- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Business
- Gender: F
- High School: Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS)
- Transfer Student: N
Because 40% of the students are accepted early decision, there is a common pride in W&L that anyone who visits can feel. Because it's small, it creates the opprotunity for everyone to connect and truely feel a part of the community; infact the small size makes the school feel BIGGER because everyone does know eachother and can get along with a wide variety of people. Continuing with the idea of school pride, outside of W&L the connection is even stronger. For example, last summer I saw an alumni (who I didn't know) wearing a W&L visor and I went up to talk to him and we had an instant bond. If I'm wearing W&L gear outside of school I will--without fail--have someone stop me and have a conversation about W&L and compare our experiences. That also is a testement to our Speaking Tradition, which says that all students should say Hi to everyone in passing... In or out of school. Basically, being a student at W&L is like being in a secret club. There are little secrets and understandings. Everyone feels proud and honored to be a part of the club and once you're in, you're in for life.
After going to a small and academically challanging highschool, I was looking forward to, well, slacking off in college. The rumor was that the hardest part of college was getting in. I was SHOCKED then to find myself right back in the small and challenging class atmosphere of highschool. Professors know the students and know what they are capable of, and they absolutely hold their students to that standard. There is no grade inflation. The first meeting we had as a freshman class, the dean addressed the class and said, "90% of you were the top 10% of your class. Now only 10% of you will be". A seemingly obvious statement, but for the type A over achievers that flock to W&L, it was a bit of a shock to see that come into realization. BUT while professors are very demanding and classes are tough, they are incredibely interesteing classes. Some classes are hard to get into, but if they are neccessary for a major or graduation professors will always let you in. Often students can get into "full" classes (and by full, i mean about 25 students) by e-mailing the professor and showing legit interest in the subject. Also, even though students tend to by Type A, there is no competition with fellow students for "class rank" or elite academic standing. The pressure is entirely internal. As far as the student/professor relationship goes, I can say with confidence that all of my professors know my name and they--consistent with speaking tradition--will always stop to talk outside of class. They're available for help at ALL hours (I actually called a professor at 3 in the morning for help on a group project and she helped no questions asked).
I hate to say it, but a low socio-econmic, racially diverse liberal would probably have a tough time here.
The Best Things
Common sense of pride
The Worst Things
It only lasts 4 years