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rotflmaospencerrotflmaospencer Registered User Posts: 201 Junior Member
edited January 2011 in Swarthmore College
What are some bad things about Swarthmore (preferably from current/past students)? I have yet to find any facet of Swarthmore that I find undesirable...
Post edited by rotflmaospencer on

Replies to: Shortcomings?

  • Dad2Dad2 Registered User Posts: 532 Member
    Its a great school, and students with the right "fit" typically love it. Swatties definitely work harder than at virtually any other college or university, there is minimal to no grade inflation (no easy A's or even easy B+'s), but that isn't a problem if one is happy there (and grad schools recognize this). As with any small school, you know or at least recognize almost every student on campus, there are fewer course offerings and potentially more scheduling conflicts than with large universities, but this isn't unique to Swat (same can be said of Amherst, Williams, Midd etc.), and Swat is larger than, say, Haverford.
  • liminalliminal Registered User Posts: 113 Junior Member
    The liberalism can get a little tiring; some people are liberal to the point of being close-minded about all ideologies and ideas that are non-liberal. Students complain a lot -- sometimes it's warranted, sometimes it's really not. The administration can seem pretty stingy at times (especially given our enormous endowment... perhaps it's stayed enormous for a reason?) The libraries close at 2am on weekdays and earlier on weekends; on the weekends it's not that annoying but 2am is pretty early sometimes during the weekday. Journalism and news coverage on campus could be a bit more hard hitting... The food isn't as terrible as everyone makes it out to be but it can be pretty frustrating when Sharples manages to mess up something you thought couldn't possibly be messed up. Vegetarian/Vegan options are good but they get REALLY repetitive. Eating on campus really tests ones creativity.

    Academically Swat leaves almost nothing to be desired. Yeah we don't have thousands of classes to pick from but for a small school there's a good 300-400 classes PLUS haverford and bryn mawr and penn (though students like to complain that it's too hard to get to those schools --- but it's definitely possible).
  • KeilexandraKeilexandra Registered User Posts: 5,492 Senior Member
    Let's see: The food is pretty unhealthy if you don't like salad or vegetarian. Dorm heating gets turned down low at night, as I discovered during finals week (I usually walk back at 2am after the library closes, but decided to finish a paper overnight in my room). I identify as socialist, but even so, the constant emphasis on diversity is a bit annoying. There's not as much grade inflation as at peer schools, and postgrad options don't fully account for the difference. I've had a scheduling conflict between two languages for two semesters in a row. It requires almost 6 hours to take a 3-hour class at Haverford (I actually scheduled this out and decided against it for that reason).

    Overall, quality of life at Swarthmore (unrelated to social life, which is low-key but more than satisfactory to me) can be lower than its peers. Since Swat also offers more obscure academic fields than its peers, I consider it a fair tradeoff. And I love it, despite the above complaints.
  • A.E.A.E. Registered User Posts: 398 Member
    Many negatives are discussed in this thread: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/swarthmore/460290-students-alums-take-swarthmore.html. That said, as I just pointed out in another thread, the surrounding communities are mediocre, and Swarthmore has a fairly bad walk score of 68. Incidentally, if you're unlucky enough to end up in the wrong dorm (Mary Lyon), the score drops to 58.
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