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Amherst College

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The difficulty and quality of classes kind ofAverageEconomics
The difficulty and quality of classes kind of depends on the subject. I'm not really good at math so I found the econ classes challenging, but most of them are very interesting/useful (most of the econ professors are nice and helpful). I was really into english literature when I came here, but the classes in that department are a real letdown. They're also pretty easy (many people here say this) which can make it very unsatisfying when you work hard in them. This college doesn't offer linguistics, which can be a bummer if you're into that kind of thing (you can take it at umass, but it's usually caused me some inconvenience when setting up my schedule). The philosophy department can be really inaccessible and arrogant. I found this college really isolating. I really don't like being here. It's difficult to make friends, especially if you're not that into partying. I wish I had gone somewhere else.
2nd Year Male -- Class 2011
Useful Schoolwork: A, Surrounding City: D+
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I'm taking a course at Amherst (I goBrightLanguage - French/Spanish/etc.
I'm taking a course at Amherst (I go to another one of the five-college schools) and WOW. What with the 18% acceptance rate, I expected more out of the class... my school accepts about half of its applicants and doesn't have Amherst's reputation, but I have to work SO much harder and so much more is expected of me. Also, everyone here looks the same: preppy. I feel like people look down on my when I'm just in jeans and a simple fitted shirt. The professors here seem very condescending too, especially when they hear which school I'm from. I think they're uninformed about my school, because if they knew, they wouldn't have made certain comments. Another note about the students, I'd have expected them to be more serious, but so far, every time I step foot in my classroom I hear about so-and-so passing out at you-know-who's party last night. It's ridiculous. I can never wait to get back to my school after class! The library isn't bad though.
1st Year Female -- Class 2012
Surrounding City: A+, Useful Schoolwork: F
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I think this place is especially difficult toQuite BrightPsychology
I think this place is especially difficult to adjust to for minority students -- something about it rubs us the wrong way. All I know have either transferred or hate it.

Perhaps I placed too much importance on social life here, but the cliquish-ness really got to me, as it was practically impossible to make friends outside of the people you lived with freshman year or are on a sports team with.

The lack of a core curriculum wasn't as great as I was hoping it would be, I feel I left the college without some very basic knowledge that all college grads should have. For example, we don't have any basic government courses or any in World Civilization or History, etc. Everytime an intro course if offered, it probably is offered only once every 20 years and conflicts with something else required. Sure, I probably could have pursued these on my own, but a bit of guidance and availability would have been nice. Another academic complaint is the lack of classes specifically for writing -- the creative writing department requires students to apply and be accepted for admission to the course. I found it pretty ironic that you need to be a good writer to learn how to write.

Extra-curriculars are difficult to get involved with, too. Most do it as a chore, and don't expect to get into any performance groups unless you're already a pro.

I guess that's my biggest problem with this school -- you have to be great at everything before you're even given a chance. Positive: I had a few (3 or 4) really great classes that I truly learned a lot from that I don't think I would have had the same experience in anywhere else.

3rd Year Female -- Class 2007
Useful Schoolwork: A, Scholastic Success: F
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