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Whitman is a school for the enthusiastic, be it for academics, the arts, athletics, any of a variety of extracurriculars, or ...
Whitman is a school for the enthusiastic, be it for academics, the arts, athletics, any of a variety of extracurriculars, or for all.
Whitman is self-sufficient - even though it's located in a small rural town, there is always a wide variety of student and school sponsored activities for all interests.
Be introspective when decided what factors are important. Are you someone who engages best in discussion type classes? Look for a school with smaller classes. Are you a homebody and will want to have the freedom to visit home? Pick a school that is reasonably close to home. Do you love varsity sports? Perhaps look for a bigger school. It's all important to look for well-rounded schools if you're not sure what your major will be . You want to know that you're dabbling in strong departments when you're trying to find the correct fit. Reputation is important, but finding a great fit for your personality is key. If you have the resources to visit while school is in session and to stay overnight, I highly recommend that as well.
Whitman is a small school, so you get to know a lot of people. It generally feels a lot warmer and more accepting than a bigg...
Whitman is a small school, so you get to know a lot of people. It generally feels a lot warmer and more accepting than a bigger university environment. This being said, even though Whitman is small, you won't meet everyone in the school, so you're constantly seeing and meeting new people, which is really fun. Just because Whitman has only 1500 students doesn't mean that we are a boring, study-obsessed campus. People here like to have fun and party on weekends! I
Students at Whitman are predominantly white (and from Washington or Oregon). That being said, there is a prominent Latino population and there are a lot of international students here, as well as a bunch of east coasters and Montanans and Californians. My freshman year roommate was from Romania! And two other girls in my section were from Mongolia and Vietnam. Whitman students, no matter their race, are an extremely open bunch of people. Admissions is really trying to diversify the student body, and I think that anyone would have no problem fitting in. The campus is very open--there's a great LGBTQ group. Students at Whitman tend to be middle to upper-middle class and fairly liberal, but there are definitely exceptions to this rule.
Beer Mile. SO FUN. A bunch of students streak around Ankeny Field at midnight one night before finals spring semester.
No--there are definitely people who like to hike and camp and go on outdoor trips a lot, but there are also students who just aren't that inclined to the out of doors. You'll find many different types of people here. Since it is a smaller school, there isn't a ton of dating as in you meet someone and they ask you out. People tend to develop long-lasting relationships. CORE is a writing intensive course that introduces to classic thinkers of the Western world (and now maybe Eastern with Encounters). It is simply not true that everyone hates CORE. Personally, I loved it, and I know a ton of people who liked it, too (even science and math majors). Since CORE is taught by professors of all disciplines, sometimes you'll be stuck with someone who doesn't really deal with literature, and that's unfortunate. A great thing about CORE is that it unites the entire freshman class and it is a great point of conversation for people getting to know each other.
As for academics, Whitman is a very good school with tough classes (and some not-so-tough classes), but there isn't a really competitive atmosphere--it's more laid back and less high strung. Class sizes are on the smaller side (about 15 students) which is excellent. Professors are very attentive and try to learn your name during the first week or two of classes. You can email a professor any time and expect a prompt replay back. Another great aspect of Whitman academics is office hours--professors hold weekly office hours where students can ask questions or just talk. Students here are intelligent so you are definitely exposed to some very intellectual conversations. My group of friends loves just hanging out and talking. I'm a music major and I have to say that I absolutely LOVE the department. All of the professors are extremely knowledgeable in there areas (some of my favorite classes at Whitman have been music history courses). Chorale is awesome. It is a 100-person choir directed by Dr. Bode (fabulous). I've heard not-so-great things about the orchestra, but as a singer, Chorale is fun and challenging.
