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So...4 tables of students...Hmmmm... One will be a group of skinny girls with big sunglasses, baggy sweatshirts, spandex tig...
So...4 tables of students...Hmmmm... One will be a group of skinny girls with big sunglasses, baggy sweatshirts, spandex tights, and every kind of expensive electronic gadget imaginable. These are your Coasties/sorority girls. They will inevitably have a cup from Starbucks or Einstein's, and they're very, very clique-ish, and they have Daddy's credit card in their back pocket. They're almost always hung over. Your next group will be girls in jeans with Wisconsin hoodies and tennis shoes. These are your athletes usually. They're not as bad as the Coasties, but since almost everyone here is from the same high school they do tend to already have friends here when they get here. They're usually really nice, and if you have one as a roommate, you'll be fine. The next group will actually be Asian, and they won't be at a table. They're all international transfer students, and they hang out in front of the buildings before/after class smoking Parliament Lights and talking in a language you don't understand. They're also not particularly friendly, and very school oriented. Last, though these may be at the Coastie table, are the Frat guys/jocks/whatever you want to call them. They're predominantly blond and tall and built, and a lot of them are on leave from the Army. They can and sometimes are total jerks, but in general they just drink too much and don't study enough and are pretty harmless. The rest of the population varies. WI is blessed with having a very diverse set of viewpoints, so that even though you may not be a Greek, you'll still find friends. However, it is a lot harder, because 80% of UW's students are from WI, meaning they already know each other from somewhere. If you move here from anywhere other than MN, MI, IL, or IA, you're basically on your own. Students are basically all liberals, and Madison in and of itself is a liberal town. Its not uncommon to see protests and other things going on all the time, and its not something to be ashamed of if you get involved.
In a lot of ways, yes. I live right off of Langdon St, which is basically Frat Row, and there are a lot of girls that are exactly like what the stereotypes say, which is why they're stereotypes. Every stereotype has a basis in fact. We are in a lot of ways on the same level as an Ivy League school, especially with our J-school and our research, so even though we're hung up on it, we do have a reason to be...
Academics at WI mostly depend on who you are. Its a rigorous program, and you have to stay on top of things or you won't make it. (Well, to an extent. You can miss a few classes and be fine. Miss more than that and you're completely screwed, even with your notes.) I'm a Legal Studies and Journalism and Mass Comm major, and both of my programs require that you stay on top of things, especially in the law. You don't have much contact with Professors outside of class, other than through email, but your TA's are always available for contact both through office hours or email, and are always helpful. I've only had two semesters here, but I transferred in from a year at another college, and I haven't had any problems with TA's yet. Class sizes range from 400 students (then split into discussions with 16-18 students), to about 16-20 for a language class. Students aren't necessarily academically competitive, but good grades are an intrinsic part of UW, because the programs require a lot of effort. You are trained on how things would and will work in the real world, though, and classes are usually updated every semester so that you will know what's going on outside the college when you graduate. For me personally the academics haven't been a problem. You do need to study and work hard, but at the same time you can definitely go out on the weekends more often than you stay in and still get things done.
There are a few different ones. Coasties, for example, are the rich East Coast Jewish sorority girls, and Sconnies are from WI (obviously). There's some kind of feud going on with that, but I'm not from around here so I don't know why. Other than that, we're known for being hung up on being as smart and talented as an Ivy League school, even though we're not one. We're also known for partying too much, but that's not a stereotype, thats just fact.
wisconsin is the most amazing place in the world. i haven't talked to anyone who can imagine going anywhere else for their co...
wisconsin is the most amazing place in the world. i haven't talked to anyone who can imagine going anywhere else for their college career. we legit do feel so privileged and it's hard to understand other people's college careers that aren't quite.. as exciting. the school is huge.. but like i said.. it's impossible to not see someone you know. after about the second year it just seems normal to walk down the street and see 6 people you know in a stretch of 3 blocks.. even though there are like 41,000 people at the school! the more you become involved with.. the smaller it becomes. i spend most of my time at the library..surprisingly. the remainder of my time is spend on the terrace, on bascom hill (in the spring and fall), and bouncing from bar to bar or eating place on state street. it's indescribable. plus.. the student body seems to have a pretty similar mindset on school/party balance.. so people wil WANT to go study w/you by the lake before you go out.. or they'll want to go tan on bascom hill just to be worthless. the town is 100% a college town. it's interesting though.. because the futher down state street and closer to the capital you get.. the older the crowd gets. that's where the upperclassmen and graduate students often get internships.. and where a lot of the jobs after graduation are centered. it's a college town.. but there's opportunity for "adult sprawl " WI admimistration is.. there? i think they're about as good as i'd want them to be.. but i'm a pretty independent person. you can always talk to an adviser and they'll tell you what you want to know. there are a ton of resources on campus.. almost so many that if you just look up what you want on the wisc website.. you might find a club/student org directly related to your question and bypass the administration completely. school pride is rediculous. alumni school pride is even more rediculous. i haven't even graduated yet and i'm already a member of the wisconsin alumni group just so i can easily be informed as soon as i do gradutate!!
