Inside Colby is for the most part a blog concerning all of the great things that Colby has to offer. And while I am never wanting for material and have no problem writing about all of the positive stuff, not addressing any of the issues on the Hill makes me feel like I am giving a severely skewed vision of Colby and college life in general. I think that the few people reading this are mainly prospective students, and it is therefore a huge disservice to prospective students to give such a brazenly one-sided view of college.
No college is a utopia, even a small, secluded one in northern New England. Every campus tour you go on, every info session you attend, and every handout and publication that prospective students are encouraged to read (Inside Colby for example), are intentionally presenting information in a way that portrays the school as better than the reality. I sincerely hope that prospective students understand this. However, this is not to say that publications like Inside Colby are untruthful. All of the cheerleading for Colby that I have blogged about I do truly believe, I have just chosen certain experiences to share and other experiences to withhold.
One source of information for a better idea of what a school is actually like, is “collegeprowler.com”. However, this is analogous to a wikipedia for a school’s overall atmosphere; it is very broad and sometimes inaccurate. Reading student publications is another great way to get a sense of what topics are being discussed by the student body. The best way to figure out anything about life at a school is to ask a student at that school, and ideally not a tour guide. E-mail a current student, stay over for a night, anything that you think will get you honest answers to whatever questions you may have.
Cold weather and not being near a city are not the only issues at Colby. So, what are some issues at Colby? As with any institution, the administration often takes a lot of flack in the areas of representing student interests, communicating there plan, and responding quickly and effectively to student concerns. For instance, this past fall a sexual misconduct incident occurred involving several students and the lack of communication from the administration had the community in an uproar. Other issues raised by students include, a lack of weekend social variety, and a lack of acceptance by the community, of anyone breaking the New England private school mold.
Whatever school you are looking at is going to have similar grievances, despite what tour guides and admissions people tell you. This blog is not a shot at Colby, I love it here and am thrilled to be a part of the community, I just don’t want to pretend that it is perfect.