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University of Chicago


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Quinn
Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

My school requires students to think critically in all their their classes. My coursework has focused more on reading and wr...

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

My school requires students to think critically in all their their classes. My coursework has focused more on reading and writing than any of my friends' at other schools--writing well and often is necessary. The students have a quirky sense of humor (look up the T-shirts we make; if they make you laugh, you'd probably fit here). Everyone comes from different regional and socioeconomic backgrounds, and no one cares at ALL. If anything, we're more interested in people who are different, and we don't try to fit others into boxes for our own comfort.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I've done a lot of thinking in the past months--not idle musing, but actual, deep, conscious thinking--because my studies are so interesting. My classes have required me to write a lot, which I don't love but I know is good for my intellectual development. I love being around so many intelligent people who are all so passionate about learning new things. The friends I have made here are so fabulous; I love the niche I've made for myself. I don't plan to go to graduate school (at least not immediately after graduation), but even still, if I don't use the specific knowledge I've gained here, I've gained valuable writing skills and developed unique ways of looking at problems that will be applicable, I am sure, to the rest of my life.

What's the one thing you wish someone had told you about freshman year?

How cold Chicago really gets in the winter. Wool tights daily save my life.

Steph
What is your overall opinion of this school?

UChicago is absolutely amazing. I love the people, the classes, the core (the requirements every student has), the campus, th...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

UChicago is absolutely amazing. I love the people, the classes, the core (the requirements every student has), the campus, the house system (the dorm system here), the location, etc. If I had the option, I’d change the weather (which tends to oscillate wildly and be freezing during the winter). The size is perfect for someone who wants to always meet new people, but always see familiar faces around as well. Also, despite the large amount of people that go here, UChicago’s house system (which breaks down undergraduates into various dorm ‘houses’) allows people to find a smaller group of people to depend on as their family. It’s really nice, and definitely one of my favorite parts about being here. When I tell students (from my high school, for example) that I go to UChicago, I can tell people don’t really know about the school’s reputation and prestige. However, talking to people who go to other top schools and employers, they’re always very impressed. On campus, my time is evenly spread out. I’ll hang out in my dorm/dorm lounge, go over to the library to study, meet friends at a coffee shop/dining hall to talk, go to the main quad for classes/other activities, etc. Everything’s close enough that walking everywhere is convenient and generally, pretty pleasant. Also, the location/surrounding college town is incredible. We’re very close to downtown and surrounded by some of the most interesting neighborhoods of Chicago. I wouldn’t change it all. There’s also a cute strip of small restaurants and things near campus and convenience stores/grocery stores within a small walking distance away. Public transportation for students go into the city is also very readily available near/on campus. And despite what I heard before I came to this school, UChicago certainly has pride. I wouldn’t say it’s as intense as a state school’s, but people do go to athletic events (like homecoming) and go to support teams. On an average day here, you’ll see many people walking around with UChicago gear. Students have some complaints – about the weather and the core – but nothing too major. . I’ve noticed that people that go to this school generally really like it and are proud to be here.

Describe the students at your school.

