There are many wonderful aspects of Franklin and Marshall College, but the best part about F&M is the overwhelming sense of community. This feeling of unity is found everywhere on campus—in the packed libraries Sunday-Thursday, at let-loose frat parties Friday and Saturday nights, or in the office of a favorite and accessible professor throughout the week. There are so many activities to get involved with at F&M, which never leaves gaps in the social calendar. Although there is a lot of work, students make sure they take time out their busy schedules to do community service, rehearse for a show, or attend outside lectures for enrichment. These offerings, and how frequently students take hold of them, only add to the community that is Franklin and Marshall College. The mentality of F&M students is to push through each week, turning out the best work possible, and then to hit the weekends hard, partying until early hours of the morning. While the workload is hefty and demanding, there is a certain camaraderie found in knowing that as a student, you are not alone; everyone else on campus is either suffering or celebrating along with you. That having been said, another great aspect of the school is that professors are nearly always available. All professors are required to have two sets of office hours per week in addition to being available by appointment, which makes it incredibly easy to meet with professors to discuss academics or anything else that comes to mind. The professors at F&M truly care about and work to inspire their students; nearly every student establishes a life-long connection with a professor. Different from other schools, F&M presents so many interesting opportunities to conduct research alongside professors throughout the school year and the summer. In order to continue teaching at this school, F&M professors must continue conducting and publishing their own research, which makes for some very interesting course offerings and office discussions. The F&M campus is thoroughly connected and it is evident both inside and outside the classroom. While it is a small school, it never seems to feel too small given the variety of activities to attend and participate in and the amazing one-of-a-kind opportunities. Due to its size, F&M espouses a certain welcoming feeling and sense of familiarity that just isn’t found on other campuses.
The worst part of Franklin and Marshall College is the blatant lack of tradition. Considering the school was built in 1787 and named after it’s more-than-notable founders, Benjamin Franklin and John Marshall, one would only assume that campus life would be teeming with historical traditions and unique rituals. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your own view of things), the two best traditions F&M has include an extremely demanding workload, and, of course, drunkenly peeing on the Benjamin Franklin statue after a night of earned debauchery. Further, F&M is a small, liberal arts school, not a large state school, which does not help when it comes to school spirit. Truthfully, some (not all) sports teams leave much to be desired and so does overall campus support of athletic teams. The school administration and student government try to invent ways to add some spirit to this campus, but end up doing so with little to no avail. Students are either bogged down by hours of work, competing with themselves to earn the best GPA possible, or so invested in their own clubs and causes to really have the time to support other aspects of student life. However this is not to say that there is no support, just a glaring lack of spirit. Student government is trying to eradicate this and build a more supportive student body as many students have begun to express interest in building traditions. Progress is being made, slowly and surely.
Yes, Although the course work is demanding at times, I would not trade anything for the work ethic, information, and perseverance I have gleaned from this school. I have made so many connections (networking is a huge aspect of F&M), which have tremendously enhanced my time here and I am positive will help me out in the future. I know that by attending F&M and working hard, I am only setting myself up for future success. My time here may be remembered by long, late nights, but I will look back and know it was all worth it. Moreover, the friendships I have established here are long lasting and strong. I greatly enjoy attending a school with other students who insist on maintaining a well-rounded lifestyle. From my perspective, all students strive to succeed academically and socially, which only lends to a most enriching college experience.