Everyone could potentially be extremely smart because the teachers are pretty amazing, but not everyone takes advantage of the opportunity to learn. A lot of students skip class and only show up for the tests. As for the 300 person classes, so true. But not true for every class just the introductory ones. This is my first year here and I've only taken two classes with more than 200 people in them. And the professors do care if you understand the material they just don't have time to answer everyone's questions. However, there are many resources available to students to compensate this. And yes the majority of students finish in four and a half to five years, partially because many change majors. This is not a bad thing, as I'm learning. It is very challenging to take a full course load, so don't feel bad if you have to take an extra quarter or two.
For the most part, these stereotypes are accurate. We here at UW are very laid-back and accepting of different cultures--at least as well as any school in the US is. The campus and the community are very respectful of the environment because they live in a naturally beautiful area, which is very green largely because of the humidity and frequent rain. It's true that it rains a lot in Seattle, but not as much as people think. New York actually gets more precipitation than we do; we just have more cloudy days. And while coffee often feels like a necessary drug to counter the dreary weather, very few people are actually elitist about it. And while the students at UW tend to have done better in school compared with those at other state colleges, there is still plenty of room for those who weren't the top of their class.
No. After a quarter or 2 at UW, it's hard to walk around campus without running into people you know. And as far as the class size-- you get out of every class what you put into it. If you go talk to the professors, they'll get to know you-- and the professors WANT to hear from you. They get bored when students don't visit them. Another thing-- It IS possible to graduate in 4 years, but it's definitely harder if you double major or add a minor or 2. Most students I know who are 5th year (or "super seniors" or doing their "victory lap") are in honors programs or double major/double degree students.
These stereotypes are semi accurate. You do see the liberal hippies, but they are the most voiced of the students. These students, I believe, are a minority on campus. They are the most visible; however, and can be seen all across campus trying to spread their message/beliefs. Everyday, there is some sort of protest stand in front of the student services building (HUB). The University's population is very diverse, the liberal hippies just stand out, as they are the most vocal with their beliefs.
Kind of. About the coffee, although it does drive many student's energy supplies, tea is becoming popular pretty quickly . Students feel strongly about environmental issues and the campus is one of the greenest in the country. Yes, it rains a lot, but in actuality, Seattle isn't even the raniest city in the country, not by a long shot. Sure, winters can be a bit crappy, but the moment it get's gorgeous, it gets GORGEOUS, and almost nothing can beat a gorgeous Washington campus.
I think there is some truth in this because UW is a very academically challenging school and you have to work hard in order to get accepted. As far as partying and drinking goes, if that is what you are looking for, you can definitely find it. It may not be as prevalent because UW is located in the city and a large number of students are commuters, or live close enough to go home on the weekends, so campus can seem somewhat dead on a saturday night.
It is a huge school, but it gets smaller every day you are here. There are athletes, but they don't make of the majority... you can find every kind of person here from nerdy to artsy to sporty. It is sometimes a bit hard to meet people until you find a niche or join clubs. The dorms are a lot like most other schools' dorms, but yeah, I'm not a big fan of them! Great way to meet other people in your same situation though.
ABSOLUTELY NOT! Usually the rain preference varies on a day-to-day basis, and the coffee thing couldn't be farther off the mark. If anything, the students get this reputation by extension of the instructors. Probably 1 in 3 people that I've met don't even drink coffee, and those that do usually go for either a small, independent espresso bar, or the Tully's brand (which I had never heard of before coming to Seattle).
To an extent, yes. You will not get the same experience at UW as you would at a small school, say a tenth of the size. Yes, there can be drawbacks to being on a large campus, and yes for some students it is not a right fit. However, for the students that can handle the stresses of a large campus, being apart of a 40,000 person community opens up opportunities that would be impossible at a small school.
NO. All I found in Seattle, and specifically Washington in general, was backwards thinking and behind the times attitudes and styles. Washington people were not cool in fact they were trashy and had no concept of the real world or anything outside their miserable state. However, academically the students perform well at the UW and have a great interest in their higher education.