My first month at Denison University, I fell in love with the campus, the activities, and people. I had decided rather last minute to attend this university, but though I had made the right decision. Now, halfway through my freshman year, I have realized while Denison is in many ways, a great college, it is not a great college FOR ME. I am transferring next year to my dream college, but here is some advice and why Denison did not work out for me.
1. The campus is in the middle of nowhere. Denison sits on top of a hill, next to a sleepy tiny town called Granville. There is no night life, only about three restaurants that close very early, no movie theater, music venue, etc. At first being in the middle of nowhere did not really bother me, I was doing stuff all the time on campus but about halfway through my first semester I began to feel like I was caught in a bubble.
Solution: Bring a car, even if you are a freshman. Columbus is about twenty minutes away and worth the trip to get off campus.
2. Academically speaking, the program is strict. I like most people, enjoy certain subjects more than others. Denison's GE requirements are very long and very hard to mold to fit with what you like.
Solution: AP credits will sometimes transfer, but with other programs such as IB they will give you no credit, even for 6's or 7's.
3. The two departments I want to major in are both very hard to get into. Denison prides it's self on being such a small community, but the size of the classes make it hard to get into popular courses. I want to do a double major in Studio Art and English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. The art and creative writing intro course are very popular for upperclassmen, and it was very frustrating when I only got into one art class my entire freshman year, and not creative writing classes because upperclassmen would fill them up before I even got a chance to sign up.
Solution: If you want to major in a social science or language it will be very easy for you to get the classes you need.
4. The people while nice, are overall very sporty and preppy east coast kids. Which I do not have anything against really, but if you are not playing a sport, and not wearing designer polo, you will be a slight outcast. Also partying is so huge, that if you don't go out every weekend people forget about you. I like to party sometimes, but got bored going out all the time.
Solution: If you are a prep, who likes to get smashed every weekend then you will have a very good time.
5. The dorms, and not just the freshman ones have some huge problems. One of them was the lack of hot water in several of the dorms for pretty much the entire year. People were actually getting sick because they were taking cold showers. Also it takes a long time for anything broken, to be fixed. In the student service building, a window was smashed on the first day of classes and is to my knowledge still broken. Security and RA's are very nice, but it takes them forever to do anything.
Solution: I do not sadly really have one for this.
6. For a small school, it sure seemed to have a lot of sexual assault. And I am not just taking about little things, rape is a big issue on campus. On my floor there was a girl that woke up to a masked guy being on top of her trying to hold her down, this was sadly not the scariest sexual assault announced by safety and security during the year.
Solution: Always lock your doors, and be careful about drinks. Usually at parties they service unopened cans of beer, which is good. Overall I would rate my experience at Denison a four out of ten. I will miss a few friends I have made, but am very excited about going to my dream college in the fall.