There are many different clubs on campus to choose from. I've had a show at KWCW, the school's radio station, for the past 2 years and it's been really fun! Clubs at Whitman seem to actually get things done, too, versus just sit around and talk. Youth Development Initiative sends students to Sierra Leone, Black Student Union hosts great hip hop parties, etc. Whitman offers movies open to all students, shown at Kimball Theater Saturday and Monday nights.. I've seen some really great films through this tradition. Whitman also brings some of the coolest speakers, and it would be sad if students didn't take advantage of them! Last year I saw Salman Rushdie speak. This year I saw a Holocaust survivor, Terry Tempest Williams, and Marjane Satrapi (author of Persepolis) talk. These are some of the greatest speeches I've seen. The Walla Walla Symphony (really excellent for a small-town symphony, and they bring in some great guest performers) also performs on campus at Cordiner Hall, and students can get free tickets in the music building. If you want a good party, frat houses are recommended (and there are usually off-campus parties to choose from). If that's not really your scene, then no problem--I've spent tons of great Friday nights just chilling with my friends, talking.
That everyone is outdoorsy and hippie. No one dates. Everyone hates CORE (the required freshman course)...which is actually now being called Encounters... for some odd reason.
The first thing people ask me about Whitman, is not actually about Whitman itself. Rather it's about the town Whitman where t...
The first thing people ask me about Whitman, is not actually about Whitman itself. Rather it's about the town Whitman where the school is located: Walla Walla, Washington. Walla Walla is a pretty small down in southeastern Washington, about five miles north of the Oregon border. It's famous for the onions and the wine, but most people, upon hearing about the town, wonder how Whitman kids survive living in such a small town (especially since we have quite a few kids from bigger cities). First: Walla Walla is a really adorable place. Whitman's campus hits the main street (coincidentally called Main St.) of town, upon which lots of festivities take place, like the old car show and festival, for example (never in my life have I seen so many beautiful old cars in one place). Things like this are not uncommon around Walla Walla; the town itself has a lot to offer, and students enjoy partaking in these activities. Second: the college KNOWS that we're a bit off the beaten path and that we too would appreciate access to concerts, speakers, and other big events. Which is exactly what the college provides. Guest speakers in years past have included Howard Zinn, Ralph Nader, Alina Fernandz, Marjane Satrapi, Salman Rushdie, and Frank Warren; performers like the Blue Scholars, Flogging Molly, Girl Talk, Death Cab for Cutie, Ben Folds, and United State of Electronica have also done shows at Whitman College. It's safe to say that there is always something to do on a Friday or Saturday night. Third: the weather. One might not think that the weather should have such an influence on where he or she goes to college, but trust me, it's a big deal. The weather in Walla Walla is great. Where I come from, we really only have two seasons: wet and dry. Walla Walla has actual seasons and for the most part, it's quite warm. The summers get real hot, and in the winter it snows. Let me tell you, having the seasonal changes is really fun.
Whitman's student activities and clubs are wildly diverse. There are clubs for everything, whether it be political, religious, LGBTQ-related, outdoorsy, or just for kicks. The best part about the clubs is how easy it is to start a club if there isn't already one you like. Sometime during my freshman year, there was a small push from a few students to start a Slam Poetry Club. And so they did (quite seamlessly). Aside from clubs, Whitman's student radio, KWCW, is ranked pretty high among college radio stations. It's really easy to get involved in the radio, and from what I've heard, really enjoyable and fun too. Intramural sports are a big deal at Whitman too. Flag football is one of the more seriously followed sports, and everyone gets into it (even if you don't play, you'll probably wind up watching). Aside from flag football, tennis, soccer, bowling, and several other sports make it onto the IM list. Whitman students are fairly active in the political scene. For the most part, it's a pretty liberal campus. However, there is a Campus Conservatives group and they are quite active, so if you're hoping for political diversity, there it is. One of my favorite things about Whitman is that the students genuinely seem interested in subjects and activities from all across the board. And, somehow, the students manage to find time between all their activities and studying to just hang out or catch a Monday Night Movie (put on every Monday by the Associated Students of Whitman College -- ASWC).
Whitman was dead last on my list when I was applying to colleges. Being from western Washington state, I didn't really want to go to school in a podunk town, let alone in the same state. My visit to Whitman changed my entire perspective. The students were great, the professors were unbelievably nice, the campus was amazing, and the school had so much to offer. Whitman quickly climbed the ladder on my list of schools and in the end, I applied Early Decision I. I'm really happy with my choice, and in fact I visited Whitman twice during my senior year of high school. Further, I started working for the Whitman College admissions office! (I love it that much!) I encourage visiting any school before choosing to go there because you really get a better understanding for the school when you're staying on their campus. And if I have one piece of advice, it's to not rule out any schools. Who knows, you might end up loving it!