Some suggested topics: What are your experiences with racial, religious, LGBT, socio-economic, and/or other groups on campus? there's a good amount of diversity and acceptence. plus people can usually find a group to hang out with that shares the same preferences/lifestyles as them.. yet you still are friends with all types of people across the map. What do most students wear to class? sweats Do different types of students interact? YES. wide ranges. especially because we do a pretty good variety of group pairing for classes so you get to know the different courner's of madison's student body There are four tables of students in the dining hall. Describe them. they are all completely mixed freshman year. after that.. not a lot of people eat at the dining halls. ha. --you find your niche. Where are most Wisconsin students from? "suburbs of chicago" ...east coast... california.. minnesota. and of course wisconsin. those together make up probably 95% of the madison population. What financial backgrounds are most prevalent? those from the east coast and from chicago area don't get reciprocity and obviously have to pay the fairly pricey out of state tuition.. so they're generally a little more wealthy. it's a real steal if you're from MN or WI!! jump on that! Are students politically aware / active? yessssss. you can get by without knowing much about politics (me) but there is a huge presence. Are they predominantly left, right or center? madison is known for being pretty liberal.. but i think it's somewhat of a misconception. i think our generation is more liberal than our parent's generation overall.. but there is still a huge presence of conservative outlooks in the student body. i'd say that assuming everyone had to pick a distinct side--left or right--about 35-45% would be conservative. Do students talk about how much they'll earn one day? no.
GO FOR IT. TAKE THE PLUNGE. UW-Madison will be the best decision of your life if you let it be.
yes.. but somewhat skewed. we do party--there's on doubt about that. it's kind of a bummer that that's what teachers and parents first think of when you say you're going to madison. the school is TOP NOTCH and getting really really exclusive.. which i wish more people acknowledged than just those who have researched it. i believe we have 4.5 stars out of 5 for achedemics and 4 out of 5 for "social life" a.k.a..partying. another misconception is tha people are so happy with their social life in madison BECAUSE of the party scene. that's completely false. the entire city of madison will light up your life even when you're sober!!! it's so beautiful that it can't even be described--you have to experience it. you always see someone you know everywhere you go.. which i thought would be annoying but it's really comforting. also.. some of the partying aspects are skewed by parents to make the school sound more "badass" and rebellious. one adult said to me, "wow..madison huh? heard you guys are pretty crazy. i heard you actually have a BAR in your UNION!!" ...well yeah buddy.. that's true.. but it's not a crazy night time bar. it's a place where you go to get pitchers of beer and sit out on the terrace with friends in the afternoon or evening to RELAX after a hard day of exams/studying. it's where you sit out in an atmosphere of other carefree individuals in our terrace's signature colored chairs.. and just look at the water and laugh and kick back your heels. i wouldn't consider it an addition to our party scene.. but more an addition to our overall quality of life!
