South Hadley, MA
Mount Holyoke College


98 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

oscar
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell myself to study harder, and not to have dropped out of high school. That I need to get a job during the summer a...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I would tell myself to study harder, and not to have dropped out of high school. That I need to get a job during the summer and save all the money earned for school, so tuition wouldn't be so difficult to manage.

Emily
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

A bubbling atmosphere of academia and nature.

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

A bubbling atmosphere of academia and nature.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

College is an important step to determining your future. Take classes that do not always seem like they will be relevant to your plans because you never can be sure where you will end up. Become involved in clubs and activities, they will help you make friends as well as provide you with a way to de-stress without feeling bad about not doing your work. Look for jobs in whatever field you are interested in way before you are ready to graduate so you can plan your classes accordingly. Work hard and set up a schedule so you don't always leave everything until the last minute. Apply for internships and scholarships every year. Keep yourself organized. Don't forgo social contact, exercise, or eating, they are important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sleep every night.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

People who are not comfortable with liberal and homosexual behaviors would find the atmosphere at Mount Holyoke quite distressful. Also, you should not attempt to attend Mount Holyoke if you are male, as it is an all women's school. However, if you are transgender you will find an accepting atmosphere here.

Stephanie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

This is a women's college, so you get a lot of "What is that?" and "How do you survive?" Stunningly enough, we survive withou...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

This is a women's college, so you get a lot of "What is that?" and "How do you survive?" Stunningly enough, we survive without many guys on campus (though they do exist and come to classes), and if you're dying you can always go into Amherst, where I have a good group of guy friends. Most adults are impressed I go there though, I think it's mainly people below 30 who don't know about it. I spend most of my time on campus in Blanchard Campus Center working for Student Government Association and eating! I do most of my studying in my dorm with friends, though the library is GORGEOUS. I love the traditions like Mountain Day (classes canceled, climb Mount Holyoke & eat ice cream with the president), and secret traditions between students. You should search traditions on the website. There is a cute little town of South Hadley, but most happenings are in Northampton (30 min away) or Amherst (15 min away), both accessible by PVTA bus.

Describe the students at your school.

Very diverse student body, and I'm not just saying that. Somewhere around 20-25% are international students, with relatively large populations from China, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Perhaps it's because of that demographic that the student body is hyper-aware of global politics (International Relations and Politics are two of the biggest majors at MHC alongside sciences). It's impossible not to interact with different types of students, and the school is not overly cliquey. Students wear anything from sweatpants to riding crops to a blazer to class, anything goes. MHC gives out TONS of financial aid every year, which is the reason many students choose the school over others - this aid is both in merit and need-based scholarships.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Sometimes you love the school, and sometimes you hate it for all the same reasons. It's not your average college or university, but that's why many students go here. Visit. Definitely visit. That is what made be switch from Early Action Georgetown to Early Decision Mount Holyoke.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Every school has every stereotype in some sense. We do have a larger than average "out" LGBT population, but it isn't the majority of the school at all. We are politically active and many are super serious about academics, and I'm guessing the slutty stereotype comes from guys who come to campus on the weekend and tell stories to their friends (whether they're true or not). I'd say we're an intelligent lot :)

What are the academics like at your school?

Every professor I have had at Mount Holyoke has not only learned my name (and not from me brown-nosing), but has tried to get to know students in a personal way. For example, one of my biology classes was 180 people - HUGE for MHC. Because it was so large, they set up one-on-one meetings with every single student in the class to match names with faces. I have been invited to dinner at a few professors' and the college president's house, and go out for coffee with faculty and staff often. Students are academically competitive, but usually with themselves and not between each other (though every school has their gunners). Requirements can be a drag if you're only interested in a few subjects, but the school prides itself on liberal arts, so take your first year to explore through requirements. It has, and will, change many planned majors.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The great thing about a small Division III school is that for many teams you can join without too much experience, like crew, swimming, and a few others. Club sports make up a huge part of campus, especially rugby and dressage. I am heavily involved in Student Government Association here, so of course I love it :) We get a lot of freedom. There are theatre performances almost every week through clubs or the department, and dances held that are open to the Five College community (including creepy guys, but hey, you get that anywhere). I tend to go off campus to meet friends at Amherst on the weekend, though there is a nightlife on campus - only on the weekend though. Mount Holyoke prides itself on SO MANY traditions - just look them up on the site, too many to list, but they rock. There is no greek life, though UMASS has plenty of that and you can go visit, I guess.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Huge LGBT population, super serious, politically active, slutty, smart

