the top ten things about div I — number one!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10#9, #8, #7, #6, #5, #4, #3, #2 and are SO PUMPED for #1!

#1: ORIENTATION!

IMG_1624We’ve made it all the way to #1 on this list, so you can guess what that means – orientation is just days away!! While you’re likely filled with quite a mix of emotions at this point in time, I can promise you that the anxiety and nervousness you’re feeling now will soon dissipate as you get more familiar with Hampshire’s community. Orientation is designed to give you time to become acclimated in a brand new space without the stress of papers or group meetings; all you have to focus on is enjoying meeting new people and experiencing new things!

Though everything may seem a little chaotic when you first arrive, this will change as the days go on. I still remember my first day at Hampshire as if it were yesterday: searching for J105, not wanting my mother to leave, spending as much time as I could rearranging my posters, lending out thumb tacks to hallmates who would later become my closest friends, and at the end of the day, saying goodbye to my mom and feeling like it would completely be alright.

I encourage you to say “yes” to as much as you feel comfortable saying yes to during orientation. Whether it’s trying out a new skill for the first time, like kayaking in the Robert Crown Center pool, to simply taking a walk through the woods with some new friends, these are the moments you’ll still remember four years down the line as you walk across the Commencement stage – they’re unforgettable!

If you have any questions before you arrive, feel free to check out the New Student Orientation Program page here: https://www.hampshire.edu/new-student-programs/new-student-orientation-program. We can’t wait to see you on Thursday!

the top ten things about div I — number two!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10#9, #8, #7, #6, #5, #4, and #3, and are continuing on to #2!

#2: Exploring a new social scene!

Before you know it, you’ll be living in the beautiful Pioneer Valley, home to mountain hikes in your backyard, crisp fall weather, and funky small town living. Both on and off campus, there are plenty of sweet spots to hang out and explore whether you’re alone or with your friends – here’s a short list of some of my favorites!

Anywhere in the woods, but especially the Hampshire Tree or any of the sunny cornfields: I highly recommend taking a Saturday afternoon before it gets too cold to explore the woods surrounding Hampshire’s campus. The woods are filled with unique art and structures that students have created over the years – there are many little treasures to discover while walking the unbeaten path through the trees!

The Goodread Library: I discovered the Goodread Library during my third year at Hampshire while living in Donut 1, where it happens to be situated (right in the middle of the donut). I was lucky to be just steps away from this often unused library space, which provided me with a cozy and quiet spot to write or get some leisurely reading done. The library operates entirely on an honor system, meaning you can just borrow one without checking it out and return it whenever you’re done. I’ve found some really unique titles while browsing the library – their children’s books section always put a smile on my face!

The Roos-Rohde House: The Roos-Rohde house appeared on campus during my last year at Hampshire. My friends and I were quick to embrace it as a lovely new study and hangout spot for any time of day while we worked on our Div IIIs! You’ll find Mixed Nuts here, Hampshire’s longest running student group and co-op. Their foods are always locally sourced, organic, and pretty cheap to boot! From ice cream to a wide selection of trail mix type goodies, you’re bound to find something to munch on while you’re hanging out at the Roos-Rohde house.

The Kiva: I’ve taken many naps up on the third floor of the library in the Kiva. It’s hard to not feel relaxed (and a little sleepy) in this spot, since the floor to ceiling windows let in a tremendous amount of sunlight to warm you while you read or write. While some folks use this space as a meeting spot for student groups, most hang here to get assignments done while having a full view of the library lawn and all who cross it.

On top of Bare Mountain: This hike is somewhat steep but fairly quick to the top. I’d recommend it to any level of hiker! Just a short drive or walk down the road from Atkins Farms — towards Mount Holyoke College — you’ll find the entrance to the hike, which is pretty clearly marked. The view from the top is pretty spectacular, especially once fall is in full swing. With gorgeous yellow, red, and orange hues sweeping the valley, what’s not to love?

Botanical Garden at Smith College: The main street in Northampton tends to attract many folks from all of the different colleges. While there’s plenty of shopping and eating to do (I recommend Local for burgers and fried pickles), there’s also beautiful museums and nature to be seen farther up the road on Smith College’s campus. The Botanical Gardens is open year-round and is free (donations accepted) to enter with an incredible collection of all sorts of flora — approximately 9,000 different kinds! Take the PVTA bus #39 to get to Northampton. The Garden is just a short walk away!

Amherst Cinema Arts Center: For those of you who enjoy a good movie every once and a while, Amherst Cinema is a great place to go on the bus line. Located right in the center of town, Amherst Cinema shows all sorts of films, although generally speaking their selection tends to include mostly lesser known titles. Every so often the Dean of Students office will provide free tickets to various showings at the Cinema, so keep your eyes peeled for more information regarding these events!

Have questions? Contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’re happy to help!

the top ten things about div I — number three!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10#9, #8, #7, #6, #5, and #4 and are continuing on to #3!

#3: Going to Hampfest, Joining Student Groups, and CEL-1

hampfestBy now you’ve probably checked out your housing assignment and course schedule for the coming year and are getting excited for what’s to come once your first year at Hampshire begins. So many new experiences are on the horizon, including getting to choose and participate in cool student groups! During your first couple of weeks here, you’ll have the chance to attend Hampfest, Hampshire’s student activities fair, which is held at the beginning of each semester. Hampfest is an opportunity for over 100 student groups to showcase what they do and for you to learn more about each group!

Joining a student group can be a really fun and rewarding way to get involved with the Hampshire community. With such a diversity of student groups, there’s bound to be something that piques your interest. Choose from groups such as Hampshire Animal Rights, Hampshire Students Against Mass Incarceration, Guerrilla Arts Brigade, Hamp History, Sexperts, Local Foods Initiative, Crazy Pitches a capella, Climbers’ Coalition, Hampshire Student Union, and more! You can be apart of as many groups as you’d like depending on your level of interest and how much time you can commit. While some groups meet sporadically, most meet weekly or bi-weekly, so make sure not to overbook yourself – especially with a full class load.

For me, being immersed in a variety of student groups was easily one of the best parts of my Hampshire college experience. My time spent as a member of the Sexperts, for example, was an awesome chance for me to be involved in something that I was passionate about but didn’t have the time to focus on in my academics. Through Sexperts, I was able to be apart of a community that was interested in promoting sexual health education and wellness on campus, and eventually, I was able to lead this student group as a “signer” – which was a great way to build my leadership skills and to also complete my Campus Engaged Learning requirement!

During your first year, you’ll need to complete at least 40 hours of a Campus Engaged Learning activity, AKA your CEL-1. CEL-1 activities allow you to make active connections between your academic pursuits and the other areas of your life. Being involved in a student group is a great way to take care of your CEL-1, although it’s certainly not the only way to do it. You could volunteer at different campus events, like the annual Queer Conference, or take part in the Green Dot Active Bystander Intervention Training. You could even take an outdoors class through Hampshire’s athletic/outdoor program and have that count as credit! Just make sure to be in close communication with whoever is facilitating your activity to make sure that you’ll receive credit for the hours you put in. With that said, happy activity hunting!

the top ten things about div I — number four!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10#9, #8, #7, #6, and #5, and are continuing on to #4!

#4: Getting Involved with New Student Programs

photoIf you’re reading this blog post right now, you’re already on your way to getting involved with Hampshire College’s New Student Programs (also known as newtohamp)! From information to help you prepare for your arrival here to navigating Hampshire, the office is committed to helping you make the most of your time during your first year. New Student Programs organizes your new student orientation, but the orienting doesn’t stop there – throughout the year, you’ll have the chance to take part in special programs and events offered by this office to keep you on track and involved. Have a question about forms you need to fill out before getting here? New Student Programs can assist you! Want to practice giving an oral presentation, but don’t know where to do so? Not to worry, they offer all sorts of workshops to help with your academic work – snacks are always provided!

Through New Student Programs, you can win weekly care packages, eat cake on Cake Friday to celebrate the end of the semester, learn life management skills through various workshops, and more. Jessica Ortiz, the director of New Student Programs, is always available to answer any questions you may have about being a first-year or transfer student at Hampshire. New Student Programs is here to help ease the transition into a new place — so don’t hesitate to reach out!

