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Hampshire College

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Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Yes but they are all part of a bigger picture. Drug use is high but mostly it appears that way because it is done more openly than at other schools. It is also a very small school spread out over a large area so this makes drugs easy to use and hard to get caught at. However I think that since other schools it is so stringently repressed, the real figures are depressed, although in reality drug use is not unusual either at Hampshire or other schools. One of the nice things about drugs at Hampshire though is that you don't often encounter very hard drugs, from who I have talked to at other schools there is a lot of cocaine and heroine and meth etc. whereas at Hampshire it seems to stick to the less addictive/life threatening drugs like marijuana, and hallucinogens. 2) Diversity is a real issue on campus as the vast majority of the student body and even teachers/ administrators are white. Apparently there have been some actions over the past year that have brought these issues into a more open discussion, and since I have not attended Hampshire for the past year I am unable to speak about them. Also Hampshire seems to have to try very hard to bring diversity to campus, and as such the diversity feels very planned and tends therefore to stick to itself. It is very rare to witness a group of close friends that is diverse within itself at Hampshire. Personally I think that is not that many people on campus are close minded or racist (at least not intentionally) but that the policies set forth by the administration, do not promote diversity and in fact keep people separated. 3) Hampshire students are very independent, and this is greatly promoted by the college and the method of teaching. Independent curiosity and drive is greatly rewarded not only from the faculty but from within the students who for the most part seem to drive each other to follow independent and fantastic paths.

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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.

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Look, those students exist, absolutely, but these days the average Hampshire student is more of an uber-post-modern hipster who knows far more about the indie band that has four followers than they know about how to boil water and who think that the world is beyond sincerity and reality. Although, those aren't the only students, there are also the self-proclaimed geeks, the activists, the literary folk, and the students who are just unclassifiable. However, none of this is to say that Hampshire breaks down in a typical Middle School cafeteria breakdown, because the truth is that while Hampshire definitely has cliques, there is a truth to the saying that every Hampshire student is really an individual. It seems to me that once you sit down with most Hampshire students, the reality is that you find a student who is passionate about their work and who mostly would love to talk about anything so long as it's an engaging conversation.

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Not exactly. It is true that there's a lot of alternative style in the students, the majority of them are vegetarians and vegans, and a large part of the student body is passionate about things that may be considered "hippie" by the general public, and while it's safe to say that the campus is full of unique characters (and yes, people who have smoked weed in their life), the stereotype is certainly an exaggeration. In terms of doing work, there are no letter grades and typically no tests/quizzes, but almost any student would agree that we read and write much more than the average college student does. Basically, you give what you get at Hampshire- students put in the work that they want to, making everyone on campus happy to be there and passionate about their work.

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Yes and no. The campus is mixed pretty 50/50. Half of the students are there because they love the independence a hampshire education provides, and the other half takes advantage of the no grades, no tests policy. There are drugs on campus, but there are also easy ways to avoid them. Many hampshire students are talkative and personable, but they tend to fall into the latter fifty percent. Many Hampshire students are a bit wierd or socially awkward, but this is pretty standard for most liberal arts colleges. Hampshire kids tend to be the nerdy kids in high school, so nerd culture is quite cool on campus, as is everything that goes with it.

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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.

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To an extent. The wannabe-hippie culture is in full force at Hampshire, and many other students could be accurately described as belonging to the hipster subculture. The idea that Hampshire students are generally more unique or creative in some way than others is complete croque. The majority of students certainly represent bungled attempts at non-conformity. That said, there are plenty of extremely intelligent, motivated and creative individuals at our school (you just have to look for 'em), and we could always use more.

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There are hippies...and people with hippie-esque behaviours...but those who are labeled "hippie" generally wouldn't say they are hippies. People just generalize hampshire as a hippie school because folks tend to stray off normative paths, and anything "counter-culture" obviously equals hippies. Because it still the 60's, obviously. It's easy to say you are liberal, because no one wants to admit to being conservative. But actually, a lot of people just have their foot in thier mouthes and like the liberal title.

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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.

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To a certain degree, yes. The student body is incredibly radical (I have a friend who claims that she'd work at Planned Parenthood, but its just not liberal enough), but at the same time, you have to do actual classwork. Many students are weeded-out (so to speak) in their first year because they think they can sit around and smoke all the time. That, and there are a great deal of students who are substance free.

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