The diversity in the student body is great, which makes this place interesting as well as extremely open and accepting. I can’t really picture any student that wouldn’t fit in here. There are so many students here that it seems like everyone will be able to find a niche, even students that really want to go out every night. The party scene isn’t as crazy as state schools I’m sure, but if you want to go out, you will find a way. Bar nights on Wednesdays, frequent apartment parties, frat parties on Friday/Saturday nights, etc. What students wear to class is up to them. On any given day, it’ll vary from dressy clothes to sweats and a t-shirt. No pressure is put on what students wear. The student population really is very open. Different kinds of people are friends with each other. Particularly, with the house system, it encourages different types of people to interact because of house activities and the house table (the table in the dining hall designated for every individual house). I love this about the student population. Students here tend to become very close with their housemates, but also make friends outside of the house through classes and extracurricular activities. Some people become closer to other people – it’s natural – but the presence of cliques here is very minimal. Students here are from everywhere around the world, which I love, and come from a wide variety of socioeconomic backgrounds. People are generally politically aware, but activism on campus isn’t overwhelming. A recent survey of the student population shows that most students are liberal. And no, students don’t usually talk about the money they’ll make in the future. UChicago is great for both graduate school and job placement, but education here really focuses on learning for learning’s sake.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not at all. I was worried about the same stereotypes before coming here, but after coming here as a student, I realize that these stereotypes aren't true at all. "Where fun goes to die"/"where the squirrels are cuter than the girls and more aggressive than the guys"/many other UChicago stereotypes were t-shirt slogans made up by the dorms here for fundraising purposes, but people that don't go to this school take them seriously. You will have fun if you want to have fun. The students here are amazing, really intelligent, and incredibly diverse. Of course, there are some nerdy, anti-social people here like there are at all great schools, but by no means are they the majority. In addition, classes here are rigorous, but by no means impossible or overwhelming. And despite common belief, there is a lot of time to do things other than homework at this school.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academic life here is incredible, and definitely one of the best things about UChicago. Professors here are open and helpful to students. In smaller to medium sized classes, even in math classes where participation isn’t important, professors make an effort to know names. In larger introductory classes, probably not. I’m not a huge humanities or discussion person, but the humanities classes here have proven to be my favorite. They’re pretty small (capped at about 15 people) and are aimed around discussion of novels rather than pure lecture. Participation is definitely valued here, except for in the larger introductory classes. Students study here a decent amount, but it really is based on individual courseload. There are some people here that go out four nights a week or spend all of their nights playing Super Smash Bros in the lounge until 4am, but there are also some people here that study every night. It depends on the classes, but again, that’s self-selecting. UChicago students are really intelligent and diverse, and therefore, conversations are also very intelligent and diverse. We’ll have discussions about everything from our humanities readings and world events to TV shows and recent happenings on campus. Students here are also very helpful to one another – particularly upper classmen to lower classmen. I haven’t experienced any kind of fierce competition yet, even in classes where the grades of students are based on curves. Also, all UChicago students are familiar with the Core, the academic requirements for all of its students. Personally, I really like it. Many things are avoidable with AP credits (which are very useful here!) but I like how everyone has to take a humanities class or an art class or classes in different subjects. Unlike other schools, UChicago doesn’t require specific courses. Rather, they have a requirement with a wide variety of classes that fills that requirement. So even though you may have to take classes in specific subject areas, students still have choice and variety. Also, one important thing to note about UChicago academics: learning here is for learning’s sake. However, UChicago has great programs for pre-professionals, including those that won’t to go into law, medicine, business, non-profit work, etc.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Some popular groups on campus include RBIM (Rhythmic Bodies in Motion) which puts on a dance show every year, MODA (which does fashion shows/magazine publications), Model UN (for both college and high school kids), acapella groups, Off-Off and Occam’s Razor (Improv/comedy group), etc. There are hundreds of activities and clubs here. If you want to do something, you’ll find it. And if not, you’ll be able to start it. Students here generally leave their doors open, but it highly depends on what dorm you live in. Pierce, Max, and South are known as the most social dorms. Other dorms, such as Snell-Hitchcock, BJ, etc., have a reputation for being where more typical/stereotypical UChicago kids tend to live. However, I hear they’re very nice and that those dorms tend to have closer, tighter houses. Athletic events, guest speakers, and theater are just a few of the things available on campus. Students here are very involved, and on any given day, you can find something new and interesting to do. The dating scene is what you make of it, but it’s certainly not as bad as people make it seem. I can say meeting people is the same way. Some people choose to solely hang out with their housemates, but lots of students try to branch out by meeting people in classes, activities, at parties, etc. If I’m awake at 2am on a Tuesday, I’m most likely “doing homework” in the lounge while actually watching a movie or playing some ridiculous game with my housemates. UChicago also has really nice traditions and events that happen every year. $1 milkshakes at the C-shop every Wednesday, Blues + Ribs, 24-hour dance marathon, Fall Formal, Summer Breeze (huge concert), etc. People party as much or as little as they want. I know students who go out once a week to students who go out four nights a week. It depends on your schedule and how you balance your work, but it’s definitely possible to do both. Sororities and fraternities aren’t the most important thing on campus, but they definitely have presence. It’s not overbearing, but it’s here if you want it. Last weekend, I laid out in the main quad, played Frisbee, studied outside, went to a frat party later that night, came back and watched a movie with my housemates, went to a free hip-hop class through RBIM, worked out at Ratner (gym) and caught up on some TV, went downtown for Saturday night dinner, came back and went straight to an apartment party thrown by an upperclassman in my house, and spent the rest of the weekend taking pictures of Chicago for a photography project. There’s also no pressure to drink here. If you want to, alcohol is definitely available. But for those who don’t, it’s no loss. You can go to frat parties, but there’s also tons of things to do downtown in Chicago, docfilm movie showings on campus, etc.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Where fun goes to die. That all students here are nerdy and boring. "Where the squirrels are cuter than the girls and more aggressive than the guys." That it's super cutthroat and competitive here. That all students do homework all day long.

