Sophomore Year in Review: A-


Caitlin Noe ’24 is a government major. In addition to working as the opinions editor for the Flat Hat, she is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the service fraternity and works as a research assistant for AidData on the TUFF team. Email Caitlin at

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own.

Last year, I wrote a review of my freshman year at the College of William and Mary based on the Niche website’s grading of the College. In this article, I will write a review of my sophomore year.

In my freshman year review, I gave academics high marks. I agreed with the Niche score of A+. My sophomore year has reaffirmed that the classes here are incredible. I am a government major, and I am particularly happy with the quality of my major classes.

As for professors, I continue to be amazed. Professors at the College are intelligent, caring and often witty. The Niche score of A+ for professors is well-deserved.

While the quality of the education here is outstanding, it is important to keep in mind that this also means the classes are challenging. There is some truth to the stereotype of the College having a stress culture.

While academics continue to be the strong suit of the College, other aspects of the College continue to fall short of low expectations. Namely, the dorms and dining hall food. Ugh. They truly are terrible. 

The food on campus literally did not meet basic health standards this year. I know, gross. 

Last year, I was extremely generous to give the food a C+ instead of niche’s C-. My reasoning still makes some sense to me. The dining dollar options on campus are solidly average with Qdoba, Cosi, Chick-fil-A and good options at coffee shops. However, the dining hall food that requires swipes has only gotten worse. Therefore, this year, I’m making two categories: dining dollars and swipe reviews. 

I give dining dollars a C+ but give the food in dining halls that use swipes a D-. The only reason I’m not failing the College in this area is because the food at Tribe Truck and Sadler Express are good and take swipes. Also, adjustments were made to correct the health violations. 

Next, let’s talk about the other most disappointing aspect of the College. The dorms here are awful. However, the College recently released a plan to improve many of the dorms. This is great news! The College desperately needs to improve its housing. 

I lived in DuPont this year. The shower head was broken when we first got to campus. There have been roaches in our suite. The creepy-crawly horror. The AC system broke for about two weeks when it was between 80 and 90 degrees for a few days. Shockingly, DuPont isn’t the worst dorm on campus. Some of the freshman dorms do not have AC ever.

Last year, I gave dorms a D instead of the Niche C-. I’m going to give it a D again. There are some better dorms on campus. I lived in Lemon Hall my freshman year and it was very nice. But overall, the dorms here suck. The school may have colonial charm, but it comes at the cost of some dorms being gross.

Now back to some more positive aspects of my sophomore year. The campus is gorgeous. Niche rates the campus a B-. That’s just wrong. As I said last year, the campus deserves an A+. It’s so pretty. The red bricks on the colonial style buildings are beautiful. The falls and springs are stunning. 

Niche gave the location of the College, Williamsburg, a B. Last year, I gave the location a B- without a car and a B+ with a car. This year, I think the difference is even bigger. With a car, the location is a B+, without a car the location is a C. It’s hard not to run out of things to do without a car.

Moving on to student life, I am going to review a new category: the social scene. Last year, I could not review the party scene because of COVID-19. The College is not known as a party school and it definitely isn’t compared to other colleges. Niche gave the party scene a B-. I would agree with that. However, keep in mind every college is a party school to some extent. 

At the College, you will have options Thursday-Saturday, although I would say most students go out one or two nights. People in Fraternity and Sorority Life generally go out more and have more options. However, I would not say it is necessary to be in Fraternity and SororityGreek Life if you want a social life. Many people find that through clubs and sports. 

I gave my freshman year a B. I am happy to report I would give my sophomore year an A-. I am so much happier without the COVID-19 restrictions. I loved that my classes were in person and that there was more of a social life. I would give it a solid A if my dorm and food were better. But, all in all, normal college is pretty great!


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