Overall, I love it. i can't imagine myself anywhere else. I love being at a place where nerdy debates and jokes about Plato a...
Overall, I love it. i can't imagine myself anywhere else. I love being at a place where nerdy debates and jokes about Plato are commonplace lunch conversation. I love that there are so many student groups that can cater to basically any interest. I love the size of the school; it's small enough that it's not overwhelming, but not so small it's stifling. That isn't to say I don't have my share of complaints about it. The workload isn't quite it. There is a tendency for the administration to not be as receptive to student voices as I believe it should be for the price we are paying for this school. I wish, for example, there were graduated dining plans much like there are at other schools instead of the current plans for people living in housing. I also wish Hyde Park had more to offer in terms of places to go (although this is getting better - we're getting a movie theater soon, and we just got a 24-hour diner that's pretty good). However, there is a lot of good coffee on campus, and for that, as some of the most studious people in the world, we are fortunate.
One of the sayings we love here at the University of Chicago is "where fun comes to die." Most people probably view people at the University of Chicago as nerds who are up all night studying in some masochistic hell in vain search of some ill-defined enlightenment called "the life of the mind." I'm not saying that's not true to some extent, but I do want to stress that while we do love learning here and while those sad nights in the Regenstein Library do happen (more often than most of us would like), most of us do know how to live a little and have fun! We're in a wonderful city filled with great things, and when we have the time (and even at times when we don't!), most of us love to explore it.
The academic environment here sometimes can be overwhelming. Most classes are made up of 25 people or fewer and are heavily discussion-driven, which I love. This isn't always true. In, say, economics classes or science core classes, there can be over a hundred students in a single class. And yeah, the academics are pretty difficult here. I can't tell you how many times I wonder how much higher my GPA would be if I were at a different school. Being a paid dispenser of caffeine (read: barista), at the library, I have seen the eyes of desperation during midterm and finals week. However, I love it all. I have been in several classes where it always seemed we didn't have enough time to finish talking about a work because students wanted to participate. It's not uncommon to make jokes about whether or not Plato would think a Rolex approaches the form of a watch more than a cheap watch that still tells time. There are awesome, awesome classes available (there are also some not that awesome ones).
Academics are rather intense at the University of Chicago. It is impossible for any student here to enroll in stereotypical "...
Academics are rather intense at the University of Chicago. It is impossible for any student here to enroll in stereotypical "slacker classes" that you might find at other universities, but I would say that most students here are happy with that. Each students spends their first year or first two years fulfilling the Core requirements. The Core is our liberal arts curriculum, designed to give all students extensive experience in all academic fields before selecting a major. Humanities and social sciences classes are small (capped at 19 students) and discussion-based, and the math and science classes are usually lecture-style, but rarely include more than 50 students. Students study quite often, but we make time for relaxation and fun. The best part about UChicago is the fact that nearly all of the students genuinely enjoy learning, which means great class discussions and participation.
Some common stereotypes about UChicago students are that we are nerds, anti-social, and spend all of our time locked up in our room studying. This could not be farther from the truth! While it's true that most people here are nerds about one thing or another (and proud of it), there are plenty of social people and social events to attend every week. The work load here can be a bit heavy, but I don't know anyone who doesn't have at least a few hours every week for some fun. A much more accurate description of UChicago students would be to say that we love learning, we all have fun in our own way, and we take on our challenging schedules eagerly.
I couldn't be happier with my choice to attend the University of Chicago. When I initially told all of my friends that I was ...
I couldn't be happier with my choice to attend the University of Chicago. When I initially told all of my friends that I was coming here, the general reactions were, "I guess you won't be going to a single party for the next four years," and "Wow! I had no idea you were that smart!" With that being said, this school will definitely push you to your limits academically. Countless hours are spent in the library, but the funny thing is; everyone needs to get work done, so going to the library is almost always done with friends, and is not really seen as too much of a drag. I love the size of this school, as I did not want to go to a University with 50,000 students, but also wanted more than 750. I think this 5,000-6,000 student size is perfect, as you still meet plenty of new people every time you go out, but its also not hard to know where everything and everyone lives and interacts. Although the school spirit for athletics sucks (I'm a football player and it tends to be pretty depressing looking up at the stands), everyone still supports the athletes and school in general. Overall I love the challenge of school and competing with some of the best students around the world. As far as the party scene goes, there typically is not too much going on during the week, which I like since that helps keep you focused on your studies, but on the weekends it is easy to find a party close to the dorms. These are always fun, as UIC and Loyolla kids always come down to party with us. The best thing about this school? You are but one 10 minute ride on the metra from the greatest city in the world, Chicago.
