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Vassar College

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Not a bad place, but overall a littleQuite BrightUndecided
Not a bad place, but overall a little boring. Very much a "bubble", almost totally isolated from the surrounding area, understandably given that there's very little of interest in the area. Social and extracurricular life is limited by that, and usually takes the form of drinking in people's rooms (especially senior housing) every weekend. Alcohol definitely a big thing as it is for all bored college students, drugs a little less than you might expect actually, marijuana fairly common but anything "harder" very difficult to find (I personally do use "harder" drugs occasionally and I'm the only one in my friend group that does). Different organizations exist and are definitely a big way to meet people-most common seem to be theater, a capella, that kind of stuff. Not a huge variety though, and as mentioned nothing that involves going outside of campus.

Students are generally intelligent, interesting people and pretty friendly. They are of course very privileged, overwhelmingly white, materialistic, sorta spoiled, in other words what you would expect from such an expensive private college, and if that atmosphere bothers you this isn't the place. Can be cliqueish at times, not necessarily based on the typical college stuff (no greek life for example). Most people fall into the generic New York hipster/future yuppie mold. People are definitely dedicated to work and driven, most seem to have some future planned out already, usually involving something like grad school, traveling abroad after graduation, etc. Definitely not a "nerdy" or anti-social place though, "work hard, party hard" is very much the attitude.

Academics are pretty good. Geared towards social/liberal arts over hard sciences but not to the point that the sciences are totally left behind, actually the school is spending a lot of effort to boost the sciences. Classes and work are definitely hard and grade inflation is not a thing. Also, class attendance is rather big here compared to other schools. Basically what you would expect of a place that is definitely "elite" and offers a quite good quality of education but not really leading the country in anything.Overall, my biggest complaint would be that it can get boring-the "bubbly" atmosphere, the lack of diversity, the limited activities and few places to go can be tiring. Life tends to follow a predictable cycle of work really hard during the week, go get drunk in dorm rooms or senior housing on the weekends and hook up with someone, wake up Sunday and start working really hard again. I'd say there are plenty of things Vassar does well and plenty that it does terribly, but there are places that do all of the same stuff well with less of the bad, or that do better at any of the good than we do. Not terrible but not great either-I wouldn't recommend it but if you want to go I wouldn't try to dissuade you either.

1st Year Female -- Class 2017
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Surrounding City: F
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I considered transferring from Vassar during my freshmenQuite BrightOther
I considered transferring from Vassar during my freshmen year (and later found out that a surprising number of students have the same instinct when they come to Vassar). I wish I had followed through with that option and ended up suffering through 3 and a half years of ups and downs before graduating a semester early. I consider myself to be one of the more normal, intelligent, and stable students at Vassar and I can honestly say that while my academic education was satisfactory (a handful of amazing professors and a bunch of simply average professors) and very challenging, I was shocked to find how many students at Vassar are suffering in silence. Drug use and alcohol abuse is pretty much ignored, allowing a lot of students to become unstable and out-of-control while the only real resources for their help are student-run (i.e. CARES, The Listening Center, EDRS, etc.) While allowing students to run many activities and organizations at the College is very empowering and educational, Vassar allows students to run the college simply because the administration and faculty are not capable of this task. If you want something done at Vassar, whether it be getting your room to have heat in the wintertime to making sure your student status and information is correct, you basically have to do it yourself...and then some.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2006
Useful Schoolwork: A+, Campus Maintenance: F
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Vassar... Vassar.Quite BrightEconomics
Vassar... Vassar... Where to begin... Let me just congratulate you for making the smart move of reading these reviews before making a decision...

