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Bucknell University

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Bucknell is definitely a name recognition school that attracts a lot of "ambitious/competitive" kids. Unfortunately I would not characterize it as being an "Intellectually" ambitious culture. It is more of a "Socially" ambitious/competitive culture.

Being in the middle of nowhere has a detrimental effect on the school. Without other outlets in the surrounding communities or towns students have no alternative but to pour all their energy into a one-dimensional social scene. That leads to an excessive use of alcohol and drugs on campus. Maybe it has changed since I was there but the habits were absolutely reckless.

I realize all colleges have this to a certain extent but when the frat scene is literally the ONLY outlet for a highly-driven student body it devolves into an exceedingly unhealthy subculture - one that is the exact opposite of what a well-rounded intelligent person would hope to get from a higher-education experience. Forget about character-building, you are more likely to be more inconsiderate and juvenile when you leave than when you arrived.

I will say that the name "Bucknell" has helped me in my career. But then again, many "top school" names could have also done the same. If small-circle social ambition and getting mind-blowingly wasted are more of your drive than intellectual development and personal growth you may find Bucknell to be your place - certainly a good number of people do. But if you are looking for a well-rounded higher education experience with some diverse experiences and opportunities to stretch your character, I would highly recommend going somewhere else.
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