- Class: Senior
- Major: Economics
- Gender: F
- High School: Fox Chapel Area High School
- Transfer Student: N
I think that we're in a great part of the city. We have free museum passes, three professional sports teams, other universities, shopping streets, coffee shops and great bars. I do spend a lot of time at the library getting my work done, but once it's finished, there's a lot to do. There's a huge incentive for managing your social and academic life. A lot of students complain about the workload, and I've certainly done it, but while working at an internship this summer, I realized that CMU students are able to function and excel at such a high level and literally jump into the workforce and impress people from the beginning, all thanks to our ability to manage time and work. Being introduced as a Carnegie Mellon student elicits a lot of positive responses. At face value, people might not see CMU as having a lot of school pride. People attend football and basketball games, but it's not anywhere close to a state school. Our athletes are our peers, people that we sit next to in class and study with, so our school pride comes from supporting our friends, and other very unique CMU traditions. The annual Spring Carnival with BOOTH and BUGGY is one of the most memorable times for students. Greeks and other students build small carnival houses for the community and compete for the first prize, while Buggy participants spend the spring semester training for the spring relay race with the buggies, often waking up at 6am on Saturdays and Sundays to use the road. It's a different kind of pride, but it's totally unique to Carnegie Mellon. Sometimes I feel like it's something that you can't understand until you use your first powertool at Booth, or stand around trying to stay warm at Buggy practice, or sneak out to the Fence and paint it for the first time.
I am very close with a few professors, and have felt comfortable with attending office hours with about 75% of the professors that I've had. Some professors do seem more interested in their research at times. My favorite classes have been my upper economic electives, while my least favorite was 1st year World History. Group work is HUGE, atleast for the program that I'm in. You can learn so much from the people in your groups, but it's always important to set a standard of expectations for participation at the first group meeting. Students are competitive, but not in a cut-throat way. I've never felt uncomfortable about studying with my classmates (often, group work is encouraged), because there's always something I understand and they don't, and vice versa. We're all trying to do well here and get the best grades that we can in order to get that job that we want. I do feel that most of us are here to get a job, but I've found that I end up learning things outside of the classroom accidentally. Academic work is what I do to gain the expertise and knowledge to get a good job, but everything else (especially being an RA) is where I get to practice those skills.
I feel that in general, CMU is a very tolerant campus. We have students coming from small towns in Ohio, and simultaneously, a large population of foreign students. I have noticed over my three years here that people of similar ethnic backgrounds initially group together. During their time here, however, there are a lot of opportunities to branch out; it's up to the individuals to take advantage of them. People dress pretty casually to go to class--it gets pretty cold in the winter, so you'll see a lot of down jackets and ski hats. In general, it's a fairly casual place. Financially, it's hard to say what backgrounds are most prevalent. I have friends who are here on all financial aid and grew up below the poverty line, and then others whose fathers are oil tycoons. We're all over the place with that, but regardless, people do talk about how much they'll earn some day. Students aren't particularly politically active, I'm not sure if the general population is aware or not. I was involved with the PA primaries and getting students to vote, and did attend several rallies for politicians this year, but I feel that it's more of a personal interest than popular one. The opportunities are there if you want them.
The Best Things
The school is always working to embrace the next step.
The Worst Things
Struggling to manage your time. Every semester you have to figure out a new plan with new commitments.