All stereotypes hold some truth. At Whitman, yes, the students are fairly academically involved (as they should be, considering that Whitman classes can be pretty rigorous). However, the students also manage to find a balance and partake in extracurriculars, sports (whether it's varsity, intramural, or theatre -- I'm serious about that last one), and other various events and activities around campus. We don't JUST spend all day hitting ourselves with textbooks. As for the "super rich" stereotype: Whitman is pretty up there on the range of pricey schools. That being said, the school does a really good job of offering financial aid to those who qualify, as well as scholarships. And not everyone is "super rich" at Whitman; members of the student body come from all socio-economic backgrounds. Further, if you're having problems with money or anything, there are so many staff members who would be willing to sit down and look at financial options with you. People at Whitman WANT you to be there, so they'll help you if you need it. And lastly, the stereotype that we're dread-rockin', frisbee-tossin' barefoot hippie children running all over the place. Okay, so yes, a few members of our student body rock the dreadlocks (in the most awesome way possible), and yes frisbee is a HUGE deal at Whitman (I was once told that I would learn 1000 useless things at Whitman, and 900 would be frisbee tosses). And, okay, I myself have been known to wander around campus sans shoes. If none of this appeals to you, consider this: Whitman campus is INCREDIBLY environmentally friendly. Take our science building, for example. The newest section of the science building utilizes wood from the trees that were cut down in order to build it, employs more windows to let natural light in rather than use electricity, and it's heated naturally (as are the series of creeks and ponds that run through the campus). So yeah, we might be sort of granola, but it's definitely to everyone's advantage.
Classes at Whitman can be pretty intense, but not to worry because your professors are your friends. Most class sizes are between 15 to 25, so the professors know who you are. More importantly, they want to get to know you! Example: my Spanish class had about 16 people in it, and I was the only vegan in my class. My professor liked baking things for our class, and so one day she made an amazingly delicous vegan cake for our class! The fact that she remembered that I was vegan just made my day. I've heard countless stories about professors inviting their classes to their house for breakfast/dinner/dessert, or of students babysitting professors' children. The point is that Whitman students really get to know their professors, and vice versa, which proves to be really helpful if you're struggling in a class and need some extra help, or if you want to find an internship for the summer. Another great thing about the professors (and this is probably my favorite fact about Whitman): about 90% (or more) of the professors at Whitman have terminal degrees in their field. To me, that means that I am being taught subjects by people who really love what they're teaching. And that makes a huge difference.
Whitman is a pretty social campus. Like I said earlier, there is always a lot going on. On any given Friday you can go to Coffeehouse on the bottom floor of the campus center building (complete with a stage and comfy couches) and listen to local or student bands (and the occasional slam poet) play for a few hours. There's usually great music, and the cafe upstairs is open so you can get some coffee or tea too. Whitman does have a Greek system; there are three sororities (Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, Delta Gama), and four fraternities (Sigma Chi, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Beta Theta Pi, Phi Delta Theta). The fraternities have houses on the north side of campus, and the sororities are housed in the all-womens' dorm. This being said, you don't have to join a fraternity or a sorority in order to have a social life at Whitman. I personally chose not to join a sorority, but several of my friends did and they really enjoy it. And the great thing is that I can still hang out with them and their sorority friends. The Greek system is not exclusive or in-your-face crazy, as it might be at other schools, which I find really nice. As most other colleges, there is a party scene on campus, but like the on-campus Greek-life, it's not in your face all the time. If you are looking for a party on any given weekend, you will probably find one. However, you DO have to look for them; they're not going to find you. In my opinion, it's nice not having a raging party scene all the time because then if you don't want to be part of it, it's easy to not be. That being said, one of Whitman's more amusing traditions is Beer Mile, which is sort of what it sounds like. At midnight before reading day of second semester finals, students gather on the main field and run around. Naked. It might sound weird (or totally cool), but I guarantee, it's one of the more fun/funnier events that takes place. Dorm life is obviously a huge factor when it comes to being social. For the most part, students keep their doors open and often time choose to hang out in the lounges rather than in their rooms all the time. The RAs of the houses and residence hall sections occasionally put on events where people can just hang out. In my dorm during my first year, we had several open mic nights where everyone would gather in the lounge, drink hot chocolate and eat snacks, and listen to their hall-mates serenade them with their lovely music.
