文理学院。文理学院（Liberal Arts College）的特征是注重全面综合教育，区别于以就业及研究为重要指针的综合性大学及各种专业学校、技术高校。课程设置以基础学科为主，涵盖艺术、人文、哲学等文科门类，这与工程或医药方面的学校有很大差别。文理学院的学生敢于挑战现状，他们探求真理，发掘自己的思维潜能，目标是成为更好更有智慧的人。Davidson学院帮助了我德智体全面发展！
For as long as I can remember, my family instilled in me a singular approach to college. Unlike many other parents, my mom and dad always insisted that undergraduate education is not for learning a trade or preparing for the workforce.
Instead, they taught me that college is for personal growth. It's for unearthing new passions. It's for making art. It's for making music. It's for making mistakes. It's for making lifelong friends. It's for learning to become a contributing member of society. Above all, it's for learning how to learn.
This philosophy was entrenched in me when I applied to college. Equally entrenched was my personal philosophy of having fun. I wanted to work and play extremely hard. Luckily, I found a place where this was possible: Davidson College. I applied early, and it was one of my greatest decisions.
It's a school unlike any other on the planet. Here are just some of the features that make Davidson special:
Liberal arts. A liberal arts college is a type of school that emphasizes the development of intellect and general knowledge, instead of professional or technical subjects. A liberal arts education is rooted in subjects like philosophy and literature, as opposed to engineering or medicine.
Liberal arts students learn to challenge the status quo and become smarter, better humans. Davidson was committed to my cultural, intellectual, and moral growth.
Small classes. Some students like hiding in the back of a 200-seat lecture hall, where they can remain anonymous, take notes quietly, and opt not to show up to class when they're not in the mood. That wasn't me. I wanted meaningful exchange through group discussion and impassioned debate. This was the norm at Davidson, a school of under 2,000 students, where the average class size was 15.
Rigorous academics. I wanted to study like mad and pass tough tests. I wanted to become a harder worker. Davidson epitomizes this pursuit. It all but gloats over its grade deflation — an A is a rare gem at Davidson.
New students can't fathom how they'll possibly handle the workload, but they do. It's a feat made possible by free peer tutoring, painstaking faculty guidance, and an all-around supportive environment.
And all those late nights in the library leave a lasting positive impact. Alumni frequently attribute their professional success to Davidson's intensity. The recurring post-graduate refrain is: 'Davidson taught me how to work hard.'
Passionate professors. At plenty of big universities, classes are taught by researchers or teacher's assistants. For many of these instructors, teaching is a business deal — they agree to teach a few classes in exchange for access to university facilities for personal projects. In other words, they teach because they have to, not because they want to. This might yield a lack of interest in students' success. It might weaken the incentive to engage and inspire in the classroom.
This arrangement doesn't exist at Davidson, where professors are professors alone. A teaching job at Davidson is prestigious and coveted. Instructors are qualified and thrilled to teach, and they work tirelessly for their students. They really, really care.
When you study at Davidson, your professors are mentors and friends. They invite you to their homes for family dinners. You meet them for coffee to discuss anything from homework to homesickness.
When I explain this to American friends from other schools, they're shocked. This type of professor-student relationship is almost unheard of elsewhere in the US — but it shouldn't be. When professors understand who you are — your learning style, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and ambitions — they can guide you properly with individualized support. When professors are your friends, they show leniency, sympathy, and personal interest in your future. Davidson students and instructors form lifelong bonds.
Culture. When looking at schools, I narrowed my search to places far from home in New York, jumping at the chance for cultural novelty. (If you're familiar with the US, you know that each region within each state has its own distinct culture.)
I toured schools from California to Tennessee. I explored quaint college towns and vibrant university cities. I got a sense of life on dozens of campuses. Ultimately, I picked the lakeside town of Davidson. Its Southern culture and tight-knit, intellectual community seemed like a great fit for me.
At school, I met friends with all different traditions, social circumstances, religions, and life philosophies. Discovering Southern culture, I fell in love with country music, soul food, tailgating, and Southern accents.
Community. When applying to schools, I wanted to be more than just another student in a sea of undergraduates. At Davidson, I felt valued. I was an instrumental member of an important community.
I further tightened my network through clubs and extracurriculars, like the dance team.
The town of Davidson offered me a place in a broader community. I immersed myself in the offerings just beyond the borders of my school. I made a habit of the Saturday morning farmers' market. I taught reading to homeless kids as a volunteer tutor in the nearby city of Charlotte. I took daily walks through tree-lined neighborhoods and picnicked on the lake. I was a proud regular at the local ice cream shop. The town of Davidson was an irreplaceable aspect of my college experience.
Beautiful campus. The college setting was endlessly invigorating. North Carolina weather is glorious. And with massive trees framing classic brick buildings, as well as a lake where students hang out and swim, Davidson itself is equally as gorgeous. It's hard to feel homesick or stressed when you're living in a postcard.
Fun. College is supposed to be fun, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. At no other time in life are we so young and free of obligations. What's more, college is probably the easiest place to make tons of interesting, lifelong friends. Take full advantage.
As tough as the Davidson workload was, our social scene compensated. Davidson offered a never-ending stream of themed events, costume parties, concerts, and festivals. I met my best friends through my Eating House, which is a type of sorority that's specific to Davidson. I partied my face off.
My college experience was hardly universal. So many graduates, both in America and abroad, don't share my sense of love, attachment, and nostalgia for their years at university. I was incredibly fortunate.
My recommendation: when applying to schools: create your own luck. Make a list of what's most important to you. Look into schools that suit your specific preferences, goals, and personality. Everyone is different, and luckily, so is every school.