College of William and Mary Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?


The best thing about William and Mary can be summed up by three days of the year. Blowout1 Blowout2 and Campus Golf. The rest of the time it is a pretty sad place. I would change a million things about the school, the social scene is insane, there is nowhere to go to see good music (Meridian gets an A for effort but fails in size, booze, atmosphere, etc), there are only two bars worth going to, the athletes think they own the town (even though we suck at sports). Williamsburg is some sort of a college town/tourist trap/police state combination in which your best bet is to find a cool house off campus and never leave it.


The best thing about WM is that when you graduate you will never have to come back. I would change too many things to list. People react with with a token "wow you must be smart" but they are really telling themselves you must be a big nerd loser. I spend most of my time on campus in class and then immediately get off of campus. Definetly a "what college town" For a "liberal" school the administration is extremely conservative and cares nothing for its students. There could not even be school pride if we wanted it because all of our sports teams are pathetic and anyone that doesnt go to WM and watches them play cant help but laugh.


When you sign up as a William and Mary student you are giving your life, heart, soul to a family. We are a very tight family. I wish we could be a little tighter. I wish we could be a bit more sturdy against the outside attacks that occur so frequently. Our school is small but like an exclusive group. I was once at a dinner party with doctors and lawyers in Atlanta and I mentioned my affiliation with the College and received nothing but praise and admiration. People know us. We are important. I spend a lot of time in the Swem Media Center. Swem Library is an interesting place to hang out. The Greene Leafe is where we all drink. The City of Williamsburg is filled with people who are not interested in us. The administration is a large bureaucracy filled with generally nice and capable people, though not always there to help you. Our campus has been flooded with controversy lately. Over our 300+ year history we haven't spent many years without something going on all over campus. School pride we have but need more of. Students complain of lack of night life. Frankly, if you know how to party you don't need clubs.


William and Mary is demanding academically. You will actually learn and put in a fair amount of work and will probably get smarter. This is where the benefits of the college end. If you like partying, prepare to not find any, and then get hassled by the holier-than-thou big-brother gestapo police force, who are bitter old farts who think a good time is causing a problem where there is none. Enjoy seeing none of the beautiful girls that attend other colleges. If you are lucky you can convince yourself that the library is cool. By the time you are a spring-semester freshman you know everyone who is outgoing or likes to have fun, and get used to only hanging out with them. I honestly believe that Williamsburg is the most stagnant, depressing, anti-student hive of boredom in the country. Believe the stereotypes, save yourself the grief.


The best thing about William & Mary is that it isn't UVA. Other than that it has a number of problems. It is too small and there is a very limited social scene, because of the demographics of Williamsburg. My friends laugh at me when I talk about William & Mary. The school pride here is impressive, but you can't help but think the students take pride for the sake of taking pride--not because there are many things about this school that they enjoy and appreciate.


The best thing? The students are intelligent, open, and involved. You can talk to anyone if you just try a little bit. I would change the amount of power the state has in making decisions about the College. The school is the perfect size! When I tell people I go to William and Mary, they think that all I do is work. That's not true, although I do work very hard. I spend most of my time on campus at the Daily Grind. Williamsburg is not a great college town, but none of us are willing to spend money anyway, so what does it matter? The administration tries their hardest. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be reminded of our presence, though. We should work with them, not against them. The unusual thing about William and Mary is, well, everything. There are not too many small elite southern public liberal arts schools! I will always remember seeing the student movements after President Nichol's contract wasn't renewed. We are very active when we want to be, and much more reasonable than many people give us credit for. Don't piss us off - we won't take it sitting down! The most frequent student complaints have to do with nightlife and other students. To that I say: get off your ass and do something about it! Go find your own fun. Do what you love and you'll find people who love it too!


