Chicago, IL
University of Chicago


80 Ratings

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

Visit the colleges first hand, it's the only way to find out for yourself...

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

Visit the colleges first hand, it's the only way to find out for yourself...

What's unique about your campus?

The quality of the academics are second to none.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

Sometimes can feel socially awkward.

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

Oddly enough, my philosophy on colleges is the same as my philosophy on clothes. Forget brand names; shop for style and fit. ...

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

Oddly enough, my philosophy on colleges is the same as my philosophy on clothes. Forget brand names; shop for style and fit. Which sweater, which school allows you to express exactly who you are and what you stand for? If the shoe fits, you've found your perfect university. Websites boast about college rankings and flaunt statistics, but their job is to tell you which schools are good, not which school is good for YOU. Only you can do that. Research and become an expert on the colleges you're interested in. Apply. Visit the schools who accept you as you are. Choose. Go. Thrive. Once I got there, I had to make some adjustments. I discovered people, joined thirteen different student organizations, encountered constant intellectual stimulation, and developed something called a "social life". Trying to balance that sometimes knocks you off your feet. Regaining (or even just establishing) your footing will take time... and sleep, no matter how many times we say we don't need it!

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

The worst things are things we cannot help: it being located on the South Side of Chicago and its winters.

What's the most frustrating thing about your school?

The most frustrating thing about my school is also the best: Being constantly surrounded by the some of the most brilliant people of our generation. I'm intimidated at the worst of times, but I've never been more inspired.

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

I would tell students and parents to make sure that the school they choose is really the school that is right for the student...

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

I would tell students and parents to make sure that the school they choose is really the school that is right for the student. I chose a school that required a large financial investment, but I feel that it has already paid off with the caliber of education and the alumni connections I have received. In order to make the most of the college experience, students should seek out every possible opportunity on campus and connect with as many people as possible because the college experience can only be enriched by learning as much as possible and meeting as many interesting people as possible. Students should also visit the college campus and spend time talking to the current students, over taking a campus tour, to get to know whether or not the college is the right fit for them.

What's unique about your campus?

The passion of the students. It allows for really great and interesting classes that revolve around discussion or peer support.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Someone who is not extremely interested in academics and learning for learning's sake.

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

The University of Chicago is unique in that it is truly a haven for the academic thinker, a place where one is embraced for b...

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

The University of Chicago is unique in that it is truly a haven for the academic thinker, a place where one is embraced for being a ?nerd.? It is a place where one can see any number of self deprecating t-shirts which take pride in the fact that we are not your typical university, one of the favorites displays the phrase, ?where fun comes to die.? You will often find students studying on the weekends rather than attending the nearest fraternity party. The University is unique in that there is a student culture unlike any other in the country.

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

The best advice that I can give to parents and students, regarding the college experience, is to keep everything in perspective, and realize that attending college is more than just a GPA, a football team, or a weekend party. The years spent in college are meant to prepare you for life after college, which includes not only what you learn in class, but also how to regulate your own life, manage your own time, work in a competitive and stressful environment, and even how socialize and relate with your peers; in sum, it is named the college experience for a reason, because it is truly the overall experience and not any individual aspect of the college that is the most important. As such, when picking a school, consider whether or not the school will provide you with the opportunity to grow, not only mentally, but also as an individual who will eventually be responsible for functioning in the ?real world.? If you are able to keep this scary and inevitable fact in mind, both when you are choosing a school and while you are attending school, then you should be able to truly get the most of the college experience.

What kind of person should not attend this school?

Any student who cares more about their GPA than the actual material learned should not attend the University of Chicago, which is known for having one of the lowest average GPAs in the nation. Expect to spend large quantities of time in the library reading, studying, and preparing for all of your classes; there is no such thing as a ?slack class? at this school, and, as such, you will be assigned a healthy amount of work for every class. Any student who wants to specialize in a field of study immediately should not attend this university.

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

The most important thing when looking for a college is finding a college that fits you. In other words find a college that i...

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

The most important thing when looking for a college is finding a college that fits you. In other words find a college that is offering you what you are looking for as far a programs for your major as well as activities and hobbies that you are interested in. Some people only live half the college experience. Some people do the work but don't enjoy the fun that college has to offer as well as some people have too much fun while they are struggling to pass classes. I feel like the ultimate college experience will definitely include time management. With time management, you are able to juggle fun and learning and being able to do it stress free. One of the "do nots" in looking for a college is definitely going to a college because your friend does because what may be a good college for your friend may be a terrible college for you. College holds the ticket to your future, you just have to make sure you hop on the right train.

What's unique about your campus?

The best thing about my school is the academics and the guarantee of receiving a good education as well as being well prepared for the future. This goes as far as careers and achieving life-long goals. I say this because the professors push us to do our best, and they have a low tolerance for failure.