A lot of people think that Whitman kids are super studious, super rich granola-hippie kids in Walla Walla. Also sometimes people confuse Whitman with one of the several religiously affiliated schools in the greater surrounding area.
Yes, the town is small. Yes, you can work around it, and it's worth it. Get a bike, stargaze in the wheat fields, visit the t...
Yes, the town is small. Yes, you can work around it, and it's worth it. Get a bike, stargaze in the wheat fields, visit the taco trucks, get involved in the campus community(Newspapers, lit mags, sports, activism, you name it, we've got it). Also, go to the speakers, bands, comedians, poets and authors that come to campus. Pretty much everyone at Whitman is the involved overachiever they were in high school, still rosy-cheeked with optimism and energy, which is great because that means they're up for anything. But you should know that oftentimes kids here are also rosy-cheeked because they're super wasted. Yes, alcohol is a thing here, but let's be realistic- mass intoxication is a common affliction at most colleges. We also have some pot, of course, but not really a lot of other drugs.
Sometimes. I fit three of those, being a fairly intelligent, quixotic, Euro-mutt Caucasian. Generally though, I feel like people that talk about Whitman are a little unfair about the richness and lack of diversity. Oh! And we're known for being nice, too! That one's completely true. I've never met a more courteous, kind collection of people.
Academics here are good, but like most places you need to make sure that you seek out the best professors. Dormwire.net is a good place for that. Dormwire is where you'll find the harpies that have managed to sink their claws into a faculty position and aren't letting go in a hurry. Watch out for them. I love our professors. I know many of them by first name, and I've always been able to talk to them when I needed it. Take the special topics classes because they may not ever be offered again and because it's a guarantee that the professor is excited about teaching it since they've chosen the subject. The intellectual atmosphere outside of class is fairly good- people often talk over assignments out of class and have good study habits. Intellectual conversation itself can be hard to find in some circles, so it's a good idea to pick your friends carefully. The thoughtful ones are out there.
As I said before, there's a big drinking culture that revolves around the Frat houses behind Jewett. Frats and sororities, well they are definitely there if you want them. I didn't, still don't, and can avoid their sickening preoccupation with gender roles most of the time, but still, I can't say that Greek Life doesn't seep over sometimes where it's not wanted. Greekend, for example, is very annoying and rife with 40 year old alumnists trying to relive their golden years. Let's see... The drama cult is known for all its batty traditions and initiations. There are plenty of juicy stories about Whitman's past, which you will learn gradually over time. Let's see, there is a lot of streaking, intramural sports playing, bike riding, Ankeny field sun basking, speakers, events, concerts(both by outside bands and by Whitman students). I am a member of quarterlife, one of the literary magazines on campus, and I've loved it so far. Blue Moon is the one that's well known and comes out once a year, while quarterlife is a smaller(literally- it's the size of a quarter page) publication that comes out quarterly. I can't say much about Blue Moon, but quarterlife is very open for innovation, input, and involvement. It was very much a collaborative team effort and I was able to get very involved from the start and contribute ideas on how to make it even better. I also had a radio show with KWCW. Do it! The application is easy to fill out and the it's fairly easy to get a show if you have a good idea for a concept. If you don't know how to work the equipment that's fine, they'll show you how.
This is most likely very spotty and stream of consciousness so keep that in mind.
As a bisexual girl who came out during her freshman year, I can say that Whitman is very accepting. When I told my friends, they were happy for me. That might be because most kids at my school are pretty liberal, and sometimes maybe a little too P.C., or unwilling to offend. I should say that at times during my freshman year I was very frustrated by the level of complacency at my college. I struggled to find passionate, creative folk who could get pissed off when need be. It was a bit of a quest, and after a semester of active searching I did find those people, and they are here, but I should tell you it's a bit of a schlep. That said, the kids here are extremely kind, focused and intelligent. Often health-conscious, environmentally conscious, and outdoorsy. They are starters and joiners, so new projects are always cropping up all over the place.
