University of Maryland, College Park is an extremely diverse college. Campus life is constantly booming with new activities and clubs that help to shape our campus into what it is today. Maryland students are innovative and hard working. The best thing about this school would be its accepting environment. No matter what cultural background or lifestyle you come from, Maryland will always have a spot for you. As a student, you will find your place easily because the campus is so large. Being a part of a large school definitely has its benefits. There are a wide variety of classes to choose from compared to a smaller school. Take it from me personally; I attended Towson University my freshman year of college, and felt as if I did not have a wide variety of Gen. Ed. classes to choose from. When I tell people that I attend the University of Maryland, College Park, their immediate reaction is, "Oh wow, you must be smart!" Another reaction may be, "It must be fun to attend the sporting events!" Both of these responses are positive. Every single time I have told someone that I attend the University of Maryland, College Park, I am confident in myself and feel accomplished as a student. Having that proud feeling inside of you, because you attend Maryland, is something amazing. I am not involved in a sorority, so I spend most of my time with my friends on campus. My friends and I will go to spots such as, the student union, or the library. SInce the campus is so huge, there are many other spots that students can relax at that are more secluded. The school's administration is beyond caring. I can tell you from personal experience because I transferred from Towson University. At the University of Maryland, College Park, administration seems to come to me. At Towson, I always felt as if I was bothering administration when I came to them with questions. Maryland has a sense of urgency that makes me feel secure. When I have an issue that I need addressed by administration, they will answer me in a short amount of time and in a professional manner. Route one is the hot spot for college students. If you are over the age of 21 there are a couple bars on this road. There are also an endless amount of restaurants for students to access, that are in a walkable distance from campus. Route one has everything from Domino's to Chinese Buffets. There are also plenty of healthy options such as Jason's Deli and Yogi Berry (a frozen yogurt chain). Maryland has so much pride it's leaking out of our veins...okay maybe not that much pride, but it is surely close to that. You can sense our pride the most by attending a basketball or football game. These games are filled with excitement and student unity. Even though we have such a large school, students are able to realize that they are also part of a close knit community. We are Terps, and we are one! I'll never forget the time that I went into the library during finals week. I thought to myself, "I'll never find a spot here. There are way too many people." However, I looked around and saw that one girl was sitting on the ground. I am a self conscious person to begin with, so I couldn't imagine sitting on the library floor letting hundreds of students stare at me. Somehow I told myself, "Who cares what anyone thinks." I sat down on the ground, put my headphones in, and began to study my notecards. No matter how cheesy this sounds, I learned a valuable lesson. At college there a wide variety of people on campus. Sometimes you have to tell yourself that it is okay to do what you want. When comparing high school to college, there is a huge difference. At college, people tend to judge you less. Individuals can express themselves in any way they want without feeling as if they are "weird" or too marginal from society. I sat down on the floor and didn't feel weird; I actually liked it!
