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To find the right college, students must put their own aspirations for the future above all else. Students must disregard pr...
To find the right college, students must put their own aspirations for the future above all else. Students must disregard pressure from parents and others to go to certain schools and pick where they feel most comfortable. When deciding on a school, I thought it was very helpful to actually visit the school and stay overnight with a student. When you stay there on your own you get a feel for what it is like to be a student there and can see if it is a place you can see yourself living for four years. I think getting involved is the best way to make the most of the college experience. This year I tried new clubs and sports that I never imagined I would try. I left my comfort zone, took risks, and tried new activities that I was nervous to try, such as diving. It is also important to utilize the resources on campus, such as professor's office hours and study groups. To make the most of the college experience, students need to learn how to balance academics and extracurriculars and just have fun meeting new people and forming new friendships.
The division between athletes and non athletes.
I have great professors who really care and small classes. I always get the help I need in the classroom and have made great friends while learning new interesting things.
My classmates at Bowdoin were bright, motivated, thoughtful, open-minded, creative, and articulate.
My classmates at Bowdoin were bright, motivated, thoughtful, open-minded, creative, and articulate.
Weather. Academics. Sports.
If you're able to visit college campuses, vist as many as you can. When you climb out of the car and take your first glimpse of campus, how do you feel? Take note. Spend a few hours strolling around campus and grab a coffee or soda at a local student hot-spot. Can you see yourself frequenting these concrete walkways? This cafe? Eavesdrop on some students' conversations. Observe their dress, their speech, their habits. Be sure to consider several students, not just a handful that look a lot or absolutely nothing like you. If you can, sit in on a class. Listen carefully. Watch the students' faces. Are they engaged? Are you? Walk slowly back to your car, taking note of the buildings, students, trees, quads, etc. Think about all you've witnessed during your visit. Close your eyes and listen. Could you call this place a home? Listen to your gut.
Although it's small, it seemed to be the most economically diverse schools I looked at. There is a great balance between wor...
Although it's small, it seemed to be the most economically diverse schools I looked at. There is a great balance between working hard, playing hard, and athletics. Generally students are very happy at Bowdoin and love being at school. It's a very close knit community and the alumni network is strong.
Spend time on campus with current students and see if you feel comfortable in the area and with the other students. Yes, the education is important, but it's likely that you will get a good education whereever you go so it's important that you are happy at college. It really is the best four years of your life. It's also important to remember that there isn't just ONE perfect school for every student. If you don't get into your first choice, you can still have an amazing experience at another school. Also, don't really look at rankings. Yes, it's important, but those rankings are based on hundreds of factors, and most are likely irrelevant to you.
Even though it is "diverse," students tend to hang out with others who come from similar backgrounds. I don't know if there is anything that the school itself can do to alleviate that problem - I think it's more of a societal issue. Also, the students, professors and administration are extremely liberal. As a liberal, I appreciate that, but I think it's hard for conservative students to voice their opinions at Bowdoin.
Amazing food, great teachers and small teacher/student ratio. Great sports teams (except for football). Classes are very ha...
Amazing food, great teachers and small teacher/student ratio. Great sports teams (except for football). Classes are very hands-on focused. Financial aid was good. Strong students who also know how to have fun.
How little economic diversity there was.
The best advice I can give parents and students about finding the right college is to visit the schools that you are applying to. Being in the environment of the school definitely helped me know right away which school just felt right. I recommend doing a campus stay overnight with a current student and seeing what life is like for a typical student and also to see what is offered at the school (classes, extra-curriculars, food, entertainment) as well as the city or town that the school is in. In terms of making the most of the college experience... do as much as possible without overburdening yourself. Take risks like joining intramural sports teams for a sport you've never played before, or take an acting class if you've never done that. College is definitely a time where you can explore new areas of interests, academically and socially.
Some famous alums (Hawthorne, Longfellow). Also amazing food (either #1 or #2 rated). Very generous with financial aid for ...
Some famous alums (Hawthorne, Longfellow). Also amazing food (either #1 or #2 rated). Very generous with financial aid for those who qualify.
I would tell students that they should visit the campus and try to get a feel for how people treat each other. Sit in on a class that is representative of one you might take. Your gut instinct is probably going to be pretty accurate - if you get a vibe about the school that you don't like when you're on a tour, the problem you're anticipating probably will still exist when you attend. There are amazing opportunities available at colleges, from the networking possibilities to the incredible knowledge of professors. Ultimately you only get out what you put in though; it's very easy to be complacent and do the minimum necessary to graduate. Don't. You'll be depriving yourself of most of the value of going to school.
Very cliqueish. Some departments are too focused on theoretical at the expensive of real world applications (read: the computer science department).
The administration is much more conservative than it lets on. The athletes are treated like gods even though they are really ...
The administration is much more conservative than it lets on. The athletes are treated like gods even though they are really not all that good at their respective sports. The girls are very ugly. I don't know why but the college refuses to admit attractive women. The class offerings are excessively based on trying to be politically correct.
The guys. All of the guys are really down to earth good people and fun to hang out with. The facilities are also beautiful and well maintained. The location is wonderful, it is clean and beautiful.