William and Mary's size is just right, large enough so that I meet new people constantly but small enough so that I will, without fail, run into a least a few people I know on campus on my way to class. I much prefer this size university to a larger one, I've studied at a university with 20,000+ students and you only "run into" people you know once in a blue moon. I spend most of my time on campus in the library, gym or on Old Campus--if you want a true residential college experience, William and Mary can offer it (especially if you take liberal arts classes instead of sciences). Old Campus is the most beautiful part of campus with trees lining red brick academic buildings , anchored by the Sunken Gardens in the center and flanked by the Christopher Wren building, where classes are still held. The new rec center is going to be a huge selling point in the admission office's prospective student literature..and for good reason! The new Rec Sports center has tons of equipment, is pleasing to the eye and a much needed upgrade to the William and Mary campus--people love it. The general student opinion of the administration has really declined recently, especially with the removal of our president Gene Nichol. He had the overwhelming support of students and staff, but his contract as president was not renewed after the Wren Cross controversy, which greatly upset most William and Mary students.


William and Mary has an awesome atmosphere. More about that specifically in the later questions. I'd bring the stress down a little, and add a couple fun things in walking distance. School is just the right size- always meeting new people, and when you do you'll see them again. often mutual friends. People are usually impressed in state, haven't heard of it out of state. Some think it's an Ivy or a Catholic school. few know it's public!!!! One of my mom's friends said, "oh, so she didn't get into UVA?" and my mom gave her a talking-to. (i did get in, btw.) i spend a lot of time in my hall. im a freshman, so many of my friends are there. i relax in my room and study in the lounge. its easy when its all right there. we have a cute college few blocks of stores. i dont have a car, but havent heard that there's a ton to do anyways. i dont really mind, i knew what i was getting into when i chose to come here. i really dont know much about the administration, though lots of my peers at least claim extensive knowledge of their inner workings. i believe that they like the students care about the school but naturally sometimes arrive at different conclusions on what is best. i definitely like that they email us with news and updates, so it's not all the rumor chain. hmm- must have been the Gene Nichol thing! though that's largely died down over spring break. yes!!!!! not about sports exactly, but virtually everyone here loves the school : ) William and Mary is unusual- the kids are quirky and i love it. we have a private school feel with public school tuition. we have a bunch of super-gifted kids who help each other rather than compete. everyone here has talents and passions, and much of it is not academic. there is also a huge culture of community service, which is a good thing to rub off on your friends. move-in day and orientation. the upperclassmen were positively delighted to see us, and say hi whenever they saw us, and help us carry our stuff up the stairs in 90 degree weather, and answer all our questions. it was a great start to what's been a great experience. some students complain about the boring town, the tough coursework with non-inflated GPAs, and the fact that grad school pass us over (that last one may be unfounded, i don't know).


The best thing about William and Mary is the value per dollar. It is the highest ranked small, public liberal arts school in the nation so if you live in-state and you want a liberal arts education on a budget it's a no-brainer. The teachers are well qualified and the degrees are well respected. If there were one thing I could change, it'd be the lack of nightlife. The only place to drink is the delis, which is always packed and extremely loud. There's nowhere to dance, and the police hand out noise violations like candy to people who throw house parties next to old neighbors (of whom there is no shortage in Williamsburg). When I tell people I go to William and Mary the two responses I typically get are "oh you must be really smart" and "oh that's thoroughly uninteresting, I've never heard of your football team." I spend most of my time on campus either at one of the local coffee shops or doing extracurriculars. There is no shortage of student activities, from meditation club to the student hip hop organization. Williamsburg is definitely not a college town; it's run by and for old people. It's got an overwhelming amount of history though, which is great if you're a history buff. Jamestown is right next door, we have re-enactors all over the place, and the college is the second oldest in the country after Harvard. The William and Mary administration is fairly effective in terms of financial management. We have a minuscule endowment and government funding gets cut every year, yet the school continues to climb in rankings. However, they do have pretty conservative leanings and are getting stricter with drug and alcohol violations. It's not uncommon for students to be expelled for possession of marijuana. The biggest recent controversy on campus was the non-renewal of the College's president, who was tremendously popular amongst students and faculty. There were protests, strikes, sit-ins, the works. Many people believe he was not renewed because of his many liberal policies, which the conservative alumni and administration did not approve of. These questions are too numerous and the lack of word count limits makes answering them frustratingly time consuming. I'm done here.


