Some use of hyperbole in the below; I wrote it in 30 seconds:
I have a part time job at a software development company in downtown Philly, so I get to see the city a lot. I also really love Philadelphia for being what it is. I feel like I’m an outlier in all those respects though (we have lots of New Yorkers who complain too much).
On campus, I’ve been active on the student newspaper, The Bi-College News (shared with Bryn Mawr) since freshman year. Some years it’s great, others (like now) we are understaffed and struggle for content. Fun anyway though. I’m also involved in FIG, the student tech group that runs a bunch of websites and servers and builds public video game projects. I feel like the Haverford “tradition of student self-governance” is at play not just in Students and Honor Councils, but in every extracurricular. The administration is great at what they do, but hardly gives ANY in-kind support to clubs or activities. I do not think this is a downside. At Haverford, students have to envision, drive, and run everything themselves, including “essential services” that other school administrations take care of, like faculty/administrator search committees, the community service programs, the tech group, the newspaper, a cappella/music groups, the student run cafe, etc. It is easy to be active, you get sucked into it, and it takes up a lot of your life having to run it all (with hard classes and homework). But you have SO much freedom, you are actually *able* to run things by yourself versus what happens at other schools.
The education I have gotten outside of the classroom from being so active in campus life and making the school run I think has really prepared me for operating well with responsibilities in the business/nonprofit career world. We may be a liberal arts college, but one does not come out of 4 years of a Haverford Education with a “Do you want fries with that?” experience. We’re ready to go.