We are rich, white, North Face wearing, idealistic outdoorsy types. Smart ones.
Whitman is a unique place. The students are extremely involved, whether it be academics, athletics, student government, stude...
Whitman is a unique place. The students are extremely involved, whether it be academics, athletics, student government, student groups, etc. Although most students are actively involved in some way or another, few yap about their accomplishments or GPA. The strength of the academic curriculum, the welcoming environment, and friendly classmates all are attributes i will always remember about Whitman. If i could change a few things, i would enlarge the campus and have more students. Walla Walla offers a wealth of opportunities to achieve. Although i certainly didn't get this impression initially, Walla Walla is not a simple agricultural community in eastern Washington, it is definetly a complex and interesting community.
Whitman is great, and i think most students agree, as evidenced by the very high retention rates.
To some degree yes, but not for the most part. There is a larger degree of diversity (perhaps not ethnic/racial) at Whitman than the statistics suggest.
Perhaps the best part of Whitman. Classes are for the most part interesting, challenging, involving, and stimulate curiosity. Whitman students strive to achieve, and spend time outside of class studying, going over notes, and preparing for examinations and projects. I am an Environmental Studies major, which is a complex major, and a popular one as it allows students to specialize in their field of interest.
I came to Whitman for the academics, i am stayed because of the awesome student body.
students are laid back, interesting, and bring a lot to the table. whitman students are just as comfortable studying, playing a sport, participating in campus events, or partying. Although there is not a large degree of racial diversity, that aspect is improving. Although i think it is somewhat shallow and superficial to only analyze diversity based on race/ethnic identity. The is a large degree of diversity in terms of interests, skills, backgrounds, geographic diversity, etc. Students are politically aware, especially regarding environmental issues, mostly liberal. i've never heard of one student talk about how much they are going to earn, not surprising considering there is no business school. A republican student who wants a big school atmosphere, is self centered, and does not wish to challenge themselves would be someone who would feel out of place at Whitman.
Everyone is an affluent, white, hippie from the suburbs somewhere in the Northwest.
Whitman is a community. Since there is no big city to go to, we make our own fun. Everyone is really welcoming and there is a...
Whitman is a community. Since there is no big city to go to, we make our own fun. Everyone is really welcoming and there is always something going on around campus. I guess you could say that Whitties stick together. I love this about Whitman.
To be honest the campus is such a small place that stereotypes aren't really necessary. You know everyone too well to need to group people into those stereotypes. People are so talented and diverse at Whitman that once you get to know them you can't put them in such uncomplicated boxes.
In a word, Whitman academics are rigorous. You will work very hard and, most likely, you will enjoy it. The teachers are for the most part incredible and are always very willing to meet with students outside of class. That is the great benefit of a small school and I think one of Whitman's greatest academic merits.
Are numerous. Anything you could possibly want to do either has a club dedicated to it already, or is waiting for you to create that club. Whitties love to participate in fun events around campus and almost all of the campus groups are pretty well attended, at least by a core group. I know that the Men's Tennis team is fabulous and is more of a family to me than a team.
We are a small college. That means we stick together. Sure there may not be as many options as your average school of 20000 kids, but when you get right down to it, why would you want to be 1 out of 20000 when you can be part of a close knit college that cares about you? Call it "college atmosphere" or whatever you want, but there is no place I would rather be.
Asking me to stereotype the student body? Not possible. I am a Tennis player who enjoys nerdy D and D sessions and cooking. How is that for diverse interests? And I am no where near as varied in interests as a lot of people. The one thing you will realize when you come to Whitman is that everyone has a talent. Everyone seems to have something amazing that they can do. Whether it be playing an instrument, playing a sport or being able to snap louder than thunder, (not kidding one of my best friends does this) Whitties have amazingly diverse interests and talents.
Well Whitman students generally get labeled as outdoorsy and friendly people who error on the side of being ridiculously liberal.
At first Whitman can feel really small, but at the end of the day, the close-knit community is what made me fall in love with...
At first Whitman can feel really small, but at the end of the day, the close-knit community is what made me fall in love with the school. Walla Walla did not seem like an ideal place to go to school either, but the town has really grown on me. The campus is beautiful and I often walk to class thinking "I can't believe I am lucky enough to go to school here". I can't think of a better environment to go to school-I am continually impressed by the professors, the students, and the setting.
