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A liberal arts school focused on writing and learning to think; full of quirky people who know (or are learning to know) thei...
A liberal arts school focused on writing and learning to think; full of quirky people who know (or are learning to know) their own minds and have their own opinions.
The emphasis on writing and writing well. Also, some programs are especially strong (such as Chinese), so it helps to know what general area you are looking to major in.
If I could go back in time, I would first congratulate my (younger) self on choosing to attend Hamilton College. My education here has given me countless opportunities: fluency in a foreign language, multiple occasions to perform research with leaders in their fields, study abroad experiences in Beijing and D.C., an internship at the State Department, commitment of my professors to my success, and the opening of countless doors to help me pursue my future. But patting myself on the back for my decision would be neither the most prudent nor the most useful purpose of this conversation. I would rather talk about the second hardest part about the college application process; that is to say, after letters (both big and small) arrive in mailboxes and decisions are made. The "hurry up and wait" phase, that frustrating springtime before graduation, is precisely the time to enjoy the results of hard work without abandoning them to "burn out." I would tell my younger self to make the most of those 2.5 months, because as frustrating as it might sometimes seem, high school is a part of who we are and a foundation for our future selves as well.
If I were to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would first and foremost tell me to get excited for an amazing period ...
If I were to talk to myself as a high school senior, I would first and foremost tell me to get excited for an amazing period in my life. College is a time of transition and excitement. Life-long friendships will be made and much self-growth will occur. Although you will be taking many classes to prepare yourself for the future, this time will present to you lessons that you allow you to learn much about yourself. Have an open mind! People at college come from everywhere and have so many awesome perspectives and ideas. Be willing to live within the larger community of college and the smaller community you will find in your dormitory and room, if you are to live with a roomate. Be open to the tumultuous experience of living with new people. It has its up and downs, but can be such an enriching experience. I am so so so excited for you. College is amazing. Take classes in new subjects, meet as many people as possible, join lots of clubs, volunteer, play intramural sports, go out and again I repeat have an open mind. Get ready for the next stage of your life!
The best thing about Hamilton is the open-ness and friendliness of the Hamilton community. I have met so many awesome people and been involved in such awesome initiatives during my time at Hamilton. I know have friends from across the USA and the world and love the ideas and perspectives they bring to the table. The professors are accomodating and the vibe is just awesome.
The worst thing about Hamilton College is the attitude the place seems to get during the harshest part of the winter. People stay indoors, do their work and don't move around much. I prefer to see people outdoors, socializing and having fun. The cold, long winter, sometimes stops that a bit. However, it allows students to get their work done. Once it gets sunny people seem to be outside all the time, but that may be because we have that winter.
In class my classmates are usually energetic and engaged, but, unlike myself, on the weekend all they do is drink.
In class my classmates are usually energetic and engaged, but, unlike myself, on the weekend all they do is drink.
This school is small and located in an even smaller town! All of the other schools to which I applied were in big cities.
The transition wasn't at all hard to make, but I would advise myself to try overnight stays before deciding to enroll in college, to find out what the social scene is really like.
A smart person who can handle a lot of reading.
A smart person who can handle a lot of reading.
It's going to suck at first, but be outgoing and do as many events as you can at the beginning so you can meet people. Be ready to encounter a lot of smart people and always keep up on the reading. Study hard so you can get your GPA as high as possible when applying to college.
I love knowing everyone as I walk around campus.
There's a lot of things to love about Hamilton, from the beautiful campus to the open curriculum, and I'd be hard pressed to ...
There's a lot of things to love about Hamilton, from the beautiful campus to the open curriculum, and I'd be hard pressed to pick just one to talk about. I'll try and cover more of that later. I think Hamilton's a great size, for one, because you never feel like you've met everyone, but you also never feel like there's too much competition for the opportunities on campus - you don't have to be lost in the crowd unless you want to be. In terms of surrounding area, Clinton has a nice small college town sort of atmosphere. Most people who actually want to do something off campus head about 15 minutes away to suburban-shopping-center New Hartford, or to Utica or Syracuse, so there are still options if you want to get off-campus. Also, it's very common among Hamilton students is a strong sense of belonging on the Hill. Even after we graduate, we continue to feel a connection to and real fondness for Hamilton.
Hamilton is a pretty diverse place, especially in ways that don't necessarily show up on the traditional diversity measurements. There's groups for every perspective that you can imagine on campus, and a place where pretty much everyone could feel comfortable. Even people who grew up in big cities come to feel at home here, although the transition to a more rural area can be something of a culture shock. The diverse attitudes of the student body is reflected in what they wear and do at Hamilton - I've seen people in kilts, dresses, suits, t-shirts, and jerseys.
I think one of the best aspects of Hamilton is that rarely can we find much to complain about except the weather. Anyone who doesn't believe me should visit and talk to our students.