everyone calls madison a party school. says the students are drunks and rambunctious. this is... pretty true.. madison kids know how to have fun. BUT the stereotype usually leaves out how well-balanced we are (for the most part).. in that the library is always packed until 2 in the morning. during finals week.. people don't even go home! the achedemics are intense and the party scene is just kind of a well-deserved reward for all we work for
there are like 700 student orgs. you're dumb if you can't find one you like... or 6 you like for that matter. yes.. students leave their dorm doors open for the first half of the year. after that everyone knows each other pretty well and doesn't feel insecure about knocking to come in. i found that the second part of the year i wanted a little more quiet time being i had already met a lot of people and had a pretty good idea of who i wanted to spend time with. so yes.. open doors are prevelent... i personally had mine open when i felt like it and closed when i napped. athletic events- deservingly popular. football games are unbelievable. guest speakers are really popular too.. but they happen more frequently so there's not as "dense" of a crowd. theater is popular too. probably similar to guest speakers. the union has a lot of free movies offered... like superbad and that recent one w/johnny depp. can't remember it's name. the dating scene. well... there are a lot of cuties on campus. the girls seem to be more concerned with dating than the boys... who tend to have the "college mindset" of only living once. they get more mature though eventually.. i met my closest friends the first year in the dorms (SELLERY ROCKS!!! SOUTHEAST DORMS ALL THE WAY!) and then also through my sorority! i didn't know a single person at WI when i came.. and now have over 500 wisconsin friends on facebook :) it really becomes a small place.. and you meet SOOOOOOOO MANY PEOPLE. if you're awake at 2 am on a tuesday.. you're most likely studying. however.. you might be watching a movie w/friends/boyfriend/girlfriend or stumbling back from the bar. it all depends what your preference is. frats and sororities are as important as you want them to be! i'm in delta gamma and love it ..even though i'd never thought of myself as a sorority girl to begin with. it basically quadruples your network of friends.. how often to people party? thursday, fri, sat are a given... sometime wed... or sometimes just once a week. for the most part you usually are so burned out from using your brain all week that thursday is perfect timing for a little breath of fresh air. there's a lot of stuff you can do besides drinking. like i said.. the union has free movies. the union south has bowling. someone's always in their room playing video games. shopping... ians pizza..
very hard school.. but do-able if you work hard. you can get a lot out of it.. i think my freshman year doubled my knowledge of the world. i had a 4.0 in high school (as did a ton of the people who go here) and getting an A in a class here was almost out of the picture. it's hard.. and i study a lot. to answer the "suggested topics"...: 1) professors will know you by name if you go to their office hours. in my classes of 20 or 30 they obviously did... and in discussion sections the TAs knew our names.. but as for the 300 person lectures--they couldn't pick you out of a crowd. I kind of liked this aspect of it.. but i know a lot of kids who did go to professor's office hours to be on a first name basis with them.. it all depends on what you want to get from it. 2) favorite class was BY FAR women's studies 103. grrrrrrrreat class and i'm not even a feminazi. plus.. it counts as a science credit! PLUS I'D RECOMMEND IT TO BOYS TOO. this is your chance to understand women.. ...plus if you can answer the question "T or F.. women have been oppressed throughout history" correctly... you've got an A. 3) lord. wisconsin students DO have intellectual conversations outside of class. it's kind of sickening how many really smart people there are here. but then.. at the same time they are balanced with the conversations of "DUUUUDE.. did you see the COORS girls promotion outside the grocery store?! lets go get some beer and pizza" 4) studnets are very very competative. almost every school within UW-Madison (school of business... school of journalism... school of education.. etc) is really hard to get into.. so the best of the best are competing once we're in still! 5) most unique classes i've taken? human sexuality, anthropology of religion, career strategies and development, eat for credit (food sciences/tasting), geography of the city.. or geography "power of place"... scandinavian studies- life and civilization 6) i'd say it's split down the middle on whether education at wisconsin is geared toward meeting requirements and getting a job.. or just learning for its own sake. for example.. you might have to write a paper that's 30% of your grade... but you'll get to pick a topic that interests you and actually find the project somewhat beneficial. also a lot of people go to the academic speakers that aren't required for them. and stuff.
I agree with the stereotypes I listed
I agree with the stereotypes I listed
Most prestigous public school in the state, smartest students, most difficult to get into, biggest party school
Sick school, great college town, amazing athletics (best college sports town last year), school pride is rampant, unbelievabl...
Sick school, great college town, amazing athletics (best college sports town last year), school pride is rampant, unbelievable location (between two large lakes in the capitol of Wisconsin), one of the best party schools in the nation, and best of all an incredible education that rivals Ivy League schools for the price of public universities. When people hear that I attend Wisconsin I always get a positive response. When you've said Wisconsin, you've said it all!
Students are from all around the world. Madison, Wisconsin is an exciting place to be.
Wisconsin is an absolutely amazing school. This year has easily been the greatest year of my life. I learned so much from people all around the world, was taught by professors leading the research in their field, got exposed to experiences that I never thought would happen, and got to live in one of the most exciting places in the world. The Badgers won the Big Ten conference in basketball, went to the Sweet Sixteen, football made it to the Outback Bowl, hockey was incredible as usual and knocked off #1 Denver in the frozen four, the track team won its 11th or 12th consecutive title, and of course we won the Border Battle with Minnesota(years running now). Aside from sports, I met some of the most amazing friends that I will have for the rest of my life and had some of the best experiences ever. Madison is an eclectic, crazy, vibrant town with a lot to offer for anyone who wants to explore the world. Good luck to you in your college search, and On Wisconsin!
