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Simon's Rock is the kind of college you will do well at if you are ALREADY stable, hard-working and have a good academic curiosity about the world. This means someone who is willing to pick up books written by Sigmund Freud, not simply for the sake of insisting they are more intelligent than the people around their surroundings, but then being forced to really, TRULY analyze the inner workings and theories behind what composed a great thinker. This also means being able to accurately describe these intellectual observations on paper to professors who have dedicated their lives to developing sharp intellects (think about it, how many people do you know are willing to live in a small town like Great Barrington to teach EXTREMELY young college students? Your professors more often than not are people who have dedicated their ENTIRE LIVES to academia and research). For the 16-year-old intellectual, someone like Holden Caulfield, I can almost promise that you will be stunned with how difficult digesting intense reading material can be along with interpreting it. Or even as a science or computer science major, how difficult and competitive the coursework is along with the intellect of the other students you are competing with. For anyone that wants to attend SRC, I would say the number #1 question you have to ask yourself is this: Would it make you feel fulfilled to develop and maintain a deep connection to the academic world? Also, would it be important for you to still learn about developments related to your field once you graduate (ex. as an alum, would you feel it's important to still know about new theories that are coming out about your field?)? This school has been built around the foundation that people should be free to develop their ACADEMIC interests. If you are someone who wants to go onto graduate school and become a professor, this is a great place for you. This is a place that will challenge you to the brink of intellectual insanity. You will be so caught in the sheer research, reading, intense class discussions, being driven to have discussions with your professors after class to figure out the piece of the puzzle you couldn't figure out...etc. The process of learning will be dizzying. However, if your interest is more in...getting away from your crazy family, moving to a place where you can escape ignorant and bullying classmates or you just know that you are here temporarily for one reason or another (that you really want to pursue something like fashion design but your parents don't approve your career path or you just can't afford to move out before age 18), I would strongly not suggest this place to you. I would like to specify that I am making this list for a prospective student to consider. I am not making this list to knock Simon's Rock credibility, but more because a lot of students will have a hard time picturing themselves here unless they've already attended or visited. Here are a few things to consider before attending: 1). Simon's Rock is a VERY, VERY expensive college. You will have a hard time explaining to both yourself and your parents later (along with looking at yourself in the mirror) knowing that you spent BUCKETLOADS of money just to have a temporary safe spot to stay before you turned 18. 2). Like any school, this means that the people that can afford to come here will attend. Many of the students here come from extremely well-educated families (often children of professors) and many have attended high-end private schools where they grew up having a much more intensive and thorough education than their public school counterparts (although it is not always the case and some public schools are excellent as well). Are you ready to compete academically against rich, very well-educated students who mostly stem from New England? 3). If you feel that you want to move to this school to get away from your parents, you must always remember this: Your parents will always still be your parents. Even if you are scrambling and manage to move out at 18 to continue the rest of your life, they will still always be a part of who you are. The best and most healthy thing you can do for your sanity and best transition to adulthood would be to forgive them...not to necessarily excuse them for the past or how they have raised you. But so that it doesn't haunt you into the future and interfere with how you plan to live your life. 4). On top of everything else, this is a VERY small college. There are about less than 500 students that attend SRC from what I last remember. If you are used to a big city environment and feel the urge to get to know people outside of campus, be connected with the city or always want to do something like clubbing on the weekends that isn't connected to your college, this might not be the place for you. If, on the other hand, you are content with making a small group of friends on-campus that will be your constant companions, this is a good place for you. If you are used to a small town environment, this is a good place for you. If you are content with ordering a pizza to your dorm room and hanging out with your small group of friends, this is a good place for you (at certain times during the semester, like midterms or finals, don't be surprised if you find you don't have the time to do this due to your coursework). 5). As as liberal arts school, of course, the college is also very liberal. Great Barrington itself as a city is used as a resort town for rich New Yorkers who want to take a vacation. Regardless, the professors and students tend to be very liberal here. 6). Lastly, although many of the students here are brilliant (or maybe not they're not and just got bored of high school for one reason or another), this does not mean they are necessarily better or worse people from where you are stemming from. Being extremely intelligent does not necessarily mean you are emotionally stable, hard-working or capable of responsibly handling friendships / relationships. You are still dealing with people before they turn 18. These are still people who are learning as much about life as you are also. I would say keep your eyes peeled and try to keep positive influences around you as much as possible. Look to hang around people who are intelligent and caring about people around them but also make efforts to do as well as they can in school. Your company often makes you, so try to keep people who are hard-working, care about their friends and have been happy people altogether. It will especially keep you on-focus during tough winter months. These are all things I had to learn at Simon's Rock, so I hope the knowledge will be imparted well...
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