloween has started sucking really hardcore. The administration wants to do away with the drug loving image and so they have cracked down in an extreme way. No one wants drug dealers running the scene at Hampshire but everyone does want to have a good time. The students are almost enitrely opposed to the anti-drug actions of the administration. How often do people party? Uhhh....depends on your definition of partying. How hard is it to find a group of people to smoke weed and drink with? Not hard at all. Drinking happends every weekend in excess even though there are never good parties. If you are planning to go to college for the awesome dance parties, skip Hampshire. Unless listening to jam bands and smelling unwashed bodies is your thing... Off campus you can see a movie, go in the woods or eat out. These are the three things you can do off campus unless you travel outside the valley.
Extremely liberal hippies who love nature, social change and challenging the status quo. Hampshire pretends to be radical but really just changes the mask worn over the exact same crap experienced by students at other "less radical" schools. Hampshire students are not very diverse. Everyone is an activist in a uniquely mass produced and common way. The truth is that Hampshire students are, or at least seem to be, almost entirely rich white suburban kids that are interested in "social change" but only so far as they can continue to buy their lattes and free trade skirts and vegan leather birkenstocks. Hampshire is an awesome place but not in the way they pretend to be. Hampshire is awesome because it first makes you hate your classes, then your teachers, then your friends, then yourself, then the school and then finally you come full circle and appreciate everything. Anyone who says Hampshire isn't cliquish has not taken part in the sick social experiment that is living in the on campus apartments known as "mods". Your first year you will meet a bunch of people and hang out in groups of ten and twenty people consistently. It is awesome and you feel loved. Then all your friends drop out because Hampshire can't retain it's original student body because it is such a weird and ridiculous place. Hampshire is also known for drugs and, truth is, drugs are well known to Hampshire. I would guess that nearly every student has smoked pot at least once and that 70% of students smoke at LEAST once or twice a week. Campus is a mecca for whatever tickles a person's fancy. Not everyone does drugs and most people don't go to class high but almost everyone knows how to have a good time.
I think the best thing about Hampshire is the freedom that it allows undergraduates. There are close to no requirements, at a...
I think the best thing about Hampshire is the freedom that it allows undergraduates. There are close to no requirements, at all, nothing. After my Division One everything that I do is dictated by a contract that I make with a committee of faculty members that I choose. In my second year I will be spending most of the year in New Orleans researching and writing about Katrina's affect on the public school system. That's just awesome. Most people have not heard about Hampshire College. They don't get it when you say that you don't have a major, so just pretend that you do. It is really really rural. We have a farm on campus and all of our neighbors are either farms or woods. But what is nice about being in the middle of nowhere is that we have a bunch of woods that are ours but we don't do anything with, so you can just go and have bonfires and do whatever you want in the woods without worrying about being on someone's property. The biggest recent controversy was about race discrimination at Hampshire. Yes, it is a very aware campus, but racism comes in all shapes and sizes and close to nothing goes unspoken at Hampshire.
There are a lot of rich white kids at this school. There are a lot of LGBT people at this school. But, there are still a lot of middle class students and a lot of straight ones too. But everyone seems to be either a liberal democrat or a socialist or an anarchist. I don' think that anyone that would want to come to Hampshire would feel out of place. There a are a lot of different crowds and I feel that they interact. It is easy to get a core group of friends and not reach outside of them but everyone will be nice to everyone. there is no tension between groups. Except the "sub-free" kids and everyone else. That's just a choice of what you do with your time outside of class, where and with who you spend your free time.
Every professor will know your name. My classes have been invited to my professor's house for dinner twice. It is all a choice if you study or not. You can get by without studying in many classes, but most students don't do that. At a place where we can choose what we want to study, usually almost everyone in a class will want to do the reading anyway. Class participation is very common, almost too much at times. Hampshire students are always having intellectual conversations outside of class. Everything is worth a discussion and people are more than inclined to disagree with you and talk about it.
Hampshire is a really relaxed open place. There are always people chilling passing a bowl. There are a lot of dance parties, live funk music and the such. Our traditional parties include: Drag Ball, a gender confused prom. The Easter Keg Hunt, the whole school wandering around the woods in search of booze on easter sunday. Mustashio Bashio, a giant dance party in the greenhouse mod where everyone wears mustaches. And one of the most trippy Halloween parties on the east coast.
