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W&L is very small, but seems exactly the right size. Professors are always available to help, you know almost everyone you p...
W&L is very small, but seems exactly the right size. Professors are always available to help, you know almost everyone you pass on the Colonnade, but there is still a ton to do and new people to meet. Lexington is quaint and cute, and while there's not much to do, no one is ever bored because the campus has such an active social life and we're so close to a couple big cities. Washington and Lee has a strong reputation beyond the campus, and people are always impressed when I say I go there.
It's true that there is a definite student culture at W&L and some people may feel out of place on this campus. That's not to say that the student body isn't diverse, from all manner of backgrounds and with all sorts of interests. However, we all share a love for the school and similar mentality about what being part of this community means. Students here take school seriously, as well as the traditions that come with W&L, but also like to have a good time. They are caring and like to get involved in what they are passionate about.
To some extent, but only in a positive way. The main reason I chose this school was because I saw it was a group of kids who were intelligent and took academics seriously, but were also well rounded and know how to have a good time.
Professors are always available and invested in your academic progress because classes are small enough that they can focus on you as an individual. Classes are often combine several disciplines, professors bring current events and campus issues into class discussions, and wide range of materials are used in studies. There is also a large amount of opportunity for creativity and specialized study. Anything that interests you, no matter how obscure, there is bound to be a professor
It's true that the Greeks system is one of the most present social influences on this campus. But it's different from Greek systems at other schools, because to me it seems much more all inclusive. Because so many people are in a sorority or fraternity, it ceases to be such a defining factor, and just becomes another way to meet new people, have a support network, get involved in activities and philanthropy and hear about social events. The school also does a great job bringing performers and events to the campus.
They are preppy, partiers, "work hard play hard"
Washington and Lee is a very unique school. The campus is full of history, and students tend to follow traditions. Everyone i...
Washington and Lee is a very unique school. The campus is full of history, and students tend to follow traditions. Everyone is very proud of the two men whom our school is named after. A key component of W&L is the student-run honor system. Everyone takes this very seriously, which allows us to have freedom in taking unproctored exams and self-scheduling our finals. Students understand that if you committ an honor violation, you may be kicked out of the school
W&L is thought of as a white, southern Republican school. While this is mainly true, they are working on increasing diversity. Students are very politically active, mainly on the Republican side of things. The student body is fairly conservative. You normally see people dressed up for class, girls wearing J Crew and pearls and guys in Polo. People often don't wear sweats to class like at large state schools, but if you do wear sweats you won't be scoffed at.
While W&L is more "southern" than some neighboring Virginia schools, it is not completely so. There are many people from the Carolinas and Georgia, but there is also a large concentration from the North. Due to the fact that it is a private school, many people who come here are wealthy, but the great financial aid they give is helping to bring in students from all income levels. The school is really working on increasing diversity. Greek life plays a prominent role on campus, but the Greek system is different here in that it is not exclusive, and you have friends all across the Greek system. Not rushing is also a definite possibilty, and the university is developing more weekend activities not centered around fraternities and sororities.
Academics are tough at W&L and a main focus of students. During the week the library is a very lively place. Being a liberal arts university, students are able to take a broad variety of classes. I'm an econ/politics major, but I have taken courses such as geology, environmental studies, discrete math, and an english lit course. We also don't declare our majors until the end of sophomore year, which allows students freedom to take courses and figure out what subjects they would like to pursue.
Greek life plays a key role on campus since a majority of students are involved, and since W&L is in the middle of nowhere, there isn't a lot to do. Sports don't play a large role since we're a small D3 school, but you'll see a large student turnout if a team is doing well and going onto NCAA tournament competition.
The traditional stereotype of W&L is that it is a Southern school where greek life and money rule.
I adore it here. The town is lovely- a true college town, the students are friendly, and the professors show genuine concern ...
I adore it here. The town is lovely- a true college town, the students are friendly, and the professors show genuine concern for their students' welfare. There's a sense of history here that you don't find at many schools, and a committment to learning that's reflected in our small classes. Plus, we can throw a party.
It's a pretty preppy group. Invest in a pink polo and a few dozen sundresses before you come here. We're smart, and work really hard, but people are largely friendly and devoted to the school.
This is a school you'll either hate or become devoted to.
