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Rhodes College

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Apr 01 2014Undecided
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
When you visit Rhodes College (or just their website, for that matter), the first thing you will likely notice is the gothic architecture. It's a big pull for the school, and a lot of students regard it highly--it is something they are proud of in their school. At some point I started to see it in a different light, and as something of symbol for the student body. It's hard to find much diversity here. Most superficially, the racial breakdown is PREDOMINANTLY white, followed by some Asians (many of whom are here from China), then a few African Americans or Africans, and less than a handful Latinos. On top of that, you'll find a large majority are just varying degrees of rich, and typically Southern. Being neither of those, I sometimes feel culturally and socially ostracized. Unfortunately, I've witnessed enough unconscious racism (as in the speaker doesn't recognize what they are saying is prejudiced, rather they think of it as "aware" or "intellectual") to come to the conclusion that many students are close minded and grew up very sheltered. While looking for colleges I often heard the mantra repeated again and again, "The real learning takes place outside the classroom in late night discussions." So far that hasn't been my experience, and I'm disappointed in that.

Greek life dominates the social scene, and if you choose to stay independent, you get labeled a GDI (which is basically a moniker for the least cool Greek organization--you can't escape it). I had, and have, no interest in joining a fraternity, and that makes it difficult to make many friends, as those that did pledge invariably have an established (and fairly inflexible) clique. I mentioned that the school is predominantly rich and Southern, and from an outsider's perspective, I think this contributes to the importance of fraternities on campus. The statistic is 50% Greek (if I had to guess, it's much higher for sororities, and then fraternities are lower, bringing it to 50% composite), but perhaps because people who don't choose Greek life are generally just less active, and perhaps because there aren't specifically non-Greek functions to get to know others, it feels much more overbearing than the 50% would suggest. With all that being said, all on-campus fraternity parties are open to anyone--a nice touch.

Academically, I've had an excellent experience. While I'm currently undecided on a major, all faculty interactions within my areas of interest have been terrific, and I find the professors to be engaging and engaged, as well as eager to interact outside of class. I am in more geared towards the humanities/history, so I can only speak to them. Class discussions vary, but I haven't had any class without any eager students, and at the very least they keep the discussion going. Additionally, study abroad opportunities are not hard to come by, and more people take advantage of them than not.

The school widely circulates their #1 ranking in service, and I think it's well deserved. Most students seem involved in some way, whether that be in community service, sports (one note on intramurals--fraternities dominate here, too, and it can be hard to find a team if you aren't Greek), or clubs. I have been asked several time "So what are you involved in?" when first meeting people. If you are looking for a way to spend time, it isn't hard to get involved.

The stereotype of a "Rhodes Bubble" is fair, and it can be very hard to get to see Memphis itself. An administrative body, "The Big Diehl," will offer some discounted or free opportunities like arts/culture events, Grizzlies games, or fun activities like Laser Tag, but really the walls around campus keep people out as much as they keep students in. If you're considering Rhodes, take your time. If academics are most important to you, be a Lynx, but make sure you understand the social dynamics. If you plan to join a fraternity/sorority, by all means, do, you'll probably really enjoy it. I have met plenty of people that embody the "Work Hard, Play Hard" ethic, and thrive in both the Greek and classroom setting. It hasn't been a good fit for me, but it is for many. You really just need to know what you're expecting, which I don't think I did when I originally signed on (mostly due to financial aid).

1st Year Male -- Class 2017
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Perceived Campus Safety: A+, Individual Value: D
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Jun 01 2013Unknown
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
Rhodes was my first choice college and I had very high expectations of this college, it's administration, and faculty. I am very happy to say that now, as a rising sophomore, Rhodes College has exceeded even my high expectations, To me, there is no better college or university!
1st Year Male -- Class 2016
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Faculty Accessibility: A+, Social Life: B
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Oct 24 2012Chemistry
Major Salary, Salary Trend, Satisfaction, Unemployment
The friendliness and caring of the faculty is incredible! This college really cares and wants you to succeed.
1st Year Male -- Class 2016
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Faculty Accessibility: A+, Surrounding City: B
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