- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Music
- Gender: M
- High School: Boyertown Area Senior High School
- Transfer Student: N
When looking at Gettysburg College one should remember that it is located in the middle of rural south central Pennsylvania (which out of state people refer to as Pennsyltucky). Often I have heard people used to big city living (mostly from New York), complain that Gettysburg has no clubs, is located in the middle of nowhere, and is "too quiet and slow" for them. If you think Gettysburg is going to have a wild nightlife with parties galor, you'll mostly be restricted to Fraternities, which I've been told are tame in comparison to some of the clubs in New York City. Gettysburg however has the added benefit of being within an hour of Harrisburg, two hours of Washington D.C., and ninety minutes of Baltimore, so if you need to get to a larger city every now and then, you can team up with a few friends and perhaps make a weekend trip of it. As to the complaints of Gettysburg being a small town, how can the town grow anymore when it is surrounded by the National Parks Service (which often threatens to buy up more land every now and then), and whatever the government isn't buying up, the college is buying for extra housing. So while there exists "townies" and people who live in Gettysburg. Mostly I'd say that the very existance of the town itself is restricted to the point it's almost endangered.
One of the best things of Gettysburg is its academics. Gettysburg students have the benefit of being taught by a highly trained, friendly, and knowledgable faculty. However I must say that I've run into more Gettysburg alums in the faculty than I haven't (which begs the question: Has Gettysburg's curriculum changed from how those alums were taught when they attended Gettysburg, or are they mainly just teaching the way they were taught, thus continuing a Gettysburg education tradition from their professors?). However despite this, I have seen that the majority of students at Gettysburg do not take advantage of these knowledgable professors as much as they could. While professors do hold office hours, they often have to remind the class that they have them, since very few students use them. I also haven't witness many intellectual conversations outside of the classroom. In fact most of the conversations outside of the classroom if anything are degenerative. Students study, but mostly procastinate and wait until the last minute to do anything about homework and projects, spending many all-nighters in the library (which thankfully is open 24 hours during the week). Half of Gettysburg academic requirements seem to be hoops that are designed for students to jump through. While I understand the importance of the benefits of a liberal arts education, the many requirements which Gettysburg requires a student to fufill, almost pushes the limits of whether they can be fit into four academic years of study.
As already discussed the majority of students are upper middle class white northeast kids. However there are growing diverse groups, which while they exist, for the most part like to stay together. I had always thought the expression "birds of a feather flock together" was just that, until I came to Gettysburg. While definately there are friendships that are going on inbetween different groups, and with the division that majors provide to these social groups, many friendships and bonds form across groups, in the end the expression mentioned above holds true. My second roommate from Hawaii (and a bunch of other western states since his parents moved a lot) really felt uncomfortable at Gettysburg. However unless you are a social loner, who is pessimistic, and comes with a predetermined mind to dislike Gettysburg, you probably won't feel like him.
The Best Things
The Worst Things