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| After applying to 5 schools across the west and 2 in Minnesota, my decision led me to spread my wings and head to the Midwest. So this is a view from an out-of-state student, who thought she was attending a place much greater than any other place she was leaving behind. My goal for my perfect school was to be private, pretty small, some sort religious aspect, strong science, and music. However, things did not work out that way.|
After visiting Bethel 3+ times before I went there, I thought this was the place for me. Their packets they sent home were very helpful, and portrayed a school that was nestled by a lake with friendly and beautiful people - convincing me even more that I would fit in perfectly. But after moving there, and living in this place, I felt closed up and sheltered from the outside. The Bethel bubble is so true! Coming from the Pacific Northwest, where the people are very chill, and finding myself amongst girls who take so much time to get ready, was so different. I let myself adapt, and it turned out to be okay.
The social life at Bethel is lame. The student association sucks and their events are focused on getting girls and boys to hook up - ring by spring. I didn't find it fun at all and rather distracting. Freshman can't have a car, and if you're out-of-state, you're screwed. The daily shuttle only takes you to a nearby mall. You could only get to the cities if you had a friend who had a car.
Campus ministries can be pretty neat if you are into it. I thought their Pray First program was a cool idea and saw some of my friends fluorish in it. However, overall, I found the staff to be rather snooty and I had the sense that they felt they were higher amongst everyone else. I attended chapel only if I found something to be interesting. I really didn't feel welcome, but rather judged if I told someone I don't attend chapel regularly. I just don't agree with making chapel "frilly dilly". God doesn't care what "it" looks like, as long as everyone is doing His work, who cares if there are special effects or fancy slideshows. Just seemed fake to me.
Academically, the school is pretty good. I didn't feel like I was amongst the smartest of people. The Biology department feels like a dungeon, and the faculty don't seem very helpful. Advising is superficial and not in-depth at all. Bethel is a big Pre-Med school (because of the U of M) and I felt that's the only thing they would help students achieve. I was Pre-Vet and felt shoved away. I wanted to find resources from the faculty to help me, but they really didn't know how to help me at all. They are an older set of faculty and seem like they have been at Bethel forever (Since their dad went there and their dad's dad went there, etc.). Even though they built new labs, our school felt underpar with other schools. I didn't feel proud of our resources or felt like I was getting as much out of it.
Aesthetically, Bethel is very pretty on the outisde, but inside the cement blocks are gross. I always felt shut in, and unable to see the outside. I guess it was hard for me to not be outside as much because of the cold winters. Mentally, it just drained you and you felt like you were losing your mind by being inside so much.
The University, itself, is trying very hard to be politically correct, which is ridiculous. This last year, it got to the point where things got out of hand, and the school was trying too hard that it seemed fake. It was disheartening to even associate myself with their priorities.
I do have a few positive things to say: I met some great people there. Not everyone in the student body is bad. There are people there who will take you in and help you along. I've met people who have taken me home with them and I was able to find a family away from home. I think what I took away from my freshman year was that I was able to view a different kind of life (the Minnesotan way) and be able to meet new people. Even though I have decided to transfer, I still have friends back there I will visit. Bethel will be just fine without me. Advice: If you are an out-of-state student considering Bethel, I would say don't do it. Bethel really isn't all that special. It is deeply a Christian school, which is nice if you're looking for it, but sometimes it can get in the way of really noticing a person for who they are and not what they believe. Atleast that's how I viewed what other people thought of me. I am a Christian person, yet I am just more reserved and not as showy. When are you away from home, you need ways to get out, and at Bethel it's really hard to do so if you don't have a car. You may think that being close to home is a bad thing, but soon you will realize how great it is when you need to find refuge away from school.
|Jul 11 2010|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2013 |
| There are quite a few things you should know about Bethel before you join. First off, a lot of people can be incredibly cheery and nice, and sometimes you just want to punch them in the face for that. If you enjoy people smiling at you at six in the morning, and not hearing a curse word for five straight months, then you should be just peachy here. I thought I was just going insane, but apparently they beat me to it.|
Second of all, you will find some people who are not bat-shit crazy, but on the flip-side, you will find the people who are in the Intro to Bible class saying, "Were dinosaurs really on the Arc?" and those people shouldn't live. Okay I'm not going to say they shouldn't live. They should just stay in their little "take everything as I've been taught since I was 2" Bible circle.
What else can I say about Bethel? Oh yes, the classrooms? Horrible. I've seen better classrooms in my High School than what I found there. Where's your $35,000 going towards? Mission trips? No one cares; let's try to fix the classrooms first, maybe work on lowering tuition. It costs three arms and fifteen legs to get into the school, and quite a few people have dropped out after one or two years because they couldn't afford to finish their education.
And it continues. Their parking lots? Horrible. Security? The epitome of stupid. There are stories that you would not believe. Incredibly dense, out to grab as much money from you as possible. That's right, it costs to have a parking permit. I'm sorry, and here I thought this wasn't High School.The teachers are nice, though, they do care about your education. Some more so than others. Some want you to be more concerned with your faith, and that's fine if that's what you need, but there are some sheltered kids at this school that will probably fail miserably once they graduate, and they can thank their little bubble for that.
|Jul 07 2010|| 3rd Year Male --
Class 2010 |
| I live about 2 feet away from bethel,and I am going to tell you my observations and what the community thinks about it. Bethel lies to you right off the bat when they say it is in Saint Paul. It is in a suburb 20 minutes or so (by car) away from the cities. The suburb is pretty and affluent, but incredibly boring. It is a sheltered place and not a place that fosters the sort of experiences people should have in their college years. I always believed Bethel was essentially a community college with 600 or so students. Academically i wasn't far off, i was shocked to find out that this dumpy little campus had over 3,000 living on it. Bethel is not well respected. some girls are hot, they must be fit because the biggest driving hazards in my neighborhood are the hordes of Bethel joggers. A lot of the guys hit on the slutty girls in my high school and cradle rob (Mounds View, Bethel uses our sports facilities because it doesn't really have any). I assume they do this because all the girls are super religous and are total prudes (or so i'm told). The town has no bas or restaurants, just a target and some fast food. Now that i'm i senior and looking at schools i couldn't imagine going to this boring chapel of a college. If you like jesus, a boring town (It's safe and has very nice people), ugly girls and creepy guys then bethel is for you. Basically the guys are known for being dumb jocks, and the girls babysat me and all my friends when we were little because no one expected them to do anything wrong. If you're not religious don't come here, and if you are maybe you should consider another school so you can have your beliefs challenged a little and break out of your bubble. After all, your ideas don't mean anything if they can't withstand the Ideas of people outside of your faith. |
|May 26 2010|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |