Erin's not afraid to share her honest opinion—and we love it! —Sparkitors
School: Stetson University
Location: DeLand, FL
Size: About 3,700
Number of majors offered: ...a lot? The normal ones, at least, and we have a large music school.
Academics: Stetson is a pretty well-respected school, at least partially for its academics, but I also think it's respected for its private-ness. (Yes, I'm making that a word!) It's difficult but not impossible to get into, but I have to say I was pretty surprised when I realized just how smart the kids are here.
Since we're on the small side, the classes are really personal. And the professors are super smart. The political science program and law program is highly, highly respected. I'd say next to FSU, we're known as the best law and poli sci school in Florida. The political science students here are some of the most intelligent people I've met. However, I wouldn't think of Stetson as a "nerd" school. I'm even in the Honors program here, and though it's hard, we're not geniuses or anything. Other than that, music is BIG here. The music program is extremely difficult, and the music students are really dedicated. I know this because my best friend is a vocal major, and let's just say I'm often so happy I'm not her!!
Life: Stetson is in DeLand, and I'm sure you haven't heard of DeLand, because it's really..nothing! Well, it's the county seat of Volusia County. Whooop! So we have a cool courthouse and clock tower thing. Other than that, Stetson is the most interesting and prized part about the town. We have some natural springs you can visit, and the downtown is pretty cute, with good places to eat. However, that stuff can get old. If you're from a big city, you'd probably think we're pretty country. I mean, we have an ice cream place called "Rodeo Whip." I grew up just thirty minutes away..and DeLand was never a place you visited for fun! Actually, everyone at Stetson visits my hometown, because we have awesome beaches. Which is pretty weird, because I find myself visiting home all the time, and running into people from Stetson that I now know. There is no football, but we have everything else.
Dorms: The dorms are pretty, and mostly clean and nice. Stetson is small, so there's no dorm more than ten minutes away from the center of campus. Our RA's are really chill. Our kitchens kind of suck though. Some people live in the on campus apartments, and that's where a lot of partying happens. There are also frat and sorority houses.
The worst stuff: I don't want to rant..I guess I'll just say I plan on transferring next year. I really, really respect Stetson. And basically everyone I know LOVES it here. So, I'm an exception. But there are certain things I would have liked to know about before coming. For one thing, it's small. There are great things that go along with that. But along with smallness comes a high school quality. Everyone basically knows everyone, and there is a total popularity ranking here because of that. Everyone eats in the dining hall at the same time, and there are certain places where people sit. You see the same people every day. The smallness also means there's never too much going on—not just because DeLand is boring, but because there are aren't enough people to organize a variety of events. Our Commons is also very limited. We got a coffee shop this year, and everyone freaked out, just because of that little variety. You get sick of the three places to eat FAST. Like I said, the kitchens are bad, so doing your own cooking isn't too much of an option. Oh, and Greek life is really big, which is something I didn't expect. There aren't many sororities and frats compared to other schools, but in proportion to our school size, they seem to take over everything. I don't think even half of the student body is in the Greek system, but it seems like it, just because they're everywhere. They host and run everything. If you're not part of them, you're expected to be very appreciative of them.
The best stuff: There is actually stuff I like about this school! It's really, really pretty. Everyone who visits tells me that. We have this hall, Elizabeth Hall, that's the quintessential college building, with portraits of all the U.S. presidents inside. There's also a beautiful fountain, and they just did awesome landscaping. Some of the dorms look like cool plantation houses, and a lot of buildings actually are just old houses. There's a cool neighborhood feeling to it. And as I said above, there are good things about the smallness. The classes are really, really great. If you were to focus purely on your courses, you would probably really like Stetson. The classroom experience is awesome. My friends who go to big schools often complain about being in 200-person classes. That would NEVER happen here. I'm pretty sure class size caps at, like, 40! And because of that, you always feel comfortable speaking up in class, and your professor always knows your name. The smallness also lends a humorous quality to the school. Everyone makes fun of our own dinky little commons, our excitement over a simple concert, or how quickly gossip spreads. It's like a running gag. Also, you can always find someone who had your professor, etc., and they can give you their thoughts. Oh, and because of the music program, there's a concert a week in our chapel.
Yep, so that's Stetson! I tried to be impartial giving my own opinions of the place, and my situation. I think it's awesome to be able to read student's own thoughts of their colleges, not just the inflated, fluffy website campaigns that schools offer.
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