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.
I almost want to say nothing, because I was able to learn so much. But I do wish I had more experience reading well, writing academic papers, and engaging in discussion with my peers. Then I wouldn't have spent so much time catching up. It also was embarrassing sometimes just in casual conversation that I knew so little about our world's current geopolitical landscape, but this did not affect me academically.
I wish I knew how depressing the student body was. I wish I knew how few people were interested in sporting events. I wish I knew how hard it was to meet normal people. I wish I knew how impractical a lot of the classes were. I wish I knew how much I would dislike the CORE curriculum. I wish I knew how few people have school pride on campus. I wish I knew practically the entire student body is depressed.
I wish I had known that so many people weren't happy with the school. I also wish I had known that there is a lot of self-teaching at this school. Professors expect you to read and get a pretty good understanding of stuff on your own.
That the professors would all be so busy that they would not always have time for you and that the class settings would be intimidating and that everyine would be super competitive.
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.
I wish I'd known more about my priorities; I wish I'd taken a gap year to figure things out before I got here.
I think the one thing that I wished I had known before I came to this school was that Chicago really is cold.
To focus on making friends too. I spent too much time worrying about school that my social life suffered.
How cold Chicago really gets in the winter. Wool tights daily save my life.