They are only evident if you choose to recognize them, most people just ignore it.
This school has everything that you could ever want. If you want to go out one night and get trashed there are probably 4 or 5 keggers on every street not to mention the rampant bar scene. If you want to stay in there are several libraries open 24/7 and always movies or other activities going on all around campus.
Whatever program you'd like to go into Wisconsin is most likely in the top ten, if not leading the nation. You'll be surrounded by the smartest people from all around the globe in an exciting atmosphere. Nothing rivals the beauty of this college campus.
Coasties and Sconnies
Wisconsin is awesome! People are easy-going but fun and also very smart. You can find your niche easily and there is so much ...
Wisconsin is awesome! People are easy-going but fun and also very smart. You can find your niche easily and there is so much to do. It's just a great town and everyone has school pride. Sports games are a blast!
My favorite class is Theatre 150. I'm far from being a good actress and I still got an A in the class. You just have to try your best and do the work. You also have to put yourself out there and take risks which in the long run really benefit you. The only downside of the class was that it was early in the morning, but getting up was so worth it because the class was su much fun!
Living the dorms was so much fun. I met tons of people, many that I'll remain friends with forever. It's just a great experience.
I don't really think that there are any
The best thing about wisconsins is the college town atmosphere, and the tight knit atmosphere on campus. At many universitie...
The best thing about wisconsins is the college town atmosphere, and the tight knit atmosphere on campus. At many universities i visited, i felt as if students were there simply to get an education and then leave. Not so at the university of madison. Students feel a strong sense of community through activities such as homecoming, badger sports and all campus activities such as mifflin street block party. The college town atmosphere is something that many of wisconsin's peer public universities lack. Madison is the seat of government in the state of wisconsin, but much of the activity and entertainment comes from the university and our students. The tight knit community of students thus produces the tight knit community of madison around it.
Wisconsin students have a reputation for being politically active. Students actively take part in protests on issues from political leaders to animal rights. However, one thing that students are very apathetic about is issues on their own campus, such as professor salaries, improving undergraduate facilities, and how the student body interacts with the administration in general. In our recent student government elections, we did not have even a 10% voter turn our. This is pathetic given our national recognition for our strong student government. Another example is our search for a new chancellor. We had open meet and greet sessions for the four finalists, and only a dozen or so students showed up at each. This is not only a fault of the students. It is a fault of the administration for giving the impression that students have little control over what happens at their university. The current administration has maintained a closed door policy for a time now, and students do not feel they have much contact with the administration. So the problem of student indifference cannot just be solved by getting students more active. The administration needs to take action, to let students know that they have a say in their university's policies.
the spirit of wisconsin madison can best be summed up in the fifth quarter. in a tradition that was started decades ago, every saturday after a football game, we in the band come back out onto the field and perform a final time. We play songs like the chicken dance, the beer barrel polka, steve miller's swing town, and if you want to be a badger. One of the most amazing things about this, is that over half of the people in the stadium stay and sing and dance along with us. Win or lose, we always perform this time honored tradition. Amazingly, when we perform at road games such as Michigan and Ohio state, badger fans that have made the trek with us still stay in the stands and sing! This is what madison is about. Going that extra mile, being that strong, close knit community that we are, and as always, celebrating our school and what it means to be a badger just by having fun!
None of the above. These all represent a small portion of students on our campus, much as they would on any other campus.
Stereotypes. Wisconsin students and lewd, crude and uncontrollable. We party hard and all the time, but somehow find the time to study. We all come from farms and are crazy liberals.
