When I first came to Albion, I was extremely excited. It seemed like a great place. I was added to the class of 2016 Facebook page, where students seemed kind and inquisitive. I am an international student. I grew up in Europe because of my father's occupation and came to Michigan, or, more specifically, Albion, because 1) my grandparents live here, they pick me up from the airport and drive me to school 2) Albion's campus is small enough for me to function without a car or license, as I have neither and 3) my parents noticed the graduation rate and, truthfully, people who graduate from Albion do find success and good jobs in their futures. So I guess that serves as a disclaimer- if you can get over all the shitty shit I'm about to point out in my rant to be moderately successful, come to Albion. If not... well, don't.
Also, I realize that the biggest factor deciding how any given person feels about Albion is their background. I don't expect students who were born and raised in Michigan to relate to the way I feel about Albion College. This is coming from the viewpoint of someone who has grown up in places that are rich in culture.
Baldwin is the only available dining option that your board pays for. There are a variety of dining plans you can purchase that vary based on how many "dining dollars" you want. These dining dollars are accepted at the places in Albion that accept them (Eat Shop, subway, and the janky gas station) and you don't get a discount, you just pay by swiping your card. So pretty much you're just exaggerating the process of paying out of your own pocket.
I think the worst part of Baldwin isn't the quality of the food, although thats pretty bad, but it's the specific hours in which meals are served. Breakfast stops being served at 10:30, lunch is 11-2, and dinner is 4-8 pm. EIGHT P.M. The dining hall closes at EIGHT P.M. During the hours between the hours listed above, there is no food available except for the shitty salad bar and the bagels. Oh, and cereal. How can a collegiate dining service not understand that we all have different, completely unique schedules? How can they not understand that we study into the night, that not all of us have cars to drive to McDonalds or, better yet, not all of us WANT McDonalds or the Eat Shop. If we're paying the amount that we pay for our dining services, there needs to be scheduling modifications. Also, it's ridiculous that we can't serve ourselves. The objective might be to make sure students stay trim/healthy, but I get pretty pissed off when I asked for chicken wings and the server puts literally two on my plate.
The food has no substance. It is flavorless and cold.
I can almost guarantee that I am the only person at Albion College that attended knowing literally nobody. Not a single person from my hometown, high school, nobody I knew from summer camp- coming to Albion College, I did not know a soul. It soon became obvious to me that the majority of these kids, most of whom hailed from the suburbs of Detroit and the outlying cities, were the textbook definition of what is known as "Generation Y"- narcissistic, spoiled, uncultured millennials who were more obsessed with how many retweets, favorites, and Instagram followers they had than anything of actual substance. *There are, of course, exceptions. I'm talking majority*
If you're cool with binge drinking and having redundant conversations about literally THE DUMBEST SHIT then you'll love the social life. I guess it's safe to say that I dont like it there because I know better. Living in Europe, I went to bars, clubs, I had the time of my life.
Honestly, it is not worth drinking or smoking in Albion because I dont want an M.I.P. I don't want to go to court. For such lame nights, it's just not worth it.
Ladies, the guys here are douchebags. The "frat life" inflates their self-confidence to the point where they are blatantly just assholes. I have heard girls here called "whales, hideous, fat, dyke", and the list goes on. Obviously, every individual can be different. For the most part, however, they are shallow, ignorant, and uncultured. All the good ones leave because they know better... and that is why they are the good ones.
I love my classes, but the attendance policies tend to be ridiculous. I understand that one of the advantages of attending a small liberal arts school is that I get to have an interactive education, one where my professors become passionate about my individual interests and help me to monopolize on my strengths. However, seeing as I pay 40 grand a year, I think I should have the choice to decide just how interactive that education is. I realize that this is not an issue of the college's per se; it varies from teacher to teacher. However, it is something to take into account when coming to Albion College. On average, the most classes you can miss is around 2. Miss more and your grade be lowered, guaranteed.
The teachers are amazing. Other members of staff are horrendous and rude. Specifically, the post office employees, the Eat Shop employees, the Baldwin employees, and the women working in the financial/administrative offices in Ferguson.
Honestly, the residential options at Albion are so minimal and pathetic I won't even bother going into them. This is a residential college. Having to live on campus for all four years is part of the deal. If you're lucky enough to find an excuse to "commute" aka live off campus without the school finding out, then I applaud and envy you.
In all honesty, I love Albion. Every student I've met that is from Albion is an amazing person, and I owe this to the fact that they aren't spoiled brats like the rest.
ConclusionIf you're an international student, do not come to Albion. If you have any desire to have a stimulating college experience, where you meet people who are unlike any you have ever met before, people who are open to new experiences and new walks of life, do not come to Albion.