Thank you for your kind words my friend! It’s times like these that our job is worth it, where we are validated by YOU. AND THAT’S WHAT MATTERS AT THE END OF THE DAY. THAT YOU GUYS LOVE US AND THAT WE’RE HELPFUL AND ENTHUSIASTIC.
We wish you the best of luck with your incoming college adventures! And we hope you have a joyful rest of your life!
Remember: never accept love without thorns.
Great question. Here’s my take on it.
Any adjustment is stressful: your routines are disrupted wherever you go and you have to cope with the unfamiliar and strange constantly. This school may be particularly strange to you. Vermont winter might also be! (plus we miss 7 weeks of it with field work term…) But being immersed in something unfamiliar is an incredibly enriching experience and it’ll turn you into an awesome person who can be two different people: old self and Bennington self. Bennington self can synthesize ideas in an interdisciplinary paper and immediately articulate eloquent intellectual critiques on a moment’s notice. It takes time to grow into this self and there are some growing pains, but why else go to college? Note: Bennington self might also get a tattoo. Consequently, old self will too.
Courses are immersive, too. And taught to all levels first-years to seniors as well as seniors who have never studied that subject matter before. Within that room, we’ll meet you on your level: I’ve found teacher’s assessments of my work to be relative to my progress, not to other students. (Thank goodness. Otherwise neuro this term would be deadly)
I’m not sure what ‘technical’ writing is, but Bennington is solid for all types of writing. We aren’t big test takers — we write essays and papers and fiction and poetry and such instead. Discursive psychology has some things to say on the matter of technical writing…
Bottom line: you’ll be immersed, make mistakes and grow — whether it’s a not so eloquent class remark (I’ve mastered the art of turning something pointless into something that sounds meaningful by concluding ideas with “I just think it’s worth noting”) or feedback on your first paper (sentence fragment, consider revising). This is a space where mistakes are okay and there’s a safety net.
Take care and take it easy.
It’s ok to be in shock! But just not for that long ok? Your loved ones might worry.
Congratulations ~untamed free bird~. You are now part of a rich history of students who decided they were going to design their own education, become self-advocates for their interests, in a dynamic and exciting social environment!
THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER AND YOU ARE GOING TO BE HERE COME FALL!
A good question will only generate multiple responses so here you go (courtesy of the Friday morning shift):
Julius ‘17: “It’s halfway across the world (Julius is from Japan)”
Liam ‘14: “I still needed time to explore different disciplines. If I went somewhere else I wouldn’t be a music student.”
Ray ‘15: “I wanted to study in multiple disciplines and I fell in love with the sense of community here. And also Oceana Wilson (Crossett Library Overlord).”
Kagan ‘16: “I had a lot of financial aid given to me by the school and I really liked the idea of adding 3-4 lines to my resume through Field Work Term during my time here.”
Rachael ‘15: “Bennington was the opposite of my former college. And my former college was not a wonderful place! I also wanted to go to a school covered in trees.”
Glennis ‘15: “It was love at first sight. I really liked the idea of designing your own curriculum.”
Carlos ‘14: “I came here because I could study architecture through different disciplines. And Field Work Term seemed to be a great opportunity for academic and/or professional growth while still being an undergrad.”
Sara ‘14: “Bennington was among my first choices and they were very generous with their financial aid. I was very lucky!”
We wish you luck with your decision-making!
~Admissions Interns of the Friday Morning Shift
Please don’t die. I don’t know what I would do.
— Parke ‘15
Start by listening to this Sharon Van Etten song because she just makes everything okay and really understands what it’s like:
No. Stop reading and listen to the music. I knew you were going to just play it in the background and then keep reading. But don’t do that. Listen to the music.
Okay, anyway: just hang tight. You’re still eligible for merit aid; and the good news is, we give merit aid out to people. Like actually. And because we get to know you as a person and not a number (from your tour, interview, portfolio, paper, essays, etc.) the aid decision isn’t based on arbitrary data like SAT scores. There is no use in worrying about the price — in my opinion — until you know what it will be for you. Make the call then.
Not at all! Send us your stuff in whatever order works best, and we’ll assemble it once it gets here. I can’t promise other colleges are the same, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t be.
