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Emerson is definitely an acquired taste. I've met a lot of kids who were unhappy here and ended up transferring, generally these were jocky or preppy kids who came here for the broadcast journalism or marketing majors and ended up horrified by the community of quirky "artsy" kids. For the most part though, people tend to find their niche pretty easily, even though they can be a little socially awkward at times. The thing is, it's such a specialized school that if you're not really 100% sure you want to do something in the film, journalism, tv production, radio, creative writing, marketing, theater, musical/dance realm, [insert creative communication field here] then this school probably won't be for you. It attracts a certain type of person--for the most part, creative, liberal types who idolize the Beat generation or the Punk generation and name-drop all sorts of obscure references not necessarily out of a desire to be elitist so much as out of a genuine enthusiasm for their chosen field of study. Kids here are really passionate about the subject they're pursuing....even the "so called" druggy stoners get *** done.
The best thing about Emerson is that you can someone to collaborate with on anything you can think of, whether it's music, film, writing, a community service project- anything. The one thing I would change is the fact that Visual Media Arts majors can only have one concentration and can't double major. Emerson is a very small school. I like that there's a relatively small number of students, because it's easier to form connections and network, but you do have to be willing to venture a little further out into the city on your own, because the "campus" is tiny. I spend most of my time on campus in a dorm building. There really isn't an on-campus hangout, but there are plenty of places right off of campus, like the Common, which is just across the street. Boston isn't the biggest city ever, but unless you're from New York or LA, you'll probably find that you have plenty of options of things to do in your free time. There are several movie theatres in the area, the Aquarium, Fenway Park, tons of affordable restaurants, Newbury Street and plenty of other shopping, and some pretty good concert venues. There tends to be a lot of school pride. The Orientation Leaders are great about making incoming students enthusiastic about the school, and the few people that really aren't proud to be at Emerson are pretty much the ones not coming back Sophomore year (and that's not a lot).
I transfered to Emerson College in 2007. The process of transfer was very difficult. As a transfer, you are forced to sign up for semester classes after the entire school has been given the chance to design their schedules. This made it impossible to take anything outside of broad requirements for my first semester. The film department/visual media arts department seems to be saturated with students. Though this makes for a good community of working film students (there are always student film shoots to work on), it makes it impossible for the school to meet any equipment needs.
I have a problem with the dining hall closing at nine, at the latest, and the Max diner closing the grill at 8. Often I like to eat at ten or eleven. Especially if you have a meeting that starts right before you're hungry enough for dinner, and goes past when everything closes. That is a common occurrence. The best thing about college is you start exploring the freedom to establish your own daily schedule, except now I have pressure to get up in time to eat lunch early enough to be hungry enough for dinner before 8. But this is not a huge deal, in terms of actual significance, I suppose. Sometimes when I tell people I go to Emerson they worry about my heterosexuality. More so than my status as a non-smoker (of cigarettes). Sometimes they assume I'm a film major. I spend most of my time literally on campus, though that is just because I live there currently. Everything is very convenient, and leaving Boylston St. is not necessary. I have my dorm, my friend's dorm I can kill several hours in, my class building, my library, my dining hall, and my c-store all without even crossing Tremont. I think the administration is fairly solid. They could use some work in terms of inter-department relations. Like I'm a writing major with limited access to screenwriting classes, unless I want to go through the process of changing departments, not just majors. One experience I'll always remember is during the first few weeks of Freshman year. The atmosphere of breaking yourself down and just meeting a bunch of people was so prevalent, I just chilled in an elevator for an hour or two, talking to people. Towards the end, someone walked in and said "Oh good, I was hoping you'd be here" and asked for advice on his love life. Then I was invited to hang out with his group for a while. I don't sense an abundance of school pride.
Emerson is amazing. It's right in the center of everything in Boston, which is both fun and extremely convenient. Boston is also a great college town and you're able to meet so many other people from different schools. Of course, Emerson isn't without it's faults (Not as much housing as we should have- although this problem is in the midst of getting fixed), but if you're looking for any sort of career in communication or the arts, there is absolutely no other college that compares. The programs here are amazing and especially all the organizations on campus allow you to get experience in anything you could imagine, even if it's outside your major. The student body is also incredibly supportive and makes networking easy and beneficial.
Let me just start out by explaining, I hate Emerson. With a burning passion. The administration won't listen to you, AT ALL, as a student, until you drag your parents into things (and even then, expect to all be treated rudely). The school is ridiculously overpriced and blows massive amounts of money on COMPLETELY unnecessary things (cough, parties for the SGA). That being said, I think my opinion is a valid one; I came to the school excited to attend, and open-minded, and I honestly gave it second, third, and fourth chances all this past year, when it certainly hadn't earned any. The only reason I haven't transfered yet is a good roommate and the fact that I'm going on their Netherlands program next fall. A word of warning to the wise; Emerson is NOT an art school. It's a COMMUNICATIONS school. There are writers, and there are filmmakers--there are NOT painters, sculptors, drawers, etc (or there are very few, and they obviously aren't pursuing it as a major). There is a good deal of musical talent, but there are also a whole lot of people parading around pretending to be musicians. I agree, film is an art form, but there are no artists here. On a happier note, the city is absolutely incredible! Don't don't DON'T stay in the downtown area; check out Chinatown, Southie, ALLSTON, Roxbury, Little Italy, Fenway...it's got SO MUCH personality if you just get out of the school's area and look for it. We are on the Commons though, which is pretty cool.
Sid FreshmanReviews provided by: Unigo