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I love the open-curriculum and self governance. Basically Grinnell's gives you responsibility over yourself and your actions in the classroom and outside. Also, there are no RA's here or tough-ass security guards. What I'm trying to say is that no one has an eye on you simply stalking you and waiting for the minute you screw up. If you get into trouble on this campus it is because you were a dumbass and went searching for it. For example, you get in trouble for underage drinking. Yet, no one knew you were underage and consuming alcoholic beverages, instead you were being a dumbass and either drank too much and threw up everywhere, caused a scene so security came, or you got alcohol poisoning. If you notice, all of these consequences could've been avoided if you would've just had some responsibility. Hence, self-governance is badass.
Grinnell is a great place for people who try not to stereotype themselves because everyone enjoys being a unique individual and everyone tends to accept others. It feels like the students who end up here are the kinds of people who were well-rounded socially in high school and enjoy having many groups of friends. Tho close community that exists make students feel like a family. Students are motivated to challenge themselves academically. People like the open curriculum because it allows a student to focus on what they are most interested in, but also allows them to try new subjects here and there. Students like to get involved in lots of activities such as sports, theater, art, DAG, dancing, outdoor clubs, and many other kinds of groups. Students are actively involved in the student government and care about changing Grinnell for the better. The new buildings around campus make Grinnell look like a place to be proud of and they offer a lot resources to the students. Grinnell has a homey feel to it. Students seem comfortable and happy with their living situations, their opportunities on campus, the friends, the faculty, and the general atmosphere.
The best thing about this school is its community. However, sometimes it's just too small; socially, I get stressed out way too many times. I leave campus for a day or two on the weekends, so I can get a good dose of the world outside of the Grinnellian bubble. Sometimes I wish people outside of purely academic circles have heard of this school. The one thing I don't like about this school is that people feel the need to overemphasize the "no need to conform" ideal on campus. it ends up producing a mainstream based on counter-culture, and that if you're not truly "hippie" or "nonconformist" you get looked down upon. Sometimes my friends say some of the things I do are mainstream, or conformist. It bothers me that it's a current method of self-definition; I'm perfectly content with myself being conformist or mainstream, as long as I'm happy with it. I'm not always with the mainstream, but I am also not always without it. The small size of the campus does not help with these sorts of social pressures, either.
I love Grinnell! It is such a strange phenomenon. Everyone here is really talented. Everyone here is smart, and it is so different from my high school... the student population is so diverse considering that we're in the middle of Iowa. Something I will never forget is when I came to Grinnell for the first time, and I saw a student riding a campus bike to class without shoes, and dreadlocks down to his butt... I was hooked! Not everyone is that extreme, but the opportunity to be extreme is there... and acceptance is everywhere!
The best thing here at Grinnell is the community. We're small enough that we're really close knit as a campus, but big enough so that you don't know everyone. As for the town, well, the downtown is very small, but cute, and we do have a WalMart for any random shopping. If you really feel the need for a big city, Iowa City and Des Moines are only an hour or so away. When I tell people that I go to Grinnell, I usually get one of two responses. Either they mistake the name for Cornell, or they rave on and on about how fabulous it is. While the first response is irritating, the second is dead-on. Grinnell is fabulous.
Grinnell is definitely small, and it definitely takes less than an hour of ambling in any given direction to hit cornfields. The college does a truly impressive job of bringing cultural activities to campus, however. Look at today's events on the campus calendar. Look at this week's. I couldn't hit all the interesting lectures, films, student groups, and concerts if I tried. Being a small campus does mean you can't get lost in the crowd. I'm a senior, and by now I know a goodly chunk of the students and profs by sight or hearsay. School pride is an interesting question. Most of us love Grinnell, but no one walks around painted red and black, and most people only follow the sports that their friends happen to play. There are no frats and sororities. On any given weekend you can find a dozen wild parties if you want that, and you can find a dozen substance-free gatherings if you don't. There's no pressure to pick a particular style of recreation.
Christina SeniorReviews provided by: Unigo