With finals approaching, the time has come for this freshman to give the College of William and Mary a report card. It seems only fitting that the institution should receive feedback just as students do. For the sake of simplicity, I will base my grading system on the Niche website’s grading for the College. The very one I used during my college search a year ago.
Let’s start off with the least controversial aspect of the College. Drum roll please. Academics. Academics at the College receive a whopping A+ score on Niche. Deservedly so. The academics here are top notch. Classes tend to be difficult, but they are quality. Get ready to learn.
Moving on to professors, they too receive an A+ from Niche. I would have to agree with this assessment as well. The vast majority of professors put in maximum effort to make their classes the best they can be. They also genuinely care about their students.
Now onto the more controversial topics. Niche ratings give the dorms a C-, that’s generous. I would say a D is more accurate. It’s the 21st century. Installing AC units in freshman dorm rooms does not seem like too much of an ask. It’s also in the school’s best interest to make their students’ living conditions, well, bearable in a climate notorious for humidity.
Next, let’s discuss campus food. Some may disagree with me on this one. Niche says the food is at a C- level. I would say it’s at a C+ level. The dining hall food is the epitome of average with the occasional pleasant surprise. However, campus also has Qdoba, Cosi, Chick-fil-A and good options at the campus coffee shops, which all take student dining dollars.
Most surprisingly, Niche gave the campus a B-. The campus is gorgeous, picturesque if you will. The campus deserves an A+. Vibrant autumns and stellar springs categorize the school. Additionally, just across the street is Colonial Williamsburg which gives off pleasant Hallmark movie vibes.
Lastly, the location receives a B from Niche. My opinion on this topic depends on the availability of a car. Campus and CW can be a good time, but you will likely run out of things to do. The ability to get off campus is important for the college experience, especially during COVID-19. Going into the greater Williamsburg area, Busch Gardens, College Creek and Virginia Beach is enjoyable. Therefore, without a car I would give the location a B-, but with a car, a B+.
As far as student life and the party scene go, I cannot say. My first year here consisted of nothing of the sort due to COVID-19. But I can always give a review on those aspects of the college experience next year.
To wrap up this year’s report card, I give the College an overall grade of a B. In addition to the grades given for the categories mentioned above, some points were deducted for administrators’ inability to listen to the needs of students.
Obviously, this year was far from normal. It was disappointing to miss out on many traditions, events and in-person classes. The COVID-19 pandemic also added some additional challenges. Housing and food really are not the best here. However, the people, campus and classes at the College make it what it is. I have great friends and excellent professors. It’s been a pretty good first year, considering the circumstances.
Caitlin Noe ‘24 is a government and psychology double major. She is also a member of Amnesty International and Film Society. She will participate in the DC Summer Institute American Politics program this summer. Email Caitlin at email@example.com.