- Class: Junior
- Major: Psychology
- Gender: F
- High School:
- Transfer Student: N
When I tell people familiar with Bates' setting that I go there, the first thing they ask is, ÒHow do you like Lewiston?Ó Lewiston is known as the grittiest of Maine cities. I mean, this is Maine, and even it's grittiest is still tamer than plenty of bad neighborhoods in college cities. I feel completely safe walking around by myself during the daytime. At night, I donÕt stray far from campus if IÕm alone. Lewiston was actually one of the things that made me want to come to Bates. Lewiston is real. Every college campus has great security, so it's nice to be able to have a few minute walk into town that can immediately rattle you back to reality. I really wanted to go to school in a city, but I knew that it was more important to me to attend a small school. With Bates, I was able to compromise these two desires (small school, real--but small--city.) Sometimes you'll hear students complain that Bates is too small. While it's true that gossip gets around pretty quickly and you can almost always find a familiar face in a crowd, that's one thing you have to think about when considering a small school. And, of course, on the flip side of having a small student population is the small class sizes and individual attention you get from professors.
Every professor you've ever had (even for a big lecture class three years ago) remembers your name. Some professors even study their students' ID pictures before the first day of class so that they can call on people by name during the first few minutes of the first class. Creepy? Maybe. Awesome? Definitely. There are a lot of high-achievers here, but they're competitive with themselves, not with their classmates. You don't usually share your grades on individual assignments with friends unless you did poorly and want to ask for help. People usually only discuss grades they got in a course after they've completed the course and it's over and done with. For example, two of my closest friends won prestigious awards for academic achievement during the first year. I didn't even know about their honors until about a year later when I accidentally fell upon the press release! They were never grade-obsessed, always modest, just like everyone else. You can always find a friend in the library on a weeknight, but I feel like I've had more intellectual conversations in a friend's dorm room and in Commons (the dining hall) than in the library. The library's the place where most of the high-achievers spend lots of time pouring over their readings and notes. Of course, sometimes this is necessary. But students also work through their academics by discussing class topics over lunch with friends.
There really is no such thing as a typical Batesie. That sounds like a college guidebook clich, but itÕs true. Most students are active in many different facets of the college experience. I have one friend who works as a tour guide, captains intramural teams every season, volunteers down the street at a hospital, plans to major in neuroscience, participates in student government, and loves seeing theater productions (especially Shakespeare.) On top of all this, heÕs a genuine guy who always has time to make you laugh. Though of course sports teams and other groups sit together for dinner sometimes, we do a lot of table hopping. ItÕs not uncommon to spend a couple hours in Commons (the dining hall) for dinner, moving from table to table and chatting with acquaintances you run into in the pizza line. Mostly just because it's located in Maine, Bates isn't the most diverse school in terms of racial and geographic heritage.
The Best Things
The people (students, profs, staff, etc.)
The Worst Things
Could be more departments/majors