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Located in picturesque Lexington, VA, Washington and Lee University is a place filled with a unique dynamic of rich history a...
Located in picturesque Lexington, VA, Washington and Lee University is a place filled with a unique dynamic of rich history and contemporary fun. Watching the painstakingly well-dressed students roam the historic Colonnade on their way to class, one could easily mistake the school for a movie set. Classes at W&L are rigorous, and the students are as enthusiastic about learning as they are about socializing off campus at frat parties. Somehow the student body consistently excels at keeping the two in balance.
The student body is one that emphasizes a "work hard, play hard" mentality. The majority of students join fraternities and sororities. The majority of the student body is Caucasian and there is little communication between different racial and socio-economic groups outside of class.
We were all "that kid": W&L is made up of students who, in high school, balanced academic, extracurricular, and social commitments without breaking a sweat.
I think the predominant stereotypes of Washington and Lee students are accurate.
Classes at W&L are small and professors are accommodating and extremely knowledgeable. Taking into account that the majority of Washington and Lee students feel positively about learning and succeeding academically (and that the university draws in a multitude of "type-A" individuals,) it is no surprise that classes can rigorous and competitive. But, students are friendly and a diversity of opinion in discussions is highly valued, which makes for a less competitive feel. While the Washington and Lee School of Law is located directly off the main campus, contact between undergrad students and law students is rare.
After freshman year, students move out of the dorms and the sexes are separated, with men living in their fraternity houses and women in sorority houses and on-campus apartments. Students rarely have the opportunity to spend time with members of the opposite sex outside of parties and class. Traditional dating happens but is not common.
Generally, Washington and Lee students can be stereotyped as well-spoken, well-dressed young men and women who take special care in their academic endeavors as well as in their social lives.
It's a very good school full of self-motivated people. The professors are incredible and are always available to help. Academ...
It's a very good school full of self-motivated people. The professors are incredible and are always available to help. Academically, it would be difficult to find a more challenging and stimulating school. However, to survive at Washington and Lee you have to have thick skin. Gossip is rampant and it is difficult to succeed socially if you are not ready for it. The small size and isolated location augment the feeling of being in a social bubble. In general, it is a wonderful place to be, but not for the weak of heart. The school pushes students both mentally and socially.
The typical student is from a wealthy family in the South or East region of the country. There are very few minorities, and those on campus are usually international students. Many students have family ties to the school and consider it a stepping stone towards getting a well-paying job. The average student is very driven and serious, and reflect that by dressing nicely to class. The exterior is highly polished just like the politicians many wish to become. If you are not from a well educated and wealthy background it is difficult to reach the higher tiers of the social ladder.
It's a difficult place to survive, but if you do you will leave a socially and intellectually confident adult.
I would say the stereotypes are mostly accurate, but there is a growing minority that are the exact opposite.
The classes are all challenging and time consuming, but the availability of professors and the willingness of fellow students to offer help makes every challenge surmountable. The smaller departments are especially strong in offering personal help and to tailoring the classes to students' needs. Overall, it is a highly intellectual campus full of very driven students.
Over 80% of the students are in a fraternity or sorority, but students also enjoy volunteering and the outdoors. Students strive to have a perfectly balanced resume, so any activity that will look good on a resume is usually done. Due to the amount of activities most students are involved in, there is rarely a minute wasted during the day. This creates a "work hard, party hard" mentality that most students fall into shortly after arrival. Since W&L is full of tradition, the students go all out during the big events. The sporting events are not well attended, but any annual frat party is packed. Mock Convention and Fancy Dress Ball are the two most important and formal parties, and are accompanied by cocktail parties and returning alumni.
We are spoiled, rich, and Southern. W&L students are also thought to be close-minded and republican.
the size is just right, and its amidst beautiful natural landscape in a very small southern town. there is so much school pri...
the size is just right, and its amidst beautiful natural landscape in a very small southern town. there is so much school pride and even the alumni seem to always be comming back to visit. people who like to volunteer, like a sence of community, or who kinda know what direction they are going, are happy here. i admit that a couple students hav e trouble being comfortable here because it is very different from what they are used to and far from home. but these people are few in number, and the campus still boasts a student body from all around the country and the world. you should really visit the campus, have lunch here, and asks anyone and everyone lots of questions. there is a huge emphasis on studying abroad, internships, and a great alumni network and the school expects you to utrilize all the awesome opportunities. It is a work hard/play hard kind of school that boasts community at this boarder-line ivy league secluded gem. i couln not possibly stress the lable of a pride-filled community enough.
