Impressions Of
Haverford College

Academic Experience

Female Undeclared on Major C/O 2022

Is there anything you feel Haverford has done especially well or poorly so far academically?
All the professors are so open to meeting with you and making appointments. There are office hours and peer tutors too, and especially this semester I’ve used those things which have been really beneficial to me. This semester I’ve started going to the Chemistry Questions Center, which is usually led by upperclassmen that have taken chemistry and go through the problems, homework, and any questions you may have. It’s multiple times a week, so it’s very helpful.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s collaborative. Everybody really supports each other. It’s very difficult work but it’s not competitive I think because of our honor code, grades are never really talked about. It’s more each person pushing themselves than comparing themselves to others.

Non-Binary English Major C/O 2021

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I’m technically majoring at Bryn Mawr, and the professors are so great. I haven’t heard anyone having issues with professors in the English department at either Haverford or Bryn Mawr. It’s a lot of work, and I don’t think the school especially respects the major as much as the STEM majors, but the professors themselves really care about the students and the classes they’re teaching.

Do you take most of your classes at Bryn Mawr by choice? What is the reasoning behind this?
This semester I’m not, but by choice, I’m taking most of my classes at Bryn Mawr. Generally, I’m not personally into old crusty literature, and I feel like Bryn Mawr generally has more modern options. The nice thing about the major is you can take classes at either Haverford or Bryn Mawr and it’ll count.

Male Physics Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
Definitely collaborative. I can’t think of an instance of competition. People talk about whether they did well or poorly, but never a specific grade. Everyone is doing the problem sets together which builds the collaborative aspect. There are one or two individual problem sets, but they are not particularly difficult.

How accessible are your professors?
I’d say very accessible. They have lots of office hours, and maybe 40% of them put up their entire schedule, so instead of having blocked office hours, they show us every moment they are in their office doing work so you can schedule an appointment easily.

Social Opportunities

Female Undeclared on Major C/O 2022

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
I usually go out on Saturday night and a lot of Friday nights too when I’m not in season. There’s usually one big party hosted by a sports team on Saturday nights that I’ll go to with my friends that is really fun. Those are usually in the basements of apartments.

What is the impact of sports teams on nightlife?
A lot of the sports teams host the parties, but the parties, especially the parties on Saturday nights, are open to whoever wants to go. My group of friends is made up of half athletes and half non-athletes and we’ll all go out together to the same party. It’s really fun.

What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
I like to go see the acapella concerts. A few of my friends are in acapella groups. Since you do know a lot of people because the school is so small, it’s fun to support friends and see what’s going on. There’s a comedy group show tonight that I might go to. I also like to go into Philly and see shows and do stuff there.

Non-Binary English Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
I like going to parties. It’s definitely more of a party school than I was expecting. Most of my friends go out on the weekends, and if I didn’t I think I’d be kind of lonely. There are definitely activities to do if you don’t go out, but they usually end around 10 or 11, and then people head out to parties. A lot of people also go to Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore, and I have a friend that goes to UPenn all the time for parties. I also know people that just hang out with their friends, so it depends on what you want to do.

What nights of the week do you regularly do things? Are there regular places you go or things you do on certain nights?
Definitely Saturday night. A lot of athletes have things Saturday mornings, so there aren’t usually big parties on Friday nights. I personally don’t like going to athlete hosted parties because those are the spaces that aren’t my vibe. I like going to parties hosted by my friends, or there is a building called James House, which also hosts whacky parties. There was a goth prom a few weeks ago, and there was once a party where they threw fake blood on everyone. I love it because it’s just insane.

What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
I’m half part of the Climbing Club, which does things on the weekends. They’ll do hiking trips, or skiing trips every now and then. There’s an organization on campus called FAB, which hosts apple picking and pumpkin carving. Last weekend for Valentine’s Day my friend and I did a date trivia game. There is a Nerd House on campus that hosts laser tag every now and then, or pajama parties. All of their parties are dry.

Male Physics Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
Probably not as much as a college kid should. It’s not my scene as much, but I’ll show up and say hi if one of my good friends is throwing something. I’ll also go if a group I participate in has an event, or if it’s important to one of my close friends. I don’t love the whole loud noises, very drunk environment. I hang out with a group of six to eight friends at least one weekend night, but I’m not a huge partier.

What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
We have a ton of acapella concerts, so I go to a couple of those. There’s a club called FAB, and they’ll have an event every week. I’ll go depending on what it is. They have game night, trivia, and then there are field trips with a bunch of options to travel into Philly. You can ice skate every Friday for free, and I’ve gone a couple of times. A lot of the intramural sports clubs happen on the weekends.

How happy are you with the weekend activities or nightlife at your school? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m pretty happy. I know the general sentiment on campus is that there’s nothing to do. This may be because of who I am as a person, but I’m perfectly happy sitting around talking to the people I like. I’ve never been stuck bored twiddling my thumbs.

Campus Culture

Male Physics Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the student body?
Somewhat nerdy, extremely liberal, and idealistic because of the honor code. People have this grand vision of what education means, and there’s not a lot of people just trying to get their degree.

How do you like the size of Haverford in terms of undergraduate enrollment? How does it influence your social experience? [Haverford has about 1,353 students.]
I like the size and the interconnectedness of it. I like that I can go around and know a lot of the people that I see, or to be able to show up to the dining center knowing I’ll find a friend to sit with.

