- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Economics
- Gender: F
- High School: East Chapel Hill
- Transfer Student: N
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 like academics here, although they are often extremely rigorous. Professors here find out what's impossible for you, then they place the bar about a notch or two below it. Therefore, they expect a lot from you, but they understand your capabilities and trust that you're able to do it. Once you increase your abilities, they shift up the bar. Because of the small size, class sizes are often no bigger than 25. Professors often learn of your name, but not all are that friendly. Sometimes, office hours are inaccessible, or just plain old incompatibility gets in the way. There is competition, but it's often not in the same form as it was in many high schools. Students care about their grades, but they understand that a B in Grinnell is an A in millions of other schools. Also, they don't care about getting the .01 point above the rest of the class; yes, they want their friends to do well, but it's not everything.
We are a very liberal campus. So liberal, often it makes moderate students here look like pure, red-blooded southern conservatives. The majority of students are politically aware, if not politically active. We do have conservatives on campus, but they are sometimes looked down upon as if associated with the neoconservatives (they never are). Our campus is open and accepting; we really want to accept all, but often those who are considered homophobes will not like campus at all. That is one thing our campus needs to work on: with hate, fight with love, as hate against hate produces a war.
The Best Things
community and support netowrk
The Worst Things
Small size, academics, social and academics stress combined