Chestnut Hill College
Chestnut Hill College - Comments and Student Experiences|
Education: Not very challenging, even though I'm in the honors program. The program is pretty sub-par with big emphasis on discussion. For example, I have to take an honors seminar class every year, which is discussion-based and combines two subjects together.55% of your grade is based on how much you speak in class. Yes, more than half of your grade depends on how much you contribute to the TWO HOUR discussion-based class. It's ridiculous. You are assigned a mountain of reading, and expected to talk about the readings in class, but it doesn't even matter whether you read or not because you can just make comments based on what others have said to make it look like you've one the readings for that week. Basically, the class is Bullshit 101. Sure, being an articulate person is good, but so much of your grade shouldn't be dependent on how well you pretend to be interested.Also the writing class required for IDHP students isn't that great. You spend 2-4 weeks on a segment on a particular subject with a certain professor. So, it's like a few weeks learning to write literary analysis, a few weeks writing an philosophical argument paper, etc. It's just not really beneficial. You don't truly learn much in a subject by spending just two weeks on it, however, CHC thinks otherwise. In fact, these two weeks spent learning these subjects suffice when it comes to prerequisites. So, after learning psych for two weeks in the writing class, you won't need a general psych class to graduate. That may seem helpful, but it's truly hell if you're trying to transfer. Other schools aren't going to accept those two weeks as an equivalent to an actual semester course, but CHC does! (It's how they trap students probably.) Also there's this silly FYI class (First Year Initiative) for freshman. Honors program kids don't get to experience it very much, but for other students, it's really just busy work, trips to places around school, like the library or something like that, "self-reflections" on what you've "learned". It's busywork/babysitting for the immature freshies. How torturous.
Social Life: Where do I begin? There is a big emphasis on athletics, even though CHC isn't a big school with big teams, like Temple or Drexel. Athletes tend to stick together very much. Their giant clique is pretty standoffish sometimes. On YikYak they would make snarky comments about NARPs. I didn't even know what a NARP was until I came to this dinky school, lol. The snobby athletes make the place feel very much like high school. Don't get me wrong, there are some kind athletes at the school, it' true, but in general, they aren't the most approachable. They're pretty domineering and since it's a "dry" campus (not really), all the parties take place off campus, hosted by the athletes. No Greek life at the school since it's Catholic, but the male athletes and their parties are kind of the equivalent to frat boys and frat parties, when it comes to the social scene. The school is tiny and there are a ton of cliques. You can just feel it when you walk into the cafeteria. It is not a good feeling. The school makes futile attempts at fun, for example, Fridays After Dark, which are comedy nights, game nights or movies that take place in Gruber theatre or Fitzsimmons Lounge. No one really goes. Comedians that have came have actually made jokes about the small turnout they get and whatnot when at CHC. It's pathetic. There are shuttles that go into town, which is a very scenic and picturesque place, but the shops are pricey as hell for some broke college kids. And as an African-American student, I often get followed and watched when I walk into the stores owned by young white ladies. It's insulting. Another shuttle goes to Target, the mall, but this one only runs on the weekends and stops running at 10:30 PM!! It's awful! On the plus side, public transportation is pretty accessible from campus. It just takes a while, and costs money of course.
Dorm Life: Freshmen get Fournier and Fontbonne, which are the older dorms. Fournier is connected in a way that you never have to go outside to get from building to building, which is a huge perk. The lounges in Fournier and Fontbonne are very outdated. They have really old furniture and carpeting, but each has 1 nice TV with cable. The Fournier lounge gets a lot of bugs when the weather is warm, especially roaches at night. Fitz is great, but only for upperclassmen, and same goes for Sugarloaf, which is off-campus housing. Transportation back and forth to campus is provided by shuttles, which is good. I live in the honors hall and I hate it. The first year honors program kids form a pretty big clique, which is nice initially, because you'll always have someone to go to lunch with, walk to classes with, but it gets old fast when you live together AND go to class together. It's hard to get away from each other. And for honors kids, they lack a lot of common sense and aren't always open-minded. Visitors, you need to have permission a couple days ahead of time, no overnight guests of the opposite sex (easy to break this rule if the guest lives on campus, but otherwise, forget it).
Food: Not too tasty or healthy. Caf closes at 8 PM during the week, 6:30 on weekend. Griffin's Den provides meals when cafe is closed, or if you've missed a meal, but they are hardly open on weekends. Every now and then they have something good, but not always. Salad, french fries and pizza are available every single day. McCaffery Lounge sells the best food, but you can't use your meal plan here, just points or cash. Also, if you have dietary needs, such as gluten-free food, don't consider CHC! They have very few gluten-free options.
The Arts: Kind of nonexistent. Very few music majors and art majors. Gruber theatre is in the basement of the library, and is super small, so they don't even host the plays there. Instead, there are hosted in the place called the Motherhouse, which has a stage, but no real seating in it. They just place chairs in there as needed. It's part of the convent where all the sisters live. The art gallery is comprised of just a couple of hallways. Poetry club is super small. There was recently a talent show, but only about 30 people came to watch. There aren't a lot of artistic clubs and activities, so this school isn't the best for creative students.
$$$: CHC offers students a seemingly large financial package, but it doesn't turn out to be all that helpful for many students. Athletes usually get the biggest scholarships. I got an academic scholarship for about $13,500, and some small grants and loans, but paying for the semester still will be difficult. Especially because I don't feel like I am getting the most out of my money. My parents have put a lot of money into the school,which makes me feel incredibly guilty since I'm unhappy here. Paying thousands for education that could be received for little to nothing at a community college, a school with no social life, and a college that feels like high school? No thanks.
Overall, I wish I had not attended the school. I hope to transfer to a larger school with more opportunities, more creative outlets, a more diversified student body. CHC does have a few perks, but not enough to outweigh the disadvantages for me. If you're an athlete, in search of a small, quiet school, and/or not into city life, CHC just might be the place for you, but if not, please please please, do yourself a favor and look into more schools. Visit CHC a lot, talk to current students, stay overnight if you can. Do your research before you commit, guys!! I wouldn't want anyone to go through a college experience like mine. If you had a good time at CHC, that's good for you, but I wanna give people a fair warning. I would've loved to hear the REAL low-down about this place when I was in high school.