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The best thing about Hampshire? The Five College Consortium. I don't mean this out of disloyalty. Provided the opportunity...
The best thing about Hampshire? The Five College Consortium. I don't mean this out of disloyalty. Provided the opportunity to attend any other college in the nation - given a free ride to Harvard - I'd turn the opportunity down to remain at Hampshire. What I mean in answering that the Consortium is the best of Hampshire is that the discursive purpose of Hampshire was the Consortium - we constituted the corporation and we have the most agency to use the resources. We don't have to consider credits in selecting courses; because of this, we need only be accountable to ourselves in perusing 5,300+ options in the course catalog each year. You can genuinely study anything at several institutions. I used to rip off UMass dining halls every Tues/Thurs before my Commonwealth honors seminar - where I was welcomed as a Hampshire kid with a differing perspective. Most people in the U.S. can't win - at Hampshire it's hard to lose. You are your own bureaucracy. Even your committee [team of advisers] is entirely of your choosing; they aren't administrators, they're the professors who inspire you. Amherst and Northampton are a couple of the best college towns in the nation. Students flood these communities every fall and we're welcomed by an already booming economy - this area is "one of the best kept secrets in America" (as a random guy once told me on a plane). I quite one job two weeks ago and got another with an email and a phone call yesterday; while housing and groceries are expensive, this area is an obscene location of wealth. Besides that, this community has all the features forming what oughtn't be your reasons to attend college - a stupid number of parties, youth and debauchery, frats at UMass, bars and breweries, herbs...Jesus Christ herbs...herbs in spirit of Humboldt. The towns also have such a collection of restaurants competing to attract students that I can't begin to offer a description - from the best three buck slice of pizza you'll ever have to a Hibachi dinner that'll make you feel like an exec. I certainly have my complaints to. Hampshire can be polarizing politically, it can be emotionally overwhelming, it can turn you into an alcoholic - this all depends upon who you are, what your stress-levels are, etc. You might also be of that privileged class of kid who needs to attend college because mommy said so, and who might prefer to do this 'stoned' (not spiritually elated, but 'stoned'). If this is the case, don't bother; you'll ruin your parents pension for petty purposes. While this tends to be the sort of kid with money, but without ambition, they still tend to be accepted - whatever, they ultimately fund this school anyways.
Yes, there are parties, but they're often poorly attended. Gatherings phenomenally turn into parties at Hampshire - whoever's sitting on those two boxes of Franzia and a bit of herb is most likely having a party this instant. Dorm life is crazy that way, and it's part of why mods are preferable. Mod communities are welcoming, but not constantly consuming substance. The big parties every year are Hampshire Halloween in the Fall and Easter Keg Hunt in the Spring. There used to be a Drag Ball, but persons in the trans community expressed upset in 2009, ruining the tradition which had brought Kurt Cobain to Hampshire. Yes, people in the dorms leave their doors opened, but it's like I said: this environment becomes tiresome within a year. The dorms had ought to be featured on The Wire -there's more substance exchanged and more people tripping in those buildings than in the whole of Western Mass. That said, kids get sick of this fast - it's all part of growing up. We can't stay eighteen forever - your first evaluations may reflect this truth. The dating scene? Phenomenal or nonexistent. Sorry straight guys: you don't approach; you are approached. Otherwise you're doubtlessly behaving in an affronting and offensive manner - you'll be contrived as a misogynist for engaging in simple, sexually suggestive (equal) manners. The LGBTQ community seems to have the best sex and dating life - it still isn't as good as the less-standoffish LGBTQ community I witnessed studying abroad in Edinburgh. And this is funny to me, because Hampshire is one of few schools where your physical 'roommate' may be of the opposite sex, if you so choose. I only know a few couples of the opposite sex who do this - it seems to be a lovely set-up, though I could see disaster pending if the relationship weren't solid. Things to do not involving sex, drugs, and rock-and-hiphop: we host a variety of lecturers from all over the world, as do the other colleges, almost every week. Though we don't have competitive 'sports' or 'frats,' we do have a variety of athletic clubs and student groups. I'm a 'signor' for the new Roosevelt Institute public policy Chapter at Hampshire; there are a hundred plus other groups doing all sorts of exciting things. For those who don't drink (as I'm cutting back on doing): there are both sub-free designated living spaces and groups that meet commonly. On the average night, if you check your announcement-emails, you can usually score free pizza and a movie at these meetings. If all else fails: there's porn in the world. xD Off campus life is vibrant - there are all sorts of parties at the other colleges, few of which I can remember. Amherst and Northampton are feel-good towns with too much to do to list here.
