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Smith College

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Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Smith does have a very intellectual culture, and students are not usually shy about speaking their minds in class. That being said, I personally never felt intimidated by my fellow students' intelligence, and I didn't think it was so much about intellectual competition as it was about excitement about ideas. In fact, I loved being at a college where people were genuinely excited about their classes. There were some houses (dorms) that had larger groups of people who liked to work all night long and all weekend and who liked to complain about their homework, but for the most part Smithies tend to be pretty balanced between work and play: work hard, then play hard. The whole sexual frustration thing is definitely not true; there are plenty of men to be found at neighboring colleges, at parties, and in classes, due to the 5-college consortium. About 1/3 of the students identify themselves as queer, lesbian, bi, or transgendered -- but, while the stereotype of a big gay school isn't numerically accurate, there IS a very pervasive culture of tolerance for the queer community. Homophobia is definitely frowned on, and the LGBT presence is loud and proud, not shy or closeted at all. If you're really not comfortable with a LGBT presence Smith might take some getting used to. I didn't meet a single woman while I was at Smith who owned a set of pearls (or a sweater set, for that matter). While plenty of Smithies come from well-off families, they don't flaunt their wealth. If anything students probably try to act like they have less money than they really do.

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There are definitely people who fit the stereotype, but it is far from true for everybody. I suppose that is true at many colleges. I got a lot of culture shock my first semester here because there were a lot less modest people than I was used to. I felt like a complete nerd because I was one of the few people who didn't want to go 3/4 naked to Convocation. It is common to see people who party hard on the weekends and skip a class once in a while, but when it comes down to it, students will get really serious before papers are due. There are also an equal amount of students who can pace themselves so that they can have fun without having to worry about studying last minute. Then again, there are students I never see outside of the library. I think students just find whatever study habits work best for them and stick to it. Finally, there is a higher percentage of lesbian/transgendered students at Smith than at a large number of other colleges, but it is not as high as many think. There are a few students who are Lesbians Until Graduation (LUGs), but the majority of the student body is straight. It IS hard to meet guys while at Smith, especially if you're not out-going or into the party scene. Don't believe the college when they say there are lots of opportunities to socialize at one of the other 5-colleges by taking a class or through events. It's a pain to do.

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There are definitely people who fit the stereotype, but it is far from true for everybody. I suppose that is true at many colleges. I got a lot of culture shock my first semester here because there were a lot less modest people than I was used to. I felt like a complete nerd because I was one of the few people who didn't want to go 3/4 naked to Convocation. It is common to see people who party hard on the weekends and skip a class once in a while, but when it comes down to it, students will get really serious before papers are due. There are also an equal amount of students who can pace themselves so that they can have fun without having to worry about studying last minute. Then again, there are students I never see outside of the library. I think students just find whatever study habits work best for them and stick to it. Finally, there is a higher percentage of lesbian/transgendered students at Smith than at a large number of other colleges, but it is not as high as many think. There are a few students who are Lesbians Until Graduation (LUGs), but the majority of the student body is straight. It IS hard to meet guys while at Smith, especially if you're not out-going or into the party scene. Don't believe the college when they say there are lots of opportunities to socialize at one of the other 5-colleges by taking a class or through events. It's a pain to do.

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there are a lot of gay people at smith. more so than at any other school. and it's also more accepted, i think, than at most other schools. people come to smith knowing at least that much; i don't think anyone really comes here without knowing that what they're getting into to some degree. at the same time, there are still a lot of people who are straight, and they're definitely not a minority. smithies do tend to be pretty intense, however. we don't get up in arms about everything, but when someone, or a group of people, cares about something, they're usually pretty active. a rare few will really get in your face about it, but most people are pretty polite and civilized and respect others' opinions.

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neither of the above stereotypes are accurate. Smith students generally work their ass off, and do it right. You will rarely find somebody who just turns in whatever meets the basic requirements, most work hard to do it good! Of course, if you have a campus with 2500 female students, some of them are going to be LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, or transsexual). But most are not, and it is a great opportunity to learn about all the various possibilites people chose to identify with. If you're straight: UMASS, Amherst and Hampshire are just a bus ride away, and it's really less isolating that you could think it would be considering it is an all-women's college.

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To a certain extent. There is certainly a vibe of girl-power on the campus, but it's not full of bitter "femi-nazis." There is also a large group of Smithies who prefer women, are proud of it, don't attempt to hide it, and even flaunt it. But they are still a minority. I think Smith is just a safer place to be proud of whoever you are, or to figure it out, than many other colleges and universities. In terms of the "my daddy's a banker and I wear pearls and cashmere sweaters" girls, Smith also has it's fair share. But people change in college, and not everyone is waiting for a Yale man to come propose.

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Yeah, Smith is a welcoming and open place to many groups of students, but there is still work to be done. We have a very diverse student body (class, race, ethnicity, sexuality), but more support systems are needed in all of these areas. Smith writes that it is committed to supporting all aspects of diversity, but we still need to see that commitment in action.

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They have seeds of truth - the gay & feminist communities are certainly very visible at Smith, Smith students do tend to be competitive high achievers and there are some wealthy Smithies, but we actually have a high number of middle/low class students who get financial aid from Smith.

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No, not everyone is gay, and not everyone is liberal. While there may be some people who are gay there are just as many straight people. As for everyone being liberal that is also not true, a large portion of the population is, but everyone has their own personal views on things.

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Absolutely not. Perhaps certain elements come from a small percentrage of the school 's population, but Smith gets more diverse each year (in terms of class, race, sexual orientation). Smithies are confident, independent and dynamic.

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