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The best thing about Hampshire is the people. In general, they're smart, fun, and very creative. You will most likely not get...
The best thing about Hampshire is the people. In general, they're smart, fun, and very creative. You will most likely not get bored talking to a Hampshire kid. The worst thing about Hampshire is the ambiguity: since there is a lot of freedom in the curriculum, faculty will tell you to do one thing, while people in the advising office will tell you to do another, while your individual advisor will tell you to do another! That can be pretty frustrating. BUT, since it's Hampshire, if you argue hard enough, you can convince all of the adults guiding you to let you do whatever you want :). Hampshire is a pretty small place. You get to know most people pretty quickly. However, a very high percentage of Hampsters transfer out of Hampshire after their first year, so I have gotten to know some people only to find that they're leaving :(. The reason many people transfer out is not because Hampshire is a bad school--it's because many people can't handle all the freedom and ambiguity. We have some guidelines at Hampshire: for instance, in your freshman year, you are required to take 1 course in each of Hampshire's five "schools of thought." But within those schools of thought, you can choose whatever courses you want: this is the freedom that many people can't handle. They want someone telling them what to do, but this hardly happens at Hampshire. Hampshire isn't in a "college town," but buses come right to campus and take you to other "college towns," Amherst and Northampton, where Amherst College and Smith College are. Amherst and Smith, along with Mt. Holyoke, UMass Amherst, and Hampshire, are part of the Five College Consortium, so as a Hampshire student you can take classes at any one of these five schools. This has been a lifesaver for me, since, for example, Hampshire currently offers no Music Composition classes, so I took Music Comp. at Amherst.
People try not to openly display their wealth here, so it seems like Hampsters don't really have money, but in reality, in order to afford Hampshire, you either have to be on scholarship(s) or you have to have a lot of money. Everyone at Hampshire interacts with everyone else: people are nice and friendly. However, at the same time, people of certain backgrounds do tend to band together. For instance, black students tend to stick together, as do international students. But in general, as I've said, people are friendly and welcoming.
My favorite Hampshire classes have been creative writing classes--Intro to Writing and Intermediate Poetry Writing. These were both basically writing workshops, so you could get feedback from your classmates and give them feedback on their work. Also, both professors for these classes, Will Ryan and Paul Jenkins, had some helpful, insightful things to say. My least favorite Hampshire class was probably Western and Alternative Medicine, not because the professors were bad, but because in that class I was required to dissect empirical scientific articles and summarize them. I was reading about specific experiments and looking up complex scientific terms, but I had little to no understanding of the basic scientific concepts behind the experiments. This is a downside at Hampshire--professors will throw you into the water whether you can swim or not. They will not guide you along too much....so, if you're already talented at something, then it's great, because you can go full speed ahead. For instance, since writing is one of my strengths, I enjoyed my writing classes. Therefore, I would suggest focusing in on your strengths as soon as possible once you come to Hampshire. Two more important aspects of Hampshire academics: Hampsters do not take tests, and they do not get grades. Not gonna lie--I have had to take some quizzes, but only in areas like Spanish and Music Theory, where there is really no other way you could display your knowledge without taking a quiz. And these are not heavy-duty tests; they are just quizzes. For the most part, Hampsters do big projects and write papers. This is a lot of work, but it's definitely rewarding. Also, getting evaluations is rewarding because you can see what specifically you should be proud of and what you need to improve on.
People do a lot of drugs here, but there are also many fun events that happen on campus and at nearby campuses. You will not have trouble finding fun things to do at Hampshire, whether you do drugs or not: and I speak from experience, since I am one of the few drug-free Hampsters.
Most people haven't really heard of Hampshire, but when I tell them there are no grades or tests they think it's a major joke...
Most people haven't really heard of Hampshire, but when I tell them there are no grades or tests they think it's a major joke. Then I explain that I transferred from one of the new 'ivy league' schools, and that I found Hampshire MUCH more challenging. Everything is put on the students, its their responsibility to finish work... You get what you put in.
Well there's definately a big hippie population, and although it's not substance free...I wouldn't say everyone is a pot head and everyone takes their work very seriously. I transferred into Hampshire (spent half of my first year of college at a seperate university) and was a bit worried about the stereotypes. Students are self-motivated and know when they need to complete their work, however they don't let it rule their lives (well except maybe Div III's).
The top three stereotypes about Hampshire students would have to be that they are hippie pot heads that don't care about their school work.
I love the size of Hampshire. The last school I went to in Texas was huge and had over thirty thousand students. At Hampshire...
