-Why Reed? How did you first become interested in Reed, and why do you think Reed might be an appropriate place, both socially and academically, to continue your education?

If one does a national search for an academically intense private college with strong undergraduate programs in Chemistry and Psychology, and that prepares students for further studies in their field of specialization, Reed emerges as the strongest school that meets these criteria. This research and Reed’s reputation sparked my initial interest. I believe Reed is the perfect academic and social medium for myself and my future.

Through my educational experience I have desired an institution where the focus was on learning and not on evaluating how well the learning was done. Reed is such an institution. At Reed, little or no attention is paid to grades. While I do quite well and am used to the grading structure, I prefer Reed’s approach. I want my college experience to be one of personal growth and enlightenment. I like that there are no fraternities, sororities, or major emphasis on sports teams. This means the emphasis is on academics and free social interaction. Whereas physical fitness is important to me (I run and weight-lift), artificial emphasis on “varsity” team sports is not.

Short intense semesters are another big plus. This is the way I like to learn: waste no time, get everything done, and have time to travel or earn tuition money at a summer job. While the academics are intense, the competition is with yourself rather than other students.

The administration of Reed seems to be very personal and professional. I have heard that there is sincere desire to help the students take full advantage of the school’s resources. Flexibility is also very important. I am unsure of what I want to do as far as careers or majors are concerned. I see myself requiring a school like Reed that has excellent programs in which I am interested, but that also allows for adjustment in academic focus.

I have strong interests in chemistry and psychology, both of which are very well represented at Reed. The resources available in these fields are very impressive and rival those of much larger research institutions.

I have visited Reed and spent several days living in a dorm and going to classes with different people. I was impressed with the classes in the typical freshman lineup. Hum 110 insures that all students, even those focused on the sciences, get a well rounded education and are well versed in the classics and the evolutionary history of society.

“Professors are the school,” say some of my college friends. Many take classes solely because of an excellent professor and not because of the subject matter. The professors at Reed are some of the best in the nation. During my visit I spoke with some and on several accounts was told how they came to Reed out of many offers because they loved the smart, motivated student body. I want to be part of a student body that attracts the best teachers and staff.

During my stay I was also very impressed with the students who attend Reed. Almost everyone I met was friendly, open, and intelligent. While I had never met so many vegans and vegetarians, as a commercial fisherman, I was able to take part in many interesting conversations. The students were the type of people I enjoy and could live with in close quarters. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations I had in the halls and the chess games I was able to solicit.

The location of Reed College is superb. I live in the Northwest and would like to stay in the area. I have traveled to a number of cities and countries (NYC, LA, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Israel, and Venezuela) and have gained a great appreciation of this area, its beauty and its climate. Reed’s Portland location, is also a positive feature. The city offers many resources. Reed’s beautiful campus is protected from some of the downside of living in a city, but the school offers numerous opportunities to become part of the Portland community. This is important to me as I have been an active volunteer in my own home town, working as youth representative for Habitat for Humanity and heading several community service organizations in my school.

If there were any doubts about my desire to go to Reed, they were dissipated when I learned about “Nitrogen Day”. This demonstrates the attitude and atmosphere that I am looking for and will find at Reed. I plan to celebrate this neglected holiday with some fellow Nitrogen Sympathizers and Reed fans at my high school.