As students begin studying for finals, finishing term papers, organizing their belongings for storage units, and reviewing travel plans, everyone seems to be focusing on the next 14 days. But even after most students pack up and head off on their summer adventures, Saratoga Springs welcomes another 60,000 tourists, summer residents, and students for the coming season. What was once a stressful finals-crazed campus becomes a fun and sunny sanctuary for those who decide to stay.
Skidmore offers between 30 and 40 courses in each of three sessions. Students often take between one and three courses a session, giving them the opportunity to devote more time to a specific subject or try out something new. Jillian Shapiro, ‘17, a Sociology and Management and Business double major enrolled in Introduction to Computer Science and benefited from taking a course not included in either major. “Admittedly I do not have much of a Computer Science mind, but having some experience in the material is an extraordinarily useful skill,” she reflects.
Although taking classes is often what first draws students to staying, students opting to live in Saratoga May through August are in for a whole lot more than just a few credits worth of courses. Rachel Dyckman, ‘17, who stayed on campus summer 2014, participated in an internship in the dining hall and Real Food Challenge to increase sustainability efforts.
Although students at Skidmore are fortunate enough to be surrounded by a welcoming, thriving area, it can be hard to find time to stroll and enjoy the downtown. “You have more time to just explore Saratoga,” Dyckman reflects on her time last summer.
As for the other summer residents of the area, they add lively flavor to the town. “The big hats on women and pastel button downs on men are out of a movie. Saratoga in the summer is what I can only describe as the Hamptons of upstate,” says Shapiro.
For those students who worried about an empty campus, fear not. “I was surprised at how many students stayed at Skidmore over the summer. There were definitely a lot of familiar faces around town and campus,” Dyckman adds.
A common misconception about Saratoga Springs is that the main events revolve around the race tracks. Although they are popular, there are many other things to do, like going to the farmer’s market, taking yoga classes, enjoying great food. “Outdoor activities are plentiful. During the summer in Saratoga I spent a lot of time hiking. I explored Northwoods and drove out to Schuylerville where the area has more hills and open land,” Shapiro recounts.
“Everyone should [stay in Saratoga] at least once, otherwise you’re missing out on a seriously fun opportunity. I myself have stayed three [times] and am staying again this summer,” says Amy Munro, ‘15.