Catherine
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are diversely talented, deeply passionate, and remarkably dedicated, but they are also down-to-earth, realistic...

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are diversely talented, deeply passionate, and remarkably dedicated, but they are also down-to-earth, realistic and approachable.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Thus far, my college experience has been excellent. In the few months that I have spent at Mount Holyoke College, I have gained more knowledge and experience than I could have ever expected. I have not only gained knowledge of a technical nature, in the subjects I've taken, but I have also learned a lot about people, and how different cultures interact, from firsthand experience. In looking thoroughly at cultures and ideas different from ours we can then look carefully at our own beliefs. By contrast, we can then gain greater insight into ourselves, and the culture to which we personally ascribe. Why is this valuable? It is valuable because the acquisition of knowledge is the key to a successful, fulfilling existence in all areas (practical, social, metaphsyical, etc) of a diverse life.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

The worst thing about Mount Holyoke is that there are too many opportunities. There is simply not enough time to do everything that you want to do. This includes going to lectures outside of class, student organizations, social events, internships, research opportunities, etc. Having to pick and choose is a crisis, because Mount Holyoke students, by definition, it seems, are very involved in their interests. Sleeping is usually the casualty of such intense interests.

Lara
What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I knew how to drive so I could get around easier. It can be hard sometimes when we want to get off campus sometimes an...

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

I wish I knew how to drive so I could get around easier. It can be hard sometimes when we want to get off campus sometimes and have to wait for the buses.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I've gotten more out of college so far than I can even discribe. The friends I have made and the lessons I have learned are vast. It's hard at first, living on your own with new people... but I've grown a lot in the past year and a half because of it. I know people from all over the world, I work in the library on campus and I absolutely love it, I've had teachers that are harsh, but fair; I'm experiencing college the way I want to. It's not all about parties or drinking, in fact I feel no pressure to partake in those experiences. College has helped me find myself through this chaotic world and time and has helped me realize my goals in life and I am certain that my school will help me get to where I want to be.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

It's like a sleepover every night! I feel a great sense of community and nurturing at Mount Holyoke. I've met a lot of great people and I encourage people to look past the "all women" label.

Kelsey
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Mount Holyoke is amazing. The only thing that I would change is SFS (student financial services). They take forever to get ba...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Mount Holyoke is amazing. The only thing that I would change is SFS (student financial services). They take forever to get back to you with anything - but once they do, to their credit, they do help you as much as they can. The school is very small, which some people can't handle. Coming from a small town though, it's perfect for me. Nobody has ever heard of MoHo. Even though the school is incredible, don't expect people to know where the hell you're talking about. A lot of time is spent in the library or in one's dorm. A good chunk of people go off campus for weekends, but you're really stuck in the South Hadley area. There aren't a lot of parties on campus, but a lot off campus (UMASS mostly). There is a ton of school pride. The girls that go there absolutely love it. If they don't, they transfer. Convocation is amazing - you really get a sense of how much people love living there. Everything is unusual about Mount Holyoke. Nothing is average. Nobody is average.

Describe the students at your school.

All of the groups on campus are great. It's awesome to have that much diversity...though sometimes everyone just needs to chill out. It's very easy to get a group of people up in arms over a simple question. It's almost TOO progressive, like people are forcing themselves to be offended most of the time. Though even with that, you will never find an all around kinder group of students on any other campus. The students tend to dress up. We like to look good. Mount Holyoke students are from everywhere in the world. There are two distinctions that you sometimes come across with students. There are the very wealthy girls, and the not wealthy girls. They're all very easy to separate, but they interact with each other. Even if the wealthier girls tend to have a very sheltered view on life. The students are almost always extremely liberal.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

To the first, yes, mostly. There are always a few exceptions. At first, I didn't think so, but I was really underestimating the percentage of students that identifies as something other than completely straight.