Many people consider Hampshire a slacker or stoner school. I can see why this stereotype would arise about a college like this. There are no majors, no grades, no rules and it was established in 1970. Really, the truth is, that the fact that we lack majors and grades forces a student to make goals and standards for themselves. Most of the students that Hampshire accepts are overly ambitious students that do everything rather than just make the grade. So, I would argue, that Hampshire students often times end up doing more work in their undergraduate degree than many other students. But, it is also true that you can chose to make those standards and goals lax and not really do too much. But those are often the student that drop out. There are a lot of drugs at Hampshire. I have yet to see a keg on campus. But it is rare that I go a day without seeing some green.
First off, sometimes you do feel as though you go to the school that all the slackers go to. But once again, this all depends...
First off, sometimes you do feel as though you go to the school that all the slackers go to. But once again, this all depends on just who you run into. I met amazing people at Hampshire, and am really happy about my choice of school. However, as a student of color, sometimes it does get a bit over whelming with the school being currently 87% white, and there are many stereotypes that people will hold about you, but this can be said about any college. About the class sizes, they are just right, for me though. They generally are about 15-20 people, some classes are even smaller. However, this means that it is very discussion based, and you NEED to speak up and have the professor notice you if you wish to have a good evaluation. If you choose this school, just get ready to meet RICH people, and people who say that they poor, but just don't really know what that term truly means.
If you are a religious student, get ready to meet people who feel that they are above "all that religious crap". Seriously. At times, as a religious student myself, its frustrating, having to deal with people who don't hesitate to say that believing in God is just so stupid, and only an idiot would do so. But don't let this sway you, most people will shut up if you tell them to do so. In terms of racial incidents, once again, you will meet people who call all Latino people "Mexicans" and think that all black people are bad people, or in the case of public safety at Hampshire, that you are from Holyoke Community College, coming to ruin the college. And again, get ready to meet people with lots and lots of $$. Now, people wear whatever at Hampshire, but generally, you get the hipster feel. oh, and this is def a left, very liberal school.
Not at all. Although you will run into some people who are VERY (I mean, VERY hippie-like) this isn't true about everyone. There are some people who don't shower, but by no means is this everyone, its a very laid back school. However, this doesn't mean that the people here don't work hard. Generally, the people who don't do anything, and just party/be hippie-like Xcore, get kicked out. Get ready to write LONG (we're talking 10-15 page) papers.
At Hampshire, let me tell you that yes, there are no grades. However, this can work with you, or against you. If your the type of person who needs motivation, and needs to see a letter grade to indicate just how you are doing, this isn't the place for you. Get ready for a million red marks on your paper, which, isn't a bad thing at all. The professors here just want you to progress as the semester goes by. Also, just because there are no grades, don't think that you can slack off. Professors do give extensions, but that better be one hell of a paper that you are writing. Get ready to work hard on the four papers you will have in one class, and to do intensive research. About the classes, they have very unique names, and so far, I have enjoyed every single one of my classes. When looking at classes, keep an open mind about what they are, since the names are anything but typical college class names. For some people this works, for others, it doesn't. About the professors, they know your name. Every single class I have gone to, they knew my name within a week. Which means, if you want to skip class, bad idea. If you like to skip, this is reflected in your final evaluation, which looks, well, bad. But the classes are all engaging, there is no real lecturing, although I heard that some professors do, it just really depends on who you choose. In terms of meeting with you, the professors are great with talking to you in person, but, sometimes e-mail isn't the best way of communication with some.
Well, we have a basketball team and an ultimate frisbee team. And next year a student is opening an Women's Rugby team. And thats about it for teams. Sports are almost dead here, at least competitive ones. However, whatever Hampshire lacks, there is also the five college system. So basically, if you dislike sports, its a great place to be. But, a lot of people here are outdoor-sy type people, and although they don't do sports, a lot of people enjoy walking, biking mountain climbing, etc.
