Simon’s Rock Early College MAG

February 20, 2010
By Notimelikethepresent BRONZE, Briarcliff, New York
Notimelikethepresent BRONZE, Briarcliff, New York
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Great Barrington, MA: When I went to college after tenth grade, many of my former classmates wrongly assumed that I had gone to a boarding school. I've grown accustomed to explaining that it's possible for me to be 17-years-old and a sophomore in college.

Until a couple of years ago I was not aware that there were alternatives to the traditional public school system. As a sophomore in high school, I came across Bard College at Simon's Rock, a liberal arts school in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. This institution offers students the unique opportunity to begin college after their sophomore or junior year of high school. I've wanted to become a writer since I was very young. This ambition brought me to Simon's Rock for the Young Writers Workshop and serendipitously led to my enrollment in its early college. There I learned to organize my thoughts and write essays and stories in many genres.

Simon's Rock has a superb faculty; every class I've taken has been an engaging experience. Professors use a roundtable format that lends itself to lively discussions. Because the classes are small, teachers are very approachable, and collaborating with them is easy and organic.

Those at Simon's Rock have helped me mature as a thinker and opened my mind to new ways of looking at things. This is a small community that brings together students from diverse cultures, nationalities, and backgrounds. We have gotten to know one another very well – one of the advantages of the small class size. The environment allows me to mingle with people of many interests whom I would not have been exposed to otherwise. Two of my housemates, for example, are expert ceramicists, and I've developed a sincere appreciation of their art.

Conversations about issues ranging from politics, to religion, art and literature have been the best part of campus life. Everyone brings a fresh perspective to the table. Over the course of these two years, my class has become my family.

Simon's Rock is not the only school that offers higher education to younger students. Another program is the Bard High School Early College in New York City. Ambitious teenagers may benefit from these options if their high school education isn't helping them reach their potential. High schools put a lot of emphasis on preparing students for standardized tests. This practice leaves much to be desired as students rush to answer multiple-choice questions to beat the ticking clock. And the pressure placed on teachers to ensure their students succeed on these exams limits their ability to hold open discussions, digress from the curriculum, and allow students to explore ideas.

I was fortunate to have stumbled onto Simon's Rock. I've returned to my former high school several times during breaks and found that even some teachers and guidance counselors are unfamiliar with the concept of early college. National Public Radio recently did a segment that described the college and its curriculum in depth. This publicity captured the attention of several students in the class below mine, and ultimately led to their enrollment.

I'd like more students to be aware of the fact that their high school is not the only option out there. If you're a motivated teenager looking to enhance your education, visit Simon's Rock, sit in on a class, and consider whether starting college early is right for you. As Joel and Ethan Coen, two famous Simon's Rock alums, wrote in their Academy award-winning film “No Country for Old Men,” “You stand to win everything.” See more at simons-rock.edu.


The author's comments:
I want others to know about this opportunity

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This article has 33 comments.


super12345 said...
on Dec. 13 2013 at 2:22 pm
They recently hired a new director of career services. I haven't worked with her, but my understanding is that she is very helpful in terms of finding job/internship opportunities and transferring.

KatsK DIAMOND said...
on Apr. 11 2013 at 6:09 pm
KatsK DIAMOND, Saint Paul, Minnesota
57 articles 0 photos 303 comments

Favorite Quote:
Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind.
~Hans Hofmann
You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.
~Ray Bradbury

Me too. My school is religious with great academics and awesome people, but I think this could be a great opportunity. I'll be applying next year....

on Jan. 25 2012 at 6:13 pm
hannahbananasplit SILVER, Rockland County, New York
8 articles 0 photos 29 comments

Favorite Quote:
כל העולם כולו גשר צר מאד והעיקר לא לפחד כלל
The whole world is like a narrow bridge and the main thing is not to be afraid at all
-Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
(sounded a lot better before it was translated... oh well)

I just got a mailing from them and I was practically drooling at the mouth. My current school is a religious school with great academics, but this is so different. I wish I could go...

lemonbeagle3 said...
on Jan. 24 2012 at 6:59 pm
Hi, I'm in eighth grade, and I am in the process of filling out an application for a early collage high school. I had not been aware that some early collages had writing workshops, being that I am a little fuzzy on what is taught at the schools. Hopefully the one I might attend has a Writers Workshop!!

on Dec. 19 2011 at 4:53 pm
Notimelikethepresent BRONZE, Briarcliff, New York
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments
Okay, well Sue Lyon is very helpful at helping sophomores successfully transfer to other colleges. She is extremely efficient and went out of her way to drive me to tour and interview at Skidmore College, where I ended up transferring to. She helped me negotiate with their registrar so I could transfer in as a junior despite my age. From what I've gathered, many members of the most recent senior graduating class have gone on to find jobs and live fulfilling lives after the rock.

curiousalum said...
on Nov. 11 2011 at 3:52 pm
Hye, I graduated from SR 6 years ago, and I'm just curious whether their career services has gotten any better. Do they have real resources for kids looking for jobs? Actually emphasize how important internships are? Programs about life in the real world? Back then they pretty much trained kids to either go straight to postgraduate school or just kind of fumble around to figure out how to get a job as a 19 year old college graduate. How are things now?