Without a doubt UMD College Park is an amazing school! The campus is the perfect size; it is certainly large but not at all too big. It can be a pain if you have a class on the complete opposite side of campus, but the walk will allow you to see different parts of campus and different people along the way. -When others ask me what college I attend and I respond University of Maryland College Park, people are impressed. I have met a significant number of people who attended UMD themselves and are very familiar with CP. The reputation that UMD has built truly carries a long way; I am confident that when I apply for a professional career later in life that the employer will have heard great things about UMD and be impressed. Even those who never attended UMD are familiar with the intense school spirit and many support the sports teams. -In my opinion, the best part about CP is the night life and greek life! Although I am not yet a member of a sorority (as I am a freshman) I have met tons of people who are part of the greek scene...they are awesome and love to party! From the frat parties to the clubs in DC (easy to access by metro) to the bars (Corner Stone (C-Stone), Bentley's, and The Barking Dog) there is always something to do! I would not call CP a "college town" simply because of the close proximity to D.C., and also because we are not isolated from other areas/separate towns. Despite this, there is a definite "college-town" feeling throughout campus and on Route 1 (the main strip through CP with resturants, bars, etc) that is present all year round. -If i had the ability to do so, I would change the transportation routes of the UMD shuttle buses. When they are running the buses are great...but for those students who live off campus like me, it can be difficult to get to your class that's across campus when they are not running. Generally the buses are on time and come frequently...but I would add additional stops to the routes and make sure that a greater portion of the on- and off-campus location were serviced by the buses. -I spend most of my time on campus in my classes, because I live off-campus. My apartment building has its own study rooms and business center so I do not frequently go to the library or other places to study on campus, but they are great places to study with friends. -Wallace Loh, the president of UMDCP, has truly made a presence amongst students here on campus. He created a video message that is delivered as a welcome to newly accepted students, as well as the yearly Christmas card that was sent to all of the students. He frequently sends out informational emails and I feel that he does a great job here at UMD. -The experience that first comes to mind when considering something I'll always remember about UMD was the first time that I ever saw the Mighty Maryland marching band perform at a football game. Their sound is incredible and their performance truly inspired my Maryland school spirit that will stick with me for the rest of my life. Overall, I would recommend attending UMD at anyone as it is a diverse environment that has something to offer for everyone.
I love that it is a big school and there are a lot of opportunities to get involved with so many different things. There is a lot of school pride at UMD which I think is awesome. I don't really have anything that I would change. Maybe I would make the parking spaces bigger in lot 11. They are so narrow that even my car which isn't that big has a hard time getting out if you don't pull all the way through to the other side. Also, I would feel more comfortable if there was no asbestos in the dorms (that they warned us about.. its not a health problem I just don't like the idea of having that health risk.) I think the size of the school is just right because there are so many people to meet and so many people with different interests that make the school have more opportunities. Within your department there aren't as many people so you get to know people instead of only meeting new people everyday. Also, you can walk pretty much anywhere on campus. It might be a little bit of a hike but its not a problem, plus they have busses that go everywhere. People are impressed that I go to UMD. Especially since I am in honors here. A lot of my friends that are still in highschool say they are jealous because they say they could never get in there. I spend a lot of time studying in the KIM Engineering building. They have a really nice lounge that is not too crowded or loud. Since I live off campus, I haven't really experienced the "college town" yet but, it seems like there is a nice variety of things to do off campus. Although, the campus is pretty big so there are so many events going on and D.C. is really close by. I haven't had a problem with the administration so I have no complaints. I haven't really come in too much contact though. I'm not sure of the biggest recent controversy on campus. Like I said before there is a lot of school pride. Which I find to be a very good quality in a school. UMD is unusual because it accels in so many different areas from research to athletics. I just started going here so I'm sure I'll have lots of more meaningful experiences but I would have to say that just being on campus and meeting new people is something that I will always remember. I really don't hear too many complaints but sometimes the engineering students complain about too much work, but you are going to expect that from a difficult field.
I honestly think the best thing about Maryland is the people here. Even in a 200 person lecture hall, where your teacher doesn't know you from the guy next to you, the students are friendly and the teachers and TAs are absolutely willing to make time to help you understand any and every concept if you are willing to put in the time and effort to learn and reach out to them. That being said, if I had to pick one thing to change, I would make the larger courses, such as general Chemistries, Biologies, and Physics, standardized. It can be really frustrating to get stuck with the one Phyisics teacher who has four exams and that is your grade, while watching a friend in the same course with a different teacher have 40% of their grade from homework that is graded on effort. I spend most of my time on campus in classes and in the buildings where I have my classes. I love that in EVERY building on campus there is a great place to sit and plugs for your laptop. That way, if I have 20 minutes between class or if I get there 10 minutes early I don't have to just stand and wait around, I can sit and do some reading, work, or jump on Facebook. College Park is definitely a college town, there are no two ways about it. There is a TON of school pride. I do not know one single person who works here, studies here, or lives in this town, that isn't a Maryland FANATIC! In fact, one thing from my school career that I will always remember is during Maryland's Snowpocalype in 2010, when Maryland basketball was playing UNC at home - the athletics department offered free tickets to anyone who could come and show school ID. Even though we had to trudge through two feet of snow all the way across campus to get there, there wasn't a single open seat in the entire place! I would have to say the most frequent complaint I have heard is how difficult it is to have a question answered. The advisers are assigned randomly within each college, so even though I am Pre-Vet I had an adviser for three years who knew nothing about vet school and only cared about beef cattle. HOWEVER, if you have classes with a teacher in the topic that you want to have a career in after college, they are definitely willing to give you advice and help you out, even though they are not your real adviser.