That we are all dirty, hippies who smoke pot, drugs, etc. Also that Hampshire Halloween is huge and such a big deal. Also perhaps, that this is a pretty easy school.
A lot of people would say that Hampshire's student body could be boiled down to three classifications: the hippies, the hipst...
A lot of people would say that Hampshire's student body could be boiled down to three classifications: the hippies, the hipsters, and the geeks. The hippies are predominantly vegan, fight unendingly for various activist causes, fix the yellow bikes on campus and take OPRA (Outdoor Programs & Recreational Athletics) classes. The hipsters smoke, play in bands called things like "Rektal Mucus", do large scale incomprehensible yet impressive art projects, and dye their hair every color under the sun. The geeks watch science fiction movies every Saturday night, have a bi-annual role playing tournament, fight with foam weapons on the library lawn, and play video games in the ASH lab. I realize, of course, that these are all stereotypes, and certainly not everyone Hampshire fits into one of these three categories (and students would probably be angry that I tried to fit them into categories at all). But I will say this: Hampshire is a college made up entirely of those strange kids you knew in high school. Wonder where they went? They all go to college together, right here.
Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, this is true. And, in my opinion, it's impossible to answer a question like this because sure, I'm sure there are some students at Hampshire who have been sitting around for the last three years doing nothing but smoking pot and avoiding classes. But I think that the reputation that Hampshire has as a drug school with lazy students who don't actually do work is undeserved and outdated. I'm a drug free student who's worked extremely hard the four years I've attended this school. I've never gotten below an A in any of the classes I took off campus, and I've made a huge number of friends here, all of whom are also drug free. College is college - there are going to be students there who waste their money and the college's resources by doing drugs and slacking off. But the stereotype that Hampshire is a drug school with unmotivated students is inaccurate. It's also extremely common, so I am prepared to have to go through the rest of my life trying to set the record straight about what Hampshire's REALLY like.
I absolutely love Hampshire's academic system. We use a different system than most colleges, called the Divisional system. As a Division I student (during your first year), you take courses in each of the five schools of thought at Hampshire (Natural Science, Cognitive Science, Social Science, Interdisciplinary Arts , and Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies). As a Division II student (during your second and third year), you take courses that relate directly to your interests, and your completed coursework creates a concentration. As a Division III student (your final year), you do a year long project (often of completely original work) that explores an aspect of your concentration. Hampshire professors are amazing. The entire college is on a first named basis, and I have actually seen professors get angry when referred to as "Professor" instead of by their first name. Because of the Divisional system, students really have to work closely with professors and interact with them, in terms of both finding professors to agree to be on their committee for Div II or Div III, and working with the professors who are on their committees. Professors make themselves available to students all the time, both in and out of the classroom, and act as both resources and friends to the students. And professors can be a large presence outside of class, as well: I attended an end-of-semester party for a class once, and the professor for that was there, with his students and the other party goers, sitting on a couch with a beverage in hand, telling his life story and giving career advice to his students. Students are supportive of each other because everyone's doing something different. Class discussions can be heated and professors almost never lecture. And if Hampshire doesn't have a class you're looking for, one of the other colleges in the Five College Consortium will.
There are a ton of on-campus activities and clubs, all the time. We've got everything from a cappella groups to a barbecue club to a horror and special effects club to a hip hop collective to our own circus troop. There are no fraternities or sororities, and I think everyone's pretty happy with that. There's so much going on every weekend that it's often pretty hard to decide what activities to do. I have not found it challenging to do things on Saturday night that do no involve drinking. For example, Saturday nights are the official movie-screening time of the club Excalibur, a sci-fi/fantasy club that's been around for over 10 years. They show movies like "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" or "War Games", and episodes of various TV series like "Doctor Who" and "Firefly". And there are often snacks involved.
There are a lot of stereotypes about Hampshire students, with both positive and negative connotations. There are the sort of stereotypes that the Admissions office tries to play up about Hampshire and the students: that Hampshire students are self motivated, passionate about their work, and fiercely independent. There are also the more negative stereotypes, perpetuated by people who know little else about the school other than they saw on the Saturday Night Live sketch "Jared's Room". These stereotypes usually talk about how Hampshire is a huge hippie school full of lazy drug-doing students who major in Frisbee and don't have to actually do any work.
