Ironically, the causes of the most fruustration to Carnegie Mellon students are also the most desirable qualities of the university. The pressure to achieve at a high level is so great that even students that fall behind have advantage over peers at other universities. CMU's reputation garners immediate respect for its students, who consequently have little trouble landing internships, post-graduate work, and admission to prestigious graduate schools.
The best thing about Carnegie Mellon would probably be the diversity among its student body-- and not just racially and/or culturally. Our personalities range from the practical engineers to the out-going drama majors to the crazy science fanatics. Without such a diverse atmosphere, I believe I would feel boxed in at this school, which would be doomed to a stereotype of either too academically oriented or too artsy for any well-rounded persons' tastes.
Carnegie Mellon offers lots of interdisciplinary options for students. There are dual degree programs which allow for combinations of studies in fine arts and natural science, engineering and humanities, and other colleges. There are also interdisciplinary majors such as the Global Studies major. So, instead of having your options limited, you have the opportunity to combine your interests in productive ways.
The multi-discinplinary learning. It's pretty common to see people with completely different, seemingly opposing majors and minors, especially with the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences or Bachelor of Humanities and Arts degrees. It was one of the only schools I looked at that was strong in both the arts AND sciences, which is great.
Size...the campus is easy to walk. also for all the hard work, the school does have a great reputation and employers and other school are well aware and respect the sacrifice of fun, freedom, social life, and youth that you made to attend CMU>
Carnegie-Mellon is ethnically diverse and students and faculty are culturally aware. Student-run organizations are responsible for events and projects which encourage this cultural awareness, teamwork, and entrepreneurship.
That if you make the effort you can do just about anything, sports, politics, work, research, whatever you find most interesting.
The diversity of students/ faculty, and the faculty's ability to encourage/ help students progress in their field.
The resources availible for interdisciplinary research. Because it fits my interests.
Everyone is very passionate about what they do and extremely hard-working and driven.