Mahjeed
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

So far,I have learn to live,eat and clean with others.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

So far,I have learn to live,eat and clean with others.

What's unique about your campus?

The conversation with other students is very stimulating.You read and write a lot. I lke the interaction with the professors most of all.

Julie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Uchicago has a great reputation in academia but most people think you go to UIC. If you want people to think you're the bees ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Uchicago has a great reputation in academia but most people think you go to UIC. If you want people to think you're the bees knees go to an ivy. if you are okay with just educated people knowing how good your school is then you'll be okay with uchicago.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

to some extent. kids tend to be very cerebral and not have very high social skills or a high need to be social. there are the kids that go out, but the crowd is relatively small.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

kids that spend their entire lives in the library. the whole, 'were fun goes to die' is a popular stereotype about Uchicago.

Jing
Describe the students at your school.

They are quirky, funny, intellectual beyond belief, way smarter than me, and successful like I one day want to be.

Describe the students at your school.

They are quirky, funny, intellectual beyond belief, way smarter than me, and successful like I one day want to be.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Their essay questions were wacky and interesting to think about. They love to have fun and made sure to emphasize their awesome annual scavenger hunts and other interesting traditions. They emphasize growing as an intellectual and learning how to think intuitively instead of just learning how to memorize effectively.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I haven't gotten to college yet as I'm an incoming freshman, but my college visit was valuable as I was able to experience the feeling of walking through the college campus and being able to imagine myself there in the fall as an attendee. I also got to find out more about what students at UChicago are like from the tour guide who seemed to be everything I admire in a person: successful, interesting, and strong. She also obviously had a thirst for knowledge as she told us about her research on UChicago and taught us some of the more quirky maybe-facts about the school (Indiana Jones was apparently based off of a UChic professor!) I loved the idea of going there from that visit, and that motivated me to apply and write a compelling essay.

Frank
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I graduated High Scool in 1984, and I've had a great life since then, until 2006 when I was disabled due to an injury at work...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

I graduated High Scool in 1984, and I've had a great life since then, until 2006 when I was disabled due to an injury at work. Now it's 2010 and I am a second semester freshman, I am majoring in Information Management with an emphasis on Web Design/Library Sciences. In the two semesters I have attended school I've learned to again appreciate the basics of learning. In the short period that I have been back to school I realized that I should have done this 25 years ago, and not waited until a life altering event made me do it. Everyone at school has gone out of their way to make learning fun, I have gotten so excited about school I actually lead a study group for my Humanities class this semester, and was proud of the fact that I made Dean's List for my 1st semester. My life has been forever changed by going back to school, and even attending a simple community college like I am, once you start you'll truelly enjoy it.

Kathryn
Describe the students at your school.

My classmates at the University of Chicago vary from extremely quiet to annoyingly outspoken, but they have all challenged me...

Describe the students at your school.

My classmates at the University of Chicago vary from extremely quiet to annoyingly outspoken, but they have all challenged me to take on perspectives I had never considered.

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Its slogan: "Where fun comes to die."

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

From only one full quarter of classes at the University of Chicago, I have learned that it is not only acceptable to be a bit nerdy, but that everyone is kind of a dork in his or her own right. Like beauty, "weirdness" is also in the eye of the beholder. Throughout my four years of high school, I was always teased for doing my homework early, answering questions in class, and, God forbid, actually studying for exams. Now, at the University of Chicago, I am not teased for being a nerd, but for being a jock. My classmates, unless they are athletes here as well, do not even realize the University of Chicago has athletic teams, and hence mock me for being on one of said teams or claiming I didn't have to work as hard as they did to get in because my coach got me in. However, I know for a fact my Volleyball team could defeat any other student here in a Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter trivia competition. The value of Chicago lies in the fact that, here, I am truly a student-athlete for the first time in my life.

