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Bennington College

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I transferred to Bennington after a year atBrightMusic - Composition/Theory
I transferred to Bennington after a year at University of Vermont, then graduated in 2005. A couple of things drew me to Bennington. I was trying to get away from having to take prerequisites, because the "English 101"-type classes at UVM were boring and designed for average-to-mediocre students. Unfortunately, due to lack of planning, I didn't have the high school grades to get into a more competitive school. Nowadays so many college applicants are groomed and coached years in advance on a pre-college strategy by their parents but it wasn't like that for me. I was also trying to get away from the anonymity of a large school. I thought it would be easier to make friends at Bennington. Now, 9 years later, my main issue is that I went into huge debt to go to Bennington, then graduated into a recession with little to no job prospects. If I could sit my 18-year-old self down and say Don't take on that debt, I would. It's possible to be creative, make art, join bands, study photography, etc etc, without going to a highly expensive college. Also, I really wish I'd pushed myself out of rural Vermont to go to an urban campus. The isolation of the campus could be depressing.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2005
Useful Schoolwork: A, Surrounding City: F
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Bennington is everything I expected from my twentyQuite BrightOther
Bennington is everything I expected from my twenty minute visit as a high school senior. Intense, flexible, creative, isolated, polarizing. You have to be a very specific kind of person to thrive here. The good is very good. Teachers are generally astute, inspiring and willing to help. The campus is beautiful. The academic program is enriching. I am a literature and international relations student and I have only good things to say about my academic education. However, the rural, isolated campus and the small population can lead to boredom and alienation. The incestuous nature of living with 700 other people in the middle of the woods causes a lot of drama for many people. Students burn out quickly... I mostly avoided this by being a total hermit the first semester of my freshmen year and having a serious long-distance boyfriend which kept me away from the sexually charged culture here. Be careful who you sleep with...
1st Year Female -- Class 2013
Education Quality: A+, Surrounding City: F
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Bennington is a small community, and it canQuite BrightPerfomance Arts
Bennington is a small community, and it can be intense. It isn't for everyone. But for the people it IS for, it works. The program here is really self-designed: you design your own major, decide what classes are important to your academic plan. There aren't many people here, but everyone is incredibly interested and passionate about what they do. This isn't a place for the feint of heart. But it also isn't competitive. The competition is with yourself, to make yourself better, not to make yourself better than everyone else. Overall, it's a very constructive environment, and a wonderful, accepting community. But NOT for everyone. Anyone who wants to go here should visit first, in my opinion.
2nd Year Female -- Class 2011
Education Quality: A+, Campus Maintenance: B
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