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What I love most about Bennington is that there seems to be an unspoken rule that everyone must be invested or curious in SOMETHING. This might be ceramics, this might be dance, this might be feminist literature combined with an interest in chemistry. Whenever I think of my friends who are just in school to get a degree and get it over with, Bennington seems so refreshing, as everyone is interested in learning. However, this can also mean that students tend to be self-focused because they are so caught up in their work. (I was hoping for classmates who were a lot more interested in community service, politics, the environment, etc.) There's something for everyone at Bennington. There are the hipsters from LA and New York, the hippies who NEVER shower, the larper population, and people like me who don't fit into any of those categories, but we all feel at home, spread out in our little houses around Commons Lawn. Because almost every student lives on campus and there's not much going on in the town of Bennington, this means that there is ALWAYS something going on on campus. This might be a visiting band, a gallery opening, a visiting historian, a play, and a hiking trip all going on in the same night... and you can only do three things. We are a small school-- this is good and bad. With only 600 of us, we have close relationships with the people in our houses, (dorms), and our professors. This also means it's hard to avoid people. Bennington has something very special in addition to its unique system of declaring a major. Field Work Term began in the 30's because the school didn't have enough money to heat the houses during the winter; it was decided that all the Bennington girls would go off and get experience in the working world for two months, and the tradition continues, (even though we now can afford heating throughout the winter). Field Work Term is invaluable; every Bennington student completes a seven week internship for every year he is enrolled at the school. This internship usually relates to what the student is studying, but not always. There is a helpful Field Work Term Office on campus, where you can go to look up suggestions in our internship database, get help writing a cover letter or resume, and most recently, get career counseling. Students do all kinds of things: I know people who have taught disabled how to ski, helped young women in Rwanda, worked for production companies, sculptors, greenhouses, museums, architects, schools... It's an amazing feel to graduate from college already armed with an impressive looking resume. Bennington is a magical place-- there is a strong sense of community that unites us all in feeling pride for our little school. No one really can understand what it's like to look up from studying to hear firetrucks come through campus with their sirens going at the end of every term, announcing our biannual Midnight Breakfast, and watching the shadows of your friends move across the lawn towards the Dining Hall, where our professors serve us pancakes and tater tots and eggs. You'd have to be there to understand, watching our history professor move up and down the stairwell, offering doughnuts to students waiting in the long line to get inside. I've had the best and worst times of my life there; every friend I've made is unlike any person I've ever met. I've had great support and advice from my teachers and the staff, and always can't wait to go back as soon as I leave.
Okay, so the coolest thing about Bennignton is going to be the students. The students are what makes it all worthwhile. Because they will do amazing things. I've been astonished time and again by what my colleagues were doing.
Bennington sports a student body of less than 700, and an impressive student/faculty ratio, so one has to one wonder: What's the catch? Situated miles from town on acres of idyllic Vermont hills, the campus is self contained and self maintaining (kind of like a well designed fishtank). Life at Bennington is rarely dull, with performances starting within a few weeks of the start of term, projects to work on, official themed House parties nearly every weekend, and events sponsored in various locations around campus. In fact, with everything available to students, it's hard to determine just why students are so focused on one another's lives and dramas. The easiest way to steer clear of this is, of course, not to date anyone and not to sleep with anyone. But let's get real. This is college, and you came for the sex as much as you came for the classes. As my favorite teacher once told me, "You're living in a fishbowl, kid." Welcome to Bennington.
Nice small size, very close knit community. Everyone knows everyone else. People either don't know about Bennington, think it's a good school, or say "Hey, isn't that the school where everyone is naked all the time?" I spent most of my time in my house Booth, VAPA, or ***enson. Not really much of a college-town relationship but everyone I met in the town was really nice, I had a few townie friends. The administration was ok, didn't really bother me much, kind of suck-ups. The new student center was a big controversy. Too modern, not like Bennington at all. No school pride of any sports sort of sense, no teams. But I believe we are proud of our community, as much as we **** about it. EVERYTHING is unusual about Benn. I'll always remember nights spend in ***enson. People most often complain about the food (which isn't all that bad just gets old after four years), the student center, and having too much work (but we'd all be bored and sad if we didn't have our work).
Bennington College is like Hogwarts. The house you live in has a definite personality and relationship to the community and you generally become more familiar with them and when drama insues (it always does) you'll find your house grows to be like a family. You either love here or you hate it here. Even when you love it, it's like an old married couple kind of love, where you're constantly making snide, bitter remarks about the Dining Hall food. Speaking of Dining Hall, this becomes a huge part of your life. You are required to pay for the Dining Hall for all your meals. Breakfast, Lunch Dinner. Its a favorite point of common grievance between students. The food is often exotic, bad, and bland. Our Dining Hall often makes meat-eaters into vegetarians. And yes. There are many meat-eaters at Bennington College. The Adminstration is not well-liked. They have made many decisions recently that have filtered out some of the Bennington stand-bys. The book store guy that used to be a porn-star who was always there for advice had his position terminated. Our own beloved security guards who give how-to-fix-your-car classes on the side and who will take care of you and who are more concerned about you not dying that about busting you are having their positions placed in jeopardy. And while they are firing the people that we love, they are putting in a swimming pool. We don't understand. Nobody understands. Everybody blames and hates the admistration. I say Hogwarts because you are not just signing up for a school here, you are signing up for a world. You learn from everybody, from the sculpture tech, from your fellow students, from your faculty advisors. There's not a lot of university brand school pride. But there is a lot of passion. This is not a place for the weak because the bubble will drive you insane. You have to have passion to survive here.
Bennington Music Student Junior
Bennington is a tiny liberal arts college nestled in the middle of nowhere on an old farm. There are only about 750 students, undergrad and graduate combined, and at times all you want to do is hide in the library than see the same group of faces again. But it's also great that it's small because you are forced to be with people who are interested in similar things as you are. I think the academics are the best thing about Bennington. The teachers at our school are required to do what they teach, as opposed to just going to teaching school and then finding a job at a university. They are so experienced and we truly get to learn from experts, which is really lucky. I spend most of my time on campus, on campus... it's really small so people are usually in their room or someone else's room or in the dining hall where we all eat together at the same time or in the student center. There is no college town. The closest city is Albany, NY which is about 45 minutes away. The town of Bennington consists of a Wal-Mart, a Hannaford, Price Chopper, multiple car dealerships, a bowling alley, and a Taco Bell/KFC joint restaurant. I do have to give "Four Corners" (where main street has an intersection with 3 other streets in the heart of Bennington) more credit than we do because it's very cute and has a coffee shop and a pet store and other places where Bennington college students could hang out but we don't. I'll always remember driving to school for the first time and looking out across the highway and seeing Bennington College sitting on a green hillside all by itself with all the clapboard houses and the big clock on the commons building.
Anonymous SophomoreReviews provided by: Unigo