Colgate University
Hamilton, NY, USA

Reviews

Colgate University
4.08 Average Rating

Alia from Florida

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Colgate is a tight-knit family. Teachers want you to succeed and truly understand the material. My experience has been extraordinary.
Tips for prospective students
When I was touring, I was told it is a â??work hard, play hardâ?? mentality. The party culture was more prominent than I had been anticipating, but Colgate groups work hard to provide outlets for activities outside of partying. That is simply something I wish I knew.
Definitely go in for an interview and tour the campus. The campus is gorgeous and the interview is not intimidating whatsoever. They just want to get to know you and the relationship will enhance your application.
It gets very, very cold.
If accepted, look through the Pre-Orientation Programs. I went on a week long Sea Kayaking trip with Outdoor Education and it was an awesome, awesome experience and I met the people I am closest with currently.
Academic Rigor
Be prepared to study hard every single night. My average study time a night was usually 6 hours - and I only got two Aâ??s.
Classes are interactive and discussion based. Active participation is expected from each student.
Dorm Life
The dorms are cleaner than previous dorms I have toured in other colleges. I am staying in Gate House which is the newest one. The upside is that is is cleaner and more spacious than the other First-Year dorms. The downside is that it is a good walk away from everything else, except the COOP which is a cafe and study area.
Food and Dining
Frank Dining Hall, to me, serves good, healthy food. People complain about it, but itâ??s only because itâ??s not â??gourmet.â?? The people who work their are lovely and friendly and the food is all fresh. There is a salad bar, vegetarian bar, sandwich/wrap bar and a whole meat section.
Throughout the year there will be themed nights as well. One night was Polish food which was delicious (regular food is also available).
What to do for fun
Colgate has one of the best Outdoor Education programs and an awesome staff. They teach classes for P.E. credit. For example, so far I have taken Tree Climbing and I plan to take Ice Climbing this semester.
Clubs that I am in include Juggling, Ballroom Dance, Christian Fellowship and Wood Turning.
There are also numerous volunteer groups available. I am in PetPals (working with animals at the shelter) and Hamilton Outdoor Group (we take kids outside and play games on Fridays).
Bang for the buck
I have been here one semester and it is already the best experience of my life. I have learned things I never would have thought to try such as tree climbing, ballroom dancing, juggling, how to weave a scarf, sledding and many, many more.
My classroom experience has been incredibly challenging and I have, again, learned so very much and I have never worked so hard for a B in my life.
Campus Safety
Campus Safety is fantastic. When I was sick, twice they took me to and from the Student Health Clinic. They are wonderful people.
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Allison

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Colgate University is a liberal arts university where you can take classes and explore your interests in any variety of fields. While you may feel forced into the required courses, the five CORE subjects allow you to expand your horizons and gain a better understanding of how the world has developed and will continue to develop. Plus the learning and social environments are very supportive; while many people fit into similar niches, those who are not afraid to show their individuality are welcomed with open arms as well.
Tips for prospective students
Do not be afraid to show that you are an individual; the school loves to say that the student population is diverse in religion, ethnic background, economic class and student personality. Share your passions and the experiences that have made you who you are. And as with most colleges, stress that your leadership skills and the contributions you have made in order to make the world a better place.
Academic Rigor
While Colgate is sometimes considered a party school, you must also realize that in order to reach the point that they have time to have fun, they must first complete their work. The students are smart and will spend any amount of time to perfect their work, and most professors do not expect much less than near-perfection. You will be challenged to the point that you do not think you can pass a class, despite the fact that you have received decent grades.
Dorm Life
Some dorms are better than others, but none of them are complete disasters. Most people make friends with their floor-mates, and in some buildings, floors can become communities.
Food and Dining
Students have three options on campus: Frank Dining Hall, the Coop, and the Edge Cafe. Frank offers the typical dining hall experience, with hamburgers almost every night, a varying hot entree, pizza, pasta, salads, sandwiches, and always a vegetarian option. While eating there every night can sometimes become tedious, the food is rarely bad. The Coop offers a hot grill with fried chicken, burgers and grilled cheese, as well as a sandwich, salad and pizza station; also available is pre-made grab-and-go style sandwiches and salads. The Edge is all grab-and-go, though few people eat there as it is not particularly conveniently located for most people.
What to do for fun
Colgate is considered a party school to many, but there are also a whole variety of alcohol free activities. Every weekend two movies are shown for free, such as The Hobbit or Les Miserables. Many parties are alcohol free. During the day, there are a variety of clubs and activities to attend according to your interests. And while downtown Hamilton is small, it is only a short walk from the main part of campus, so it is a great place to have a lunch outing with friends.
Bang for the buck
Colgate is expensive. But it seems that most people can afford it on campus. Approximately 50-60% of the campus pays full tuition as it is a rich kid school. But if you are eligible for financial aid or can pay the tuition without trouble, it is definitely worth the cost
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
13 men who each offered $13 and 13 prayers: Colgate has an obsession with number 13, from the Colgate 13, an all-male a capella choir to every Friday the 13th being dubbed Colgate Day.
Adam and Eve: On Taylor Lake Colgate always has a pair of swans named Adam and Eve, although it is currently rumored that they are Adam and Steve.
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Yekaterina from Amherst, NY