Not really, no. I generally found a ton of personal and ideological diversity on both sides of campus. I think the stereotype largely arose from the difference in architecture.
One of the best parts of Hamilton is the relationship you develop with professors. It's common to be on a mutually first name basis with at least one or two of your professors, and it's also common for them to take classes out to dinner during finals week or host a barbecue at their house. It's also not uncommon to see them cheering you on at a sports game or a theater production. Their academic enthusiasm really infects the student body as well, and even though Hamilton students generally enjoy taking time off as much as any college students, their "time off" might easily include discussions about classroom topics. The school isn't really competitive between the students, which enables such out-of-classroom intellectual discourse to flourish. Another great aspect is the open curriculum, which means you don't have any core classes you have to take. It really frees up your schedule to explore a number of fields that aren't even tangentially related and might not fit into a traditional distribution model. It also means that any given person in a course you're taking is there because they wanted to be there, not because they were satisfying some global requirement they have no interest in. It also means that a significant number of people end up as double majors or major double minors. The other big emphasis at Hamilton is on learning how to write effectively - no matter what your discipline is. The basic idea is that writing is a life skill you'll use no matter what your job ends up being, so it's worth honing.
The largest organization at Hamilton is HAVOC, the community service group, which is really active in the surrounding community. Another big one is HOC, the outing club, which organizes trips of all kinds into the natural surrounding beauty of the Adirondacks. Beyond big ones like these, there are a lot of other options. It wouldn't surprise me to hear that there are over a hundred active clubs. The great part about this is that they're all open to everyone, and their events are as well. People are generally very friendly about sharing their interests with others, and are always willing (and often excited) to get someone else involved. Because of this, and because of the ease with which someone can found and maintain a club, students do a great job of filling the social calendar throughout the week and on weekends with activities that'll appeal to a number of different people. The college also makes a huge effort to bring activities to campus. One big one is the great name speaker series, which has brought such people as Jon Stewart, Aretha Franklin, Al Gore, Colin Powell, and Bill Cosby. But throughout the year many smaller speakers, comedians, and musical performances come to Hamilton. There are also a number of prominent alumnae who come back to speak, visit, and give advice. Thomas Tull is a big one as one of the founders of Legendary Pictures (Batman Begins: The Dark Knight, 300, Watchmen, The Hangover). Again, people's interests are so diverse the college tries to bring something for everyone, from Taiko drum exhibitions to political speakers to poetry readings to comedy central comedians to various parties.
One common stereotype is that those who live on the older part of Hamilton's campus are preppy, and those who live on the Kirkland side of campus are hippies.
Visit every college while it is session to get a feel for what it is like during the school year. If you're going to play a ...
Visit every college while it is session to get a feel for what it is like during the school year. If you're going to play a sport, talk to the team members to see if they like the coach and how intense the practices are. Talk to a professor in your intended field of study to see what the classes are like. Sit in on a class. Go to lunch in a dining hall. Stay overnight. Do anything you can to get a grasp on what the college is actually like. If you're going to commit four years of life to a school, take the time to research everything you would ever want to know. Weigh the pros and cons. It's a big decision.
Someone who is lazy and does not want to do any work.
Somone who is open-minded and wants to learn, not just receive a degree. People at Hamilton engage in their education and genuinely want to learn. People are supportive of each other, and there is hardly any competition.
First of all, you need to visit a college to know whether or not it is good for you. There were plenty of schools that looked...
First of all, you need to visit a college to know whether or not it is good for you. There were plenty of schools that looked great on paper but when I finally visited, I realized it was a terrible fit for me. I suggest when you visit a college, write down what you liked and didn't like so you will get a better idea of what you are looking for. But don't get too caught up in finding the perfect college, because there are many that you would be very happy at as long as you have an open mind and a good attitude. Also, never underestimate the importance of the social life at college, especially if you are planning on living on campus. Even though the college is about learning, you need to be happy and have fun to get the most out of college. Many of my friends decided to transfer just because the social life was too limiting. Look for a college where you can get involved and make friends and find out what students do on weekends. If the college is very isolated, make sure there is a lot to do on campus.
At the end of the day, you want to find a place where the students, faculty, and staff are friendly. For some, college can b...
At the end of the day, you want to find a place where the students, faculty, and staff are friendly. For some, college can be a major transition, but it helps a lot if you don't feel like you are all alone on a big campus. When trying to figure out what size school is best for you, it is important to remember that no matter what size school you attend, you will most likely have about the same number of friends. The thing to focus on for school size is that class size. If you learn well in an enviornment with lots of personal attention, lectures of 500 people are probably not your best bet. Being open-minded is the key to having an enjoyable social life on campus. Be willing and excited to learn about someone's background and interests that are different from your own.
The sense of community. Whether you know the person you are passing on the sidewalk or not, you are going to acknowledge them and they are going to acknowledge you.
