Will Slack ’11 writes to a pre-frosh.

Williams is great in that it’s taught me a huge deal in critical thinking, such that I can solidly say that my school is going to share many aspects of other top-notch schools. The students here are great, super busy, and the campuses still have issues, but at this tier of higher ed, every department and program is notable and strong. You can major in anything here and be FINE.

Here are the things that make Williams different, which should clue you in as to if you want to be here:

Small. 550 per class is smaller than you think. You can’t hide in class, and you can’t hide from your ex’s, but on the bright side, you will see your professors at the grocery store and some of your friends as you walk around. I love the little impromptu conversations that only happen because we’re small. BUT, that might mean we can’t offer all of the courses and subjects as regularly as other schools. We do our best to do that, but we can’t hit maximum breadth and depth in the course offerings at the same time because of size. You’ll see this in the “not offered” courses in the catalog.

Accessible. Lots of dorms have elevators, but I don’t mean in the physical sense. The Dean is a personal friend of mine. The President knows my name, as does his predecessor. My professors are fine with me stopping by and many keep their doors open all of the time. I can see profs whose classes I’m not taking (because they aren’t great at lecture), but who I love talking to in office hours. If I (admittedly, a now-senior involved in college governance) need the Dean to call ME, RIGHT NOW, I can get that call, and got it today.

Middle of Nowhere. We have lots of trails, but one street where the one indian restaurant, the one thai restaurant, the one coffee shop, and the one deli are located. (and the one others). We live in a “Purple Bubble” where almost everyone is fit, almost everyone is smart, and where the problems of the outside world don’t really reach us. We are isolated. But we also have Mountain Day, a Friday in October when classes are canceled (without warning) and huge numbers of students stream up mountain trails to sing songs and have donuts/cider on Stony Ledge. It’s AWESOME, and there’s a shorter hike also with donuts at the top of Stone Hill if you want to spend your afternoon doing something else.

Agreed. What observations would you share with a potential Eph?

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