The academics at the University of Chicago are as to be expected, very challenging. USA today ranked us #5, and we are #5 for a reason. I am only a freshman, so my core has been relatively harmless thus far in terms of time and hardness. The biggest thing that I have taken away is how much more I have learned in my time at this school. To get to listen to the #6 best economist in the world every Tuesday for four hours is simply incredible. I always thought that Plato and Socrates were pretty boring, but when your in a class of 20 with an open discussion on the book with some of the smartest kids our there, you really embrace the competition, and the truly genius ideas that are being said. The class sizes here are awesome, as all the professors know your name, and want you to approach them on a first name basis. This does make it vital to participate in class, but that just helps you as a student. In overall terms, going through the Uchicago education will teach you how to learn, and because of its reputation among companies and America as a whole, you will have one of the best opportunities out there to get a great job.
The typical stereotype for a "Uchicago kid" goes right along with the slogan that the university of Chicago is the place where "fun goes to die." Although i would be lying if I said there are not a good amount of geeks at this school, there is plenty of fun to be had. The nice thing about this school is you will not ever be lured into doing something you do not have to do. Because the curriculum here is indeed so challenging, if you have a midterm on the upcoming Monday and there is a party that Saturday night, everyone understands that you need to stay in and study and get some rest. With that said, there are three main fraternities that throw parties generally every Friday and Saturday which are all open any kid in the school. Personally I like this a lot, because I know at big schools such as Ohio State a lot of times the party's are invite only, and at apartments. With all of this taken into account, at Uchicago there are definitely plenty of kids whose only priority is school, but if you want to come here and still have a good time, there is a good time to be had.
There is no such thing as a typical University of Chicago student. While in terms of race the school remains dominated by ca...
There is no such thing as a typical University of Chicago student. While in terms of race the school remains dominated by caucasians and asians, in terms of perspective it's to image a place more diverse. While occasionally it can seem as if some are in a vigorous competition to outdo each other in terms of strangeness, often the oddities of my fellow students strike me as fascinating, or at least entertaining. Everyone here is smart, and everyone here is far, far, better than you at something, and this is important to keep in mind. While success for some has bred an undue sense of entitlement and arrogance, and sometimes you'll run across someone so pretentious you want to smack them, but on the whole uchicago students are incredibly friendly. Their straight up kindness and general concern for everyone's well being is perhaps their most enduring quality.
Academics at the University of Chicago are known for their intensity, and they really deserve it. Classes are difficult, and many students spend the majority of their time coping with coursework. However, its not just busy work--virtually all assignments are actually beneficial. Problem sets, while long, usually can really enhance your math skills and the readings, while equally long, are most often quite interesting. The University makes a big deal of learning for its own sake--hence the famous core system--and most students really embrace it. While it may be frustrating at first to take a class that holds no appeal for you, many students seem to eventually come around and appreciate what they're learning, no matter how far outside their eventual major it may be. Students in most majors do not compete with each other, excepting pre-meds and chemists.
I think that the stereotype of uchicago students is that we're too busy slaving away at our mammoth course-load to ever have any fun. After all, the unofficial slogan is that this the place "where fun comes to die." There is, unfortunately, some validity to this claim. Uchicago is hard, probably as hard as it gets. We do a lot of work, and have only limited free time. However, we make the most of what we get. Parties most certainly do happen here, and when I compare my notes with friends at other schools, it seems that if anything, ours are more intense, if more infrequent. The city of Chicago provides a number of exciting options, from world-class museums to excellent theatrical productions to fantastic food. When you get down to it, most uchicago students have a positive outlook, despite all the work.
Common stereotype: Nerds, hipsters, socially awkward True on the most part. There are a few fratty/sorority types, but the ...
Common stereotype: Nerds, hipsters, socially awkward True on the most part. There are a few fratty/sorority types, but the stereotype holds true in most cases.
UChicago has a very defined stereotype. We even put it on our T-shirts: Where Fun Goes To Die. According to the stereotype, w...
