I’m having a really hard time making a college choice. In normal years, I would be able to visit the campuses, sit in on classes, and spend time with current students, but this year I’ve been having trouble gathering information from webinars. I’m deciding between Williams and Johns Hopkins, and have also been accepted into Wesleyan. (Also on the waitlist at 8 different schools—oops!)
I applied to both Williams and JHU sort of on a whim, so I don’t have an existing strong preference for one over the other. Both schools would cost the same. I’m interested primarily in the humanities—philosophy, English, and history in particular, but I also love physics and am planning to double major in philosophy and physics.
Culturally, it seems that Williams would be a better fit for me. I value intellectual discussions, close-knit communities, contact with professors, and really engaged and interested peers. From what I’ve heard, the community at Williams is wonderful; everyone seems to support each other, and I’ve heard that there’s a curious and intellectual vibe on campus.
Johns Hopkins, though, seems to be in a much better location. I live in Massachusetts and would love to explore a different part of the country in college. I’m also really worried about the isolation in Williamstown. I love going to cultural events, walking around the city with friends, and exploring new places. (I also hate winter and snow, but no worries, I won’t be choosing a college based on the weather!) I walked around Williamstown a few weeks ago to get a feel for the campus and sort of had an “ahhh” reaction to how small and isolated it was. Admittedly, it was the weekend, and not too many people are on campus at Williams right now. I’ve been assured that once you get to college it feels less isolated—there are always events going on and people to talk to.
At JHU, I’m worried that I wouldn’t get much focused attention from profs (the standard LAC vs research university debate), and that my peer group will be very STEM-leaning and not curious about the humanities. I went to an admitted students fair, and four out of 8 people in my group proclaimed that they hate reading and only read books when they’re required for class. No shame to these people—I’m glad they’ve found their passion in STEM!—but that’s not my vibe personally.
Does anyone have insight on either of these two schools? I realize that this is a long post, and thank you to whoever reads it!
I’m going to post this in both school’s forums