A lot Whitman students do fit that description, but Whitman students surprise me everyday with their diverse passions, extracurricular interests, and academic talents.
I am impressed by professors both in the classroom and outside. I feel lucky to get to learn from them on an academic level, and to get to know them on a more personal level. I babysit for my adviser and have been over to several other professor's houses. Whitman is not the type of place where you can blend into the crowd in your classes. Other students take academics seriously and its not "uncool" to be smart and work hard. But, that being said, Whitman students strive for balance and are more focused on cooperation than competition. Students are more intellectual than academic, meaning that learning is more important than just getting the grade. There are great study abroad and research opportunities for undergraduates
There is no one centrally popular student activity that dominates the social life. Whitman students choose from many (and at times too many) activities. I have never once been bored while at Whitman. The first year experience is especially focused on getting to know a lot of people and the first year residence halls really foster this sense of community. Greek life provides a social outlet for 30% of students, but isn't exclusive in any way. There are always plenty of social options whether or not you want to drink. Parties are usually creatively themed (and all the residence halls have costume closets). There are Friday night coffeehouse performances, ice cream socials, live music, intermural games, and game nights. Intermural football is probably the most popular sport and a lot of students get pretty into it. I wish the sports teams got more support and that games were a bigger deal. Other than that, I love the Whitman social life.
The only thing I wish I could change about Whitman would be adding more diversity of political thought. Not only are most Whitman students liberally-bent, they assume that everyone else around them is as well. But at the end of the day, Whitman students are conscious about being politically correct and encourage lively debate.
Environmental, frisbee-loving, nerdy, hippies
Whitman students are passionate and always surprising me. I am always learning that my friends have crazy talents or really cool interests. Students are mostly relaxed and dress to class is always casual. Above all else, students are accepting and encourage their peers to be themselves, whoever that may be. Whitman is too small for there to be cliques or individual social groups. Most of the time, I would feel comfortable sitting down at any table in the dining hall.
Whitman is a pretty small school, which some find limiting, but it also leads to a great group dynamic, with everyone knowing...
Whitman is a pretty small school, which some find limiting, but it also leads to a great group dynamic, with everyone knowing and supporting each other.
Professors are very invested in their students, and small class sizes mean students get to know their professors really well. I've even had profs. over for dinner. Since Whitman has no graduate programs, undergrads have lots of research opportunities.
Walla Walla itself doesn't have a huge scene for the college age crowd, but Whitman compensates for this by having a lot of on campus activities, from concerts to speakers to a Renaissance Fair. Usually there's so much to do on a weekend that it's hard to choose!
The stereotypes are definitely true of a lot of people, but Whitman students also come from a variety of backgrounds and outlooks on life, and most are eager to pop the "Whitman Bubble" whenever possible
hippies liberal living in a bubble
For the most part, the Whitman student body is pretty relaxed. Dress code is casual: shirts recommended but shoes optional (except in the dining halls). I usually think of Whitman students as the kids who were a little different, so were never the most popular in high school, but then came to Whitman and found their peers. Unicycling, fencing, and accordion-playing are all fairly common sights on campus. Most students are from the Pacific Northwest, especially Seattle and Oregon, but there's also people from all over the world. Although not known for its racial diversity, there is a black student union at Whitman, as well as an International Students and Friends Club, GLBTQ, and Allies Against Homophobia.
I think Whitman is the perfect size- not so small that I know everyone by name, but certainly small enough to where the class...
I think Whitman is the perfect size- not so small that I know everyone by name, but certainly small enough to where the classes are comfortable. Folks back home generally don't know where Whitman is, but out west it's pretty well recognized. There is a healthy amount of school pride. Walla Walla is a nice sized town, in my opinion. Students are pretty liberal.
Pretty much yes: for the most part we like school and have our educations as a top priority. We can be a little spacey and tend to be silly.
