Academics: According to most websites, Skidmore’s most popular majors are Business, Psychology, and English. As someone who has taken classes in each of these departments, I can say that I have had great experiences in each. Like at any school, some professors are better than others, but most of the professors I’ve had (in every department!) have been incredibly intelligent and more than willing to have a friendly conversation or provide extra help. I don’t have much experience in other departments but I know that all of my friends in other majors feel challenged and inspired by their coursework.
Campus: Skidmore feels like home within a week of stepping on campus. At least that’s how it was for me- the small size of the campus and the cozy dorms make for a warm and inviting environment that feels comfortable immediately. Sure, Skidmore’s campus is not as architecturally beautiful as some other schools, but the brick buildings and mountain views (check out the penthouse of Jonsson Tower!) make the school beautiful in its own way. When the weather gets warm there are plenty of places to sit outside and do work, and my personal favorite part is the grass by Haupt pond, where you can usually find students napping or playing frisbee on warm days.
Dorms: If I’m being honest, the window seats are one of the things that really sold me on Skidmore. Where else does every room have its own personal window seat? The rooms can be a little tight but I survived a whole year in a tiny room with two other people and we had a great time. It’s all about finding double uses for things to maximize the space- use a file cabinet as a night stand, a desk as your makeup counter, your bed as a couch. If you have more stuff than can fit in your closet and dresser combined, you most likely have too much stuff. The rooms are suite-style around a shared bathroom, so it’s nice not to have to walk into the hall in a towel to shower. Some dorms are more sought after than others, but at the end of the day they’re all decent, and most people live in an apartment by their junior year anyway.
Saratoga: Out of all of the college towns I’ve visited, Saratoga is by far my favorite. I fell in love with Saratoga before I even toured Skidmore, and nearly two years later I love it just as much, if not more. Yes, it is small if you’re used to a big city, but it has everything you could ever need and the people are exceptionally nice. There are great coffee spots downtown, incredible restaurants, and every big name store you could ever want (Target, TJ Maxx, etc). Also, people in this town love dogs. Like seriously love dogs. Expect to stop and pet at least three dogs every time you take a stroll down Broadway.
Student Life: Student experience varies a lot from person to person, based on which groups you’re a part of. Athletes stick mostly with athletes, artists with other artists, and so on. I cannot speak to the universal Skidmore student experience, but everyone is very friendly and there is a group for people of all interests. Student life for those who live on campus centers mostly around Case (the student center), dhall, and the library. Those who live off-campus or in the on-campus apartments (mostly upperclassmen) have a different experience, tending to spend most of their time there where they usually have access to their own food and printers. Expect to see your friends less often once they move to an apartment, but take advantage of their kitchen and larger living space!
Food: I personally have few complaints about Skidmore’s dining hall (known as “dhall). From what I hear, our food is much better than many other colleges, so I don’t take it for granted. It can get a bit repetitive after a while, but every once in a while there is a fun themed dinner or extra catering that switches things up. “Chicken Finger Friday” is a staple- expect to wait in line for at least 10 minutes to get a plate of chicken fingers and fries on this one day a week where everyone seems to come out of the woodwork. I don’t know if the chicken fingers are better than anywhere else, but they’re a big deal here, and they seem to be a hit. Overall, there is always something for everyone, and arrangements can be made for people with food allergies ro restrictions.
Extracurriculars: There are lots of extracurricular opportunities on campus. Sports teams are big, and there are teams that you can walk onto if you find yourself wanting to do so. There are also lots of clubs for anything you may be interested in, including numerous a cappella groups, environmental clubs, and cultural clubs. You can find out more about all of the clubs at Skidmore at Club Fair at the beginning of the year, and hopefully find something that excites you!