Contact them at newtohamp@hampshire.edu!

the top ten things about div I — number five!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10#9, #8, #7, and #6, and are continuing on to #5!

#5: Preparing for Internships and Study Abroad Experiences

Whether you’re looking for something full or part time, paid or unpaid, and/or during the school year or the summer, Hampshire has the services you need to help find an internship that suits your needs. Since you’ll already be exploring many new academic subjects and interests, there’s no better time to begin sorting out an internship than during your Div I. You can do an internship in pretty much any much field, and, with approval from your faculty advisor, may even be able to use your internship to fulfill your Community Engaged Learning requirement during your second and third years at Hampshire. Internships are a great way to dive deeper into your passions and gain valuable contacts and resources for the future! Not sure where you’d want to internship? The Career Options Resource Center (CORC) can help you figure that out as well! The CORC staff is readily available to answer any questions you may have.

My internship with an arts and dialogue/leadership training based organization completely shifted not just my academic path, but my personal mentality as well. It was a truly phenomenal experience, and with funding assistance from Hampshire’s Community Partnerships for Social Change office, it was also completely financially possible for me to work with this organization three years in a row.

In addition to being able to make your internship possible, Hampshire can also help you to plan and organize your Study Abroad experiences (you can study abroad and have an internship at the same time, by the way). Whether you’re interested in learning a new language, exploring a new place, doing independent research, or taking part in a service-learning project, the Global Education Office can guide you to the right study abroad program for you.

Learn more about GEO: https://www.hampshire.edu/geo/global-education-office-geo
Learn more about CORC: https://www.hampshire.edu/corc/career-options-resource-center
Learn more about CPSC: https://www.hampshire.edu/cpsc/community-partnerships-for-social-change

 

the top ten things about div I — number six!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10#9, #8, and #7 and are continuing on to #7!

#6: Meeting New People From All Over The World

Did you know that students from all over the world come to be a part of the Hampshire College community? With students hailing from all over the United States and over 30 countries as well, there’s no doubt that you’ll make new friends from many different places! This is one of the most exciting things about being in a college setting — you get to be in an environment full of different life experiences and unique personal narratives. Each person you meet may offer you a fresh perspective, so don’t be afraid to start up a conversation. You might meet some of these potential new peers on your hall, in class, in a student group meeting, or even on the bus coming from a Five College class!

Since Hampshire is a part of the Five College Consortium, you’ll have an opportunity to explore the other four colleges in the area and meet even more new friendly faces. It might seem nerve-wracking at first, but introducing yourself to others could end up in long lasting friendships or insightful conversations! I promise, branching out is a good thing.

During my four years at Hampshire, I was always amazed at how all of the folks I’d meet on a daily basis had such diverse backgrounds. There were, of course, things that we shared in common, but what I appreciated more than having things in common with one another was having experiences that made us uniquely us, and being able to bond over those differences. I’m glad to have made friends with folks from near and far who offered me new ways of seeing the world.

Want to learn more about the Five College Consortium? Visit http://www.fivecolleges.edu!

the top ten things about div I — number seven!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10#9, and #8 and are continuing on to #7!

#7: Unlimited Food in the Dining Commons

BAFeeling hungry? The Dining Commons has all sorts of meal options to satiate you! As a student living in the dorms, you are enrolled in an unlimited meal plan, meaning that you can eat in the dining hall as many times a day/week as you’d like. Not living in the dorms? Never fear! There are voluntary meal plans for you to take part in if you’d like to enjoy what the Dining Commons has to offer as well. Whether you eat everything and anything under the sun, are gluten-free, or have other dietary needs, there will always be something for you to eat.