Male Astrophysics Major C/O 2022

How would you describe the overall social scene at Haverford?
Students talk a lot about the student-athlete divide. How intense it actually is is up for debate, but it’s a topic that’s talked about a lot. People tend to mostly hang out with their teams. I haven’t experienced it because our team is in a weird limbo because we’re varsity on paper, but within the social scene on campus we’re not really viewed as having that cliquey team culture. Outside of that, it seems that there’s not too many distinctive groups on campus where one group wouldn’t want to interact with another. However, there are a fair amount of clubs or organizations for people with different affinity groups where they feel more welcome. In general, all students are fairly open to each other.

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
There’s a fair amount of groups and organizations for people who identify with specific groups. Besides that, people don’t seclude themselves to these groups. In my experience, I don’t see too great of a divide. Every once in a while, you’ll have a student who’s not as open to that, but in general it doesn’t seem like there’s a large amount of antagonism between any groups. [About 43% of Haverford’s student body are people of color.]

Female Chemistry Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the overall social scene at Haverford?
I would say you can usually find what you want to find. It’s a fact that most people go from being very introverted to being very extroverted, and involved in everything. You just have to look and you’ll find people. In terms of partying and stuff, I don’t think Haverford is up there or anything. It has a good amount of parties, but they’re not huge or anything.

Were there parts of Haverford, or American college as a whole, that surprised you?
The experience itself was very different. Specifically, about Haverford, the amount of open discussion they have. I think students are very active and engaged in a lot of different things, and always want to have open conversations about things like race, sex, gender, sexuality, and that’s something I wasn’t used to.

Haverford, PA

Pros of

  • “Being close to the city means there are a lot of opportunities for cool field trips and conferences.”
  • “You can walk to a fair number of restaurants in Ardmore which is nice.”
  • “There’s a good sense of community here. You’ll see people walking on the trail who live in the neighborhood.”
  • “Being so close to Philly. It’s a half-hour train ride to the center of Philadelphia.”

Cons of

  • “It’s not a college town at all. There are businesses around, but it’s plopped in the middle of the suburbs. There are businesses around, but it’s plopped in the middle of the suburbs. There is no center of town that is nice in the typical college town way.”
  • “It can be difficult to get around if you don’t have a car.”
  • “The whole area is pretty expensive. The area we’re in happens to be a rich suburb.” [The median household income in Haverford, PA is $156,500.]

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Non-Binary English Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Haverford before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew that you don’t need to kill yourself doing extracurriculars. There’s a huge culture of doing everything you possibly can. It’s a very toxic mentality that during your first year you throw yourself headfirst, and then realize you can’t handle all of it.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
This may be my bias, but I think Woodside Cottage is really cool. It’s a cute building off on the side of campus, [that is home to the] head of the English department. I don’t think they ever show it on tours. James House is also really cool, but I think they show it.

Male Astrophysics Major C/O 2022

What is something you wish you knew about Haverford before entering as a freshman?
I wish I had better understood how many of the school’s institutions are there to help you. The first semester I didn’t take advantage of a lot of the services that are there to help you in academics and personal life. Not that I didn’t feel they were available, but I just didn’t understand. Things like being open with my professors about the difficulties I’m having. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into college, so I was a little reserved in doing that. I’ve opened up this semester to my professors, advisors, and CAPS, which is the Counseling & Psychological Services, which is a really helpful organization.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
If you’re a student visiting on a regular tour, I don’t think they’ll bring you to Lunt Café, which is the student run café. It’s a great place hang out, study, or get amazing food for almost no money. If you stay overnight they’ll probably bring you.

Non-Binary Linguistics Major C/O 2020

What is something a prospective LGBT+ student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
People are really good at using correct pronouns for trans and nonbinary people. That is something people put a lot of effort into, even if they aren’t familiar with it. It was a pleasant surprise when I got there.

Also, the Queer people who are older than you may seem really intimidating and like they don’t want to be your friends, but usually they are just awkward people who don’t know how to become friends with people [laughs]. I guarantee the vast majority of Queer students would love to talk to you and be your friend. Just because somebody isn’t talking to you doesn’t mean they don’t’ like you, and don’t assume somebody doesn’t want to be your friend because they probably do. Becoming friends with older Queer students is the best way to make friends.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Haverford College

To Attend

  • “The generally tight-knit community. It’s somewhere you can feel that you can be open and make friends relatively easily.”
  • “It’s a very comfortable community to walk around at night and be at parties in. I’ve always felt really comfortable.”
  • “If you don’t know what you’re going to college for, Haverford is great for trying new things. I’ve taken mostly STEM classes and am still able to be an English major.”
  • “The campus is very green. We are in an arboretum, so we really care about how pretty the campus is which makes it nice to be on.”
  • “You get to know the professors really well because the classes tend to be smaller. They have more time to meet with students individually.” [Haverford has a 9:1 student-faculty ratio.]

To Not Attend

  • “If you’re looking for a Greek life scene, you won’t find that here.”
  • “It’s a very politically active campus. It’s difficult at Haverford to be open about not being interested in the student government, administration, or US politics in general.”
  • “If you’re serious about athletics, it’s not that respected by the student body.”
  • “There is not very good support for mental health issues on campus. We have free counseling services, but you don’t know what you’re getting until you’ve scheduled something with someone. You haven’t met the counselor and don’t know what counselor is best for your needs.” [See Haverford Clerk articles, “Long Waiting List at CAPS Frustrates Student Body,” “We Need to Talk About CAPS: A Critical Look at Vital Campus Resource,” and “Result of CAPS Survey Generally Positive, but Raise Some Concerns.”]
Notice: Haverford College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Haverford College.

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