When I first discovered Shimer, I was an outcast in school. Yes, I had friends, but we definitely weren’t popular, me least of all. People at my high school thought it was weird I was always walking around with a book in my hand, usually one they wouldn’t understand why I was reading.
“Why waste your time on Shakespeare when we don’t have to read it for class?”
“What’s so special about Pride and Prejudice anyways?”
High school is a rough place, and people are usually more concerned about who is going to be prom queen or prom king, and people who don’t fit in are usually made to feel like they’re losers. Like your life is going down the tubes because you weren’t popular in high school. Shimer fixes that very quickly. When I first visited Shimer, I was amazed. Finally, I was able to talk about Descartes and W.E.B. DuBois with people who were passionate about them. I didn’t feel left out anymore. I found a place where people don’t judge you for loving Plato and Aristotle. A place that feels like I belong.
Being a Shimerian has been the best thing academically that’s happened to me. In the classes I have a voice, and am able to share my ideas with people that care. I’ve made friends who are eager to debate about Kierkegaard and Kant. Not only that, but we have access to some of the brightest philosophical minds. Our professors guide us along the way to learning not what to think, but how. The atmosphere they create at school is one that encourages learning and free thought. You are not only welcome to share disagreeing opinions with them, but it is preferred that you do so.
So, what exactly is a Shimerian? A Shimerian is someone who loves to read. A person who enjoys talking about the ideas that have formed our culture, our politics, and the world we live in today. Someone that is passionate about learning how to express yourself academically, and personally. Someone who is excited about philosophy and the liberal arts, not limited to but including art, political theory, and the formation of modern science.
Outside of the realm of academics, we enjoy interacting with the world around us, and trying to leave our mark on the people we are surrounded by. Our students like to volunteer for groups like the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood.
If you come to Shimer, expect to be dragged into late night conversations about the things you are reading for class. Expect to become friends with your professors and seek them out in the halls to continue discussions that you started in class. Expect to find the friends you haven’t found before, friends who help expand your realm of understanding.
In short, a Shimerian is someone who loves learning and loves talking about what they’ve learned. If you come here, you won’t be disappointed.
“As long as I have breath and life I shall never give up philosophy”- Plato
Sofia Benidettino ’17