Williams College Top Questions

What is the stereotype of students at Williams College? Is this stereotype accurate?

Mike

I would characterize the stereotypical Williams student as an athlete, who dresses preppy, is a legacy (has parents, grandparents, etc. who went to Williams), and is majoring in Economics, looking for a job in Finance or Consulting. While there are definitely students who fit this profile, it misses the incredible amount of diversity that exists at Williams--something I did not fully realize or appreciate until I went to visit friends at other colleges. At Williams I have made friends with students from all over the country and all over the world, many of whom have incredible stories and experiences. More generally, Williams students are intelligent, competitive, and hardworking. While we may work too hard at times, the phrase "work hard, play hard" is something that many students live by.

Will

Lots of people think of Williams as a bizarre mixture of nerds and jocks. I'd say that most Ephs really like to get outdoors, but they also know the value of working hard.

Mike

I would characterize the stereotypical Williams student as an athlete, probably preppy, a legacy (has parents, grandparents, etc. who went to Williams), and an Economics major looking for a job in Finance or Consulting. While there are definitely students who fit this profile, it misses the incredible amount of diversity that exists at Williams--something I did not fully realize or appreciate until I went to visit friends at other colleges. At Williams I have made friends with students from all over the country and all over the world, many of whom have incredible stories and experiences. More generally, Williams students are intelligent, competitive, and hardworking. While we may work too hard at times, the phrase "work hard, play hard" is something that many students live by.

John

The aspect of Williams that makes it so desirable and diverse is its defiance of stereotypes. What I have gathered from my time as a student at Williams is that our college community, through commitment to academic excellence and social responsibility, aims to defy judgment and stereotypes as an entity. Despite this attempt, the campus does have niches - ones that you would expect. Our school is the only school to have ever been ranked as the top academic and athletic institution in the same year. An accurate inference from this would be to say that we have a high number of student athletes...40{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} in fact. These kids do not fit the typical "jock" stereotype because they are also brilliant kids. And, sometimes, to many peoples' surprise, our student-athletes are multi-talented. I can offer myself as an example. I play varsity golf at Williams but also am involved musically as the teacher's assistant for the jazz ensemble. I also participate in that ensemble as the solo trumpet player and play in our most advanced jazz combo. I offer myself as an example to iterate that our campus doesn't like stereotypes. We try to eliminate them because we collectively recognize their potentially harmful effects. Yes, we have student-athletes; but they're not jocks. Yes, we have artsy students; but we don't call them hippies. We see people as equal because we don't value people differently based upon their stylistic choices.

purp

Students here are certainly athletic. Many people participate in varsity, club, and IM sports. In addition, lots of students love the outdoors. People here spend a good deal of time hiking, biking, and rock climbing, as well as skiing and snowboarding (during the winter months). Furthermore, you don't have to look very hard to find preppiness at Williams. Boat shoes and Hunter Boots abound. However, it rains a good deal in Williamstown, and we are in a valley, so those rain boots due come in handy. Plus, just because a lot of the student body is usually clad in boat shoes and Hunter Boots does not take away from the student body's vibrancy. Finally, everyone here is smart. It's nice to have so many witty people (students and professors alike) in one place.