JPG "I loved the small college feel, the idea of real changing of seasons since I'm from Florida , small class sizes, the fact that I could do everything I loved sing, dance, play sports and still be able to focus on my academics. I also loved the idea of 'Creative Thought Matters' [the school motto] because I thought it spoke really well of the students that came to Skidmore and was something I could relate to and be passionate about myself.
I was looking for a great English department, a variety of interesting classes, nice dorms, liberal and artsy students, a fun college town, and a high study abroad rate. Skidmore fit the bill! Plus, I went to an open house when I first visited, which told me so much about the school, the people, and the kinds of opportunities available to students.
I liked the fact that Skidmore was located in a town with good shopping, restaurants, and a sense of history and culture. After countless tours and information sessions at other colleges where all they talked about was statistics, prestige, and applications, my visit to Skidmore was refreshing.
Instead of using the "you would be lucky to be here" attitude that I found on many college visits, the Skidmore admissions office felt "lucky to have you. I loved hearing about the diverse student body, with people interested in all kinds of things.
As someone who is completely torn between the arts and sciences, I was ecstatic to hear that Skidmore is strong in both of those areas, as well as willing to let me study both. I knew I wanted a school with a strong art program because I would be taking those classes regardless, but I also loved that there were no restrictions about exploring other departments whenever you wanted.
I could fall in love with chemistry and philosophy for all I knew! A soccer player could be an art major with a passion for DJing on the side while a biology major could be the president of the stand up comedy group. Students are so multifaceted, which makes for such a welcoming a tolerant community. I love to just spend time in the dorm with my close girl friends and talk about anything and everything.
I also love how passionate and excited everyone is here. There's an upbeat, motivated pulse that courses through the school; it's almost tangible. We have fantastic dorms and a really, really great dining hall, but my favorite thing about Skidmore is definitely the clubs. If you branch out and really explore them, it's amazing what you can see happening on campus.
JPG "Our dining hall has the tradition of doing some really amazing themed dinners. They go all-out with them, and the students love it.
They have a Harry Potter-themed night in the fall that has lines going out the door to get in and Wafflefest every semester during finals week, free to all students regardless of meal plan. They host 'locally' themed dinners in which farmers from the community are present with samples of their locally grown products. On Earth Day they host an all-vegetarian lunch. They are, for the most part, also very warm and caring individuals who want to be the most help they can while still challenging you to take your education into your own hands.
Everyone is out on south green before finals spring semester, enjoying the beautiful weather and listening to student bands. There [are] also free food and bouncy castles! What else could you ask for?! Bands, orchestras, a-capella groups and solo artists alike perform Beatles covers and the event is finished with all the musicians doing a rendition of 'Twist and Shout.
It is a great feeling to walk around and say "hi" to many people as you pass them. I love feeling like an important part of the Skidmore community. There are enough people that you don't know everyone, but you will know and love a significant amount. Also, it gets really cold in the winter, so the period of time from December to March is kind of miserable in terms of the weather. Ironic, I know, but this is my first time living in the north. It is absolutely bearable and everyone is extremely helpful with what to wear and do in the most frigid of months.
It's definitely a change of pace from wearing shorts and flip flops all year round, but even though I hate the idea of wearing warm clothes all the time, it's not hard to deal with at all. It's really easy to get sucked into it and not pay attention to the outside world Don't give into it!!
It can be hard for people from different departments to meet each other, but that can be easily remedied by attending different clubs. Smoking is quite popular, but I believe the administration is planning to phase out smoking on campus within the next five years or so.
For instance, students in cities can participate in semester-long internships to get work experience in just about anything, while it can be harder out to find an internship you're interested in out here.
We compensate by doing summer internships, but it's not the same. It can become lonely and feels a bit untraditional. We should be grateful for our small, easily accessible campus. I don't like when students are ungrateful because they forget that life could be so much worse at other schools. It was so much fun. It was only three days long, but my group and I became extremely close.
