WATERVILLE, ME: During my visit to Colby College, I took a tour of the campus which is very spread out and gorgeous with the green lawns and brick buildings. I was especially impressed with the Miller Library which acts as the focus of the campus with its immense pillars. Inside there is a large collection of books and other research materials.
At the Student Center, completed in 1985, I saw many students interacting and I could see this is a vital place on campus. I was informed by the tour guide that the campus was divided into four Commons with each Common having its own dining hall and student activities. There is a pond to the north of campus where I saw students enjoying the wonderful weather. Everyone was very friendly and seemed very enthusiastic about Colby.
I also attended an Information Session where I was told about foreign studies opportunities in which half of the students participate. The students who talked to us assured us that if a club or an activity didn't exist, we could start it and anything was possible. The Dean of Admissions said, "that the purpose of a liberal arts education is to make you think, not necessarily to train you for a specific career."
Colby's January Plan is a time to explore new languages, countries, learn skills, investigate careers, and ultimately gain greater insight. Students have opportunities to learn beyond the campus and have taken theater and dance in London, spent the time in the South Pacific observing anthropologists. Freshmen must enroll in one of the courses offered at the college while upperclassmen may either enroll in a specific course or devise their own program.
All freshmen are invited to participate in one of 40 Colby Outdoor Orientation Trips (COOT) which take place about a week before campus orientation. This lets students get to know each other before beginning classes. These trips vary from hiking to canoeing to biking.
Colby's sports facilities are quite extensive. They have a gymnasium, an ice rink, a fieldhouse, a pool, weight training rooms, a nautilus suite and saunas. Outside are football fields, baseball and softball diamonds, soccer fields, 14 tennis courts, a new quarter mile track, cross-country trails for running and skiing, and areas for field hockey, lacrosse, rugby and archery.
The size of Colby is relatively small: 1700 students. Classes tend to be small,usually around 18 students. The students have constant contact with their professors.
Colby has a wide variety of academic opportunities on and off campus. The atmosphere is friendly and there is always something to get involved in. Colby offers a quality education complete with unique opportunities.
Reviewed in 1990
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.