Swat Freshmen Come in 2nd in Happiness

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Huffington Post reports that only Yale University beat us when it comes to first-years’ happiness. They cite a new ranking by the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, which is based on the freshmen retention rate.

Read more on the Huffington Post website.


  1. Oh, please. This is a non-article about a non-article. Here’s the original six-sentence blurb, quoted verbatim:

    Being a freshman is hard, so it’s good to attend a school that makes its youngest members fell happy and fulfilled.

    The Center for College Affordability and Productivity recently rated the colleges with the highest freshman retention rate. Yale University topped the list with Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania coming in second.

    Check out our slide show of the 12 schools with the happiest freshmen. Then tell us, were you happy as a freshman? Weigh in below!

    Emphasis added to point out that this whole happiness angle is HuffPo bullshit, because what the study actually measured is just freshman retention rate. Just because people don’t want to leave a school doesn’t necessarily mean they’re happy, and even happy people sometimes leave (e.g. for financial reasons).

    And honestly, not to be the bitter junior, but the reason I checked the original source is because I think it’s pretty implausible that we actually have the nation’s 2nd happiest freshmen. Maybe if you only count during pass-fail.

  2. I dunno, lots of little kiddies come in here all naive and excitable, looking forward to Occupying their Wall Streets or Kicking their Cokes or whatever it is that they do these days… it’s only later that they get all jaded and bitter and some of the world’s unhappiest people.

  3. Hey…I’m a junior, and I’m still happy! I’m so glad I made the choice to attend Swat. Not everyone is cynical and jaded, etc.

  4. I am much happier as a senior than I was as a freshman. Yes, even despite the stress of the real world looming over my shoulder. Now I just know how to deal with it better.

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