Impressions Of
Clark University

Academic Experience

Male Economics and Film Double Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s definitely more collaborative. It’s still competitive, but not to the point that you feel suffocated. People want to do well for themselves, but everyone will still help you to an extent.

How was transitioning to Clark as a first-generation student? Were there any systems in place to help you adjust?
At my high school, we didn’t have a lot of students who are White, so it was difficult to adjust to a different system. Also, everybody does well in classes here, so I felt like I got imposter syndrome. In high school, I was on honor roll and there were students who were not, but at Clark, everybody was on honor roll and had done so much more, and I wondered if I belonged there. I got over that by realizing I got myself into this school.

Clark offers two programs that I did. One is called ACE, which is a program for students of color and first-gen students. You come to Clark two weeks before and take two classes to earn one credit. You also get mentors and are supported the whole year. The other program that I did is Connections, which is a program for students of color. You don’t do academic work, you just come in to meet people of color and talk about your struggles and how to keep your cultural values. It’s pretty much to show you that there are other people like you and it’s more fun. I’m now a mentor and I meet with my mentees every month.

Male Economics Major C/O 2020

Can you describe your weekly coursework for Economics?
It’s mostly problem sets, and a lot of it is making and preparing for presentations. The other part is creative and analytical thinking.

Is there anything you feel the Economics department does especially well or poorly?
I think the department is only ever going to be as good as the teachers are. For Clark University, the teachers are very knowledgeable and they do a particularly good job of teaching. The don’t just give you the problems and teach out of the textbook, they know Economics and have a passion for it outside of teaching it. They’re very passionate about it and that translates to the classroom experience.

Male History Major C/O 2021

Can you describe your weekly coursework for History?
History is mostly reading. I have to read up to 250 pages a week on top of maybe 2 essays during the mid-term, and probably 5 total [essays] over the semester. Aside from participation, that’s all the grades we have. It’s not stressful in terms of graded work but is because of the readings.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s definitely collaborative. Grades aren’t a big part of my life here. I think I’m here to learn, do the readings and writings, and wrap my head around the topics. I don’t think Clark has any competitive aspect or is even big on assessing how it’s done, which I think is great for the most part.

How accessible have your professors been?
If I wanted to connect with a professor I’ve never had any difficulty, they are always open to it and care about what they are doing.

Social Opportunities

Male Economics Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in at Clark?
I go to bars, parties, and will sometimes have nights in with my friends. In general, if you want to go to a party school, don’t go to a small liberal arts school. With that being said, the party scene at Clark isn’t that bad. You’ll see a lot of the same people wherever you go. There are athlete houses, more artsy houses, and international houses. I go to all three, they are all fun, it just depends on who you want to hang out with that night. There’s also a bar scene, and it’s super cheap which is nice. You get tired of it, but I think that’s true for every school.

What’s an alternative to going to a bar or party you like for a night out?
If I don’t want to go out, I’ll go to the movie theater or just chill with my friends. There are actually a lot of options at Clark for that, though. There’s a big improv comedy and stand-up scene at Clark and that’s probably the go-to for most students.

Male History Major C/O 2021

What nights of the week do you regularly do things?
There are no parties on Thursdays, but Fridays and Saturdays you can usually find something. Parties are hosted by people in a house together, or sometimes clubs and organizations. For the most part, Clark parties are open to anybody because we have no fraternities. [Clark University has no Greek Life, but there are over 130 clubs and organizations.]

How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy with it, it’s a pretty solid community. There’s a large population that goes out and people are pretty chill. One thing I’d change is I wish there were more house shows where people danced and got into the music more.

What have been some of your favorite times at Clark?
It’s really easy to have a good time in classes. People here really care about being students and studying. I’ve had incredible times doing research, or just being friends with people in classes. Clark has fantastic speakers come in for guest lectures. I’ve had a lot of fun at certain parties that happen every year where you know everybody, and there is an annual house show that’s been going on for 9 years now.

Female Economics Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
Personally, I like to go to parties. There are lots of house parties and hubs around. We have some student-run activities, such as date nights. There are also dance shows, plays, and films put on by the Film Society. I tend to go to parties at off-campus houses on Friday and Saturday nights.

How happy are you with the nightlife? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I think it’s good, but there needs to be more variety. The house parties get very repetitive and feel like the same thing every time.

Campus Culture

Male Management Major C/O 2020

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think Clark is more diverse than other schools. There are a lot of people that are always hanging out, so you won’t see just White kids hanging out or something like that. I think everyone has a diverse group of friends. [14% of students are international, and 20% are ALANA (Asian-, Latino-, African-, and Native-American).