The truth is that Mom and Dad should have some input. Parents are there as they have been throughout a child's adolescense, to guide them into making informed decisions. Parents should be there to remind a student that just because he or she likes the facilities, there are other factors to consider or that just because they had a good time during their stay at a particular college, students should remember that there is more to a college than just the social scene. That said there is a very important aspect to finding the right college that is 100% in the hands of the student. After making a list of schools that meet the academic, athletic, aesthetic, and career oriented criteria, the school must feel like home to the student. When I chose Bowdoin it was because I went there and felt that I had a real connection t the school; I could envision myslelf going there. So Parents I advise you to help your children make an appropriate list for themselves and after that take them to each school and let them decide what feels right.
As a student and a parent, it is important to understand what you would like a school to provide to you and your son / daught...
As a student and a parent, it is important to understand what you would like a school to provide to you and your son / daughter as a student. Depending on your interests and personality, there are certain schools that would be best for you. For instance, a small school can offer unparalleled research and advanced study options, but may not support a large traffic load of companies recruiting for internships and jobs. Try to imagine yourself at that school: would you miss football games or find the ocean invigorating? Do you want to be close to home or have the ability to walk into your professor's office to ask a question on a specific problem? There are so many factors to juggle, having a solid understanding of what will make you happy and what are the most important factors to you will help narrow down your choices. Once you find that perfect college, take a step back and understand all it has to offer - do you want to go abroad, join JV tennis, hike on the weekends with the outing club or start a debate group? The opportunities are limitless and your passion will carry you forward.
Someone who wants to have access to professors and be surrounded by a diverse student population. There is an equal amount of academic rigor as well as social requirements that you need to weigh. Bowdoin is very strong academically and will be a great place to pursue any study, but you have to be motivated to do your best and doors will open for you.
The most frustrating thing about Bowdoin is how small it seems to get by your senior year. The small size of the school offers amazing one-on-one contact with professors, but socially it become extremely hard to make new friends or reinvent yourself with only about 1500 other students in the entire school.
Students are overwhelmingly friendly and eager to engage each other in interesting discussions outside of class, much more co...
Students are overwhelmingly friendly and eager to engage each other in interesting discussions outside of class, much more collaborative than competitive. Students routinely gather for informal study groups and view helping each other as a way to grow academically and personally. So much learning takes place outside of class as a result of this, and it really contributes to a wonderfully supportive community atmosphere.
Don't worry about rankings or what others think of your choice. Identify what is important to you and focus on choosing the school that is the best fit. Talk to current students at your potential schools. They have the insider information and will give you the real scoop. If you have concerns, bring them up early. Spending four years at a college is a big decision and you want as much information as possible in order to make it. At the same time, step outside of your comfort zone. College is a time to try new things and have experiences you may never have again. Take a class in an unfamilar field and take courses based on the reputation of the professor. Get involved in a lot of activities early and figure out what you are passionate about as time goes on. Don't get overwhelmed and don't feel like you have to have it all figured out. Academics are imporant but much of the learning happens outside the classroom. You are not just paying for a piece of paper to hang on the wall, you are paying for the opportunity for self discovery. Take advantage of it.
The relationships between students, staff, and professors is incredible. All are engaged with with each other. Students are routinely invited to professor's homes for meals, assist them in research, art installations, or attend conferences together. Informal conversations and meetings are opportunities for bonding and learning. Even paper workshops or or individual exam reviews take place over coffee or dinner.
My school is fun, friendly, and full of rich people that pretend not to be rich, but we all respect one another and are equal...
My school is fun, friendly, and full of rich people that pretend not to be rich, but we all respect one another and are equals in the classroom.
Someone that is openminded and flexible will deal well with the unique mix of socioeconomic and ethnic cultures as well as the environment of small town Maine.
The right college is often not the first one you choose. Sometimes it needs to find you. The most important quality that will lead you to the perfect college is an open mind. We often have a college in mind that we think is the ideal, but college is a time of change and growth. Choosing the right college is the first step in that path of change. Keeping an openmind will allow you to accept new academic structures and methods. They might lead you from New York City to small town Brunswick, Me as it did me. I chose the college that was right for me even though, on paper, it seemed to be completely wrong for me. Searching for the right college is a journey unto itself and your choice will help shape the person you become. Keeping an openmind is the key to finding the right attributes for your college career.
Bowdoin cares about you, wants your best work, is full of extracurricular activities to spark your interests, and will give y...
Bowdoin cares about you, wants your best work, is full of extracurricular activities to spark your interests, and will give you an education for the best four years of your life!
The right college for you is the one where you can imagine yourself living and learning for four years. This can be challenging, considering that most people change dramatically during their college years. When it comes down to it, though, I believe that the best colleges offer a broad enough range of activities and academic fields to accomodate such growth. Of course, food, housing, security, and countless other topics will play into your decision as well. But remember that what really matters in the end is what you will have gained by the time you graduate. Although the party scene may seem essential to you now, will it be as important to you by the time you're a senior as the possibility of doing one-on-one research with a professor? So my main advice is to use your imagination. Imagine yourself in the library, on the quad, in the student union, off campus, on campus. Would you be comfortable there? Happy there? Learning there? Trust your imagination. Because pretty soon, that imagined future will become reality. And that reality really is the best four years of your life!
Someone who is very academically inclined and wants a close-knit college community without the distraction of a campus in the city.
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