Impressions Of
Connecticut College

Academic Experience

Female Psychology Major C/O 2018

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I think our Psychology department is really good. One of the reasons I picked Conn was because it had an equally good Psychology department and Art department, while most of the other schools I was looking at was one or the other.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it was particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think the learning environment is very healthy. I specifically looked at smaller schools so I wouldn’t just be a number and professors would know my name. I feel like because it’s a very nurturing environment it’s easier for me to learn. It’s not intimidating for me to ask a question. Because it’s on a smaller scale it’s easier to learn, you feel like you’re really interacting with the professor. I also think it’s a very healthy learning environment in terms of progressiveness, we’re more on the liberal side. I’ve always felt safe in the classroom.

Male Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Major C/O 2018

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I think, not so much in Chemistry, but there are some professors that talk more about social justice in science and talk more about the history of science and how science isn’t perfect and sort of has blood on its hands. I think that’s really cool to learn about the history of science and the social implications because my friends back home don’t learn that. I think it’s cool that we learn more about science than just the science itself. They also really emphasize lab reporting and your lab skills, so they kind of mold you into a future scientist. It’s great exposure.

How would you describe the learning department? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s for the most part very collaborative. Everybody helps each other succeed for the most part. We all work on problem sets together and study together. We are all trying to help each other to do the best we can. In all of my science classes we’d always study together in groups and help each other. I also think that comes with having smaller class sizes because you feel much more intimate with your professor and your class.

Female Biology Major C/O 2018

Is there anything you feel the Biology department does especially well or especially poorly?
I don’t really have any criticism because they are very supportive. They have a lot of research opportunities, so I think that’s great. I’ve participated in the summer internship at Conn and I was also hired by the Biology department for a regular lab assistant job, so they have a lot of resources like that which I like.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly collaborative or competitive?
Maybe more collaborative than competitive. The classes are small so there is a lot of collaborative work like group presentations and things like that.

Social Opportunities

Female Psychology Major C/O 2018

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I obviously like working pretty hard but I also like to party, so I try to be as social as I can. I go out on campus, but I mostly go to bars off-campus now that I’m 21. [I do the typical Thursday night bars in New London, Friday and or Saturday night on campus scene.] When I was younger, most of my going out was on campus, which are dorm parties. Sometimes I would go to the Ridges and Winchesters, but I never went to New London. Obviously, New London bars can be a lot of fun, but they’re not this wild experience. I didn’t feel like I was missing out when I couldn’t go.

What have been your favorite days or nights at Conn?
Now that I’m a senior, my favorite outings have been the events planned for seniors. I’m out with my class and there has been a sense of community and feeling that we’re all leaving and graduating. Also, sophomore year all the CISLA students went on this trip to the U.N headquarters in New York City. That was definitely a highlight. A lot of class trips have been really wonderful, I think Conn is really good with that. We go beyond Connecticut, we go to Boston and New York City pretty easily.

Male Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Major C/O 2018

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Now that I’m a senior, I go to campus bar. Before, I would just hang out with friends and then do the cliché Thursday night bar scene. Friday is a more intimate hang out with friends, and then Saturday I would either go to [Crozier-Williams Student Center] to go to the Cro dances or go to the Ridges or Winchesters.

How happy are you with the nightlife at Conn? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I think I got more comfortable as the years went on. Freshman and sophomore year, I didn’t know many upperclassmen so when I went to the Ridges and Winchesters it was very weird to me because I was entering peoples’ homes without knowing anyone that lived there, so I always refrained from that. I didn’t want to go to someone’s house and [potentially] be thrown out because I didn’t know anybody that lived there, that would be really embarrassing, but my friends didn’t really care about that. I think as I knew more upperclassmen who lived in that region I got more comfortable and would just go into their houses because I knew I was welcome.

Female English Major C/O 2020

What kind of weekend activities nightlife do you like to participate in?
Usually, I go to a party at a Ridge or a team apartment on Thursday and Saturday. This year my team has Freeman Tower so we go there sometimes. If I were to go out on a Saturday, I’d go to a party at my team’s Ridge and pop between Ridges. Freshman year I went out with my team exclusively, while this year I’ve gone out with different people.

What have been your favorite times at Conn College?
Floralia is a big one obviously. That was really, really fun last year.

How happy are you with the nightlife at Conn? Is there anything you would change?
Sometimes I wish it was slightly bigger. For the most part, I really do love it here. And I really like having the team, as I said it makes the experience much more secure. I came here and knew who I was going to be hanging out with. It wasn’t really that intimidating to have to make new friends because they were already set up for me while I was away from home. It’s a really good community here.

Campus Culture

Female Psychology Major C/O 2018

How did you meet your closest friends?
CISLA definitely helped me make really good friends just because I was surrounded with people that appreciated opportunities outside of the US. I think my Knowlton House also helped me a lot and my classes helped too.