the school is predominantly white, but minority students still benefit from that same sense of community. the administration and student body often focus on making every student-type and orientation comfortable. while rich, polo-wearing conservatives are definately present here, the less-than-wealthy, original will be fine once they find their support group. even the classes provide opportunities for different students to interact. people who are hell-bent on living the same life that they did in high school may be dissapointed, because the campus is unlike most schools outside of Virginia. The campus is very different, but you have a whole new support group to help you grapple. you will undoubtedly be fine if you take advantage of the opportunites: groups, clubs, potential friends etc.
please, visit the campus before you decide! most people are packing a full schedual of things to do, but you should be able to ask anyone a question on anything about their expirience or where things are. if you are not comfortable here, you may not thrive to your fullest potential.
the professors are very accessible, will know your name, and offer guidence for things regarding topics from inside and outside of class. you will gain a relationship with most fo the professors for your major and they will all expect you to use them as resources. you should become comfortable speaking in class. students often carry on intellectual conversations outside of class and act on their convictions through various club activities. im very happy with the politics and religion departments and i know that the expirience that i get here could not possibly be immitated anywhere else.
there are so many clubs and groups that most people are involved in a few in some respect. doors are left unlocked and laptops and books are scattered about campus by their owners for hours. there always seems to be some campus activity, lecture, game, theater event etc. i met my closest friends from all different places: a poker night, watching tv in the commons, clubs, and on my dorm hall. i have met most people in the dining hall, where very few people will bite you for sitting next to them, and you will learn more about what is going on around campus. you will learn about the long list of school traditions pretty fast. parties are common, but no one should chastize you for not going at this work hard/play hard school. about 3/4ths of the school is greek, but ive never regreted staying independant because that has become its own network of friends.
VERY Greek oriented school, with polos and southern-gentility for all
Washington and Lee is unusual for many reasons. It's not for everyone- the smallness means that it's hard to disappear. If ...
Washington and Lee is unusual for many reasons. It's not for everyone- the smallness means that it's hard to disappear. If you have a bad experience with someone, you are bound to see him or her again. On the other hand, the small size means that walking around campus, you know everyone. You will never have a TA. Your professors will invite you over for dinner, and some will even call you if you've missed class (only to ask if you're ok, not to pry). I loved every minute of being there, I wouldn't have gone anywhere else.
Washington and Lee was historically a white, upper-class, male, Southern school. Though the administration is trying to change that image, it is still largely intact.
Washington and Lee is definately a small school, in the best way possible, and it does have a Southern feel. While some students have money, there are plenty of people there who are not rich or Southern. I would say the party atmosphere has definitely decreased during my four years at Washington and Lee (from 2004-2008).
Every professor will know your name within the first two days of class. Classes are incredibly small. As a freshman, I took a class in which I was one of only three students. We took fieldtrips in the professor's car, even a weekend trip to Virginia Beach to go birdwatching. Also, if you are a science major, you will find Washington and Lee provides excellent research opportunities. Since there are no graduate students, undergrads get to help the professors with their research projects. I worked in the genetics lab for two years and used equipment I would never have even seen as an undergrad if I had gone to another school.
Students leave their dorm rooms open all of the time. It is a very safe campus. The Greek system is huge, though the administration is cracking down on the fraternities and they seem to be dying off one by one. For the next 10 years, at least, however, the Greek system will be a huge part of campus life. When I was a freshman in 2004, nearly the entire student body went to parties, and every fraternity had at least one party a weekend. This has changed. There are fewer large fraternity parties and more people drinking in small groups.
The college is said to be very small and very Southern, and students are known for having a lot of money and liking to party.
Best thing is the sense of community I love the small classes and personal relations that are possible and encouraged with p...
Best thing is the sense of community I love the small classes and personal relations that are possible and encouraged with professors. Always remember my professors knowing my birthday, my interests, and my story- because they can I would like to see the rampant alcoholism and snobby attitudes dissappear. That is what I would change.
Hmm. Lots of white rich kids here. They all tend to dress alike too. It is a study in clones sometimes. But there are lots of other types too. That is what makes it interesting.
