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Colgate University

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I think it's really important that you doBrightEconomics
I think it's really important that you do a lot of research about Colgate before you decide to go here. Colgate takes great care to present itself as a diverse school where people are open-minded, accepting, and hardworking in its website, flyers, and campus visits. One of my professors actually told me that they have different scripts they give tour guides when they are conducting tours with "minority" students and white students, and when they take high school seniors for overnight visits they house the minority high schoolers with minority Colgate students and the white high schoolers with white Colgate students. I was pretty surprised when I came to campus and saw how close-minded, snobby, and self-absorbed so many of the students are, and how the campus is almost uniformly white, upper middle class to upper class, and from the Northeast. Greek life here is huge, but you don't really realize this as a freshman because everyone rushes sophomore year, and then you are in for a big shock. There is a big division between Greeks and non-Greeks, Greeks look down on people who don't pledge and I feel that my friends (the ones that aren't in fraternities or sororities) and I get left out of a lot of activities and opportunities because we aren't Greek. I never imagined that I could feel so excluded by not joining a sorority.

Academically, I really think that Colgate is a great school, most of the professors I have had have been very bright, friendly, and helpful and genuinely care about their students. The coursework is very rigorous and you will have to work hard but it is rewarding. I am majoring in Environmental Economics and I have loved most of my professors and classes in both the economics and environmental studies departments. There is also a strong alumni network that helps a lot of students get jobs after graduation. The campus is absolutely beautiful, it is very green but be warned, it is upstate New York, and very, very cold and snowy most of the year.


Another thing that I think is hard about going to Colgate is that the town is just 2,000 people and very isolated, so even though the school is not the smallest (3,000 students), it feels a lot smaller than it actually is, and when you are in a small, isolated town people become very caught up in themselves and their drama. And even though the administration makes an effort to bring in speakers and stuff, let's be honest, really the only thing there is to do at night is drink, although I have one friend who is involved in drama and likes it. I hear that financial aid packages are really good but they don't have academic scholarships which is hard for those of us who don't qualify for financial aid. There are a lot of things I really like about Colgate, I like my major and my classes and professors and I have made some great friends here, so it makes me sad that at times I have had such a bad experience here. The town and the school are just way too small and the students are hardworking but so shallow and arrogant that I have had a really hard time here, especially since I am not part of Greek life. By the way, I am a white upper middle class female who does like to drink and go out at night so I fit in pretty well, and even though I have gone to preppy private schools all my life, many of the students I encountered at Colgate were much worse than the students I had known in high school, it is honestly much more petty and drama-filled than high school ever was. I think if I had gotten my act together more I think I would have transferred sophomore year. That said, Colgate is a great place for some people, but you should know what's right for you and get a variety of perspectives before you decide to go here. To summarize: the academics and professors are great, the campus is beautiful, but "Greek organizations and jock mentality are still well entrenched despite administrative efforts to neutralize them" (Fiske Guide to Colleges 2008).

3rd Year Female -- Class 2010
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Surrounding City: D
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There is a big difference between the pictureBrightPolitical Science
There is a big difference between the picture that the Admissions office paints, and what Colgate really is. When they speak up its 'diversity' (78% white), how great the sciences are (the biggest majors are econ, english, history, and poly sci), and how widespread the social scene is (almost half of eligible students are in Greek life) be sure you have your BS radar up.

Colgate is an AWESOME school for the right kid, but I have seen too many students who were not able to see through the BS and end up having a miserable time.

Just take what they try to sell you in the brochures with a grain of salt.

4th Year Male -- Class 2010
Faculty Accessibility: A, Surrounding City: C
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I believe the term "dreary" was applied toAverageEnglish
I believe the term "dreary" was applied to the human factor. Other words might be aimed with greater sting and accuracy: rapist mentality, thick and jocular, insensitive and alien; however, these would not apply to everyone. Still, enough of this sort survive to make the experience discomfitting at best and, when experienced as a daily, living reality, downright embarrassing. Such people should have their gonads sucked dry and be made to thwarble bunny rabbits. What a zoo!
3rd Year Male -- Class 2007
Campus Maintenance: A+, Social Life: F
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