- Class: Freshman
- Major: English
- Gender: F
- High School: Oak Park and River Forest High School
- Transfer Student: N
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.
Classes are very personal. Teachers know their students well. My tutorial class bonded well and is having a reunion dinner soon with our professor. The professors are genuinely interested in seeing a student grow and learn. They will often come support students at events outside of the classroom. As a volleyball player, I enjoy seeing professors at the game and knowing that they are interested in their students' lives. There is a level of respect given to the professor from a student that clearly marks the distinction between professor and student, but there is also a level of casualness and comfort that creates a sense of friendship and equality. The classes at Grinnell are interesting and challenging. It is nice have small classes that are based more on student discussion rather than large lectures that consist of a professor speaking the whole time. Teachers grade fairly hard here, and students who used to be straight A students find it hard to accept that getting straight A's isn't as easy at Grinnell. However, students learn to value the experience more than the grade, and they realize that just being a Grinnell graduate will open up many opportunities.
Grinnell is full of quirky people, but maintains a level of normality. It is common to see someone strolling in the dining hall wearing a cape or a bright tie-dyed shirt. Most students are comfortable with being casual and there isn't too much emphasis placed on appearance. However, because the winter can be so harsh, it's not uncommon to see almost every girl on the first day of 68 degree weather in April wearing a sun dress. When the opportunity arises, Grinnell students clean up real nice. When there is a formal event, students are always impressed with how good everyone looks and always comment on how we should dress up more often; yet, we realize that there are more important things that focusing too much on dressing-up so only doing so every once in a while is fine. Students at Grinnell love to have a good time and let loose on the weekends. Themed parties, dances, and drinking events occur every weekend and almost all of them are open to the student population. Students from other schools who visit on the weekends often rave about the fun parties and the freedom we have back at home or at their schools. While it's a good time, Grinnell students appreciate the responsibility they are given with self-governance and do their best to keep a level of maturity and safety. Students are primarily left in terms of politics and they are active. Many students returned for the Iowa caucus in November- some even flew back to Iowa for them! However, students do not fuss about politics too much and remain fairly neutral during the year, focusing more on school and friends. Students will fight for what they believe in when the time arises. For example, the hate crimes against the gay community that erupted this year were met with many types of support from the students on campus. Students may be liberal, but they are also moral and they know that whether you are left or right on issues of sex, hate is never acceptable. It is nice to see that the students here care a lot about and respect each other.
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