How would you describe the social scene at Connecticut College?
I would say it’s very cliquey, very repetitive, but fun. I don’t want to sound very negative, I do have fun on this campus.

Male Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Major C/O 2018

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I feel that there is a divide between different sexual orientations and different races, but I think it also depends on the person because I haven’t had much of a problem integrating myself with white Americans. I think it helps that I grew up in England so the culture is not identical, but very similar. I think I had that privilege of being comfortable in English, so for me, it wasn’t hard integrating with Americans and having friends of different races. I think it changes when you look at students from Asia, Africa, or Latin America. [About 71% of students at Connecticut College are White.]

Female Biology Major C/O 2018

How would you describe the social scene at Connecticut College?
I think it’s pretty good. I think there’s a little bit for everyone. If you want to party really hard you can, but if you are looking for something more casual there are screenings of movies every Friday and ice skating and things like that. Overall, it’s pretty good.

To what extent do international students mix with domestic students?
Maybe not so much. As soon as I found a few international friends I just stuck with them. Actually, I think the students that are more exposed to different cultures, like students that studied abroad or lived abroad, I usually connect more with. Otherwise, I would say not so much.

New London, CT

Pros of

  • “It’s close to the water, which is nice.”
  • “It’s very easy to get to Boston and New York City.”
  • “There are cute New England beach towns around it, like Mystic and Stonington.”
  • “It’s cheap.”
  • “New London has hidden charm. Everybody has their spots in New London that they love, like Muddy Waters. There are some hidden gems, it’s just a matter of finding them.”

Cons of

  • “They could improve the transportation to regular amenities. You either have to take a Zipcar or go on the Camel Van to get off campus. You sometimes feel trapped without a car.”
  • “New London itself is not a super nice place. It’s a sad city.” [The poverty rate in New London is about 28%.]

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Economics C/O 2017

What is something you wish you knew about Connecticut College before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew that it was a bar school and how friend group-based the social scene can be. Because there most people live in single dorms, there are not many good places to have big groups of people hang out, so people tend to have their little group of friends and then stick with them. I also wish I had branched out more as a younger student. Doing ski club, even though I had to learn to ski to do it, and playing intramural soccer was a lot of fun and I met a bunch more people through those activities.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I’d say go check out the Ridges and Winchesters because you’ll be down there a lot. Check out the Plex because lots of people live there and the school doesn’t like showing it because it looks like a hospital. Go to Bank Street in New London and see Mystic because you’ll spend time there too.

Male Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology Major C/O 2018

Were there any parts of Connecticut College or American college overall that surprised you?
During the first weeks when I was walking to class, everybody said hi to each other and that really weirded me out. I was like, “how does everybody know each other?” But I figured out that, even if you see a person once a month, you still say hi to them. People are very friendly in that sense, so that was surprising.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The Arboretum. They talk about it [on the tour] and most prospective students come during the week. I think if they came on a Saturday afternoon it would be nice because a lot of people go to hang out or go for a walk because I think a lot of prospective students don’t see it utilized.

Female Biology Major C/O 2018

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Visit classrooms and see how the classroom works. That’s something that I think Conn does very well, just having small classrooms for higher level classes.

Also, make sure that they know that the professors are very supportive and there is a smaller student to faculty ratio. I think that’s something that is probably necessary for international students because if you just throw yourself in a huge university with no support from professors or the administration you’re probably going to feel more lost than if you were on a smaller campus. That’s something that I’m grateful for that I didn’t really think about. My sister went to a big school and had a completely different experience than I did. [The student to faculty ratio is 9:1.]

Reasons to attend and not to attend Connecticut College

To Attend

  • “Seasonal depression in that there is mostly positive rather than negative. Yes, winter is not as happy as spring is. But spring and fall make up for that because it’s so fun. Winter isn’t as terrible as it could be. We get more snow days than most NESCACs”
  • “The friendships you make are very meaningful because you’re spending so much time with a smaller group of people. The size of the school is nice for making lasting friendships.”
  • Honor Code: It isn’t so much of an academic thing as it is a social thing. It’s really nice being able to leave your stuff out at the library. I also think it causes people to be nice to each other.”
  • “The Career Office and Career programs are really helpful and they try to prepare you well with your resume and with interviews.”

To Not Attend

  • “I enjoyed going to a small school, but sometimes it does feel that it’s too small, it’s a limited space, and there’s nothing new. For some people, it might feel a little confined.”
  • “It’s not the best bang for your buck. The cost has gone up so dramatically and there are other options that are less costly that could provide a better education.” [The total cost for the 2018-2019 academic year is about $71,000.]
  • “Housing. Lots of people are in dorms all four years and it’s hard to get out of a single until senior year. There’s also no off-campus housing.”
  • “New London is a pretty crappy town.” [The poverty rate in New London is 28%.]
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