What do you consider the worst thing about your school? Why?

The worst thing about my school is the feeling that sometimes we are not as diverse as we could be. I say this because sometimes it feels like people of different races seem uncomfortable around each other. It is really hard for me also because I am African American, and sometimes I feel the tension.

Jackie
Describe the students at your school.

They are either extremely science/math minded or social science minded, and they all care very much about whatever they have ...

Describe the students at your school.

They are either extremely science/math minded or social science minded, and they all care very much about whatever they have chosen to study, some times to the point of obsession; many are people who were very sucessful in high school but are humbled by the difficulty of our school once they come here and earn C's and D's for the first time.

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

Do not be afraid to attend a difficult school. Even if your GPA is not perfect, it is worth it for many reasons. It is ok to make mistakes as you adjust to college life, as long as you keep your priorities straight. There were times when I felt I had hit rock bottom because I was not doing well in my classes, but the pressure of dealing with the possibility of failure taught me important life lessons. Besides learning to cope with challenges, you appreciate how much you must love a subject before you commit to it and how much independent work is necessary to achieve your goals. Approaching professors and TAs, doing experiments on your own, and reading material beyond what is required for class is at least as important as doing your required classwork. As a college student, I have stayed up all night studying, wept over my grades, begged professors for extentions, and even temporarily dropped out of school, but all these experiences were necessary for me to figure out what I want out of life. Now, I know exactly what I want to do, and successfully on my way to a satisfying life.

What's unique about your campus?

Learning for its own sake is emphasized, and the professors and TAs are always willing to talk to you--many of mine have taught me about the subject beyond what was taught in lecture just because I was curious; they are excited to share their research and ideas with students. In addition, there is almost no competition for grades even though most classes are graded on a curve. Almost everyone will help you out with your classes, give you notes if you missed class, work with you on problem sets, etc.

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

It is an ivy-league quality education in an urban center in the midwest. The students are nerdy and quirky and take academic...

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

It is an ivy-league quality education in an urban center in the midwest. The students are nerdy and quirky and take academics seriously. The library system is fantastic. The community service center is highly developed and continues to improve. There is the oppertunity to become meaningfully involved in urban issues and make a tangible difference. We have an outdoor iceskating rink and beautiful gothic architecture. The undergraduate dormitories and dinning halls foster "house life" that builds a unique sense of community.

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

Trust your instincts when looking for a college. The marketing materials an institution sends you are usually an accurate dipiction of its general environment and will help you begin your search by identifiying values of the community. Find your dream school and focus your resources on it; for example, visit overnight before you apply and complete an on-campus or alumni interview. Conversations with the students or faculty you meet while visiting will not only help you be sure that college is a good fit for you, but will also be useful to cite in making your case that you are a serious applicant and will be an asset to the school. Don't be afraid to apply to a school that you think might be a reach for you. Consider schools that accept early applications as long as admission is not binding. Once you arrive on campus, sample a variety of activities before becoming heavily involved in any one thing. You don't have to participate in the same activities that defined you in high school! Most importantly, don't let school get in the way of your education! Get involved off campus and attend lectures outside of class.

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

About half of students do not receive financial aid; that means that about half of students come from families that can afford to pay about $50,000 each year out of pocket. Be prepared to meet people whose parents are academics or wealthy professionals, who are not accostumed to seeing poverty, and have covered at least the first year of a typical college's curiculum while still in high school. Students from more humble backgrounds can and do find their niche and succeed, but you must have confidence in yourself and ability to work hard to catch up to others.

Elizabeth
Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Our school is best known for its academic success. We are not known for our success in athletics, or a fun social atmosphere....

Describe your favorite campus traditions.

Our school is best known for its academic success. We are not known for our success in athletics, or a fun social atmosphere. A saying associated with my school is that the university of chicago is "where fun comes to die," but I strongly disagree. Our school is not only about being a good student, but also about being an educated and aware individual. Although much is expected of us, we are capable of keeping up. Also, we definitely have, or make, time for fun, as well; at least I do!

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

First and foremost, do not worry so much; it's an important decision, but if you don't choose the perfect college on your first try, just breath, it is not the end of the world. For me and my parents it was particularly difficult since neither of them had attended college and knew nothing about schooling in the states. The system is different in Poland, which is where my parents are from. There was a lot of stress, but it was unnecessary. Really what one needs to focus on is what you are interested in and where you'd like to spend at least 4 years of your life. If you've never been away from home for an extended period of time, like me, you may be tempted to stay close to your hometown, but I advise you to be at least an hour away and live on campus. I believe living on campus is essential to developing a sense of independence and really utilizing your school and its resources. Lastly, if you cannot visit every school you are applying to don't worry, but please do make plans to visit your top choices!

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

The only topic I would have liked to be better informed on would be what university of chicago calls "the core." I would have liked to more about this system and its requirements.

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