Sorry to hear about your cat and I hope finals went well. It’s really not a big deal. Like, its just not a big deal. We’re bad at email too. To help you figure out who emailed you, we compiled a list of everyone who was working in May that is also working here next fall with a couple things each person probably would have mentioned (just to jog your memory)…
Anushka G. - Video games, Texas and being a sweetie
Liam D. - Working out, Taylor Swift, binge eating vegetarian cuisine
Sarah G. - Television, midcentury modern furniture, otters
Alan D. - the 70’s, cult TV & slasher movies, existential crises
Julia H. - Elegance/being perfect, alternative medicine, tarot cards/astrology
Glennis H. - Buckminster Fuller, gluten-free life, Alaska
Parke H. - Hello Kitty, Russian literature, Silver Springs by Stevie Nicks
Rachel J. - Women’s rights, The Bennington Free Press, 90’s clothing
Selina P. - Conflict resolution, Argentina, baking and ice skating and biking and knitting and spinning
Michael T. - Prank-calling Selina during work, Iceland, fixing the world
Alana C. - Maine, queer politics and the like, dancin’!
You can always strike up a correspondence with us. The summer crew is up there now, but everyone else will be soon enough!
This girl is already cool…she’s a KNITTER
Every college will tell you the same thing: be yourself and be honest. Maybe all of them mean it, but the message is lost on most high-schoolers. It was lost on me until I was on the flip side of the application process working here in admissions. Your high school is indoctrinating you to tell us a few quick things: you are involved in your community, you are enthusiastic and you love learning. That’s fantastic, but if you don’t give us any context we just have to take your word for it. We want to know what you love learning about. Show us how much you love learning by writing about a book that changed your life. As for community, I distinctly remember saying during my Bennington phone interview something like “yeah…I’m pretty disengaged with the community here. Its hard for me to get involved because there isn’t a lot here I’m passionate about…that’s something I would love to learn about at Bennington, though.” And here I am. I’m not advocating saying that necessarily. But sincerity shows. If you spend all of your time watching video games, cool. I’ve had some great conversations about how video games can be educational with students during my time here (the best example is one student who liked to toy with them to explore hypothetical government structures. Think about it. In SimCity you are playing God.) So, don’t tell us what you think we want to hear, tell us what you want to say; we can tell in your voice (or in your writing) when you care and when you don’t. We just can.
The good news is Bennington will do a lot of the work for you (if you let us). Take every opportunity we give you: e-mail with a current student, do a tour, do an interview, send us your art or your dance or your piano or your portfolio…whatever. We want to get to know you. If you don’t know what makes you interesting, we’ll actually help you figure it out through all of these things. (You never knew, for instance, that that is why you liked SimCity — try a poli sci class) We’ll help you, you just need to make the first move.
I just got an email asking me for college advice. In general: How do you find the right college? How do you know what classes to take? We talk too much about Bennington on this blog. Here’s my advice on finding the right school. In general.
You don’t know what you are passionate about yet. Okay, you might. But if you are like most high schoolers, you don’t. And how would you?
Roughly 8% and growing every year (and hoping to continue to grow every year). Here is a map of where our incoming freshman class is from; as you can see we’ve got people coming from Canada, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Austira, Armenia, Malawi, Pakistan, Vietnam, South Korea and Japan. Actually, this year they make up 15% of our incoming class.
Oof, that’s a doozy of a question. There are a LOT of different kinds of diversity — social, racial, sexual, physical, mental, philosophical, geographical…not to mention skittles color preference….with only around 720 attending Bennington, we would have to select from an ENORMOUS pool in order to make the campus “perfectly diverse” (which, ahem, I don’t think is actually possible). I would say that instead of focusing on what makes us different, I can tell you about what brings us together: a sense of passion for what we do, working hard without anybody cracking the whip, ambition, relentless creativity, and focus (although sometimes we could work on the focus, amirite). If you come to Bennington and look around at the students, you will see how diverse we “look,” which is one part of a bigger picture. We’ve already answered some questions on this blog about being a person of color at Bennington — unfortunately I can’t answer those more fully because I’m white as a halloween ghost going through existential crisis (although now that I’m in LA maybe I’ll get my 1% tan on). So I would say if you’re worried about diversity, the best thing to do is visit Bennington and talk to people. There are some pretty diverse thinkers on this campus, I’ll tell you that much.
I used to wear a t-shirt like this all the time as a kid. Good educatin’ on my parents’ part.
— Parke ‘15
The reason I’m not asking a counselor to answer this question is that I think they would all say different things. There are just too many ways for an essay to be good. Having said that, I read applications when I was working here over FWT in preparation for phone interviews (though I really had no say in anything at all). The ones that were the most fun to read and the most engaging, were always the ones that were the most sincere. Saying “be yourself” is tacky, but like…….*-~*~-be yourself-~*~-*! If you act like you are someone you aren’t then you’ll start to look the same as everyone else. And you aren’t the same as everyone else. You are cooler than them.
In terms of the academic essay, show us that you’re a thinker. Research papers are helpful, too, but that only shows us how you compile and organize. Give us an argument for something; something with a thesis that you argue for or against.