One of the great things about the university of wisconsin madison is that there is so much to do any given evening. As i tell prospective students on my campus tours, if you are bored on a friday night, you're not looking hard enough. Our student union offers a plethora of activites. From nightly concerts at the rathskeller and on the terrace to movies shown throughout the week, there is always something to do. one of the best things about our student union as well, is that beer is sold to students of age. While very strict in enforcing the 21 and over rule, it is none the less something very fun to do with friends on a lazy saturday afternoon on the terrace, over looking lake mendota. Elsewhere, you will find year round badger sporting events to attend. Whether football in the fall or hockey and basketball in the spring, there is always some even to go and cheer on the badgers. The Kohl center is another endless source of entertainment, hosting regular concerts and speakers. Recent events include the blue man group, Barak Obama, billy joel, bon jovi, and, i am ashamed to admit, brittney spears. Off campus, the university offers two malls, one on either side of campus. Both are readily accessible to students through our free bus passes, and perfect places for girlfriends to drag their significant others for a torturous night of shopping. It would also be heinous if i did not mention state street. Running six blocks, from campus to the capital, state street is my favorite place in madison. It has sources of entertainment, from bars with local and semi local bands such as Youngblood Brass band and Zox, and our famous overture center, which plays host to traveling broadway musicals such as Spamalot and The Phantom of the Opera. All this aside, my favorite thing about state street is the endless supply of food it offers students to sample. with over sixty different resturaunts, you can get calzones the size of your head, or pizza topped with hamburger and french fries! who can say no to that? A friend and myself have made it a goal to eat at every resturaunt on state street by the time we graduate. In this past year, we've made it about 2 and a half of the 6 blocks, which shows you how much more we have to go!
Academics at wisconsin are first rate. to quote a friend of mine that transfered from UW Green Bay, man, i never had to study so much for a chemistry class there. Our national rankings speak for themselves, as we have very few programs come in below the top fifteen in their catagory. The classes are challenging and taught by capable professors. Much of our faculty is first rate, and offer much to students outside the class room. One of their best features is being available to students for office hours. Professors at Madison are always available to talk about class issues or otherwise, and do so readily. One thing i worry about with academics is the topic of professor salaries. Being a public university, we cannot offer salaries or increases comparable to smaller, better funded private universities. As a result, we are experiencing something of a brain drain, losing professors to universities such as princeton and chicago. An example of this would be when our poli sci department lost one fifth of its professors last year, many to other universities. There needs to be some comprehensive program in place to bring salaries up and target those professors who are at risk of being poached. Unless this gradual loss of quality educators is stopped, academic standards at wisconsins will not be able to be maintained at the high levels that we have become acustomed to.
The best thing about Wisconsin is the amount of school pride students have. The sports are amazing, people go all out on game...
The best thing about Wisconsin is the amount of school pride students have. The sports are amazing, people go all out on game days. People here care about each other... if you're a fellow Wisconsin fan, you're a friend, and you're welcome to hang out and have a beer on any porch by Camp Randall during the football season. 65 year old alumni do beer bongs with us and yell "asshole" at the Michigan fans walking down Breese. Basketball is the same, people go crazy with body paint, and it's not strange if you're wearing a red wig that looks like a Troll doll's head... it's so fun. Madison is such a great college town, it's constantly buzzing. The only real complaint I hear from people is how large the campus is. It's very spread out and it takes 45 minutes to walk from one end to the other, but I think the beautiful location makes up for it. Lake Mendota to our north, Lake Menona to our south... it's gorgeous. We're a special breed here, and we know it.
People are SO accepting at Wisconsin. There are so many groups on campus, and they're very diverse. I really don't feel that anyone would feel out of place at Wisconsin... just about anyone can find a group to identify with and make their niche. Generally, I see a lot of sweatpants and sweatshirts being worn to class, but there has been a recent boom in the "tights and ugg boots" fad (which is usually worn by "coasties" -- people from the west/east coast... a name given by midwesterners and "sconnies" -- people from Wisconsin). The largest division of the student body has to do with that issue, between coasties and non-coasties. Students are incredibly politically aware and active. Remember back to the Vietnam War... the protests that happened here. We have a rich history of political action.
"They will ask me where I went to college and I will say 'Wisconsin.' Their excited expression will turn to shame and all they will manage to get out is 'oh' because instantly they will know no story they can tell will top what I have done. I will not need to say a thing, they will just understand. They know that their wildest night of college was just a regular Thursday for us. We Wisconsin kids are a special breed. And trust me, everyone else is jealous."
For a lot of people here, the weekend starts on Thursday (sometimes Wednesday), but I definitely don't think that EVERYONE is a party animal. I'm a transfer student, so it's easier for me to make comparisons, and Wisconsin is more of a party school than most schools, but I feel like we balance our partying and our working fairly well. The stereotype about Asian Americans is true, they're everywhere! But it's nice to know that our campus is diverse.
