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| I'm sorry to read the comments some of the other students have written. Naropa was my third college and I found it to be just what I was looking for. I will say honestly that there were areas of the curriculum I found lacking, but I had already experienced this at two other schools. So, that didn't really phase me. Look, all colleges are going to have prerequisite classes that don't really seem very useful or relevant; Naropa is no different. Naropa is not for everyone, that is for sure, but I wouldn't say it is for "older people" either. As a psychology student I was presented with plenty of traditional Western Psych training with the supplementation of very unique and helpful Eastern perspectives. I think this HAS given me a great advantage in the real world.Also, Naropa was a lot of fun! A LOT of fun! So many people will go to college and really not experience the sense of community that a small college like Naropa offers. Boulder in general is a great party town, and I think 50% of being a student in college is coming of age and having a wild time. Boulder is great for that, and I found the atmosphere of Naropa conducive to making so many friends that I continue to be in touch with. No other college that I have experienced has offered this. When you look back on college years from now, a lot of the stuff people may criticize Naropa for will seem insignificant. I know many people going to other 4 year colleges in the area, and I have to say I feel sorry for them. They have no sense of community, and many of them seem totally unengaged, like they are just trying to get through this daunting task and move on. You will never find that at Naropa. You will have memories and friends to last a lifetime, leave being at peace with yourself and the world around, and really be well-rounded as a person, not just a brain. |
|Aug 05 2011|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| Naropa was the best decision I have made in my life. I have read the other reviews and honestly, they must have been very young and not ready for the life lessons that a Naropa education provides.Not only was I prepared for the life of a psychologist, I was ready to face my own demons. The premise of Naropa is that if one wants to be a mental health therapist, then you need to look at your own issues. The powerful messages of transference and counter-transference are an integral part of understanding the client/therapist dynamics. I have been in the mental heath field for 25 years..the sickest people I have worked with have been co-workers...my Naropa education prepared me for working with those who are mentally ill without getting my own issues in the way. |
| Starting Job: college professor, Preparedness: A+, Reputation: B+ |
|Feb 06 2011|| Alumna Female --
Class 2000 |
| This is long, but I have a lot to say!|
I came to Naropa straight out of high school, originally intending to major in Psychology. I did not want to attend college, and hated the stress of school. I was interested in holistic health, yoga, and spirituality, and assumed Naropa would foster these things. I wanted to be around people like me and be in a supportive environment. My first semester at Naropa was fantastic. I met so many wonderful people, and my classes were engaging (except my yoga class). Everything and everyone was radiant to me. I had enough work but not too much. I felt I had really discovered an unknown gem. I easily got straight A's and had a good time.
However, second semester my interest in the place started to wane. I was getting bored of the super nicey-nice attitude, which sometimes masked a lot of unpleasantness. I began to feel incredibly disconnected from everything that made me come here...my "spirituality" became meaningless to me, partly because everyone's always throwing around "spiritual" terms and advice. Sometimes I felt pushed into the group spiritual mentality, which is largely based on the teachings of the school's founder, Chogyam Trungpa. There seems to be a general lack of depth and rather a lot of catch phrases/practices that will alleviate your suffering and that of others (spirituality as antidepressant...). It's hip to be "compassionate." If you're not thinking about the dharma all the time or are not always "engaged" and "present," then you'll be asked "why are you here?" In general the students are friendly, helpful, and caring, liberal and mostly laid-back. I haven't met any really mean-spirited people here, but others have had different experiences. I have to say I loved my classes, for the most part. I learned a lot about holistic health, meditation, writing, and body psychology--all my classes were focused intensely on my "process."
I'm approaching the end of my third semester here. I changed my major to Visual Arts and I'm not sure what I'm doing right now. Naropa is a good place for psych, writing, and Buddhism, but not art, education, or environmental studies. I don't know much about the music department but I hear it's sort of a slacker program. The BFA in Performance is notorious here for being insanely difficult and pretentious--I know at least 2 people who have dropped out and been extremely bitter about the whole thing. The Visual Arts department is encouraging of personal expression and I love some of the professors to death (there are very few faculty, btw, and the same 3 professors teach most art classes), but it simply doesn't give ANY technical training, or at least not nearly to the degree at art school or liberal arts program would. If you are even looking at Naropa you know their classes are unconventional, but I really think they've helped me develop as a person and I wouldn't have gone anywhere else after high school.
Right now I am deciding whether or not to transfer to an art school, but am leaning towards staying and working with the professors to get the most out of the next 2 1/2 years. I am worried about getting into a grad school and I'm also getting bored with Naropa's style of teaching, which is invariably the same no matter what class you take. A lot of the time I hear the same things repeated over and over. Also, you have to be careful what classes you take, since some are ridiculous with professors who are crazy and mean--you won't learn anything in these classes and most likely feel confused by why you're paying to take them. Sometimes Naropa feels like a cult, but if you look, there are some fantastic professors who are genuinely compassionate people with a passion for their work and lives. I have hugged a number of my professors and you will be on a first name basis with all of them from day one. In conclusion, do NOT come here if you're looking for an intense intellectual experience. Some people I know take the hard classes here and enjoy them, so this can be a hard school if you want it to be, but let's face it: there are few solid English/literature classes (but many writing classes), no languages except Sanskrit & Tibetan, no math or science classes...overall there is NO "real world" substance here. While Naropa pretends to be supportive of its students, this is often not the case. The administration is unbelievably disorganized and unfriendly. Make sure you find a helpful faculty member(s) who cares about you and doesn't just smile and nod, and push hard for what you want. Everyone I know is having a different Naropa experience and many are leaving for more rigorous schools in their area of study. But, practically no one I know regrets coming here, they just outgrow it. You will definitely change a lot if you come here. Be prepared to get to know yourself really, really well.
|Nov 26 2005|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2008 |