You may be wondering what I mean when I say that I go to the most hippy-ish college in the nation. This is not an exaggeration; this is not hyperbole; this is fact. Just about any college guide would tell you this. We have a reputation from way back.
And how does this manifest itself? Let me tell you a story. When I first came to visit my college, my sister was talking on the phone with my dad.
"Dad, it's bad," she said. "There are hippies everywhere."
"Now hang on a minute. Are you sure you aren't just exaggerating?" my dad retorted. "How many white people with dreadlocks can you see?"
"Five," she answered.
She wasn't kidding. It really is like that (also, note to people with straight hair: your dreads look really weird; it's really only a style people with curly hair can pull off). Everyday I sit in classrooms with people with dreadlocks and beads and feathers knotted into their hair. I see people with Mohawks that add five inches to their height. Let's just say we're not afraid to let our freak flags fly. It's kind of like Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends except we're not imaginary. Imagine a place where they took every weird kid from every high school in the nation and plopped them down on a farm in Appalachia. That's what my college is. Don't get me wrong. This place is a hoot (teehee; our mascot is an owl). I don't know many places where on your way to class you regularly see people in the trees. Or count ten people riding fixies to class. Or overhear conversations about why vegan is the way to go. Not many colleges announce that the weekend has arrived with the sighting of people carrying cases of PBR to their dorm rooms. At no college I've heard of is the preferred makeout spot a cow pasture. This is just how we roll.
Not only are we kind of a hippy commune in appearance, but also in how we run the place. My college is a work college this means that everyone has a job and contributes in some way to the community. Basically like a commune. We raise our own chickens, pigs, sheep, cows, and turkeys and grow countless fruits, vegetables, and herbs in our college garden, all of which is raised by students and most of which goes into the bellies of students. We don't have janitors; we are the janitors. We're also the electricians, plumbers, carpenters, and HVAC specialists. We run the dining halls. We cut down the trees; we pave the sidewalks; we paint the walls; you get the picture. Because of this, we like to think, everyone has more of a sense of community. You don't make a mess in the bathroom because your roommate will have to clean it up tomorrow. You don't put graffiti on a wall because your best friend will have to scrub it off with a brush. Everyone thinks twice before doing something to make sure it won't hurt the community. It's nice really. We actually have a say in what goes on in our college. We have a voice.
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that this place is the weirdest college I've ever heard of (ex. while most colleges have a football team, we have a circus), It really is wonderful. Now to leave you with a view of my wonderful home. Because that's how I feel about it; it's my home.