BackgroundInterview Date:July 2017
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2017
High School Experience: Public school in a small town in central Massachusetts with a graduating class of about 400 students. There was a culture of going to college.
Majors: Art History and Geology double major.
Extracurricular Activities: Varsity sport, that took up most of my time.
Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
For Art History, we had a lot of reading and papers, maybe a paper per week, and then we had 3-4 big papers and 2-3 quizzes per semester. For Geology, we spent a lot of time studying for quizzes and we’d have to write 3-4 lab reports a semester, then we’d have 2 exams and a few quizzes.
How would you describe the learning environment?
In Art History many of the early classes are like 50 people in a lecture hall, then once you get higher up you’ll have less than 10 people in a seminar. Those are more helpful in my opinion. In Geology the first few classes are lectures and then after that, you don’t have more than 15 people in a class. It’s a very collaborative environment, I don’t think it’s competitive at all.
How accessible are the professors?
The Art History professors are easy to interact with. They would help you and would be very friendly. The Geology professors were a bit more awkward because they’re science guys, so it was a little more difficult to get to know them.
Why did you pick your majors?
I took a lot of science classes at the beginning of college, so I fulfilled the science requirements early on. I wanted to do a science and Art History and ended up having enough space to do both.
Are you happy with your major choices?
Yeah, I’m more Art History focused, but it’s nice to have the skills I learned from my other major. I don’t recommend doing a double major because you have to do two theses. The coursework is fine but having to do two theses is a lot. I recommend doing a lot of classes in another department for credit and for fun, but not doing the double major because the end is tough. [A thesis is required by most departments at Bates.]
How was it balancing your sport and coursework?
Since it’s in the NESCAC it’s easier to manage the time because practice time is limited. We had two workouts a day but you can manage your time around that.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Clayson House, it’s the low chemical house, so there are no parties there and it’s a pretty quiet place. I had one roommate and there were about 20 people in the house
Sophomore: Hayes House on Frye Street with one roommate. It’s like Clayson in that it’s a small house with around 20 people there. There are singles in the house too.
Junior: I was abroad in the fall and then lived in Mitchell house with one roommate.
Senior: I lived in Village 1 in a 4-person suite with two singles and a double and a common room in the middle. The Village is the best place to live on campus
How walkable is the area around Bates?
It’s pretty walkable. You can walk to downtown Lewiston and to the bar and there are two convenience stores that are pretty close. If you want to go to Wal-Mart or Auburn (a nearby town) you need a car.
How safe do you feel on campus and in the surrounding area?
It’s very safe.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I’m not even sure, that’s tough. Nobody really goes off campus. There’s a Bates bubble.
Pros and cons of being in Lewiston?
Pros: (1) Maine has a lot of places to go hiking.
(2) It’s close to Bowdoin and Colby if you have friends that you want to visit.
Cons: (1) It’s cold and there’s a ton of snow.
(2) Lewiston isn’t the most fun city to be in.
What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you like to participate in?
People go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but I only go out Friday and Saturday because I have practice on Fridays. Thursday nights people who are 21 and over will go to a bar in Lewison. On Fridays, people go to a dorm party on campus or to an off-campus house party. Saturdays are usually spent at an off-campus house. You go because you either know people on a sports team with an off-campus house or you know the people in the house. Saturdays are generally livelier.
What were your favorite nights or days at Bates?
The dances. They’re themed, so you have a Halloween dance, 80’s, 90’s dance, etc. There’s less security around and it’s fun because everybody ends up there at the end of the night. They are in the Library Arcade.
What is the impact of sports teams on the weekend options?
If you’re a sports person, you usually have a smaller party with your team, then you go out to another sports party where they have more people. Or if you don’t play a sport, you hang out with friends and then go to an off-campus house later in the night. You could also go to a dorm party and then go to an off-campus house. A lot of sports teams will do mixers together. For example, the women’s and men’s track team will often do stuff together.
What is an alternative to going to a party or bar that you like for a night out?
There are usually on-campus concerts or student performances earlier in the night.
How happy are you with the weekend options at Bates? Is there anything you would change if you could?
It’s good. Some people are just really stupid and wreck it for everyone because security gets tougher.
How did you meet your closest friends?
Either through my coursework and first-year classes, my sports team, and people I lived with.
Do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Sexual orientations, yes, definitely. Sometimes people of color stick to themselves. They hang out with everyone else but they do have their own groups. Everyone is accepting, it just happens to be that way sometimes.
How would you describe the social scene?
If you’re on a sports team you have a ton of friends/acquaintances, and it’s easier to go around. You usually have a small group of friends and a lot of acquaintances. I knew a lot of people from different classes. It’s easy to become friends with a lot of people, but usually, people have their small little groups. It’s kind of like high school in that it can be cliquey.
How did Bates help you get into graduate school?
It was mostly a process I did by myself. The professors helped a lot by writing great letters of recommendation and figuring out if the program was right for me or not. There’s Handshake, which helps you get interviews and jobs, but there wasn’t a ton about going to grad school.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Bates before entering as a freshman?
The small school atmosphere in terms of the social life in that it can feel close-knit. Once you get into your groups it’s hard to branch out. Once I did my sport, most of my friends were from my team. Then once you start doing your major it’s hard to find new groups outside of that to make friends with.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
If they get to go to a class they should talk to the professor because the professors are the best part of Bates. So, have a chat with a professor to get a good feel for how good the school is.
Reasons to attend Bates:
2) The campus food is pretty good I think.
3) The facilities are great.
4) The dorms are generally pretty good.
Reasons to not attend Bates:
1) The thaw/mud season of spring.
2) The security can be strict.
3) The town of Lewiston in the sense of how we interact with them. They respect us, but we don’t have the best reputation with them.