UChicago has a very defined stereotype. We even put it on our T-shirts: Where Fun Goes To Die. According to the stereotype, we're boring, smelly, neurotic nerds who never do anything but study. Also, we talk about Marx and Plato for fun. Also, we're weird. There is some truth to the stereotype, of course. They're not kidding about the academic rigor, I promise. You will be stressed. You will be utterly miserable at times. You will turn down invitations because you have two hundred pages of Plato to read before the next morning and two papers to write over the weekend. And the kind of kids who are drawn to the sort of school that UChicago is are at least a little bit nerdy. Some are more overt about it, but many aren't. You can have the typical college experience at UChicago -- if that's what you want. There are parties in dorms, in frats, at apartments. But it's equally easy to completely avoid parties, if your idea of fun is more along the lines of watching bad movies with your friends or having arguments about philosophy until three in the morning. Fun doesn't die -- it just takes different forms.
I have feel in love with the .University of Chicago. It's a relatively small student body and campus still within a train ri...
I have feel in love with the .University of Chicago. It's a relatively small student body and campus still within a train ride of downtown. I enjoy being able to go to the city whenever to hang out with friends or eat dinner. Obviously, the academics are astounding, but not "kill yourself" difficult like you may hear. There are countless activities and intramurals to get involved in as well. The motto: "Where fun comes to die" is only true if you make it true.
Students here are pretty liberal. A lot of kids are pretty wealthy, but not the majority as depicted by the public. Most people are pretty friendly and relatively social in nature. A lot of students are international and from far away, while another good percentage are from the suburbs of Chicago. Students are very serious about academics, which takes away from some of their interests in other things such as sports. However, most of the students I would say are pretty well-rounded.
Classes are not as bad as they are depicted as. In fact, professors are often nice and easier on grading, especially in the literary departments. People participate a lot in class, which is nice. Obviously, academics are taken very seriously and you will often see students studying until late at night. However, you won't have so much work that you cannot do it and still have fun, guaranteed.
The stereotype of students at the University of Chicago is that we are all a bunch of nerdy, freaky rich kids. The University gets the unkind motto: "Where fun comes to die." Although the students here are very smart, there is still a LOT of fun to be had at the University of Chicago. Obviously, at any good school, you are going to have your "weird" kids and "nerds" who do nothing but study in the library. But the overall student population is pretty social and smart, making it a good balance for everyone.
UChicago currently has about 5200 undergrads, and approximately double the number of grad school students. It's big enough to...
UChicago currently has about 5200 undergrads, and approximately double the number of grad school students. It's big enough to reach out to different people yet it's small enough that you don't get lost (figuratively) in a tsunami of students. The administration does a fantastic job with helping students develop personal relationships with not only their professors in small class settings, but with the house system that divides residents into 37 different houses. What's great about the house system is that you aren't assigned to 'Freshmen dormitories' but rather, a community of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th years who are involved in a plethora of different organizations and activities that you can learn from, grab dinner with, debate about which super smash bro character is best, actually play midnight super smash bro tournaments with, and look up to for guidance. Your house becomes your family as you take sushi trips downtown or go apple picking on the weekends, and there is always someone in the lounge (even at the most ungodly hours) that is there to keep you company as you both stay up till the wee hours, studying for your Honors chemistry exam. When people ask where I go to school and I answer they say "Wow, that's really good!" Half the time I'm not sure if they're saying that because they actually know the prestige of the University or because they don't really know anything at all. However, that is all irrelevant because UChicago is undoubtedly a prestigious name for recruiters or when you apply for jobs. Also, we have the most Rhodes scholars for an American University (score!). Our Career Advisory Planning Services (CAPS) program is also amazing. They guide you through writing your resume, and help place you into internships or jobs post-graduation and while you are an undergraduate (Metcalf internships anyone?). Before many people visit UChicago they have the idea that it will be like Columbia-- a University campus in the heart of the City. However, applicants should note that UChicago is located in Hyde Park, a neighborhood South of Chicago. It is a neighborhood that has a characteristic of its own, and we have a beautiful quad with trees and grass and ivy covered buildings. We are conveniently located a bus ride away from downtown Chicago so the accessibility to the city and the opportunities available in Chicago are great factors to consider. One thing I read the other day about UChicago and its traditions that I completely agree with is the student body's propensity to streak. The Polar Bear run is an annual campus streaking tradition to "kick the winter blues" and from time to time we have Harper Library streakers (usually during reading period/ finals week). 2008 marked the grand reopening of the Lascivious Ball, an annual event where people wear questionable costumes that shows more flesh than it covers. Apparently, at the University of Chicago, students are more comfortable meeting others sans clothes than they are properly dressed...