Best thing about W & M- such a welcoming community where everyone is so friendly and everyone feels included One thing I'd change- better athletic teams Size is great- 5,000 is not too big but not too small (see familiar faces but also meet new people all the time) When I tell people that I go to W & M they usually say "Wow that's a great school!", "Wow, that's a really tough school to get into", "Williamsburg is such a nice area", "William and Mary is such a pretty campus" I spend most of my time on campus at my sorority house, in the caf, at the rec center, or in the dorm Although the people of Williamsburg aren't too fond of the college community, the town itself is a great environment with lots of restaurants and such nearby. Colonial Williamsburg is really cute and has a bunch of nice shops and places to eat. New Town and other shopping centers are within a 10 minutes drive and provide anything you could possibly be looking for. We've had some recent changes in administration so that is up in the air right now. The biggest recent controversy on campus was in regards to the President's resignation after the Board of Visitor's decision to cancel the renewal of the president's contract (explanation of situation can be found on the internet). There is a lot of Tribe Pride. The alma mater is sung at almost every event, and football and other sporting events are always packed with students. Although the feathers were removed from the logo, people can always be found sporting the feathers as well as green and gold. One experience that I will always remember was initiation into my sorority. Greek life has been a huge part of my college experience, and is for many students on campus. However, there are many that choose not to be involved in the Greek community and they still have a wonderful college experience here. The most frequent student complaints are about the restrictions on who gets cars and where cars can be parked, but that is more a problem with the Williamsburg community than the college itself.


just the right size if i could change one thing it would be that more people party on weeknights the best thing is the people though people act all impressed so i usually just dont tell them i mostly hang out in off campus frat houses or friend's appts there is school pride students should be first, not admins love streaking


The best thing about William and Mary is its reputation. It is such an amazing school that people recognize as impressive. The mix of old tradition and new innovation is also inspiring. I find the school to be just right. You can know a good percent of the student population. My friends and I decided everyone at W&M is only two degrees apart, that is you can always find at least one person you know in common. I love the reaction I get when I tell people I go to William and Mary -- it's always a "wow" and I can tell they are impressed. I spend most of my time in my room or my friends' rooms. As for the Williamsburg area...there aren't many nightlife places, but a few delis mean everyone is in the same place every night so its a big party. Colonial Williamsburg is right across the street, so you always see impersonators walking down around campus or on other streets (makes my day everytime)! The biggest controversy recently was the non-renewal of President Nichol by the BoV. That experience really showed the unity and pride of the student body. I think there is a lot of Tribe Pride. We love our traditions.


I love the people at William & Mary. It's a small campus; you can't go 5 minutes without running into someone you know. But that makes for an interesting experience because the people are great and you'll want to talk to everyone you meet.


William and Mary has an amazing community. Everyone is extremely friendly and warm... from the students to the teachers to the cafeterial workers. I have had random conversations with people I have never met before... and that's totally normal. It's a great size... small enough that you see familiar faces, but not too small so that eveyone knows everything about each other. When I tell people I go to William and Mary they say one of three things: 1). Wow! Thats an amazing school. 2). Wow! You got in there as a girl out of state... thats impossible 3). Where's that? Is it a christian school? (it's not) I spend most my time hanging in my dorm or outside in the Sunken Gardens. I also go to Colonial Williamsburg (CW as it's so commonly called). There are some good resturants and shops... I guess it's a college town because of the coffee shops and stuff, but really it's more of a middle age tourest town. Controversy seems to come up at W&M a lot. Our (now former) president Gene Nichol was extremely popular among students but not so much in administration. When his contract wasn't renewed, you'd think World War Three had broken out by looking at the students reaction. It was actually pretty impressive that the community rallied together behind a common cause, but it was a little intense. There were rallys, sit ins, class boycotts.


