The classes are fantastic; the professors amazing. They care about their students and get to know them on an individual basis. It's awesome. The small class size makes all of that possible. The weather sucks, though and the apathetic student body leaves much to be desired. Most people, outside of academia, have not heard of Bowdoin, so if you're superficial and looking for an ego-trip whenever you mention the name of your college, Bowdoin is not for you. Brunswick is decent-lots of restaurants and small, independent shops. And Freeport (outlet capital of the USA, well maybe Maine) is just 15 minutes away. Bowdoin administrators aren't great. Their lack of attention to student issues and opinions is rather startling, but for the most part, they'll leave you alone as long as you're not tarnishing Bowdoin's pristine image. The most recent controversy was a hazing "scandal." Someone found some pictures from 2004 (good forbid) of the sailing team dressed inappropriately and the administration freaked out. The ironic thing, of course, was that this was hardly hazing. The school got so upset about a costume party, while the X-C team was forcing freshmen to swallow live fishes. There's a lot of school pride if school prides means blacking out at Bowdoin-Colby hockey games. But seriously, our two biggest rivals are Bates and Colby, which is sort of lame because all of the students there wish they could have gotten into Bowdoin.
When I was first looking at colleges my junior and senior year in high school, I was convinced that I wanted a huge student body. Coming from a small private school in Baltimore, I felt that I needed to have that experience. When I started looking into Bowdoin, the class size was the one thing that made me hesitant about applying, despite the fact that I loved everything else about it--the social house system, the balance of athletics and academics, the food (of course), the campus, the location, etc. I decided that regardless of what size school I went to, I would have significantly more classmates than the 75 I had in high school, so either way, I was going to have a plenty of different experiences. When I got here my freshman year, I found that the class size was practically perfect. Enough people to always be meeting new ones and small enough that I didn't feel overwhelmed. One experience that I'll never forget is when the women's Field Hockey team won Bowdoin's first ever National Championship. The entire campus was at the field house at 1 am on Saturday night to greet them. One of the houses off campus threw them a huge party and practically the entire campus was there, supporting the team until 5 o'clock in the morning. Even security guards were there when the team got off the bus, taking pictures and cheering them on with the rest of campus. It really was a huge testament to our incredible school spirit.
Bowdoin is a place where people are generally really nice. Nice is definately the word. Sometimes I wish there were a little more 'alternative' people at Bowdoin, most people are quite middle of the road: nice, but a little boring. But, we are always finding new people we didn't know existed. You need to work at widening your circle, its easy to end up hanging out with the same 8 or so people for 4 years. The campus itself IS small, but there's a lot to do. Every weekend I have a reason to stay on campus. If you DO want to get off its pretty easy but you need to be on top of your shit: there's shuttles that can take you into Portland (about 1/2 and hour) and a bus that leaves from the hockey rink. I really like town: there's not much there but theres pretty much everything I need and I like Brunswick townies: you can just hang out in a store and talk to the owner if you would want to. Plus, the weather get gross sometimes and so you're glad its small and you dont have to go far to get to the supermarket or wherever. Even though I think more than half bowdoin kids do a sport, there's not that much school pride, people don't get psyched for much except the hockey team. People don't really go to games that often, thought we did get a pep band last year.
The best thing about Bowdoin is the food. If I could change one thing I'd change the long winter, focus on drinking, and lack of attractive. The school could be larger because everyone you don't know knows something embarrassing about you. Nobody has heard of Bowdoin and they shouldn't. We haven't had any famous alumni for 50 years. Most of the time I spend on campus is in the library because I actually do my work. Its a college town in that the Brunswick economy is reliant on us. The only nice looking part of Brunswick is Bowdoin. Bowdoin's administration is great except for how their policies encourage binge drinking. The biggest recent controversy on campus is how security breaks up small gatherings of seniors yet allows hordes of freshmen to get trashed weekly at social houses. There is a lot of school pride due more to the reputation then any actual aspect of Bowdoin. The most unusual thing about Bowdoin is that people actually think its a good school. One experience I'll always remember is the week of orientation when I realized unless I wanted to stay in my room by myself I had drink when I went out. The most frequent student complaint at Bowdoin is that there's too much snow and cold. I agree.
