24 Hours: Convince Me

<p>As of right now, I have to choose between Swarthmore, Dartmouth, Amherst, or Grinnell for 1/2 price. I am leaning towards Swarthmore at this moment.</p>

<p>However, I really love Dartmouth, so please try to convince me to go there over the other schools.</p>

<p>My largest concern is the size. While Dartmouth is by no means a state school in size, it is 2 1/2 times the undergraduate population, which could mean less of a sense of community, etc. (although my major of poli sci wouldn't have grad students to take resources).</p>

<p>I just see a slightly more intellectual, less partying focused atmosphere at Swarthmore</p>

<p>Any final thoughts?</p>

<p>You sound sold.</p>

<p>Trust me, I'm not.</p>

<p>Until I visited Grinnell a week ago, Dartmouth probably would have been the defacto choice. Now Swarthmore is. But I just remember how much I LOVED Dartmouth when I visited last spring, and can't let it go so easily.</p>

<p>On the other hand, maybe I am now in love with Swarthmore.</p>

<p>Dartmouth is relatively small compared to other undergraduate schools. It is one of the smallest ( if not the smallest ) ivies, and Dartmouth is known for its sense of community. You can't go wrong with Swarthmore, but we would love to see you on campus at Dartmouth in the fall!</p>

<p>Dartmouth has by far the strongest sense of community I've ever encountered in a college. I promise you will not have trouble with that. Besides which, the town is small and there are limited things to do that are unaffiliated with Dartmouth, so most students tend to congregate on campus for activities, further strengthening the student community.</p>

<p>I was once like you Nickleby, wayward in my ways, and leaning against attending that college in Hanover. After all, I had another wonderful school to choose from, Amherst, once my dream school, where so many of my close friends attend, which seemed to offer such a close sense of community, and had many concerns about Dartmouth. For I am not a drinker, or a partier, but a music dork, an intellectual, and I was bothered by the Animal House reputation of Dartmouth, its reputation for enormous drinking scene, its supposed anti nerdiness its lack of an outlet for people like me, and its larger size. However, I have now chosen Dartmouth over Amherst, and can think of no better place to spend the next four years of my life than in Hanover, which now beckons like a paradise on earth.</p>

<p>Why did I come to such a decision? Well, I went to Dimensions, and saw that the Dartmouth of Animal House is far from the Dartmouth of today. Instead, what I found at Dartmouth was a rigorous academic setting, where students spent most of their time in Baker or Berry Library studying, not in the frats, and enjoying every minute of it-the classes, the discourse. I found an enormous group of dorks, brilliant people, non drinkers, who were perfectly content at Dartmouth all the same, who found an outlet. I saw how much almost everyone at Dartmouth loved it there, an enthusiasm I had not seen from any other student body, which was like a contagion, spreading across everything in sight. Many said they had not met someone unhappy with the school during their entire tenure. As I found out, Dartmouth's former president, James Oliver Freedman, transformed this institution from a booze filled backwater, to "an intellectual oasis," bringing in all sorts of students, putting the emphasis in admissions on academics, etc. Right now, Dart's average AI, or measure of student academic quality, is just a hair behind HYP, and way ahead of the rest of the ivies and lacs. And finally, I saw an intellectual spark, with people yearning for knowledge, and classes that were breathtaking, inspiring, professors that really seemed to care about they were doing, unlike the classes I saw at Columiai, who knew how to teach and awe. I felt not like a number, but like a student, and found the academics to match those of Amherst or Swarthmore, and even surpass these schools with the resources that Dartmouth offered-the breadth of classes, the kinds of guest speakers who come, the facilities available for everything from food, to residential life, to libraries, to classrooms. I was concerned about Dart's rural location, but not anymore, as its cultural offerings seem to rival those of medium sized cities. Newt Gingrich visited the day before I arrived, the famed violinist Midori came just a week before, and the Hopkins Center for the Arts apparently has over 450 events per year. Dartmouth also had a political balance that I did not see at other institutions, with conservatives well represented. Now, I do not know your political affiliations, and don't think it matters, as I think you should be able to hear a well balanced dialogue wherever you go, no matter what your persuasions. Swarthmore does not offer that dialogue, but instead represents one of the most liberal schools in America, which shuns conservatives, has burned flags and service men in effigy, and seemed to build itself around political correctness. Finally, I had some friends stay at Swarthmore for visiting weekend, who needless to say, will not attending. One of their major complaints was the rampant pot smoking on campus, and how they couldn't breathe at night on the floor they were staying, because smoke pervaded everywhere, as well as complaints about the students, and the general air of the place. Do you really want that? Anyway, I found something in Dartmouth that I could never find in Amherst, and which seems not to be present at Swarthmore, a true life to the place, whether social, intellectual, a breathtaking array surroundings, and an undying love for the college. As Daniel Webster statedin the Supreme Court Case Dartmouth v. Woodward almost two centuries ago, "Sir, it is a small college, yet there are those who love it." Certainly Swarthmore has a niche identity of its own, and as a self professed nerd, I will not deny its allure. However, I believe there's a huge scene at Dartmouth for you, without many of the negatives that Swarthmore will offer. And if you want community, go to Dartmouth, for at Swarthmore, people don't always fully appreciate the institution, but constantly complain about the work, the facilities, seeing the same students over again for 4 years, and a myriad of other campus life aspects. While people at Dartmouth will also have lots of work, don't you worry, they usually won't complain, because they love the place too much. And it is not small size, but love for an institution, that best instills a sense of community in a college. I hope I've been of help, and I do hope you will choose Dartmouth.</p>