The best thing is the presence of energy of campus. People always want to do more, even if they never sleep. That's good if you're ready for it, bad if you just want to chill out and get some perspective on the world. I would "green" the campus. It's ridiculous that recycling isn't simpler in dorms and across campus - there should be as many recycling bins as trash receptacles. It's too small at times, in terms of people. But in general I think it's a good size. People just need to break out of their groups more so that it feels bigger. People think I must be smart because I went to WM. Or, if they're from the west coast (like me), they don't know what I'm talking about. Daily Grind, and Lake Matoaka before the renovations. "what college town?" A college town must have a downtown! DOG street, New Towne, Prince George not count. There's no authentic college town scene (independent theater companies, burrito joints, used music shops, multiple used book stores, bars beyond the delis, etc.) beyond campus because everything in Williamsburg is so established and regulated. WM administration is something I don't know too much about, but from my perspective things were seriously looking up over the past few years, and now that Nichol's gone that might end. School pride...Something I never felt until I graduated and realized how special the campus is. Yes there's a lot of Tribe Pride but I think it's a little artificial and would be better expressed by spending more money on scholarships than pep rallies. One unusual thing about WM is that the campus is, on the one hand, totally isolated from the surrounding community. I'm talking beyond CW, and into the trailer parks and lives of migrant workers. Yet, there is an incredible focus on the international community, which is really embraced. The latter is good, but it's a strange contrast with the former. Another unusual thing is the obsession with service. One experience I will always remember. I really like Blowout. It's a pretty good idea for a school that is generally so uptight. Most frequent complaints...I don't remember. I managed to forget over the past 9 months.


The best thing about William and Mary is the quality of academics. The professors really care about you, care about the information you're learning, and want you to get good grades. Yet, at the same time, you have to work towards your success and it's definitely not handed to you on a silver platter. But that's the best thing: you learn to develop a work ethic that will allow you to succeed on many levels...not just in the academic realm, but in your social and professional life. One thing I'd change about William and Mary is the recent controversy surrounding President Nichol. No matter what people say and the different views that are voiced, he was a big step for the College. Yet, a bad light as been illuminated on WM. I would change the entire BOV's process in deciding not to renew President Nichol's contract. I would change the presence of media and its affects on the heart of the College. I would change President Nichol's resignation. William and Mary is a small public school, but just right at the same time. It's definitely not a large state university. You get a great Ivy League-type of education at a small public school price. William and Mary has a great reputation to its name. Whenever my parents tell people that I go to William and Mary, people always say "wow!". People know how great of an institution the College is and the students hear definitely live up to the name. It has a great national and even international image. I spend most of my time on campus hanging out with my friends around my dorm, studying in the library, or working out at the Rec and running around campus. As a freshman, you grow close with the people in your dorm and you do everything together. Once you get beyond freshman year, you move into nicer dorms or even into off-campus apartments. Williamsburg is a great town, yet I must say: there is no night life at all. It's not a large city and it's very historical. There is quite a bit to do both on and off campus. There's Colonial Williamsburg and Merchant Square, right across the from Old Campus and the Wren Building. There are several nice restaraunts such as The Trellis, Aroma's, The Cheese Shop, and Retro's, right across the street from campus. And there's also the infamous deli's: Pauls' Deli, The College Delly, and the Green Leafe Cafe. They are very popular among students: especially those 21 and over...There's also New Town, about a mile off campus, which has a movie theatre, more restaraunts, some shopping outlets, and a Panera. Williamsburg is located in the hilly, middle part of "the peninsula", right off Interstate 64 and is considered the most northwestern part of the region called Hampton Roads. It is about an hour and a half to two hours away from Virginia Beach, and the closest beach is about 20-30 minutes away! The climate is hot and humid in the fall, cold in the winter, with daily temperatures in the 30's and 40's, and perfect in the spring. The weather is very spastic: one day you will feel like you are in southern California, the next you'll be in Alaska. You'll learn to deal.