To a degree. There's a pastel section of campus, but for a small school there's also a startling diversity of opinon.
I've never had a class over 30 people. I've never had a t.a., even for lab. I know the students in my major and all the professors, and what's more, I like them.
Life revolves around the greek system. There are alternatives, and we welcome independents, but if you hate greek life think carefully before coming here.
A haven for preppy, conservative students.
W&L provides all of the resources of a larger university, but in a small, community like setting. The campus itself is beaut...
W&L provides all of the resources of a larger university, but in a small, community like setting. The campus itself is beautiful, situated between mountains in Virginia. There are so many extracurriculars to choose from, a student learns to prioritize. There are endless opportunities for leadership. Most importantly, the honor code truly makes W&L a unique place. The size helps, but what makes W&L a community and not just a school is the honor code. It is here that a person learns to be an adult, to have integrity, and to stand for something.
The student body is very much a part of W&L life. Everyday when I go to class, I'll pass by faces I recognize and whose name I know. It is the student's pride and respect for being at W&L that is contagious and creates a unique environment. Every senior leaves not wanting to go. It is the student body that adds an unparalleled energy and life to the ninth oldest college in the country. The four years spent here are nearly removed from reality, where the focus is on learning and growing. Every student shares that connection, which is why the alumni network is so strong.
Not at all. I don't find that I fit those stereotypes, and I have found a wonderful, extensive group of friends.
I do not have a single complaint about the academics at W&L. I have had a wonderful education thus far, and KNOW that I would not have gotten a more indepth, hands-on education at any other school. The one on one connection with the professors is outstanding, the professor knows every students name. My largest class was twenty people. I have found myself endless challenged, but more fulfilled than I knew was possible. I have found myself enlightened and intellectually stimulated, everything I had hoped for out of college.
That all students are wealthy, conservative, southern, and stuck up.
Washington and Lee is a small University in a tiny town in rural Virginia; but the campus offers lots of activities, chances ...
Washington and Lee is a small University in a tiny town in rural Virginia; but the campus offers lots of activities, chances to get involved in the community, and numerous student organizations. The honor system at Washington and Lee, started by Lee in his term as President, is incredibly important to WnL life. Finals are self-scheduled and unproctored and professors are able to give students a lot of scope on projects, with take-home tests, and other assignments. Students leave bags and laptops sitting around the Commons or the Library with little thought to theft. Students living on campus rarely lock their doors, and even students off-campus often neglect to lock up. The campus is very safe and even women living off campus can feel safe walking home from the library at 2 in the morning. The social life at WnL is dominated by the Greek life, with 80% of the student body choosing to go Greek. When considering WnL as a prospective, it's definitely a good idea to keep an open mind about the Greek system. All of the fraternity and sorority houses are owned by the univeristy and rented out, the parties are all required to be open to anyone at 10, and we practice a deferred rush process. Deferred rush means that freshmen don't participate in formal rush until Winter term, after Christmas break, so that they have time to get used to the campus and college life and time to get to know the members of the Greek organizations they are considering. Between the Greek life pride and the small school atmosphere, people who come to WnL and stay end up loving the university. Our strong alumni network,demonstrates the continued interest WnL graduates have in their alma matter. While the student body can appear homogeneous, students come from all over the country, with one of the most popular student home states being New Jersey. The school still tends to be a bastion of conservative students but that too is slowly changing. WnL also has a fairly large international student base, adding to the diversity of the student body. I have loved WnL since I got here, and would strongly recommend the school to students who want both a great liberal arts institution and a school with a popular social scene.
This school prepares you for anything and everything! You can go to schools where you have to pull all-nighters every night t...
This school prepares you for anything and everything! You can go to schools where you have to pull all-nighters every night to finish homework, and then there are party schools where it isn't even neccesary to go to class. Washington and Lee is a place where you can grow however you want. First, classes are fun; the teachers tend to be a little ecentric, and lectures can lead places you never expected. Second, yes, we are social, but those skills are important also. I came in unable to really put myself out there, but here shy is not an option. This skill proved to be very useful as I have gone through the interview process the past two years looking for internships. Lastly, organizational skills become more profound from the participation in so many organizations. All major organizations are completely student run: Greek Life, The Executive Committee (deals with honor issues+), Mock-Convention, Fancy Dress, etc. I am already in my third year, and although I have already grown into a pretty awesome person, I know that things will just continue to go uphill.
