Impressions Of
Washington College

Academic Experience

Male Business Management Major C/O 2018

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
It’s a lot of reading. There’s not too much writing. For courses like Accounting and Statistics, you’d have about one or two problem sets a week. In most classes, it was a final exam and then we had a few big projects. In Accounting, we were given information from a fake company and we had to put them into financial reports. Similarly, in the Auditing class, we audited real life nonprofit organizations. To graduate from WAC, you have to complete a thesis, and it’s about a 60-page rundown and analysis of a company. I did a commercial real estate company.

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
I think they did a really good job of connecting what we learned in the books to real life because everyone knows there can be a big difference between what you learn in a classroom and what happens in the real world. I think all of our professors made sure to connect things that were happening in current events, connect things to their past experiences, and experiences we may run into in the future.

Female Environmental Science Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel the Environmental Science department does especially well or poorly?
I think they do a lot of great work with getting you actual real-world experience. You go out in the field and do things. I’ve never had a problem with not being able to find a job because they’re always sending us internship and job opportunities. We have a partnership with NOAA so that they have to take a certain amount of Washington College students each summer.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s pretty collaborative. They usually have us working in groups, and, even if it’s not a group project, we usually end up working in groups anyways.

How accessible have your professors been?
Extremely. I can contact them by email all the time. I can just walk into their offices when I want to. I even text with some of them. They’re very easy to get a hold of.

Female Art History and Anthropology Double Major C/O 2017

Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I would say more on the collaborative level. Both departments were pretty small. Art History was the smallest, there aren’t a lot of majors. We would get together and have our own study sessions. I thought that was really nice. It wasn’t super competitive, everybody was trying to help everyone else. Anthropology was the same. I thought there was more friendship among the Anthropology students. A lot of them were pretty outgoing, there were a lot of double majors in Anthropology and Theater which was really interesting. So that was a whole different group of kids that I never would have talked to otherwise.

Social Opportunities

Male Business Management Major C/O 2018

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I wouldn’t say WAC’s nightlife is a draw for them. It’s a make your own fun type of place. There are a few bars in town that we go to pretty much every weekend. I know fraternities have parties once in a while, but I wasn’t really involved in that so I’m not really sure. It’s a fairly lowkey nightlife environment. The Fish Whistle and O’Connor’s Pub are the bars we go to the most.

How happy were you with the nightlife at WAC? Is there anything you would change?
It can be a little slow for some people. I’m not much of a partier. I like to stay home and hang out, so for me, it was pretty perfect. I could go out and have fun when I was really feeling up to it, but most of the time I could just stay home and hang out and that was fine. No one was really worried about it.

Male Biology Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Washington College?
If I go out with my friends, there are usually parties going on Friday and Saturday nights. Thursdays there are normally social gatherings in peoples’ houses or dorms with people hanging out with friends. Friday and Saturday nights frats may have something going on. It’s pretty easy to get to know the frat guys and they’re pretty welcoming and just want to have a good time. There are also three bars in town people go to after parties.

Has being a person who identifies as LGBT influenced your social experience?
I don’t think so. I think most people don’t care that I’m gay or they don’t think about it and it doesn’t impact when I go out.

Female Art History and Anthropology Double Major C/O 2017

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Mainly going out to the bars. Sometimes I would do get together and do activities with my sorority sisters or my Anthropology Club members would get together and do nerdy stuff like watch art historical movies and stuff like that. Most of the time I was going out with my roommates who didn’t participate in Greek life. I had been friends with them since my first day freshman year. We would usually go out and meet up with students who were either on girls or guys sports teams.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
I would say, since it’s a small school, there wasn’t a whole big Greek life impact in general. Girls sororities technically weren’t allowed to have parties. Most of the time they would go to fraternity parties or sports team’s parties. It was a mix of people. [About 25% of the student body is part of Greek life.]

Campus Culture

Male Business Management Major C/O 2018

How would you describe the social scene?
I’d describe it as lowkey. There’s a little bit of a divide between the athletes and the other students. The athletes are kind of doing their own thing and are a little wilder and going out more regularly, whereas the other students are calmer and lowkey. The athletes kind of dictate how exciting the scene gets.

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Socially there are two groups of students that gather naturally with the athletes on one side and the non-athletes on the other. It’s not a very diverse place, but no one was excluded for any reason. [About 68% of students are White.] We have friends who were all different races and sexual orientations. For the school as a whole, it’s encouraged to be who you are.

Male Biology Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s alright. Most people are able to find a group of friends that they can get close with. Some aspects are a little cliquey. There is a big difference between the athletes and non-athletes, but it’s not a big deal. It’s just the athletes tend to only hang out with their teams. Other than that, Greek life is pretty inviting and everyone is pretty happy with each other on campus.