No. While the vast majority of the kids here are from rich southern families, there are some people from all over. Can't really disagree about the snootiness Yes. Alcohol is a huge problem.
I love the classes here! There are so many options, and professors truly care about the topics they are teaching. They are so cool, I want to hang out with them outside of class-discussing, joking, etc. The workload is challenging, but interesting. (Usually) Favorite classes: Geomorphology (Geology) Reading Lolita in Tehran (Womens Studies) Sainthood in 4 Traditions (Religion)
I never lock my door. When I do by accident, it is a cause for panic, since I never have my key on me. Partying is huge. Almost to an unhealthy extent. Guest speakers are great; I have heard John Grisham, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and uncountable other fascinating speakers. If you aren't a drinker, Saturday night could be a bit dull. There are always free movies in the commons though-most of which are excellent.
They are all rich, snotty, southern kids. They drink like fish.
The best thing about the University is its academics. There is a work hard, play hard attitude, but the work that students do...
The best thing about the University is its academics. There is a work hard, play hard attitude, but the work that students do is remarkable in its quality, and you get a great education. The social aspects of the school are limited, students must make their own fun because the town is small and offers more for those interested in hiking or arts and crafts than for those looking for a night life. The school is about the right size, I'd say. The biggest problem with the school is the limited diversity, not just in terms of background but also in terms of viewpoint. It is a very conservative place. At the same time, minority recruitment has made strides over the years but there is still much room for improvement. Also, the way gay and lesbian students are treated here by other students, as well as the way women are treated, is extremely disappointing. The culture is still male and hetero-centric, and there are a large number of students who aim to keep it that way, whether it means resisting calls for change or actually engaging in harassment or verbal degradation of women and minority students. The Administration means well. They are in the inenviable position of any administration: trying to please all the students and faculty and trustees at the same time. They try hard, and I think many of them would like to change things more than they have, but they do not want to take the risk of acting in a bold manner.
I have had the pleasure of knowing a variety of constituencies at Washington and Lee, and while most students are white and do come from well to do backgrounds, there is a niche for everybody. I've addressed LGBT and women's issues above. I think gay students would certainly feel somewhat out of place at W & L, but that can change from year to year depending on how many gay kids are admitted. Politically liberal students may feel some hostility towards their views, but they will not feel out of place, and some may even thrive on it. It is a politically engaged campus.
There is some truth to any stereotype. I would say there is a bit more racial diversity than one would expect, given the school's reputation. Still, the majority of students are white and conservative. Anecdotally, I would say there are a lot of wealthy people on the undergraduate campus, but the University, and the Law School, both tend to be generous with financial aid. One of my friends comes from a pretty economically deprived background in western Maryland but got a full scholarship to W&L for his academics.
W&L education is great. It is geared more towards an overall education than towards job training. On the undergrad side, I think the students are well prepared for employment and place respectably well. The Law School has had a weaker record on employment, but new staff in career services there have taken new initiatives that are starting to pay off. Class participation is indeed common and encouraged, and there is a lot of discussion about class and other intellectual issues outside of class. W & L may not be a perfect community, but it is a highly engaged community in the intellectual sense.
The social life on the University side revolves around fraternities. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing, and the fraternities are no more or less accepting than any other part of the student body. They also throw some great parties. There is a heavy drinking culture, but that is a reality of modern college life these days. I think the social scene may be tougher fro women, who I think feel that they have to go along with the sort of sexual objectification, misogyny, and other male centered aspects of greek culture. On the other hand, some women may prefer a "traditional" Southern social life. On a Saturday night, if you don't drink, you can watch a movie, maybe catch a show at the Lime Kiln theater, or go to bed. On the law school side, social life revolves around house parties, since there are no social law fraternities. The law and undergrad sides rarely mix.