best thing: the food one thing i'd change: the weather school size: way too small -> way too much gossip -> way too much drama telling people at bowdoin: in the northeast - wow, what a great school. anywhere else - is that a community college? spend most of my time - union or dorm college town = "what college town"??? THERE IS ONLY 1 MAIN BAR! WTF?!?! and no stores. good luck shopping girls. there is freeport but that gets old. administration - it sucks. they don't really care about the students and they are completely biased and favor ethnic students. also, completely unhelpful in terms of classes. biggest recent controversy - ??? nothing happens at this school. school pride - i guess. at hockey games against colby. other than that, i'd say 90% of students hate it here. unusual - one of the buildings on campus has floorboards made of cofin lids. also, bowdoin is pretty much the only school that does not offer credit for taking a lab. probably a good reason why so many students drop the pre-med. experience always remembered - supersnack with friends frequent student complaints - weather, nothing to do, no fun parties, pre-med students always complain about labs and not getting credit for them
The school is very, very small; after the first few months, you know of know of the majority of people here. This is a comforting thing in that generally when you walk around campus you'll know the people you see. On the flip side, avoiding people can get extremely tricky - not that people actually change their lifestyles because of it. Bowdoin (and any small college) students just deal with awkwardness a whole lot more often. It's seeing and saying hi to your professor who's also getting lunch at the Cafe, but running into that bad hookup from Saturday night at breakfast on Monday isn't always the greatest way to start your week. If you want any kind of anonymity whatsoever (social or academic), Bowdoin is not the place for you. Another thing they don't tell you is the effect the weather has on the social scene, and not just the weekend parties. People certainly still drink and party during the winter, perhaps more so in order to keep from feeling the cold. What I mean is that by the time November comes around, people run inside to their respective niches and generally don't come out again until spring. If you haven't found your group of friends by then, you might have to sit tight until spring.
Student-professor relationships are the best part about Bowdoin. I would change Bowdoin's class withdrawal policy--students should be free to drop a class whenever they want to. The size is just right. When I tell people that I go to Bowdoin they ask where it is, what is is, and why I would want to go to a school in Maine. I spend most of my time in Hatch Science library. Brunswick is a cute college town--cook's corner is convenient and we aren't too far from Freeport and Portland. I don't have any sound claims to make about Bowdoin's administration. There was a mild hazing incident that received more attention then the situation warranted--it only lasted a week or two. School pride has its shining moments e.g., Colby-Bowdoin hockey games. Unusual: we have an incredibly intelligent student body; they are some of the smartest underachievers that I have ever met. I will always remember the traumas of my pre-orientation trip. I was increibly under qualified for the trip, but was assigned to it anyways. For three days, I had to backpack with regular backpackers--it was my first time! I hear a lot of complaints about the Credit/D/Fail policy--why not just make it Credit/Fail?
Bowdoin is a great school. The relationships between student and teacher is like nothing I have thought. They want you to do well and are willing to help you achieve that goal. It is a small school, which means everybody knows everybody, and everybody knows everything about everybody. The curriculum is difficult and it leaves little time to do everything else, expecially if you have commitments to sports and clubs. The town Bowdoin is in, Brunswick, is a little homey town with local shops, delicious gelato, and a 24 hour walmart (so underrated). The administration here are very helpful when needed. The deans and headmaster encourage friendly visits just to catch up on life. The biggest controversy on campus was freshmen hazing on one of the sports teams. Bowdoin takes this issue very seriously. All the students here have unbelievable pride for Bowdoin that we are all ready to shove down Colby's throats. One thing that I will always remember is my teammates. We have formed unbreakable bonds that make us family. We keep in touch with all the alumni who graduated from our team, and we have many memories that will last a life time.
Bowdoin is great. It's a smallerish college so you really do get to know the professors and deans and lunch ladies. You may not know them your freshman year, but definitely beginning your sophomore year you really start to get to know everyone, and this sense of community is a great feeling. In my home town, few people have heard of Bowdoin. But it is fun when you run into someone who has heard of it, because generally they declare that it's a great school. On campus, a lot of people hang out in the Union (Smith Union) since the cafe, the pub, the mail center, and the gym are all located there. A number of comfortable chairs and couches are set up around the Union so it's a nice place to study when you don't want complete quiet. Otherwise, the libraries generally have a number of people in them, and if you live in a social house or dorm, a lot of times people hang out in the common spaces there as well to do work etc. Definitely, the greatest show of school pride is during the Bowdoin-Colby ice hockey games, which are always packed with yelling fans. The cheers between our two schools are the best part and definitely make the game.
the people in the bowdoin community are its richest asset. from the friendly students, to the generous faculty and staff, everyone is worth getting to know. "the bowdoin hello" is what first struck me about bowdoin-- people are friendly and enthused to be here. the open, relatively communal approach is important in a challenging higher education environment. the friendliness extends to the town of brunswick as well. the bowdoin, brunswick relationship is another one of the critical assets of bowdoin. whether you go in to get coffee, live in the neighborhoods, work with the townspeople, the experience is always well worth it. although the winters are long, brunswick is not in the middle of nowhere. quite contrary-- it is 30 minutes north of Portland, a very hip and eclectic port town, and 2hours north of boston. both of which have a plethora of sweet concerts and delicious eateries. to enjoy the long winter, skiing at sugarloaf and sunday river are less than 2hours away and the outing club provides weekly trips: snow shoeing, xcountry skiing, and mountaineering.