Unfortunately, the students here do not have a wide variety of interests. If you do not go crazy over football and attend social functions in your free time, it can be hard to find common ground with the majority of people who attend the University of Alabama. In my opinion, the Greek organizations are factories that crank out superficial replicas of a certain coveted appearance. These people will do anything to follow trends in order to make them feel on top of the world. I don't think uniqueness of character and personality is valued by most of the students.
I would say the best and the worst thing about my school is its history. The University of Alabama was established in 1831 and is a beautiful school with a lot of great history. Yet, due to its historic nature and location, it was also the sight for several anti-integration movements from the 1800s until the 1970s. Though our school is more integrated now (I can't say fully integrated because it's not), this history, and that of Birmingham--a large city close to Tuscaloosa--sometimes casts a shadow over the great things this school has done.
The University focuses too much on honor students and alumni. As a typical student, that represents a majority of those enrolled here, it's hard to get the classes you need because you have to register for classes after everyone in the honors college. It also seems like too much emphasis is placed on making the alumni happy because they write the checks, but they don't realize we'll be alumni in a few years so if they keep the focus all on their needs the university will not have a lot of donations from current students graduation.
The Machine. Supposedly, this machine is run by a secret society of the fraternities and sororities. I don't usually buy into these types of stories, but over the past year, I have seen the machine and it's intimidation factor over this campus. Fraternities and Sororities have too much say on this campus. They receive over 60% of the school's budget. Dirty politics invades every school election. This machine dictates who wins homecoming queen, student government president, and any other student-elected position on campus.
It is very hard to get scholarships. It is almost like they only want a certain few people to be able to get scholarships. It was very hard for me, an out-of-state student coming from Florida and leaving a scholarship that would have paid for m school in full because of my academics and coming to a school where background and family Alumni status are the main ways you can obtain one. If financial aide would hav been a better help to me and my parents, I would be continuing my education here, but i'm in debt.
I consider the worst thing about my school is the lack of unity. While we all unite together for a great game day, we separate into cliques and circles that aggressively excludes others. With the large amount of students on our campus, we should easily be able to integrate ourselves with the vast amout of cultures, talents, and passions we have present within our student body. Instead, we separate based on social class, popularity, ethnic background, and tradition, creating a weak community.
The worst thing about being a student at the University of Alabama has to be the rift between the Greek and Non-Greek students. I believe it is very stupid that the university newspaper promotes the anti-greek behavior and holds a grudge against the Greek community. I believe this would be possible if the Crimson White newspaper would have an equal number of Greek and Non-Greek staff writers and that the Greek community would embrace independents instead of scald them.
Honestly, there aren't any huge drawbacks I have experienced while being at Alabama. The reputation of the school originally kept me hesitant while considering the school, because I had heard a lot about it being a party school. And now that I am here, I do agree that there are a lot of parties going on, but in the end you have responsibility and choices for every part of your life. The school just gives you options and you have to choose. I love Alabama.
The worst thing about the University of Alabama would have to be the Greek life. Although it is of the essence for some students to be involved in the greek life, for those who are not involved, the school is utterly boring. As an out of state student from New Jersey it has been very hard for me to make friends since I am not affiliated with a sorority. With that being said, I suggest chosing a different school if one does not plan on rushing fraternities.
The worst thing about my school in my opinion are the steriotypes, and the cliques. When people come to the University they automatically think that they belong in a certain group. They dont think that they can hang out with someone different than themselves. There is almost like a division of people when it comes down to it. Not everyone is like that but those are a few things that I have noticed.