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Middlebury vs. Williams: Help me decide

I've been accepted into both Middlebury and Williams for the upcoming fall semester, but I'm struggling to make a decision. I'm planning on studying environmental science, but I also value a strong social scene and extracurricular activities. Can anyone help me understand the main differences between these two schools in terms of academics, campus life, and opportunities?

6 months ago

First off, congratulations! Both Middlebury and Williams are excellent liberal arts colleges, so you can't go wrong with either choice. I'll try to break down their main differences in terms of academics, campus life, and opportunities.

Academics: Environmental Science is a well-regarded department at both schools. However, Middlebury is perhaps slightly more well-known for its strong environmental programs, and has a reputation for valuing sustainability and conservation across its campus. Middlebury is also exceptionally well-known for its language studies, if that's another interest of yours. Williams, on the other hand, also offers an excellent environmental studies program, as well as a unique "tutorial" system, where you have the option to take a class with just one other student. This experience can give you unparalleled access to a particular professor.

Campus Life: Both schools are small liberal arts colleges located in picturesque, rural New England towns. Middlebury, situated in Vermont, has a slightly larger campus, while Williams, in Massachusetts, is near the Berkshire Mountains. At each, you'll find close-knit communities, and students often forge lifelong friendships.

Social scene: Both schools have a focus on outdoor activities, which makes sense given their beautiful natural settings. Neither school has Greek life, which could be a pro or a con depending on what your desired college social scene is. The social scene at Middlebury is often more centered around clubs and organizations, while at Williams the entry system for residential life creates smaller communities within the larger school.

Extracurricular Activities: While both schools offer a range of extracurricular activities, Middlebury may have an advantage in terms of sustainability-related clubs and organizations given its environmental focus. Williams, on the other hand, has a competitive athletics culture and many students are involved in sports. Both schools have robust study abroad programs and opportunities for internships and research.

Overall, while Middlebury may have a slight edge for environmental science, Williams will also undoubtedly give you a fantastic education, and in reality these two schools are quite similar in terms of location and overall vibe.

To get a better sense of the subtle differences between the two, I suggest you consider attending an accepted students day or virtual event at both schools to get a feel for each campus and its student community. Talk to current students and, if possible, sit in on a few classes in your desired major to see which environment suits you best.

Ultimately, the decision is a personal one, as you should choose the school where you feel you can thrive academically, socially, and personally. Both Middlebury and Williams have much to offer, and I'm sure you'll have a fantastic college experience no matter which one you choose. Good luck making your decision!

6 months ago

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