The College of William and Mary
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The College of William and Mary - Comments and Student Experiences |
The thing about WM is that there's something for everybody and anyone.
The coursework is demanding, but that doesn't mean it's not fun and rewarding. There's a lot to learn, and you have some of the best resources in professors the nation has to offer.
Not to mention, the campus is stunningly beautiful. Plus it's across the street from colonial williamsburg, which is pretty, and great for "casual" walks with your crush.Bottom line, it's hard not to love this place.
Fast forward to freshman year. From the moment I set foot in the dorms, I realized I was in a completely different world. Most people had their parents and siblings helping them move in mountains of food, clothing and assorted other things to their cramped dorms. I had a couple of bins, a comforter and A/C to my name. When classes began, I learned that I was under-prepared in more ways than one.
In high school, I never wrote a paper and I never studied for anything but managed to keep a solid 4.0 average. This was because I went to a diploma mill (as I learned way too late in the game). This sad set of facts coupled with going to one of the hardest schools in the state sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. I turned in my first paper handwritten on notebook paper (because I knew no better). When I saw that everyone else had theirs typed and formatted, I immediately went to the professor to apologize. He was incredibly kind about the whole thing, as were most of the other professors I had (and continue to have). That first semester, I went to as many office hours as I could to learn how to write a proper paper. Although that first semester was rough grade-wise (especially since I was used to getting a 4.0 with little effort), because of the dedicated faculty and their patience with me, I was able to catch up to my peers and had a much higher GPA the second semester. I've even made dean's list a couple of times(3.6 and above at this school). However, I just happened to run into a lot of amazing faculty members. For every failure to fortune story like mine, there's two or three stories of someone in my situation who fell through the cracks.
Now, as for the other students/social life related things, I would have to say that the average member of the student body comes from an affluent background and has minimal knowledge or genuine interest in people that are different from them. As I mentioned earlier, I didn't/don't own a lot of things. When I came to college, I ended up befriending people who had a lot of nice possessions and had trouble understanding that other people are not as fortunate. Many people would plan group outings that would cost more money than I could afford to spend. When I told them that I couldn't afford it, they told me that I could pay them back. For some reason, they couldn't understand that I didn't have any money with which to do so.
In addition to a large wealth gap, there is also a diversity gap here. Although the school is letting more individuals of different backgrounds in, the school remains overwhelmingly WASP cultured. They also tend to be unable to see/feel the struggle of anyone else and look down upon those with certain GPA's (sub 3.0). There is also a heavy influence of "nerd" culture here. For the past three years, everyone has been making references to Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and assorted other "nerdy" things that someone who has never read/watched these things would not understand. If you have no experience with these series, I suggest either reading the books or preparing yourself to cause deafening silences any time you have to tell someone you have no clue what they're talking about. People are still shocked after my time here whenever I mention it and I'm a senior.
The facilities and food service are rather lacking as well. For the price you pay to live here, you could be far more comfortable and fed at another university.
Overall, it depends on what you're looking for. If you have the drive to continue despite the odds and are seeking an excellent education, I highly recommend this school. If you are hoping for a diverse school with empathetic individuals to befriend, excellent accommodations in terms of room and board, and a great deal to do and explore on weekends, I would advise you to forsake the appeal of name recognition and pick another school.If I had to choose this school all over again knowing what I know now it would be a toss up. If I'd gone somewhere else, I may not have received the help I needed to become a successful student. At the same time, had I attended another school, I may have felt more comfortable and had an easier transition. I made the most of my time here at William and Mary. If you choose to come here, I hope you will consider your choices carefully.
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