A Day in the Life at Williams College

The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach – they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Drew is a Chicago tutor and 2013 graduate of Williams College. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in French Literature & English Literature and specializes in many subjects including French tutoring, ACT prep tutoring, AP U.S. History tutoring, and much more. Check out what he had to say about Williams College:

VT: Describe the campus setting and transportation options. How urban or safe is the campus? Are there buses or do you need a car/bike?

Drew: The campus is self-contained in a rural setting. While this can make it difficult to travel to and from Williamstown, the college ensures that everything we need is available on campus. Everything is in walking distance, and Williams College provides ample dining options and events. The gorgeous mountains and the attachment to a campus social life is what makes Williams College so special, so there is really no need for a car or for mass transit.

VT: How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Drew: I found my professors to be very approachable. The small class sizes ensure that professors and students interact, and after class they are just as willing to meet and help with whatever issues you may have.

VT: How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Drew: I loved the social life at Williams College. Almost every single student lives in a dorm and eats most of his or her meals in a dining hall, which leads to a terrific atmosphere. School-sponsored functions are open to all students, and it is easy to make friends and find groups to be a part of.

VT: Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? What did you study and why? Did the university do a good job supporting your particular area of study?

Drew: As a liberal arts school, Williams College places emphasis on a well rounded education, and I found that the school did a good job encouraging students to try new subjects and departments regardless of their academic background.

VT: How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Drew: One of my favorite things about Williams College was the freshman entry system, which provides layers of support and attempts to expose students to geographic, socioeconomic, and racial diversity. Our junior advisors (JAs) are not like resident assistants you see elsewhere. Instead, this highly coveted position goes to those who want to mentor and dedicate their time to freshmen. They are given extensive resources just to plan events and to help new students feel at home. I loved it. There is no Greek life.

VT: How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? Do many reputable companies recruit on campus? 

Drew: Career Services is great. I did not end up taking advantage of them until senior year, but when I did, I found the staff incredibly approachable. There were also numerous workshops, career fairs, and companies recruiting on campus.

VT: How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges? Are they over-crowded, easily available, spacious?

Drew: The study areas are great. As I have mentioned, the social life is self-contained, so libraries and the student union are the places to gather, work, and spend time. Williams College does a good job of providing work space. Also, they just opened a gorgeous new library.

VT: Describe the surrounding town. What kinds of outside establishments / things to do are there that make it fun, boring, or somewhere in between? To what extent do students go to the downtown area of the city versus staying near campus? 

Drew: The “downtown” area, Spring Street, is right in the middle of campus. For those looking to get off campus, Williams College is not the place to go. However, the town is lovely, with great restaurants, and the Berkshires are gorgeous. It is not uncommon to go on hikes and jogs and to cross many other students enjoying the scenery, as well. Lastly, there are several fantastic art museums in the area. So between all of that, the work, and Williams College events, I never felt bored.

VT: How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Drew: The student body is small. I was incredibly pleased with the class sizes and the professorial interaction afforded by them. By the time I graduated, I was taking several classes with no more than ten people.

VT: Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Drew: My senior year I took a Molière class that included acting out scenes across campus in front of a crowd. As a French Literature and English Literature major, I had written my share of papers and was used to discussing literature. However, I had never dreamed of acting. Even though it was terrifying, I had a blast. And more importantly, by approaching drama in a holistic way, as opposed to just as a reader, I gained further insights into the drama theory we discussed in class. It was a fun activity that ended up giving me more insight into readings and theory than I had ever dreamed of having.

Check out Drew’s tutoring profile. 

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.