The best thing about Bowdoin is the seemingly endless abundance of student organizations. Whether its the Outing Club, the Literary Magazine, the Film Society or an a Capella group, there something for every kind of person to get involved in. If I could change one thing about Bowdoin, I would offer class credit for laboratory time (which is currently considered as extra course time, be it biology, chemistry, math or economics). Bowdoin has a student population of about 1700, which is just right for me. You can get to know a lot of people well and still make new friends year after year. When I say I attend Bowdoin, most Mainers smile and talk about an art exhibit or science conference they might have seen on the campus once. I grew up overseas, so most of my other friends had not heard of Bowdoin, or Brunswick for that matter. Where I spend time on campus varies throughout the year. I always spend a good amount of time in the library and dining halls. When its warm, I spend a lot of time running, hiking, and reading outside. During the winter I spend a good deal of time in the pool, at hockey games, and in my own very warm room. Brunswick is the best college town you can imagine. It has great food joints for dates. It has very close pizza delivery places (they will deliver pizza straight to your room) and movie rental places. Bath, about 15 minutes drive away, has a large movie theater and a large shopping mall. There is a great deal of school pride (GO U BEARS). The polar bear mascot makes for some creative cheers and there is always a large student crowd that attends sporting events, cheering athletes on and singing along with the pep band. An unusual thing about Bowdoin is its proximity to the Maine coast. You can bike to the ocean in a few minutes. While the nearest beach is about a 30 minute drive away, there are some beautiful walking paths and bike routes that are easy and great to go along. An experience I will always remember is competing the Bowdoin IronBear mini-triathlon. Students, locals, and professionals all compete in a short swim, bike, and run centered in the campus and many Bowdoin students come out to cheer on their friends and provide them with water and food when they cross the finish line. You feel like you really belong to a tight community where everyone is excited and supportive of each other. Students usually complain most about the printers on campus, which are abundant but prone to frequent break-downs. However, Bowdoin has a vigilant Information Technology team that usually fix problems quickly. Students will also complain about the winter cold, which is tough, but outdoor skating and snow ball fights make it manageable. These same students will complain about the heat in the Spring.
Best things about Bowdoin: the PEOPLE (a-grade human beings very smart and very fun), the PROFESSORS (inspiring, caring, personable, incredibly intelligent), FOOD!!!! (see NYtimes article), Parties (DJ pub nights, social house parties, Crackhouse, Joshuas, fun people), CAMPUS (gorgeous gorgeous accessible campus), NO frats or sororities, Great clubs and events on campus constantly, IVIES. Things I would change: BSG very dominated by the same groups of people, Housing shortage although housing is great overall, cold weather in maine. Bowdoin is a small school but coming from a large public school i found it perfect and i never feel too sheltered or trapped. People's reaction to Bowdoin: "Bowdoin... WHAT!?! a community college in Maine?" or "Wow, YOU GO TO BOWDOIN!?!" Time spent on campus: Classes, Homework, Studying, Partying, Socializing, Eating, going to Club meetings and campuswide events Colelge town: Brunswick Maine, Gem of Maine. Great stores and restaurants easily accessible. Ie. Big Top - best sandwiches, Scarlet Begonias - delicious pizza and pasta BYOB, Joushuas - fun bar and great lobster rolls, Sea Dogs Brewery (great lobster and beer) also half an hour away from Portland (city in the USA with most restaurants per capita) Bowdoin Administration: Unseen but everything runs incredibly smoothly Controvery on Campus: The possibility of getting rid of Credit/D/Fail. Overridden due to student protests School Pride: Come to any Sporting event ESPECIALLY Hockey and Lacrosses and will find devoted rowdy fans
My favorite part of Bowdoin is our student and faculty population. People here are incredibly friendly and willing to go out of their way to help you. On one of the first days of school someone I barely knew asked me to sit with him and his friends, but the table was already a bit crowded, so a group of guys moved two tables together, just to give me a little more room. Bowdoin's size really enables this sense of community. It's not too small that I feel claustrophobic, but it's small enough that I can walk across campus and see (and chat with) lots of people I know. Most people, when they hear that I go to Bowdoin, say something like, "hmm I've never heard of that" or, in response to the fact that it's in Maine, say, "you must love the cold!" I certainly don't love the cold, but my winter this year, while snowy, really wasn't that bad. I think the cold brings people together actually. People who are more "in the know" about colleges, like employers, know and highly respect Bowdoin. As for where I spend most of my time, that would definitely be on campus. Brunswick is an adorable college town, really the best, and everything is within walking distance. Still, the College has so much going on that I rarely feel the need to leave. But the occasional trip to the grocery store or to the gelato place in town are always refreshing.