That they are wealthy, mostly white, and conservative.
it feels a bit small sometimes, but i do not want to see the school's size change. most of my time is spent in the fraternity...
it feels a bit small sometimes, but i do not want to see the school's size change. most of my time is spent in the fraternity house. when i tell them i go to W&L, i either get an "i'm impressed" eyebrow arch, or a "where is that again?" W&L is run smoothly, few problems with "red tape." W&L is (almost too) steeped in tradition, with many old secret societies and drinking societies. the only real student complaint seems to be that Lexington is too small.
very, very homogenous. the school has pushed for diversity, but seems to be failing. different types of students, and even students in different fraternities interact minimally, with only a few exceptions.
a lot of fun-loving, outdoorsy frat-guys who smoke too much pot and drink too much alcohol but will end up being successful.
for the most part, yes; however, as all seterotypes are, it is blown out of proportion.
very challenging. everyone is very intelligent, but not necessarily very intellectual. as a politics/ classics double major, I have been very satisfied with all my professors; however, some grade a bit too harshly. although it offers a liberal arts education, W&L conveniently also invests a lot of time and money making sure its students get jobs as well.
a lot of off-campus fraternity sponsored parties. alcohol and drugs flow freely. few people date; alcohol-propelled "hook-ups" rule relationships between sexes.
upper-middle to upper class white student body, preppy/ outdoorsy hybrids, fiscally and politically conservative, somewhat snobbish, all student drink excessively
Here's the thing about W&L... Best decision I've ever made. And I'm pretty sure 99% of my class could attest to this. D...
Here's the thing about W&L... Best decision I've ever made. And I'm pretty sure 99% of my class could attest to this. Despite our attempt at DIII sports, of which I dabbled a few years in (no seriously, theyll take almost anyone), we have the school pride of a state school. Minus the body paint. Insert, coat and tie to football games, girls in sundresses. Varsity garden party. This little script box couldn't stand to hold even a summary of a month at my time at W&L but here's a few statements I've heard through the years that might be most effective: "If you gave me an acceptance letter from Harvard (or insert any school's name here) today, I'd still pick my experience at W&L time and again." "Freshman year i recall i once announced to Caroline* that we are the happiest people literally in the entire world. i had done the calculations, assessed our status in the grand scheme of life on earth and had deduced that we were literally the ultimate happy people. and looking back from the vantage point of graduation morning, i was right." - excerpt from a friend's email on graduation morning The people at W&L seriously make the experience. In my efforts to make this as sincere as possible, I cried the day I got in and I cried the day I left but the moments in between were some of my happiest.
Ambitious. Driven. Youre bound to know people in high places coming from this school. Pretty homogeneous student body-- but hey, thats why we like it.
Comparable schools... of which W&L still tops: UVA Vanderbilt Sewanee UGA Recent grads salivate at the thought of Homecoming in October and Alumni weekend in April-- its only twice a year now we get to return home. Overall, I'm pleased to be in a torrid love affair with W&L. I plan on it lasting a while.
Yes. But to be extensive, the princeton review additionally names several cliches that still hold relevance: "Preppy" "Exclusive" "Country club-esque" "Republican" "Heavy drinking school"
Just as aggressive on the dance floor as in the library. Not ridiculously competitive but everyone wants to genuinely do well. Honorable crowd. At the end of the day, if you don't land the investment banking job, youre in the minority.
Fraternities and sororities dominate the social scene, but its for the best. I'll save you time from checking out the princeton review rankings-- W&L has something like 90% greek life but its social scene has recently moved away from the fraternity houses to the "country"-- your average off campus house 5 minutes away. Something to note is that the university owns the greek scene and therefore incorporates its buildings into the school's strategic plan. I've heard every sorority(5)/fraternity(14) house cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million each. Irregardless, theres truthfully a place in the greek system for just about everyone to find their niche.
If you haven't heard of it, you probably wouldn't have gotten in.
For me Washington and Lee is a place to learn, make connections, and enjoy life. Being in a fraternity sort of separates you ...
For me Washington and Lee is a place to learn, make connections, and enjoy life. Being in a fraternity sort of separates you sometimes from your stereotypical ivy collegiate experience and vaults you towards a life not dissimilar to Animal House. But my favorite part about the school is that your in the same classes as the men and women you party with - it brings energy and life to the classroom that I don't think you have anywhere else. Also the small class size lets you get an education that's really in touch with the professors, no TA's was a big draw for me. I'll be a junior this fall and my biggest class so far has been about 26 people.
AWESOME! If you find the right people (which you will), you'll have the most fun of your life, guaranteed.
pretty much, but W&L is working hard to diversify and incorporate students from all over the country, we're on the brink
preppy, somewhat intellectual but more curious about the best way to have fun, rich, the southern gentleman, the prissy southern gal
Rich, white, like to have a good time
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