I love the size of Hampshire. The last school I went to in Texas was huge and had over thirty thousand students. At Hampshire, you really get a chance to know people. Of course, small communities do have a lot of gossip, but that hasn't been a problem for me. Hampshire has a great campus, its beautiful. You look around and see trees, mountains and fields. I love it. Its farmland. One of the best aspects about Hampshire is that its part of the five colleges in Amherst/Northampton. The bus system is great and you can always get off campus for a change. You can take classes at any of the other schools too. Some people think its great when I tell them that I go to Hampshire, but other people think that I am just a crunchy hippie. This is not a bad thin to me, but I can see how some Hampshire students could be offended by this. Also, just because you are a so called hippie, doesn't mean that you aren't a good student and a hard worker. To be a Hampshire student can be difficult. Because you have to gather a committee and get to know faculty well, you have to be very motivated and independent. For some people its hard to take the initiative to do so. Also, because there are a limited number of full time faculty, it can be tough to get a committee together. One of my favorite things about Hampshire is that when you finish your Division III, you get to ring the bell in front of the library whenver you walk by it. I cannot wait to ring that bell!
There is a wide variety of LGBT students at Hampshire. It seems to me, as Hampshire is a private school there is a majority of students from a wealthy or well-off background. I have met a lot of Jewish students. Even though many Hampshire students have money, it is not a preppy school. People are not stuck up. Many Hampshire students are from the East coast or California or Washington state. Students at Hampshire dress any way they like. It is one of the great things about the school. No one looks at you funny if you wear a wacky outfit. Many people, including myself, go barefoot everywhere, including to class.
Hampshire has compost!!! Its a great thing. There are recycle sheds all around campus. Every mod has a compost bucket and students are committed to composting and recycling. Every college campus should have compost! There is compost in the dining hall. Also, the dining hall offers vegan options. There is themed housng on campus too, such as vegetarian groups or substance free housing.
Yes and no. Like every college that I've seen, there are drugs and there are people who take a lot of drugs. Many people do smoke marijuana. Hampshire courses can be similar to courses at other colleges. However, being a transfer student, and having taken courses at various schools (all public schools), I don't feel that Hampshire classes are any easier or harder than others. It all depends on the professor, in my opinion. Evaluations can actually be more discouraging yet more critical and useful than grades. When you get an evaluation, its never perfect. Its not like getting an A. There is always something you can improve. Its more real than a grade, more informative. Hampshire does have an amazing community. Most people are very welcoming and friendly. When you are at Hampshire people smile at you as you pass by them. People want to get to know you. People at Hampshire really care. Hampshire does tend to have cliques though. Coming in as a transfer student, I have especially noticed this. Unlike other schools though, Hampshire cliques are pretty interested in letting new people in. All of the friends I have made have happilly introduced me to their groups of friends and have been extremely friendly.
Hampshire is not a very competitive school. This has pros and cons. Outside of class, Hampshire students definitely have intellectual conversations. Its great to just discuss real issues with your friends or learn something new just by listening to student outside of class. I always feel like there are smarter, more informed people than myself at Hampshire. This makes me happy because it makes me want to strive and work harder at what I'm doing. Classes at Hampshire are really small. Usually a lot of participation is required. Professors know most people's names, especially if you are proactive and speak to them after class or if you participate in class. Students call professors by their first names always. Hampshire has very unique classes. There is a class offered called kitchen ecology where you learn everything about cheese and the making and tasting of cheese.
There are a lot of traditional events that happen at Hampshire like Hampshire Halloween, Keg hunt, Drag ball, etc. These type of events are popular and people from the five colleges like to come to Hampshire for these. It is most convienient at Hampshire to hang out with people that you live near. I met my closest friends by living with them. I was placed with them randomly since I came in as a transfer student. Students in the dorms usually are very open, people in the same halls are all close friends, generally speaking. People who live together in the mods are also usually close. There are sub-free living areas on campus and there are students who are committed to being substance free. They have their own events and parties. There are no fraternities/sororities. There is drinking and parties with drinking. The biggest and best parties are usually on Friday nights.
Hampshire students are hippies. Everyone at Hampshire smokes weed and does drugs. Hampshire classes are easy because there are no grades, only evaluations. Hampshire has a strong community feel.
I believe Hampshire College is the most unusual, interesting, wacky, suprising, evolving college in the country. The most uni...