The best thing about Maryland is the campus--which is beautiful--the access to prestigious professors and opportunity to contribute to their research, and proximity to Washington DC. When people hear I'm a student at Maryland, the response is typically positive. Its a great, old institution which is grows infinitely faster than it ages. There are constant new developments, and many major projects that students beginning 2014 will benefit from. We are also very well known internationally, and attract a large base of international students. Our prestige as a research institution and proximity to DC, I believe, is responsible for this. The school is very large. Are you used to being a number among many? It's a great place for someone that is comfortable being part of a large population. You will make great lifelong friends, and meet tons of great people throughout your time here. Your academic and extracurricular associations will make Maryland a smaller, more personal place. I eventually recognized more than half the people I see when out at nights. There is a lot of school pride, regardless of whether teams are performing well or not. University of Maryland is famous (infamous?) for their fashion sense and school pride being inseparable. Everyone wears Maryland-branded apparel all the time. Generally comfort trumps looking good when it comes to fashion sense, and I think it highlights the priorities of the student body. Down to earth, friendly people, rarely caught up in material things. College Park is absolutely a college town, where our lives and lifestyles are heavily directed by goings on here in our zip code. Despite its proximity to DC, most students spend most of their time here in College Park. This is in reference to professional and social life. There are reasons for this: in College Park, you can hang out and party on the cheap. Everything is significantly cheaper in College Park than in DC. Additionally, DC is 30 minutes away, more expensive, and you have to return home within Metro transit hours. Still, it's there and accessible to those who want to visit. Its an incredible city with its museums, architecture, historical landmarks, awesome nightlife and international crowd. I do it every weekend!
I absolutely love this school!! We are ranked amongst the best universities both regionally and nationally, in fact we are the 17th best public school of the United States. What I love about my school is that there is a niche for everyone. I didn't even think it was possible to have so many clubs and organization for every taste and passion. I also love the fact that we have such a wide variety in the student body, you are just as likely to find the coolest person ever there as you are to find the person that is kind of weird but doesn't care at all and you respect them for it. It is indeed a big school, but like I said before it is definitely possible to find your niche, JOIN A CLUB and get involve you are sure to make this school seem a lot smaller with the right people around you. As for the town around the campus, well College Park was built around student needs, from the bars, the Chinese place that seems to never close, to the numerous restaurants that accommodate student's budget. Also I have nothing bad to say about the administration. The Diamondback, our newspaper, keeps us informed on all the major decisions concerning the school, and there is always a way to have your voice heard on any decision, whether it be as a member of the Student Senate or at a open forum organized by the school. Now school pride, well we are terrapin which are tiny turtles, and yet our slogan is "Fear the turtle", plus Testudo can roar like a lion. How awesome is that? There are a lot of good hang out space too, Stamp is home to all the commuters, and you often see them catching up on some Z's there. As for me, I like to hang out at the farm, and yes we do have an on-campus farm with real animals. I am an Animal Science major so I guess that kind of explains it.
