At ASU I don't think anyone would feel out of place. There are so many different groups of people that interact with eachother in and outside of class. People of all different racial, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds can be found at ASU and they all interact with each other in some way no matter how different they may be. Politics is a pretty big thing on the ASU campus and you can find a mix of political parties present. There are students who are very left wing, there are students who are very right wing, and there are students who fall somewhere inbetween the two, and a lot of the times students with different political views are good friends.
A quick word of caution, STAY AWAY FROM THE FRATS! They're gross and dirty and they look like the projects and most of the guys are not the nicest people. Not to mention the ones who throw the most parties are the ones that have gotten in trouble with the school and the police for drugging girls and various other things that I'm not going to go into. So unless you're into sleazy guys or you enjoy being drugged and raped or you're a sorority girl and have to go I'd stay away.
These stereotypes are accurated in someways but inaccurate in others. The fact of the matter is that any college you go to there are going to be parties, at ASU there's sometimes parties every night of the week, most of them hosted by the fraternities or sororities. But who's to say that we're not going to school at the same time? ASU has over 63,000 students and I think its safe to say that most of us are there for an education, but at the same time we enjoy being able to relax and have fun from time to time. As for the "Barbie and Ken go to college" stereotype, yes there are a lot of good looking people who attend ASU but that doesn't mean that they don't have brains. You can't get into college based on looks alone.
Academics at ASU might be a little unnerving to those who don't go in expecting large class sizes. That, I think is the scariest thing, walking into a lecture hall and seeing over 400 other students, some sitting together, some not. You starting thinking, "Am I going to sit next to anyone in this class more than once?" "Will the professor know my name?" "Is the professor hard?" So many thoughts go through your mind all at once and it can be a little stressful. The truth is this, most professors in those large lectures aren't going to have any idea of who you are unless you make contact first. That is a key thing if you want your professor to know who you are and it makes for a great resource later on if you need held studying or if you need a letter of reccomendation for grad school. Not all classes are huge lectures though, most of the math and english course offered at ASU are generally smaller class sizes with no more than 25 students. And if you're a science major your labs will have no more than 14 students because the labs can't handle more than that at a time. At ASU the students are very competitive, especially in the majors in which you have to apply for upper division after your first year. In those majors, if you want to succeed and move forward it is crucial for you to be competitive with your peers and make your best effort to stay on top. Out of class, many students have very intellectual conversations with one another. Whether its classmates discussing the days lecture topic or just two friends talking about each other's majors there's always some sort of intellectual conversation going on between students all the time. ASU offers a very wide variety of classes for students to choose from. I think the most unique class I have taken thus far was a Forensic Anthropology class this past spring semester. It was a very interesting course that I would reccomend to anyone who is interested in forensic science. I am a Biochemistry major at ASU, mainly because there is no Forensic Science major offered. It involves a heavy load of math and science but its not bad if you enjoy it like I do. I make it a habit to meet with my professors outside of class, just so that they can get to know me and I can get help where I need it and show them that I am interested in their course, which helps a great deal if you miss a class because your sick or if you really don't understand what was taught one day in lecture. I think that ASU's academic requirements are pretty easy to meet. Personally I think the university should have higher expectations of it's students because I believe that most students would be able to meet those requirements without much more effort. The education itself at ASU is mainly geared toward learning for its own sake, at least in the science department. Professors aren't worried about what kind of job you're going to get once you graduate, they just want you to learn as much as you can about the subject they're teaching and for you to figure out how to apply it to your everday life. Personally I think this is a great method of edcucation because students learn a lot about the subjects they're taking and then have to use their own minds to apply what they've learned to everyday life. I think that this allows for a much more personalized education.
At ASU the dorm life is a lot of fun. You meet so many people living in the dorms and you meet your best friends there too. I lived in the Palo Verde East dorm in the North Campus community, which als includes Palo Verde West and Main, and Manzanita. The dorm experience that I had was a little less than perfect but I wouldn't trade it for anything. In the PV East dorm I met people that will be friends for life. The first room that I lived in was on the 3rd floor and the whole floor pretty much became a big family. We'd leav our doors open and people would just come in and out to hang out and relax. Then when I moved to the 2nd floor of the building I met the people who are now my best friends. When I met my suite mate, Leta, we were best friends right from the beginning. And it was because of her that I met the guys who lived next door to her, who also became two of my best friends. My friends and I do everything together, the six of us are basically a family at this point and if we could have found a six bedroom house we would have all lived together. At 2am I don't think any of us are ever asleep, even on weekdays. We're always up late watching movies or studying for exams together or just hanging out and talking about random stuff. The dating scene at ASU is huge at ASU. I think we even had a singles page on facebook. It was pretty much go after whoever you want, whether you wanted a hookup with no strings attached or a serious relationship, you could find it at ASU. I met my boyfriend at ASU when I played for the women's collegiate water polo team. He played for them men's club team and our two teams went on a tubing trip down the salt river. We spent the whole six hour trip talking about just about anything we could think of, and by the next weekend we were dating. So a great way to meet people is to get involved in extra curricular activites that you enjoy because you'll meet someone who shares some of the same interests as you do so you already have a connection. Now for the party scene. Yes there are a lot of parties, most of which are hosted by the fraternities or sororities. But other people have house parties or just invite a few friends over to have fun. AS for how often people party, it really depends on who you ask. If you ask a fraternity brother, its every night. But if you asked me, its usually only on the weekends. But even if you're not into drinking there's always something fun to do. At Tempe Marketplace, which is just a mile away from campus there's a movie theater that you can go to, or there are a number of bowling allies in the area which are always fun to go to on a saturday night for glow in the dark bowling, just make sure you make a reservation before you go.
One stereotype normally associated with ASU is that it is a huge party school designed for students who only want to party and not go to school. Another, more toward the students, is that ASU is like "Barbie and Ken go to colloge."
ASU has probably one of the largest student populations in the country. With over 63,000 students last year, and even more coming in the fall, there's always a crowd on campus. Even with a student body that amounts to the size of a small city, I find that ASU is the perfect size for me. I always wanted to go to a big school where I could meet lots of people and where I knew there was a lot of school spirit. ASU students have a lot of pride in our school. At football games all you see in the student section is a see of students sporting gold shirts and painted faces, all cheering and singing the fight song everytime we score a touchdown. And its not just in sports that you can see the school spirit, its everywhere. There's not a single place in all of Tempe that you won't find ASU students representing their school with pride. The college town atmosphere that many students crave presents itself in a rather small area in Tempe. Well actually its four blocks of one street, Mill Ave. Mill is just a couple blocks from the dorms on North Campus and its a great place to walk around, grab some food at one of the many different restaurants, go shopping, or go bar hopping at night. Its always packed with college students, especially on the weekends when everyone is going out to have fun and celebrate the fact that they don't have to get up in the morning to go to class. The best part about ASU, in my opinion, is that there's always something to do or see on campus. On any given day there are booths set up around the Memorial Union or there's an event going on at PV Beach, the lawn area between the Palo Verde Dorms on North Campus. There are also speakers that come to the Grady Gammage Auditorium and speak to students about a variety of topics, we even had Barack Obama and Bill Clinton speak on campus last year. Whenever you're looking for something to do between classes or after you're done for the day you can always find something. Last year, when I was a freshman at ASU, my friends and I had a couple of places that you could always find us: In front of Palo Verde East, the dorm we lived in, sitting at the tables, at the tables on the back side of Palo Verde East, which a couple of my friends gave the nickname Asia because it was the "far east of the building." If you couldn't find us in either of those places we were probably in one of our rooms hanging out and relaxing after a long day.