BackgroundInterview Date:July 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: I went to a private boarding school in Andover, MA with a graduating class of about 330 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Majors: Economics and Chinese Double Major
Extracurricular Activities: Varsity Athlete
Can you describe your weekly coursework for your majors?
Most recently, I had labs every week for my Economics Statistics class where we used Stata to generate tables and data. Then about two exams per semester and a final exam.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
The Economics department is definitely competitive. In the higher levels you do a lot of collaborative stuff, but so most of it so far has been on your own and has been kind of competitive. It’s known as one of the harder majors at Bates.
Favorite class last year?
Economics Statistics. It was challenging, but I felt that the things I learned in that class were the most useful and applicable to the real world. I also learned how to use a program that I might have to use in the business world.
Do you feel people that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
Most of the classes that I’ve been in haven’t had in-depth discussions yet. I’d say there’s a mixture of differing opinions in classrooms that have to do with politics and other stuff like that. I also think that Bates is very liberal, like a lot of college campuses are, so a lot of discussions tend to lean left. From what I’ve seen, there’s a good mixture of people who are in the middle of the road or are on the right.
Why did you pick your majors? Are you happy with your choice?
I took Chinese throughout high school, so going on year 6 I didn’t want to stop taking a language, especially a language that could be applicable to my field. I knew I wanted to go into business, and Economics is the best bet for that at Bates because they don’t offer a Business major and they don’t have a lot of different options if you want to go into business.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: Rand Hall with one roommate. We had a pretty small room.
Sophomore: I’m living in a four-person suite with two bedrooms and one common room. I’m living with three guys on my team.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I feel safe at Bates, but I normally feel fine in places. I don’t feel endangered on campus. The area of Lewiston is kind of dangerous and when I’ve been walking through Lewiston I haven’t always felt the safest. It’s not a wealthy town. [Lewiston has a 22% poverty rate and median household income of about $38,000]. I haven’t always felt the safest, but it hasn’t stopped me from having a good time.
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
I wouldn’t call it a restaurant, but my favorite place to go for food is this Chinese buffet called Lotus.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
Shortridge, it’s a land reservation on the coast that Bates owns. We got there as a team as a team bonding trip. It’s really nice and secluded on the beach.
Pros and cons of being in Lewiston, ME?
Pros: (1) Getting to engage with the community. There’s a Somali population in Lewiston and there’s a lot of service work done in their community. There are a lot of community service options.
(2) It’s a beautiful state. You go outside Lewiston and there are so many cool places to see. There are a lot of beaches and really pretty hikes and mountains.
Cons: (1) The crime rate. [The crime rate in Lewiston is 51% higher than the Maine average. It has a 125% higher violent crime rate than the Maine average.]
(2) It’s not a major city, so there are not a lot of internship opportunities around the area.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you participate in at Bates?
I do what I can because my sport is a two-season sport, so a lot of the time on Friday nights I can’t go out. I’ll stay in and watch a movie or do some homework. My friends are also on the team so I’m not alone. When my sport is not happening, I like to go to house parties and small parties in peoples’ suites and stuff like that. All the sports teams have houses, so we’ll either go to a house or a lot of the seniors on my team will have something.
Do freshman boys have trouble getting into parties?
Sometimes, but, for some reason, not me and my friends. I think that’s just because we’re social. I’m not trying to say that we’re awesome, but we know how to get into a party and we can talk our way through it.
How happy are you with the weekend options? Is there anything you would change?
I’m not a huge partier, so it’s enough for me. I don’t think everyone feels that way. I think some people expect it to be a crazy party scene but it’s not. I’m also a pretty serious athlete so I don’t go crazy. It’s definitely enough for me as somebody who is in season most of the time and doesn’t go out that much.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I met them mainly through my team.
How would you describe the social scene?
I really like it. I really like the small community. It doesn’t remind me of high school so much because the people at Bates are pretty down to earth and nice. I do like to be a big fish in a small pond, so I wouldn’t like to go to school with like 10,000 people.
How would you describe the student body?
There are a lot of very outdoorsy people who like to go hiking and camping and are kind of crunchy. I’m kind of like that, but I like to sleep in a bed [laughs]. A lot of the non-athletes are like that, they’re Outing Club-type people. Then a lot of the students are athletes. There’s a lot of wealth, but there is also a lot of students that are not from a lot of wealth. [Socioeconomically, 51% of students come from the top 5% and 2.8% come from the bottom 20%.]
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What is something you wish you knew about Bates before entering as a freshman?
I wish someone sat me down and said don’t date anyone, and enjoy your freshman year and make friends. I really, really loved my freshman year, so I don’t have many regrets.
What’s something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Mount David. We have a mountain around campus where there are really nice views of campus.
Reasons to attend Bates:
1) The academics are really good.
2) The people are very down to earth and friendly.
3) The food is really, really good. [According to Niche, it is the third best in the country.]
Reasons to not attend Bates:
1) If you’re looking for a really crazy party scene.
2) If you love hockey because we don’t have a varsity hockey team.
3) If you want a step up in size from high school. It’s only 600 more people than my high school.