William and Mary's administration is a pitiful collection of incompetent bureaucrats who somehow have much more power than they deserve with respect to the goings-on at the school. In my time as a campus activist, I was repeatedly lied to and ignored by several administrators, and learned that there is no mechanism of accountability for any of them. They do not have the interests of the faculty, students, or staff at heart--paradoxically, they exist solely for their own self-perpetuation. The school would be better off if it replaced every administrator with democratically elected, transparent student/staff/faculty positions and bodies.


The only things William & Mary has going for it is the fact that it's old and Omega Beta Delta, which they kicked off campus. If I could, I would change the student body. It's a good size. No one from the North has ever heard of William & Mary, so a lot of times I feel like I'm working my ass off for peanuts. I spend most of my time NOT IN CLASS. All the residents of Williamsburg hate the college and its students, and I don't blame them. The administration doesn't give a shit about the students, clearly, because they just fired a president who had almost unanimous student and faculty backing but was too progressive and therefore damaging to our school's sterling reputation. This being the biggest recent controversy on campus... basically our school is run (owned?) by a bunch of old aristocrats who dwell in an ivory tower and only set foot on campus about four times a year. There is enough school pride but for all the wrong reasons. There is NOTHING UNUSUAL ABOUT William & Mary. NOTHING. I will always remember Wild Turkey Wednesdays at OBD. The most frequent student complaints are that no one cares about anyone but themselves, which is why there is a MICROSCOPIC amount of activism on our campus, and why SDS is composed of 3 members.


I love the people I've met here. Everyone is intelligent and willing to talk about almost anything -- most are very open minded, which is great, and makes for fun late-night discussions. Luckily, I'm able to do work in my room, but it's safe to say that many students spend a great deal of their time in Swem, the library. The most recent controversy was without a doubt Gene Nichol's contract not being renewed, which angered about 80{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of the students, I'd say. Most students, staff and faculty were behind him, it just came down to a minority of rich alums that wanted him out. One experience I'll always remember is doing the triathlon with my freshman hall -- streaking the Sunken Gardens, swimming in the Crim Dell, and jumping the governor's wall. It was a lot of fun, and was certainly a good bonding event for my hall.


Aside from academics, the most prominent feature of William and Mary is its location: right in the heart of downtown Colonial Williamsburg. Anyone from the area probably took a middle school field trip to see the reenactments and the animals, but you probably never expected to spend four years of your life living among people dressed up like the founding fathers. Naturally, there are ups and downs to this town. At first, living in such a unique area is exciting! Every freshman has strolled down DoG Street, watching the tourists and inhaling the smell of horse manure, and thought about how COOL it is to get to live here full-time. There are ghost tours and secret paths to keep you busy after dark, and there are always events going on in Merchant's Square (farmers markets, Grand Illuminations, First Night, etc). Eventually the novelty wears off. There's only so many times you can take pictures in the stocks or try to catch the Lady Skip-Wythe ghost. That's when Williamsburg takes a turn for the worst. In general, it's a very student-unfriendly city. Off-campus housing is incredibly difficult to find, and as for a nightlife... Well, Richmond is only an hour away. The only thing open past 10pm, besides our poor excuses for bars for the over 21's, is Wawa. Only recently was the movie theatre built, and getting there requires either a friend with a car or being a slave to the bus schedule. Bottom line: Williamsburg is a nice town, but by year 4, the odds of going crazy increase exponentially. Having a car on campus is expensive and inconvenient, but ultimately might be worth it--although friends with cars are always an option too.


