Why We Love Bates

The Bates Student staff has compiled a list of their favorite things about Bates.

*updated as of Aug. 14, 2021

Amelia Keleher’21 – Managing News Editor Emeritus

I’m struck by how generous people at Bates are –– with their friendship, time, knowledge, unique perspectives, support, mentorship –– and so much more. Whether it’s catching up with Dean Reese, discussing social inquiry over dinner at my professor’s house, singing and dancing with friends, or chatting with staff around campus, I love that Bates offers so many opportunities to engage with passionate, critical, curious, kind, and supportive people.

Christina Leonard’23 – Digital Editor

I spent 12 years at an extremely cliquey international school that constantly evolved; as a result, I purposefully set out to find a college that promoted togetherness and belonging within a diverse population, which brought Bates to the top of my list. The absence of Greek life and the decision to construct a single dining hall to feed the entire Bates campus demonstrated clearly to me that Bates values and fosters a strong, cohesive community, which thrilled and inspired me — and that is nothing short of the truth. I remember how intimidated I was walking into Commons after the upperclassmen arrived on campus; I was unsure where the first-years should sit, but to my delight and shock, my Aesop leaders kindly explained that we were free to sit anywhere — there was no unassigned assigned seating. I was in awe. Yes, it sounds silly, but it was freeing, and I knew I had found where I belonged. 

Ellie Boyle’22 – Community Outreach Coordinator

I’ve changed so much within two years and I attribute that all to the faculty, staff, and my peers at Bates. All of my professors and peers have encouraged me to study what I like which is why I became a double major my first year in Neuroscience and English when I originally just thought I’d be a Neuro major. I joined the newspaper thanks to a friend my first year and have written for it ever since. I went into Bates thinking I was going to do college the same way I did high school: swim all four years, prepare for med school, and do nothing else. Now, I’m considering a career in writing thanks to my English department friends and peers as well as doing research in Neuro because of all the support I’ve received in the Neuro department. I no longer swim but I’m an EMT, editor for the newspaper, and a volunteer in the Lewiston community. Bates has already formed me into a person that I love so much more than high school and all my friends have had similar experiences. Allow yourself to change because at Bates it’s hard to resist all the newfound opportunities and experiences.

Georgina Scoville’22 – Managing Editor

Academically, smaller departments mean that you get way more professor attention than you would at other schools – this is amazing in terms of academic opportunities (it’s normal for your TA to be someone a year older than you, not some random grad student). Socially, it’s true that almost everyone at Bates is a bit odd, so the vast majority of people feel super genuine and it’s actually a thing that people sit down at random tables in commons to meet new people.

Madeline Polkinghorn’21 – Managing Editor Emeritus

I truly don’t think I could have had a better academic experience at Bates. While attending a large university has its perks, the relationships you get to build with faculty in a community like Bates is truly amazing. Because class sizes are so small, you have really unparalleled access to professors and I’ve never encountered a professor at Bates who didn’t want to help a student if they needed it. At the risk of sounding cliche, Bates faculty truly want students to succeed, and they’re willing to put in the time and effort to do so. 

Olivia Dimond ‘22 — Managing Arts & Leisure Editor

I love the people at Bates. I don’t think there’s a “typical Bates student,” and I don’t feel pressured to participate in specific activities or go to certain social events, because I know that I will always find my people somewhere. And it’s not just students, either; my professors are engaging and passionate, and very approachable.

Sophie Mackin ‘22 — Assistant Forum Editor

The best part about Bates is absolutely the people. I’ve found the vast majority of the students here to be incredibly genuine, socially conscious, and kind-hearted. Additionally, everyone is motivated and hardworking, but the environment is not too competitive or cut-throat by any means.  

Vanessa Paolella ‘21 — Editor in Chief Emeritus

Lewiston has become one of my favorite things about Bates. It certainly isn’t your classic college town, but I’ve discovered so many amazing things in the area, and met many incredible people.