Archive for October 21st, 2010

Visiting another great school

October 21st, 2010

Four days of break can have extremely positive effects. I think almost all students go back to classes with renewed energy even though fall break is just two additional days off. I immediately noticed how many students had gotten a haircut over break. That may seem like a small detail, but it just illustrates how a little bit of extra time gives people the opportunity to do things they usually don’t really have time for.

My fall break did not involve any class work. I met the goal I had set for myself in order to not have to worry about Independent Study (IS) over fall break.

Friday, I drove 7 hours to Geneva, New York to visit one of my best friends from home. Henk is studying abroad in the United States this year and he is at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. It was my first visit to a college other than Wooster, so I finally had some material to compare my school to.

I really enjoyed the visit and how Henk showed me HWS college life. When I had fully arrived on Friday we went out. It was interesting to see that all students at his school go to bars in downtown Geneva. Most students in Wooster stay on campus to celebrate the weekend and dance at our campus bar. Both are nice ways to socialize, but I really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere  and the sound the level in the bars in Geneva. It was a nice environment to meet new people and have conversation.

Another thing I really liked about Henk’s campus was the large lake they have right next door. Especially with the fall colors it was beautiful. Aside from meeting Henk’s friends and socializing, we played lots of tennis. We also watched some movies, played some video games, and laughed an awful lot. It was really a break that included everything except for academics. It was amazing to be worry-free for four days.

Of course, you probably want me to come to a conclusion about which college was nicer or better. Henk and I obviously joked about our own college being way better than the other. However, I have to come to the conclusion that small private liberal arts colleges are just an amazing way to get educated: living, learning, eating, playing sports, all on one campus with your peers.  Henk’s school is great in many ways, but so is Wooster. Finding the right school is really about how you fit in. If you are looking for a small liberal arts school, it is like looking for a family that will adopt you for four years. Henk has been welcomed at HWS with open arms  as I could tell from the large number of friends he has made. I have felt like a God in France (that is a Dutch expression) during my three years in Wooster. I think we both have found the right family.

Bastiaan