Ithaca College - Comments and Student Experiences|
On weekends, there usually isn't much to do besides party. The party scene seems exciting when you're a freshman, but it gets old fast. There are always a few open parties at the Circle Apartments or off campus that virtually anyone (ie: freshman guys) can get into. They have the same dynamic that most frat parties on other campuses do: too many people cramped in a small space, lots of shitty beer, and plenty of horny freshman guys hitting on uninterested girls. By the time you're a sophomore, you'll probably grow sick of these parties, and if you have the right friends, you'll get invited to more exclusive parties, which are much more fun. You might also go to a frat party at Cornell a couple times a year.
If you like to smoke weed, it's readily available, but when people say that Ithaca is a "stoner" school, they're exaggerating.
Clubs: One of Ithaca's strong points is the number of clubs it has to offer. If you end up here, you should definitely take advantage of them. They can make your entire experience.
Academics: Ithaca has a great reputation for its Music, Theater, and Communications programs. I've heard mixed reviews about them from other students and lots of complaints about elitism, but I'm probably not the best person to ask about that.
The Politics department is impressive; all of the teachers I've had were knowledgeable and passionate about what they were teaching. However, if you're not a diligent student, its definitely possible to bullshit your way through your Politics classes and not do any of the reading. If you're a conservative, you'll probably hate the department here. The majority of teachers are left wing, and a some of them are pretty radical.
My Gen. Ed. classes were decent for the most part. Some teachers were outstanding, most were average, and some should have been fired a long time ago.
Students: Most of the students here are pretty bright, but there will be a few idiots in most of your classes. Ithaca has somewhat of a reputation for being a "hippie" or a "stoner" school, but that really doesn't hold much ground. Don't get me wrong, its not hard to find those people, but for the most part, the student population here isn't very different from that at any other school I've visited.
Politically, most people here are either liberal or apathetic. There is a minority of self-hating white students who despise capitalism, but there is also a very vocal minority of Republicans who tend to get their political signs torn down or vandalized by the other group.
Racially, Ithaca is pretty homogeneous. Lots of white people, but as one might expect in a northeastern private school, there is a significant Jewish population. The gay community is very accepted here.
Town: Ithaca is a pleasant little town, but if you don't have a car, you won't go there very much. Sure, its just a 20 minute walk, but when it gets cold and snowy, you won't want to walk down and up that steep hill.
There are some small music venues, lots of great places to eat, and plenty of hippie stuff in the town. There are literally three head shops on one block that's really close to the school. The town is probably why IC has the reputation it has, but the students don't really reflect what the town is like.
Weather: Its fucking cold here. If you hate cold weather, don't come here. I cannot stress this enough.
Dorms: Dorms are decent, but nothing to write home about. In my opinion, the worst dorms are the terraces because they're isolated on the edge of campus, which especially sucks in the winter. The rooms might slightly bigger there than the other dorms are, but that doesn't justify the distance. Lots of freshmen live in the towers, which are pretty conveniently located. The upper quads have the best location on campus in my opinion; the lower quad buildings aren't much worse. There's also Emerson, which is somewhat far from the academic buildings, but has private bathrooms in double and triple dorms. There are no singles there.
You won't be able to live in the on campus apartments until you're a sophomore, so I won't bother commenting on those.
Conclusion: There are a few spectacular things about Ithaca, but unless you're in one of its more prestigious departments, it's an average northeastern private school. In other words, the education quality is above average, but the overall experience might be pretty boring. If I had an amazing group of friends that I loved here, I might stay, but since I don't really miss my friends when I'm gone, I don't really have an incentive to stay.
Ithaca is cold and in the middle of nowhere, and I'm starting to feel really claustrophobic. The Politics department is good, but its not worth the price of tuition.If you visit Ithaca and fall in love with its music, theater, or communications department, it might be a good fit for you. Otherwise, I cannot recommend it. Next year I'm transferring to a similarly sized school with a better polysci department and an urban campus. I hope to have a more interesting and dynamic experience there.
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