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Is Amherst as academically intense as Swat?

OttolineOttoline Registered User Posts: 947 Member
edited September 2007 in Amherst College
I have the impression that no school is more rigorous than Swat.
The amount of time spent studying flies off the charts,
from what I've been told.

Is Amherst as intense an environment?
Discussions, great debates, lots of reading are what I want,
but is there also time to relax and daydream?

Also, is drinking more prevalent at Amherst?

Many thanks,
Ottoline
Post edited by Ottoline on

Replies to: Is Amherst as academically intense as Swat?

  • whooopa8whooopa8 Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    You know, work-load reputation are spread through word-of-mouth, and it is a very subjective criteria. It might be that kids at Swat are bigger complainers :)
  • ejr1ejr1 Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    D has had the most intense years of her life at Amherst. Last semester was about to break her. If it's worse at Swat, I can't imagine. Now, this is a kid who wants to get good grades. Certainly, there are kids there who just want the C's and B's, but if you really want something out of your education, Amherst offers it, and you will have to work for those high grades.
  • greennbluegreennblue Registered User Posts: 1,736 Senior Member
    As for drinking, figures are hard to come by, but I saw somewhere that Swat's binge drinking rate is 30%, about as low as colleges get. I don't have a figure for Amherst, but Williams's rate is 45% (about average) and I imagine Amherst would be similar.
  • fhimas88888888fhimas88888888 Registered User Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    Yeah, my guess is whooopa8 is right. Swatties probably are a big bunch of complainers... hehe - part of the reason why I chose it. I think Swatties love the work they do, and truly enjoy staying busy by making great committments to their extracurricular pursuits. As a result, you get 'misery poker' which really isn't as bad as people make it out to be. I think Swatties actually enjoy misery poker.
  • OttolineOttoline Registered User Posts: 947 Member
    Thanks for the helpful responses, but I'm still trying to figure out if the
    Amherst academic scene is as intense as what I saw at Swat. I also
    visited Bryn Mawr, not a wading pond, and someone showed me a
    chem textbook that's covered in half the time at Swat.

    I don't think Swatties are complaining for the fun of it -- it seems
    ultra-demanding to me. One student complained about "tunnel vsision"
    and having too little fun.

    Are Amherst students smiling or gritting their teeth?

    Thanks so much.


    Ottoline
  • direwolfdirewolf Registered User Posts: 41 Junior Member
    If you're worried about whether a school is too academically intense, then it probably is, for you. As I refine my list I'm asking myself the same question. I want a strong academic and intellectual place, but I don't want to spend four years worried about every grade and paper... enough of that in high school.
  • Sheed30Sheed30 Registered User Posts: 12,425 Senior Member
    lol, swat doesn't compare to Reed...
  • fhimas88888888fhimas88888888 Registered User Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    ^ I know. But seriously, P-ton, what a SUCK school. There's [size=+3]no[/size] way [size=+2]Princeton[/size] compares to Swarthmore. :D
  • swim4lifeswim4life Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    ...looking at the user's other posts, i'm pretty sure he doesn't go to princeton

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/search.php?searchid=7955407
  • fhimas88888888fhimas88888888 Registered User Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    ^ That link is broken. Could you please fix it?
  • White_RabbitWhite_Rabbit Registered User Posts: 947 Member
    Not that this has any influence on your question. But the most intense schools from what I've read and heard are Reed, UChicago, and CalTech.
  • tommybilltommybill - Posts: 849 Junior Member
    I am a Swarthmore partisan, so beware of anything I say.

    The academics at Swarthmore are very rigorous, but for the most part the students enjoy the work, their fellow students and the school. Does Swarthmore have the most rigorous academics in the country? I don’t know. Is it among the 5 or 6 most rigorous schools in the country? Yes.

    Having said that the academics at Amherst are so good that the question of where you should go to school should be made on other factors. This is where you should ask questions about drinking and other life style questions.

    From everything I know drinking at Swarthmore is much lower than at most other colleges and universities. I am also sure you will find discussions, great debates, lots of reading and time to relax and daydream?
  • fhimas88888888fhimas88888888 Registered User Posts: 1,871 Senior Member
    Actually, I just heard a statistic on drinking at Swarthmore. I was very tired when I heard them... but these are the numbers I remember hearing.

    4-8 percent of students drink to get smashed
    40 percent drink occasionally
    20 percent do not drink

    [size=-2]I do not know what happened to the other ~10 percent.[/size]
  • Rister_ChutophsRister_Chutophs Registered User Posts: 1,373 Senior Member
    4-8 percent of students drink to get smashed
    40 percent drink occasionally
    20 percent do not drink

    I do not know what happened to the other ~10 percent.
    How is the Math departement at Swarthmore?
    ;)
  • Sheed30Sheed30 Registered User Posts: 12,425 Senior Member
    Rister is hilarious..... :D
This discussion has been closed.