I'm Hispanic and I do just fine.
Not every school is the right fit for everybody, and W&L is no exception. Don't come if: you don't want to party. This does not mean drink! Plenty of people have a social life and stay sober, but it is important that you are open to other people drinking, because it is a beloved past time of many students. Don't come if: you don't like to study. This is college; there are papers, and tests, and yes, even some homework. None of these are easy, and all take time. Don't come if: you don't like to be involved. We have a huge percentage of students in athletics, fine arts groups, organizations and university committees. Don't come if: you are adverse to travel. We are in the middle of no where, and it takes effort to get here. Shopping is also a difficulty: the closest mall is an hour away. Finally, don't come if: you don't like extreme weather. Coming from Texas, I didn't know what cold was, but you learn quickly to adapt. Layering is a must. It can also get very hot (there is a lot of on campus tanning). It also rains, a lot.
Last year I had an independent study. I don't know what that means at most schools, but here it is literally just you and the professor. Most of my friends still don't believe that the school would "waste" resources by offering a 3 credit course for just one person, but it happened. Of course I found both pros and cons for the class. The pros: 1) I really got to know the Professor, 2) I studies something that only I was interested in, 3) I was able to ask questions without the fear of embarrassment... The cons: 1) skipping was impossible, 2) it was very noticeable if I hadn't studied. The pros definitely outweigh the cons.
Taking a visual survey, I would guess that Mock-Convention is the most popular event on campus. There are so many ways to get involved that it is ridiculous not to. Essentially, right before the actual convention, we host a mock- presidential convention for the out of house party. Although there is planning involved in each of the four years (as in real life), it all culminates in the last 6 months. We kick it off in the beginning of the year by getting students to sign up in different state delegations; some go with their home state... some don't. Later in the year, there is a huge dance, "Mock-Con Gala," complete with cocktail parties, floor length dresses, tuxes, and a live band. It all ends with the convention which is opened by a parade with floats from each delegation. The convention is essentially a day of speakers, but is still so much fun.
W&L is unique-there's no other way to put it. This school has distinguished itself in so many ways over the years-it has such...
W&L is unique-there's no other way to put it. This school has distinguished itself in so many ways over the years-it has such a rich history and so many great traditions, but it also has some of the most vibrant student life I've ever seen on a college campus. Students here are very intelligent and hold themselves to high standards. And, if you ask the average student, they will be quick to share all about how much they love W&L. It is a school that people get passionate about.
W&L's student body seems pretty homogeneous at first glance, but in reality, students come from all over and we have a sizable population of international students for a school of our size.
There definitely are a lot of students at this school who exemplify the "southern prep" stereotype, but this is not necessarily negative. Southern hospitality is great. And W&L students are very smart and very active on campus and in the community, although social life is one of the most important features of life at Washington and Lee.
Academic life at W&L is very rigorous- W&L has a reputation for academics and professors hold students to very high standards. Everyone at W&L takes schoolwork very seriously, despite any stereotypes claiming that W&L students are just out to have a good time. Students come to W&L to get a quality education and to maximize their opportunities, and they take a lot of initiative in doing so.
Student activities abound at W&L- there are over 100 student-run organizations on campus, which is a HUGE number for a school of this size. And social life is one of the key components of student life at W&L; there is always something going on or something to do.
The most common W&L stereotype is "southern prep." There are a lot of southern students at this school, and many come from private schools. W&L students are also known for being very smart, and for being involved in A LOT of activities. But, they still know how to have a good time.
W&L is small enough that it is entirely possible that your professor will know everyone's name the first day of class, and ev...
W&L is small enough that it is entirely possible that your professor will know everyone's name the first day of class, and even more importantly, professors become invested in each of their students because there are so few of us. The city of Lexington is wonderful, there are enough stores and coffee shops to keep city-lovers happy, and ample opportunities to explore the outdoors. Tubing down the Maury River and hiking Devil's Marbleyard are few "must-dos" before graduation.
