Wesleyan or Williams or Vassar

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Discus: College Search and Selection: April 2004 Archive: Wesleyan or Williams or Vassar
By Jbloaf (Jbloaf) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 02:59 am: Edit

Can't sleep and can't decide. Just got back from whirlwind visits to these three where I've been admitted. Williams was great. Students were friendly and helpful and the campus is beautiful. Classes were exactly what I expected from a top college. It was classic collegiate, athletic and preppy. Wesleyan was amazing. The students and professors are so "alive" and happy and the classes were full of discussion and well thought out debate. Students didn't just sit back and take notes. They were involved, but not overwhelmingly hippie-ish or PC like everyone says. There is so much energy on that campus. The library is gorgeous. There is much construction going on, like a new student center, film department building and athletic facilities. Vassar was also cool. The community is very chic and lots of beautiful people. The feel was similar to Wesleyan, but had more of a New York feeling to it. Classes there were also full of discussion and the students seemed very happy.

I'm undecided on what to study, but I'll probably end up in the arts, English, or film. I'm not an athlete and don't drink a whole lot. Right now I'm leaning toward Wesleyan or Vassar, but some friends and family think I should give Williams more thought. Any current students, past students out there with thoughts? Financial aid packages are similar. Don't think I could handle the isolation of Williams. Is there stuff to do there. Anyone? Thanks.

By Haon (Haon) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 09:56 am: Edit

There are tons of things to do at Williams. You'll never get bored...I can guarantee that.

It sounds to me that either Vassar or Wesleyan may be a better fit for you than Williams. I'd recommend giving Williams a second look as well, but what it really comes down to, is what school is right for YOU. If Williams isn't this school, then don't go there.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 10:08 am: Edit

Gotta agree with Haon. Vassar or Wesleyan seems more of a fit -- but would lean toward Vassar based on what your interests are.

By Xmatt (Xmatt) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 10:24 am: Edit

Yeah, you pretty much nailed what I consider to be the major strong points of Wesleyan. I'm a freshman, feel free to IM me (xmattus01) if you have questions.

By Jbloaf (Jbloaf) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 12:57 pm: Edit

Thank you everyone. Anyone else?


Do you know anything about Williams alumni working in film or availability of film courses there? I know I could do tutorials and stuff, but how do current students there pursue that? I know the programs at Wesleyan and Vassar in film are more structured, more classes, etc

Thank you.

By Haon (Haon) on Monday, April 19, 2004 - 02:58 pm: Edit

Jbloaf--I actually don't, I'm sorry. I know that there ARE some Williams alumns that work in movies and television, but I can't think of anyone specific right now. Call the school and ask.

There are definitely film courses (my roommate took a winter study one) but I don't think there's a major or specific "film" department. Once again, call the school and ask--I'm sure they'll have an answer for you.

You mentioned tutorials...tutorials are amazing. If there are tutorials in film study, that's great--tutorials are much preferable to any other type of course and I'd highly recommend that you look into them.

By Fakeplastictree (Fakeplastictree) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 12:40 am: Edit

come to Vassar!

By Snuffles (Snuffles) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 01:21 am: Edit

Williams is definitely the best of those 3.

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 06:34 am: Edit

Snuffles, Williams may be the best of those three in general terms, but not necessarily what's best for Jbloaf -- narrowing the choice probably to between Vassar & Wesleyan. With the new film & theater building at Vassar, it could have the edge. However, Wesleyan's doing some work too, so it's a toss-up -- and both are easy access to NYC, with Vassar again having the edge there.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 06:43 am: Edit

Speaking of the new film and theater building at Vassar, it's ridiculously cool, by the way. They have loads of mini-movie-theaters in there, with stadium seating and all. My friend I roomed with (film major) had to go watch a movie for a class in a few days, so I tagged along... the building and facilities (and the movie we saw) were completely awesome. ;)

Vassar's English department is ridiculously good (lotsa renouned authors have come out of Vassar), not to mention the arts. It seems the most successful graduates Vassar creates are in the creative disciplines - that's the kind of place it is. Although they have had a nobel prize winner in physics or two. ;D

By Collegeparent (Collegeparent) on Tuesday, April 20, 2004 - 07:22 am: Edit

At the risk of hijacking this thread, Voigtrob, it sounds like Vassar may be closing in on Haverford as you head toward the finish line.

