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Best: gorgeous campus; friendly, accessible professors; lots of extra-curriculars. One thing I'd change: ITS needs to cat...
Best: gorgeous campus; friendly, accessible professors; lots of extra-curriculars. One thing I'd change: ITS needs to catch up and fix the wireless (it can be really slow at high-volume hours). Size: just right. Enough students that we have amazing opportunities and meet new people every year, but few enough that we can actually GET those opportunities for ourselves and you feel like you know a lot of people. Reaction: before I came, "is that a dental school?" but now that Colgate's been making the news a bit, people tend to be quite impressed - the perception is that it's a mini/little ivy. The town: I like Hamilton. All the basics are readily available and it's super safe. If you like clubbing 4 nights per week, maybe not so great, but I came to college to get an education, not an addiction. Administration: good. Fairly understanding. Biggest controversy: Greek-house acquisition, which seems to have died down. That's about it... School pride: people always lament the lack of school spirit, but just because it's not as crazy as at athletic powerhouses like Notre Dame doesn't mean it's not there. People are happy and genuinely like being here, which is a lot more than can be said about other schools. Always remember: study abroad. Absolutely amazing, life-changing experience. Complaints: it's cold. But we like it here anyway, and it builds character.
I talked about this a bit in stereotypes, but I'll elaborate. Everyone is pretty accepting, though it depends what definition of diverse you use to determine how "diverse" Colgate is. Unfortunately a stereotype that it's not scares off people that would potentially make it MORE diverse. A lot of cultural groups have presences greater than their constituent parts, which is good. I think most people could feel comfortable. Maybe except racists and homophobes, but I don't think anyone else would want them here either... Most students are... normal. Jeans, t-shirts, coats. It's not something I pay attention to. Of course there's a few people that are concerned with being fashionable, but most people aren't. Having lots of different extracurriculars helps people from different groups interact. You'll see a lot of people participating in things because they're genuinely interested, regardless of any connotations of the activity. Most students seem to be from the northeast, though they're trying to expand a lot and have students from almost every state. Even from the northeast, though, backgrounds differ a lot. I've had friends from estates in Westchester and Harlem, whose parents could pay for college 10 times over and whose parents can't pay a dime. I don't know if that's typical, but I hope it is. Students seem aware but not too active, though there's several groups on campus that are very enthusiastic. Too many protests/political issues could be annoying - this way groups pick and choose the important problems that students care about. In general people seem to be moderate to left-leaning. There's some outspoken conservatives, but they seem to be in the minority. For some reason we have a reputation as being conservative, but I think that's just compared to colleges and universities known for being incredibly liberal (like Berkley). I've never heard people talk about future earnings. People talk about what they dream of doing for the rest of their lives, what will make them happy. Bringing up salaries for seniors seems almost... not taboo, but you certainly don't brag about it. People seem to all be really passionate about whatever they are interested in, regardless of the financial payoff. I'm sure there's students here who are only in college to get a prestigious degree to get a good job, but I don't think I actually know many. If anything, people joke about "living in a box" because they're pursuing what they love to do and it's not lucrative (like teaching for example).
The negative ones aren't, in my opinion. A glance around shows just as many "normal" people as "preps," there only seem like so many because guys wearing pink pants tend to stand out a lot. I have a lot of friends that aren't well off, and there's a lot more people on financial aid than most people think - I hate that these stereotypes discourage kids from coming because they think they aren't the right type - there's hundreds of "types" here, and everyone will find their own niche. People are really friendly and motivated, but just because around 80% of people are involved in sports doesn't mean everyone has to be. Aside from varsity athletes, it's really not a big defining characteristic for most people.
Professors definitely know you. I had a professor for an intro sociology class my sophomore year and he still knew my name and how well I'd done my senior year. Favorite class: this is REALLY hard. Ironically some of the classes I thought would be awful ended up fantastic. Of course I'm biased towards my department though, so Japanese. Least favorite: also hard, because nearly all of the classes I was dreading taking ended up being fantastic. Others were a lot of hard work but afterward I'm SO glad I took them. Like Calculus - thanks to the awesome professor, ended up really enjoying it. Studying: I study a lot. But I have really, really high standards for grades. If you're content with B's, you can get away with studying less. It also depends so much on your habits and organization how effective your studying is, so it's impossible to generalize. Class participation: it's usually required, though in most classes it happens anyway. I've only had two "lecture" classes in 4 years. Outside of class: at least in my group of friends we do, which is fantastic. I don't know how typical it is though. Competitive: on the field, yes. Off, not at all. Most people don't really talk about their grades, and everyone studies together. Unique: probably Cryptography (creating and breaking codes). There aren't really BS classes either. Japanese department: small, but intimate. But not in THAT way. You get to know people really well. We'll be graduating 5 Japanese majors this year, and a bunch of minors. The professors are great. Out of class: professors love to get to know students. I spent 15 minutes just chatting with my sociology professor yesterday because he remembered I talked about a TV show I'd seen at the beginning of the year and he wanted to tell me about a similar one that would premiere soon. I've been to professors houses for dinner probably 5 or so times, and had class dinners another 6 or so. Academic requirements: I think they're perfect. They encourage you to branch out (which is the whole point of liberal arts) without taking up too much time. End goals: it's split. It also depends on the student. Someone who wants to be a doctor or investment banker can come in and focus on taking the right courses for the job, but others have no idea what they want to do when they come in or even when they're about to leave.
The most popular events are Dancefest and Mr. Colgate. Though I've never been. There's plenty of events for everyone though, whether it's a football game or classical music concert. WRCU is the biggest group I'm in. It's our totally student-run radio station, with over 100 DJs. The biggest thing about any group is that it's really easy to get involved and easy to take a leadership role, even if you don't think of yourself as the leadership type. People leave their doors open when they're home if they live on a hallway. Suites are a bit different. People tend to be quite social. Events depend on the success of the team. Speakers tend to be pretty well attended, as does theater. People don't really go on dates. There's two cultures, a hook-up culture and a long-term relationship culture. Which you're in is totally up to you, and rejection of the whole system is an option as well. I met my closest friends through living together, radio, and friends-of-friends. 2 am on a Tuesday? Studying. Though Tuesday and Sunday nights are the quietest nights socially because most people have class the next morning. Some people go out Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, though that's pretty rare. Most people only party on Friday and Saturday nights. Traditions: other than official things, like the torchlight procession of seniors the night before graduation, etc., Dancefest and Mr. Colgate, as well as the Colgate-Cornell hockey game. Greek life is a perfect balance. It's there for those that want it, it's not overpowering for those that don't. I've never been to a Greek event, and I'm ok with that. Last weekend I had a horse show at 8 am on Saturday, so not too much! If you don't drink, there's regular movies in town, as well as a midnight movie and free films from the school. There's usually some sort of concert, plus club events and banquets. If you live in substance free dorms, you'll have a lot of friends that don't drink, and you can just hang out with them. Parties don't always necessarily have alcohol. Off campus, there's movies and bars in town. Usually students are so busy with on campus activities they don't have time to get bored.
There's a negative stereotype that Colgate students are snobs clad entirely in J. Crew. Or that everyone is really well off. There's also the stereotype that everyone is really friendly, athletic and motivated.
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