Washington and Lee students are extremely outgoing. People often comment on how unbelievably social every student is. The campus is certainly becoming more liberal, and more socio-economically diverse (especially after the introduction of the merit-based Johnson Scholarship). Freshmen often worry more about how they dress than upperclassmen do, you are more likely to see sweats on the upperclassmen women than the freshmen girls. All parties at W&L are "open" and free which makes this campus very tight-knit. People aren't kicked out unless they cause trouble, and everyone is told about every party. In that sense, the student body is very inclusive.
You have to be tough, and love to socialize to have fun here. It's important to know that the social scene, specifically the Greek Life scene become nearly insignificant by senior year and begins to dwindle considerably Junior year. As long as you remember that the reason you are in college is to learn, you will be able to keep things in perspective, W&L offers a great education with a wild-ride of a social scene to match.
To a certain extent yes, however, the number of northern students is growing rapidly, and I would say that the campus is about 50/50 republicans to democrats
Class participation is very common, and students take their academics seriously. The library is usually busy almost every day of the week. Professors are invested in their students, and often prefer to work with undergraduates doing research over the summer. My favorite class at Washington and Lee was a Biopsychology class called "Brain and Behavior," it is a "must-take" class at W&L for non-science and science majors alike!
Outing Club is by far the most popular club on campus and for good reason. Lexington sits right on the Appalachian trail and is cut through by the Maury River. Guest speakers are very well attended, as are all of the student theater performances. Tickets are usually very cheap too. Fancy Dress in March is by far the best function of the year. Fraternities and Sororities are very important on campus. Although because so many students are "Greek," being Greek is not something that defines you, simply because almost everyone is. There is literally a sorority and fraternity for EVERY type of person, regardless of whether you are a nerd or a srat star.
Some stereotypes about Washington and Lee students are that they are conservative, and that they are very southern.
The academic benefits of a small, close-knit school like ours cannot be measured. Having a class with just two students and a...
The academic benefits of a small, close-knit school like ours cannot be measured. Having a class with just two students and a Pulitzer prize winning professor is not normal, nor can it ever be replicated outside the hallowed halls of academia. The small school has not once limited my opportunities; at W&L I have access to every opportunity students at bigger schools do, but I have less competition for them and more faculty support encouraging me to go after my goals.
No! Yes, the typical student sports croakies and sperries sometimes, but our dress unfairly garners us this stereotype. Behind the popped collars and Lily there are students with diverse backgrounds, controversial opinions, crazy ambitions, and even liberal values. The conservative notion probably comes from both our appearance and our tradition as a small, Southern school. But speaking with faculty and fellow students will instantly prove that not everyone leans to the left -- being a liberal thinker at W&L necessitates only one thing: that you can back up your ideas. It isn't a school where you go and are given free reign to promulgate absurd liberal ideals without any weight. Nor is it one where you can rally behind the conservative platform without reason, either. W&L forces you to be able to defend your ideas -- liberal or conservative.
That it's a predominantly white, overwhelmingly preppy and affluent, conservative bastion of the South with a campus community controlled by a combination of tradition and Greek life.
W&L is a school that'll make you work hard, but it's definitely worth it. I have learned more here in four years than I ever...
W&L is a school that'll make you work hard, but it's definitely worth it. I have learned more here in four years than I ever thought possible. When I first came to W&L I wasn't sure if I would like it, but now I know that I love it and I'm excited to be a proud alum next year.
As a former all boys school that only went co-ed in 1985, W&L has been slow to change its student body. That being said, the school has worked hard to attract a diversified student body and it gets more varied every year. The stereotypes still linger, but they're not really true any more.
W&L is not for everyone. It is a school you either love or hate, but if being here for fall term as a freshman doesn't scare you off then chances are you'll love it for life.
No, W&L does a great job of attracting students from all different backgrounds, parts of the country, and from around the world.
The professors are tough and the workload is heavy. The academics are not, however, impossible. The small size makes it really easy to talk to professors and get help when you need it. Also, the work load isn't so demanding that you can't have a social life or get involved in extracurricular activities.
Students here can find organizations to join that relate to any interest you can think of. And, on the off chance that there isn't an organization for your interest, it's really easy to start a new one. Most students here do join a Greek organization, but it's not an exclusive process. We don't rush until January, so there's plenty of time to decide if the system is right for you. Also, most students who want to do well here don't party more than one or two nights a week.
Rich, white, southern, preppy, conservative
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