Sometimes you can spot a Hampshire student when they're still in high school. "My English teacher, who was a mentor to me, noticed that I was very self-motivated in my work," recalls first-year student Peter Nguyen. "She also saw that I didn't really have a defining forte in any subject; I just loved them all.
"She recommended Hampshire College to me, saying that it was the perfect place for me—a setting where I can study exactly what I want to without being bound by a traditional, set path."
It was a great recommendation, and he enrolled. Despite the initial "culture shock" of transitioning from high school to Hampshire, Nguyen was captivated from the first.
Explore Your Passions
His tutorial was Cognitive Science Fiction, taught by Professor of Computer Science Lee Spector. The class used science fiction as a framework for looking at real cognitive science and computer technology. Nguyen was thrilled: "Who knew you could analyze science fiction in an academic setting?"
But his favorite class was Introduction to Writing, taught by Writing Center Co-Director Will Ryan. The class is a rigorous survey of every writing style imaginable, from scientific articles to fiction, that leaves students with competency in all of them. "It was one of the best classes I have ever taken," says Nguyen. "I highly recommend it to any student—writing concentrations or not!"
For his Division II concentration, Nguyen plans to "fuse biology with astronomy and/or journalism."
"I would also love to throw in a little psychology and music in there," he adds, "but check in with me about that in about a year. I'm just focused on finishing Div I at the moment."