The most frustrating thing about Madison actually is the size as well. Because there are so many students, grades can get very competetive. This means that many of the classes require a lot of work. Many hours a day can be spent doing homework, studying, or working on projects. This was something I expected, but still was overwhelming at first. Although there are many times students can become very frustrated with the work load, the university offers many resources, such as awesome libraries, free tutoring, and office hours with professors and teaching assistants.
For me, it has been being pegged by the administration by my race. I was automatically enrolled in a program that expected you to fail and had mandetory meetings for freshmen and their advisors. My freshman year my advisor did not even bother looking at my transcript before telling me I should sign up for trigonometry (I had already completed AP Calc in high school). My sophmore year I recieved a new advisor, who put a hold on my records (preventing me from signing-up for classes) because I had failed to meet her for my FRESHMEN meetings! It sucks!
If we are paying so much to be here, why can we not choose to pair certain majors? It is very frustrating to be interested in two majors, for example graphic design and journalism, and not be able to pair them as a double major because of technicalities. I realize there have to be guidelines for which courses students need to take for each major, but we should have the freedom to choose our futures. I love this school but I hate the governing behind it; it simply does not seem that it is in the students? best interest.
The most frustrating thing for me is trying to find good clean fun - any parties on campus always involve excessive amounts of alcohol. Not only am I underage, but I also don't like to drink and don't enjoy being around very drunk people. It's difficult to find crazy fun things that don't include drinking and all of the things that come with that. Any parties I have been to that don't have alcohol are usually religiously-affiliated and only play Christian music, which of course is not exactly exciting to dance to.
One of the most frustrating things about my school is the racial divide among students. Often times, the white students socialize only with other white students and minority students chose to stay solely with other minorities. This divide causes a tension between the racial groups when issues relating to race are brought up on campus, issues like affirmative action or funding of minority organizations. It is a self-segregation process that is not conducive to gaining the full benefits of this diverse student body.
The most frustrating thing I have found is getting into classes that I want. Basically any class that sounds really interesting, or is highly reccomended by other students is filled up by the time underclassmen are allowed to sign up. This is especially frustrating when we are expected to choose a major during our junior year. If a person isn't allowed to take classes in the fields that they are interested in, how should he or she be expected to know if that is what they want to do for the rest of their lives?
While I can find little fault in the University of Wisconsin - Madison, the most frustrating thing about the school is transportation in the winter. It gets very cold and there is heavy snow for most of the school year, which makes it hard to get around. There is free bus transportation, but it becomes unreliable and behind schedule during the winter months. While this problem is not directly under the control of the school, the weather makes it hard to get to class on time or want to go to class at all.
The options at UW-Madison are endless. With interesting and exciting professors in all the fields there, it is hard to pick just one major to pick as a course of study. Perhaps the personal fault is my ability to find so many subjects interesting, but I also feel that in this respect, UW-Madison is sometimes too big. It's easy to choose going to a big school if you don't know what you want to study because it seems like it would have the most choices, but too many options makes it equally hard to choose.
What I find frustrating is the overwhelming feeling that your best may not be good enough. There is continuous pressure to maintain a good grade point average, but one "B" can make it drop alarmingly close to a 3.0. In addition, students feel the need to be involved in as many things as possible, volunteer, get a prestigious internship, and all the while stay afloat in schoool work. It's enough to stress out even the most multi-tasking gifted of students.
The drinking culture is really big here and finding things to do on weekends that aren't alcohol related can sometimes be tough. Also, if you are placed in a dorm notorious for drinking you can't really get away from the drinking culture and if you are placed in the nicer dorms you don't get much of a social life at all. Unless you love to party, socializing can be somewhat difficult.