Looking back on the person you were when coming to Reed is often like looking through an opaque window. You still see the frame and some features of your old self, but the greater part of who you are rests on this side of the mirror, having been tempered by your experiences at Reed. Often after four years, students’ reasons for coming to Reed still hold up: the desire to attend a small school with an intimate academic setting, amidst a liberal and open culture of mostly-nice and genuine individuals. Many students choose Reed because they do not want to be another face in the crowd at a large state school. Empirically, Reed’s commitment to making critical thinkers and writers out of its students separates it from other academic institutions. Although many other institutions will train their students to write and think, Reed bombards your mind with reading, writing, and thought, helping many realize a level of intellectual self-awareness that they never thought possible. Students push themselves hard because they choose to, just as they go here because they want to. Any Reedie who wishes to be somewhere else has already left for that place. People stay at Reed and endure its academic rigors because they truly love and are committed to what the college has to offer.
Essentially, most students believe in Reed. Although they may feel disenchanted with their institution of higher education at times, most Reedies accept their school’s shortcomings for what they are, and accept that they cannot see themselves anywhere else. Reed is not just a college; it is an academic, personal, and social experience, and Reedies respect and cherish it.