We had a lot of laughs and bonded a lot over personal experiences as well as the trip itself. My peer mentor upperclassman supervisor helped me out so much even when we got back to school. I still talk with her. Our group would get together and go do fun things even when we got back to campus. Even if you don't participate in a pre-orientation trip, all freshman show up to campus a few days earlier than the rest of the students and your peer advisor for your freshman seminar that you chose--[they] are FANTASTIC!
They're like your eyes and ears for the first week or so and help you out even after the first semester is over. It was a great way to get to know the campus and the town and prepare for London without the intimidation of other students on campus. I have heard that there are many fun options like hiking and rafting for regular pre-orientation trips.
The dorms are not exclusive to first-year students, so it is a great way to automatically feeling like a part of the whole Skidmore community. This provides easy bonding for first-years with common interests to form strong friendships, but also allows for interactions with upperclassmen who live in the dorms with them and eat in the same dining hall. Again, the best way to meet upperclassmen is to get involved in a sport or a club on campus.
JPG "Having [upperclassmen as] suitemates gives each freshman a resource--outside of the Resident Assistants, peer mentors, and Peer Health Educators--to ask questions. The transition to Skidmore was a million times easier than I was expecting it to be. The upperclassmen played a huge role in making us feel comfortable at school and ready for college life. You're living on your own with a bunch of people you don't know, you have no idea how the campus works or what life is like here, you have little to no friends and you're learning about an entirely different way of living from high school.
That being said, after a few rough first weeks, you get to know people, get in the groove of things and really come into your own. Skidmore does a really great job of helping out first-year students. You get to do new things, meet new people, and are surrounded by a great community. Procrastination is your worst enemy in college. You might have been able to get away with it in high school, but college is far less forgiving in that department.
Most majors, if not all, are required to either write a senior thesis or do a Capstone Project. There are many opportunities to work with faculty members on research at Skidmore this is possible as early as second semester of freshman year.
The workload varies depending on department, but it definitely increases every year. The levels are tough and rewarding. Some professors take it upon themselves to make the levels equally tough and equally rewarding. The workload can be tough, but it is definitely manageable. The teachers want you to do well and they are not out to trick you. For the American Studies major you have to write a senior thesis. Art majors have a mandatory final project.
In some majors a thesis is optional, some not. At that point you choose an advisor in your major. Meet with them before registration each semester or more frequently to make sure you're on track for graduation, etc.
Registration is split up by classes; seniors choose first, freshman last. I've never had a problem with classes. Maybe I didn't get into one I wanted, but I always had a back-up plan and could maybe take that class another semester.
If you ever get into a rut just email the professor or chair of the department of the class you're taking; you usually get your class in the end.
Most classes are kept small, giving students opportunities to create good relationships with [them]. Office hours are very popular to go to and most students are very comfortable emailing their professors and meeting with them for extra help.
Professors often eat in the dining hall and walk around campus, so it is common to see them outside of class and say hello. Most people's favorite professors are their freshman seminar professors because that professor is also their advisor [at first]. Freshmen spend a lot of time getting to know their seminar professor and establish a great, long-term relationship with them.
He is brilliant but also hilarious, and you will never be bored in one of his classes. I've loved my French classes, and yeah, people definitely go to office hours. She specializes in medieval and early modern Europe, and she is so knowledgeable and engaging in her classes that I'm now taking a level with her despite not even being a history minor.
She's funny and genuinely cares about what students have to contribute; it challenges you to think critically in a way that's kind of daunting but also exciting. He is a government professor, and he happens to be one of the funniest people I have ever met. Professors are definitely accessible and open to meet for office hours.
It turns out, I AM a science person when it is related to my major, because I am genuinely interested in all the applications of what we are learning! We did lake sampling, soil sampling, and watershed assessment.
My favorite part was stream bioassessment in which we wore waders and collected insects from two local tributaries.
Thankfully, I had the Writing Center to assist me in my lab reports, since I had not written one since junior year of high school. The two female professors who taught the class were smart, kind, and engaging.