It is impossible to name the 'best' thing at William and Mary because I love nearly everything about William and Mary. I would change the fact that students can not study abroad their senior years. The size of William and Mary is just right. I love the smaller college feel. There is a strong feeling of community here at the college. When I tell people I go to William and Mary, some are impressed, but often people look at me with the question in their minds "Where is William and Mary?...I've never heard of it." There's no one place that I spend most of my time on campus. In a sense this is a college town since a large proportion of Williamsburg's population consists of college students, but if Williamsburg can be classified as anything it would be the Mecca of American history buffs and tourism (especially during the summer months). There are some very "college town" characteristics of the areas around campus though. For instance, the Green Leafe, the College Deli, and Paul's Deli are right off campus and cater to students from the college. I generally support the administration of William and Mary. Although we are in the process of obtaining a new president and vice president of student affairs for the college, the remaining administration is doing an admirable job. The biggest recent controversy on campus is by far the Board of Visitor's decision not to renew Gene Nichol's contract as President of the college and President Nichol's immediate resignation. I'd have to say that our school is full of "Tribe Pride." If you consider an American college being over 300 years old unusual, then that's one thing, but the truly unique aspect of William and Mary is its community. The students, faculty, and staff are all a part of the William and Mary Community, the Tribe family, and that is something so remarkable that it can not be put into words; it can only be experienced. One experience that I'll always remember is when tropical depression Ernesto caused the cancellation of our first week of classes my freshmen year and my dorm mates and I played ultimate frisby all day in the flooded Sunken Gardens and 50+ mph wind gusts!


The best thing about William and Mary are the professors; they truly care about their students. I know that sounds cliche, but it's true and as a transfer student from a large research university, the difference is distinct. If I could change one thing about WM I'd add more parking spaces for students. The school is the perfect size--big enough to offer variety in classes and extracurriculars but small enough to not feel intimidating to a 5 foot tall Floridian. When I tell people I attend WM they think that I attend a Catholic girls school. But out of staters seem to have no grasp of American history. WHAT COLLEGE TOWN? but at the same time, this is a school for a student that would rather spend his weekends talking about whether or not Superman movies have capitalist agendas, rather than whether or not they should get smashed at a bar. The biggest controversy is Nichol's resignation. This a school that prides itself on intellectual accomplishments, it's strong history, and its students. It's genuine pride, the kind that doesn't disappear if the school has a bad football season. (which it does have, often). I spend most of my time in Tucker--the English building. It smells like Old Books and there is always a professor willing to chat in the lobby. I'll always remember directing my first show Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.


-the best thing about WM is the size: it's small size guarantees that you'll come to know everyone on campus- i think this fortifies the idea of the Tribe Community, that we're one big family. -one thing i'd change is the amount of stress the class policies inflict on the students. there should be less emphasis on grades and more emphasis on taking the classes you'd take (some college, for instance, don't count grades the first two years!). the students here work too hard to get the A, losing focus of the more important, more valuable lesson of learning for the sake of learning. -like i said, the size is perfect. -most people are impressed when i tell them i go here, but at the same time they know they wouldn't want to go where i go. most people believe that it takes a certain 'type' to go here, and i think they're right. this place is not for everyone, but if it is, it can be the best place in the world for you, depending on how you go about things. -although i live on campus, i'd say about 80{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of my time is spent on campus. -what college town? -the administration is a little shaky at the moment. there has been much controversy lately over the recent resignation of our president, Gene Nichol. generally speaking, the faculty, staff, and student body of the College are opposed to the right-wing ideologies that govern the overarching politics of our campus. -there is great pride at the College, although just as there is pride there is shame. the students who are ashamed of the College are either opponents to the conservative values of the administration (and not the College itself), or are embittered UVA rejects who spend most of their time drinking their frustrations away. most of the students who hate this place have a misconceived notion of the college to begin with, basing much of their assumptions on the stereotypes that, although they presumably know better, they choose to believe. -apparently, we have a lot of ghosts. -i have many great experiences here at the College. most of them involve alcohol. my most valued experience would be the summer i spent abroad in Cambridge, England. this was the summer of my freshman year. at first i knew nobody on the trip, but by the end we were all really great chums. that was a great summer for all of us, and that was a long time ago... another experience I'll always remember is the night i spent writing two research papers at the same time, then throwing a jump! magazine release party later the following day, which lasted another entire night. that was last semester, on the last day of classes. -the most student complaints are always about how competitive our peers are. i mean some people just don't quit. we are all unrelenting and unyielding, fixing to outdo the other academically, artistically, athletically, you name it. so most students complain that there's too much working and not enough resting (by resting i mean sleeping, drinking and partying ad nauseum).