To preface: there are Hampsters from all over the globe. This is the beautiful bit about Hampshire College and the Five College Consortium: we're an international relations community where people commonly come to study politics, diplomacy, society, and the sciences. I live with my Malaysian hermano and a new girl from China; they've both been tutoring another modmate studying Mandarin (to little avail ;P). Our neighbors are from Taiwan, Nepal, Germany, and France. I'm from far Northern California; my mom is half Chicana. People are just people - we have our cultural differences, we acknowledge them, we work around them. I end up drinking sake rather than Mickeys - so it goes. We're chill with each other...except for that one time that I stepped into the sauna and a randomly naked Tibetan hombre was all disturbed, but I suppose that's just disjunctive cultural interpretation. It happens - like drinking with Germans, you regret it afterwards. The dining hall isn't the primary eatery at Hampshire - people's common troughs are kitchens in Mods, our food is what we can create for each other. My Malaysian bro cooks too many amazing dishes to start listing them here. Of course, this leads to contention among the entitled population whose parents shower them with money and who expect to be provided for (without reciprocation) by their modmates. Dear children from NYC and alike metropolises: the world doesn't work this way and taking advantage of people with a "Fuck you, Buddy" mindset gets you nowhere...except perhaps Wall Street, but the U.S. is just pathetic that way. Isn't it? This brings me back to the privilege question: it isn't a clean split, but I measure it 30/70. 30% of the kids are immensely wealthy and may be attending 'college' for the wrong reasons (i.e. mommy and daddy told me to, so I might as well attend the hippy/ster school). The majority of Hampshire students attend this college because we're sick of 'academic' nonsense and sophistical 'ideal types' of educational development. For the majority of Hampsters, our camp is a pedagogic statement denouncing the mythology of ivory towers. Concurrently, we attend classes at these ivory towers (through the consortium) where we're welcome to shit all over their structured fallacies. The Amherst students 'on the real' tend to love us, same with the professors; Smith administrators hate us and their students tend to be a bit on the slow-side socially. I don't mean this as an insult to feminisms - I truly believe that Smith students are brilliant, but emotionally underdeveloped. They tend to be very privileged people without much world experience, trapped in a bubble whereby any penis is a biopolitical enemy; Mount Holyoke students are historically the legit feminists and they're our closest/friendliest neighbors. UMass is too diverse to ever classify and an excellent resource - it's a zoo, and I hear that they're gonna start growing medical pot soon (a great opportunity for any aspiring nouveu-botanist. Yes, Hampshire students lean heavy to the left, but the former president of the collegiate young republicans of Massachusetts was a Hampshire Student. This school's philosophy is open to libertarian interpretations. Personally, I've stopped calling myself a democrat and come to identify as a preference utilitarian - if Ron Paul tones down his rhetoric concerning public education and recants his stance on abortion, I just might vote for him. Yes though - in that 30% I mentioned earlier, many kids are politically clueless and de facto 'liberal' (again, because their parents 'said so'). It's super frustrating talking political philosophy with these imbeciles, because the argument inevitably turns ad hominem (e.g. 'you're only rehearsing the patriarchy of dead white men'). Then you turn the argument to Hannah Arendt, comparative to Kant, and they still can't keep up; isn't it shameful when one claims this elitist revolutionary political philosophy without any understanding of the past three hundred years? Anyway, yeah: the school sways left, though there are multiple dimensions to the left. There are no nationalist proto-blood-and-iron, god-and-family Hegelian American exceptionalists at Hampshire; if there were, they'd at once have too many readings to contend with to maintain these positions. I came to Hampshire touting Ayn Rand (who I 'needed' at the time), then I found Mill and recognized how confused a Russian she really was. What do people wear? All sorts of everything - the more outlandish the better. Who would feel out of place at this school? People who came to 'college' as 'to attend college.' People seeking an ideal type of pedagogic development (i.e. 