Life/Parties: People here are generally nice, but they are
also very cliquey. I came to this school expecting
to be part of a tightly knit community, but instead
I found that cliques here tend to keep to themselves.
On weekends, there usually isn't much to do besides party.
The party scene seems exciting when you're a freshman,
but it gets old fast. There are always a
few open parties at the Circle Apartments or off campus
that virtually anyone (ie: freshman guys) can get into.
They have the same dynamic that most frat parties on
other campuses do: too many people cramped in a small
space, lots of shitty beer, and plenty of horny freshman
guys hitting on uninterested girls. By the time you're
a sophomore, you'll probably grow sick of these parties, and
if you have the right friends, you'll get invited to
more exclusive parties, which are much more fun. You
might also go to a frat party at Cornell a
couple times a year.
If you like to smoke weed,
it's readily available, but when people say that Ithaca is
a “stoner” school, they're exaggerating.
of Ithaca's strong points is the number of clubs it
has to offer. If you end up here, you
should definitely take advantage of them. They can make
your entire experience.
Academics: Ithaca has a great reputation
for its Music, Theater, and Communications programs. I've heard
mixed reviews about them from other students and lots of
complaints about elitism, but I'm probably not the best person
to ask about that.
The Politics department is impressive; all
of the teachers I've had were knowledgeable and passionate about
what they were teaching. However, if you're not a
diligent student, its definitely possible to bullshit your way through
your Politics classes and not do any of the reading.
If you're a conservative, you'll probably hate the department
here. The majority of teachers are left wing, and
a some of them are pretty radical.
Gen. Ed. classes were decent for the most part.
Some teachers were outstanding, most were average, and some should
have been fired a long time ago.
of the students here are pretty bright, but there will
be a few idiots in most of your classes.
Ithaca has somewhat of a reputation for being a “hippie”
or a “stoner” school, but that really doesn't hold much
ground. Don't get me wrong, its not hard to
find those people, but for the most part, the student
population here isn't very different from that at any other
school I've visited.
Politically, most people here are either liberal
or apathetic. There is a minority of self-hating white
students who despise capitalism, but there is also a very
vocal minority of Republicans who tend to get their political
signs torn down or vandalized by the other group.
Ithaca is pretty homogeneous. Lots of white people, but
as one might expect in a northeastern private school, there
is a significant Jewish population. The gay community is
very accepted here.
Town: Ithaca is a pleasant little town,
but if you don't have a car, you won't go
there very much. Sure, its just a 20 minute
walk, but when it gets cold and snowy, you won't
want to walk down and up that steep hill.
are some small music venues, lots of great places to
eat, and plenty of hippie stuff in the town.
There are literally three head shops on one block that's
really close to the school. The town is probably
why IC has the reputation it has, but the students
don't really reflect what the town is like.
Its fucking cold here. If you hate cold weather,
don't come here. I cannot stress this enough.
Dorms are decent, but nothing to write home about.
In my opinion, the worst dorms are the terraces because
they're isolated on the edge of campus, which especially sucks
in the winter. The rooms might slightly bigger there
than the other dorms are, but that doesn't justify the
distance. Lots of freshmen live in the towers, which
are pretty conveniently located. The upper quads have the
best location on campus in my opinion; the lower quad
buildings aren't much worse. There's also Emerson, which is
somewhat far from the academic buildings, but has private bathrooms
in double and triple dorms. There are no singles
You won't be able to live in the on
campus apartments until you're a sophomore, so I won't bother
commenting on those.
Conclusion: There are a few spectacular
things about Ithaca, but unless you're in one of its
more prestigious departments, it's an average northeastern private school.
In other words, the education quality is above average, but
the overall experience might be pretty boring. If I
had an amazing group of friends that I loved here,
I might stay, but since I don't really miss my
friends when I'm gone, I don't really have an incentive
Ithaca is cold and in the middle of
nowhere, and I'm starting to feel really claustrophobic. The
Politics department is good, but its not worth the price
If you visit Ithaca and fall in love
with its music, theater, or communications department, it might be
a good fit for you. Otherwise, I cannot recommend
it. Next year I'm transferring to a similarly sized
school with a better polysci department and an urban campus.
I hope to have a more interesting and dynamic