The best thing about Bowdoin is that you can make friends with people you normally would not interact with. I would change class size. Bowdoin is not a big school, but there are still many classes that have more than 30 students in them. I would like for Bowdoin to hire more professors of color, especially in areas that you would not find these professors. When I tell people back home, I get one of two responses. The first is, where the heck is that, or Wow, you go to Bowdoin. There is nothing in between. One problem I have with Bowdoin is the way they deal with issues of race. I feel that Bowdoin places issue of gender and sexuality on a pedestal, but when there are black/white issues, they are swept inder the rug. School pride...it's getting there. Men's Hockey games and Women's basketball games are well attended. The cheerleading squad is made up mostly of students of color. Ivies Weekend is the best Weekend at Bowdoin. Experience Weekend is fun too, only when you are a freshman and sophomore, not after that.
I love the friendliness of the student body. It would be an overstatement to say that everyone is nice, but compared to the other campuses I've been on, almost everyone IS nice. It's really great. I like how people are healthy and eat well and are active without being too obsessed about it. I love the town; I love how there is such a diversity of restaurants in a small town in Maine. Also the stores are cute and practical. The faculty is impressive and warm. They are approachable, like the students. I think the biggest controversy was over C/D/F. In my opinion, I'm glad that I was able to use the "credit" option for my math class but I can also understand why it encourages students to slack off, and how in that sense it is a bad thing. There is an average amount of school pride, which I think is normal of most campuses. The campus itself is beautiful. I have had too many great experiences so far to remember just one.
Bowdoin is a perfect fit for me. The social scene is great on the weekends, but for the most part exists only on the weekends as people work very hard during the week. Those in the know are impressed that I go to Bowdoin, but many people outside of New England haven't heard of it. Brunswick is the perfect little town. It has almost everything you would need (coffee shops, sandwich shops, video stores, A TON of really good restaurants), the surrounding areas have big chain stores such as Target, and if you can't find it here you can get it in Portland. The most frequent complaints come from the College House system, which seems good on the surface but is fundamentally flawed. Some parties there are good, some are awful, but there are always fun things to de elsewhere.
The best part about Bowdoin is that beer flows very freely. The dorms are huge and the food is great. A couple things that suck are that no hard alcohol is allowed, and the school is small (which is good in some respects, bad in others). When I tell people from home I go to Bowdoin, they don't know what I'm talking about. When I tell people from New England, they are impressed. I spend most of my time on either in my dorm or in the student union. The school is the town. There is not a lot of school pride except when dealing with Colby or Bates College. One experience I will definitely always remember is Ivies. It's an absolute crunk fest.
Bowdoin is a really great school. People here are incredibly friendly (you'll have to come visit to understand this) and incredibly smart, but people rarely compare themselves to others. We are very environmentally conscious, not necessarily in the tree-hugger way but more in the turn off your lights or take little steps to save the environment sort of way. Athletics can be a big deal and a big part of your social life if you want them to be but you don't have to be an athlete to be "cool." I think the coolest thing about Bowdoin is there isn't really a "cool." Everyone is pretty secure with themselves and people are generally accepted for who they are.
I've loved my time here, couldn't have asked for a better college experience. People are generally impressed when I tell them where I'm in school, unless I'm back home in the South and they have no clue why I'd go so far north :). Not too big at all. Freshman and Sophomore year, Bowdoin is the perfect size. If you don't go abroad, I bet it feels pretty small by senior year, but most people study somewhere else in their junior year, so it ends up just fine. Brunswick's great. Really, it's hard to complain about this place. If you like having fun, taking interesting classes, and being involved in a community...it's a good school.
Socially speaking Bowdoin is great on the weekend because the people are great on the weekend. That said, it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, and I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who can't do without a clubbing/bar nightlife. Portland does get some good music from time to time, though, and there's an incredible variety of cultural opportunities that come with being at a college that's as distinguished in the realm of academia as Bowdoin is.