As a large state school, Maryland may seem intimidating to students that are accustomed to growing up with the same group of friends in the same town. However, Maryland features so many different niches of opportunity, that it is easy to create a small community of friends within campus. Yet, you are never short of a chance to meet a new friend. As is the same with most colleges, the experience is what you make of it. Maryland has an incredible variety of experiences available to its students, with your imagination and chosen schedule being the only limit! It IS possible to double major while engaging in a service fraternity and tutoring middle schoolers on the side, with time to spare to head to that men's soccer game on Friday night. School pride at Maryland runs deep, and no matter who you meet, there's a good chance that they love being here as much as you do. The proximity of the University Maryland to Washington D.C. is one of my favorite parts about the school. I appreciate having a college campus to call my home, and I certainly prefer it over a college situated in a city, where it runs the risk of lacking any semblance of a campus environment. However, a short metro ride will take you right into downtown D.C., where you can explore the Smithsonian museums to your heart's content without spending a penny on admission. Besides the usual tour of the monuments, other parts of the city including U Street, Dupont Circle, and Adams Morgan are great hang out spots to catch lunch, see some guerrilla street poetry slams, or get in on a drum circle. And no matter how crazy your day in the city was, you can always return to College Park and spend a more low key day hanging out on McKeldin Mall.
Without a doubt, the best thing about the University of Maryland is it's students. University of Maryland students are very involved in their campus and local communities. I always find it extremely interesting to see what students are working on in their respective fields. My friends within Student Government Association are always discussing their ideas to make the University of Maryland more involved with local businesses and school within the greater College Park community. My science buddies are always discussing their latest research endeavors under the supervision of some top-notch mentors. My friends in government and politics discuss their work on Capitol hill, and their internships with high ranking public officials (I was offered an internship in Steny Hoyer's office, but had to decline because of scheduling conflicts). My friends in the Smith business school tell me about their experiences with major financial firms. Yet, despite their achievements and ambitions, I would rarely describe University of Maryland students as arrogant or haughty. They are mostly down-to-earth students looking to make a difference in the world. The one area that could some some improvement is the charisma of the lecturers. While the University of Maryland is full of top-notch research professors, the teaching prowess of it's professors leaves more to be desired. This is largely a major-specific issue. Some institutions have a more talented teaching core, while others... not so much.
It's a big school, but with a big school comes many, many opportunities. From clubs to fun activities to research, there is always something great you can find out about UMD. When I tell people I go to UMD, the responses range from, "Wow, what a great institution" to "Isn't that a party school?" and in my experience the former has always been more true. I spend a lot of my time on campus involved in my extra curricular activities and in my dorm doing work or just relaxing with friends. DC is really accessible by public transportation and is a lot of fun to explore in free time. College Park is an odd sort of college town, mainly because most of the city is so dominated by the campus itself, that the residents seem to feel kind of ignored, but to the best of my knowledge the current administration and students are working to make the city into more of a so-called "College town." There is a ton of school pride. Everyone has a UMD sweatshirt or gear of some kind, and we're some of the rowdiest fans around. Football games and Men's soccer are full of intense cheering from the stands for the home team. The most common student complaints, especially in my year is the lack of on-campus housing. It's troublesome that as a sophomore who wanted to live on campus for my junior year, I am being forced to move off campus do to our housing crisis. Plans are in the works to fix this, but currently it's not being handled well.
The best thing about this school is the diversity of the student body. One thing I would change is the range of majors offered here at College Park. I think that although the school is large, it is perfect for me because I have found my niche here. People react positively, and have a lot of spirit and passion for the MD Terrapins. I spend most of my time at Stamp Student Union because it is the hub of student activities, and offers a great place to eat, study, or relax in between classes. This is mostly a college town; most people living in College Park are students or are involved with the university in some way. I think the administration here is very effective, and I respect the work that they do. The biggest recent controversy on campus was probably the Duke riot two years ago. There is definitely a ton of school spirit; students have so much spirit and pride for their Terrapins. One experience that I will always remember is moving into the residence halls as a freshman, because it was one of the most exciting times of my life. Some student complaints include that advising can sometimes be unhelpful or vague, and that prices for things such as meal plans and textbooks can be very high.