There is a lot of talk about the “Coastie”/”Sconnie” divide. I never heard these words before I actually came to school, but since I have gotten here, it is one of the most frequently joked about topics. Pretty much, “Coasties” are people who are from the East and West coasts, mostly from the suburbs of large cities such as LA, Washington D.C., New York, Boston, Miami, and Philadelphia. These people often life in ‘private dorms’, with a prime location on State Street. The main difference between the public and private dorms themselves is that the private dorm lifestyle features suites of 2-4 people sharing a bathroom, with larger bedrooms and conveniently located dining halls in the basements and gyms located in the building. This lifestyle, as opposed to the public life of shared bathrooms, dining halls, and gyms with the rest of the university, costs a great amount more money, which the private residents clearly have due to their greatly inflated tuition costs that are equal to the family incomes of many “Sconnie” families. As a result, the “Coastie” lifestyle is frequently subjected to gossip, both positive and negative. “Coasties” are often criticized as being extremely materialistic, and that they wish to have zero interaction with “Sconnies.” However, there are many flaws in this system of Sconnies vs. Coasties. Most distinctly, many of the residents of the private dorms are from Chicago, or Minneapolis suburbs, and even the occasional Milwaukee suburb, which are all very much part of the mid-west. Second, I have a large amount of friends that live in public dorms, refuting the opinion that we hate “Sconnies.” Let’s be real, why would anyone choose to go to school where they supposedly ‘hate’ the locals. Third, of the 6 people from my high school graduating class who came to UW-Madison, 4 live in private dorms, and 2 live in public. That’s right, 2 Scarsdale, New Yorkers in public dorms. Read it and weep! Us “Coasties” picked UW-Madison for a reason, and we love it just as much as you “Sconnies” do. Maybe we were not raised watching Badger football games, or eating cheese curds, but we love sipping on Spotted Cow (the local brew) just as much as you do, so get over it.
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!
When you enter the University of Wisconsin as a freshman, you must make a pivotal choice that will help shape the rest of your social life at school. You must decide whether to live in a private or public dorm. The private dorms are much more expensive, but provide incredible amenities and comfort, and are made up of a majority of out-of-state students. The public dorms mostly represent students from the state of Wisconsin, and many of the dorms are in decrepit condition. I am from Massachusetts, and I wanted to be part of the Wisconsin culture and lifestyle, but when I lived in the private dorms, I was placed in an environment that was eerily similar to the schools that I passed on attending back home. The segregation between in-state and out-of-state students is a major problem, and real stereotypes such as “Sconnie” and “Coastie” has emerged. This has created a fragmented campus, which is a real shame.
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!
The University of Wisconsin-Madison makes diversity a top priority for its campus, and the students definitely benefit from it. There are students from all across the country, from California to New York, and there are international students. There are many different cultures on campus, and there are even dormatory halls specifically to integrate different people and cultures. The effort UW-Madison takes to integrate their students with as many different people as possible reflects the love of diversity and willingness to share experiences. Such diversity becomes part of the norm and reflects how the real world truly is.
My primary reason for attending college was to obtain an engineering degree, and that was my main criterion in choosing a university-its ability to give me the best possible education available. Madison offered me a world-class chemical engineering program, consistent of brilliant professors, challenging courses, and an abundance of knowledge to be gained. But, what truly set it apart was its mix of demanding academics with the diverse conglomeration of everything else. The students, their backgrounds, the activites, and the new experiences and views to which I would be exposed is what set Madison apart from the others.
UW-Madison is one of the largest schools in Wisconsin, therefore offering a huge variety of people to meet, places to go, and things to get involved in. There are so many things unique to Madison, such as Bascom Hill, a popular spot for tons of people. State Street is also awesome having interesting shops and restaurants. The Memorial Union is a great place to watch movies or hang out as well. Academically, I am most proud of Madison's research achievements and the opportunities to become involved. There are great professors and an amazing variety of classes and majors.
UW-Madison has a very strong sense of community and school spirit. The city itself is largely centered around the school and its students, and students are united in their Badger pride, whether it is in excellent academics, exciting athletic events, or record-breaking snowball fights. Although UW-Madison is indeed a large school, this atmosphere gives students a sense of belonging and common ground and attracts top students who want to have a great college experience at one of the nation's best universities. One is not a "number" at this school; one is a Badger.
Most of the other universities that I considered were able to offer some of the features that I was looking for in a college, but only Madison contains everything that defines the perfect college for me. Not only does Madison have outstanding academics, but also great school spirit and athletics, open-minded and hard working students, dedicated faculty, and a beautiful lakefront campus. Additionally, the social scene on campus is fun, responsible, and everyone can easily find a place where they belong. Madison is unique because it is absolutely perfect.
I was a little afraid to go to such a large university when I first made my decision. However, I loved the fact that I could walk around campus and run into people I knew, without the campus being so small that I knew everybody I saw. I would consider myself only moderately involved on campus, yet by the time I graduated I was amazed by the number of people I knew and friends I had made. It's incredible how many people I know now that know other friends of mine from completely different circles. I never meant to network - somehow it just happened. :)