Hampshire College - Comments and Student Experiences|
As my time at Hampshire progressed I began to truely see the vast amount of academic benifits and really found ways to put them to use. The resources and fauculty available to me in the Natural Science department exceeded what I felt other schools had. There is also easy access to outdoor recreation with the 3000+ acre Mt. Holyoke Range State Park across the street and the on campus woods.
Becuase there is no outside force or motivation to push some students, many just "get by". I watched many friends and peers do this over my four years there. However, if you find your passion and are independently minded and motivated, Hampshire (and the 5 college area) will provide to you what you need and more to succeed. But really think this school through, IT IS NOT FOR EVERYONE! There are enough lazy, no-real-direction, partying potheads with wealthy parents at this school and it doesn't need more. If you're looking to push yourself in academics and real world skills without wasting your time on busy work and memorization/regurgitation, then Hampshire's unique program might work wonders for you in ways you can't even imagine until your done. I came with no direct and left with vastly more than I thought I had in me. For me, it was a fantastic success and I know my connections with knowledgable professors will span many years following my graduation. For others (many of my friends fall into this), it does not provide direct structure or direction and therefore does NOT work.
Hampshire the place where degrees are brought not earned, by students who are academically challenged but parents are financially gifted...
If a parent is reading this and you want the best for your child as far as education and available resources go please find another College to spend $60,000++. But if a parent knows that there child has a major drug problem and or alcohol problem, would not be able to make it at a "real" college academic wise. Or has the money to blow on sending your child to exotic lands (field studies)to study extreme Frisbee then this is the adult day car for your child!
There is a reason why the average graduation rate here is 54.8% within four years and 60% within six years!!
The rate that students transfer out by the second year is very high as well! I believe the president said somewhere around 300-400 students that's allot for such a small student body! During a student tour ask the guide what the graduation rate is and why, get ready for the blank stare...
My stay here has been all around horrible, The "diverse" community here is a joke, there is NO support/community for non-traditional students, blue collar family students or really colour students. The campus is disgusting, there are cigarettes buds everywhere along with alcohol bottles laying on the ground, and garbage bags in hallways or in front of mod doors. Inside of every mod, students are to lazy to clean up after themselves, with clothes left everywhere, boxes, rotten food, broken furniture.
Greenwich is falling apart, has a bad gopher and skunk problem because of the lack of a "real" foundation for the buildings. They are full of mold with some mods being so bad that it leaves you with a sore throat after a day. The heat sometimes works and it's a crap shot on if the hot water boiler is working. The dorms are a endless nightmare instead of spending money wisely on keeping up their buildings. Budgeting is left to teenagers on a student board which is a recipe for disaster. This leads to money being wasted on throwing tons of partying events for students throughout the entire semester even through finals!!
The schools money spending habits are so bad they may have to cut the student EMT's (health services closes at 5pm).
And students had to rally together to get EMT's because the college wasn't able to do so. Again students may not have ANY EMT services after 5pm because of budget issues, which means it's a 20min bus ride and then a 20min walk to Umass to get medical help or a expensive ambulance ride. This is what $60,000+ in tuitions is going to, mediocre parties and events that are run by teenage students who have zero experience about the subject matter and only know what they learned through a quick wikipedia search.
Finding good classes here has been a headache, students who care about their education end up taken 5 college courses. In order to learn students need to take classes at other colleges?! Math or science courses here are not worth the effort to sign up for them. My last "mathematics" class called puzzles and paradoxes consisted of the students playing with puzzles and cross words for the first two weeks. Then for the rest of the term we listened to the teacher ramble on about his life, really for one hour and twenty minutes we would listen to his autobiography. Next up renew reuse class, were students played with spaghetti and marshmallows. Yes credit was given for these classes. Or the woman's fabrication class were the teacher is telling students that there isn't a differences between a polishing disk and a grinding disk... Or letting the students work in the hot shop (forge, welding, black smiting etc) while wearing short, short skirts, sleeveless belle shirts, tennis shoes or open toe shoes, no eye protection. All of which are extremely dangerous.
There are a handful of very good professors and staff members here, there seems to be a divide were either a faculty/staff member is either very good or horrible. However finding them can be a task, the good ones are up to their necks in work, responsibility's and meetings etc. Meeting up with them or scheduling time can be hard because they are so over worked.
Hampshire is still pitching views and selling idea's that it's student body no longer holds. If I had known even half of what I know now about this place, I would have never given this college a second glance. And would have avoided the large amount of debt that I am not in. This is just a short run over of "Hampshire problems".
As far as Hampshire social life goes, unless a student has some "disorder" is in therapy, drugs, random hook ups that leads to a secs pool of STD's going around campus, owns nothing but apple products, doctor martins, urban outfitters, associates being a hippie with smoking pot, never taking a shower, drugs once again, politicly correct to the point were no one can speak to each other, drugs, pass judgement on others before you meet them, preach about saving the planet by only shopping at whole foods this is the place for you!
Hampshire is a great idea but the execution fell off the table and has nothing to offer when it comes to justifying it's price tag. Hampshire would work great if it was geared towards older students, that already have their life together and understood responsibility, respect and could set deadlines for themselves etc. But leaving children who are fresh out of high school to "run" the college and be responsible has proved near fatal (once). Now all I can do is hope that at least some of my classes from Hampshire will be transferable to a ivy league school or A+ rated real college.Again sorry for my grammar and or spelling I have a few learning disabilities. Thank you