Meredith College - Comments and Student Experiences|
My Background: I am from Raleigh, NC and I applied to seven colleges throughout North Carolina before deciding on Meredith College. I am a graphic design major with a double minor of photography and studio art. (I am also in the Honors Program). My senior year of high school was a challenge for me as I had to weed through colleges and decide what I really wanted out of college. I even visited this website to read student reviews. I got into the NC State School of Design (which if you don't know, it is an excellent program and quite hard to get into). I surely thought that I was going to go to NCSU because of the great opportunities ahead of me. However, I had also visited Meredith and when I went through the application process for the Honors Program at Meredith (and for an art scholarship) I was able to spend the night on campus with a current student and it was a great experience. It is so different getting to see the campus not on a tour/visitation day and to get to hang out with current students. The professors and staff were so friendly and clearly interested in me not just as a student but as a person. That won me over. NCSU is an excellent school with wonderful resources & opportunities but I knew that I would personally feel like just a number and a small fish in a big sea as NCSU is the biggest college in NC. Currently in my sophomore year, I have loved every minute of my time here at Meredith.
Education Quality: I believe the education quality to be great. Although students grumble about taking gen ed classes, you'd have to take similar classes at other colleges. Going into college you don't want to take classes similar to what you took in high school (English, foreign language, science, etc) but I?ve had great unexpected experiences in these classes and have learned things I thought I wouldn't (for example, my Spanish class Skyped with our professor's friend in Argentina and we got to learn about the country's culture straight from someone who grew up and lived there while getting to practice our Spanish language skills) . In addition, it is a great opportunity to make friends outside of your major. There are plenty top notch professors at Meredith who bring their experience and intellect to the classroom for the students? benefit.
Friendliness & Faculty Accessibility: I have found both staff (professors & other faculty) and students to be very friendly. Walking across campus you often run into friends, classmates, and even just other students you recognize but have never formally met and say hello in passing. Professors are very welcoming and eager to help you and encourage you to stop by their office if you have a question or even if you just want to say hello. Most have been very prompt returning my emails and some even give you their cell phone numbers so that you can reach them. The staff in the dining hall are probably the friendliest people on campus. I have often held warm conversations with them while getting my food and the man that makes custom omelets-to-order for breakfast even has my order memorized! Haha In addition, our president Dr. Allen is so friendly and wonderful and I have seen her numerous times in different parts of campus interacting with the student body. She even drove one student to the hospital after the student fell and broke her ankle.
Social Life: This is a bit tricky. Since Meredith is a small school there isn't always tons of school-organized stuff going on around campus. There are on campus gallery openings every so often, speakers from all different fields that come for interesting lectures, movie nights, workshops, dorm hall socials, and various activities within academic departments (for example, the art department is sponsoring a free all day field trip to various art museums throughout the state in about a week). There are things to do with your friends on your own either hanging out on campus (playing games, watching movies, etc) or going out to local shops, museums, parks, etc. I personally haven't had a problem in the ?social life? area of college but I?m also not the person that goes clubbing or has to go out every single day. I have homework to do, movie nights with friends in my room, visiting family, volunteering, etc to do that occupies my time quite nicely.
Extracurricular: There is a wide variety of clubs & organizations to be a part of ranging from intense to casual commitment depending on the club or position you have in it. There are great opportunities to become leaders within these clubs/organizations and it is a great way to make friends with similar interests.
Campus Safety: I feel very safe on Meredith's campus. Being an art major, I am often having to spend a lot of late nights in the art building working on projects and I have never felt uncomfortable being in the building after hours or walking back to my room. The school makes it a priority to ensure that students feel safe.
Surrounding City: Growing up in Raleigh, I have always felt that there are so many things going. Meredith is just down the street from NC State so on weekends there are things going on there and there are plenty of shops/restaurants in several shopping/retail centers (Quail Ridge, Cameron Village, Crabtree Valley, and along Hillsborough Street as well as downtown Raleigh). There are concerts that come to Raleigh all throughout the year, plenty of clubs if that is your thing, and downtown festivals.
Campus Aesthetics: Meredith is very beautiful. There is a greenway trail that connects you to the NC Art Museum and is great to go out walking/running on when it is a nice day. There is a pond with a gazebo. There are open grassy areas, wooded areas, and lots of flowers. I don't know how else to describe it but hopefully there are plenty of pictures online for you to look at.
After reading all the other reviews I suggest to high school students to look at the breakdown of "grades" given to Meredith in comparison to other schools. There are always going to be students who have a disappointing experience because let's face it, no college is perfect. However, I strongly believe that you get what you put in. If you invest yourself into the school then you get more out of it. I have made wonderful friends and have great experiences at this school and I can't imagine myself anywhere else.
Socially my time at Meredith was very rewarding, and many of the friends I made among my classmates are still my friends today, which I believe is rare. But I think these good friendships had much to do with my participation in the Honors Program--our freshman year, we all lived in the same dorm and had a lot of general education courses together. We also went on special Honors trips to places like Charleston and the NC coast. But many of the non-Honors students living with us became close friends as well, forming a large group that some nicknamed the "Faithful Forty" because we often were the most participatory in the college traditions, student government, and extracurricular activities. Most lived in the dorms near each other all four years. That is rare, I know, and I cannot speak for other students who did not find it so easy to make good friends.
Meredith, like many women's colleges, has unique and quirky traditions that give it flavor--but they are not to everyone's taste. That's okay as long as you know that ahead of time. They're Southern. They're sentimental. Silly. Often loud, full of souvenirs and props and t-shirts. Usually marking some special time in your college career. I found my college years to be more fun with them.
I've come to believe that my choices were the ones that made my college experience so good. I chose to participate in extracurriculars. I chose the Meredith departments with excellent faculty and reputations. I chose to study abroad for a summer with Meredith--which changed me inside and out. I chose to attend Meredith, and I made my time there count. Sure, we all griped and complained when during a heat wave the AC went out in the dorms (which have since been renovated)...but then we had fun sneakily cooling our feet in kiddie pools in the hall parlor and setting up a tent one night in the main courtyard.If you don't like your college experience at Meredith, I would guess it's because you chose the wrong school. And some women do transfer, which is a good choice for them. Save yourself the hassle, and keep doing your research and make sure it's a place you could choose to be happy in.
Webster University (MO) 1:negative
Washington University in St Louis (MO) 2:negative
Laurentian University (Canada) 1:negative
University of North Dakota (ND) 1:negative
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