When you tell people you go to Hampshire, you get one of three response: 1) "Hamster?" 2) "That's that hippie school with no ...
When you tell people you go to Hampshire, you get one of three response: 1) "Hamster?" 2) "That's that hippie school with no grades or tests, right?" or 3) "Hampshire is that really innovated self structured school". With a new President, Hampshire has been moving away from its hippie roots and moving more mainstream making it more accessible for general America to accept Hampshire's unorthodox academics. And Hampshire's reputation continues to grow in a positive way. Being young, established in the 1970s by the 4 other colleges in the area (Amherst, UMass, Holyoke, and Smith), Hampshire had some great infant years, got past the terrible toddler years, and is growing up into a respectable college with an innovated academic structure. Even though it is a small school with a student body of around 1400 (and rising each year with its growing popularity), Hampshire is located in Amherst, a true and lively college town, with over 30,000 college students in the area due mostly to UMass's large student body. Plus, the city-like Northampton is just around the corner thanks to the free bus systems that connects all the schools and top hot spots. There is plenty to do, plenty to eat, and plenty of people to meet.
Hampshire is located between Holyoke and Smith College. Both are girls cool. One with more lesbians than the other, but the saying goes: "Holyoke to bed, Smith to wed". However, with a small alum base to begin with and most alums choosing career paths that aren't fiscally viable, Hampshire College struggles financially
Hampshire is a very liberal school, but it is a real school. No grades and no tests means you are evaluated on the work you produce. If you don't produce work or lousy work, you get a bad evaluation. If you do work your work, if you try your best, your hard work will be reflected in your evaluation. An evaluation says more about you than a simple letter grade. Yes we have potheads, but I challenge you to find a school that doesn't. We also have hipsters, preps, and even republicans.
Student and professor relationships are very intimate and on a first name basis. Because class sizes are small and it's easy to request one on one face time with a professor, it is nearly impossible to hide in the back of the class, mainly because their is no back. Most Hampshire classes take place in seminar form, seating situated in a circle, encouraging the exchange of ideas. Most of the classes at Hampshire deal with topics that are very sensitive and/or controversial leading toward polar views on the issues discussed. This creates heated but constructive debate in classrooms that then make their way to the library lawn and dining commons. Many don't understand how a college or academic environment works without grades or tests, but Hampshire students flourish in the educational setting that forces you to present yourself, your thoughts, your work. Hampshire college students are competitive in a more well rounded sense then those students who are simply competing for the best grade. Even though Hampshire students are evaluated on paper by their professors, students most constructive and passionate critiques come from their peers. This respectful peer to peer critique enables students to encourage only the best work from each other.
Hampshire is just a bunch of rich liberal kids doing whatever they want. It's not a real school. They don't take test or have grades. It's a slackers school perfect for potheads.
My favorite thing about Hampshire is the lack of tests and grades and the freedom of educational choices. I am a terrible tes...
My favorite thing about Hampshire is the lack of tests and grades and the freedom of educational choices. I am a terrible test taker. I just don't do well and I freeze up, thus having classes that are evaluated instead of tested and then stamped with a letter grade works really well for me. Evals can tell you and the real world full of careers just where weak or really strong points are unlike one single B or D etc. I get really frustrated with some of the requirements and the lack of communication here however. One of Hampshire's biggest selling points is the "create your own major" idea. THAT part is completely true. You can basically do whatever you want, but what they don't tell you is that you have to take a LOT of classes that can frequently feel like a waste of time. There's a lot of red-tape and bureaucracy at this school that can be easy to work with as long as you ask a LOT of questions. Even if you don't know what to ask, just talk to your adviser or the people in Central Records about requirements and what needs to be done when. With this self-motivating school comes a lot of responsibility. I really enjoy the size of the school. There are approx. 1,300 students which for me is perfect. I came from a 500 student high school so this is great. Amherst and North Hampton are nice towns, but there isn't always a lot to do... You kind of have to do some searching and find out what you enjoy in the area. There's a mall and some plazas, some parks, out door mini-golf and driving range (but that's seasonal) and North Hampton has a nice feel with a lot of fun, trendy stores. There's also different stuff in the surrounding areas (the Holyoke Mall, for example, is massive).
