Swarthmore, PA
Swarthmore College


40 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

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

If I had one piece of advise to give a student making the transition to college it would be to not drink alcohol during orien...

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

If I had one piece of advise to give a student making the transition to college it would be to not drink alcohol during orientation or the first weekend of the semester. Students often get excited about college night life, which is understandable. Don’t worry, you will have plenty of opportunities! During orientation and the first weekend of college, you will meet many new faces and begin to create extremely important relationships that will last over the next four years. Although substance did not interfere with my creation of relationships, I saw it happen amongst my piers. Substances can hinder developing relationships in two ways. The first occurs when a student gets too drunk at a party and does things he or she would never do sober. Although judgement is frowned upon, it is difficult to ignore terrible drunk first impressions. The second, and equally troublesome instance, occurs when a student creates friends but only feels welcome while drunk. Now, I am not saying to not go out, as it is a great opportunity to meet new people. Instead, my advice is to stay away from alcohol and give yourself a chance to create meaningful and long lasting relationships.

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

My favorite part of Swarthmore College is the trust demonstrated by the administration resulting in the freedoms the students are granted on campus. For example, the academic buildings are almost never locked, allowing students to use lecture halls for serious matters like student led initiatives or casual showings of the Super Bowl and the Oscars. This trust is a privilege, not a given which speaks to the character of the students. The students on campus and the freedoms the administration rewards the students is unique to only Swarthmore and is my favorite part about the institution.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

The most frustrating part of Swarthmore College is linked to the academic difficulty associated with the school. Their are high expectations put on the students to excel and the students respond with maximum effort. I do not mind working hard and would not have chosen Swarthmore College if I was not interested in a challenging college experience. The frustration restults when students do not see results that adequately demonstrate their effort. This frustration is rooted in the fact that their are so many intelligent students here, which is one of the institutions greatest strengths, but can still be frustrating.

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

I wish I had known just how academically intense it was. I also wish I had planned out my classes better and thought about my...

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

I wish I had known just how academically intense it was. I also wish I had planned out my classes better and thought about my major earlier. It's good to explore a little, but time goes quickly and it's difficult to switch majors later on.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Slackers should not attend this school. People should only attend Swarthmore College if they enjoy school and learning. There are parties on the weekends but it is by no means a "party school." People need to learn how to manage their time well otherwise they will be overwhelmed quickly.

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

Relax, relax, relax! My advice would be to not stress about college admissions. There are students who are unhappy at their "dream schools" and students who love their "safety schools." It's less about the name of the school and more about the experience. I would tell myself to get involved early, but not overdo it. Sleep is important but hard to come by in college. It's more important to have a few close friends as a support group than dozens of friends. It's also more important to be committed to a couple sports or clubs than to be involved in many. I would tell myself to start thinking, but not stressing, about the future early. The four years fly by and it is important to think about potential majors early. However, it is important to take a few classes in something new. Take a dance class or a poetry class or perhaps even join a new club. I would tell myself to try new things but also recognize when I need a break from campus. Mostly, I would tell myself that college is a privilege and to enjoy every moment. Not everyone is so lucky.

Angelica
Describe the students at your school.

Students at Swarthmore are brilliant, Everyone comes from their own backgrounds and ways of thinking, but everyone has the d...

Describe the students at your school.

Students at Swarthmore are brilliant, Everyone comes from their own backgrounds and ways of thinking, but everyone has the desire to learn to their fullest potential. The students at Swarthmore are generally very friendly, they are open-minded, liberal, intellectual, and willing to share their ideas and thoughts on subjects. They are inclusive and collaborative. All students are bright, determined, and ambitious, and despite the hard course-load Swarthmore gives us people are mostly upbeat.

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

I would tell myself that Swarthmore is not what everyone told you college would be. Your roommate will be your best friend, not someone you should be cautious about. I would tel myself to not be so homesick. Enjoy being away and that you had the opportunity to do so. I would tell myself not to be so shy. People are eager and want to make friends, and it's ok to go out and have a good time. You don't always have to be in the library studying. I would tell myself to relax and that I don't have to rush and take three science courses and a seminar the first semester. There is plenty of time to do the pre-med requirements, and most students at Swarthmore end up taking a year off before attending medical school anyway. I would also tell meself to not be afraid to speak up in class because everyone has something to share during discussions and that my opinions are just as important.

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

I brag about the availability of my professors. All the professors who are there, are there to interact with the students beyond the classroom. There is free printing on campus, and other colleges and universities know you worked hard when you say you attended Swarthmore. Swarthmore also gives a lot of financial aid, so not having enough money to attend Swarthmore is never an issue. It is an environment of intelletuals and you and your mind will definitely grow as a result of your peers.

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

In order to explain what I would tell my high school self I need to explain a bit of my experience after high school. I decid...

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

In order to explain what I would tell my high school self I need to explain a bit of my experience after high school. I decided to take time to travel and explore life after high school. I spent some time commercial crabbing to fund my travels. Over three seasons worth of fishing gained me over $15,000. Most of this went to multiple road trips into Mexico and then an apartment when I settled down to attend college. I now realize that if I had invested even a few thousand dollars that I could have greatly helped my first couple of years of paying for college. Even though I would not have traded my experiences for anything I believe I should have made that investment. So essentially I would have to tell myself that I should follow my heart; just save some money for college along the way.