I believe Hampshire College is the most unusual, interesting, wacky, suprising, evolving college in the country. The most unique component to Hampshire is the educational pedagogy - as a Hampshire student, you design your own curriculum and indepenently complete a final project (thesis, documentary, performance, traditional, non-traditional) in your fourth year that is the culmination of your studies. I believe "DYI" (Do It Yourself) is the mantra at Hampshire - students live in single dorm rooms, do independent studies, design their own curriculum. Hampshire is TINY - 1,400 students - and although the college over enrolls each year, the size remains a constant because the drop-out/transfer/field study/defer/travel/ect. rate is very high. The reason for this overturn is because of the aforementioned "DYI" mantra - most 18 year olds are not ready to be self-motivated, driven, living on their own, choosing what courses they need to take to develop their studies, ect. At Hampshire, the quality and the rigour of the education you recieve correlates to the amount of effort and heart you put into your studies. Advice to prospective students: critically examine your study habits, self-efficacy, self- motivation, and relationships with teachers - if you are organized, know how to manage time effectively, are highly motivated to learn and know what you want to study, and are comfortable expressing your needs and goals with teachers - you can succeed at Hampshire.
Student Body - hippies (typically have dreadlocks, don't wear shoes to class, smoke pot, study social change) - hipsters (typically wear skinny jeans, have bangs, chain smoke cigarettes, party, study photography and film) - miscellaneous (there is a little of everything at Hampshire!) - very strong LBGT and students of color groups - typically students are from california, brooklyn, and vermont - typically students are liberal but are suprisinly NOT politically active
It is true that Hampshire does not believe in the traditional system, thus instead of grades, Hampshire students recieve "evaluations," in which the professor writes a lengthly evaluation of the student's strengths and weaknesses regarding class participation and written work. It is also true that quizes/tests/exams are NOT adminisered at Hampshire. Hampshire students DO choose a specific area of study, but it is called a "concentration" instead of a "major." 90% of Hampshire students DO smoke cigarettes. In essence, the stereotypes surrounding Hampshire are accurate to some extent, it is a quirky place!
Hampshire academics - Five College Consortium: Hampshire courses are highly specific, thus Hampshire would not exist without the Five College Consortium, which includes Hampshire, Mt.Holyoke College, Smith College, University of Massachussets, and Amherst College. You can take classes at any of the five schools! Buses run every 10 minutes, thus it is very easy to take 1 or 2 classes off-campus. The five college consortium is the most amazing feature, for it allows students to supplement their designed curriculum with courses from the five college consortium. For example, even though I am a Hampshire student, I am recieving my Teacher's License from Mt. Holyoke College. Class size: ranges from 10-24 depending on the nature of the course Requirements: In your first year ("Div I"), you must take 1 course in each of the 5 schools of thought (Humanities & Arts, Natural Science, Social Science, Cognitive Science, IA (language). After "Div I," Curriculum: Design your own curriculum in 3 stages, called Divisions. "Div I" is completed in your first year, "Div II" is competed in your second and third years, and "Div III" is completed in your fourth year. Class participation: students are loud, ask questions, argue, talk about themselves, ect. Competetiveness: non-existent because there are no grades In essence: You are learning to learn, not to set yourself up for a high powered job. However, with the DIY, you can make your academics whatever you want them to be!
Hampshire College is quirky and unique, both in the nature of the curriculum and the students that the college attracts - thus, the stereotypes surrounding Hampshire are plentiful. Hampshire stereotypes include: no grades are given, no quizes/tests/exams are given, students don't choose a major, and all students smoke.
Hampshire College is an "alternative" school. Unfortunately, most of the student body seems to think that this means the Hamp...