What are the academics like at your school?

Mount Holyoke academics are rigorous. Most of your free time is spent studying. It's just how it is. That sounds like it would be boring or make you go crazy, but it's just sort of natural when everyone else around you is doing the same thing. It's nice to be surrounded by people with the same amount of dedication as you. The professors usually do know you by name. A lot of them make it a point to learn your names. The professors are just incredible. I love them. You can go sit in their office and have intense intellectual discussions, or you can just talk about how your weekend went. Outside of the classroom, you will always find students in intense debates. Always. The only thing I don't like is the P.E. requirement.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Biggest groups on campus (ones that you will notice right away): Crew, Rugby, all of the equestrians. Rugby is the loudest group of people in any given area of campus. They're also some of the nicest. I usually leave my door open if I'm in the room. I forget to lock it most of the time, and have never had a problem. You can leave your shower stuff in the bathroom most of the time, and nobody will screw with it. The dating scene is what you make of it. If you're looking for someone, girls you're surrounded by, or if you want a guy, you just take a 10 minute bus ride. It's not that difficult. A lot of girls are on okcupid as well. The traditions on campus are probably what really /makes/ the school. Orientation 101, Convocation, Elfing, Diso, Las Vegas night, J-Show, Faculty Show, etc.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That we're pretty, study all the time girls that get blackout drunk on the weekends. Also that we're all lesbians.

Maia
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Mount Holyoke is a small college in a small town. The college is the oldest women's college in the world, and it is a Seven S...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Mount Holyoke is a small college in a small town. The college is the oldest women's college in the world, and it is a Seven Sister institution. It is also part of a Five College Consortium, which includes Hampshire College, Smith College, Amherst College, and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. The College has strong academics and a tight-knit student body. This was my first choice college, and I cannot see myself anywhere else.

Describe the students at your school.

The student population is mostly white. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and it's not uncommon for a small liberal arts college. The admissions staff does, however, try to bring in people from different backgrounds. The problem is, according to some people, that the College claims students of color and international students as an achievement, and they lump everyone together. As a student of color, I felt that I would have a lot of resources and support, and I have not been proven wrong. The administration does really listen to concerns. There are cultural houses on campus and cultural events. Many faculty of color are often willing to take students under their wings (although there aren't that many of them). All in all, though Mount Holyoke is good at recruiting people from lots of different backgrounds, there should be more of an emphasis of inclusion within the student community. If there were, the admissions staff would not have to try as hard. I have not heard of any serious racial incidents on campus, mostly just little misunderstandings. Most Mount Holyoke students are from the Northeast. A few, certainly not the majority, come from wealthy backgrounds. Some of them got here on merit, I'm sure, but others are not that bright and there is a consensus that they were accepted because their parents paid the entire cost of admission. Most people here get some sort of financial aid. Unfortunately, not many people here are from working-class backgrounds. That's probably partly because MHC is no longer a need-blind school. That being said, most people I know are happy with financial aid. Students are generally very nice to each other. Unfortunately, there is a lot of self segregation, but this phenomenon does not always occur on racial lines. Some people just realize they have common interests and they bond. Groups don't tend to be super exclusive, though. Students do generally care about a lot of different causes. Unfortunately, sometimes they don't make the effort to support those causes. Worse still, they join causes and don't make connections between similar groups. Not everyone is aware of every issue, and, honestly, you can't expect everyone to be. As far as LGBT culture on campus goes, there is a consensus that sexuality is fluid. There are some people who don't even bother to define it. Not everyone on campus is queer, though. They're a minority on campus, but they're very visible.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The decision to attend a women's college is a really personal decision. Some people don't care that MHC is single sex, others have been at single-sex schools all their lives, and still others are boy crazy and seem confused that boys don't flock here every weekend. I like being at a women's college because this experience has helped me to become friendlier, wiser, and more confident. Not everyone likes Mount Holyoke or any other women's college for the same reasons. Women's colleges are not for everyone. Personally, I love it. I don't hate men, either, by the way. I happen to be straight. Ultimately, Mount Holyoke is a place where you can explore your personality and your interests. You will be challenged, and, though it may be stressful, you will be proud of the skills you have gained. Whether you pick Mount Holyoke or not, I have some advice. Pick a college or university that you think is best for you. Not your parents, your grandparents, or your siblings. And PLEASE do not pick a school because of its ranking, and don't make your decision completely on the basis of prestige. Ranking systems are very furtive, and they are often not good assessments of a college or university. Do your homework and consult multiple sources! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me: ayoola@mac.com. And no, I don't work for admissions.