'a major' in 'a dorm' with 'a cohort') tend to fair poorly. Also, religious people from the Midwest may find a culture of 'Easter Keg Hunts,' 'Extravaganjas,' and 'Trip or Treats' offensive. Sorry, it's the community that our combined cultures create. Do students talk about how much they'll eventually earn per their degree? I had to laugh writing this. No. That's an Amherst culture, and they're sick of themselves with it. Life is vibrant and many of us may eventually make money. I'm currently writing my first book, entailing over a year of research - the only Amherst kid who has been able to say this over the past twenty years was Ted Conover. "I happen to believe ya make your own destiny. [...] You're gonna have to figure that out for yourself," -Momma, Forrest Gump. Hampshire prepares you to direct your own fate, and to never stop learning along the way - where adaptation is the catalyst to all life and prosperity, Hampsters carry around an ever evolving tool-kit, all our days. We're taught how to pack it at Hampshire...(I mean this in sooooo many ways xD).
The stereotypical Hampshire student: a pot smoking, privileged, pompous hipster 'concentrating' in ergot chemistry, 'medicinal' botany, or gender-identity (i.e. her gender and identity). The stereotypical rendering of Hampshire: a 'camp' - rather than a 'school' - peopled by a single archetypal whiner; that opining politically correct someone to whom you wanna scream: "you've never struggled through anything, shut up!" The common critique of our community: a collection of liberal libertines constantly convincing themselves of their 'uniqueness,' when in fact they've contrived a single libertine that themselves and everyone else must be to be. Are these stereotypes accurate? I'd like to think not. They are relevant. There's no debating that. Hampshire has always had an intellectual reputation and little funding. Because of this it is both very attractive to imbecile children from Manhattan who needn't ever work for a living, and to young people with little more than ambition. This isn't an absolute binary - these too are stereotypes. However, if you ask most people around campus they'll commonly provide this distinction: students are either of the 30% of real 'elites' who can afford this school (and who fund this school) or they're of lesser means with lots of dreams (and, ergo, receive a slice of the majority of our operating budget [$21 million per annum]). I'm part of that second group. I gotta say - as a recipient of this aid and this education - that opportunities I've been provided, and people I've encountered, shatter these stereotypes in my imagination. People come to Hampshire for a vast multiplicity of reasons with a wild variety of goals. Those who set out to pursue their dreams - hell, to have a dream - do very well at this college still slumbering in the seventies. I've personally had high-level courses and seminars at every school in the Five College Consortium. I've studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh (free of charge), researched life-sentence appeals toward my Div II portfolio, and taken a graduate-level course at UMass. I've had a seminar in a prison, toured a penitentiary, argued with supermax litigators in California, interned with a law office, volunteered with a youth court - all because of Hampshire. To those who work within and outside the bounds of this college - those who treat this 'camp' as a community, but also a resource - the possibilities are endless. This cannot be said of any other undergraduate college anywhere. [Period]. With these opportunities and this diverse a collection of formative provocateurs (from around the world), being a student at Hampshire College is an inspiring and aspirational experience. One can 'major' in virtually anything - with the resources of the Five Colleges, the sky's the limit. I have to admit that I took an additional year simply because I didn't want to leave; there's so much to learn, so precious little time. Live it, love it, learn it Hampsters of the future; pace yourselves on the herb and the vino, they're only blessings if you respect them. Visit anytime – we're a half mile past Potwine Lane on the farm just before the co-op.
