- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Engineering
- Gender: F
- High School: South Portland High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about Smith is the community, or I might say communities. At Smith, we don't live in "dorms" we live in "houses", and each house has its own special flavor, if you will. Most everyone knows one another, and it is a very good social base, as many people will stay in the same house all four years, and there is a really good mix of people from every class year. I especially appreciated in my first year getting to know sophomores, juniors and seniors, because they knew all of the inner workings of campus and were definitely interesting people that I might not have met had the housing situation been different. I spend almost all of my free time in my house or with people from my house. If your house isn't exactly to your liking, then there are endless options in clubs, sports, and even majors that can be supportive communities. Smith is also in Northampton, one of the best college towns I've been in. There are amazing restaurants, shops, a fantastic ice cream place, an independent movie theater, a few nightclubs (which I don't really know anything about, but figure it's good to mention), and generally everything one could ask for. The food in particular is amazing, not that you'd really need to go out to eat ever because Smith food is certainly the best college food I've ever tasted. Beyond Northampton, there is just the Pioneer Valley in general, with amazing scenery, four other colleges (Amherst, UMass, Hampshire and Mt Holyoke, all of which are connected by free buses) and if you can get yourself out a little farther you never know what you might find.
Smith College is hard. I won't lie to you, but if you got in, then you can take it. Professors expect a lot from you, and you'll really be amazed at what you can, in fact, do. We spend a lot of time studying, but don't be fooled, we spend a lot of time having fun as well. Class size is fairly small, and it is possible to get very individual attention from professors, which is really good. The professors themselves are really very interesting as well, and I've gotten to know a few quite well, which is great, and they also teach really interesting material related to their research a lot of the time. My first semester I took a class on the philosophy of chemistry, which I'm pretty sure I could only have ever taken here. I'm an engineer, so I have a very structured schedule of classes that I need to take, but the people in the department have slowly become good friends and we have our own little groups within which we talk (complain) about all the things we have to do. Whereas my major is really career-oriented, there are definitely amazing programs that are slightly less practical. Apart from rigorous majors, there aren't really any requirements, so you can take whatever you can get into, whenever you want to, which brings a lot of different perspectives to each class, which is good. And even if you find that Smith isn't giving you everything that you want or need academically (or if you just want to get off campus), you can take classes at the other area colleges, which all have something different to offer.
I feel like I've had a good and well rounded experience working and talking with people from different socio-economic, religious and sexualities(definitely this one) than myself, I feel like racially there is something... lacking. Maybe that's just how I place myself, but I don't feel like we're very integrated in that sense. That being said, I don't feel that any student would be out of place at Smith, as stated earlier, no matter who you are there is a community on campus that you can be involved in that will be your new "home". The student body is politically left, but not everyone is, and most people are willing to have intelligent conversations with you if you aren't, which is good. There are people from every financial background, especially from lower socio-economic classes, which I think Smith particularly encourages to come here, which is good.
The Best Things
The Worst Things
That we're so stereotyped