How was transitioning to a school that has about 1,500 undergraduates?
It was easy. I think sometimes I forget that I’m in college because it is so similar to high school. Sometimes it’s frustrating because I wish the school would be a little bigger or have new faces, but at the end of the semester when the schedule changes or when new freshmen come in the people get mixed up.

Female Art History and Anthropology Double Major C/O 2017

How did you meet your closest friends?
I did a pre-orientation trip before freshman year started. They do these so kids who want to participate in them can meet some friends before they actually start school. I did a camping and kayaking trip and I met two of my good friends on it. One of them I had already known in high school but I became a little closer to her. Then most of them I met through my roommate freshman year. We all became very close after that and they lived in the freshman dormitory that was right next to ours, so we would go between those dormitories and that’s how we became really close and ended up living together throughout the rest of our college experience.

Chestertown, MD

Pros of

  • “It’s a nice small community. Everyone knows Washington College, everyone knows somebody who went to Washington College, and everyone loves the college. It’s a great community.”
  • “Being on the Eastern Shore. It’s beautiful. You can go fishing all the time and go hunting. It’s some of the best goose hunting in the world.”
  • “It’s historic, so there is a lot of stuff that goes on that people who are interested in history would appreciate.”
  • “I really like First Fridays when the galleries open up.”

Cons of

  • “The distance from things. We’re about two hours from Baltimore and an hour and a half from Washington, D.C.”
  • “The nearest Wal-Mart is in Delaware about a 30-minute drive away. That can be frustrating sometimes.”
  • “It’s isolating because you’re trapped on campus and in the town.”
  • “The population is not very diverse. That makes me feel not at home because I’m used to a strong African-American population in Washington, D.C. [About 71% of Chestertown residents are White.]

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Undeclared on Major C/O 2021

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The musicals and plays on campus. That is something I really loved going to when I got here.

What is something a prospective African-American student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
That [about 8%] of students are African American so they wouldn’t have to worry about fitting in. For me, I do like this school, but it doesn’t have a lot of African-Americans. When I started I didn’t know anybody, so I was looking for people who had something in common with me, but it’s hard to fit in with everybody on campus. Finding that little group you can relate to will make someone feel better.

They also may want to know that, although this school doesn’t have the same activities as an HBCU, you can start any club that you want and you can make it what you want. Basically, you make college what you want.

Male Biology Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Washington College before entering as a freshman?
The LGBT population here isn’t the largest. If someone identifies as LGBT and their goal in college is to gain experience with relationships, I don’t think that WAC is very conducive to that because the number of students is pretty low and the ratio of LGBT students is very low. My goal was never to have a relationship in college, but if someone was making that their goal they might want to know that. I don’t want to discourage LGBT students from coming because WAC is supportive and we are a small community. They just need to know what their intentions are because I think anyone can be happy here.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
Check out the Chester River and the new boathouse because that has a lot of resources for people who are interested in recreational water sports or water research. The new boathouse is a great resource because there are 2-3 boats that people can take out. Also look at the classroom spaces because I think that some people expect college classes to be a lot different from high school, but classes here are 12-20 students. [The average class size is 17 students.]

Female Environmental Science Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Washington College before you entered as a freshman?
I wish I knew that I should have a car. During freshman year I couldn’t drive, so I couldn’t go anywhere and felt like I was stuck.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
If there is a local festival going on, check it out. There’s usually a parade every single holiday. There’s a farmer’s market on Saturdays and First Fridays on the first Fridays of the month.

What is something a prospective Queer student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
We have a club called EROS on campus that is encouraging respect for sexuality. It is extremely helpful. I’ve never faced any hate or anything. The campus is pretty accepting. There’s also a local chapter of PFLAG, which is really accommodating if you’re ever having problems paying for things or if you’re transitioning they’ll help you find groups to pay for things.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Washington College

To Attend

  • “The alumni network is going to help you out immensely. Everyone that has graduated from Washington College is going to help you out.”
  • “If you want a family or community environment. It’s more of a tight-knit place where you can know people’s faces and names.”
  • “The professors are accommodating and want to help you succeed. You can gain pretty personal relationships with your professors because classes are small and there are opportunities to work with them.”
  • “For Environmental Science majors, it’s right on the Chesapeake Bay so it’s one of the best places in the nation to go for Environmental Science. You have a lot of partnerships with local places, like bird banding stations and all sorts of things.”

To Not Attend

  • “You have to have a car here if you want to go somewhere.”
  • “If you’re a minority, you may feel out of place at times. That is only because most of the activities are created by White people and they are the ones having fun at them, while the minorities may not be familiar with them.”
  • “It’s really small. It’s very, very small. If you’re not looking for that, don’t go to WAC.”
  • “The nightlife is not crazy. You’re not going to a top party school. You can make it fun, but it’s not going to be a big state school.”
Notice: Washington College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Washington College.

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