- Class: Senior
- Major: Biology
- Gender: F
- High School: Ramapo High School
- Transfer Student: N
Its a remarkable academic environment. You're getting a top education, but surrounded by the most down to earth, NON arrogant people. Pittsburgh is a great city for college kids. Sports are huge so the environment is always great in any season, theres plenty of other colleges (Pitt just a couple blocks away), enough bars, restaurants, shopping, and museums to keep you busy, but small enough to feel intimate and NOT AT ALL an expensive city to live in! There's not much CMU pride in terms of atheltics, thats for sure. People love to complain about the all nighters we always pull (its true), and spend their entire freshman year threatening to transfer. Almost no one ever does. What's cool about the school is that is has so many diverse strengths. Its known for its top engineering and computer science programs, yet have some of the most competitive Design and Theater programs in the country as well.
Classes are relatively small and professors are always approachable. The Bio department seniors are known to spend Friday nights of their final year playing flip cup and sharing drinks with our faculty and advisors at Phi Bar, the grungey bar a block from campus. There are so many resources for help in classes, especially with bigger courses such as those in the sciences. We have Supplemental Instruction, Study Groups, Walk in tutoring, and free private one-on-one tutoring sessions at our disposal. The only limiting factor is the time you have to do all these things when theres always too much work to get done. The education is very focused. You're pretty much expected to know what direction youre going with your life (and ideally exactly what profession you want) when you enter. As a student in the college of science (MCS), I've had to take so many sience requirements that I've only been able to take about one elective a semester. Its virtually impossible to double major, and difficult to minor in something unless you want to use all you relectives towards the same field.
Coming from a very preppy and somewhat snobby area, I originally felt CMU and Pittsburgh in general to be very blue collar and very down to earth. For the most part, this is true. With time though you start realizing that the kid next to you in Bio class owns half of Samsung, and the prince of some obscure country in Africa lives down the hall from you. You'll start to notice that every international student is essentially loaded, and theres no shortage of nice cars driving around campus. This doesn't give a feeling of arrogance at all though. People have the money, but don't flaunt it in your face. At the same time though, everyone is clearly working hard here so they can be rolling in the money in the future. No one even tries to hide it, especially not the Tepper kids. For the most part the campus is apathetic to politics, and really to most issues in general. It seems everyone is always drowning in their work to care too much about the world outside of CMU. People generally don't dress up for class. IN the first year, it feels like the campus is really divided based on the colleges people are in (art, science, engineering, humanities). While this is true, you dont spend much time outside of your college during the week, over time its not hard to branch out and itneract with all sorts of people. Other than the drama kids- they stick to themselves and thats probably a good thing for all of us. This is where the stereoypes come into play. Yes, theres no shortage of ugly, fat, computer loving kids here. They mostly congregate in Wean Hall though, and are easy to avoid. The percentage of normal, attractive people is small, its true, but they ARE there and increasing in numbers each year.
The Best Things
The size- Ilove recognizing faces on my way to class.
The Worst Things
SO much work!