Franklin and Marshall College
Franklin and Marshall College - Comments and Student Experiences|
First of all, the student population is mostly privileged and prissy jerks. Unless you fit into that population, you won't feel happy or included at all.
The college likes to say that there is diversity but the college couldn't care less about students of color, LGBT students, or students of different economic backgrounds. They treat you like a number. The school definitely feels like a business instead of a place of learning.
I would say that most students are generally stressed, depressed, and reliant on drugs and alcohol to cope with the severe amounts of work thrown at them. It's sad how many times I would hear people talking about their alcoholism in Blue Line or at the dining hall.
My biggest point of contention is with professors and the academics. They're labeled as "rigorous" but I would just call it unnecessarily difficult for no reason. I would have hours and hours of work per night. So many people are working in their rooms or the library constantly so you never really see people outside. It felt like a wasteland walking around campus most days.
Also, housing is really subpar for the price. The first thing I saw in my dorm was a huge house centipede. Most college houses have super small rooms that feel claustrophobic as hell. Plus, the bathrooms in my dorm were absolutely disgusting.
The food definitely doesn't boost morale either. Most times, it was either unpalatable garbage or freezing cold. Most of the food employees hate their job and you can tell.
To make it worse, the college doesn't really have any helpful ways to destress or have fun, so I was constantly on the verge of a breakdown because of the stress. Just because service animals come once a semester doesn't mean that the mental health problems are solved. Way too many people I knew got sent home on medical leave because of mental illness.
I know way too many people there who wish they would've transferred from all different departments. That really says something about the school.In my freshman experience, I would do homework 90% of my time, rarely sleeping, eating or socializing. When I did make friends, they were really overworked and could barely hang out. It sucked. My family was so worried about me taking my own life because of how much the school wrecked me. I withdrew as soon as I got home from spring semester of 2019 and transferred to a state school. I have zero regrets about leaving. Franklin and Marshall ruined my spirits, mental health, and almost cost me my life. Please explore your other options before you try and attend this school.
On the bright side, academics are good here. Classes are small, profs are great and if you do the work, you'll be able to to well here. So many kids here complain about how hard the school is. My explanation for this is that F&M is an elite liberal arts school but they aren't really quite yet known as being a top school, so the quality of their applicants is much less qualified than that of NESCAC schools. If you're smart and did well at a good high school, it isn't hard at all. I think it's even easier than high school. However, tuition here is so high because F&M is in so much debt and they raise tuition every year to correct for it. That's why it's a divided school in that half the kids are super rich and paying for the reduced/no tuition for the other half on financial aid.At the end all I can say is do not come here unless your are one of the types of people I mentioned above. Worse case scenario is you're not that smart, got in because you were rich, do poorly and end up with no job. And to top it off you didn't even have a good college experience at all. Franklin and Marshall is basically like high school part 2 but worse.
Campus and Facilities - Campus landscape is scenic and nice. Lots of green, trees and open space. Students are required to live in campus housing (house system) freshman year. Campus housing is horrid. The dorms are small and in terrible condition unless you are lucky enough to be assigned in the new college house, which they show to all tour groups. The campus dining is horrid. Food is bad and all the meal plans are designed for you to run out of swipes and to make the college money. Even with a meal plan, you'll be using a lot of your spending money on food. There are two libraries and they are alright. Being in Lancaster is also a major setback. Not being in a major city makes work, internships and networking extremely difficult in comparison to urban school. It also further limits your social options.
Social Life - F&M's biggest shortcoming. The vast majority of F&M students are white and extremely wealthy or upper-middle class. This creates an elitist culture that you do not see at other small colleges and would not expect for a liberal arts school. Because F&M is so small, tight-knit social circles and cliques form rapidly making it feel much more like "High school 2.0" instead of the refreshing million social options you get when you go to a large university. Despite the college's enduring attempts to change it, the party scene revolves around greek life. A few have been rendered irrelevant, but the smarter ones have survived and are still thriving traditional fraternities. It's really tough to be a straight male student at F&M if you don't join a fraternity, play a competitive sport, have a steady girlfriend, or maintain the right friendships. Even in strong social groups you tend to get the feeling people don't really like each other that much. Also, in all honesty the female population at F&M isn't particularly physically attractive. It might seem petty, but it gets to you after a while. Given the cliquey nature of the school and small size it's really difficult to meet the right girl without having the right social capital or very good luck. F&M is so small that when you're a senior you kind of know everyone or at least recognize them from somewhere and some students develop reputations that they can't shake off. If you're looking for "the best four years of your life" your coach told you about in high school, F&M is probably not the place to find that experience. Mental health is a major issue on campus. I've seen students have mental breakdowns and talked to students with observable depression that just hate it here. Like many colleges around the country, there is also a lot of tension and drama reflective of current political conditions.Advice - F&M is not for everyone and the transfer rate is quite high. If I could do it again, I would have gone to a large university. That said, there are certainly ways to make the most of what the college has to offer and have a rewarding experience. If you choose F&M, here's my advice. Play a sport. This is the healthiest way to have a social life here. It creates structure and an outlet for stress. Competitive athletics also instill values and work ethic that will serve you well in life. If you don't have experience in athletics, there are many teams that take walk-ons and intramural teams eager for new members. Make school work a priority. It's very easy to forget you are in college to gain knowledge for your future career. Find a major that fits your ambitions and passions. Do this as early as possible and stick with it. Get to know your professors, participate in class and use all the resources you can to improve yourself. Keep your priorities straight. It's easy to get distracted by drama and petty things that you won't care about two weeks later. If you can remember this, it will help you throughout life. No, I don't think F&M is worth the high, constantly increasing tuition and four years of lackluster college experience. However, if you play your cards right you might graduate with some great skills, stories and wisdom to carry forward into your future.
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