swarthmore a good fit?

<p>hey, im a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill, but its simply not the place for me [too big academically and socially, too greek focused, too much like my home (im from NC about an hour away) and academically too focused on grades rather than learning/simply not challenging). i definately plan on transfering after this year, and at the moment im considering colordado college, bates, colby, hamilton, and swarthmore (although its VERY unlikely i could get in there). i feel like academically any of these schools would be what im looking for, so im mainly wondering about the atmoshpere, but heres some info about me and the type of school i think would be best for me, and id love to hear if you think bates would be a good fit (and how good of a fit it would be), or if you know anywhere else that might be a better fit. thanks so muuch for your input.</p>

<p>im pretty laid back, dont get too stressed out, esp about school (work). but i do take my studies seriously. i want to be somewhere that values learning, rather than simply getting good gradess; personally im not really motivated by getting an A but simply by studying what interests me (this was a big problem for me at UNC)... im trying to find a laid back atmostphere with this same approach to learning. one thing i really want is a place where ill have small classes, where learning takes place through (chellenging) discussions (i hated just sitting in a lecture 3-4 hours a week, and honestly could not learn in that type of enviroment). i think im going to major in political science (theory) and english (literature and/or creative writing), so i'd definately like a school strong in one of these, and a strong writing program would be best. politically im pretty liberal, and (agreeing with Locke) feel that as long as you dont harm others, or infringe upon their rights, you should be able to do/think as you please: i definately want to go somewhere the reflects this idea; where free thinking and ideas are accepted and encouraged.</p>

<p>i know this is a lot, but i definately dont want to choose the wrong school for a second time. any input is greatly appreciated. thanks.</p>

<p>hey, i'm just a senior in high school, but reading your description of the ideal school, I think you should look into the 5-Cs (specifically: pomona college and pitzer college). These are located in California and are very academically focussed but also very chill. Pomona would be for more of a traditional route to college (choosing a major and taking some core classes that aren't overly oppresive). At Pitzer, you would have the freedom to create your own plan. I think that attitude and academics wise, these fit you.</p>

<p>Additionally, I think Kenyon College (Ohio) sounds like a good place for you as it is a great school for writers. Additionally, the students seem very chill.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>thanks, those schools have actually all been recomended to me. ill definately take a closer look at them all seeing as they sound like a what im looking for, and multiple people have pointed me towards them. thanks for your help, and good luck with your own college decisions/application. def do your best to make the right choice, because it sucks being at the completely wrong school. thanks again!</p>

<p>bct1989, Swarthmore sounds like it might be a good place for you to challenge yourself academically, but without knowing what your high school stats were and how you are doing academically at UNC, it's hard to know whether you have any possibility of being accepted as a transfer. I can tell you that my son did not care at all about his grades at Swat and was always a kid who loved to learn for the sake of learning.</p>

<p>thanks for the feedback. overall im a fairly comppetitive applicant at Bates Colby Hamilton etc, esp with SATs above the media and good grades at UNC, however Swarthmore would be a bit of a stretch. but acceptance can always be odd, and if i really feel it would be the perfect fit i can always stay at UNC for a bit longer to make my hs transcript count much less, by showing my abilities at the college level. thanks for your help.</p>

<p>I think Swarthmore is a fit for you.</p>

<p>mmm. When I asked my interviewer what one thing he would change about the school, he mentioned that at Swarthmore, many people take themselves too seriously; as in, virtually everything becomes an intellectual conversation, etc. From what I gathered, it seemed like Swarthmore student body is generally a very intellect-driven, serious-attitude school. If that sounds good for you (as it does for me), you are a fit. However, if you prefer somewhere where students just break out into spontaneous playing in the fountains and random sand volleyball games/less focused on intellect in everyday life, you should look into Pomona or Claremont McKenna.</p>

<p>I don't know. My daughter had a subscription to Vogue for four years at Swarthmore. The rubgy team runs naked through the administration building for cash - on Parents Weekend. They chase each other around with foam Pteroactyl swords. They build boats for the annual regatta in the Crum Creek. This image of Swarthmore as a serious campus culture isn't really true. Are the academics rigorous? Yes. But, from what I've seen, humor is probably just as strong a defining characteristic.</p>

<p>It is true that the student body is generally very academically oriented. I think that a lot of students do take themselves seriously, but they also know how to relax, because being stressed out so much all the time is unhealthy, and it's important to set some time for fun. So people here in general do take themselves seriously, especially when it comes down to getting their schoolwork done, but not 24/7. People take the time to hang out and go to a party and drink. And if that's not for you, then do something else, but everyone here takes a break from time to time.</p>

<p>to the students create a learning for the sake of learning enviroment, or are they more i have to get an A in every class because i need to have a 4.0/can get this job type feeling/etc? or possibly a bit of both? thanks for your help</p>

<p>*do (instead of to)</p>

<p>Grades are important at Swarthmore. We can talk all we want about learning for the sake of learning, but students care about their grades. There is a very fine balance between doing what's necessary to get the grade and following one's passion. Students are very passionate about what they do, but they're not the kind that can necessarily bear getting Cs while 'learning for the sake of learning.'</p>

<p>Although students assuage disappointment about a low grade with thoughts like, "well, at least I learned a lot," students strive to get the highest grades they can during the semester because, although evaluation doesn't always reflect how well a student has mastered material, grades are usually good indicator of performance. Students do care about grades at Swarthmore. It may not be as cutthroat as other schools, but don't think that Swatties don't care about grades. Most of us, like other usual college students, have post-graduate plans that demand solid performance. </p>

<p>Of course, we find time for fun, but if you don't enjoy your course of study, Swarthmore's probably not the place for you. Although the stereotypes of liberal arts students are sometimes true (reading Kant on Parrish beach), Swarthmore is just as legitimate as a top university and is, more often than not, much, much more demanding.</p>

<p>Yes, the emphasis is definitely more on learning rather than grades, but generally a good grade is an indicator of good performance, as fhimas said, and grades are important if you decide to go to graduate school, med school, and for certain jobs. I plan to major in mathematics and perhaps go to grad school in math, so high grades in math are important, whereas my grades in something like political science probably won't ever matter. In other words, there is a learning for the sake of learning environment, but students here don't escape the reality that medical schools, law schools, and certain jobs all require high grades.</p>

<p>People do care about grades at Swarthmore, because they want to do work they are proud of. They want to have their professors respect them as scholars and think highly of their work. They also want to get into graduate school. So yes, they care. </p>

<p>However, I think you'll find that few people, if any, spend time talking about their grades to others. I don't think I could tell you what most of my friends have been getting in their classes. It comes up occasionally, but I don't feel any kind of competitive atmosphere around grades, at least not in the classes I've taken.</p>

<p>Damn I wish I was here two years ago… would have recommended St. Johns.</p>