- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Biology
- Gender: F
- High School:
- Transfer Student: N
When any student says they go to Williams, the most common reaction seems to be "Oh.... what's that?" It's tiny size and the largely rural landscape create a very different atmosphere from the town where I grew up, which was home to a mid-sized public university. The main street through Williamstown consists of art galleries, a few decent restaraunts, and overpriced "market" that carries mostly organic food, one clothing store, and a mediocre coffee shop (the coffee is terrible, but the espresso drinks are okay and the vegetable quiche is amazing), plus a store that sells quirky gifts, books, children's toys and costume supplies. On the plus side, there's lots of good hiking. The administration keeps things running smoothly. They're good about responding to email and working with students on personal issues, but they seem to have little regard for student opinion when it comes to construction projects and the infamous cluster housing system. The cluster system divided an already tiny campus of 2000 into four neighboorhoods, supposedly to promote community and help the students get to know each other, but effectively did nothing but piss people off and limit housing choices.
There's really no easy way out at Williams. It's a lot of work, and most of your professors know you by name and are quite friendly, which makes slacking off difficult. Everyone works a lot, but classes are, for the most part, interesting and you have plenty of flexibility, so you rarely are forced to take classes on subjects that don't interest you. The division requirements are easy to fill, because there is so much to choose from that you are bound to find something that will hold your attention for a semester. There's an incredibly active and available academic support network: peer tutors, the Math Science Resource Center, and the Writing Workshop all offer free help, plus classes have TA sessions and professors always make themselves available for office hours.
The Williams student body is relatively diverse and, for the most part, friendly. There are lots of people from wealthy families, but also lots of people here on major scholarship, and money doesn't seem to be at all a factor in social interactions. There's an active Queer Student Union and Black Student Union, and these organizations are very welcoming to straight or non-black students as well, respectively. There are a wide variety of religious groups on campus. Many of the students are very athletic, or at least spend a lot of time working out. There's a large contingent of students who like hiking, camping, and genrally being outside. Even taking the non-athletic folk into account, Williams is a very active campus. Students who prefer to lie around and watch TV rather than getting involved with campus activities might feel a little out of place.
The Best Things
The Worst Things
sleep deprivation- there's too much to do