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Colgate University is a Liberal Arts school on the top of a hill in the small village of Hamilton NY. It is a place where you are a part of a community and where you are likely to see at least three people you know on the way to class. Most of all it is a prestigious school that will challenge you to work hard and grow as a person.
Tips for prospective students
Take AP classes in high school. If they aren't available, then take the most challenging courses you can. If you can start to think of your coursework outside of the textbook and take the time to really think about what you are reading it will be easier to make the transition from high school to college. Also learn how to manage your time. One of the best things about Colgate is that there are a ton of opportunities available for you, the only thing you have to do is make an effort to pursue the things that interest you and make time to participate.
Academic Rigor
There are some classes here that are ridiculously difficult, while others are easier. Despite this, if you don't put the extra effort in to go beyond just memorizing terms and basic information you are likely not going to be getting the best grades. Professors here challenge you to not only repeat back the information you learned, but also to think critically about the information. You really have to take the time to understand to do well, but that just makes those A's that much more satisfying!
Dorm Life
Some dorms are rowdy while others are more laid back, the one you end up in will be determined by matching your interests with others. For example, I choose to live in wellness housing which means that everyone in my dorm doesn't bring any alcohol or drugs into the dorm, and it gives us the added benefit of being the quietest freshman dorm. All the dorms are nice and have enough space except for Curtis which has tiny rooms but is known to be very social.
Food and Dining
While some people like to complain about the food here, everyone will admit that it isn't as bad as they make it out to be. We actually have very good quality food. The only problems are that if you are a picky eater some nights there won't be anything you like, and generally the chicken is always bad.
What to do for fun
While Colgate is in the middle of nowhere, there is actually quite a bit to do. On the weekends we have Take Two movies playing in one of the campus buildings, sporting events, famous lecturers, the Jug, a movie theater, a club dedicated to hosting fun late night events that range from rollerskating to rockclimbing, a games club that hosts Nerf gun wars once a month, and a variety of other clubs that will ensure that you will have plenty to do. In fact I don't think four years will be enough to get through half of the stuff I want to do!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Here at Colgate thirteen is our lucky number! Any Friday the thirteenth is National Colgate day and it is likely that a flash mob will take over some part of the campus. Raider Ice Cream is also a favorite of ours and is introduced during various campus events such as Move-In day and basketball games. Also be wary of any first kisses at Taylor Path it is said that you will marry anyone you share a first kiss with on this path.
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Elisabeth