Hampshire is one of those places that is either your Nirvana or your own personal hell. There is very little gray area. Why? ...
Hampshire is one of those places that is either your Nirvana or your own personal hell. There is very little gray area. Why? Hampsters can be very intolerant of political ideas that diverge from their own. There are a lot of ueber-politically correct anarchists who hate white privilege. Then again, if that's your jam, you'll fit in perfectly. I think the most common misconception about Hampshire is that you can do whatever you want. I mean, sure, you can practically take a hit in the quad and blow it in Pub Safety's face with no repercussions. However, Hampshire has way more academic structure than they originally let on, and you have to file for every next step you take as well as forming a committee. Don't expect to come to Hampshire and major in hacky sack, because that BS will not fly.
There is one dining hall. The food is managed by Sodexho, an evil multinational company who offers levels of food service--guess which level we get?! That's right, bottom of the barrel. There's not much to choose from, and they serve disgusting pizza and reheated pasta everyday. Some people like the food, but I can only assume they never had a mother like mine who fed me nutritious, good-tasting food. Your best bet is the salad bar, but it gets old... fast. Breakfast is the best meal of the day, but they serve it wayyyy too early. Plus it's not exactly good for you, just mega-tasty.
They're just for funsies. Real athletes should look elsewhere.
The architecture is, in a word, hideous. The 70s were an unfortunate decade for architecture, and it shows. Most of the freshman live in these two massive dorms with tiny hallways and ladybug/ant infestation problems. The most fortunate live in a little suburban-esque cluster of upper-classmen apartments; there is also an urban looking apartment complex that isn't bad. That said, woe betide anyone who lives in Greenwich, a series of octagon shaped apartment buildings that were built to be "semi-permanent" in the 70s. They are infested with mold. All of that said, the actual scenery is beautiful, with gorgeous mountains and fields and woods. It can look a bit dreary in the winter, though.
I find that the most dedicated students migrate off campus to take advantage of Smith, MoHo, UMass, and Amherst classes. At Hampshire specifically, the professors tend to be awesome, but the students are hit or miss. Some are really intelligent; others are total flakes. A lot of the time, discussion is hinder by students' fear of political incorrectness. One of my professors said that the single biggest problem at Hampshire was the way the students rabidly police each other's language. While being PC is certainly important, sometimes you want to backhand a rich white kid when he/she tells you that you said something racist.
Hampshire Halloween, Spring Jam, and the Easter Keg Hunt are big deals on Hampshire. Obviously, they involve a lot of debaucherous fun. The theatre community is thriving, but it can get catty (like any theatre department, I'm sure). Athletics are wayyy on the back-burner, although Hampshire guys are trying to build up a respectable soccer team. It can be hard to get students to regularly come to club meetings, because everyone is so in their own head space. Usually the promise of food helps. There is zero Greek life. That said, many a PBR is consumed each "weekend"--that is, Thursday-Saturday nights. There are usually one or two parties per weekend night, and everyone crams into a sweaty room and dances, drinks, and makes out. It can be really fun, and it can be really sketchy. Plenty of people are up all night playing guitar and ordering pizza.
Hampshire is very queer-friendly, even verging on heterophobic in some communities. There are people from all walks of life, but I must say that there are a lot of deceptively wealthy people. They dress like they're homeless, and then, one day, you discover they're a trust fund baby. It's the oddest phenomenon. There is not enough diversity, but "people of color" (as they are ALWAYS referred to at Hamp) are greatly valued in the community. I would say the most popular religious background is Jewish, although most Jews are non-practicing. The most heated debate on campus is Israel vs. Palestine. Many students are politically active, but I've found that issues that don't directly affect their lives tend to be overlooked. Certain causes become trendy to the point of being trivialized. While there are sincere activists, some students compete to be more oppressed-than-thou.
