College of William and Mary Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


Not at all. We are self-admitted twamps (T.W.A.M.P. = Typical William And Mary Person) but only in the sense that we know what that means. We know a twamp isn't the geek hiding on the third floor of the library studying 24/7. A twamp is someone who enjoys learning and is passionate about their life. A twamp is either over-involved or over-achieving, and is more likely to party on Friday night so they can do work on Saturday (after sleeping in until at least 1pm. Again, there are exceptions, but there's a reason the dining halls serve brunch on the weekends instead of breakfast). We have fun, but we seek balance in our lives. The library is important. So is the club frisbee team and the Model UN team which placed second at WorldMUN in Singapore last year. We work hard, we care, and we have a ton of fun. That is a twamp.


The stereotype about William and Mary students does hold some accuracy. We do study a lot, and you will hear us talk about being akward, in a joking way. When it comes to work, people just take it seriously, but if you're looking for a study break, you'll have no problem finding others up for something fun.


To some degree. There are a good amount of people who don't drink, but there are definitely some crazy parties on and off campus! Even the "nerds" are known to go wild once in awhile, but everyone here is somewhat of a nerd on the inside.


As per the definition of a stereotype, the above portrait is an oversimplification.


Definitely not. While there are some people who fit the stereotypes, there are many more who don't. There's a pretty healthy social scene and some very attractive people.


While it's true that we work very hard (William & Mary is a tough school, so you have to if you want to do well here), we also have a lot of fun. Perhaps because Williamsburg isn't the liveliest college town, there are always fun things happening on campus, from parties to comedians to movie showings to concerts and open mic nights. And William & Mary students are creative; you won't find the pastime of rancing on just any campus. Rancing, or running and dancing at the same time with an iPod playing your favorite dance mix, is a favorite stress-relieving form of recreation at William & Mary. Of course, we have fraternities and sororities, so if you're looking for the typical college social life, it can be found here, too. While there are definitely some awkward students at William & Mary, they aren't necessarily more prevalent than at any other top-notch school. More accurately, William & Mary students are quirky and passionate - over-involved, committed to their studies, but also committed to enjoying college life.


Not at all. W&M is a lot more innovative than expected and the students are fun loving and active.


There is some truth to every stereotype, but this one is overly exaggerated. Everyone at W&M take their academics seriously, but not everyone spends Friday and Saturday nights in Swem, the beloved library. W&M runs the gamut on types of people: there are the jocks, the Greeks, geeks, the rich kids, the poor kids, and everything in between. No one feels like they can't fit in here, everyone finds their clique.


Not at all. Parties go on around here, there are kids who DO fail out of school, and there is no evidence anywhere that our suicide rates are the highest in the country. In fact, according to our alumni magazine, our suicide rate is lower than the national average. So don't believe everything you hear; this school is NOT where fun goes to die.




No. This is William & Mary, not an Ivy! (Except for the awkward part.)


Yes, they are mostly nerdy and work hard, but some party way too much for their own good, as with any other school


1. William and Mary students are much less socially awkward than the stereotype would have you believe. 2. Sure thing- the average W&M student is a total nerd, although many try to keep that covered up. 3. No matter who you are, there's not much eye-candy here. 4. William and Mary is overwhelmingly liberal.


Absolutely not. Academics are obviously a huge part of the campus scene, but most people do an incredible job of balancing that with other activities and social lives.


Students at W&M have worked hard to get there, so most of them continue to work on academics while at the school. However, there are parties every weekend, especially at the frats, and we know how to have fun and succeed. As far as the suicidal thing goes, the suicide rate is actually lower than many other schools. The environment is less competitive than one might think, making it easier to handle the academics.


Everyone does put a huge emphasis on their studies and it seems that if you don't double major, you're a slacker. We do a ton of service - that's completely true.




Generally. We're trying to diversify, though.


You can find some of the popular types here, but most everyone is super awkward and super geeky and studies all the time.


Yes we study too much, I have probably have too much fun at the expense of that


Yes and No... the great thing about William and Mary is that it can be whatever you want it to be. It is very difficult to get in here, and you definately have to work extremely hard to earn your A's, but if you are ok with a B or C average, then you naturally don't have to work nearly as hard as those people that want really awesome grades. Most people hear are serious about their classes, but they are also very passionate about other things as well and having amazing talents outside of academics.


The frats probably suck- don't know, never been- but there are definitely house parties. Its true a lot of kids here would rather stay in and watch a disney movie on a friday night, but if you want to hang out, there are definitely opportunities.


They're accurate to an extent (stereotypes start somewhere), but there are plenty of people who defy stereotypes. As with anything, its all about finding your niche.


My opinion is that everyone is just really smart and may have been sheltered so it takes them some time to come out of their shell. As for the night life, well, that's Williamsburg's fault, not ours.



overworked- yes, but it's rare that someone lets it show undersexed- lots of people are in relationships with their textbooks not all cows are created equal


I knew three in my old high school, three here, and three that go to another college. I don't know whether there are more than statistical here or not, but I wouldn't regard it as a bad thing. Even if you have no tolerance for a pro-homosexual rights atmosphere, it would be the best place to go to make your voice effective in the matter. All in all, high or low, homosexuals make up such a small portion of any population that it just doesn't make sense to make college choices based on them. If you can't stand gays you don't have to interact with them. If you can, you are more than welcome here at W&M.