Monica
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

The University of Chicago lives up to its reputation of being a school that steals the soul. It steals your soul, deprives yo...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

The University of Chicago lives up to its reputation of being a school that steals the soul. It steals your soul, deprives you of wild frat parties, crazed sporting events and people with proper social skills. But after four years, you get your soul back and it's smarter, calmer, and more grounded. College for most people at Chicago feels like torture: endless hours of studying, brainstorming and working tirelessly to generate innovative ways of solving problems. Graduating, however, then bestows you with an unbelievable new strength. After surviving such a demanding place, your newly returned soul feels ready to conquer whatever life may throw at it and I guess I have to thank the University of Chicago for that feeling.

What's unique about your campus?

The best thing about the University of Chicago is that it allows you to express your inner nerd, to learn new and interesting ways of looking at the world and to brag about your intellectual curiousities.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

You will learn more at the University of Chicago than you could have imagined and after you graduate, you feel prepared for whatever life may throw at you.

Jon
What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Through my college experience at the University of Chicago, I have killed any shred of fear I ever had with respect to pursui...

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

Through my college experience at the University of Chicago, I have killed any shred of fear I ever had with respect to pursuing and researching new ideas. Fear of failure is no longer an option. I wouldn't say that I was some sort of panphobic-personality before I came here, but I experienced so much success in High School that even the notion of failure by any means seemed foreign and completely taboo. UChicago quickly made the notion familiar as I competed as well as collaborated with some of the best minds in the world. UChicago's goal is not to belittle you, but to break down the arrogant shell people like me enter with--the shell that only accepts "right answers" and doesn't dare question their assumptions. Researchers here know full well that it is impossible to innovate if there is no significant risk of failure involved. A common sentiment around here is that "what is currently considered unpopular is often just that which is unexplored". UChicago has taught me to embrace this uncharted territory. Now, I am willing to take calculated risk in forming ideas--allowing me to take my first baby-steps into the unknown.

What's unique about your campus?

The research and coursework opportunities for undergraduates are incredible given the large graduate student population. This allows undergraduates to immediately get their hands on cutting edge work to determine if they really are interested in and excited by their chosen field of study. This is a huge advantage over other schools that are mostly undergraduate institutions and, thus, focus more on teaching the basics rather than truly expanding the boundaries of human knowledge.

What do you brag about most when you tell your friends about your school?

University of Chicago affiliates have earned 85 Nobel prizes and counting--pretty much every year, another one or two more Nobel prizes are added. This is an intense academic institution and the people it produces and/or incubates are immediately ready to enter into academia and many other fields. The constant academic discussion and idea-sharing with the greatest minds in the world kills all sense of fear associated with presenting and researching ideas. This leads to leads to greater illumination as well as excellence, no matter what the field.

Hamsini
Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

UChicago provides a haven for academic and intellectual pursuit, and instills a love of learning while exposing students to t...

Describe how your school looks to someone who's never seen it.

UChicago provides a haven for academic and intellectual pursuit, and instills a love of learning while exposing students to the rich complexity and diversity of the world and so fostering civic engagement and community involvement.

Describe the students at your school.

Students here pursue knowledge for its own sake, but are saved from being classified as intellectual eggheads by a quirky sense of humor and a high level of involvement in extracurricular activities.

What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

The transition from high school to college is terrifying--academically and personally--but don't let that hold you back. Throw yourself into life at your new school, try everything that appeals to you, and take advantage of the rich opportunities afforded by college life. School is important, but what you do outside of it is just as important; instead of obsessively monitoring your GPA, find something you've never experienced before and go out and do it. College is a unique time for experimentation, inside and outside the lab. Take advantage of the diverse cultures you will no doubt encounter, the extracurricular lectures by people passionate about their subject, however obscure it might be, the myriad opportunities for self-expression through sport and art, and most importantly, your peers. I've discovered it, and so will you--you will get the most out of college when you stop worrying about what comes next and instead allow yourself to fully experience and learn from the present. Find a balance between the library and the frat party, your hobbies and your career plans. This is the time to explore.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 5,703
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $47,514
  • Acceptance rate
  • 13%

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