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
At Colgate you are not only surrounded by incredible professors who are experts in their field but your are surrounded by curious and intelligent students so you are constantly learning both inside and outside the classroom. You will be challenged to do your best because you will realize there are so many things you can learn at Colgate.
Am enjoying being here
I couldn't be happier at Colgate. There are tons of events to go to and people to meet. Everyone is passionate about something which causes the creation of tons of clubs, groups, and campus events. People are always willing to try something new and there is somethign to do for everyone
Bang for the buck
The education is top notch so its worth all the money that it costs.
Tips for prospective students
Get involved in activities in high school and become well rounded and interested in the world because it will make you an interesting applicant and work hard because college is a lot of work.
Great for these types of students
Interested, involved, friendly, outgoing, hardworking
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Emily from Milford, NJ

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The mindset of most Colgate students is work hard, play hard. Many students spend their days our beautiful library and their nights enjoying the Greek scene on campus. The student population is well balanced and super smart, but most tend to be preppy, health-conscious, and Greek.
Tips for prospective students
Come to visit! Stay with some freshman and attend a few classes so you get to know the student life and academics. Any dean would love to talk to you as well - Gary Ross, the dean of admissions, is definitely a fan favorite. When I visited Colgate it was summer and there was no one around, but Gary Ross welcomed me and talked to me and my parents for almost two hours! Ask lots of questions because students LOVE Colgate and can't talk enough about the campus, clubs, nightlife, and academics!
Academic Rigor
It's rare to find students who don't spend most of their time in the library. Colgate classes are definitely intense and professors expect a lot out of you because the classes are so small. Participating in class is often mandatory but all your hard work is worth the extra effort. Professors are really approachable and want you to understand what they are teaching.
Dorm Life
Freshmen and sophomores live in dorms. The dorms are great and great places to meet new friends. But be careful - Colgate has been cracking down more on alcohol and some RAs are more strict about writing students up.
Food and Dining
Freshman and sophomore years you will probably eat most of your meals at Frank dining hall or the Coop. Both have decent food with plenty of dining options, which is good for your first year. Typically by second year you'll be sick of Frank, so look for brown bags -- these are lunch talks put on in the women's studies center, the Cove, and other locations that offer free, DELICIOUS food. Make sure you get to these events early because they are super popular, especially with upperclassmen who have to pay for their own food. Junior and senior year you are usually in a Colgate apartment, an off-campus house, or Greek housing, which means you will probably have to go food shopping at the local Price Chopper more often.
What to do for fun
Lots of people take advantage of club sports like soccer or rugby to fill their free time. If you are musical, various instrumental groups, chorus groups, and acapella groups are great choices as well (the acapella groups are an AWESOME way to find a close-knit group of people who will help Colgate feel more like home). Many students go out to brunch, lunch, and dinner at the various restaurants in town and there's also an old movie theater where you can see new movies for free on their release date. The drinking/party scene definitely predominates at Colgate, however. Even if you didn't party in high school, don't be scared though! Going to parties is a great way to meet new people and there are a surprising number of students who still go out all the time but don't drink.
Bang for the buck
Colgate is suuuuper expensive, but if I could do it all again I wouldn't change a thing. Colgate is a wonderful university with so much opportunity for students and unlike other universities where you have to struggle to make opportunities for yourself or feel left behind because the attention is focused on graduate students, Colgate professors are great about letting their students know about new projects and summer programs. The students are awesome and Colgate is one of the most beautiful places in the world, so in my opinion, it's worth a little student debt.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Some good places to go to get away from campus are the quarry behind campus and the Yurt, which is a short drive away. We often go to the quarry to build a fire and make smores but you can actually rent out the Yurt for about $20 a night and sleep there with a bunch of people. Colgate's Spring Party Weekend in April is a famous four-day celebration funded by the school and the frats where students can unwind before finals and listen to some awesome concerts.
Great for these types of students
Smart but social, preppy, sorority/frat, health-conscious, outgoing, ambitious
Clubs and Activities
Greek life, acapella, club and varsity sports, theater
Greek Life
