- Gender: F
- High School: La Grande High School
- Transfer Student: N
People here tend to be interesting whether I like them or not, which is awesome. You can have a conversation with almost anyone and learn something. Most everyone works very hard, much harder than they did in high school, though a fair number of students (mostly freshmen) *** around a lot and have academic trouble accordingly. The work load is not exaggerated--if you do all the work you are supposed to do AND try to have a social life, you won't get a lot of sleep. Quite a few people drop out. The honor principle governs most interactions at Reed. There's a lot of trust in students' ability to handle problems, and so there's a lot of responsibility. When I tell people I go to Reed, I get a lot of different responses. Mostly tonal variations of the word "OH." Everyone knows we work hard here, but there are a lot of other connections that people make--drugs, radical left-wingers, awesome open-minded people, and so on. Reed has a reputation. It's not entirely accurate. There is a lot of drug use, and as a rule people are pretty liberal, but I know plenty of straightedge people and several libertarians (though, granted, very few Republicans).
I love humanities 110 because I love writing papers and thinking about literature. I'm taking music theory and I find it very interesting to look at music outside of playing it (all the theory I've had before has been in connection with playing or singing). A hard science (chemistry, physics or biology) is required of all Reed students for graduation. I'm taking chemistry, which was a bad choice because I never took it in high school. Though it's supposed to be an intro class, the pace is very fast and my mathematically-challenged brain has trouble keeping up. Still, of the sciences, from what I hear the intro chem class is the most cohesive and organized. Biology students get very little homework but have killer tests and labs; the physics class switches between professors a lot and gets a LOT of homework and boring labs. Classes are small, though (at least freshman year) not as small as advertised. My professors all seem to be intelligent and I respect all of them. Quantity of feedback varies but professors are always available to talk if you want to know more about a topic.
Reed is trying to diversify but it is pretty socially and racially homogenous. Most people here are white and upper-middle to upper-class. This can get frustrating. No one I've met is openly racist, though, and it's anathema to flaunt wealth (people try very hard not to act privileged). Students are predominantly liberal and non-religious. There are very few practicing religious people (I know two or three) and very few Republicans (though I know several libertarians and plenty who just don't care). There are LOTS of jews (secular/non-practicing, as a rule), LOTS of Californians, LOTS of socially awkward (and usually lovable) people, LOTS of cigarette smokers, LOTS of people with a genuine interest in learning for its own sake. And LOTS of psych majors, for some reason, or maybe I just run into them oddly frequently. For the most part, I feel comfortable interacting with different groups of students. There are clear groups but there are plenty of travelers also. You will probably feel out of place at Reed if you fit under any of these definitions (though it shouldn't necessarily stop you from coming--the school could use more diverse opinions): 1) Very religious 2) Very conservative 3) Very against drug use (you probably will not be pressured to use drugs yourself if you are against it, but be aware that drugs, especially weed, are very common. If smelling pot smoke bothers you, you will be probably be annoyed a lot.) 4) Very close-minded 5) Very against academic wankery (there's a lot of that here. It's lots of fun unless it bugs you, in which case it can get very annoying very fast).
The Best Things
Almost everyone's interesting.
The Worst Things
Sometimes you have to wade through the bull***.