- Class: Freshman
- Gender: F
- High School: Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
- Transfer Student: N
Carleton's student body is quite small, which is great. The profs always know who you are, even in "big" lecture classes, and encourage students to come to office hours. One of my profs helped me get an internship this summer, something I was not expecting to happen out of my freshman year. It's easy to meet great people, but I suppose it might be a problem if you were trying to avoid someone. Luckily the students are all intelligent, friendly, and welcoming. Northfield a few good restaurants very close to campus, which is especially important during winter term. I personally like Sweet Lou's Waffle Bar, which is owned by one of the profs and stays open until 2am on weekends. If you're looking for city life, Northfield is not for you, but if you want to be able to eat out a few times a term and buy a few groceries, then the town is fine. The biggest recent controversy was over the new dining workers' contract. We're switching to a new food services company next year, and the dining workers were worried about losing their ac***ulated benefits. Some students protested outside the temporary office of the new company and posted signs around campus about it. The new company had a meeting to explain their plans so I think it all got worked out.
Being such a small school, there is a lot of class participation and prof interaction. I'm the type of student who would sometimes stay after class to talk to my teachers in high school, and the classroom environment seems pretty comfortable to me, not to say that every one does it. The profs are trying to look out for the students' best interests, and are particularly open because there are no grad students to occupy their attention. I chose Carleton because it was so different from the cutthroat New England schools I was considering. Everyone there seems much more laid-back and cooperative. Students don't compete with each other for good grades; they compete with themselves. Any night of the week students are ushered out of the Libe at 1am by the bell. I think the school does it because they know we wouldn't stop studying and go to sleep otherwise. However, there are several 24-hour computer labs for when you need to print a paper at 4am. Students are extremely intellectual and often have academic conversations in the dining hall, and even occasionally while drunk.
I'll admit it, we are not the beautiful people. But in a way, Carleton takes pride in its less than perfectly made-up students. Plus when the windchill is down to -40(Celsius or Fahrenheit, it's the same on both scales, which any student here would know), there are more important things than looking pretty, such as not getting frostbite on the way to the dining hall. Even if we don't spend hours on our appearances or maybe because of it (and thus concentrate on more important aspects), Carleton students seem to be attracted to each other. There's a rumor the 60% of Carls marry other Carls, and I doubt that it's too far from the truth. Students are generally very left wing. There is a general push towards making the campus more environmentally friendly, and students are closely involved. If there were more conservatives around to spark debate, students would probably be more politically active than they are. As it is now, there aren't very many people who need convincing.
The Best Things
Everyone is extremely intelligent and friendly.
The Worst Things
The food, but if you're creative you can make some decent meals out of what they have.