kbanda10 asked: Hi! As a Texas girl attending Smith, was it hard to adjust to the weather? What about coming home for the winter break? Was it easy to find flights? Anything you would recommend for a Texan going to Massachusetts? Thank you!
Hi! My first real winter was definitely an experience, and I think my friends from New England have delighted in laughing at my awed expressions and silly questions, but I wouldn’t say it was difficult to make the adjustment. I think the most important thing is to be well prepared. A puffy down jacket, good warm winter boots, wool socks, a hat that covers your ears, and gloves are the basics for winter clothing necessities. Check my previous post for thoughts on winter at Smith.
Coming home for winter break was relatively easy. Smith sells shuttle tickets to Bradley Airport and finding a flight home was no problem (I use Southwest mostly because they allow two free checked bags). Getting back to Smith can be a bit of a pain, but you can get a shuttle service through private companies, a taxi, if you’re lucky a friend can pick you up, or you can take a bus (but I wouldn’t recommend that because its actually way more expensive than you think it would be).
I have a lot of general advice for a Texan, so I’ll try to keep it short. In terms of shopping for your dorm I would recommend buying as much as you can in Massachusetts so you don’t have to cart a bunch of stuff up here. Start looking for sales on winter clothes now. You can find really nice/warm clothes for decent prices at Sierra Trading Post, Land’s End, and L.L. Bean. Make sure you love your winter jacket-you’re going to be stuck with it for a while, and you don’t want to have to buy another one. Bring one or two ridiculously Texan things with you to remind you of home (I found a really great HEB shirt at Goodwill for $2 that I love and wear far more than is reasonable). I’d recommend something with bluebonnets or Fiesta/Rodeo themed goods. If you like really good salsa bring a jar of your favorite (the food at Smith is great, but their salsa choices just can’t match up to what Texas has to offer). If you are as attached to good barbecue and Mexican food as I am then you might want to learn a few of your favorite recipes. Be ready for a wonderful adventure, a lot of new perspectives, and fantastic friends!
Thank you so much for the questions! If I left something unanswered or unclear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification, or ask something new in general!
companionsamcarter asked: Hey, prospie here with a superficial question: Coming from Texas, was it hard adjusting to the freezing winter? (I'm from New Mexico, so I've had winters, but not like Massachusetts, and it's always the first thing people say when I tell them I might be going there.)
Hi! Adjusting to the cold was definitely an experience, but I was very excited for my first real winter so I wasn’t that bothered by it. The winter is certainly something you can deal with as long as you have the right clothes. You really don’t need to build an entirely new wardrobe, just get a few essential pieces and learn to layer. I bought one of those ridiculous long puffy down jackets and a pair of rubber snow boots with warm lining and some good wool socks and they have served me wonderfully. A hat, some gloves, and a good thick scarf are also wise purchases to make.
It can certainly be intimidating when everyone around you says “Massachusetts? Cold winters up there. Are you sure you can handle that?”, but in all honesty you will be just fine. The roads and sidewalks are salted and plowed constantly on snowy days and the campus is generally well prepared for whatever the winter weather decides to do. If you find that you really hate the cold (or the wind, which has turned out to be my least favorite thing) you can get lined pants, wear leggins under your jeans, and build up your collection of cozy sweaters. Don’t let the weather worry you!
As always you can ask me anything and everything! If you have any more concerns about the weather or making the change to life in Massachusetts please let me know! Thanks for your question :)
Anonymous asked: How much difference is there between each house? I've heard that houses in the Quad are known for being loud and hosting parties etc. and Green Street is know for being very quiet, just wondering how true that all is? Also, I notice that one house has a 'substance free living' floor, and was wondering if drinking and such are more/less common depending on where you live? Thanks!
Smith housing is fantastic and very diverse. You can read about the many housing options here.
It’s true that each house has a different identity and set of traditions, but you’ll definitely be able to find a house that you’re happy with. The houses in the Quad do host parties (and the house I live in, Comstock, hosts the first party of the year), but they are only on the weekends and do not interfere with studying. I haven’t found the Quad to be too loud, but I do live on the far side of the building and away from any major entrances. There isn’t really a consistent noise level, but I do feel like things are relatively quiet. Houses all over campus host parties, Green Street included. Because I haven’t lived anywhere else on campus I can’t really speak to their noise level, but I feel like everyone is pretty considerate during the week.
The substance-free housing in Chase is, in general, for people who wish to have zero contact with alcohol, tobacco, and drugs in their living space. That is not to say that people just party in the hallways in all the houses. At parties and Smith-sanctioned social events alcohol is available only to people who are of age and drinking is restricted to certain areas of the house. Open containers of alcohol are not allowed in the halls and all smoking must be done 20ft from the buildings (illegal things are, of course, illegal). It is easy to avoid situations where people may be drinking, and I think pressure to participate in such activities is relatively small.
Thank you so much for the question! Please don’t hesitate to ask if something else should come to mind!
I had a wonderful and relaxing break, but it’s wonderful to be back! My first week of classes surprisingly chill (despite the fact that i had a surprise paper due Wednesday?). I’m taking Discovering Mathematics, two Art History classes: one called Great Cities: Pompeii, and the other on Gender, Sexuality, and the Built Environment, Astronomy 100: Survey of the Universe, and Methods of Literary Study. All my classes look like they are going to be really interesting! I’m also working in the Comstock and Cushing kitchens.
Anonymous asked: Best food in Northampton (outside of Smith)?
Noodles is really good if you’re looking for noodle bowls/dumplings and stuff, Herrell’s is the best for ice cream, Green Bean is a vegan/vegetarian restaurant, Jake’s is an excellent breakfast place, and the Mosaic Café makes the best crêpes. There’s also a new Greek restaurant that I need to try out. I’m not much of a burger person, but I hear Local Burger is fantastic.
Noho has tons of places to eat, and you’re sure to find somewhere you love. Check here for a list of other options.
Thanks for the question! Don’t hesitate to ask something else.
Anonymous asked: When do Regular Decision applicants find out acceptance?
Results will come out April 1st. The decision deadline is May 1st.
Thanks for your question and please don’t hesitate to ask anything else.