I really like the party culture at this school. The weather is pretty good when it isn't raining, and the classes are usually fine, but that's all to be expected. I presume it's mostly students reading this and you get plenty of that nonsense from the tour (I'm bitter. I lost out on being a tour guide due to my inability to walk backwards in sandals). There are two major party streets at Tulane. Broadway, and Maple. Broadway is the frat-row if you will, and as a Freshman you will likely spend much time there because hey, free booze! About four blocks down Broadway one will reach Maple. Maple holds about seven bars, four of which you will ever step foot in. These bars all are very college with loud, bad music, and cheap yet poorly made drinks. If you crave the college experience, it's hard to beat finding yourself in a trashy dive- bar at 2 AM singing along to Journey with your best friends. There's also the Boot...I'll let you figure that one out. The reason the party scene is so nice is that it's close, yet isolated. I constantly hear complaints from friends at other schools that on Friday Nights it can be impossible to study with all the music and partying going on around them. That doesn't happen at Tulane. Because the bars and parties are always so close, there's no need or want to have parties in the dorms. Sure, as a freshmen you will still have the occasional ****-show in the dorms, but rarely enough that it still stays fun. When you really need to study however, there are plenty of quiet safe havens where there will be no temptation to break focus. See, what I did there? I just justified the party scene in New Orleans. --- On the complaint scale there are a few. First, no one cares about anything here. A couple years ago a highly controversial speaker came to visit. He was a former leader of Isreal, and as a result a small Palestinian group took up protest outside the speaking hall. Here's the thing, it's not that people were surprised that they were protesting him, we were surprised that there were protesters at all. Coming from Berkley California, this change in opinion absolutely shocked me. If protest rallies, and Occupy movements sound fun to you, this probably isn't your school. Next, the sports are pretty bad. I write for the sports section of the Tulane newspaper, "The Hullabaloo" and it can be a bummer writing about our seventh football loss in a row. The football team is bad, and even worse, they play in the Super dome downtown. Sometimes under a thousand people show up to "fill" a 80,000 seat building. Even worse is when good schools come to crush us, their away fans show up in droves to party in New Orleans and out-fan us by 3 to 1 or worse. To be fair, the men's baseball team is competitive, and some of our women's programs like tennis, golf, and running are very competitive. Even as a bad D1 program, we are still D1. Lastly, the food situation is pretty bad. There's a dining hall called Bruff that you will come to know quite well. There's also a food court which has the basics - Panda, Quiznos, Bagels, ECT... That's a lot better but as a freshmen you will only be given 250 bucks for that food which runs out quick. I'll put it this way, as a Junior I changed my food package to have 750 food-court bucks...I'm out.
Take advantage of the New Orleans culture. There are plenty of really good restaurants, clubs, and shops in the area, only a trolly ride away. Mardi Gras really is one giant party, but it's not all about coeds bearing breasts and drinking until you blackout. Mardi Gras is a family activity for the residents of New Orleans and is definitely one of the reasons students choose Tulane. One of the things that bothers me is the student body's lack of courtesy. I find that the students I meet from the Northeast feel the need to make fun of my mild southern accent and will actually close the door on your if you have a pile of books in your arms. While the students are diverse, it seems that some students do not respect the backgrounds of others and seem to expect all southern people to walk around with no shoes on and talk like the Beverly Hillbillies. All-in-all, Tulane is an excellent academic institute that has some bugs to work out. Most students are attracted by the campus and either fall in love with it at first sight or hate it from the first day of school until they leave, there is very little in between.
Tulane is great - I love it. It has it's issues, it has it's strengths. There are lots of fun things to do, and there is a ton of not-so-fun work. Sometimes I wonder if I'd be happier at a different school - maybe a colder one, or a cheaper one, or an easier one. But I don't think I'd change this experience for anything. I learn so much here, not just about the subjects I'm studying. There is always something new going on, I am never bored. I don't have many friends who live in cities or on campuses like New Orleans and Tulane. There really is no experience quite as unique. I can't lie, there are times when I hate this school. The internet doesn't work, and I NEED IT AT THAT MOMENT. Or I run across campus to find out that class was cancelled and the professor just didn't think to email the class. Or I have 3 papers and 2 presentations due - all on the same day. But that is what college is about - learning how to deal with that kind of stuff. And there is no better place to do that than Tulane.
A lot of my responses to this survey seem negative, and I do this in the effort to be honest about the severe problems, social, administrative and academic at this school. That said, I have had a wonderful time here, and have gotten a great education. Tulane is essentially the Jungle. If you come here, you will have no support, no safety net, and this place can tear you to pieces if you're not careful. However, if you keep you're head on straight, you will find friends and be closer to them because of the challenges you face. If you dig for it, you can get a great education too. Personal responsibility is the key at Tulane, far more so than at other schools I've heard about. Survival of the Fittest. Good Luck.
Look, there will be things that disappoint you about Tulane. You might wonder if you made the right decision, but this will happen wherever you go. If you want a relatively small school in a culturally significant city, if you want a diverse academic experience and a fulfilling social experience as well, Tulane is a good choice (especially if you have one of their nice scholarships). I am not in line with the majority of people here as far as my ideology of what a college student should be doing, but I have lots of friends who more or less agree with me (more friends than I have had anywhere else in my life), and I have overall thoroughly enjoyed my experiences here.
Following the devastation of hurricane Katrina, Tulane University overhauled and refurbished its main priorities, transforming it into a university focused on producing well-educated individuals not only exposed to information and vigorous courses, but also the community and those in need. Tulane forces its students out into the community and inspires every individual to give back through the service learning requirements established by the university, producing involved, driven individuals with compassion for others and the desire to go beyond the expected to achieve their goal(s).
Tulane is unique because it is in the city of New Orleans. Alone, the school is great. There are plenty of opportunities for students to get involved in activities on and off campus. However, because Tulane is located in New Orleans, there is an even greater number of unique opportunities for students to interact. Traveling down to the French Quarter, students come into contact with people from all over the country/world. The unique quality of people and activities in New Orleans, along with the outstanding academics of Tulane make the university a wonderful school to attend.
New Orleans is heaven for people who love live music. All types of music, from local to international! Notable campus events: Crawfest - a huge music festival in the spring where everybody hangs outside on the main quad and eat's boiled crawfish, a common meal in New Orleans. Local, University, and a few National bands play all day for the whole campus to hear. "Special Film" - A porn movie plays in the main auditorium every spring. Many great speakers - This year included Barack O'bama, Salman Rushdie, Bill Clinton, Anne Coulter, and many many more.
Tulane's most unique characteristic is its location: New Orleans. Tulane and New Orleans are now and have always been impossibly intertwined. The spirit of the city is embodied by the students, faculty, events, and mission of this university. The biggest draw is that Tulane is a main contributor to the renaissance of one of the world's greatest cities. TU is majorly involved in every step of the rebuilding process. No other university could offer me such a rewarding undergraduate experience, both inside the classroom and out.
Katrina DID NOT destroy our school or its surrounding areas the campus looks just as good or better as before the storm. Although it did terrible damage to some parts of the city, these are areas students rarely go to before or after the storm. There are many opportunities to help rebuild the damaged areas and there are several volunteer organizations to do this as well as a unique service learning requirement. Just wanted to clarify that...