Every professor I've ever had at Hampshire has been brilliant, helpful, and flexible. The Five Colleges also have a wealth of amazing, world-renowned professor. That said, classes can get bogged down by flaky, metaphysical discussions on the students' part, and some students get by only doing the bare minimum. There is always that one kid in your class who never does the reading yet still insists on ruining really great discussions by veering off into incomprehensible weirdness. Plenty of intelligent, hard-working students exist, though.
People tend to think of Hampshire as a "hippie" school (and there are a few), but there are mostly hipsters and punks. We have a reputation for smoking tons of weed, and let's just say it has been earned.
I would advise myself to stick with my commitments and not procrastinate. At the beggining of the year I attented many diffe...
I would advise myself to stick with my commitments and not procrastinate. At the beggining of the year I attented many different clubs, but by the end of the year, I failed to go to the clubs anymore. In the first semester, I socialized too much and thus, reglected my studies. I handed in one of my papers two months late. This was a very bad decision and reflected poorly on my evaluation of the course. I did not go to the clubs I would have liked to because I hung out with my friends to often and could not finish my work, thus I did not have time to go to the clubs. That would be my advice to myself.
The worst thing about Hampshire College is the library, I should know, I work there. It is very un-organized and there is not a very large sellection of books. However, being a part of the five college consortium helps the problem of the limited books because a student can take out a book that is not at Hampshire's library from another one of the five college libraries.
The most frustrating thing about Hampshire College is that every course is discussion-based. This is good for literature courses, but not for math and science courses. I believe there needs to be some element of lecture in the class, otherwise, one is just listening to how the other students feel about the material presented in class.
Gateway Community College offered an easy transition for me as a single parent returning to school. Returning to school was ...
Gateway Community College offered an easy transition for me as a single parent returning to school. Returning to school was a difficult task; however, at Gateway the teachers and organizations provided many forms of support. Gateway gave me the confidence that a degree was an attainable goal for me. Being able to receive free tutoring and easy class scheduling has put me into a fast track for a new career and brighter future.
It is a small, free-thinking liberal arts school located in the Pioneer Valley. It is part of the pioneer valley's five colle...
It is a small, free-thinking liberal arts school located in the Pioneer Valley. It is part of the pioneer valley's five college consortium. The classes are generally small and group-discussion based. There is a non-traditional grading system where professors write evaluations rather than give traditional grades.
While at Hampshire, I fell in love with learning. I had the freedom to engage with subject matter (psychology, more specifically psychoanalysis) that I was passionate about. I learned how to think and write analytically. I learned how to integrate theory and practice in my writing. Within the field of cognitive psychology, I learned how to conduct psychological research and even designed my own study. I developed skills in writing reflective introspective peices. During my fourth year, I conducted a year-long project called my Division III. The paper was over 100-pages and it provided a complex view of childhood, with reflections on my own childhood, interviews with others about important childhood artifacts, a discussion of the image of the "Romantic child" and psychoanalytic feminist theories. Through this project, I learned a great deal about the revising and editing process. More importantly, through this ambitious project, I really learned how to value my own personal voice. I couldn't have imagined a more fulfilling college experience than I had at Hampshire.
The tuition is the worst thing. My tuition was over $40,000, one of the most expensive schools in the country. I will be paying this off for a long time.
The one thing I would caution myself against is the overzealous spending of money. I had a job for two years during highschoo...
The one thing I would caution myself against is the overzealous spending of money. I had a job for two years during highschool so I got used to the idea of a steady income. I just assumed that I would easily be able to find a job on or off campus and continue to have money for, oh, the little things like text books, ink cartridges for my printer, and food. The economy and the fact that the area I live in has 5 major colleges, so the job market is flooded with college students and minimum wage part time jobs are a rarity, have proved me wrong and I am struggling on a daily basis to be here. While transitioning first year socially and academically and mentally was difficult, I learned so many valuable lessons that I wouldn't want to deprive myself of during my first year of college. So beyond financial advice, I would probably leave my high school senior self with a pat on the back and a hearty "Good luck! Stay safe!" before travelling somewhere else in time.
