Why I Chose Hampshire College and You Should Too

During my high school years, I often felt constrained by the traditional education system. I thrived in environments where I could explore subjects at my own pace, dive into projects that fascinated me, and learn in ways that felt meaningful.

Traditional colleges with rigid majors and standardized curricula didn’t appeal to me. I wanted a place that valued creativity, independence, and personal growth.

The appeal of a student-designed curriculum

Hampshire College lets you design your own curriculum, and that changed everything for me. I wanted to dive into environmental science, but I also had a thing for sociology, art, and creative writing. At Hampshire, I didn’t have to pick just one. I could mix all my passions into a unique academic journey that fit my interests and goals perfectly.

No traditional majors or departments

One of the coolest things about Hampshire is that there are no traditional majors or departments. Instead of squeezing into a predefined box, you get to build your own path. This setup encourages you to think outside the box and learn across different disciplines.

It’s all about making connections between subjects that traditional schools might keep separate.

You get to work closely with faculty advisors

Hampshire College benefits

At Hampshire, you work closely with faculty advisors on personalized, independent projects. My advisor was a game-changer for me. With his help, I could blend my interests in environmental science, sociology, and art into one cohesive study plan. The one-on-one mentorship and personalized attention were invaluable.

Collaborative learning

Hampshire’s approach to education is all about collaboration. Instead of competing for grades, students and faculty work together on projects and research. This creates a strong sense of community and shared purpose.

I found myself in meaningful discussions, working on innovative projects, and learning a ton from both my peers and professors. It’s a place where everyone supports each other and grows together.

There are divisions instead of semesters or years

Choosing Hampshire College

Hampshire College uses a unique divisional structure instead of traditional semesters or years. This way, students focus on truly understanding subjects rather than rushing to meet deadlines.

The journey through Hampshire is divided into three parts: Division III, and III, each marking a different stage in your academic life, with Division III culminating in a big independent project.

Division I: Foundation and exploration

In Division I, you get to explore a bunch of different subjects to build a solid foundation. It’s all about trying new things and discovering what you love. I dabbled in biology, philosophy, and digital media. These courses broadened my perspective and helped me figure out what really piqued my interest.

Division II: Concentration and depth

Division II is where you dive deeper into your chosen fields. For me, this meant focusing on environmental science, social justice, and visual arts. I worked on projects that tackled real-world problems, did field research, and teamed up with community organizations. It was an intense but incredibly rewarding experience.

Division III: Independent project


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Division III is the highlight of the Hampshire experience. Here, you take on a major independent project. My project was a multimedia documentary about the impact of climate change on local communities. It was challenging and fulfilling, giving me a chance to use everything I’d learned to make a real difference.

You receive written feedback and evaluations

At Hampshire College, grades aren’t a thing. Instead, you get written feedback and evaluations. This system focuses on learning and personal growth rather than competition and numbers. The detailed feedback helped me see where I was doing well and where I needed to improve, making my learning experience much deeper and more meaningful.

Constantly reflecting on progress

The evaluation system at Hampshire encouraged me to constantly reflect on my academic journey. Every piece of feedback was a tool for self-assessment and growth. It pushed me to aim high and see education as a lifelong journey of inquiry and improvement.

The Hampshire community

Unique Hampshire education

Hampshire College attracts students who are passionate, creative, and driven by a desire to make a difference. The community is diverse, inclusive, and supportive. I found myself surrounded by peers who inspired me with their unique perspectives and ambitious projects.

The collaborative spirit and shared commitment to social justice and sustainability created an environment where I felt empowered to pursue my dreams. The relationships I built at Hampshire have been some of the most meaningful in my life.

The close-knit community fostered strong connections with both peers and faculty. These relationships have continued to support me even after graduation, providing a network of mentors, colleagues, and friends who share my values and aspirations.

The bottom line

Choosing Hampshire College was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. It wasn’t just about hitting the books; it was about the whole learning experience that felt personal and meaningful.

If you’re looking for a place that values creativity, independence, and making a social impact, give Hampshire College a look. It’s a place where you can really shape your own path and discover so many possibilities.