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enfall2004enfall2004 Registered User Posts: 126 Junior Member
edited November 2010 in Colby College
Is Colby really preppy? Looks like a good academic fit for my son, but he is more comfortable with working class kids than the upper middle class ones at his high school. He enjoys outdoorsy activities, which is what attracted him to Colby. Any advice about how a kid without a lot of money would do socially would be appreciated.
Post edited by enfall2004 on

Replies to: Preppy?

  • cadence76cadence76 Registered User Posts: 318 Member
    Hi! I'm a mom of a Colby first-year, who is definitely not preppy and does not have $$$ (she's there thanks to terrific aid/scholarships), and she is happy as the proverbial clam. She says that there are a fair number of kids from prep schools, but that she doesn't feel that they're the traditional stuck-up, moneybags, uber-label-conscious stereotype. What she mostly reports is how incredibly friendly everyone is! Colby puts a lot of emphasis on some values (academics, outdoor activity, community service, eco-awareness) that I think may discourage the "preppy" kid who's just looking to spend four years with other rich, beautiful people and going to parties. And, please, before people write angry posts defending prep-school kids, I KNOW--that's a denigrating stereotype--that's my point. The kids at Colby--prep or not-- are made of kinder, smarter, deeper stuff. Definitely it's worth a close look for your son!
  • newport28newport28 Registered User Posts: 57 Junior Member
    Ditto...I could not agree more with the above statement. As a parent of a 1st year student it gives us great comfort that our child is absolutely in love with Colby and it's students from ALL of their various backgrounds. All conversations end with how lucky our child feels to have been accepted and that we have the ability to send her to this inspired institution! Could a parent ask for more!?
  • cadence76cadence76 Registered User Posts: 318 Member
    newport28--so glad things are good for your D as well! I remember when she was so unsure after admitted students day. Guess all that CC advice worked out well! And, yes, we feel like incredibly lucky parents, especially when we talk to friends whose kids are struggling and unhappy with first semester at other schools. Whew!
  • mountainsmountains Registered User Posts: 756 Member
    And, as a parent of a very happy soph, I'm so glad things are working out well for your Ds. When we visited for Parents' Weekend, my father-in-law talked with a lot of freshmen parents, and he said, "You know what's interesting? Whenever I ask the parents if their kids like it here, they all reply, they love it. Not they like it, but love it!" Says it all.
  • thinker88thinker88 Registered User Posts: 210 Junior Member
    All of the replies so long have been by parents, so here's the student opinion:

    First, the term 'preppy' has become somewhat ambiguous, so I will address it with two answers.

    1. If by preppy, you are referring to the way that people dress, than I would say that yes, Colby does have more students that dress 'preppy' than non-LACs. That being said, that is the way that a lot of NE kids dress and there certainly are plenty of kids who still go the 'jeans and a t-shirt' route.

    2. If you are referring to an attitude, then I would say that Colby is not very preppy. The people here are extremely friendly and outgoing. That also being said, I have never actually met a group of people (one here and there, but never a lot in one place), that were so stuck up as to embody the phrase 'preppy', and yet the phrase persists...

    So basically, if you have any fears about your son fitting in, I would discard them. So long he is friendly and open himself, he will fit right in.
  • wumplewumple Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Here's another student opinion...

    Sure there are a lot of kids that dress 'preppy' and come from an upper-middle class background, but there are also plenty of kids that go the jeans and t-shirt route. However, the way a person dresses at Colby doesn't make a difference at all...like everyone else said, Colby students tend to be extremely friendly and inclusive. The amount of money a person has definitely does not affect their social options!
  • graybeegraybee Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    I am a Colby parent. Yes, a fair prep representation, but it doesn't strike me as overwhemling. What really gets me is the drinking. Colby has a problem and the administration knows it. Colby is small and somewhat isolated, so what else is there to do? Maybe no worse than other places, but right up there nonetheless.
  • cadence76cadence76 Registered User Posts: 318 Member
    I'm sure there's an element of a problem, but as a resident of the 5-college area in Mass, it is nothing compared to what we see from students here (primarily UMASS) . My D is a first-year at Colby, in a chem-free dorm, and isn't finding it hard at all to be a non-drinker. She LOVES her dorm, has made a million friends, and is far too busy--including on weekends--with academics, activities, and fun stuff to waste any time on ridiculous drinking.
  • ColbyGradColbyGrad Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Although I went to Colby years ago, I am in touch with many current Colby students and I am an alum interviewer for Colby so I feel I can comment on the "Preppy" issue. When I went back in the late 70s I was the recipient of signicant Financial Aid and loans as was my ColbyGrad husband. We are now the parents of three teenagers who attend very preppy "Prep Schools" which fortunately we are able to afford without the benefit of financial aid. One of our children is also applying to Colby this year. The "preppy" designation is actually more of a style of dress and interests rather than an actual class division. As a full scholarship student I was able to appear just as preppy as many of my classmates in my jeans, pullover sweater and LL Bean boots. I see the same thing with my kids and their prep school classmates. It's only an issue if they make it one.
  • maddowg1maddowg1 Registered User Posts: 36 Junior Member
    College is a time to grow,not to "be comfortable". Does he intend to confine himself to his comfort zone with "working class" peers in the workplace? Tell him the world is not that segmented, this is the US, we don't have a caste system. If he goes into it assessing people based on their socio-economics as indicated by whatever factors he thinks denote "preppy", he is limiting his own life experiences. Tell him to lose the bias and stop being prejudiced...as in pre-judging people.
  • gowhitemulesgowhitemules Registered User Posts: 34 Junior Member
    I'm a current Sophomore. Colby has a wide array of personality types, and certainly all are not "rich white kids from New England." In fact, most students come from, believe it or not, outside of New England and 13% come from a different country. We have goths, geeks, preps, theater lovers, jocks, kids who wear capes, you name it, we have it. And, I would argue, not one group dominates the social scene. Sure, there are students who will go out and drink often, but 95% of the students here do not. The drinking here is certainly no worse than at any of the other NESCAC schools and Colby provides ample activities on the weekends that are substance free. There is very little peer-pressure on campus and those who don't drink and not looked down upon by those who do drink. So, do we have preps? Yes. Are they dominant? By no means.
  • KiltdadKiltdad Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    My son did an overnight there two weeks ago. He is not a prep, or really anything else. He rows crew and keeps his hair short, but also hangs with theater kids and has some friends with strangly dyed hair. He said he was completely comfortable at Colby. He said no one was super preppy and even one kid look like a "Norse god" (tall, male long blonde hair). For what it is worth, he described Colby as slightly more preppy than St. Lawrence but much less preppy than Trinity.
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