Hampshire College is an "alternative" school. Unfortunately, most of the student body seems to think that this means the Hampshire College is politically or socially "alternative." With that said, the school is often the home of loud political/social "protests" (which are rarely well thought out, almost always rash and reactionary and often leave as soon as they come). Hampshire College was designed to be a school where things were taught differently. It has become a place where different things are taught. These "different subjects" occasionally turn out to be taught and executed exceptionally well. Often, though, they are unbacked, subjective nonsense that students take to be 100% true. Some basics: Hampshire College exists on a good amount of land, most of which is undeveloped. There are two dormitories, Dakin and Merrill, which houses most of the first years and a sizable number of the second years (although with a little luck, a second year can move up to the mods). These mods are on-campus apartments and are named Prescott, Enfield and Greenwich. The former of the three is often thought to be the place to go for parties, and while this was true at the beginning of the semester, it became less so as the year moved on. Enfield is generally more suburban-looking, with buildings designed to form very open communal areas. The social life of Enfield takes advantage of these areas, and is often the home to more environmentally-conscious and socially-active folk. There's even a Greenhouse mod. Greenwich, originally designed to be temporary housing, is made of relatively isolated "pods," and is the physical counterthesis to Enfield. The people in Greenwich are, from what I've experienced, less loud than the other two communities, both physically and figuratively. Currently, renovations are taking place for Greenwich. The architecture of Hampshire College is in the late '60s Brutalist style, which some view as prison-like, but I found to be rather nice. Not all of the buildings are well-designed, none are very inviting to students (classrooms are hard to find sometimes), but you live with what you can. The student body of Hampshire College is medium size, about 1400 kids. There is considerable separation, not by grade but by living area. People in the dorms tend to hang out exclusively with others in the dorms, and the same goes for the mods. Nonetheless, it is easy to have everyone caught up in everyone else's business. Hampshire is definitely more difficult to handle for those with a misanthropic or introverted bend. With that said, most people spend their time anywhere where other (preferably intoxicated) people are. And those locations are easy to trace.
Hampshire College student body is loud. They complain a lot about the homogeny at Hampshire, and about how that necessarily denotes racism, orientation-ism, classism, etc. Most people on campus are Socialists, or at least Social-Democrats (self-proclaimed). Or they say that they don't believe in labels and act like Socialists or at least Social-Democrats. The student body tries really hard to say something alternative, without always thinking through what they're saying. A large proportion of the student body is also very awkward. Social skills are often lacking at Hampshire College. And yet, ironically, it's very hard to get people to leave you alone. People at Hampshire love to be social, even if they're not always good at it.
Be prepared for Hampshire to be a temporary thing. The information they give in the brochures is not entirely accurate. And be sure to talk to students when/if you come and visit. They're more honest than the administration.
Let's say that the average Hampshire student tries to be one or all of those things. Success is a different story.
Academics at Hampshire are, allegedly, not what they used to be. If you are looking for a place that puts education over the classroom, come to Hampshire 20 years ago. If you are looking for a place that puts education anywhere on its top-10 list, come to Hampshire 20 years ago. Hampshire, I've been told, started as a place where students would work on individual work, take classes that were pertinent, and come to class when issues arose that made their own work particularly difficult. With the removal of individual work by current "re-vamping" of the First Division, classes have become more mandatory. The problem is that with an attempt to maintain "discussion-based classes," a lot of teachers rely on students and do not help with discussions as well as they could. This would be great if the students themselves did not come to Hampshire looking for a way to get out of "real class work." This creates a lot of silence during classes, or dominance of discussion by one or two students. Hampshire students are very good at saying "everything's relative." And they mean it. So truth is hard to muster out of classes. With this mentality in the student body, intelligence is easy to feign on the Hampshire College Campus. Most students try to be a lot smarter than they actually are. Be careful, if you aren't paying too close of attention, you might actually believe what they are saying. As for the academic system, that deserves a say or two, seeing as it has put Hampshire on the map. Hampshire's program to graduate consists of three Divisions. The first is taken in the first three semesters (although it can be completed in two). The second covers the Sophomore and Junior years generally and the third is a Senior's thesis-like program. Div I: This Division takes up the first year of your life at Hampshire. It has been changed a lot recently (for better or, more frequently, worse). Students must complete one class from each of the five schools (Interdisciplinary arts, IA; Humanities Arts and Cultural Studies, HACU; Cognitive Science, CS; Natural Science, NS; and Social Science, SS.) and three electives of one's choice. IA classes can be fulfilled by language classes at one of the other 4 colleges in the area, but all the others must be taken at Hampshire. One class in the first semester is a tutorial class, which is exclusive to first years. The teacher of that class is your advisor, so pick it well (a ratemyprofessors search might be in hand before choosing). At the end of Div I, you have to write a retrospective outlining what you did and how it might help you in... Div II:! Division II is what some would call "the major" of Hampshire. Here you focus your studies to one self-created field. You can take whatever classes you want, but generally have to justify them with your "committee," which consists of two professors (Hampshire or otherwise) that have something to do with your field of study. Also Community Service must be completed in this time. Div II is meant to be the bulk of your studies to prepare you for... Div III: Division III is where students bunker down and create a physical manifestation of their previous three years. Generally students write long thesis-length papers, but others choose to do scientific research, large scale building and design projects etc. Basically, this is the time when you prove you've actually learned something (hopefully). You stay with your committee, who guides you through. Normally Div III students will take only one or two classes and focus on finishing their project. When they do finish, they literally ring a bell that announces to the student body (and anyone living within a mile or two) that they have graduated. To pass a course at Hampshire, a student receives an "evaluation" from a teacher, which is a paragraph or two summary of the student's progress and performance in the classroom. These are generally very honest and helpful, although often hung over the heads of students much as grades are in high school. Some teachers are hard-asses about them, some are real laid-back. To finish: Although most students come to Hampshire to get away from math and sciences, NS is really the only school that sticks to the heart of Hampshire: good project-based classes, no administrative bullshit, student-involvement, pursuit of knowledge. I have met some of the most amazing professors in that building, whereas others have been borderline-miserable.
