What Students Really Say About Farmington
So, how did you come to choose Farmington?
Well, I applied to four other schools: Providence College, Colby College, Bates College, and Syracuse University, all types of private schools. I was wait-listed at three; accepted to one, but the one I got accepted to I didn’t have the money to help me pay for it. What I would have owed at Providence College was the same as the tuition here at Farmington. I would’ve had to pay, out-of-pocket, like $5,000 dollars. And I thought, “Mmm, no, I’ll take Farmington where I might only have to come up with an additional $300.”
What’s your major?
I'm an Art major with a French minor. I love it. Right now, I’m kind of finding my niche, so I’m kind of doing everything. I really love painting and drawing, but I’ve been doing a lot of sculpture this year, kind of testing the waters.
Did you come to Farmington knowing what you wanted for a major?
I knew I was going to be an “art person” since I was four or five. I’m interested in everything, so I kind of had to pick something. But, art is something I would be happy doing forever. With art, there’s always something new - there will always be something new.
What’s Farmington’s Art major like?
There are Art History courses. There are tons of studio art courses, some Art Theory courses, which I think is absolutely necessary. Because, if you’re really good at making a picture, without any meaning behind it, then what are you doing? I hear that Contemporary Art Theory and Practice is going to be the really hard class because of all the theory.
What are some of the strengths of the Art major here?
I think it’s a really good program, because some other schools that have art programs are more like technical programs, training you for the work force. The Art program at Farmington is good because it helps shape the artist. It’s a more holistic approach.
What are some interesting classes in your major?
I like my Art History course a lot. It’s Modern European Art History, and it’s really cool because I’ve always been kind of iffy about abstract art. Like, if you look at a dot on a wall, and you think to yourself, “Ugh, I don’t get it. What does it mean?” And what I learned about that dot, it made more sense. So now I have more of an appreciation for minimalist and abstract art. I think I get it better.
What sets the Farmington Art program apart from others?
Certainly, I think our Art program is wonderful and unique. And, if I feel like I’m not being challenged enough, I can always change it. That’s what I really like about going to a liberal arts college, here you can shape your own classes and major sometimes. There’s the flexibility to make changes.
When you applied to come here, did you have any idea what a Liberal Arts College meant?
Well, before, I wanted to go to an art school. But I wasn’t looking at traditional art schools because they didn’t offer other courses like history, psychology or other classes that would interest me. And since I’m interested in everything, I wanted to take other courses too. What’s really great about being at a liberal arts college like Farmington is that I could be taking three art courses and a psychology class, or three art courses and a French class. And it’s great too, because whatever else you take will help you in whatever it is you do. So my understanding of history and psychology could help me make better art. It’s fabulous.
Do you get a lot of work? Are your classes here hard or easy?
Some classes are tough, but not impossible if I put in the effort. My progress depends on that effort and also time management. Going to class and doing the work is essential, so I do my best not to miss class If I work hard inside and outside of class and participate in the class discussions, I can see my own progress.
What classes, outside your Art major, have stood out?
One of my Psychology classes, Death and Dying, was an amazing course. If you haven’t taken it – it’s a must. Before I would have been, like, “Ugh, death. I don’t want to talk about death.” But afterwards, I discovered I gained a lot of insight.
Was there a class at Farmington that changed your view?
Sure. Some of my misconceptions were cleared up in that Death and Dying class. I guess one of the things it helps with is getting rid of the teenage invincibility factor, you know, the “I won’t ever die” mind set. But with so many students sharing their stories with near-death experiences and family deaths, the class hits you like a wall of reality.
Are there any professors here you feel you’ve really connected with?
I really liked my Physics class with Chris Magri [Assoc. Professor of Physics]. He made the class a lot of fun, he’s a really excellent teacher. By making it fun, I don’t mean Hollywood entertaining, but just making it interesting. I feel if you can laugh in the class, then it makes it fun. Then, there’s Kate Randall [Asst. Professor of Art], all the way, I love her.
What would you have liked to have known before coming to Farmington?
I actually knew a lot about the school before coming here. I participated in the Upward Bound Program here for three years while I was in high school, so I knew the campus like the back of my hand. I liked Farmington then — I like it now.
What other colleges did you apply to? Did you visit them?
I visited Bates College and had an interview and I lived in Waterville for a time, so I already knew about Colby College. Didn’t visit Syracuse because it was too far away, and I didn’t visit Providence College.
When did you think when you were in high school, what did you think of Farmington?
When I first heard about Farmington, I was like, "Yes. That’s the school for me — it IS me." When I got my first acceptance letter — Farmington was the first one by the way — I was like, "YESSS! I’m in! I’m in!” and I flailed around and cheered. Distance didn’t matter to me. I liked that Farmington was so close, but I wouldn't care if it was in California. I was still definitely coming here.
What do like best or find unique about Farmington?
Maybe instead of “unique,” I’d say Farmington’s very special. I really like how almost everything I need is within walking distance from the campus: the post office, my doctor, are all in walking distance. Even the movie theater is in walking distance and the restaurants and shops are in walking distance.
What’s your favorite memory about Farmington?