Outgoing, not afraid to get involved or meet people different than themselves. Self-motivated, you will have a lot of work and need to learn how to budget your time so you can still have fun.
In the end, Hamilton was the best fit for me. When I think about things that I would change, they end up being quite minor. S...
In the end, Hamilton was the best fit for me. When I think about things that I would change, they end up being quite minor. Sometimes I wish we were a little further south and out of the snow belt, and sometimes I wish we were D1 athletics. Still, looking back I would choose to attend this wonderful place over and over again.
For a small, liberal arts college we do fairly well with diversity. From race, economic status, geographic location, and even just experiences, increasing diversity is something constantly on the forefront of the college's mind. One of my favorite things about this place is the community. People are always friendly and not very exclusive. Everyone smiles around here and takes care of each other. You always feel very safe.
1) This is so far from the truth. We have a fair number of vineyard vine wearing yacht club members, but the same can be said about flannel donning hipster types. I also do not think that you will find the same ratio and spectrum of students at most NESCAC colleges. 2) If anything, I'd say we lean to the left. We finally just got our first Conservative student newspaper. Professors are also very liberal - but that's pretty standard in education these days. In my experience, it has never hindered discussion in the classroom. Professors are pretty good leaving their opinions out of lectures.
Academics are unique, personalized, and focused on individual learning and independent growth. I've taken away so much academically from this place. I have skills that will carry me through whatever life throws at me. No core requirements are great! I've spent the last four years loving almost every single one of my courses because I've gotten to pick what I am studying. You also cannot ask for better professors. They go out of their way every day to help their students. I see them at sports games and events. I have met my professor's families, been invited into their homes, been taken out to dinner or drinks several times each semester - even when I was a freshman. With all the research opportunities here there is always a way for you to study something that interests you in depth with a professor. Sometimes the college even pays you to do this. If you are looking for a place to find academic passions and to get amazing individualized attention from your professors - there is no better place but Hamilton.
I am not a huge fan of the Greek system here. Were too small of a college to really have use for the closer social network that I think they bring to bigger universities. With no housing and no nationally affiliated sororities it sometimes seems very silly. Spring time is monopolized by pledging and because our social scene depends on the Greek life for parties it can be pretty quiet. Alcohol use is very prevalent here. That said, were quite a 'work-hard , play-hard' school. Even if people are out drinking during weeknights they are still making 9am classes the next morning. It's unspoken culture that if your drinking begins to hinder your academics then you probably need to re-prioritize... we just hope you can figure out how to finish your paper in time to go downtown for dollar drafts on Tuesday night. However, you do not have to drink and there are plenty of things to do on campus that do not involve alcohol. I commend the college for its efforts to bring other alternatives to campus. Also, there is no drinking and driving. We have a jitney that runs students downtown and a no tolerance policy for that kind of behavior.
1) Preppy 2) Conservative
The College is small, the academics tend to be challenging, and the community is extremely tightly-knit. Students are busy, o...
The College is small, the academics tend to be challenging, and the community is extremely tightly-knit. Students are busy, often involved with seven days' worth of extracurricular activities and obligations, and relationships between faculty members and students are quite close.
I still maintain that there is no typical Hamilton student. A wide variety of students interact with one another, and while there are students who only seek out the same type of people they went to high school with, I don't think this is the norm. Political activity is high on campus, and has grown markedly over the last four years, particularly with the arrival of the 2008 election. Diversity, in contrast to some uninformed stereotypes about the College, is a reality of Hamilton. Some of the less well-represented groups have concerns about the level of attention accorded their concerns, but the College seems to have been very responsive, all things considered.
Not especially. While there are plenty of wealthy students and students from New England, 49 states and almost as many countries are represented. Scholarship rewards are generous, and less than half the students actually pay the listed tuition. There is also a great deal of socioeconomic diversity just below the surface.
While the classwork is generally difficult and time-consuming, professors for the most part furnish a rewarding student experience. They make themselves available in formal office hours outside of class, and often in much more informal settings. Senior student/faculty pub night is a popular activity, and most students have been over to a professor's house on more than one occasion.
The typical student is extremely busy. The College issues everyone a daily planner with hour-by-hour slots, and most people use them. A wide variety of activities is absolutely the norm, and it's fair to say a work-hard/play-hard mentality continues to prevail. If you're awake at 2AM on a Tuesday, it's to do homework. If it's on a Saturday, it's not. Both events are likely in a given week. Fraternities and sororities have a definite presence on campus, and given their status as among the oldest in the nation, they won't be going anywhere soon. At the same time, they no longer have housing, and the social environment they foster tends to be inclusive and well-appreciated by the vast majority of students.
Some students worry that Hamilton is primarily composed of yachtsmen from Greenwich, which is understandable given the College's illustrious history educating the northeastern elite for almost two hundred years.
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