Connecticut College got the thumbs up from my D19 this January weekend. This was just a preliminary visit for us since admissions was not open and few students were back yet.
The campus is on a hill above the river and it was below 20 degrees and windy. We got out of the car and I proceeded to hunch over, shiver and wonder why I pushed for a winter college trip. D strode off, got a self-guided tour brochure, and started reading it out loud. She stopped in the middle of Temple Green, surrounded by mostly traditional stone buildings, looked out to the Long Island Sound, and pronounced the campus “Beautiful!”
The college center was open as was the biggest dorm complex and its dining hall (Harris). Most of the students were in sweats or even athletic shorts and t-shirts. Lots of Conn College gear. No make-up. D felt like they must have rolled out of bed and come to lunch. Maybe this was because classes had not started, but in any case, she liked the laid back vibe.
She also liked that the campus is compact and easily walkable, and she had no problem with the field house being on the other side of Mohegan Ave (there’s a pedestrian bridge). From the fitness center you can see the Thames–everyone in our family is drawn to water and water views.
As a mid-day break, we went down to the Waterfront District in New London by the ferry terminal and train station. It’s a picturesque little coastal area. D liked the wall murals, cozy coffee shops, and the unpretentious cafe we ate in. She wished it were walking distance from campus (it’s about two miles, and not really bike friendly).
D’s favorite thing about Conn College was the arboretum. Peaceful, well kept, and nice to be able to walk across the street from campus and into the woods (also, out onto the frozen solid pond).
Another big plus of the college is ease of transportation. We like train travel, and from New London the Acela will take you to Boston in 1.5 hours, NYC in 2, or DC in 5.5. Or in 1.5 hours you could take the ferry to Orient Point on the North Fork of Long Island.
D does not take the SAT until March, so we’re just collecting impressions and getting inspired at this point. If Conn turns out to be one of D’s top match schools, she’ll definitely return for a more in depth visit.