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Malformed University Name, Uncategorized Surveys

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Date: Apr 22 2009
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I attended Williams College ("Camp Williams") a couple of decades ago. Hold on, don't bag this review. The perspective of all this time may be valuable to you, and while the school has changed, from what I have read, in many ways it has not.

In short, I was not happy with my experience and advise caution for certain people.

First, it is a small, extremely isolated school. I enjoyed the pretty rural setting. If you can be satisfied with a very small, insular community and with sports, the outdoors, and the occasional cultural event, it may be good for you.

I felt it had a pronounced snobbiness/elitism/preppiness to it and little to offer in the way of social options other than drunken/stoned parties, a few events a week, and a few nearby restaurants. For dating, there were interesting and attractive people there, but it was suffocating—people either had "Williams marriages" (i.e.,g couples who were together all the time) or platonic friends/hookups with no dating effort. The place is so small everyone knows virtually everyone and everything, and if you break up you have to see the person ALL the time. I came to sort of envy people with out-of-town SO's.

I felt there was a disturbing amount of "Animal House" type of behavior and attitudes that many would think went out by the mid-1960s. I guess if that's what people want out of college, okay, but in such a small isolated place, it is impossible to get away from that element.

Yes, I had some good classes and professors but those are available at a lot of places. VERY little help or guidance was offered, at least at that time, whether we are talking about deans, advising, or career counseling. There's a cut-off feeling from the real world—not a lot of relevant internships or part-time jobs nearby, etc.

Their housing approach is terrible. They segregate first-year students, which is nuts. Rope off a bunch of 17 and 18-year-olds, most of whom have never lived away from home before, and turn them loose. It was hard that year to make friends in the upper classes and learn the ropes about going to college. Then put them through a lottery and send them to some other complex.

Everyone, with few exceptions, must live in the dorms. There are some older, quaint buildings, but also lousy ones. Above all, a busy state highway cuts this campus in half. Listen to Mack trucks grind their gears to go up a hill 25 yards away from your room. Not what I came to the Berkshires for.

Williams is a prestigious degree if you plan to apply to grad school or pursue a future via the Williams network (although you will find that many if not most people out in the real world, at least outside elite academic circles, will not have heard of Williams or will mix it up with other similarly named colleges).

Think about what your high school experience has been (I see now I missed the access to a city and even suburbia that I had in high school); whether what you REALLY want for your future, as a man or woman and in your profession; and whether it would be found in a place like Camp Williams. Don't let pretty scenery and smallness rule your decision.

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