My teacher was talking about schools that I am planning on applying to next year... When I mentioned Bucknell, he said that the majority of the people there are basically very materialistic and snobby.
does that mean nobody is materialistic or snobby? of course not. but id be hard-pressed to name more than a handful of schools, none of them mainstream, where that would be the case. the real questions, therefore, are how many of them are there and how are they treated within the campus community?
before proceeding, i really do want to mention that, surprisingly, none of the snobby people i met was actually mean. they rubbed me the wrong way, certainly, but i cant think of a single 'mean girls' moment directed at myself or anyone else. even the snobby freshman hallmate i absolutely hated routinely invited me to his frat/house parties sophomore and junior year. but i digress.
coming up with a percentage of snobby students is, quite obviously, both relative and difficult. there were two people (out of 28) on my freshman hall i thought were snobby. my best friend would have named three or four. most of the rest of my peer group would have named one and some liked everyone. how that should be worked into a percentage, i dont know. but it is clear that theyre a minority.
in terms of treatment, the snobby kids on campus certainly arent the 'cool' ones. they dont even get into the 'cool' fraternities and sororities; the snobby girl next door to me freshman year almost didnt into one at all. given greek stereotypes, that says enough, i think.
i guess that makes the long answer is this: not only are snobby people in the vast minority at bucknell, theyre not very well liked, either.
My daughter is very interested in attending Bucknell as a freshman in 2007. She's heard that Bucknell is a very sport oriented school mostly because it's Div. I. Being a student who's not at all athletic, she's concerned that she may have considerably less activities to participate in. Is this correct, and if so, are there enough non-sport based campus activities offered that would keep the average non-sport oriented student occupied? Would the average non-sport oriented student be comfortable in joining an intramural based sport? Finally, she's not the priveledged, popped-collar type kid, but your average jean-sneaker-cotton shirt wearer from a middle class family. Should she feel comfortable in the Bucknell environment?
bucknell is indeed a physically active campus. 'sport oriented' might not be the best descriptor, though, at least in the sense of bucknells ncaa affiliation.
most students go to the gym, or at least plan on going to the gym, on a semi-regular basis. many participate in intramurals as a way to have fun, meet people and be active. but outside basketball (and football, i guess), bucknells other d1 sports dont draw major attention from the student body. groups will go to cheer on their friends at the soccer game or swimming meet, but these activities ultimately take place outside mainstream student consciousness.
on the competitiveness of intramural sports, theres an opportunity for everyone. mens beach volleyball tends to be pretty competitive; womens basketball and softball usually arent.
as far as non-sport activities, the problem (even for non-athletic people like myself) tends to be picking those in which to become seriously involved among the myriad of opportunities. i believe an 'activities fair' will be set up in the fieldhouse for accepted students day, so if you go, your d will be able to see for herself what is available. id be very surprised if will be able to walk around and not pick two or three of interest... if not twenty.
and lastly, though i love collared shirts, im certainly not from a priveledged family, and was only able to attend bucknell because of a financial aid package that made attending the school affordable. so i know where youre coming from. the kids who i found to have the most difficulty adjusting to the bucknell environment were not those from rural pennsylvania who didnt know people popped their collars but rather those who feel they have to buy $72 lacoste shirts and pop their collars in order to be accepted or fit in. unsurprisingly, it doesnt work. and no, not because the wealthy kids can spot a fraud; rather, theyre wearing sweatpants and wondering why youre not doing the same.
so yes, your daughter sounds like she will be fine.
Thank you so much for your well written response. It really answered my questions so much better than when we attended a campus tour and asked the guide and admissions reps similar questions. My daughter is tossed between attending Bucknell and a lesser known Div III University just 20 miles south. The more southern college is a safety school and will probably offer her a great merit scholarship package. However, I'm unsure she'll be as challenged and offered as much opportunity there as she should be at Bucknell.