What are the academics like at your school?

At Mount Holyoke, learning does not only occur in the classroom. One of my favorite aspects of this place is that students teach each other. Rarely is this group learning condescending or cut-throat. Students have no problem helping one another with homework or projects. In addition to informal learning, there are several resources for tutoring. The science and math departments have a tutoring program called PLUMS, and, for writing projects and presentations, there is the Speaking, Arguing, and Writing (SAW) center. There is a lot of work, and it is really important to consider your skills as a student when you register for classes in order to avoid being overwhelmed. Furthermore, professors really care about students' progress. All of the professors I've had encourage students to come to office hours. They are open to questions, they make you reexamine your beliefs and knowledge, and they are generally brilliant people. Mount Holyoke has amazing academic strengths: small classes, amazing support resources, opportunities for connecting academic findings to the community, a strong alumnae association, and stellar study abroad programs, just to name a few.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

When I was reading reviews as a prospective student, a lot of people were saying that there's nothing to do here, that South Hadley is How Sadley. My experience has been completely the opposite. How much you enjoy yourself here seems to be dependent on what your expectations are and how you personally define social life. As for me, I find that there are so many things to do any given week on campus. I'm not really a party person, but there are parties on campus every few weeks, and there are constantly parties at other colleges in the area (accessible via the free bus system). MHC is well known for Las Vegas Night in the fall, and Drag Ball in the spring. The latter is soooooo much fun. There are constantly speakers, student-run events, student organization meetings, and shows on campus. If, for some reason, none of this interests you, there are a world of events in the Five College consortium. The cultural shows and events are particularly exciting. The only one I got to attend was African Caribbean night, but there are also Korea night, Hawaii night, Chican@ week, and VariAsians, for example. If you're into sports, there are plenty of opportunities to play! We have common sports such as basketball, tennis, and soccer, but we also have rugby, ultimate frisbee, squash, and horseback riding. There's even a group that's trying to make quidditch official. As a Division III college, sports are not the priority of most students. They're just for fun. Plenty of women's colleges are known for their traditions, and Mount Holyoke is no exception. A common theme with many of them is that they involve reflecting on youth while preparing to move forward in life. Milk and Cookies (M&Cs) is one example. It's essentially snack time. Every school night, there are snacks set out in the dining halls or kitchens. The selections change every night, and they include cupcakes, granola bars, tortilla chips, fresh fruit, and, of course, cookies. Mountain Day is another good one. It's a surprise holiday. One day in the fall, the clock tower chimes more times than it should. That is the signal that classes are cancelled for the day! There are buses that periodically travel to Mount Holyoke (the mountain, not the school, of course)! You climb the mountain, and when you get to the top, the president of the college is waiting with ice cream! The Big Sister/Little Sister tradition is my favorite. Members of the junior class and the first year class get paired up to be sisters. This is not a formal or enforced tradition at all. You can decide who your sisters are on your own, or you can ask the junior class representatives to pick one for you. The relationship can be as deep or as shallow as you make it. I chose my own. I technically have two big sisters, but I consider all of my close friends to be family at this point. All in all, deciding what to do can sometimes be a challenge, and sometimes I have too much work to do anyway. But if there's something in which I'm particularly interested, I'll take a break from my work to enjoy myself!