Some of them. You will find that there ARE students who seem to constantly study, despite necessity. However, the typical attitude that I've found is "work hard, play hard." William & Mary students will often reward themselves with a night out - whether it's a movie night or a night full of drinking - after successfully completing their assignments. Further, most of my friends are involved with at least one or two organizations on campus that take up a huge chunk of their time; I know a lot of people who are involved in five or six different organizations, as well. You'll definitely find people who fit in with the image of the "typical William & Mary student," but you'll also find people who are completely outside of that image.


There are definetly people who do fit this stereotype, yet I would say a vast majority of people are simply smart, but do more on the weekends than simply study. People are also extremely involved on campus, often doing a variety of extracurriculars. Also, I haven't even been in Swem this semester.


The "highest suicide rate in the country" is one of the biggest (and unfortunately lasting) urban legends about our school. It is an erroneous belief that continues to circulate most likely at the hands of those overcome by jealousy that they didn't get in to W&M. At times EVERYBODY is socially awkward. There are a lot of W&M students who haven't quite picked up the knack for holding a conversation; however, there are equally as many who will impress you beyond belief socially and intellectually every time you talk to them. And W&M DEFINITELY knows when it's time to say no to homework and yes to a helluva good time. W&M is not easy. It takes a very disciplined person to be successful here. I am still trying to find that happy medium of discipline and having a good time. If my best isn't good enough for my professors it is only because they know I can do even better--make my best better if you will. I would rather challenge myself every day of my life than sit with an idle mind at some other college.


The thought that there is no social life at William and Mary, or that Williamsburg offers nothing to do, is utterly false. What is true is that a fair percentage of students are mildly awkward, and content to stay in most nights. However, for anyone who wants to go out and meet new people, the opportunities are always there. The students here are very smart, and the workload is very demanding. Grades do matter to a lot of people, but a good amount of us are content just to coast. In short, there is a large diversity in the student body, despite the school's small size.


People do spend a fair amount of time studying- the classes are challenging but everyone I know is also in extracurriculars and does go out on the weekends to relax. I think there is a good balance- a lot of people have too much on their plate- that would be a good way to describe it.


Accurate to some degree - you can find the really snobby people and the really awkward people. Lots of people are in frats/sororities. But really, even some of the people who are painfully awkward, or look down their nose at you, can be good ones once you have a conversation with them. And hey, there's worse things than being awkward and nerdy. And no, everyone is not gay, and there are some pretty good looking people here.


I think the lack of fun issue is mostly due to there being few huge parties because of the alcohol policy. Suicidal is definitely misconstructed, as is the idea that a large number of people are gay and will try and turn you gay. As for the liberal claim, we are a College, I think you'd find similar trends everywhere.






No. While there are a lot of people who throw themselves into their work at W&M, a healthy portion of students are able to find the right balance of schoolwork and life. And there are cute girls at W&M.


There are a lot of nerds and a lot of homosexuals. However, if you are a cool dude you will find your niche. The girls here are nothing to write home about at all. I have only had sex with 2 girls this semester.


Yes, mostly. We're more fun than we let on, and our friendships tend to be strong, and intense. We're all a little quirky, and we like it that way.


Most of the stereotypes associated with William and Mary are simply unrealistic. To suggest that any college completely lacks a social life because its students are far too busy either studying or contemplating suicide is just patently and grossly inaccurate. With the passing of time, the stereotypes projected onto the William and Mary community have only grown in exaggeration, making them that much more unrealistic and inaccurate with every subsequent year.




Most of these are based on some truth, but are generally not completely accurate. Also, W&M is definitely not private.


1. Yes 2. Yes 3. No (They just whine a lot about being overworked) 4. mostly true


Pretty much. Most students are completely socially inexperienced and "weird" The majority are ugly and any attractive ones are essentially celebrities. People are nerdy and most of time would rather stay in and study than go out and have a good time.


It used to be true. I am afraid it is slowly becoming less so and in a negative way.


no. stereotypes are never accurate. as soon as you get past the image someone supposedly represents, you find someone very different (if you have an open enough mind to try).


All of these stereotypes are accurate. The student body here encompasses everything that an extrovert cannot stand.




They aren't accurate at all. Anyone who believes so hasn't spent enough time with these students. They are just as sociable as any other university's students. I have met the most interesting people I've ever known here. Please, stop bitching about how terrible the students and the university are. Go out and change it - you'll find plenty of fun and exciting people along the way, and realize that maybe you're in the right place after all.


As with most stereotypes, these are not completely unfounded. William and Mary has as many socially inept students as any other ~5,000 size college. I think that we get this reputation because so many of socially outgoing students are hellbent on sprucing up their resume and being exceptionally "well-rounded" that they are often not genuine in meeting new people or promoting social events. As far as political apathy goes, the majority of the students seem to exhibit some political conviction (be it conservative, liberal, anarchist...) and most are fairly vocal about their opinions. In a small, historical/tourist, retirement town like Williamsburg, it can seem that everyone is well off and conservative.