The menu changes daily for each meal. You can expect to always have at least two or more hot entrée options, an extensive salad bar with ample veggies and more, a fresh deli bar, plenty of desserts to choose from, fruit, and fairly often, a chef on duty to cook to order for you! Do you have a class scheduled during a mealtime? Does your sports team need to eat while on the road to your next big game? The Dining Commons offers a packed-meal service for students who can’t make it to regular eating hours as well as lunch passes for students who take courses on other college campuses and need to eat at those locations. All you have to do is ask! One of the perks of having an unlimited meal plan is that if you’re on campus and don’t have time to spend in the Dining Commons, you can head over to the Bridge Café for a meal swap instead. With the meal swap, you can get a full meal and not have to pay additional money for it – it’ll just be treated like a meal you took in the Commons! Either way, each student has $155 in Bridge Café money per semester on their One Cards, so you’ll always have access to food there.

During my first year, it was tradition for my hallmates and me to all go to the Dining Commons for Saturday brunch in our pajamas. I remember how excited we always were to make waffles with the waffle iron, drink local chocolate milk, and eat all the hash browns we possibly could. During the week, we’d swing by the Bridge for sushi and a quick game of pool before heading to the library. I loved making traditions like these with my friends — it made dining at Hampshire an even tastier experience!

Have additional questions about dining at Hampshire? Check out our food provider’s website here: http://hampshire.cafebonappetit.com/

the top ten things about div I — number eight!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10 and #9, and are continuing on to #8!

Screen shot 2015-07-21 at 2.02.47 PM#8: Get Close With Your Tutorial Class Members (And Your Professors, Too)!

Getting excited about which courses you’ll take during your first year? There are so many great options! As we mentioned in the last blog post, you’ll have to choose at least one course in four out of the five different academic distributions, but don’t stress about making that all happen within your first semester – you’ve got all year to meet this requirement. What you will take in your first semester is your tutorial course, your preferences for which you ranked earlier this month in the course preference form. What is a tutorial course? Why is it important? Tutorials are 100-level courses that are designed specifically for you – the entering student – and are meant to help acclimate you to the academic structure at Hampshire. There are tutorial courses offered in each of the different schools within Hampshire, so you’ll be able to study something that interests you while learning all sorts of other great information about Hampshire’s academic program.

Your tutorial course consists of a small group of students and your professor, who also serves as your academic advisor for your first year at Hampshire. Once you’ve received your tutorial assignment in August, don’t be afraid to get in contact with your advisor. They’re here to help give you direction with course selection for the following semester and to answer any questions or concerns you may have about eventually transitioning to Division II (but that’s not for quite some time, so don’t worry too much about that!). Your tutorial advisor can be a wealth of knowledge for helping you network with other professors who could end up being helpful to you further down the road. You’ll also have an opportunity to meet your tutorial professor during orientation on Friday, September 4. Curious about which other students will be in your tutorial class? Well, you’re in luck – during orientation, groups are formed based on your tutorial, meaning you’ll have the chance to spend a whole week with your fellow classmates before classes even start!

Have questions? Need more information? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’re happy to help!

the top ten things about div I — number nine!

Written by summer orientation assistant ilia Silverman-Esrig 11F

Greetings, folks! We in the Office of New Student Programs are eagerly anticipating your arrival at Hampshire, as I’m sure you are as well. To start the celebration of your impending arrival, we’ll be counting down the Top Ten Greatest Things about being a Divison I student throughout the summer. We started the countdown with #10 in June, and are continuing on to #9!

#9: Study Anything & Everything During Your First Year!

IMG_6516Hampshire requires you to take at least one course in four out of the five different academic distributions during your first year here (including your tutorial – more on that in a future post!), but what classes you end up taking are completely up to you! Our academic system encourages you to try out new subjects based on what sparks your interest, not based on what anyone else thinks is important for you to learn – meaning that you don’t have to take a history course, for example, if that’s not your thing. Instead, choose a variety of courses from at least four out of five of these distributions*:

  • Arts, Design, and Media (Sculpture, Photography, or Teaching Art to Children, for example)
  • Culture, Humanities, and Languages (Sex, Science, and the Victorian Body, or Global Poverty: Theories and Practices, for example)
  • Mind, Brain, and Information (The Social Psychology of Building Peace in the Context of Violent Intergroup Conflict or Computer Animation, for example)
  • Physical and Biological Sciences (Animal Behavior Theory or Natural History of Infectious Disease, for example)
  • Power, Community, and Social Justice (Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Latin America or Making and Unmaking the School to Prison Pipeline, or example)

Mix and match all sorts of courses to make the schedule that fits your passions the best. If you’re curious about something that you’ve never studied before, use the Division I academic structure to explore it further! Who knows, that class you take on the modern Middle East could completely shift your learning path in a whole new and exciting direction.

