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Size is just right - all the better to really get to know your peers AND your professors. If I could change one thing - I'd move Colby to CA or LA (minus the hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.) No, seriously, Waterville could use a facelift - start up some sort of cafe culture, have more host families from within the community (who have no direct connection to Colby), etc. I spend most of my time in either of my academic major buildings - Diamond Lab or the Mudd seminar room! Colby's administration can be a bit hasty with decisions, but you can't blame them for not trying. On the whole, quite supportive and willing to incorporate students' opinions. Can aim for better transparency, particularly regarding budget allocation and spending which affects clubs and on-campus programming. On the downside, majority of students don't have a lot of faith in the admin and criticism is rampant. Must work on image and perception. School pride - depends on the athletic season and/or how Bowdoin and Bates are faring! Unusual - oh yes! People are very friendly. And if you look carefully enough and take the time to get to know everyone, this is an EXTREMELY diverse population, and not just for the no. of nationalities represented.
After you've told the 986784th person that you go to Colby College, your brain engages auto-pilot to field one of the following two responses: The Blank Stare, followed by a half-embarassed "Now where is that again?" or "Thats in Maine right? You must be cold up there" To disambiguate now, in attempt to eliminate any further confusion: yes, it's ***ing cold up here, deal with it. I spend the majority of my time, during tundra season, in "The Street," the corridor below Miller Library, the iconic building at Colby. No the street isn't nerdy, it's just where most people hang out because our new student center has proven to be such a colossal failure. There is no draw to Pulver Pavillion, affectionately known as The Train Station or That Uncomfortable Excuse for a Student Center. Unfortunately it is true. But, there have been a number of people consciously trying to make it a better place and it's happening, slowly. By the next year, it should be infinitely better than it currently is with plans to bring in more comfortable seating, area rugs, non-industrial lighting, and whole host of student art. That seems to be emblematic of my experience with Colby as a whole: We are new. A new academic respect and recognition, new buildings and building projects, and a new image. Pursuant to this newness, a few things have become apparent: I think in part to cope with our underwhelming "name power," unlike a Williams or an Amherst, our administration has sought to micromanage every outwardly visible aspect of our college, most blatantly, our website. A visit to the "Prospective Students" area of Colby.edu offers more daily information about our school than 99% of the rest of our campus. The Result: Students feel left in the dark. The level of communication amongst students, the administration, and student organizations is non-existent. Our campus is GORGEOUS, but also very large and the amount of sheer footage coupled with our ivory tower administration has left the majority of students feeling isolated and unheard.
The best thing about Colby is the fact that majority of the Colby faculty are welcoming, they invite you over for dinner, assist you academically when you don't understand certain material, and as well serve as a support system such that they listen to what you have to say in regards to social life on campus. One thing I would change is the drinking on campus as well as the few cases of racism and discrimination on campus, I would like to see more diversity such that we have urban students attending Colby and not just suburban students. Another thing I would change is the non-Halal food non-Kosher food option not being available in the dinning halls, because such food are not available many students have to buy groceries on top of paying for a meal plan because many days all the dinning halls serve is pork.
The best thing about Colby is the PROFESSORS! I tell this to all of my tours, and I never have to exaggerate even the slightest amount when I talk about how wonderful the teachers are at Colby. They don't just see their students as grades in a grade book - we're real people to them, and it is not at all uncommon for a professor to attend students' concerts and games or invite the majors in their department over for dinner. Most Colby students take all of this attention for granted until senior year, when they (like I did!) realize that the support and connections of their professors are absolutely essential when applying to grad schools or looking for jobs. If I could change one thing about Colby, I would move it four hours closer to New Jersey. I hate the long drive home! But most of the time I am glad that I have an excuse to stay on campus for shorter breaks and long weekends. Colby is just the right size. It is rare that you will ever be in a situation where you don't recognize anyone, but you meet new people everyday. Anyone who is actually familiar with Colby (which most well-educated people living on the East Coast are) is very impressed when I tell them I am a student here. Otherwise, the usual reaction is, "Colby - where's that? Why on earth would you want to go to school somewhere so cold?" I spend most of my time on campus in the library or a dorm room - my own or one of my friends' rooms. Waterville actually has a nice little downtown area with restaurants and shops, but it's still pretty dead at night. Luckily, our student programming board has something planned practically every night of the week, and the new pub is FANTASTIC - great for a relaxed evening of drinking, if you're legal.
The best thing about Colby are the people here. I feel that this school tends to attract people who are genuinely nice, open-minded, and receptive - and it makes for a strong community and learning environment both inside and outside of the classroom. I feel that, for most purposes, the school's size is just right. Almost every class I've taken here has been under 20 people, with the exception of two introduction lecture classes. The student body is small enough that you get a sense of knowing, or at least recognizing, almost everybody on campus - but still big enough that you're being introduced to or discovering new people throughout the year. When I tell people at home (Connecticut) I go to Colby, they have no idea what I'm talking about. I've started just saying "I go to college in Maine" because that's what the conversation always boils down to anyway. It's frustrating that for such a competitive school, it's so unheard of by most people south of Massachusetts. The town of Waterville doesn't have a ton to offer students beyond the movie theaters and restaurants. The local music scene is non-existent (beyond Colby events). We have a Wal-Mart and a Starbucks that students frequent, and some nicer restaurants down on Main Street for couples going out on dates, but there's really no incentive for students to go into town unless they're volunteering at a school, going out to dinner, or buying something. Our sense of school pride doesn't necessarily stem from athletics or reputation like other schools', but I definitely think there is a sense of pride in our community. There's this sense of closeness as a group of kids out in the woods in Maine that I don't think people at other schools necessarily get. If you see a Colby sticker on a car on the highway, you honk and wave ecstatically. It's exciting since the experience is so rare, and it's like you're both in on a secret.
The best thing about Colby is the wide array of people with whom you can meet and be friendly, without feeling like you are crossing any awkward borders. Everyone is so smart and friendly that you will find yourself having an incredibly intellectual arguments/discussions with your group or friends over lunch. If I could change anything, it would be to have more housing on campus and have more suit-style living available. The size is just right for me - bigger campus so I can spread out or be alone when necessary, but small enough that I know people really well. "What College town?" Colby's administration could be a little more willing to give student leaders more power and freedom. There is tons of school pride. Colby, unlike Bates and Bowdoin, used to have fraternities and is thus socially a little still as if there are frats. But no one seems to get excluded. If you are willing to put yourself out there, you will find friends.
Jake SophomoreReviews provided by: Unigo