Greek life I believe encompasses a little more than 30% of the student population, but often it feels like more. There are six frats, three sororities, one all-women social club, and two all male social clubs. Because Greek life is so popular, the sororities are pretty large, and there's an unequal amount of frats and sororities, we are trying to campaign to the school for another sorority. Because Colgate is in such a small town, often the only parties available at night involve the Greek scene. The school is trying to open up more non-Greek social events, but for now many people join Greek life just to have a social life. However, the Colgate administration is anti-Greek and they've been cracking down more on closed parties and the drinking policy.
Campus Safety
Colgate is a very, very, very safe campus. You can be walking home at 3 in the morning from a party or the library and you will feel totally safe. Campus safety officers are on call 24/7 and there are blue lights around that can be seen anywhere on campus (press these in case of an emergency and Campus Safety will be there within a minute). Sometimes Campo officers are a little too present (like when you're trying to have a party), but it's nice that they're always there trying to keep the campus safe. There are also Hamilton police officers that patrol heavily at night in town.
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Justine from Lynn, MA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
A school of mostly very privileged white students, but despite the lack of diversity most students are friendly and hard working. The campus and surrounding area is beautiful, although the village of Hamilton may be too quiet for some. The faculty and staff go out of their way to help students.
Tips for prospective students
Make sure you are ready to attend a small school in a small town. Colgate students, faculty, and alumni form a close community and it is easy to connect with others, but it isn't right for everyone. Visit schools of different sizes and in different areas to see what suits you the most.
Academic Rigor
The course work is very rigorous and the school definitely practices grade deflation. However, students are supportive of each other's studies, professors are always very helpful, and resources like effective tutoring and the writing center are also available.
Dorm Life
Room size for freshmen varies greatly. Some complain about Gate House, the now permanent but originally temporary housing, but it is close to the student center, has good sized rooms, and the students in Gate house are good friends. Campus safety and RAs always do rounds but the damage bills usually tend to pile up anyway and certain dorms can be very loud. If one is worried about damages and noise, I would recommend substance-free housing.
Food and Dining
The food at the student center, or The Coop is a set menu with some specials and is always good, and is the place to get late night food on campus. The new Donovan's pub menu is also good, and is a good option if one is down the hill but wants to eat using the meal plan. The Edge, a formal restaurant on campus, and the main dining hall Frank are usually good but sometimes disappointing.
What to do for fun
If one likes to go out at night, the options are limited to the Jug, a small and less than glamorous club downtown that has specific freshmen nights, and frat parties which are kind of hard for freshmen guys to get into from what I have heard. If one doesn't want to go out, there are other options such as free movies and game nights, but from personal experience it can get a bit boring sometimes. I would recommend bringing board games, video games and movies, which will also be a great way to make friends at the start of freshmen year.
Bang for the buck
The classes are challenging but rewarding. The school has a lot of spirit and a great community. However, it is very expensive, and despite their efforts to have more late night activities and improve dining both areas could use work. But, I would recommend Colgate above any other school for those who want to go to a small liberal arts school
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Colgate is obsessed with the number thirteen. The saying goes that the school was founded by thirteen men with thirteen dollars and thirteen prayers. At Colgate, we celebrate school spirit on Friday the 13th, wear the number thirteen on Colgate shirts, and point out occurrences of the number thirteen.
Great for these types of students
Students who want to go to a small rural liberal arts school, and can handle a lot of coursework and many basic requirements
Clubs and Activities
There are a variety of clubs, and from my experience plenty of opportunities for community service. There are lots of club sports as well, but I don't know much about athletic options. The drama club and music programs are both excellent, and one can participate fully in both no matter what their major may be.
Campus Safety
I have never felt threatened at Colgate, and I do not know anyone else who has. The campus always has high safety ratings and is located in a safe small town. The biggest threat according to administration is sexual assault. So, girls should always be sure to travel in groups and watch our for one another, but again while I have heard of guys at parties overstepping their boundaries a bit, I have never felt threatened while going out or have known anyone to have been assaulted.
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Peter from Hamilton, NY

