Students love Willamette because it has the potential to be the perfect school. It has a small-town location, offers an incredible amount of financial aid, has an even balance of social life and academics, the class sizes are small and ideal for one-on-one learning, and students can get the top-rate education for which they are paying. With all the smiling, happy people walking around, it is no wonder why students fall in love with Willamette. The downside of the University is that it is like a buffet: It offers a little bit of many subjects and activities, but students are required to take only small bits of everything and cannot fill up on one specific thing. This idea makes it difficult for students who want an in-depth focus on one subject. Willamette students do not learn how to do things, they learn about things, which is what sets a liberal arts education apart from more-technical ways of study. Students who know exactly want they want to study and have a set career path in high school should not attend Willamette. It is a college for students who are still trying to find their passions in life. Hopefully, by the end of four years they will have found it and can get a master's degree in whatever subject they want to pursue.
Of course, there will always be aspects of Willamette that students and alumni will look back on and complain about: The parking is terrible, the food was repetitive, the general education requirements were too much or too little, and Salem is the armpit of Oregon. But, the truth of the matter is that most students end up staying at Willamette all four years and enjoy it immensely. The Willamette experience is what students choose to make of it. If you are determined to make the most of your opportunities, you will do just that. With a positive attitude, students will leave Willamette with fond memories, close friendships, and, most importantly, a college degree.