- Class: Senior
- Major: Other
- Gender: F
- High School: West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South
- Transfer Student: N
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.
In general, academics at Emerson aren't overly difficult. That being said, I've pulled many an all-nighter here and been totally swamped/overwhelmed/at the verge of breaking down, etc. I feel like the reason for that is Emerson's academic environment is one that seems to emphasize supplemental extracurricular work outside of class. Almost everyone you meet is going to be involved in some project or another--working on a film shoot on the weekend, or on Guage, or slaving away at the radio station 24/7 (by the way, overnight shifts at WERS are a ***ing nightmare...minus the guys who set up their fruitstands at the Haymarket on Thursday nights and call in with requests every 15 min to keep you entertained/awake...those guys rule!). Anyway, with the plethora of ways to get hands-on experience outside of class, students typically end up taking on so much that their regular coursework is kind of like an afterthought and a nuisance. Sometimes you'll learn something new and useful, but for the most part the real learning is done outside of class on these types of projects. Or at least, in my experience. It's also pretty easy to argue your way to a better grade and professors are generally pretty open to giving extensions and cutting breaks if you demonstrate any amount of effort. Oh, if you're a writing major...workshops SUCK, and you'll have a lot of them. You'll spend all day going around the room critiquing people's crappy writing and after about a week or so, people will just start repeating the same criticism over and over. I'm pretty sure that collective workshopping just makes the pieces worse anyway by diluting them with a lot of different (and mostly bull***) opinions.
The campus is pretty small so it feels like you know everyone even when you don't. I'd run into Emerson kids all over Boston, which helped promote a feeling of comfort and familiarity wherever I went. There isn't much racial diversity, but I'm pretty sure the administration is very aggressively trying to change that. People are generally white, liberal, middle class, lots of gays, lots of girls, lots of "individuals." Broken down by major it goes: Polished, glossy marketing majors mostly from LA or NYC who are too cool for school; pretentious somewhat dorky film majors; pretentious/dorky WLP (writing, literature and publishing) majors, most of whom are really bad but just don't know it (and, worst of all, nobody tells them!), stuffy/polished journalism and broadcast journalism majors, eccentric and loud theater majors, and the radio kids are pretty much a cult.
The Best Things
The castle! And how passionate and driven the students are.
The Worst Things
The halfway house down the street and the crackheads in the Common. A couple of my friends got mugged right outside their dorms!