In terms of legal activities: If you can't find it at Hampshire, you can at another of the five colleges. In terms of illegal activities: You can find it at Hampshire. Also at another one of the five colleges. Hampshire has late quiet hours which are not always enforced. The campus is pretty laid back, though. Most people are trusting, although I've known a few to get computers stolen while in the shower. The bathrooms are co-ed, but this is fine. There are some loud halls/mods, some quiet. It really depends. Traditions (Hampshire loves to make them): Hampshire Halloween: this Halloween bash once made the top-ten for Rolling Stone's best parties of the country. Now excessive spending and administrative interference makes dropping acid and floating on top of costumed people less "totally rad." Mustachio Bashio: Hosted by the Greenhouse mod, this is a large mustache-only party. Most people grow or buy their most extravagant facial hair. It's amusing to see men's faces change on Friday night before the big event. Easter Keg-Hunt: Name says it all. Get out there early; it'll be gone by noon. Drag Ball: Held in the dining commons. Last year, the president and his partner came decked out in drag. X is a popular drug choice at this event. If you want any type of drug in large proportions, Hampshire is the place to go. Especially noted for psychedelics. The drug scene, though, is relatively easy to avoid, although not to ignore.
Hampshire students are often thought to be... ...drugged ...artistic ...politically active ...dirty ...socially concerned ...loud
Hampshire is seriously hindered by the current administration. It is lacking in funding, and what money we do have is often m...
Hampshire is seriously hindered by the current administration. It is lacking in funding, and what money we do have is often mismanaged. Housing is suffering, as are a lot of worthwhile programs. Hampshire has become increasingly tied up in politics and top-down bureaucracy - if someone were ambitious enough to combat that there would be endless potential. The surrounding area is nice. Northampton is a thriving old town where you can find just about anything you'd like. Amherst is good for a quick bite or a run to CVS. There is a plethora of worthwhile hiking and sightseeing in the valley and weekend trips to the coast or up to vermont are a welcome break from the Hampshire 'bubble'. With such a small student body, and most people living on campus, it really is a bubble. Especially within your set living area. Especially if you live in the dorms and have to go to saga for all your meals. Good luck avoiding someone. Probably one of Hampshire's best features is the five college program. Being able to get off campus and take classes elsewhere is the only thing that makes Hampshire plausible. Again, its also a relief to leave campus sometimes. Hampshire students are very into taking advantage of all the opportunities offered through this program.
Almost everyone is hippie. If not, the majority are hippie friendly. Class is what you want to make of it. It depends on the professor whether you need to attend or not; often, you do. Almost everyone smokes pot. Even more people are cigarette smokers. Hampshire Halloween is cool if you are tripping - its not what it once was.
Professors almost always know there students names.... its sometimes student who don't know there professors names. Hampshire kids, at least at entry, seem not to be to involved with academics. Drugs and hanging out often draw more attention than classes. Procrastination is popular. Oh, also, Div I sucks. If you can make it to Div III I hear good things about it, but surviving three years is tough. Paying for those years is even tougher. However, if you are into school work, the NS professors are outstanding. Though the school (as do most) lacks funding. The teachers are ambitious and creative and really involved in awesome hands on projects. You will actually do science (or math) - from day one in a Hampshire classroom. A lot of Hampshire students are pretentious - which gets mistaken for intellectual by those who don't know better. Many enjoy a dinner time or class time debate on anything from racism, feminism, foreign policy, or art - often one subject after another.
The farm is probably one of the best parts of Hampshire. Not only is everyone who works at the farm fantastic, but the animals (cows, sheep, pigs, chickens) are so much fun to work with. Fall is filled with harvesting, and spring is busy with maple syrup and lots of babies! Even if you're not willing to get up in time for chores, you'd be missing out of you don't go visit.
