- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Economics
- Gender: F
- High School: Wooster High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about Bard, it's beautiful. If you come to a school like this, bring rainboots, snow boots, and a smile. Summer to Fall will blow your mind with how pretty the campus is, but come winter, you'll curse those unpaved roads (save a Bard student, add drainage!!!). It's a small community where you do eventually know everyone. Be prepared for some cabin-fever, but it's nothing a dash to the nearest apple orchard/vineyard can't heal. For an isolated school, there are plenty of places within reach if you or a lucky friend have a car. Housing is pretty decent, the rooms are usually pretty spacious and there is space to spread out in common areas and kitchens. Bard works hard to have something going on all the time from trivia nights to movies in the student center theater. And if there isn't a band playing at smog (the student run concert 'hall'), then you must be the last kid on campus before a break! Bard's administration will probably leave you a little flustered if you are a rigid time monger, the popular phrase is 'bard time' and everyone seems to follow it. I've waited over an hour for a scheduled meeting with a dean of students more than once. They just get so involved with the student their with, all else leaves their mind. You could say they are really invested in making sure you're complaints/needs are heard, though it can sometimes be a drag if you aren't the one behind the closed door! Students have the most complaints across the board about food services and maintenance. Broken washers and dryers dot the sad land and eat quarters for breakfast. Heaters and air-conditioners are always on the fritz and the vending machines vend when they feel like it. But you live and you learn, Bard sure takes the high-maintenance out of a person.
Academics are what you make them. The classes are no breeze as they have large amounts of reading no matter where you go (that means even math majors aren't safe!). The school emphasises writing which is evident through the L&T 3 week introduction to college the school puts on for incoming freshman. The campus is closed but to fall athletes and Freshman for orientation and a reading and writing intensive program during the day. It's a good chance for students to get a feel for how important writing and reading are at Bard. But really, it's like any college, work work work. Classes are usually small, with introductory course such as microeconomics being the biggest you'll ever sit through numbering 30 people. Class participation becomes more important and participated in after introductory courses when everyone starts starts to take classes that they are really and truely interested in. With so few core requirements, you're really given a chance to explore at Bard. Competition is minimal and if it exists, it's usually hush and hush. No one admits they work hard, and no one admits they are naturally talented. But beleive me, everyone seems to be exceptionally good at something, or exceptionally interesting, if for some reason they feel they need to hide their attributes (which a Bard kid who wants to rediscover themselves would!). I have heard however many horror stories about life after Bard, how the school isn't very helpful when it comes to career directing. I think that the truth is too many kids graduate with obscure degrees in odd fields since you can make up, for the most part, whatever major you like here.
What a student body it is. It's my personal oppinion that this campus really is covered with 'hipsters', but then again, I barely understand what that term means, I'm too midwestern for my own good sometimes. The kids are either trendy or too care free to dress all the way. But it's rare you'll find someone in sweatpants and a ponytail, more likely leggings, boots and bed head. You might feel out of place here if you're used to homecomings, football games, and popped collars. I know I miss a good old super bowl party, personally. While there are distinct groups of friends who hang out with only people who can match their hardcore-ness, whatever that is, at Bard, your core group of friends will likely be a mismash of kids who are like you and people you avoided in high school. You couldn't likely pick out one group of kids from another in a lunch room, unless dressed in Bard athletic gear, they stick out like a sore black thumb (Bard's colors are deep red and black). Most kids are wealthy and have places to 'summer' but you wouldn't know it from how they act, it's just assumed, trust me. I'm not well off though, and I don't feel bad joking about having to run to financial aid every two minutes to afford books. Sporting events aren't highly attended by anyone else but other athletes (we kind of stick together here) but that's changing! The student body is starting to look more mixed, less the typical art student or starving writer. There are athletes and there are hippies and they all seem to mesh happily.
The Best Things
The freedom and safety to pursue it.
The Worst Things