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Schools for my Quirky, Nerdy Kid?

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Replies to: Schools for my Quirky, Nerdy Kid?

  • ChristiGabiChristiGabi Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Good to hear that the vibe at Bates may be similar to the midwest LACs. I would certainly prefer to have her a bit closer to home - at least it's not quite as long a flight to visit. Getting to and from home in Colorado to Bates in Maine would involve layovers and a minimum 1 hour drive on each end. That's a full day of travel. Wisconsin or Minnesota or Michigan would most likely be a direct flight and a much shorter travel day. She's currently intrigued by Lawrence as a match school (maybe safety?), and we're also going to check out Beloit, Macalester, Kenyon, and Kalamazoo, all thanks to the feedback here.
  • ChristiGabiChristiGabi Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Oh, and having religious roots is fine. She just doesn't want a school that is currently affiliated.
  • beepmamoopbeepmamoop Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    This is the daughter in question speaking. I would like to correct a few things.
    1. No, I did not like any of the schools in Boston, but that was just chance. I still like the idea of a big city, there just weren't any there that worked. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was a big city.
    2. No offense to any Texans out there, but I'm definitely not going there. I prefer cold weather and in general I don't like the south.
    3. I don't think Wellesley is too preppy, and in fact after visiting it's still in my top four choices! I just didn't like the atmosphere as much as Bates, Bowdoin, or Brandeis.
    Thank you all for commenting!
  • ChristiGabiChristiGabi Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    Of course my sweet kiddo has to swoop in here and set me straight. Hehe, just another day of living with a kid who's smarter than I am. :-)
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,473 Senior Member
    " I don't think Wellesley is too preppy, and in fact after visiting it's still in my top four choices! I just didn't like the atmosphere as much as Bates, Bowdoin, or Brandeis."

    Since you seem to like schools that begin with B, do take a look at Bryn Mawr. A lot less preppy than Wellesley, too. :D
  • deljodeljo Registered User Posts: 59 Junior Member
    Sounds like your daughter has some great options. My daughter goes to Reed, a very small LAC. Talk about quirky! One would think the word was created just for Reed students. She is nerdy, quirky, and has social anxiety. She absolutely had to go to a small, vegan-friendly school with quirky, smart people. A large school like UC Berkeley would have destroyed her. Freshman year at Reed was super tough on her anxiety. The conference style lectures required participation and it gave her panic attacks. Being exposed to her roommate's super active social life made things worse. But she got help, got a private room, and her anxiety lessened. She is still shy and still has anxiety, but she has learned to handle it better and has become less afraid of social situations and is becoming more comfortable in trying new things. Regardless of whichever schools your daughter considers, please make sure she also looks into what each school offers that would make her college experience even better, such as clubs, internships, campus activities, off campus activities, etc. Make sure she will be comfortable with how roommates are assigned. Some schools allow students to reach out to each other and ask to be roommates. Some schools ask detailed questions to try to match students with very similar interests and schedules. Some only ask general questions. A friend of mine said her daughter's college actually deliberately assigns freshmen students to room with a roommate who has completely different interests as part of an effort to encourage new students to step outside their comfort zones and to get to know people from different backgrounds. Other schools have different ways of selecting roommates. One thing my daughter and I had to get used to was gender-neutral bathrooms. Yes, both guys and gals going into the same communal bathroom. My daughter accepted it much easier than I did. Reed does have one all-women's floor for women who are uncomfortable with the gender-neutral bathroom.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 12,285 Senior Member
    One thing my daughter and I had to get used to was gender-neutral bathrooms. Yes, both guys and gals going into the same communal bathroom. My daughter accepted it much easier than I did. Reed does have one all-women's floor for women who are uncomfortable with the gender-neutral bathroom.

    Oberlin has had gender-neutral bathrooms since well before I arrived there in the mid-'90s. They've even had the option of having roommates of different genders since the late '60s(Was student opt-in, not something randomly assigned by the dorm admins and the doubles aren't the typical open doubles*).

    When I attended, students on each floor/wing get to vote on designating the floor/wing bathroom male only, female only, or gender neutral. IME, it was mostly parents and those of the same/older generations who had far more of an issue with it than the students.

    * Each roommate essentially had his/her own room within the closed double. Just that one of them needs to get through the roommate's room to get to the innermost room or to access the shared door to the hallway.
  • NolaCARNolaCAR Registered User Posts: 226 Junior Member
    Willamette is affiliated with United Methodists but I assure you our entire family is atheist and we did not get a religious vibe whatsoever from Willamette. It is consistently ranked one of the most liberal and green colleges in the country. To learn more: http://willamette.edu/offices/chaplain/relationships/index.html
  • compmomcompmom Registered User Posts: 8,234 Senior Member
    I think my kids would have disliked Lewiston ME. No offense to any residents who might be on here. But being in a place with public transportation, or a near some streets with cafes, bookstores, and non-students walking around was important to them.
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,375 Senior Member
    If you are looking at upper Midwest LACs keep in mind that the flagships are at least as good academically- there will be as many students in her peer group as they serve both the elite and next tier students. Look at the disability services for them and the Honors programs. Large schools have more room for different kinds of quirkiness. Students who choose math/science are different than those who choose social sciences/humanities (or business, engineering et al).

    She will need to decide if small school security trumps available classes at a larger school.
  • LizardlyLizardly Registered User Posts: 2,228 Senior Member
    Another vote for Carleton. It sounds like a perfect fit for a quirky, nerdy STEM girl. If you want a place that is less isolated, try Macalester. It isn't gritty urban, but is near enough to the city that you can work or volunteer or visit easily.

    I'll agree that it is worthwhile to check out your state flagship, too. Bigger, but if you are in a STEM field there is likely plenty of money and opportunity for you to do research. You will have to advocate for yourself more than you would at a LAC.
  • auk508auk508 Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Just to respond to your question, @ChristiGabi, my son went to Dartmouth which I think of as a larger LAC. I didn't mention it as a suggestion because it might be a bit more reachy, but he had a great experience there. It was an accepting place for a quirky kid and nourished him intellectually, too. The LACs are great environments for young adults to grow!
  • ChristiGabiChristiGabi Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    We have decided to take another trip! I want her to visit some schools in the midwest, which would be easier to get to and from than the northeast would be (again, coming from Colorado). We have friends in the Minneapolis area, so we are going to visit them, and see Macalester and Carleton while we're there. Daughter is very excited about Macalester. She's even going to do an overnight there.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,473 Senior Member
    If you're visiting Carleton, do make time for St. Olaf. It has the Lutheran affiliation but many, many non-religious kids are happy there.
  • ChristiGabiChristiGabi Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    We will at least do a self-guided tour at St. Olaf, to check out the campus. We'll only be in town a couple days though, and much of it will be to determine if she even likes the area. She's never been to Minnesota.
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