Everyone is a hippie. Since we don't have tests, class isn't "real". Speaking of, you don't have to go to class. Everyone smokes a lot of pot. Hampshire Halloween is the shit.
I came to Hampshire mostly because of its unique academic program. Hampshire is definitely not for everyone, but it is perfe...
I came to Hampshire mostly because of its unique academic program. Hampshire is definitely not for everyone, but it is perfect for some students. Hampshire's a pretty small school, but that's fine with me. The campus has a peaceful, rural feel - lots of trees, views of the mountains, etc. But it's also a short bus ride from both Amherst and Northampton, which are small but cute towns with some interesting shops and lots of good restaurants. Most of the dorm rooms are single rooms, so you're likely to get a room to yourself even as a first-year (unless you request a double). Most students move to the "mods" (apartments) after their first or second year. Hampshire only has one dining hall. Students refer to the dining hall as "SAGA," after the company that used to provide the food. (The food is now provided by Sodexho.) SAGA food is not the best food in the world, but there is a good variety of options, including a salad bar, a sandwich bar, a stirfry bar, a waffle maker, and meat, vegetarian, and vegan entrees at every meal. There is also ice cream available at every meal, including a soft serve machine. Many students who live in mods cook for themselves, but students living in the dorms are required to be on the meal plan. If you eat in SAGA every day, you will probably get sick of SAGA food. As I said, it's not the best food in the world. But it could be a lot worse.
Since Hampshire is a fairly new college and has a small endowment, tuition is high. So there are a lot of well-to-do students. However, not everyone is rich. There seem to be a fair amount of students from the Northeast, but I have also met students from California, Georgia, Virginia, etc., as well as international students. The majority of Hampshire students are white (I believe about 87%), although there are some students of color and international students. Although I haven't personally witnessed any racism, I've heard that instances of racism do occur on campus. There is a cultural center, as well as identity-based housing for students of color and international students. A lot of Hampshire students dress uniquely. Sometimes I feel like I don't really know what's "in fashion" because I don't know if the trends I'm seeing are popular in the wider world or just among Hampshire students. It sometimes seems that by trying to be "different," Hampshire students sort of become the same. Instead of pressure to fit in by being "normal," there is pressure NOT to be "normal." Many students are politically aware and active. Students are predominantly left. I believe there may be some republicans somewhere at Hampshire, but they are definitely in the minority. Conservative students might feel out of place at Hampshire.
For my "major," I put "Other Social Science." To be more specific, I am planning to explore the interactions between environmental issues and social justice issues. The idea for my concentration was inspired by a class I took entitled "Environment and Social Justice."
The stereotypes are accurate to some degree. It is fairly common to see dreadlocks and guys with long hair. There are a fair amount of rich students because Hampshire's tuition is high, but not everyone is rich. Many students use marijuana, but there are also sub-free students. A lot of students are very PC, but there are also students who get annoyed about others being so PC. Probably a lot of us didn't fit in in high school, but there might be some who did... And of course there's more to every school than its stereotypes.
Hampshire has a very unique academic program consisting of three divisions. Division I, generally completed in the first year, consists of taking basic courses and fulfilling distribution requirements. In Division II, the second and third years, students develop a self-designed concentration (the closest thing Hampshire has to a "major"). During their fourth year, Division III, students undertake a major independent project. The divisions are commonly referred to as "Div I," "Div II," and "Div III." Hampshire classes have no tests, quizzes, or exams (with a few exceptions, such as some language courses). There is usually a final project or paper in place of a final exam. Instead of grades, students recieve written evaluations from professors, as well as writing self-evaluations. All classes at Hampshire are small. The biggest class I had this year was about 25-30 students, and it was my first year. Class participation is expected and encouraged. Most classes are discussion-based. Professors lecture occasionally to clarify certain points or provide background information, but rarely for an entire class period. Most courses involve a lot of reading and writing. Relationships with professors are very important. Professors have to get to know every student in each of their courses well enough to write a written evaluation of his/her work. On Advising Days, there are no classes so that every student can meet with his/her advisor. First year students have to take a tutorial course in their first semester, and the professor of the tutorial becomes their advisor for the first year. For Division II, students are advised by a committee of two professors, and students in Division III have weekly meeting with their Division III committees. Although I have never personally been invited to a professor's house, I know other students who have. Hampshire has a lot of interesting courses. Since it's a small school, you might not find every course you need or want for your specific course of study. But there is also the Five College Consortium. Hampshire students can enroll in courses at Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst for no additional charge. There is a free bus system that provides access to all of these other colleges, and the longest bus ride (to Smith) is only about 20-25 minutes. Most Hampshire students end up taking some classes off campus, and some students even take most of their classes off campus. Some students come to Hampshire knowing exactly what they want to study, but others, like myself, explore different areas in their first year to find out what area(s) most interest(s) them. Since the concentration is student-designed, it is possible to combine different interests in ways that wouldn't be possible at a more traditional college. Hampshire's academic program is not for everyone. Hampshire students need to be self-motivated. They must be able to deal with a relative lack of structure; no one is going to tell you exactly what classes you should take and when. Hampshire has a fairly high transfer rate. However, some students (myself included) love Hampshire. While it isn't for everyone, Hampshire is perfect for some people.