Before my first year at Hampshire, I had never taken a visual arts class before. Despite this, I decided to sign up for an Introduction to Sculpting class anyway – and to this day I’m still glad that I did! That sculpting course inspired me to re-envision the ways in which meaningful learning could take place in my life and allowed me to go beyond the so-called limits of my imagination. My entire academic path shifted after taking this course; because I was encouraged to explore different areas of learning instead of only sticking to what I thought I wanted to do, I was able to find a path that suited me best. All in all, the distribution requirement really allows you to check out topics you wouldn’t ordinarily explore – so take advantage of it!

Have questions? Need more information? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’re happy to help!

 

what’s the deal with work study?

What’s the deal with work study?

Great question. We’re glad you asked!

If you’re an incoming student with a work study award as part of your financial aid package, you’re probably wondering how (and when) to get started on the process of securing work study employment on or off campus. All work study-eligible students will meet with the Student Employment Coordinator, Janel R. Johnson on opening day and during orientation to review information about securing a work study position. But if you can’t wait to start thinking about employment opportunities, here are a few tips and FAQs to help you get started before you arrive!

Where can I view the available work study positions?
Available on and off campus work study positions are listed on the student employment intranet site, and will be updated more fully in mid-to-late August. These listings are as current as possible for this moment, but will certainly be updated as we move towards the semester. To get a sense of what’s available, you can browse the following sites. (Note: you will need your HampNet username and password to log on to the Intranet.)

On Campus Work Study Listings
Off Campus Work Study Listings

When can I begin contacting potential employers?
The student employment office generally recommends that students wait until mid-August to begin contacting campus offices. Many Hampshire offices are closed during the summer, while others operate with limited staffing, so you’re more likely to get in touch with offices once their full staffs have returned for the start of the fall semester (which generally happens around August 1). We’ve heard some stories about students contacting offices sooner than this and having success in doing so, but most offices don’t expect to hear from you until mid August.

How should I contact potential employers?
Once you’ve identified potential opportunities in which you’re interested, you can begin contacting these offices to express your interest, see if the position is still available, and schedule an interview for early in the semester. Email is preferred by most offices, as it is easier to keep track of communication, potential candidates, and interview scheduling. Some listings will indicate how best to contact the office, so feel free to use this as a guide. If you cannot find contact information on a listing, feel free to contact the student employment office for more information.

How many positions should I pursue?
The student employment office suggests that students pick seven positions of interest, you should apply to at least one off campus work study position too. Many students have a work study awards as part of their financial aid package, and the more opportunities you pursue, the more likely you are to secure a position.

Are there any forms that I need to fill out?
Once you have interviewed and acquired a job, you will need to fill out a work contract, I-9, W4 and M4 tax forms before you will be able to be paid for your work. You can obtain the work contract through either the employer or the student employment offices. All work study-eligible students are required to attend the student employment meeting, which takes place on Tuesday, September 8, at which point you’ll fill out your tax forms and learn more about policies and procedures for student employment. It is very important NOT to fill out the tax forms before you come to campus. These are date sensitive and can not be accepted if dated before the student employment meeting during orientation. More information about this meeting will be available in the new student orientation schedule. Please note that you’ll need to have two forms of identification with you in the form of 1) a current passport, a social security card, or a certified birth certificate, and 2) either your Hampshire ID or a driver’s license. Please keep this in mind when packing for Hampshire!

Where can I find more information?
Visit the student employment office page on the Intranet for lots of great links, including information on contracts and a list of FAQs. Janel Johnson, the student employment coordinator, will return to the office in mid-August, but you can certainly send her an email, and she will respond within the business week, jjohnson@hampshire.edu. You can also contact Financial Aid 413.559.5484 with any pressing questions. They’re happy to help.

Still have questions? Curious about anything new student related? Feel free to contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We’d love to hear from you!