From my experiences, many professors to try to know people's names. It's hard sometimes because 400 people can fit in a lecture hall, but TA's generally do a good job knowing their students by name. My favorite class so far would have to be Bio 152 with Prof. Abbott. He's so nice, funny, and he has a great Scottish accent. My least favorite classes have been organic chemistry, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who has ever taken it. People here study a lot... I usually spend about 6-7 hours a day during the week studying, and it seems like other students do the same. Academics are important here, and its very competitive. The requirements are reasonable. A Wisconsin education ensures that a graduate will have had experience in MANY fields... we have requirements to complete ethnic studies courses, quantitative reasoning courses, literature courses, social sciences courses.... the list goes on. It's a very well-rounded education that's geared toward bettering students on more broad level than just job-readiness.
Frats and sororities can be popular with certain groups of people. Sports are always really popular too. I'm in band and an honor society, I really enjoy both and I've met some great people. Two big tradtions are the annual Halloween party and the annual Mifflin Street Block Party, both are pretty well known (ask Wikipedia haha). Generally a lot of drinking occurs at those events, but people can have a good time without drinking too. The Terrace behind the Union is a popular place for live music. State street shopping and restaurants are amazing too!
There's definitely a stereotype of Wisconsin students being rowdy alcoholics. I would also say there's a stereotype about the large number of Asian Americans who attend school here.
People think Wisconsin is so big, but it's really not overwhelming. It really seems to compartmentalize itself, and there ar...
People think Wisconsin is so big, but it's really not overwhelming. It really seems to compartmentalize itself, and there are so many places to find a home - the dorms, extracurriculars, in your department, at your job.
Racial and socio-economic diversity is a joke. LGBT students should feel pretty comfortable here.
To a point. There is more diversity (of race, of thought, etc) than is imagined, but less than there ought to be.
Very liberal, very white, that the students are all from rural areas .
The professors are usually very involved, though you get a dud once in awhile. I used to hate the general education requirements (there are so many), but I honestly wouldn't have realized what I want to do with my life if I hadn't had to take classes outside of my comfort level.
If you're awake at 2am on a Tuesday, it's a 50/50 split as to whether you're studying like mad for an 8am midterm or getting wasted. We work hard and party hard. But, if it's a Saturday night and you don't want to drink, there is plenty to do - concerts, free movies, bowling - people even study on weekend nights.
According to one ESPN analyst, Madison is "the best college sports town in America" and I would definitely agree based on my ...
According to one ESPN analyst, Madison is "the best college sports town in America" and I would definitely agree based on my experiences. Home football saturdays are practically religious here (to be fair, they are on most big football campuses), I mean what else would get 30,000 students out of bed at 9am on a saturday. But what makes Madison unique in terms of sporting events is not just our pre-game parties on football saturdays, but the fact that we have many highly-ranked sports teams that compete all year. Our b-ball team has been performing well over the last few years and the Grateful Red bring an energy not found outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium. My favorite sport has to be Men's Hockey just due to the clever student section, where else do you do dance to the Time Warp, watch little kids play at intermission and then scream Sieve at the top of your lungs for minutes! Aside from our sporting events to keep us entertained outside of the classroom, the city is probably the most beautiful city in the country. Campus is sandwiched between two pristine lakes and stellar views abound from many spots on campus. When the weather is nice, the Memorial Union Terrace, overlooking Lake Mendota, is an awesome spot to hang out, listen to music and enjoy a brat and a brew (Our union serves imported German beer on tap!) Being at the heart of an urban center like Madison does have its advantages, you seemingly never run out of things to do from live music venues, multitudes of unique ethnic restaurants , museums and other attractions. The Metro bus system provides an easy way to get around (free bus passes for students!). Being at such a large school does have its advantages. While many small schools try to promote their make your own major or single class programs, chances are Madison already offers what you want (the famous example is underwater basket weaving). Besides, being able to just disappear into the crowd is useful sometime and it means you are more likely to find a group you enjoy hanging with. I could go on and on about the pluses to large state schools, but they all basically fall into the same category: opportunities, opportunities, opportunities.
