Williams students unique in every way

Typical? What’s typical? Webster’s defines the concept as “combining or

exhibiting the essential characteristics of a group.” So how to describe

a “typical” Williams student? Apparently we need to identify a certain

number of “essential characteristics” that all individuals on this

campus possess. From the viewpoint of an admissions officer who has

combed through hundreds of student files in the last few months, this is

almost an impossible feat. The interests, abilities, concerns and needs

of every person in the Class of 2001 are just as varied as their

backgrounds and experiences; their only initial commonality is the

signature on the bottom of their acceptance letter. Eagle Scouts,

All-American field hocky players, math team captains, NCTE winners,

pianists, hikers, sculpters, handbell ringers, Gospel singers, poets,

football captains and a myriad of other “types” will all be mingling in

the freshmen quad next year. They will venture to Williamstown via bus,

plane, car, train and perhaps even boat from Brooklyn, London, Dayton,

Oakland, Madison, D.C., Sofia, Albany, Los Angeles and Edmond, Oklahoma.

They will arrive here full of excietment and curosity–and probably a

bit of trepidation–throw themselves whole-heartedly into the experience

that is Williams College. They will think, and they will play, and they

will work, and they will laugh, and at the end of their tenure they will

look back on it all and realize that indeed, despite those original

differences in perspective and interests, their common love of learning

and their willingness to take on the challenges here has forged a

surprisingly strong bond. Those individuals have, through shared

experiences and the simple process of familiarization, become a group.

Amazing, but nevertheless a fundamental characteristic of Williams


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