transferred to GMC from a huge, public university in a
big city. I loved the idea of a small town
feel and a tiny, isolated university, because my last college
was in a city and barely had that “college bubble”
feeling. I also came because I am very passionate about
the environment, and sustainable agriculture and sustainability efforts are so
exciting to me. That is all here! They have a
a wonderful, almost entirely fossil-free farm (fossil fuels only being
used indirectly or for research purposes) and a biomass plant.
The environmental efforts here seemed tremendous, and I was excited
to be part of a more intense movement of it.
GMC is unique, that is for sure. It is
very tiny, and very specialized. The environmental studies, Adventure Rec,
and Biology departments are decent. However, most other departments are
lacking, and GMC is notorious for (and this is quite
true) throwing the words “and the environment” after every course
name just to fulfill their “mission."
For me, however, this
was largely ineffective. As much as I love the environment,
and as much as I still plan on majoring in
environmental studies and moving up in this field, I still
have an appreciation for stimulating english classes, foreign languages, and
other exciting courses like history and philosophy. However, the foreign
languages offered here are few (every few semesters they may
have an intro to spanish, or an advanced french class)
and english classes are not all that stimulating. You're able
to travel to Castleton College to take other courses under
GMC's tuition prices, but this is just an added hassle
that makes things even more difficult.
Some of the
professors are incredible: they're easily accessible, and very passionate about
what they do. However, they themselves are often stifled in
their ability to teach courses that aren't environmental. Non-environmental classes
are offered, of course, but it is more difficult to
fit them in. Also, the whole ELA system is a
huge downfall of the school. While there are some interesting
courses to take, many of the profs realize they are
requirements and the classes end up being jokes that students
blow off, which leads to more busy work than quality,
stimulating work and projects.
Other downfalls of the school:
-typical GMC kids are sort of cookie-cutter “hippies” and
although they aren't unfriendly, they don't exactly welcome people who
are not like them.
-it's a very gossipy, small school.
if you “hook up” with someone, make some embarrassing mistake,
or are different, people categorize you. This never happened to
me, but i know of a lot of people who
got reputations on the first day that were hard to
shake. “black out chick” and “barbie” just to mention two.
-RAs are irritated by their jobs, and don't care at
all about students.
-Dorm locks are easy to pick,
and often not even locked. They are locked randomly, never
at a certain time each day and night. I have
climbed in through the window many times i've forgotten my
-Rooms are either extremely hot or freezing.
connection is terrible
-I'm not really sure where the
$36,000 is going to. It's certainly not a terrible school,
but the education, facilities, and resources are certainly not superior
or even good. They have a massage therapist, but no
regular doctor? To see a real doctor, you have to
find a shuttle to Castleton or Rutland. The library doesn't
even have the book, “to kill a mockingbird.”
is not much to do in the winter except to
be under the influence of some sort of drug or
alcohol. or ski.
-the retention rate is ridiculous. i'm leaving
after one semester, and i know around fifteen people off
the top of my head who are also leaving. people
chalk this up to being a school that is “not
for everyone,” and they are absolutely right. you should really
do some VERY intense research before deciding to go here.
the visits don't accurately display what you're getting yourself into,
so you should really talk to people who go here
or read reviews like these.
I hope this review
isn't too biased; I do not think this is a
terrible school. I think it is good for certain people
and certain majors. There are definitely lots of great hands-on
activities you can get involved with like Lucas Brown's sustainable
design projects, working on the farm, or GREENMAP (GMC adventure
programming, free trips to ice climb, ski, kayak, camp, etc)
but you have to weigh them out properly. I guess
I'm just not sure if, even for those who love
it here, it is really worth the money. There is
so much out of the college experience you're missing out
on if you go to a “specialty school” like this.