Last winter, a bunch of my friends and a bunch of the Lawn Chair Pirates [the hugely popular student improv comedy troupe] had a huge snowball fight over in the campus courtyard. We were filming it for a show, I think it was called “Something Epic.” It was so funny — we would get up on the balcony and yell to each other and just chuck snow. It was at night, so it was just us out there. It must have been a group of 20. It was pretty intense [laughs].
Have you studied abroad yet? If not, does it interest you?
I have not studied abroad, but I’m going to. I’m going to go to France, and I want to go to Japan. Whatever country I go to, I want to live there for a longer period of time because that’s when you really get immersed in the culture and the day-to-day vibe of the place.
Do you live in the residence halls?
Yes, I live in the residence halls. Last year, I lived in Lockwood Hall and this year I live in Dakin Hall. Lockwood was really quiet. Dakin is a lot louder, but, I don’t know — I like it. I picked Dakin and the floor I live on. The floor I live in is the all-year hall. So, if I want to stay for the summers, I can and I won’t have to move my stuff. Moving-in Day was really easy for me, I just cleaned [laughs].
Do you participate in dorm activities or campus events?
Sometimes I’m too busy to go to the activities. There are like ice cream socials or movie nights or craft nights. I go to campus-wide activities more often than the dorm activities. I definitely can be found here playing Guitar Hero in the Guitar Hero tournaments they have.
Do you work on campus?
My work-study job is over in the Computer Center. I work on campus Web sites, mostly on the academic department pages. I also help people do their own Web pages, helping them keep their content up-to-date and some programming. Last year, I even helped teach a couple of Dreamweaver classes, training Farmington employees how to use that Web authoring software. So basically, my work-study is Web work. And if need be, I also do networking and re-imaging.
What’s your favorite part about Farmington?
My favorite part? The people. It’s just a really, really welcoming campus. Like, there are enough different people here to make it comforting. I think there are enough interesting and different people here to make the campus a welcoming place. There are LOTS of different kinds of people here, which to me is a better way of describing diversity — just “different kinds of people.”
Are you involved in any student clubs or organizations?
Right now, I’m in the Ministry of Experimental Arts. It’s a student club started last year and it has students, faculty and staff. So, it’s kind of like a council, but not really. It’s a lot more casual than a council. We did Arts Night last year, which was like this huge night showcasing the arts here at Farmington. There were people performing, and at the same time, we had a play going on, and art was being displayed, and there was food. It was like a huge arts festival.
Tell me more about the Arts at Farmington
It can be like a lot of musicians or theater or arts; we just kind of put things together. Very DIY. Like, if you had a band and wanted to play, you could come to the Ministry of Experimental Arts and say “Whenever your next event is and need performers, we'd like to do something.” And we collaborate. Farmington definitely gives you the opportunity to get out there as performers and artists.
What are some things Farmington could do better?
I think students should be allowed to be more in charge of their Student Center, you know — things like the bulletin boards in the hallways and how the different rooms are used. I feel students should be able to control some of the things that happen in their student center because it’s theirs. It’s mine. And it’s yours, even if you live off campus or are a commuter. Students here have input, but it would be even better to have more say in how the building operates.
What’s something you think Farmington does right?
Well, if you don’t know what you want to choose for a major, there are a LOT of different courses to try on, to help point you in the right direction. There’s a good variety here. And it’s a small school — just 2,000 students — and they limit enrollment here on purpose. This good for people who are unsure about college. Here, you won’t see 10,000 people running around campus. To me, Farmington has the perfect amount of students.
How would you describe campus vibe or atmosphere to a high school student looking at colleges?
I think the atmosphere here is a lot different than the high school atmosphere. In high school, people can be mean. But people who go to college seem to care about their education and by extension their classmates. They’re coming here because they want to. So they have that kind of initiative and respect that other college students can identify with. It definitely feels like a safe place.
Would you recommend Farmington to your brother, sister or a friend?
I have recommended Farmington to my friends, my boyfriend, and to everyone I know who has an interest in college, because I feel this is a great place to go.
- Kristen Bisson
From Waterville, Maine
- Emily Baer
Double major: Art and English
From Brunswick, Maine
- Andrew Thompson
Double major: Music and Art
From Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Shawn Rogers
From Dover, New Hampshire
- Lesley Kittredge
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Kristen Simoneau
Community Health Education - School Health Education
From Jay, Maine
- Shane Koski
From Auburn, Maine
- Renee Meserve
Early Childhood Education
From Westbrook, Maine
- Casey Myers
Early Childhood Special Education
From Winooski, Vermont
- Craig Nadeau
From Fairfield, Maine
- Michaela Hitchcock
Environmental Planning & Policy
From Springfield, Vermont
- Erica Austin
Double major: History and Geography
From Turner, Maine
- Alison Gerrish
International & Global Studies
From Portland, Maine
- Lisa Kittredge
Liberal Arts Undecided
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Nate Burns
Double major: Music and Philosophy / Religion
From Wayne, Maine
- Genesis Burke
From Amesbury, Massachusetts
- Mary Beth Kirby
From Farmington, Maine
- Joel Hatfield
Secondary / Middle Education
From Palermo, Maine
- Courtney Church
Sociology / Anthropology
From Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Emily Langton
From Manchester, New Hampshire