- Class: Junior
- Major: Sociology
- Gender: M
- High School: Oakland Technical High School
- Transfer Student: N
It's a small school, and it can get a little claustraphobic some times. But if the idea of a small school is appealing, then you can guess at the advantages - knowing your professors and your professors knowing you, being close to classmates, feeling like a member of a close knit community - and you can take heart that all of those things exist at Macalester. But on the flip side, it can all feel like a little too much. Have a bad day and everyone will know. Have a relationship go in the hole and everyone will ask you about it. People you don't even know will know lots about you, and vice versa. But that's the cost of it. At the same time, a smart comment in a class, a prominent place in a popular student org, or a number of other things besides joining a frat or being the captain of the football team can make you a minor celebrity on campus. You really do experience a connection between the person you want to be and the person people recognize in you, as recognition has a way of coming easily. That's a great feeling, and that's the advantage of a small school, and perhaps this one specifically, though again, I have very little comparative basis.
The largest class I ever had was 40 something people, the smallest was six people. Every professor I've ever had knew my name then and still does. I often drop by in my professors offices and I see my advisor at least twice a week. He knows my future plans, my hopes, my dreams, my interests - everything except my social life outside of class. And all that allows him to really narrow in on the advice he gives me. It doesn't hurt, either, that I've had two classes with him. Departments are all different from one another with regard to their ethos and social strata. I'm in Sociology, which is a tight knit group of professors and students, and other departments are like that as well, while some have larger classes, more students and a different ethos all together. There's a lot of varriety in that way, and a lack of gen ed classes means you can experience a lot of it.
Mostly white (is that surprising?) A lot of rich kids, but not of they type that will want to rub it in your face or who even take any pride in it. Wealth is not something that's espoused very much, often its something that is downplayed or denied all together. Lots of international students, some say they're cliqueish, and there is some truth to that, though that's because of a lot of reasons and not simply because they hate Americans or anything ridiculous such as that. Most people are from the Midwest, and of that slice, the vast majority are from Minnesota and to a lesser extent Wisconsin. They make up the real core of the school.
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