Would Like To Know More About Amherst

<p>what are students at amherst like? are students really preppy and/or drink a lot? this is what i’m gathering from the swarthmore board, but this is a real turnoff for me, so wondering if that stereotype is really true? or are they more similar to those at swarthmore - more down to earth kind of kids? what is the campus culture like? is it diverse (racially, socially, and geographically)? what is the surrounding area of the college like? would you say it is a cloistered and isolated campus? thanks. :]</p>

<p>Am parent of freshman D at Amherst. Just returned from Parents Weekend. From what I could see, I couldn't tell if the kids did or didn't have money (that's what you mean by preppie, right?). They were all friendly and inviting. There were athletic and non-athletic types. Over 50% from this freshman class came from public schools and are receiving FA. Over 20% requested sub free housing this year, so you can find kids who don't drink, just as you can find those that do. Same as any campus. As to diverse - there are blacks, orientals, whites, international students, and Amherst along with Williams has taken in pre-med students from Xavier in New Orleans (primarily black) along with their professors. Kids from all over the US and the world.</p>

<p>thanks a lot for responding. amherst seems pretty wonderful :]</p>

<p>There are students at Amherst that are preppy and drink alot, but one of the things I like about Amherst is that the student body is very diverse--you can find all types of people here. I currently live in North, the substance free dorm, and I'm definitely finding a lot of down-to-earth, non-drinking people. I'm also on financial aid and not rich at all, and I have not found that to be a problem in any way.</p>

<p>By the way, I also visited Swarthmore, and found their students to be too serious and intense, even about having fun. But, it all depends on what you're looking for.</p>

<p>swarthmore has more hippies and is very radical/alternative.</p>

swarthmore has more hippies and is very radical/alternative.


<p>That's not accurate, unless you are referring to the 1960s.</p>

<p>If you had said more "geeky", I would buy that. It's more non-preppy, non-jock smart kids. Not much tie-dye or goth or pierced and tattooed or types that would fall under the "radical/alternative" headings such as you might expect at a Reed or a Bard or a Hampshire or even among some segments of Smith.</p>

<p>Amherst and Swarthmore share a lot of cross-admits, especially among the groups that would fall under the "diversity" rubric.</p>

<p>Amherst (the town) is an amazing, quaint town with lots of independent bookstores and nice coffee shops. The seasonal variation is gloooooorious, we have lovely autumns and majestic winters and beautiful springs and summers. It's just a very very lovely area. The student body may not be so radical/alternative, but the community around it is, and there's an endless supply of radical/alternative events in the neighboring town of Northampton to suit any radical. Northampton also has wonderful restaurants and shopping centers and awesome venues for live music and a great independent theater. Every fall we have the independent film festival in Northampton which is the largest in New England. There is a train station about 20 minutes from Northampton and an airport a bit further, and Boston is about an hour and a half away. It's a very, very lovely area. Antonio's Pizza in Amherst is increeeeeedible and there are great ethnic restaurants and vegetarian options, too. The public transport system makes everything really easy, but the center of Amherst is a very short walk from the campus.</p>

<p>I LOVE the area. I can't stop gushing about it.</p>

<p>I love the area but if you make Amherst-Boston in an hour and a half, hope that the vehicular constabulary doesn't catch sight of you. True, I've done 80 on the Mass. Pike and been passed emphatically. But.</p>

<p>Yeah, I guess it can be a lot longer with traffic. But still!!! It's a beautiful place. I'm biased because it's my hometown, of course...but it's gotta say a lot that a girl is raving about her hometown! ;)</p>

<p>My D has applied ED, and we have visited twice; once last summer, and again about three weeks ago. Amherst is a great college town; as there are about 30,000 college students in the area because of the five colleges. The college campus itself is quite beautiful; not stunning, but very new england looking - red brick, ivy, etc. The town proper is small yet engaging. Lots of cozy shops and coffeehouses, restaurants, side streets, etc. Noethampton, about 5 miles away, is even nicer, I think. One does not have to look hard to find something to do in the area. Granted, I did not speak to many students, but I would say the campus is fairly diverse. Evitajr1 is correct; there is a little something for everyone. Drinking parties if you want that sort of thing, and parties with no alcohol if you prefer that. I find the students to be quite studious, and take their studies very seriously throughout the week. The weekends, I'm sure, are a bit wilder; but which college campuses aren't on weekends? Great academics, great town, great profs...what's not to like?</p>

<p>I was reading up on another thread contrasing amherst and williams, and someone mentioned that "Amherst felt cool, distant and disengaged." can anyone assess the validity of this statement? are students at amherst friendly and down to earth? or not. that nurturing environment is important to me, as it is the main reason i would like to transfer from berkeley in the first place. i'd appreciate anything you folks have to say about this. :P</p>

<p>Interesting the mentions of NoHo in the discussion of Amherst. Actually NoHo is where the action is. Amherst is really nice; but it would be truly unbeatable if it were in NoHo.</p>

<p>I prefer Amherst to Noho. They're both absolutely amazing, I mean, but I think Amherst is a lot prettier and nicer of a town. They both have fabulous independent bookstores, too, though!!1</p>

<p>There is a litlle bit of grundgy in NoHo that makes it one of my #1 college towns.</p>

<p>Gavroche, imo, Amherst itself is a place where you're just a little too likely to die of boredom, and it has an almost prissy air in the way it's kinda squeaky clean. NoHo has a bit of an edge to it. Just a dollop to make it interesting. As opposed to South Hadley (Mount Holyoke) where I'm convinced people <em>do</em> die of boredom, by the dozens.</p>

<p>gavroche, i'll leave it to you to hopefully dismiss TheDad's "prissy air" and "kinda squeaky clean" descriptions as ridiculous, vapid generalities. to be sure, NoHo has more action than Amherst, but it's only 10 mins away, and there is something (for lack of a more adequate word) lovely--quite lovely--about Amherst. I'll assume, based on the name, that TheDad does not attend UMass or Amherst and thus does not have firsthand knowledge of the probability that one might "die of boredom" in the town of Amherst. I go to Amherst, I am never bored here, and I am from a big city. In my experience, TheDad's summary couldn't be more inaccurate. Let's hope for specific knowledge and more care in further posts. Pinkarmpuffs, Amherst students are not disengaged and unfriendly. Feel free to contact me about that, particularly if you're interested in comparisons to Williams.</p>

<p>Northampton does have a bit more "grit" than Amherst, but I don't find Amherst remotely "prissy" or "squeaky clean"; it's a lively and stimulating area that still manages to be quaint and lovely. The bus system also makes it easy to get to Northampton if people prefer, but with all the events and college students in Amherst, there is always plenty to do. I love this town. </p>

<p>South Hadley is very boring, though.</p>

<p>Jeff, I have a brother who lives in Amherst and I visit when visiting Smith. You can draw your conclusions and I can draw mine...but mine are not out of thin air. Oh, yeah, and my biological father taught at U/Mass-Amherst for many many years. </p>

<p>Gavroche, at least we agree about South Hadley.</p>