There are a lot of student groups on campus, which are student-run. One popular group is New Leaf, a student group for environmental sustainability. Athletics are NOT big at Hampshire. The most popular sports team is our ultimate frisbee team, the Red Scare. There are also basketball and soccer teams (and possibly some others?) but they don't generally get a lot of attention on campus. There are no fraternities or sororities at Hampshire. There is definitely partying that happens on campus, but I don't know much about it because that's not my social scene. Although there is a lot of alcohol and drug use (especially marijuana) on campus, it is also possible to find students who are not into that. There are sub-free halls in the dorms, as well as sub-free mods. There are also different noise level designations in the dorms and mods. Hampshire Halloween is a very popular event that happens every year. Drag Ball is also popular. Midnight breakfast is served outside of the Merrill Living Room every Friday.
Rich hippies/wanna-be hippies, potheads, people who didn't fit in in high school, PC students who over-analyze everything
The best thing about Hampshire - and everyone will tell you this - is the freedom (which exists more after first year) to do ...
The best thing about Hampshire - and everyone will tell you this - is the freedom (which exists more after first year) to do what you want in school. That being said, there are a lot of kids who want to go to college without working, and these kids most frequently end up leaving after a few months. Hampshire is an academically serious place, and it is not easy. The worst thing about Hampshire is the way the school is run from the administration down. Aside from classes, there is very little organization in the school, and hence simple tasks like signing up for classes, renting equipment, or securing a place to live are transformed into complex and frustrating ordeals. Hampshire is very small, and by your second or third year you will know almost everyone in your class, and recognize most people around campus. Love it or hate it. Most of my time on campus is spent outside with friends when the weather permits it, otherwise in the dorm buildings or in the library. It is a very social place, and most people leave their doors open whenever they are home. Amherst, Northampton, and everything in between is literally crawling with college students. It is actually jarring to leave the valley for vacation and to see more people over thirty than under. Hampshire's administration is poorly organized, more talk than action, but somehow effective as evidenced by the fact that the school has lasted this long (which isn't really very long). Administration is constantly under fire, and this past year was no exception, as students of color collectively demanded that Hampshire draft active anti-racist policies. There can be no doubt that Hampshire is a politically driven school. Hampshire students are not competitive enough to have school pride, just a contentment in knowing that they are in the right place. But, to be certain, it is not right for everyone.
Hampshire is, by nature, totally accepting, and when this attitude differs a problem arises. New students find themselves editing their vocabularies (do NOT say fag at Hampshire period) Students commonly wear whatever they stumble upon in the morning. Cliques do exist here, but the school is not big enough to allow total exclusion of different groups. Students are typically middle-class and above, simply because Hampshire cannot afford anything but high tuition and conservative financial aid. Students are all politically aware, a majority are politically active. Republicans need not apply. When talking about how much they'll earn one day, Hampshire kids bemoan their future life of poverty, but with a good sense of humor about it.
Hampshire is like a big, four-year-long summer camp, but with snow.
The stereotype exists here, but does not make up the majority of the student body. The majority of students are intensely creative and motivated in multiple areas of both academic and extra-curricular learning.
Hampshire classes are the basic pillar which makes this school special. Hampshire classes are consistently small, most under twenty students, and almost all are structured in a class-conversation style. Professors will typically strive to learn the names of all their students early on in the semester, and with a little effort you can get to know them well. This is indispensable in progressing through Hampshire, as you will need professors for your committees, but you'll figure all that out. Class discussions frequently spill out of the classroom and into public conversations, and when students are engaged in class, discussions can be intensely rewarding. Hampshire is continuously revision their first-year requirements, as this is their most-oft attacked program, yet from all sources I have heard that after first year academics are a joy. Hampshire kids are rarely in career-oriented programs, and few are even engaged in career-friendly academics. Thats why many go on to grad school. For me, this is one of my greatest concerns at this point in time, but I'll let you know how it turns out.