All of my professors, including those I had for one semester my freshmen year, know my name and say hello to me when they see me. I've loved all of my classes. Students study a lot. Even on Saturday nights the library is not completely deserted. Class participation is very common. One of the best things about Whitman, in my opinion, is the after class atmosphere- the conversations that continue outside of the classroom are really a great source of intillectual growth. The weirdest class I've taken was "English Grammar via Latin and Greek" which was amazing for a grammar dork like me. I think the academic requirements at Whitman are reasonable and unrestricing. I think it's good I was required to take a math class even if it wasn't my favorite. The education one recieves at Whitman lets students enter the world of acadamia... not necessarily the job force.
There are tons of activities put on by the college: dances, games, speakers, etc. The theater is great there are sevaral shows a semester. The music department almost always has some kind of performance coming up. Guest speakers have to compete for venues and time slots. I met my closest friends in my freshman year dorm. I would not be awake at 2 am on a Tuesday, unless something were wrong. People do party- there is generally a party to be found every weekend. Off campus activities with zero alcohol could include a trip to a good restuarant, ice skating, going to a movie, biking to the wheat-feilds or Benington Lake. Like any college, Whitman has students that drink and do drugs, but it is not a problem. With a little creativity good times can be had without altering your state of mind.
Like I said, I don't do drugs and I hardly drink, but never feel excluded or uncomfortable at parties. I think what makes Whitman truly special is a common love of learning in the students. No matter what college you go to you can make your classroom experience good, but it isn't everywhere that people will get together to discuss the reading over a cup of tea before or after class. It isn't everywhere that kids want to do their homework because they want to- not for grades or to compete with other students, but to further their own knowledge.
That we're little ADD and very accademically focussed, perhaps young for our ages, but love school. That we live in a bubble. Oh- and we have trouble with crossing the street.
Whitman kids are almost too welcoming to people of different racial, religious, and sexual orientations. By that I mean it is a constant topic of discussion. I think it could become suffocating to be constantly told "you are accepted. we love you for who you are. etc." I do think that different types of students interact very well. I can't imagine anyone being excluded from anything at whitman because of race, religion, or sexual orientation. Most people at Whitman are moderately to extremely well off. Coming from a lower middle class family, I consider myself a minority. Once again, we are quite liberal and quite politically aware. Yes, people do talk about earning money.
The best thing about Whitman is far and away the people: the professors, students and staff are all genuinely kind, concerned...
The best thing about Whitman is far and away the people: the professors, students and staff are all genuinely kind, concerned and intelligent. The students are excited to be there, and are legitimately interested in learning for the sake of knowledge, rather than grades. The size may feel small at times (when you see someone you hooked up with at party four or five times on campus the next day), but in reality, it's perfect. It's small enough that you know most people and never feel "lost," but there's always fresh faces to meet. Most people spend their on-campus time on Ankeny (playing frisbee, guitar, etc.), in the dorms or at the library (which is surprisingly social!). Walla Walla can feel a little small and isolated, especially if you don't have a car. Also, it caters predominantly to the wine tourists, so most restaurants and stores are too expensive for students. I think the most frequent complaint is the lack on diversity on campus, but most of the time I feel like that's because most students don't seek it out -- there is actually quite a bit of class diversity on campus, at least. I'll always remember the first few weeks before school and being terrified about fitting in, but once I got there I was shocked by how welcoming and genuinely friendly literally everyone on campus was.
All of my professors know both my first and last name, I've been to two of my professors houses and I email back and forth with most of them on a regular basis -- and I'm only a freshman! My favorite class was our freshman seminar, called Core. My teacher was great, and the discussions we had in class were eye-opening. But the best thing about Core is that everyone has teachers that are experts in different subjects, which makes it all the more interesting when you go back to the dorms and talk to your friends about their different experiences in Core. Class participation is high and people study quite a bit, since you really need to in order to be successful here! It's very academically strenuous! The academic requirements are very generous, and very easy to fill, but it's important to the Whitman administration that we get a well-rounded education (rather than cater to whatever pre-professional track you're headed towards).
Whitman students are stereotypically "crunchy" -- hippie-esque, environmentally conscious, outdoorsy, etc. They are also generally friendly, genuine and world aware people. Unfortunately, Whitman students are also stereotypically white, upper-middle class and from the west coast.
I'd most of the stereotypes were fairly accurate, although I encountered more diversity on campus than I'd expected.
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