A few questions about Colby

Hi everyone! I was just accepted to Colby and its definitely one of my top choices! However I do have a few questions about it. It would be great if anyone who knows a lot about the school or currently goes there could answer :slight_smile:

Is there enough to do at school on the weekends or for fun? I know Waterville is close to bigger areas, but are there things to do in the town or at school? What do students normally do on the weekend?

How rigorous are the academics? I know its a lot of work, but is it so much that it is overwhelming/the main focus of weekends or days off? About how much time is spent on homework outside of the classroom? I’m planning on majoring in psychology.

I’m from the south and worried about adjusting to the winter, so what is the average week or day like for a student in the winter vs. the spring/fall?

Thanks so much!!

Congratulations! My son will be attending next year so I can’t help you with your answers however I would give the admissions office a call and see if they can give you a name a current student that you can speak to. With admitted students days cancelled I am sure they will be willing to help you get the information you need to make your decision.

@gardenstategal can you give this poster some insight?

I too am interested in the rigor since I may be attending in conjunction with their 3/2 engineering program.

I can try to answer with the caveat that I am a parent (so am not on campus - my info is only what DS, a senior, has relayed.)

Yes, the students work very hard, but they seem to have time for lots of fun too. It’s easy on a small campus to study between classes, meet friends for meals, run to the gym – to have it all. If you look at IG like this Colby life, you’ll see that pretty much everyone is involved in a lot of things. Athletes in a capella groups, musicians volunteering and working on campus, theater kids leading outdoor expeditions. It’s a great place to try new things - I have been super impressed not just with what’s offered but with a culture that seems to embrace “giving it a whirl”.

There are lots of events on campus (concerts, parties, bands, games, Intramural sports, etc.) The outting club is very active and Maine is amazing in what it offers on that front. Some kids ski a lot in winter (especially Jan Plan) Jan Plan, btw, is awesome. It’s a great way to really mix it up in the middle of the year and to change the rhythm of winter (or to escape it).

There are a number of restaurants and bars, many with live music on weekends, in Waterville. There is also an art house (I think) cinema. With roughly 200 students living in Colby housing downtown, there’s frequent shuttle service into town.

The biggest complaint I have heard about winter isn’t the cold but the short days. As kids were leaving campus for covid19, they were really sad to be missing their hard earned spring. Campus is beautiful in spring and there are more activities outside.

The kids seem really happy there - there is a strong sense of community and a real love for the school. DS had friends who graduated a few years before him and has younger friends now, which is also nice. He also has profs who have the class over for dinner, etc.

As a parent with just random contact with the day to day, it really seems like a great place to live while getting a great education. There is a lot to be said for living in this kind of environment for college.

My S. is a sophomore who, thanks to COVID-19, is sitting here with me right now so I can pick his brain a little for you. He spends A LOT of time studying, but he is a double major in two pretty rigorous disciplines. He says the average student probably spends somewhere around 30 hours per week studying. On weekends, many kids get out and enjoy the outdoors. The Outing Club is the biggest club on campus and they sponsor weekend and day trips to hike, etc. There are events every weekend on campus such as music performances, exhibits, paint nights, etc. Of course, there are parties on campus as well. There is not a ton to do downtown unless you are 21, but there are 2 movie theaters in Waterville. He says there is not much difference between the winter and other seasons, except for the shorter days in the winter and kids sitting outside studying when it is warmer. Kids just bundle up and go about their day. From his dorm room he can watch kids skiing (they set up jumps) in the winter. He is very happy at Colby and it seems to me that he has met some really interesting, bright kids. He isn’t much of a partier and still seems to have an active social life on campus. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask and I will relay his answer to you. He does not know any Psych. majors, sorry!

My son is a junior and absolutely loves the school. He loves it so much that he actually has stayed the past 2 summers – one for an internship with a professor and one to work on the farm. While he does work and study very hard, he also enjoys a very active social life. There certainly seems to be a lot going on over the weekends.

As for the weather, we are from New England so used to some cold. I think once you are there, you adjust to the temperatures. Every time we visit over the colder months, students are on bikes, running, and not wearing as many layers as you would think!

One thing I do love about Colby is that my son has connected with several professors who will be guiding him to the next level.

Sorry ignore this.

Hi there! Congratulations on your acceptance! To answer your questions:

  1. There is plenty to do on weekends. The shuttle and Jitney (a student-driver taxi service of sorts) provides free and regular transportation downtown. The town itself is of course small, but has all the necessities (fast food joints for friends to hang out, a sushi grill, a commercial movie theater and the Railroad Square Cinema for more indie films, Walmart, bowling alley, etc.).

Also, on campus, there’s actually a full-fledged, multi-storied art museum (the largest in the state). Highly recommend it.
In general, plenty of on campus events and programming always going on (trivia nights, free food trucks, concerts, plays etc.) Tons of fun stuff to try out. You can borrow a projector for free from the library, grab a study room and have a movie night with friends. There’s a VR lab where students love to play Beat Saber lol. Frequent trips to parks and hiking trails through the Colby Outing Club. Rock climbing nights, a pottery studio–all completely free and totally accessible to any student.

Basically, you’ll have no problem finding things to do, and oftentimes will have to learn to pick and prioritize.

The academics itself can be as rigorous as you want it to be. I wouldn’t say it’s overwhelming though, since you have four classes to focus on rather than six or seven compared to high school. Sundays you’ll definitely see students studying in the libraries and prepping for the week ahead. Overall, I’d say there’s a good balance of being studious without being toxic/overloaded with stress. The Psych department btw is fantastic with some awesome professors and research opportunities.

In terms of the winter, don’t be too worried. You get used to it eventually (just get a good coat!). Perhaps the only weird thing might be seeing the sun set around 4pm. Btw, take full advantage of all the fun winter stuff. In January, Colby Outing Club provides free skiing lessons and gear with regular trips to Sugarloaf. The Alfond rink is open for ice skating. Students also enjoy skating on Johnson Pond (behind campus), snowshoeing, sledding, etc.

There is always tons to do, and everything is so accessible. Hope this helps!

My daughter is staying on campus till today, the school looked after the students well, limited services which is understandable. Colby is still strict with academic performances although currently all courses are offered online. The heavy snow weeks ago did cause some problem to power and internet services. Looking forward to the Springs.