MUNUC, ChoMUN, The Maroon, Phoenix Fund, Women In Business, Mock Trial. Student Government, University Theatre, Rhythm and Jews, Chicago Mens A Capella, Doc Films. UBallet, Council on University Programming (COUP)
Students come from all around the world and clearly not every person comes from the same socio-economic level. There are a wide range of ethnicities and cultures represented here as well as religions, sexual orientations, and interests. I know many people who are involved in cultural organizations, or bible study groups, sports, Greek life, University Theatre, Doc Films, LGBTQ, MUNUC, and a plethora of other student groups. If you have a particular interest and you cannot find an RSO (registered student organization) for that already, there is always the option of starting your own RSO by getting it approved by the Committee on Recognized Student Organizations (CORSO). Like any other college with similar weather, we dress like college kids. College sweatshirts, jeans, bags, but a lot of people have their own personal style and expression in the way they dress. Hipsters, jocks, book worms, whatever aside, will all, if not properly dressed, catch a cold.
We all hear the same self-deprecating UChicago joke, "UChicago: Where fun comes to die" and the equally self-deprecating quote, "UChicago: Where the squirrels are cuter than the girls/Where the squirrels are more aggressive than the boys." Truth is, the squirrels are just unnaturally cute in Chicago with their ungodly furry tails (I swear, you've never seen anything fluffier and quite dangerous too), and, like any college, fun comes to die(t) once in a while (it's not all fun and games like the movie "College" makes you believe). What binds all UChicago students together is, at the same time, what makes us all different; we are unique in our thinking and quirky in expressing our thoughts. The quintessential UChicago student is not just one person, it is a combination of football players, Model UN-ers, Human v. Zombie-ers, musicians, community activists, sorority girls, artists, and intellectuals, all aspiring to transform the world with their knowledge and actions. There is no stereotypical UChicago student, unless you consider being fabulous stereotypical.
Humanities and social science classes (that everyone will eventually take to fulfill the Core) are generally small enough that you could tell if somebody was absent. The professors make an effort to remember and call you by your name by the second week of classes. They are discussion based classes so you not only develop a relationship with your teacher, but your fellow students as well, as you debate and discuss ideas and texts. What I loved about my humanities and social science classes was the teacher's dedication to meeting your needs. They ask us for our opinions on texts, what works? what doesn't work? and their office hours are flexible and most teachers are very willing and excited to meet with you and go over your paper. In larger lecture classes like Intro to Micro/Macro, the student and teacher relationship is inevitably different. The first few lecture classes which was capped at 150 somehow ended up upwards 170, as 20 extra students magically trickled in. Such classes require a lot more dedication on the student end to speak up and ask questions or seek out teachers or T.As. on their own free time. The workload is completely dependent on the courses you choose to take. Some people argue that certain majors are harder than others but logically, more popular majors have more students and therefore, more competition. 3 classes is a full course-load and 4 classes is the maximum number of courses a student can register for (unless he/she decides to petition this in which he/she meets with the Dean of students in the college). 3 classes for one person can be a completely different commitment for another person. While I had only 3 classes and 8 hours of classes a week (Social sciences, humanities, and intro to micro), my friend who took 3 different classes (humanities, core bio, and spanish) had ~11 hours of classes plus 50 minutes of Spanish recitation/ conversation a week. I feel that the University of Chicago uses its core curriculum to help students bridge the gap between the comforts of high school and the spirited academic inquiry of college. Its core curriculum is specially designed to generate great thinking minds for all students regardless of their future field of study.
Overall, I love this school, but I can also recognize that it is not for everyone. If you want to party six days a week, don'...
Overall, I love this school, but I can also recognize that it is not for everyone. If you want to party six days a week, don't come here. If you want to do as little work possible, don't come here. If you want to take classes specifically in your major and nothing else, don't come here. If you want a really warm, fuzzy, hand holding experience with the faculty, don't come here. If you want a cheap education, don't come here. All of that being said, there are SO MANY reasons to come here. If you want an intellectually diverse student body, come here. If you want to go to parties and be able to do a keg stand while discussing Kant, come here. If you want professors that are honest with you, push you, and who really help you grow (not just give you grades), come here. If you want a school that provides amazing job resources and opportunities, come here. If you want to go to school in one of the best cities in the world, come here. If you want a school where people care about ideas and have conviction in their beliefs, come here. If you want to come out of your college experience feeling a little worn down but a million times smarter and more developed, COME HERE.