The students are collectively pretty involved, whether in student orgs, in supporting athletics and other ways to occupy the non-class, non-boozing time. There are somthing like 700 registered student orgs on campus to get involved with. The prevailing division on campus falls along regional lines. The "Coasties" vs the "Sconnies". (Basically east/west coast vs Midwesterners). While we all poke fun at the opposite group, it all is for the most part in jest. Having gone Greek myself, there is a milder division on campus among Greeks and Non-Greeks. Our campus is only about 10% Greek, but even so the majority of students are not explicitly anti-greek, they just don't know what greek life is about or (probably more accurate) they just don't care. The populations is largely white with small minority populations. The groups seem to interact fine without tension or major incident, but is unfortunate that the minority populations are so small. Madison's student body is incredibly political, after all several campus buildings built in the 70's were designed to be riot-proof due to the history of activism on this campus. The one quote I always like is "Madison is ## square miles, surrounded by reality". This is sometimes true, in the fact that campus and the liberal-downtown culture can isolate one from the rest of the world, but with the internet these days, anything goes. Next year should be interesting as the Presidential Election nears.
I have no regrets coming here. The classes are great, the people are great and the city is better.
I would say the student's nature to let go on the weekends is pretty accurate. The social life on this campus is intensely centered on drinking; there is never a shortage of booze anywhere. I think this is complemented by the fact that most of us students do an incredible amount of work both in and outside of the classroom with student orgs. We definitely have the study hard play hard mentality.
Most of the stereotypes revolve around how we party pretty hard.
Academics here are top notch, with many many many majors to choose from (some departments will even let you make up you own or do a hybrid major). Most classes are really challenging while remaining possible, but every now and then you run in to the piece of cake classes (What else would the athletes take?). On average people are really smart (the all campus GPA is something like a 3.15!) and everyone is really helpful and willing to collaborate, after all we are all in this together. With the large school comes large class sizes for the most part of the first 2 years. After that things will get smaller and the average junior/senior level course probably has 20-30 students in it. Most students do not get to know their professors (I admit, I am one of these students), but the few I have gotten to know have been great and they are always looking to meet their students. My only beef with this university is that advising basically sucks. If you know what you are doing from day 1 great, and even if you do not you have some time to experiment. To get out in four years though you basically have to make up your mind by the end of freshmen year (that's why the fifth year 'victory lap' has become more popular, among other things). Even after you decide on your major however, most advisers just refer you to the university's degree tracking system called DARS to figure out what you need to take, which is really lame.
Covered in most of my other comments, but social life is very vibrant on campus. Weekends represent the break from grueling work, so students take them very seriously. Most people's weekend plans (including Thirsty Thursday mind you) involve pre-gaming in their residence, then going to meet a friend either at a house party or at a bar (depending on if they are of legal drinking age, or have a fake id good enough to get them into the bars) and then capping the night off at one of several drunk-food outposts (T-Bell and Ian's Pizza are the favorites)
Whenever I tell people I go to Wisconsin, they say it's an awesome school, they wish they went there, and that they've heard ...
Whenever I tell people I go to Wisconsin, they say it's an awesome school, they wish they went there, and that they've heard amazing things about Madison. There is a huge amount of school pride - everyone loves Bucky! It's a very large school but it doesn't feel large. It's not an urban setting but it's also not rural, so I wouldn't describe Madison simply by saying it's a college town. It's way more diverse than that and has more to offer. One thing I'll always remember is Badger game days - so much fun!
It is a liberal campus and there are many types of people. Almost anyone can fit in. There are a lot of Jewish people, we have a strong LGBT Alliance organization, varying economic classes, a large population of Asians...There are not many black people, though.
I love Madison, but the weather sucks!
For the most part, yes. Most of the stereotypes about coasties have been accurate. Farmers from small towns are relatively sheltered.
A typical Wisco organization is one that gets their shit done and parties regularly. I am in a sorority. Greek life isn't huge (about 8% of student pop.), but it is definitely a presence. There are a lot of events in Greek Life and there are a lot of opportunities to meet new people that I feel like people outside of Greek Life just don't have. There are also philanthropic opportunities and leadership opportunities. You can go to the bars any night of the week and find a strong showing of people out. The dating scene is not so hot. I know of a lot of people who have long distance relationships because there are not many datable guys here. Not many people venture off campus, cars aren't very common here. People party often.
I have been in a lot of large lectures, but many professors do encourage students to come in and talk to them because they do want to get to know you. Students do study a lot, but they also party a lot. No one is made fun of or looked down upon because they study. I'm actually a retailing major (it wasn't offered as an option above) in the School of Human Ecology.
Liberal, smart, partyers. There student population of too diverse to really have that many stereotypes - there's coasties, farmers from Wisconsin, students from Illinois and Minnesota.
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