ACADEMICS: Rather disappointing. If you've taken any AP classes in high school, you will be more than well prepared. Reading is heavy, but that's true at any college, particularly liberal arts colleges; if you're looking for breath taking intellectual stimulation, you probably won't find it. Don't get me wrong, my classes weren't bad, they were just pretty bland considering my professors were supposedly Cornell graduates and PhDs in their field. The art department is painfully, painfully horrible. I got shafted into a beginning drawing class (a year of that is required if you want to take photography, ceramics, or painting), and my teacher was basically a raving lunatic with bad fashion sense and even worse taste in art. But subjective things aside, the math teachers are generally awful, as well; there's no math requirement whatsoever here, which seemed nice to people like me who are more literary, but let's face it, people, the real world asks that you know how to use numbers, so unless you want to be an English teacher, you will eventually have to suck it up (so you might as well do so w/ competent math teachers). And even the English and literary classes are a bunch of theoretical, philosophical nonesense where no one is ever wrong and everything relates to feminism or consumerism. I do have respect for much of the economics department; my intro macro teacher completely opened me to the subject...but he's retiring, plus I'm not sure how much of that was his doing as opposed to the hilarious, witty textbook we were assigned to read for class. It's difficult to get into some of the more popular, useful classes, so that at the end of the day, if your draw number sucks, you are stuck with The Biology of Salmon: Sex, Salt and Death, or Global Geography, in which you learn... absolutely nothing. Not even a single country capital for the sake of showing off. Oh and political science. You bust your ass reading and reading for the class, only to find that the final exam questions could be answered by anyone with a critical mind-- which presumably you already have if you're thinking of applying here (ie. "What causes world hunger? How can we change that?"-- answer: fuck this class, and read a newspaper).

DORM/CAMPUS/FOOD/SERVICES: Medical services. If you are ever sick, don't waste your time walking to the so-called medical building, because all they'll tell you is to gargle salt water and give you Advil. Free Advil, yes, but not what you need when your tonsils are the size of your fist. The school store is small, poorly equipped, and exhorbitantly over priced, which is unfortunate because to get to any other store in the whole of frikkin' Poughkeepsie, you need a car. Not that you'd want to, because Poughkeepsie is depressing, bare, and boring. Not to mention ghetto. The closest store is the 99 cent store, as well as a store titled something along the lines of "Fairies and Fantasy Wear"-- not a sex store, more of like a hippie tye-dye-dolphin-loving store. Campus food is fine. Though if you eat like a normal human being (aka 3 meals a day) you will need to go on what is known as 'the fat kid plan' because their so-called 'standard meal plan' is designed for anorexics (mind you I'm 5'7" and weigh 124 pounds). Oh! And if you have a problem with the cold.... Bring blankets, because the heating system is perpetually messed up, and no matter how many times you call, no one will fix it.

SOCIAL SCENE (GET READY): Disappointing beyond description, really. People are cliquey, not particularly friendly. Mostly they hang out with people in their dorms, even just on their floor. Though no Greek life is a relief to the less-than-alcoholics, it sucks that parties are predictable, boring, etc. You always see the same people EVERYWHERE, whether it be in the cafeteria or at someone's crappy apartment party where they play awful music. Many bizarre people, by the way. If you consider yourself the normal teenage kid, just more enlightened, stay away. People who wear trenchcoats in the blistering heat, girls who consider themselves stylish looking like bagladies and hobos and yet enjoy looking you up and down and sneering if you look at all presentable in the real world, etc. Ultra liberal. I thought I was liberal coming here and promptly changed my mind. These people are crazy. To give you an idea: A columnist for the school newspaper claimed that the school store was encouraging gender bias by selling pink razors. No conservatives anywhere. Basically you'll be in a classroom, someone will crack a Bush joke, everyone laughs, and you'll sit there thinking, "Ok... So what was the point of that?"

Now, for sex and the like: If you're straight, good luck, if you're straight and female, don't even try. The entire female population battles over 2 or 3 straggling attractive straight males who will either develop an ego, transfer eventually, or are just not even that attractive. Basically, UNATTRACTIVE PEOPLE. So if you feel you don't want to waste your youth, don't come here. Random hook ups are done shit drunk so that you can a) deal with socially inept people that would never make a move otherwise, and b) forget that you hooked up with the equivalent to a doorknob. A short doorknob, mind you. Like maybe 5'5".Anyway that's just about as detailed as I'll get.

1st Year Female -- Class 2009
Education Quality: A-, Surrounding City: F
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