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Some common assumptions about women's colleges in general are that everyone is gay, that the few straight girls here are starving for male attention, that we're afraid of men, and that we're all militant feminists.

Barbara
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

The Monument community revs with artistic vitality, hardcore liberalism, and the energetic efforts of its students in communi...

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

The Monument community revs with artistic vitality, hardcore liberalism, and the energetic efforts of its students in community building.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

At 8 I thought I comprehended the universe. Four years later I found myself sorting it out again, and then again, and then again until finally I came to the conclusion that no matter how old I grow and no matter how much I learn, I really do not know anything. Even so, I am not foolish enough to wish that I could relive my life. There are moments when I long for the innocence of childhood, the peace and utter trust I had that Daddy made the world go round and Mommy was invinceable. Maturity, however, comes with a price paid in life lessons. No, I do not want to learn them again. Were I to return to high school I might tell myself the same thing I am sure I will have to remember every four years for ther rest of my life: have a little faith in yourself! The next guy probably feels equally insecure, and like you he's not letting on. For we are all human; we all have our fears. More than awards and more than distinguishment, I wish to settle in myself that I am enough, I do enough, and that is enough.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

Monument Mountain - not your typical high school. Where the footballers and cheerleaders were laughable and the coolest thing you could do was theater or play the guitar, that's Monument. Snuggled at the foot of a mountain, this name-sake school emanates a congenial, funky, and artistic atmosphere. Unfortunately, much of that stems from student body's number one pastime - pot smoking. Perhaps as much as 80% of the students smoke more than once a month. At leat 50% smoke on a weekly basis, and there are several students who live on the "high."

Isa
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Mount Holyoke is a women's college that lives up to its mission of developing strong and successful women leaders who will ma...

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

Mount Holyoke is a women's college that lives up to its mission of developing strong and successful women leaders who will make the world a better place in whatever field they apply themselves through their brilliant and friendly professors, outstanding facilities and opportunities, individual attention and supportive community.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I'd tell myself to relax. It's not worth it to be caught up in the hype and pressure of getting in to a "good school". Applying to college should never be as stressful as it was. There's no reason to suffer the ordeal of applying to eight schools. It's much better to take some time, really think about each school individually and focus on what life would be like there and narrow down the list to three or four. I'd tell myself to rely more on my gut feelings about the schools I visited and less on what other people would think about the school I chose. I'd advise to trust my own judgment more than I did. In the end it's me who will be spending the next four years of my life there, not everyone else, so pick a school that you feel you will be the happiest at. The name doesn't matter. Just because it's a "good school" doesn't necessarily mean it?s a "good school" for you. Choose the school where you fit best. If you are happy and comfortable in your environment success will follow.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

The aspect I cherish most about my school is the incredible sense of community. Everyone here, the faculty, staff and students tend to be very friendly, engaging and supportive. It's very diverse; you are always surrounded by different perspectives. Also, even though we all tend to be academically dedicated and driven with many big dreams for our future, it's not a cut-throat competitive school. Mount Holyoke offers the perfect, safe, nurturing environment to really explore the different options of your future and develop yourself into a strong, dynamic, woman who can make the world a better place.

Raisa
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Its science program, and being an all-women's school.

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Its science program, and being an all-women's school.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

If I could go back in time and give my high school self advice about college, I would tell myself to keep an open mind about the college experience. I wasn't particularly looking forward to going, and I believe that this attitude made it harder for me to adjust my first year. I would remind myself, as my band director in high school would say, "Attitude is everything!" I think that with a more optimistic view I could have made friends more quickly and formed connections more easily. I also would say that I need to be patient. Even though the first semester might not be that great, it doesn't mean that the rest of the time will be the same. Eventually I would find something (a class, a friend, whatever) that would change my mind and show me how enjoyable school can be, and in fact, this is exactly what did happen.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

That the first year would be really easy so I should have taken more classes to reduce my workload now.

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