How do you like the size of your school? [Clark has an undergraduate population of 2,204.]
It’s good. Clark is a relatively small school, so we don’t have more than 30 kids in any class. Having that individual attention from professors is good. They’ll start to know your name and your writing style. It’s helpful when the class has fewer people. [The average undergraduate class size is 20.]

Male Economics and Film Double Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the overall social scene at Clark?
I think it’s really nice. People will open the door for you. You can walk up to anyone and talk to them, it’s not a big deal. If you’re a person of color, people definitely notice you more, but it’s not that bad.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
During freshman year I think everyone is in their cultural bubble, but after that, I think people mix more after doing projects with people and having more forced friendships. There are slam poetry events where people come and see who’s performing and when that happens everyone comes together. There are also cultural events, like dinners or there’s an event called the International Gala, which is a dance festival. Everyone comes to everything, it just depends if you have a friend in them.

Male Economics Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the overall social scene at Clark?
I don’t think there’s a lot of intermingling between the artsy kids and the athletes, and that’s because athletes generally have similar interests and artsy students have similar interests. I think the fact they don’t always mix isn’t necessarily a bad thing because then people are doing what they want to do.

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Clark by senior year? Do you think people leave loving Clark?
I think love is too strong of a word. I think people very much like it. I can’t speak on what everyone else says, but I personally like it. Clark wasn’t the top choice on my list, but I made a great financial decision coming here, so it was the smartest choice on my list. I think the average person loves it.

How has the size of Clark influenced your social experience? [Clark has an undergraduate population of 2,204.]
The size is an important factor. If I were to do it again with money not being an issue, I think going to a medium-sized school would be perfect. At a smaller school there are much stronger cliques, and [emphasizes the divide] between the artsy students and athletes. It has a big impact overall.

Worcester, MA

Pros of

  • “As a private university, sometimes it’s hard to get outside perspective because it’s a bubble. Worcester balances us out because it’s a working-class community with very hard-working individuals. That creates a nice balance to the Clark environment.”
  • “It’s very cheap living there. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun and keep up with the nightlife.” [The median household income of Worcester is about $45,600.]
  • “There’s a lively bar scene downtown.”
  • “Worcester has a strong focus on the community. There are a lot of community efforts. If somebody likes volunteering this is a good place to be. You can volunteer with so many groups.” [See article about the community-driven rebuild of a church. See Action! Worcester organization that drives inclusive economic growth.]

Cons of

  • “The fact that there are some drug addicts asking you for change around the town.” [The poverty rate in Worcester is 22%.]
  • “It’s a big city without a lot of public transportation, so without a car it’s hard to navigate.” [The WRTA transpiration system serves the surrounding 36 communities in the Central Massachusetts area.]
  • “Because of the culture difference between Worcester and Clark, I feel like an inconvenience to the community or an intruder. When I talk to high school students, they sometimes think we are rich people on a white campus.”
  • “There’s not much to do here. It’s a pretty boring city otherwise.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Management Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Clark before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew more about Worcester and how the city was. The city is very boring without much to do. It can be dull at times.

What is something that a prospective international student should know that we haven’t touched on yet?
If they’re an international student, they should be prepared that Worcester probably isn’t as fun as where they come from. You’ll have to find a good group of friends to have fun.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Checking out the dorms is really important. They should know where they could potentially be placed so they can make a good decision beforehand.

Male Economics and Film Double Major C/O 2019

What is something you wish you knew about Clark before entering as a freshman?
I wish I checked out the city and how small the campus is. I like being on a small campus but there are times I wish I was on a bigger campus. I also wish I would have stayed overnight to get to meet some students.

What is something a prospective Black student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
There’s just a few of us, and that’s something to get used to because that can be how [professional] life is. I know a lot of people who want to transfer just because Clark doesn’t have a lot of Black students but where they’re from being Black is a predominant thing and that’s a big part of their identity. You may be among like 10 Black men in the senior class, but that’s life. That also doesn’t mean that you can’t find people like you, but if you come in thinking you will have an all-Black group of friends, that will probably not be the case. There are different cultures because of the international students, but domestic diversity is something Clark is trying to get better at. [In the 2018-2019 school year there were 92 Black undergraduate students, making up about 4% of the student population.]

Female Economics Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Clark before entering as a freshman?
How far away it is from Boston, and I didn’t realize how small the school actually is. You see the same people all the time. If anything, I would get more involved from the get-go to take away more from the whole experience. [Clark has an undergraduate population of 2,204.]

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The art center.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Clark University

To Attend

To Not Attend

  • “The city is very boring. There isn’t much to do.”
  • “Don’t come if you want a big school.”
  • “The campus is kind of ugly.”
  • “If you don’t like the winter. People will still be social when there are 12 inches of snow.”
Notice: Clark University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Clark University.

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