Naomi518 GOLD said...
on Oct. 10 2011 at 10:07 pm
Naomi518 GOLD, Windsor, Connecticut
11 articles 15 photos 59 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light" ~Albus Dumbledore

thanks it really did! I got to a small school as it is (less than 100 students) so I think it might be a good option for me! I will definatly visit sometime soon though! :)

Naomi518 GOLD said...
on Oct. 10 2011 at 10:06 pm
Naomi518 GOLD, Windsor, Connecticut
11 articles 15 photos 59 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light" ~Albus Dumbledore

thanks it really did! I got to a small school as it is (less than 100 students) so I think it might be a good option for me! I will definatly visit sometime soon though! :)

on Oct. 10 2011 at 8:27 pm
Notimelikethepresent BRONZE, Briarcliff, New York
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments
just contemplate how badly you want to start your life over anew at this institution because even though it is very great for all the reasons that i described, the flaws that emerge from being such a small institution are hard to ignore. I hope this has helped.

on Oct. 10 2011 at 8:25 pm
Notimelikethepresent BRONZE, Briarcliff, New York
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments

your prior education doesnt matter.

the food is less than stellar.

the art studio is very fancy and has many options. the best employee that the school has, Mr. John Snyder, works in the photography darkroom.

The people are generally friendly and nice but there is a lot of drama stemming from awkwardness and miscommunications as well as the small class size. not speaking ill of anyone really helps. 


on Oct. 10 2011 at 8:22 pm
Notimelikethepresent BRONZE, Briarcliff, New York
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments
okay i'll try and answer all of these as efficiently as I can. I got my AA at Simon's Rock in May 2010 and I've visited since then and it is very apparent that the institution has changed dramatically.

on Oct. 10 2011 at 8:20 pm
Notimelikethepresent BRONZE, Briarcliff, New York
2 articles 0 photos 6 comments
now i'm 19 and a senior in college!

on Oct. 10 2011 at 2:46 pm
KPetty13 BRONZE, Saint Cloud, Florida
4 articles 0 photos 22 comments

Favorite Quote:
"If you're lucky enought to be different, never change." ~ Taylor Swift

It's so cool that you're only 17 and a sophomore in college!

on Oct. 9 2011 at 8:26 pm
tessarella BRONZE, Belmont, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Writing consists of personal attempts to discover Truth." -George Orwell

I got accepted into the Young Writers program here, and loved the facualty so much that I am considering applying! The dorms and food were both fairly good. The RAs (who are/were students there) are all amazing and nice people. Great Barrington is very small, but there are several things to do in the main area, which is a bus ride away.

Naomi518 GOLD said...
on Oct. 8 2011 at 9:02 am
Naomi518 GOLD, Windsor, Connecticut
11 articles 15 photos 59 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light" ~Albus Dumbledore

I found Simon's Rock online and have been considering going for next year. I just have a few questions if you don't mind taking the time to answer:

-do people go there from public and provate schools?

-how's the food?

-do they have a good arts program (photography for me personally)?

-are people generally nice? is there lots of drama?

-(speaking of drama) is the theater department good? what kind of plays do they do?

-is there a big religious and/or racial diversity?

thanks in advance!


on Oct. 6 2011 at 6:03 pm
IamtheshyStargirl PLATINUM, Lothlorien, Utah
44 articles 16 photos 2216 comments

Favorite Quote:
Boredom instigates extreme creativity.
~Amoniel

"Bowing gratefully to all of my subjects, 'thank you. Thank you. The pleasure is mine." Nah, I'm just kidding. We're all kings together.'"
~Thesilentraven

I'm thinking about going into college early, cool article. 

on Sep. 12 2011 at 8:47 am
I stayed at this college for four weeks during the summer for a French language immersion program. It has a really nice campus, great facilities, awesome food. So, materially, it is very very nice.

on Dec. 20 2010 at 3:01 pm
ashbadash BRONZE, Ocala, Florida
4 articles 1 photo 45 comments

Favorite Quote:
Friends are like glue, they always stick by your side.

Wow it sounds like an amazing place. Very well writtien article too.

on Dec. 2 2010 at 9:18 pm
CelticThundeGurl SILVER, Benson, North Carolina
7 articles 0 photos 130 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It is time for us to realize that we are too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams."






















- Pres. Ronald Reagan

WOW. This is amazing. It's so cool that your in college already.....I love the idea....and this is really well written.....there's not really any programs like that near where I live, but I wish there were....I love writing and I'm actually working on a book.....this has been an inspiration to see how you can do this.....it shows me that I can....thanks.....great article.....=)

grimer said...
on Oct. 14 2010 at 3:26 pm
am i the only one that remembers the mod 3 dance parties?




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