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

If i could back in time to my high school senior year and give myself advice, it would be to search for ways to help my paren...

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

If i could back in time to my high school senior year and give myself advice, it would be to search for ways to help my parents pay for my education. As a senior in high school I was never too sure of where I would be going with my life or how my first year of college would go. After living through my first year away from home I have learned the struggles my parents have been through in order to maintain being in school. I wish I could have been more helpful to them by finding better ways to help them pay instead of stressing them out with payments. I would have told myself to save up as much money as I could have instead of spending it on needless things. This is one of my biggest regrets and although I might not be able to go back into time and change it, there is no reason as to why it is still not to late to help my parents out.

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

Don't be so hesitant to join clubs due to fear of adjusting. Be confident, you're smarter than you think and the high level o...

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

Don't be so hesitant to join clubs due to fear of adjusting. Be confident, you're smarter than you think and the high level of intelligence around you should not prevent you from adding to discussions or participating in class. Try to plan out your course load for the next four years because there will be a lot of overlapping courses you'll be interested in. Try to sleep a bit too, it's important. I know this is not where you want to go but don't fret, you'll make some amazing connections and ties if you open yourself up a bit to vulnerability and uncomfortable situations. Make sure you're priorities are lined out from the beginning--it could be clubs, sports, academics or social life... just know what you want to focus on and think about how that will affect the other things you do. Don't get down on yourself for a less than satisfactory grade on a paper or quiz,--the professors can be a great resource if you seek them out. Also, don't let your pride get in the way of seeking help-- it will save you from struggling later on.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

Initial financial aid packages are great but depreciate with subsequent school years. Limited flexibility of when courses are offered. School tends to over manage school affairs and student activites. Not a lot of understanding for academically rigourous course load one is taking and conflict of due dates. There is a Swarthmore "bubble" that exists in that it will be difficult to have time to know what news updates are outside of school.

What's unique about your campus?

Students are inspirational. Find out a lot about a person's background and cultural differences. Very aware of the enviroment. Very accomadating for LBQT community and political views. Aids in developing a persons awareness of socio-economic difference that exist in the world and igniting a passion for helping the world change for the better. Non-competitive atmosphere. Beautiful campus.

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

Small, pretty, loose, enjoyable little piece of land where you can enjoy both forests and Target :)

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

Small, pretty, loose, enjoyable little piece of land where you can enjoy both forests and Target :)

Describe the students at your school.

Friendly, open, and eager to learn both academically and socially.

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

Be excited. Greet people. Buy a notebook for keeping track of people's names!

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

The school's academic rigor is unprecedented and the coursework is often at a graduate level. There is also a tremendous emp...

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

The school's academic rigor is unprecedented and the coursework is often at a graduate level. There is also a tremendous emphasis on hard work, which is incredibly refreshing when more and more schools are inflating their grades and handing out A's for nothing. On another note, the majority of students are very thoughtful and tend to choose philosophical discussions over beer and football games. Most of the student body is very nerdy and frequently quirky-- even our rugby jocks (nope, there's no football here) were nerds in high school.

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

Stop being such a sheep! Don't just blindly go to college because that's what's expected of high school graduates these days. Think about things first, take a gap year, figure out what you love, and grow up a little. College is an exceptionally wonderful experience, but one you need to be ready for. If you go into it feeling forced-- just going through the motions to get a piece of paper to hang on your wall-- it will never provide you the social, academic, and personal growth it otherwise would. The most important thing is being happy with who you are, what you're studying, and your direction in life; without confidence and optimism, you will slip into a downward spiral and graduate feeling completely unaccomplished and unsatisfied. Do what YOU really want to do, do what makes YOU smile when you wake up every morning. No, it might not make Dad happy, but the only person you're living this life for is yourself, and you only get one chance, so stop worrying about everyone else, and just DO it. Oh yeah... and PLEASE don't check off ?Sci-fi/Fantasy Lover? on your roommate form.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

The social atmosphere. Things were very cliquey, and it seemed like the social skills of most students did not develop since high school. If you didn't find a group with which you fit in (i.e. artsy types, sci-fi nerds, frat kids, gay groups, specific racial groups, etc.) you felt very left out. This problem is only worsened by the school's constant attempts to be "diverse" which inevitably isolate rather than include. All in all, it's a good thing most of your free time is taken up by studying, because the social life sucks.

Daniel
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are a batch of self-indulgent bourgeoisie oafs with very afffluent parents who have done nothing but nurture th...

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates are a batch of self-indulgent bourgeoisie oafs with very afffluent parents who have done nothing but nurture their hedonism; therefore, it goes without saying that they are dim and distateful, vapid and shallow, but most of all, they are blindly pretentious.

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

Daniel, as you in the future, I beg you to take that year off and assess your life goals clearly before gallavanting off to school. You need to be more secure in yourself and what you want. This step in your life carries more wait than you realise. You are taking the first critical steps that will determine who you are as a person. These are very trying years, and you have to be mentally and emotionally strong. At this very point in your life, you are unstable, brash and impulsive. You must prepare for these people because they are unlike anyone you have ever met, they will take you and break you in your vulnerable state, but they will lift and exalt you when you return astute and collected.

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

I would have liked to have known that: my schedule would be set in stone,; the teachers although finely educated were dim and unmotivated; the students would either be invalids, socialites, or addicts.

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  • Enrollment
  • 1,543
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $49,104
  • Acceptance rate
  • 13%

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