Northampton, MA: In early April, I attended a College Preview Day at Smith College in Northampton. Smith is an excellent liberal arts women's college. The campus is the epitome of beauty: the old buildings are well-maintained, the grounds, which include a pond, are immaculately kept. The brick ivy-covered walls and acres of land gave Smith the image of a countryside in the middle of a city, the best of both worlds.
The only thing that impacted me more than the sheer beauty was the sense of family and pride exhibited by the students and faculty. Words cannot describe the warm feeling I left with. The students were friendly, helpful and outgoing. They answered all my questions openly and honestly, going out of their way to help me.
At Smith, there aren't any dorms or sororities, you live in a real house with between nine to ninety women. After your freshman year, you're practically guaranteed a single room. At the houses I visited, the rooms were spacious and the food was tasty.
Before visiting Smith I was apprehensive about attending an all-women's college, but everywhere I turned there was a guy. Bus loads of men come for weekends from Brown, Harvard, Dartmouth, and other colleges. Men are also in most classes since Smith is a member of the Five College Cooperative which lets its members attend nearby colleges (Amherst, Hampshire, Mt. Holyoke, and UMass).
Smith houses a massive library, an art museum, and a rare archive file. The average student-teacher ratio is 10: 1, which allows you to have a personal relationship with your professors. The sports facilities are state-of-the-art. Both varsity and intramural sports are offered along with a nightly aerobics class.
If you are not into hard work and responsibility, or want a huge party school, Smith isn't for you. I think Smith offers a woman the chance to develop herself and become a strong, complete adult. n
Reviewed in 1991
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.