a current student here
30 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I came to Colgate with a pretty narrow idea of what I wanted to study and what I wanted out of my collegiate career. Colgate has, however, reshaped my ideas about the potential of a college education. I thought that both the core program and the distribution requirements would be a nuisance, but I have actually discovered a wide range of interests that I probably would not have explored had these programs not been a vital part of the Colgate experience. I am able to focus on, and engross myself with, my major but can also study a broad range of other interesting subjects.
Am enjoying being here
Colgate is a great place to go to college. There is no denying the fact that it is rural and isolated, but I haven't had any problems with life on campus. There are so many students interest groups and events on campus that everyone stays busy and the isolation isn't really noticable. Also, between school organizations and the Greek organizations there are always musicians coming to campus: everything from up and coming bands to headliners.
Bang for the buck
Colgate is expensive. Colgate is very expensive. I have come to realize though that you aren't just paying to be lectured at and spoon-fed information. The faculty here is well paid and they all love Colgate and the students. They are dedicated to teaching and enriching the lives of their students through the lessons in class and interactions and involvement on campus. A Colgate education encompasses so much more than knowledge from textbooks, it teaches you how to think and how to analyze any situation you may find yourself in. It is undoubtedly worth the money.
Tips for prospective students
Find things that you can see yourself involved in and that you may become passionate about. The best way to build community here is to be involved in student organizations, or find a calling and start your own group.
Great for these types of students
Ambitious and hard working people who want to be involved in a lot of groups and activities while also gaining an excellent education.
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Brian from Penfield, NY

a current student here
17 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Colgate will give you four of the best years of your life. More importantly, however, it will set you up to have a successful career in any field which you wish to enter. Nobody wants to leave Colgate, but when they do, they are as prepared as anybody graduating from a top university.
Tips for prospective students
Take AP classes, invest in extracurricular activities, and learn to budget your time! Colgate is like any college, which wants to see you challenge yourself, expand your mind, and be able to do all of this successfully. College is mainly about learning to use your time wisely, and good habits start in high school. Not only does Colgate want to see that in you as a prospective student, but they also will as an undergraduate.
Academic Rigor
Classes can be time-consuming, but again, it's all in the preparation. Some classes, especially the hard sciences, require much more work spread out throughout the semester, whereas others, more of the liberal arts subjects, require big projects which come in bunches. The work load isn't unbearable, but you must learn to budget your time and not fall behind. As long as you plan well, you will have plenty of time to have fun, meet new people, join clubs, and relax!
Dorm Life
Dorm life is always active and fun. The smaller size of each dorm is a great to facilitate friendships between new students. A great benefit of Colgate is the size of the campus. Even if you don't make your best friends within your own dorm, you will be close enough to other dorms to make best friends close by. Freshman dorms are typically nice, most of them either suite-living or more modern doubles. Sophomore year is less evenly distributed, with the prize possessions being the two sky suites, two of the best rooms found on any campus. Whichever way you look at it, the rooms are livable, and everyone is close enough so that you will absolutely find your niche.
Food and Dining
Frank Dining Hall is the typical dining hall for a college. Filled with multiple options, the staff tries their best to mix up the options. After two years, however, the food can get repetitive. There are some meals to avoid, but salad, bagels, a sandwich/wrap station, and ice cream are always available. The COOP has solid options offered daily for more fast-food style options, all of which are of good quality. The Edge is a sit-down restaurant for dinner on the freshman meal plan and is a great change of pace on occasion. Donovan's Pub is a little further down the hill, but is a newly-reopened hangout for dinner as well.
What to do for fun
There's always something to do at Colgate. This is one of the best parts of the school. Every weekend there are free events up the hill or in town, whether it be concerts, open dance parties, dinners, or speakers. There are options for everyone as well, as game nights and movie nights can be found in conjunction with parties down the hill. There's never a dull evening at Colgate; if you're available at any point during the week, there's always something to do!
Bang for the buck
Colgate is one of the more expensive schools, but the experience, both academic and social, is special. Not only will you get a great education here and be prepared for a future career, you will meet your best friends and never want to leave. Ask any alumni you meet; every single one loves the school and will tell you that. They'll even be jealous that you might be starting your four years there!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The number 13 is Colgate's lucky number. Every Friday the 13th is Colgate day, as students, faculty, and alumni across the world wear Colgate apparel and participate in special events.
Great for these types of students
Hard Workers, Athletes, Outgoing individuals who like to have fun
Clubs and Activities
Almost any club imaginable is available. From the club Ultimate Frisbee team to the whistling a capella group, there is something for everyone. The COVE heads most of the volunteer groups, such as Habitat for Humanity and Adopt-a-Grandparent. The Activities Fair during each semester allows every student to see all of the clubs on display and get involved. Another great aspect is that anyone can start their own club.
Greek Life
Greek Life is pretty heavily involved at Colgate. About half of the eligible students (Sophomores and above) are involved with Colgate's six fraternities and three sororities. You don't need to join one to stay a part of the social scene, but it does help a lot if you do join one, especially if you're not part of a sports team or large club. You can have more fun at Colgate without participating in Greek Life than most other schools, but it does add to the experience.
Campus Safety
Colgate is completely safe. There is never a moment where you feel threatened. Rumor has it that the last time someone used a blue light on campus (located throughout the campus in case of an emergency) was to check the score of the Colgate v. Cornell hockey game. Safety is never an issue with Colgate or the quaint college town of Hamilton, NY.
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Michele from Simsbury, CT

