Hello, I'm considering Smith as my future college. So far so good. From the blogs I've read, Smith appeals to me as a very warm and loving place with a student-friendly environment. I have several questions, some of which may appear petty: 1) Is it true that education in Smith is quite intense? If so, when you are tired, what is your driving force to keep going? 2) Are there trolley buses there? 3) What is the price of laundry service?Where and how often can it be done?4)Professors-helpful? Lila
Don’t worry about your questions sounding petty… I promise they’re not!
1) I would definitely agree that education at Smith is intense. We’re expected to do a lot of good quality work, and it can get pretty stressful and tiring sometimes. But, at least in my case, I don’t really feel like I need to look for a driving force to keep going; it’s just always there. I think part of the reason for that is that I really love the classes I take, so doing the work for them doesn’t feel like a chore or anything. I think our open curriculum speaks to this, because we get to pick our own classes and decide our own course of study, so most of the people in each class are really invested in what’s happening in it and participating, because they actually want to be there. It breeds an entirely different classroom environment, a really dynamic and engaging one. When I do feel down in the dumps, however (and this does happen every once in a while), all I have to do is remind myself of why I’m here; I’m getting an amazing education so that I can do amazing things with my life. And it also helps to think of the people I’m doing it with, too. I find comfort in my amazing friends, who are all going through the same things I am, and in the rest of the Smith community, who are all incredibly inspiring people. The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone, no matter what you’re going through.
2) No trolley buses that I know of. Smith has a small enough campus that you can walk or bike anywhere, and we have a public bus system that runs throughout all the 5 Colleges, which 5-College students can ride for free (this bus route also stops at other places like the mall and grocery store, so you can easily get to those places, too!).
3) All houses have their own laundry facilities (I was just told by my fellow tour guides that some houses in the quad share their laundry rooms, but that students there don’t even have to walk outside to get to them) which you can use at any time, as long as one is available. My house has 3 washers and 3 dryers for the entire building, which holds 76 people, so it’s pretty easy to find time to do laundry. Sometimes you have to wait a bit for a machine to become available, but it’s not bad. You can pay for laundry using your OneCard, which is basically your lifeline at Smith - it’s your ID, your meal card, your key to your house, etc., and you can put money in it and buy things like printing or food at the Campus Cafe. You can also use quarters like at any laundromat, but it ends up being cheaper if you use your OneCard. I think it’s about $1.50 per wash/dry if you pay with change, and $1.35 with your OneCard.
4) Professors are extremely helpful. Not only are they outstanding academics and teachers, but they are very open and sensitive to students’ perspectives. All professors hold regular office hours a week where they make themselves available to students with questions, and they are also available by appointment. Aside from that, many professors are open to have coffee with students or meet with them more informally, and some even invite their classes to dinner at their house so they can meet their family and stuff. It’s really great. I’ve had professors who know my name on the first day of class, before I’ve even met them, because they’ve taken the time to learn our names from the roster beforehand. I’ve gone to professors with questions about class, to ask for advice regarding many different things, and to ask for recommendations. Our professors are awesome!
I hope this answers your questions. If not, or if you have more, just contact me again!