The best thing about Bowdoin is the people. There are so many different kinds of people, all who are so excited and passionate about what they are doing. I'm a freshman, so that school hasn't gotten too small for me yet, but I hear from a lot of older students that the older you get, the smaller and smaller Bowdoin feels. That's what study abroad is for! If they've heard of it (which many haven't), people seem to be very impressed that I go to Bowdoin. There is lot of school pride, especially at the sporting events against Colby. You should hear the cheers... The most frequent complaint that I hear is the the dining hall and the library aren't open long enough. I completely agree. I'll always remember my first SuperSnacks experience. SuperSnacks is a night, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night where the Thorne Dining Hall is open from 11pm-1am. They serve nachos, hot dogs, grilled cheese, carrots and dip...snack type foods. There's music and cool lighting...people love it, either to do homework or to socialize. It's a fun environment.
What most attracted me to Bowdoin was the friendly atmosphere that I found there. Bowdoin is a very small school, so you tend to run into someone who you know, no matter where you go on campus. Brunswick is also a great college town. It has a lot of cheap, homey restaurants and stores are within walking distance from campus. One of the most exciting events on campus is the Bowdoin-Colby ice hockey game. The risers are full and students have so much excitement and pride for their men's ice hockey team. One of my favorite things about Bowdoin is the attention that professors can give to their students. Not only are there world-class professors at Bowdoin, but they actually care about their students and encourage them to come to their office hours. The faculty is very welcoming and open to students' ideas. One thing that I would probably change about Bowdoin is the degree of drinking that happens. The college is relatively permissive of drinking, which makes a campus phenomenon that is sort of hard to get away from.
The best thing about Bowdoin--and this is probably more a recommendation to small liberal arts colleges in general--is the access to faculty and the mentoring that happens on campus. This is especially apparent in the sciences, where faculty mentoring can make all the difference. I'm in an intro biology class right now, and not only do both of the professors know my name, one of them has even shared some advice with me during office hours. When I see him in passing around campus, he'll often ask me if I've identified any birds recently (he's an ornithologist) or if I have any questions about ecology in general. These little encounters really make me appreciate the size of Bowdoin and the amount professors invest in their students. At a large university, I don't imagine professors make much time for a freshman biology aspirant. Here, it's unusual for a serious science major to graduate without having spent a significant amount of time working in a professors lab, probably graduating as a published author.
Bowdoin is like a large family. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true. There is not that much difference between seniors and freshman, people tend to get along pretty well no matter their age or different interests. A lot of the older students make the underclassmen feel involved and important. The faculty really cares about their subject and about the well-beings of the students in their classes. If a student is struggling, the faculty will seek them out and offer help. Brunswick is a small little town with fun restaurants and coffee shops. It's fun to get off campus for dinner or a study session every once in a while. Bowdoin students are very concerned about the environment, and ways in which the community can help. There is a lot of snow but it is also fairly sunny, and you acclimate to the cold very quickly. The two biggest complaints are the long winters and the idea of the "Bowdoin Bubble" in which you can easily forget there is a world outside of campus.
I love Bowdoin. Everyone is very friendly and welcomes you to Bowdoin. The social scene is what you make it. When I got here it was very bland... the pub on thursdays and social house parties friday and saturday. But this semester I have been having A LOT MORE fun! We go into town a lot more, which has an amazing amount of things to offer. The size is just right. People always think its awesome that I go to Bowdoin, dont know what it is, or gasp at how cold it must be. I spend most of my time in my dorm because our floor is very cohesive and we all really love to hang out with each other. The administration is really great. They make everything here really easy by planning everything carefully so that our year goes smoothly. The isnt much controversy... I mean we have a nude photo exhibit coming out... For certain sports there is a lot of school spirit. The food is AMAZING (for food prepared for hundreds)!
One of the best things about Bowdoin is great variety in the courses offered here. You can chose basically any topic of interest ranging from Gender and Women's studies to Chemistry. The professors are also really great. Every professor I have had is willing to help you out in any way they can, and are really approachable. Also, the food here is terrific, and certainly one of the aspects of Bowdoin which students love. One of the potentially negative aspects of Bowdoin is that as you get older, the campus seems a bit small, and it is easy to fall into a repetitive routine. Therefore, joining clubs, and getting off campus every now and then is highly recommended. The town of Brunswick is a small town, and is not exactly known for its nightlife. However, most of the people in town are really nice, and always greet you enthusiastically when you tell them you are a Bowdoin student.
I spend most of my time in the student union. It's where I do most of my homework, meet friends for coffee, dance at the pub on Thursday nights, and I work at the information desk there. Basically, Smith Union is my home! I love the size of the school because I feel as though, even as a freshman, I could recognize many of my classmates at meals, in class, and at parties. I love the social house system, it's a great way to have a more inclusive party scene while still preserving the great old fraternity buildings! The mascot is so unique and the colors of black and white make it really easy to show your school pride. The food is good! One of the drawbacks of going to such a good school is that all of the other students were just as smart and involved in high school as you were which can make it hard to participate in certain activities here.
people are much less judgemental here than they are in highschool, and they are very friendly and will hang out with anyone. cant think of anything to change. it feels a little small sometimes but it is really nice seeing people you know every time you walk to class. people acknowledge that it is a good school but wonder what maine is like, which by the way is great. spend most of my time in my friends' rooms, hanging out. Brunswick is small, but all the stores you need are close and there are some great restaurants. administration can be a little strict on certain things but are generally very understanding. friend got a DUI, administration was very cool about it. lots of school pride, games are really fun to go to. not really too many to list some people don't appreciate having a smaller school
One fabulous thing about Bowdoin is how community oriented it is. As you walk around campus, you'll inevitably see at least 10 people you know well enough to greet as they walk by. You'll never feel lost at Bowdoin - people definitely come to know you, no matter what you do. Some people might consider Bowdoin "too small", but I believe it's just the right size - small enough to be able to stand out on campus, yet big enough that you are always able to meet new people. My sophomore year, I expanded my group of friends to be a lot wider than my original freshman clique, and as a result, I met so many new and fascinating people. In addition, the administration in general really looks out for students. They are always asking for comments and student opinions, looking to better the Bowdoin experience.
Bowdoin is a tight knit community with nurturing teachers. The physical lay out of the campus facilitates the unified, community feeling of the student and faculty. The academics are challenging and the professors are supportive and champion their students; it is not easy to "fall through the cracks" here. College town is great--doesn't feel like the middle of nowhere. Portland is near by and so is Boston. The best thing about Bowdoin to me is how tight the students get; everyone knows everyone, and while that can seem annoying sometimes, at the end of the day it's awesome. As a junior, I can really see how my class has come together. While there are different groups of best friends, it is not exclusive and "cliquey." We all have fun together and come together to have fun.