The administration of this school is unorganized, poorly run, and cannot properly deem where to allocate funds. Money is wasted on some projects and unavailable for others. A lot of the faculty that are not professors are unfriendly and unhelpful.
Someone who is self-motivated and passionate about...well, something/anything. At Hampshire you just need to be interested in what you're studying and focused and you'll do well. It also really helps if you are good at talking to professors.
The best way to find out if a college is right for a student is to find out how the students feels while visiting the college...
The best way to find out if a college is right for a student is to find out how the students feels while visiting the college for a short period of time and combine that with how much the college can offer the student in terms of what they want to study. It is a very difficult decision, but descovering whether or not a college feels right can make all of the difference and just because a college is fun does not mean it will help if it does not offer the student what they want to student.
Since my college is both small and new it cannot offer as much finacial aid as other colleges around it. It also has a difficult time offering all of the classes that it would like to and relies a policy with the four other colleges around it for the classes and majors that it does not offer.
A person who is self motivated and can strive to claim what they desire out of their educational experience. Students at my college form there own major and create a contact to accomplish that, therefore it is important for students to go out and get what they want.
First look for schools which are strong in the area of study in which you are interested (obviously). If you're not sure wha...
First look for schools which are strong in the area of study in which you are interested (obviously). If you're not sure what you want to study, look for schools that allow you more academic freedom to take many different classes and experience different subjects. I feel that the best of these even allow you to integrate several subjects and create an individual course of study. Small class sizes means it is easier to participate in class and ask questions. Smaller schools allow for greater contact with faculty. Talk to as many students as possible; the students who got there will give you the best picture of the school. Schools which require a lot of independant work and project-based assignments may be weird at first if you're more used to a traditional system of listening to a lecture, studying and taking a test; but there are major advantages to such schools. Independant work forces you to think critically about subjects, be creative and ultimately get a great deal more knowledge and experience out of your education. Bottom line: If you're not happy there you won't be able to learn as much.
Someone who wants to learn more than just what's in the book and who wants to take that knowledge and put it into practice for every class. Someone who can work independantly and be creative with course work and assignments (there is a lot of independant work required and the more you can put into in, the more you will get out of it). Those who has many interests and maybe can't choose just one will be the happiest: you are not restricted by a traditional major; you integrate many subjects into a concentration.
Someone who wants a traditional major that has all the classes they will ever take lined up for all four years. Someone who dosn't want to structure their own course of study. Someone who just wants to get the book, read the book, listen to the professor and take a test at the end of each course.
You know, I and a lot of students I know really didn't know where we wanted to go. I can say that, if you hated highschool, d...
You know, I and a lot of students I know really didn't know where we wanted to go. I can say that, if you hated highschool, don't choose a college that seems like an extension of highschool. If you need some structure, choose a place that will give you that. Look at what students at the school have said, the resources available through the school and in the area. When you get there, take classes that will challenge you. In my opinion, college is not the time to work the system. Find professors that share your interests. Take classes from them and show that your invested. The more interest and determination you show, the more seriously you'll be taken. Take care of yourself. Pay attention to what you need to do for yourself to do your best. This might mean working late at night. It might mean taking a lot of breaks or exercising on a schedule. Nobody else can really tell you how to do well.
At the time, I wished I knew exactly what I wanted to do, but, looking back, I'm glad I didn't. I figured it out in a timely way and, in doing so, learned a lot of things that have influenced the way I approach my studies.
The worst thing I think is how sick people let themselves get. They just don't take care of themselves. They don't sleep right, eat right, and they self medicate.
Visit the school! Spend a night! Talk to the students! Don't make snap judgments! Sit in on classes!
Visit the school! Spend a night! Talk to the students! Don't make snap judgments! Sit in on classes!
How the small campus would affect my social life.
It is expensive!
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