There is always something going around on Hampshire campus that is either totally organized by, or involving all students. Athletics are not very popular, and are basically there for the athletes to enjoy. Theater ranks among the most popular social events, as do the various musical performances that go on all the time.
Hampshire students are most frequently stereotyped at hippie stoner kids who can't get organized enough to attend a regular college.
Hampshire is a pretty small school (around 1400) surrounded by a lot of farms and beautiful woods. If you're a city dweller, ...
Hampshire is a pretty small school (around 1400) surrounded by a lot of farms and beautiful woods. If you're a city dweller, this is not the place for you. The majority of the students live in apartment style housing which is arranged into three little 'villages' on campus, which makes for a nice sense of community. Hampshire has a full farm (complete with goats, sheep, cows, pigs and even a llama!) which is staffed by students. You can sign up to receive fresh produce from the farm to share with your house mates or take a walk to go visit the baby sheep (soo cute!). Some kids make an effort to get off campus a lot and visit the neighboring small-ish college towns of Amherst and Northampton, although many kids just hang out at hampshire. There are many hikes and mountain bike trails right on campus which are beautiful!
Hampshire is a very liberal campus full of hipsters and hippies. The student body is mostly white and middle class, but has very active POC and international student groups.
There is a lot of pot (and other drugs) on hampshire campus, but it's not all we do. It is certainly possibly to do nothing, but isn't that possible at any school? Some of the most creative, driven, and hard working people I've ever met go to Hampshire.
Hampshire does not give grades, learning is very self directed, and there are no pre-set majors. It's easy to slack off if you're not self motivated. Classes are small and largely discussion based. Many people have very close relationships with there professors. The most popular areas of study are creative writing, film/photography, and studio arts. The science department is great and has a lot of great professors, who are eager to help you study whatever it is that interests you. If you are interested primarily in the sciences you will probably have to take classes at one of the other five colleges, which is very easy. Science students in their last year of college design and carry out their own hands on project in an area that interests them.
Huge parties are not very common at Hampshire. Most parties will be no bigger then 20 or so people in an apartment drinking beers and smoking pot, sometimes dancing or playing beer pong. The occasional big party does happen though, usually with a live student band or blasting techno. These parties get very crowded, usually do not supply booze and usually center around dancing. Hampshire halloween is the biggest event of the year. Also known as "trip-or-treat" many of the students dress up and take hallucinogens or just get flat wasted. Another tradition is easter keg hunt, when fourth year students buy kegs and hide them in the forrest, and on easter morning all the students go out with cups looking for them. Everyone ends up wasted by noon. The music scene at Hampshire is OK, but nothing special.
They're all pot-heads, they don't do any work. Hippies. Hampshire is a joke school. Where rich parents send their f*** up kids to go f*** around for four years (or longer).
There is a lot of pride, those who dont like it leave or transfer. Hampshire has its difficulties and not enough endowment, ...
There is a lot of pride, those who dont like it leave or transfer. Hampshire has its difficulties and not enough endowment, but overall i am very happy it is a place that stimulates creativity and new ways of looking at things. Everyone is into something and often willing to help or collaborate.
There is not alot of racial diversity, there is a large queer community. People can wear whatever.. I mean whatever they want. There are alot of hipsters but anything really goes hear. most people are very liberal and politically savvy. Many do not expect to make alot of money becase we are activist and art kids.
No. People here are genuinly engaged in studies they are interested in. The pot use is not any more than any other school. Having no grades is actually more difficult.
The academics are challenging in the fact that it is so self focused. For final projects the teacher will say, write a 15 page paper that has something to do with what we studied. It is great to have but alos daunting. The class are small and you have to participate. I love my class on the idea of the black dancing body in contemporary concert dance and writing the urban experience. The professors actually care, and the 5 college consortium is great. The dance dept. has alot of wonderful people and a lot of class choices. It is very modern based, i would not come here if i did not want to be a modern dancer, there is ballet but hampshire is more about creativity and modern.
This is not a party school. It is pretty small. Most parties are indie dance parties. Most weekends are just hanging out with the people you really like. People leave their doors open and unlocked. The dating scene is very open there is alot of sexual freedom accepted. There are no athletic events, (except the frisbee team), people are really into rock climbing ( we have a wall and bouldering cave) Most people are very friendly and willing to help out and most of all there is always interesting conversation.
pot smoking hippies, and having no grades equals slacking
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