Hampshire is a predominately Caucasian campus, but it is open to all people. There are a lot of students of color, but there are more white students. I know people of all religions (although there seem to be a lot of Jewish folks), ethnicities & races, genders (male, female, gender queer, undecided etc), races, economic backgrounds, sexualities (it seems like at least half the campus is bisexual or pansexual, but there is a large queer AND straight crowd) etc. I think the only kind of person that would feel out of place here was someone filled with hate. There are some conservative people who attend and even if they don't agree with any economic and social thoughts of anyone else, most people here just want to make friends. You see people come into class wearing very, very little to, barefoot folks, dressy people, people all in black, people dressed casually in jeans and folks with mohawks. It really varies. A lot of Hampshire students are from Massachusetts and New York. I think that's where I see most people coming from. But we also have a lot of international students and people from other states as well. People are very politically aware. I watch the news regularly with me house mates and we like to keep on top of the political debates (especially for this up and coming presidential election). They like to being active in activism and make a difference both on campus and off campus.
It's a college. You're going to find people of all types here. Yes for the most part there are a lot of very liberal individuals, there are some drugs on campus, but that's unavoidable period. Overall most people here are pretty friendly and you're going to meet people like you at any college. It attracts all kinds.
Professors here for the most part, are fantastic. Almost every teacher I've had has been very personable and interested in YOUR work and how you're doing in classes. I refer to all of my teachers by first name and it's easy to get close with them. Most classes are generall 10-15 students in size, but rarely you'll find a class with (at MOST) 35-40 people. My smallest class had 6 students in it and it was a theatre design class so the small size made our discussions great and indepth. Hampshire doesn't really have generic classes. Because we don't have to fulfill things like "psych 101" or "writing 101" we have really odd classes to fulfill requirements. In the first year 8 classes need to be taken. 3 can be extracurriculars, but the other 5 need to be one social science, one cognitive science, one natural science, one interdisciplinary art, and one humanities arts and culture course. So we have weird classes like "Little Course of Horrors; The Psychology of Humor and Horror in Theatre." The requirements can be a big pain. Some of them are without a doubt a GIANT waste of time, but they're not going to change too soon so it all depends on how dedicated you are. One of the biggest issues people have with Hampshire is Division I. That's your first year where your education (and 5 requirements) are meant to let you explore so you can really narrow down what you want to do. First years have the highest drop out rate because of the set up. Personally I feel like it's really been worth it. I'll be starting my Division III project next semester and I'm really excited to be doing MY own work without classes in the way.
I joined the QCA my first year (Queer Community Association) and I ended up not having a lot of time for it. However they seem to be a very active group with a lot to do. They're very supportive and a good group of loving individuals. There are a lot of groups on campus, Amnesty International, Pre-Law group, Japanese Cinema/Manga groups, Knitting Circle, Improv Troupe, a Jewish group I don't remember them all, but there are a ton. Most people leave their doors open and unlocked during the day. They like to socialize and hang out. During the evening when people are around in the dorms and mods (on campus apartments) people will just hangout in each other's rooms and relax. Most people sleep with their doors closed and presumably a lot locked. It is a college campus after all, but it's also a safe campus. We're in rural MA, pretty safe space. There are a lot of sports, but they don't get much attention. We have a spectacular equestrian team, but they have to house their horses in nearby stables or at Mt. Holyoke. Our ultimate frisbee team (the Red Scare) does very well and is quite competitive. We also have men and women's basketball and soccer (they're not terribly competitive however). There are a lot of parties. It's pretty easy to find a party almost every weekend, but none of them are MASSIVE and get out of hand. It's easy enough to call Public Safety if they're too disruptive after quiet hours or seem dangerous (which rarely happens). We don't have frats or sororities. People can live together in the on campus apartments which are gained through a lottery system (for every semester attended you receive one lottery point which you pool together with friends to get a mod!).
We're all a bunch of pot smoking, liberal, open to anyone who wants to meander onto this campus, pretentious, hippies.
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