Humboldt State University
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Humboldt State University - Comments and Student Experiences|
THE TOWN: LESS OF A PRO
I didn't hate Arcata as much as a lot of other people did, but it still has its short comings. I came from Orange County, so living in Humboldt was very different for me. The weather was cold, but I still managed. There aren't many stores, but I still managed. The movie theater is small and quaint, but I still managed. The beaches up near Trinidad were by far my favorite places to go. I spent most of my weekends with my girlfriend who would visit me from Chico every week.
THE STUDENTS: BIGGEST CON
I would say that HSU itself was not a bad experience. My program was great. Arcata is cute, quaint, and nicely quirky if you can handle all the transients and hobos that flock to the plaza. But my fellow students were the thing that made me hate my time at HSU the most. Looking back, I wish I had gone to a different school closer to home. I didn't fit it. It was extremely hard to make friends. I felt so alone for the whole 2 years I was there. So let me explain...In order to fit in at HSU with your fellow students, YOU MUST SMOKE POT! I didn't smoke. I rarely drank. And I had a girlfriend. Bad combination for me. Everyone just wants to hang out and smoke. Literally all the time! My roommates would sit in their rooms and smoke several times a day. And since I didn't smoke, I was left out of any sort of social gathering. My advice, if you want to enjoy your time at HSU, you better love pot.
I've personally enjoyed my time there and have gotten involved in various clubs and councils on campus. HSU doesn't have nearly as many clubs as they advertise- I know for a fact that many of the clubs they advertise have been inactive for years. Arcata is a small community (pop 10,000 or so) maybe 10 minutes north of another small community (Eureka), and people complain that there isn't anything to do. There are two bowling alleys in the neighboring cities and there is a movie theater about a 10 minute walk from campus (the country's oldest). The area up there is very slow growth, and Victorian architecture abounds. I've found the people in the community to be friendly, although there are a good number of homeless people.
As for things to do, I highly recommend going to the monthly Arts Alive events at the Arcata plaza and in Old Town Eureka. During the dry season there are weekly farmer's markets. Center Activities on campus offers numerous camping/backpacking/etc trips to go on. Center Arts brings many great acts and well known names to perform on campus, and there are also community performance centers (including for the Eureka Symphony). The area up there is of course full of trees, and there is a redwood forest behind campus. I highly recommend driving 45 minutes north or so to Prairie Creek State Park, where you can see Roosevelt Elk and hike Fern Canyon. There is less to do there big city wise, but there is a lot to do outdoors wise. My major itself has been good. I've only taken a few classes which I would consider to be very difficult, the rest have been completely manageable. For all of my classes professors have been very open to being able to talk to them. The culture on campus tends towards the down to earth hippy type, but that's okay. In town you'll see few chain restaurants but a lot of mom and pop stores. There is also a big interest in organic/locally sourced food. I don't know. Overall I've enjoyed my time up there, but you make your own experience. Get involved, and if a club or something doesn't exist, start one.
The campus and town is very safe, and people are super approachable and friendly. Being a male, safety is not something I worry about as much, but nonetheless the town and campus are super safe. You could walk around at any hour of the night around Arcata and it would very likely not be a problem. Eureka is different though, you have to be a bit more careful there.
The academics are very outstanding for the Biological sciences, but don't come here unless you are serious about school. Social sciences majors seem to get the short end of the stick, so I would probably consider other schools if you aren't up here for physical sciences.Overall it's a good school, but as stated you may get a bit stir crazy up here if you grew up near a large city. I can't wait to graduate and move on.
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