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A great academic experience…a mediocre social experience. The vocal minority at Amherst that runs the social scene subscribes to the stereotypical high school social heirarchy. Exclusive social circles are often organized around sports teams and quasi-fraternities. My theory is that many Amherst students were self-hating nerds in high school who see college as a chance to reclaim something they never had in high school. There is something of a social rat-race (more among girls than guys…a disturbing number of girls develop eating disorders…I mean, really disturbing…) Fortunately, most kids outgrow this by their senior year. However, the first few years at Amherst are often very difficult and frustrating for those who either try too hard to fit on or those who choose not to buy into the social system at all…many students become depressed as freshman and sophomores.