StudentsReview :: Hampshire College - Extra Detail about the Comment
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Hampshire College

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityF Faculty AccessibilityB-
Useful SchoolworkD Excess CompetitionC
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationD-
Individual ValueF University Resource UseB-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyD FriendlinessD
Campus MaintenanceB Social LifeF
Surrounding CityA- Extra CurricularsF
Describes the student body as:
Arrogant, Snooty, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful, Condescending, Self Absorbed

Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Educational Quality
Highest Rating
She cares more about Individual Value than the average student.
Date: Aug 09 2008
Major: English (This Major's Salary over time)
Hampshire College is a very unique school for very unique tastes - and having spent a semester there, I'm still not quite sure what type of person you'd have to be, exactly, to appreciate it. I'm a very independent, creative, motivated, intelligent person, and I came to Hampshire College with high expectations from many people (interviewer included) that Hampshire was the right place for me by far. Unfortunately, I was extremely disappointed. The first main problem with Hampshire is that it advertises itself in a way that it no longer exists -
you can do anything you want!
is somewhat of a fib. Hampshire does have mandatory div-I requirements that not many people understand, but go through regardless, and I probably would've respected that more if I didn't feel as if all the doors to the education I wanted weren't being blocked by the bureaucracy that was supposedly supporting academic freedom.

I went to Hampshire College as a Creative Writing major, having heard great things about the writing department that were also somewhat of a let down. Quickly into my first semester, I found out that the curriculum for first years was designed so that no first year could take any type of english class other than a standard lit. or essay writing class. I also worked towards emailing the professor of poetry, my preferred concentration, trying to set up a friendly connection - but instead received a rude email in return that belittled my intelligence and interest in the subject matter. Most other creative writing students I found were just about out the door, ready to transfer, and didn't seem to find the writing department approachable at all. I started looking into the five-college consortium for all my creative writing needs, and then decided that there was something very wrong with a college if, that in order to be satisfied with it, I had to go to OTHER COLLEGES. I noticed that most of the resources I was happy with in Hampshire were basically all from UMass Amherst - and really, I might've been better off going there.

Although, my professors on the most part were decently friendly and helpful, willing to find a way to meet your needs and desires. It was a very flexible education and I enjoyed it for that, but it stressed me out in transferring to another college - being completely unaware of how the credit system works, if they would accept my classes, and being somewhat unprepared for a more challenging workload (although grateful for a newer, more challenging workload that I didn't get at Hampshire).

Socially, I found many of the students to be pretentious and a bit too liberal for my liking (and I'm decently liberal) to the point of being close-minded. Cliques form very fast, and you can expect people to change colors pretty quickly. I have met some great people at Hampshire that I still talk to, now almost a year later, but most of the social scene frustrated me immensely - and I drink and do drugs, which is a big part of the scene.

Overall, I would highly recommend you make your decision about going to Hampshire very cautiously. I know people who feel the college works for them, but I know many more who transfer - in fact, statistics were being pasted all over campus about how 1 out of every 4 students transfers out. And this is a small campus of about 1300 students. That's about 300-400 students transferring out every year. It's absolutely ridiculous. Clearly, something is not settling right. And I don't really think it's the students - considering I've been called the perfect Hampshire student more than once (by several Alumni I met and outsiders who've heard of the program) - but instead, I think it's the administration who seems to consistently change their somewhat new educational plan, and therefore, continually warping the initial education values they promised incoming students. If you want to really succeed at Hampshire, you have to take on a whole bureaucracy/administration, and while I didn't have the energy to do that, it's essentially what you'd have to do and a handful do do that - and I wish the best of luck to all who do decide to go to that school.

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