Unigo Guide to Sinners & Saints: Diligence and Sloth


Is your campus library a social hotspot or a veritable dead zone?  The Unigo Guide to Sinners & Saints takes a look at schools with a great deal of Diligence, and others known for their Sloth.

DILIGENCE: At these super-hardworking schools, every day is like the day before midterms. And what’s the actual day before midterms like? You don’t even want to know. University of Chicago (Chicago, IL): There’s a reason Chicago is known as the place where fun goes to die. “At UChicago, we’re proud of being crazy-busy, doing lots of homework, and not having a very active social life,” says one freshman history major. “Students definitely have philosophical conversations outside of class, even at parties.” “The all-night level of the library is one of the most social places on campus,” says a sophomore anthropology major. “Students who would feel out of place are the apathetic. Not caring does not cut it academically.” Another sophomore studying English agrees that “We are pretty competitive generally and I have an academic conversation outside of class at least once a day, but they almost always involve the defining of terms within a conversation.” Although she loves it, she acknowledges that Chicago isn’t for the faint of heart: “This school will force you to confront who you are and why you are that way and how you got there and you will be a better person for it, but if you aren’t ready to face yourself at the molecular level and challenge that, you aren’t ready for this school.” Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA): Even if the Pittsburgh locale were suddenly swapped with Cancun, it’s doubtful CMU students would consider leaving their beloved library. “The students are very secluded within their majors. People believe everyone here is really into their work and that makes for a really intense atmosphere,” says a freshman theater major. “I’m constantly working, constantly challenged.” “Actually, we have a lot of fun! It is just that for some people, programming a new kernel is fun,” says a junior computer science major who adds,“Doing all your work and having a social life is tough. Usually, you have too much work to do anything else.” Even the freshmen are feeling the crunch. As one puts it, “The workload is sometimes so overwhelming that it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Case Western Reserve University (Cleveland, OH): At Case, the priorities are clear. “Students usually study and do homework 4-8 hours a day,” says one senior engineering major. “Sometimes it would be nice to have more social events that are for fun.” The definition of “fun” varies from school to school and person to person, but some undergrads would prefer more conventional options. One senior psych major recalls, “my freshman year I was asked on a ‘date’ to go and play chess with some kid who I swear has still not left his room to this day. The LAN parties are…well they are lame…and before Case I honestly had no clue what a LAN party was.” Most students take the good with the bad: After all, they came to Case to be taken seriously and to be challenged. But some wonder whether the constant stress is worth it. “One thing I’d change is the homework load,” says a sophomore chemistry major. “When our homework load is second to MIT, but [when] our ratings aren’t second to MIT, what’s the point?” SLOTH: These schools have a pulse, say students, but it’s faint. Florida International University (Miami, FL): FIU is a huge, up-and-coming school with a diverse population. But when classes are over, the library can feel like the most happening spot. It’s “dead on weekends,” says a freshman, who blames the location: There’s “[n]ot much to do in the area where the campus is.” “The general opinion is, ‘I don’t want to stay on campus longer than I have to’,” laments one junior. A sophomore agrees, “There are many activities at FIU but I feel as if there is not very much school spirit. A lot of this has to do with the fact that we are a fairly new school and our athletic teams, for example, don’t get as much credit as they should. We need more clubs!” Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Indiana, PA): Undergrads at this large rural school know how to have a good time, but some students wish there could be as much enthusiasm for other aspects of college life. “Athletic events don’t seem to be too popular. I don’t think too many people really care about them. Guest speakers or theatre don’t seem to be too rousing,” muses one. “Students here could give two s**ts less about politics. Most only care about drinking and themselves.” A freshman points out,“The Penn (student newspaper) is awash every issue with DUIs, disorderlies, and underaged drinking reports,” and, even in class, finds other students “apathetic.” A junior tries to pinpoint the problem: “There isn’t a lot of school pride at IUP. Students don’t often frequent sporting events unless they have friends on the teams.” San Francisco State University (San Francisco, CA): It’s always harder for urban schools to keep their students in a bubble: They’re competing with everything the city has to offer. In the case of SFSU, creating a community is even trickier. “Students are generally juggling school, work, and families, so the typical college town feel is not there,” says one senior. “We are definitely more focused on connecting with the professional world than…life on campus,” another agrees. “I feel that if many more people lived on campus there would be a greater emphasis on school pride and collectivism.” Most people, however, don’t live on campus, or even close by, since rents in San Francisco are high enough to induce vertigo. As one junior puts it, “The fact that people are coming from so many different places and are many times going to school, [then] get[ting] on BART and commut[ing] an hour or more home, makes it harder to make connections with other students who have opposite schedules and priorities…There is so much diversity but a lack of more meshing together.”

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