By Jbloaf (Jbloaf) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 01:45 am: Edit

Thanks everyone for your advice. I've been certain for a while that all three are solid in English and art/art history. I've always pursued film as an extracurricular activity, but now I'm taking it more seriously now that I have the opportunity to study it in college. I've been in touch with the art and film studies departments at these schools in the last couple of days and they've all been helpful and honest in explaining what they have to offer. I do think that I'm going to pass up Williams. It's a super school, but I don't think it's the right fit for me and my interest in film and creative fields. If I were sure I was going to stick with English or art history, I'd probably reconsider, but I don't think I "fit in" there anyway.

So it's between Vassar and Wesleyan. I was impressed to hear about all the Vassar and Wesleyan alums that are doing both commercial and independent film projects in Hollywood and elsewhere. It's not going to be an easy decision, but thanks to all of you who responded.

By B18c1cx (B18c1cx) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 03:15 am: Edit

Wow, it seems clear to me... you spoke most about Wesleyan. It seems like a good fit and the clear choice. Wesleyan is slightly more prestigous and has better connections to large cities than Vassar.

W E S L E Y A N.

By Voigtrob (Voigtrob) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 06:52 am: Edit

Collegeparent - Yup. I liked Haverford a lot, but they wouldnt fix my messed up financial aid package, so a tough decision was made simple. It's Vassar. ;D

By Curiousone (Curiousone) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 01:34 pm: Edit

Jbloaf, did you check out the CD that Vassar sent out with their admit folders? It has a student film on it about Vassar nightlife... pretty cool.

By Geowill (Geowill) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 09:45 pm: Edit

Wesleyan alums have produced/created, directed, or written (or any combination of the three) the following:

Films: The Good Girl, About A Boy, Antz, The School of Rock, the American Pie movies, Chuck & Buck, Batman Forever, A Beautiful Mind, Jerry Maguire, Phenomenon, The Rock, Armagaeddon, Pearl Harbor, While You Were Sleeping, the Nutty Professor movies, Riding in the Car with Boys, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Splendor, Unfaithful, There's Something About Mary, Bad Boys, The Client, A Time to Kill, A Perfect Storm, As Good As it Gets, My Cousin Vinny, Rushmore, Mona Lisa Smile, Speed, Toy Story, and the upcoming Lemony Snicket movies among others.

Television: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (created by), Angel (created by), Everybody Loves Raymond, Will and Grace (created by), and Alias among others.

These are just some commercial projects. Even more alums are involved in independent filmmaking.

By Xmatt (Xmatt) on Wednesday, April 21, 2004 - 11:23 pm: Edit

Joss Whedon, who created Buffy and Angel, spoke during Wesfest actually. He was -really- cool.

By Annakat (Annakat) on Thursday, April 22, 2004 - 12:37 am: Edit

what's it all about, loafie?


if art history is your thing, vassar and williams have two of the best departments anywhere. though wesleyan's is pretty damn good too. vassar and wes have the advantage of nyc being so close. both williams and vassar have good college and local museums, but those collections are teeny compared to what you can see in nyc if you're based in poughkeepsie or middletown. williams is a great school, but its isolated location and traditional student body could drive some a little cuckoo, i think.

both wes and vassar have film programs unlike those at nyu, usc, or ucla in that they are firmly based within a liberal arts framework, emphasizing theory over production. i think wes has a bit of an edge on vassar when it comes to film studies.

you've got three great choices, so you can't go wrong. fit is most important for you, i guess. good luck!

By Jbloaf (Jbloaf) on Tuesday, April 27, 2004 - 12:10 am: Edit

Hi everyone! Thank you for all your advice and input. They are much appreciated.

I'm going to WESLEYAN!!!!!

By Windswept (Windswept) on Friday, April 30, 2004 - 04:25 pm: Edit

Me too! (i'm going to Wesleyan.)

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