a current student here
16 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Colgate is a liberal arts university and there are a lot of distribution requirements that we must fulfill. Some people feel that this forces them to take classes that they would rather not take. However, I enjoyed all of my classes, even the ones I did not expect to like. Colgate gives its students the opportunity to learn about many different fields and get a broad education. When it comes to classes for my major, I feel that I am gaining a lot of valuable learning and I end each semester feeling like I accomplished a lot and I am always proud of my hard work.
Am enjoying being here
Colgate has a beautiful campus and it is situated in a quaint town in central New York. Sometimes I feel like I get stuck in my weekly routine but there are always little things I can do to break out of that, whether its going out to dinner in town or going to an interesting lecture. Sometimes I wish the food was better at the dining hall but its pretty standard college food. Because Colgate is a pretty small school, I feel like there is a good sense of community among all of the students here.
Bang for the buck
Colgate is one of the most expensive schools which is very frustrating because sometimes I feel like I'm being punished for working hard and being smart because I have to pay such a high price to have a fulfilling education. However, the cost of tuition doesn't seem to be a major issue with anyone here because we all recognize that Colgate has great facilities and we are getting a top notch education.
Tips for prospective students
I think its very important to come visit the campus because only certain people will like living in such a remote town. Its important to talk to students at the school besides just the tour guide too because we will give prospective students straight answers. Overall though, just about everyone I know here loves the school and is very happy they chose Colgate.
Great for these types of students
Sociable, athletic, and those who like living in a small community.
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Kristina from Mayfield Village, OH

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Colgate has a really great Core Curriculum program that gave me a great view into a wide array of subjects and helped me to expand my interests. The libraries on campus are filled with resources that have helped me through my academic experiences. And I couldn't even imagine having more approachable professors. Everyone at Colgate is dedicated to giving you the best possible, well-rounded, liberal arts education that they can.
Am enjoying being here
There are tons of clubs and organizations on campus to get involved in. The religious communities on campus are great as well. There is always something going on, and many times, it's free. In addition to having great fun keeping busy, the people at Colgate are great, too. I have friends from all over the country and around the world. The people really make the experience what it is, and I couldn't have found a better bunch.
Bang for the buck
Colgate is the sixth most expensive college in the United States. Worth it? Completely. The financial aid program at Colgate is outstanding, and there are plenty of work-study jobs to go around. Every experience at Colgate is something that you won't forget, like seeing the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, listening to a Holocaust survivor, or getting free ice cream at a Raider hockey game. I turned down a full ride to go here, and I don't have any regrets.
Tips for prospective students
Come during April Visit Days and eat a chipwich - it's a tradition! Also check out the athletic trails on top of the hill - the views are great!
Great for these types of students
go-getters, philosophical, partyers and nerds, those with some type of musical talent, readers, well-rounded, athletic, happy and friendly
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