- Class: Senior
- Major: English
- Gender: F
- High School: Boston Latin School
- Transfer Student: N
Reed is a tiny, liberal arts college. The campus is pretty, but small enough that once you've slept with someone, there's no way to avoid them. You'll keep running into them in commons, or the pool hall, or that class you thought they wouldn't take but they did and now you have to sit in the same room with them three times a week and pretend it isn't awkward. The population of Reed is big enough, however, that I'm still meeting new people in my year. The academics are phenomenal, and Portland's a fun city (although it helps to be 21). It's easy to get involved with student government, or just get some funding for a new extracurricular group. We don't have a football team, but the rugby players are all very dedicated to their sport. Ultimately, Reed is work hard, play hard -- we might stay in the library until 2 AM on a regular basis, but we also have more fun. There's nothing I would change about Reed, and having been here for four years, I can say with absolute certainty that I would make the same choice if I were picking a college now. That said, Reed is NOT for everybody.
Academics at Reed are brutally hard and will probably make you cry at least four times each semester. But then you get to write your thesis, so that's okay. Of course, the process of writing your thesis will probably make you cry at least four times every WEEK, but it's totally worth it. I'm an English major, and while Reed does not have a gender studies program, I've been writing gender studies papers in most of my classes for over two years, and my thesis is on gender dynamics in science fiction television. The professors have been incredibly encouraging and helpful, and I've learned more than I had ever imagined was possible. Reed is a small college, so we don't have the variety of classes that larger universities offer, but I've always been able to study what interests me -- even without a gender studies program, for example, it's possible to focus on gender studies in pretty much any literature class.
Reed is full of hipsters. You can recognize them by their lame haircuts and remarkable ability to name at least five unknown indie bands in any conversation. I try to avoid them. Reed, like most of Oregon, is very white. I went to a public high school in a major city, so Reed is much whiter than what I'm used to. There are minority students, and a multicultural resource center, and we all interact with one another. Students tend to group themselves based on academic interests and extracurricular interests. For example, a lot of the linguistics students hang out together, and some of them are also in the association of Reed gamers, and they tend to hang out together. My roommate has friendships that seem mostly based on a love of Guitar Hero. The student body as a whole is less inherently politically charged than it used to be, but there are political groups on campus that organize events. While many students at Reed come from an upper middle class background, there are also many, many students on financial aid. We're ALL worried about finding jobs after graduation, but that has more to do with the current economy than with how well Reed is preparing us for the real world.
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