Unigo Guide to Sinners & Saints: Kindness and Envy

07/10/18

Are your schoolmates happy-go-lucky, or are they stuck in the shadow of the college next door?  The Unigo Guide to Sinners & Saints puts the spotlight on schools bursting with Kindness, and others with a noticeable amount of Envy.

KINDNESS: These schools show what it means to have a heart, emphasizing both courtesy and a real sense of community. University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK): The Sooners are proud of the kindness on campus, as evinced by this junior: “Friendly people [a]re not hard to find. Some could call it ’Southern charm,‘ but I feel OU has its own unique hospitality. Perhaps it is the environment. From the beautiful red brick campus to… the eclectic shops on Campus Corner, it is hard not be in a superior mood.” A lot of bonding happens around competitive sports. “The enthusiasm is infectious, especially at football games, which have been a surprisingly fun experience,” writes a freshman. “I think the enthusiasm also carries over to a sense of campus camaraderie.” It may be big, but the size of campus doesn’t lend itself to anonymity. “Although OU may seem big as a freshman,” writes one senior, “the natural friendliness of the students lends [itself] to instant community. Before too long, you’ll be waving to hoards as you walk to the Union for lunch or Dale Hall for zoology.” Haverford College (Haverford, PA): This liberal arts college is home to a tight-knit community that is humble, tolerant, and operates under a student-run Honor Code. “The first thing I noticed about Haverford College is how cozy it feels,” writes a freshman. “It’s a small, tightly-knit community, filled with friendly, warm people. I felt immediately welcome, even as a new student. It’s a community focused on comfort—people wear comfortable clothes and make a lot of effort to make each other feel comfortable.” A sophomore says, “The best thing about Haverford is definitely the people. The school attracts some of the most interesting, genuine, and intelligent people I could ever imagine. The school also does a great job of forging strong connections between students right away with the Customs Program,” a program that integrates first-years into the college. And students are willing to help each other out. “Everyone is so friendly and wants to help whoever needs it,” reports a senior. “1,200 students sounds really small, and it is, but it doesn’t FEEL that small. We share classes with Bryn Mawr, Swarthmore, and Penn, so it’s a busy little campus. I would still love it even if it was self-contained: I love passing by people I know and giving them a big grin!” University of Louisiana-Lafayette (Lafayette, LA): This Southern charmer is full of school spirit and campus camaraderie. “The second you step foot on our campus, you are welcomed with open arms. The Southern hospitality is all over UL’s campus,” writes a senior. Furthermore, professors are notoriously helpful. “All of my teachers have an open door policy and will talk to you about anything, school-related or not,” says one junior. “Most teachers give our their cell phone numbers so you can contact them at any time.” Despite the large size of UL, people still recognize each other around campus and go out of their way to say hi. A recent alum writes, “The best thing about UL Lafayette is our Cajun spirit. With a student body of approx. 15k, it is the perfect size to host a competitive academic institution while still maintaining an intimate environment where students can walk through the Quad or across St. Mary Ave. and greet and recognize their fellow Ragin’ Cajuns.” ENVY: Despite the fact that they’re getting first-class college educations, students at these schools often feel like second-class citizens. But they (and we) know better. Tufts University (Medford, MA): Located in the geographic heart of the old-money, old-school Northeast,  Tufts can’t escape comparisons to the likes of Harvard and Yale. But make no mistake—this ain’t your parents’ safety school. “Tufts is harder than many Ivies, because they’re all sitting on their laurels while we continue to battle in the almost-Ivy ring for notoriety,” writes one sophomore. However, students say comparing Tufts to Harvard is like comparing apples to astronauts—why bother? “I really think Tufts has outgrown its place as a wannabe Ivy,” maintains another student. “It’s a prestigious university in its own right, and we’ve attracted smart kids who want to be here. Kids aren’t as bitter as they used to be that they are at Tufts (instead of an Ivy) because they realize what a great school it is, and they appreciate that Tufts kids know how to have fun.” Who’s jealous now? Rutgers University (New Brunswick, NJ): Despite its enormous student body and plentiful academic resources, Rutgers sometimes gets a bad rap—even from its own neighbors. “Rutgers has a very negative image within New Jersey but is widely respected out-of-state,” writes a junior. Perhaps part of the comparison comes from Rutgers’ proximity to Princeton University, but when you crunch the numbers, isn’t it more like Princeton is in Rutgers’ backyard? Says one undergrad, “The school does accept a lot of kids with average academic ability, but it also attracts really smart kids who come for the specialty programs (with 30,000+ undergrads, you get some really diverse and esoteric course offerings) or smart kids who just didn’t want to spend $120,000 on an education.” University of California, San Diego (San Diego, CA): Unlike some other envious institutions, UCSD students don’t feel shortchanged as smarties. They’re just sick of being mistaken for undergrads at that other huge San Diego university, OK? “If I tell people I go to school at UC San Diego, they usually miss the UC portion and assume I mean I go to San Diego State [University].” With world-class academic programs and an ambitious student body, the lack of brand-name recognition (like the kind fellow UCs Berkeley and UCLA enjoy) can be frustrating. “Depending on who I’m speaking with, when people discover that I attend UCSD, they are either immediately impressed or empathetic. ‘Oh, you attend a UC? That’s amazing…’ Or else it’s, ‘San Diego? Isn’t that the party school?’”


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Disclaimer: Naturally you may have a different take on whether your college will receive a warm welcome in the next world. Let us know how you feel! 

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