Denison University - Comments and Student Experiences|
As for advice, this is most important: VISIT. Denison offers numerous visit days and many with overnight options. They offer "air Denison" to out of state students which will cover flight costs. Visit and stay overnight to get the best feeling for this college or any other.
Once you have decided Denison is a "fit" you must begin on day one to get involved. Reach out to local alumni near your hometown and begin to build your network. Get on LinkedIn. Presumably you are at Denison because you would like to prepare for a career. Denison alumni who volunteer to be career resources are very committed to students and extremely generous with their time. Go to the Career Resources Center during first semester. Set up time with the director and learn what the timing is for interviewing, how interviews are conducted for internships and jobs. Join at least one campus group and find a leadership role within it.
Go to the office hours of each of your professors early in the semester each semester. Ask them what they like about Denison and find out why they selected Denison. Tell them who you are and what your goals are. This school is all about personal relationships. These are the people who will be evaluating your work now, and writing your grad school recs later.
Be ready to make a positive social contribution to the community. Do NOT rely on others for your own happiness. If you want to go to an activity on campus but your roommate does not, just go anyway. You will meet the people who like the activities you like at the activities you like! Get to know as many people as you can...Denison draws students from all 50 states! Look for people who share your values and choose them for your inner circle. Be wary of toxic people. Most people have a good quality. Focus on that and leave the rest.
Be curious. Try new things. The happiest people I knew at Denison had friends across the spectrum, Greek, non-greek, sporty, artsy, hard-working and fun-loving. These happy people are still my friends today...almost 30 years later.
My last bit of advice is this, expect to grow as a person while you are at college. Think about why you are there and where you are going. Be introspective. Demand it of yourself. This is your chance to meet people from all over the US and the world! This is your chance to talk to super smart people about topics all across the board. Once you leave college, you will get into the zone of your job and your community and it will be very challenging to get to know many people who are different from you....unless you met several of them in college and they have become lifelong friends, friends who share your desire to grow and develop all through your life.
There is a quote inscribed on campus that I just love~
The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. The Ladder of St. Augustine. 1858.
Be awake in your own life and choose work that makes you happy while "toiling" into the night. You will do well. Very well.
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.
As a biochemistry major, I was wait-listed for my second semester General Chemistry class (it's a two semester course) and when I spoke with the department head, his advice was "please consider switching your major." I was beyond angry about this. How can the department tell me to change my major when I declared it as soon as I enrolled and they have the nerve to tell me that I can't peruse it because they don't have room for me? After a series of rude emails from my parents to the Dean, they finally got me a spot. For a school that costs a LOT of money to attend, they can't *not* give you a spot in a class required for your major.
I'm glad I left Denison. I can only imagine what they would say when I took higher level Chemistry courses. It is simply not okay. I spoke with upperclassmen who told me that they really wish they had transferred in their first two years because Denison is not at all a helpful environment for students who want to succeed in the future. Bottom line: Do not let the beautiful campus fool you. Your future depends on the college you go to and you want the best experience possible. Choose wisely! Even though it's cheap with it's good financial aid package, you will NOT get a good education here and in the end, it's not worth it.