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What's the best thing about Williams?

l4dygagal4dygaga 45 replies11 threads Junior Member
edited January 2012 in Williams College
So, Williams students and alumni, what is the one best thing that you can talk forever about Williams? As a LAC, what makes it different from others? I'm trying to decide which colleges to apply to and want a student's perspective rather than the pretty brochures the colleges send. Thanks!
edited January 2012
9 replies
Post edited by l4dygaga on
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Replies to: What's the best thing about Williams?

  • marvin100marvin100 8568 replies1249 threads Senior Member
    Tutorials. Nothing else is close.
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  • aw7722aw7722 10 replies2 threads New Member
    The entry system, no question. Speaking with friends at other colleges, no where else can you find the unique sense of community and belonging even from day one. You immediately have a group of friends, which makes branching out and trying new things easier since you already have a sort of "safety net" in your entry.
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  • marvin100marvin100 8568 replies1249 threads Senior Member
    Entries are great, for sure.
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  • Vivienne8Vivienne8 49 replies2 threads Junior Member
    The entry system is just amazing. More generally I would say the people here are the best thing - cliched but oh-so true. The best way to experience Williams is to come and do an overnight; stay in an entry, meet some people, see what classes and the social scene is like! Hint: If you do an overnight do Friday-Saturday, then you get to see classes and the weekend.

    Also , Winter Study = best month ever. One really interesting but chill class, lots of skiing if you're into that, and hanging out with friends and catching up on all the stuff you were too busy to do during Fall semester. Or you can go abroad if you are a soph, jr or senior. Williams has about a dozen Williams WS abroad or you can do a 99 and create your own project on campus or away.

    Professors are also just beyond amazing both in and out of class. Most of the classes are pretty small which is great for discussion and getting to know classmates and the professor. In one of my classes, the professor was concerned that he may not get to know all of the students because the class was so big (~24 of us) so he took each of us to lunch before class to chat. And most are super helpful and willing to meet with you in office hours to go over concepts, talk about the course or just chat. And given the amazing diversity of things Williams professors have done, this is a GREAT part of this school.

    Come visit and see for yourself how great it is here!!!
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  • lexieamlexieam 1077 replies47 threads Senior Member
    That it isn't Amherst ;)
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  • stormzbstormzb 23 replies1 threads New Member
    Can you explain this entry system?
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  • MomofWilliamsMomofWilliams 47 replies1 threads Junior Member
    I will try to explain this system as best as I can. All freshmen live together but are divided by groups (entries). You basically become little families with an Junior Advisor as a guide (friend/advisor) to help you along the way. This system helps each freshman find friends immediately and fosters a community environment upon entering Williams. Hope this helps.
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  • etondadetondad 1092 replies31 threads Senior Member
    I have another-- I just attended the Williams-Amherst swim/dive meet. I was blown away by the sense of team --not just among the athletes, but the parents, the alumni (even parents of graduated swimmers were there...) It was incredible-- and not because they did well-- (the girls won, but the boys did not). The noise from our side was deafening from the cheering and the rally chants by the kids--whenever any of them went a personal best-- there were hugs and high fives from their teammates and cheers from the parents and alums--

    I have watched swimming at the Ivy level for decades and NEVER have I experienced anything like this. WOW. I can't imagine what it would be like at the NESCAC championship meet or NCAAs if this is how a dual meet (even if it is Amherst) is treated!

    I am excited that my D will be able to be with such great kids and with such a terrific coach.
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  • EphmanEphman 458 replies4 threads Member
    What is the best thing and what distinguishes Williams from its peers are probably two different categories. The best thing about Williams is also in my view the best thing about Amherst, Bowdoin, Pomona, Middlebury, etc.: being around a tremendously bright yet generally multifaceted, close-knit peer group, and the opportunity for close relationships with top-notch professors focused on small discussion-oriented classes. Each has its own narrower areas of excellence / distinguishing traits, but all share this common core, and in many ways they are largely interchangeable.

    In terms of narrower areas of excellence that distinguish Williams from many of its close peers, I'd say:

    (1) Tutorials (already mentioned)
    (2) Entry system / JA's (already mentioned)
    (3) Mountain Day / WOOLF Trips / Outing Club / Winter Carnival (generally speaking, the connection to the beautiful natural surroundings and emphasis on enjoying the same, I know of no other school with a tradition cooler than Mountain Day)
    (4) Unrivaled opportunities to learn about and get engaged with art and theater provided by the tremendous art history department, stellar art and theater facilities, and great alumni connections in these fields, and the three fantastic local museums plus theater festival closely affiliated with Williams and its alumni.
    (5) Emphasis on / opportunities for science research and, in particular, on math, particularly unusual for a liberal arts college. Top-notch faculty and facilities across the board in math and science departments.
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