Williams College Top Questions

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?


Although the academics at my college were outstanding, the social scene suffered as a result. Because each of the students was so focused on getting top grades and having leadership positions in as many extracurriculars as possible to round out his or her resume, friendships took a back seat to ambition. School WAS life there. I think the administration tried to encourage students to let their hair down sometimes through campus-sponsored parties and other social events, but more emphasis needed to be placed on developing as whole people, and on balancing ambition with self-care.




It can be very isolating if you aren't very involved with campus activities. I was involved in many sports and other activites, but my friends who weren't often were lonely or homesick.


The worst thing is probably the ignorance of a large part of the campus about diversity issues. Most of the students are fairly well-to-do, if not rich, and they have trouble understanding backgrounds that are different from theirs.


The remote location.




There is a fear of failure among some students and professors that can hinder academic risk-taking.


Alcohol pervades the social life far too much. I found a group of friends who were separate from that, but most aren't so lucky (or don't care).


It's great to attend a liberal arts college because it helps you to develop into a well-rounded person -- and in the long run, this is invaluable. However, it does leave you stranded as far as post-graduate careers are concerned. The career counseling service and alumni network are great resources if you want to become an investment banker or financial consultant, but there is too much focus on this field.


The worst thing about this school is the financial aid office. A Williams representative promised "full aid" when he came to my high school, but their definition of "full aid" was certainly different from mine. Also, the school recently went "no loans," which means that a financial aid student receives a Williams scholarship rather than a loan, but the contribution that my family was expected to make went up when this was instituted. My family's economic situation hadn't changed, so we ended up having to take out a loan to cover the expected contribution.


Not as ethnically/racially diverse as it could be.