Clubs/organizations: I personally am not overly involved in student clubs on campus (We call them "RSOs" for Registered Student Organizations) but this mainly has to do with my personality type. (Not especially a "joiner".) However, I still feel very involved with campus, because most campus events are open to everyone and organizations are always welcoming new members. Especially popular groups on campus are University Theater, Women in Business, Peer Health Exchange, Model UN, just to name a few. (THERE ARE A TON.) This is one of the things I love about Chicago, if you want to join a club, they are always there, but there is no pressure if they are not really your thing. Dorm Life: Dorms sort of develop their own personalities. The college is divided into houses...your house (think Harry Potter...) consists of the people you live and eat with. You can be as involved or uninvolved with house activities as you want. We have house tables in the dining halls so you almost never have to sit alone. Your house sponsors trips and activities such as going out to dinner, going to see shows, and movie nights, so if you are kind of shy at making your friends on your own this is a good way to get to know people. It depends on the night as to whether or not doors are open or closed or if people are being rowdy or quiet. (Most of the time pretty quiet...) Everyone feels very safe leaving their doors unlocked, and it is not unusual to have a random techno-music study break in the hall at 2:00 in the morning. Dating/Social Scene: I think that the dating is pretty typical of any college campus. There are people who date exclusively, there are people who hook up casually, there are people that are seemingly asexual. People party Friday and Saturday nights (this is probably my biggest complaint about the school....It would be nice to have the option of going out more than one or two nights a week, but oh well) Parties are usually held at the frat houses or apartments around campus...word generally travels by mouth. Most of the frats charge a $5 cover to cover alcohol costs, which I found unusual, but apparently it is to make up for the low dues of being a member here. I know a lot of people involved in Greek life, though I think that is the nature of being someone who likes to go out a fair amount, because officially only somewhere around 10% of the student body is affiliated. I am not personally, but my best friend is, and they are generally very welcoming at the parties. When we go off campus pretty much we eat, eat, eat. There is SO much good food in Chicago and so many diverse neighborhoods. The dining halls close at 2:30 on Saturdays, so we usually use that as a day to go out and explore the city and have dinner. We also hit up museums and shows....though it takes at least an hour to get anywhere on public transportation so sometimes laziness gets the best of us. Overall, the social life is what you want it to be, but there is no way to get around how much studying is necessary at this school. That being said, I have found some of the best friends in the world here, so even when I'm in the library in the middle of the night working on a terrible paper it is hard to be miserable.
It really is a melting pot here. Students are generally very accepting of one another (at least I have never had an experience to indicate otherwise.) Students are from all over the world (the student body is something like 20% international). The most prominent religion on campus seems to be Judaism, though there are a variety of religious groups on campus. When it comes to politics it is hard to say, though I am inclined to say that the student body is predominantly center. People enjoy playing devil's advocate too much to only loyal to the extreme of one side. This being said, because of our age group most people are fairly socially liberal. What people wear to class is completely random...we have full on fashionistas (especially male ones, surprisingly enough) but the common UChicago uniform is jeans and some form of school spirited apparel. We are not an overly fashion conscious school, nor overly name-brand or designer oriented. If that's what you're in to, you can find it, but there certainly isn't any competition about what you wear as opposed to some schools. Because of this, it is often hard to tell the financial backgrounds of the students--there is little need to talk about it.
The academic experience here probably really does depend on your major. Professors have known my name in every class I have taken thus far, and go out of their way to be available to students for extra help. Classes are hard...this is definitely a place to be if you get some kind of sick joy out of writing papers. Class participation is not only common but oftentimes a required part of your grade (again depends on the subject area though, clearly philosophy classes require more discussion than statistics.) Students most certainly have intellectual conversations out of class...it is really nicely woven in with more casual conversation. You do get the odd kid every once in a while who is super competitive (we like to refer to them as "that kid"), but people are far more supportive of one another than you may expect. None of the talk about the work load is meant to scare anyone away. I came to school quaking in my boots for fear of the piles of coursework I had been assured I would receive here, but overall I find it to be pretty easy to manage. Once you find your own "academic rhythm" so to speak (i.e. whether you are a crammer or need more organized study time) it's easy to feel like you have things under control.
There typical stereotype for UChicago would definitely be "nerd." Or, "super nerd." Everyone has heard the famous slogans such as "Where fun comes to die" or my personal favorite, "Where the squirrels are prettier than the girls." I'll be honest, there are reasons why those stereotypes exist....they are based on truth...we study here, A LOT. That being said, I have been consistently impressed with the diversity in the student body despite the very clear cut UChicago "type." There are jocks (they mostly stick together), hipsters, nerds, stoners, divas, and etc. etc. and a mix of everything above. What's more, everyone is here for a reason...because they are SMART, so even if they do fit into a certain stereotype it is easy to have a meaningful conversation with anyone.
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