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It's a small town, surrounded by nothing, but luckily it's close enough to somewhat larger cities that even if you get stir-crazy and need to leave, you can spend some time in Cincinnati or Dayton. In spite of the stereotypes, I have met my best friends here. There are truly caring, thoughtful, conscientious people at Miami. Of course it is a largely white, upper-middle-class, heterosexual, Christian campus, and the lack of diversity is a very large issue. The university does recognize the problem and is taking steps to remedy it. If you want to see school pride you should check out a hockey game, but be prepared to lose your voice.
Miami is just right. Its probably been said a million times before, but Miami is a big school with a small school feel. Walking around campus, I see lots of people I recognize and know. But at the same time, they're will always be someone new to meet. You can be sitting in classes with 15 people or with 400 people. The big picture: MU is amazing. You can get a great education while managing to have a LOT of fun.
The best thing about Miami is the campus -- it's always a beautiful sight, regardless of the weather. There's something relaxing about taking a stroll through the various quads, be it in summer or winter. But the lack of diversity makes understanding more about other cultures and backgrounds a difficulty. The best way to help this would be to increase the influx of international students. Unfortunately, international students are generally more attracted to bigger cities (and rightfully so).
The first time I came to Miami, I fell in love with the campus immediately. It's absolutely beautiful--Robert Frost called it the most beautiful campus in the nation. I tend to agree. I have a lot of my classes on our Western campus, and even though it is pretty much the opposite end of the world from the rest of my life, I love going back there, especially in the fall and spring. It's beautiful--the paths and trees, the flowers and the pond with the swans. People may say that there is too much sameness with all of the brick buildings here, built to match and compliment one another, but I think it adds something really charming to our campus. Probably one of the worst and best things about Miami is that it is really set apart from everything else. I mean, granted, Ohio is not exactly the picture of bustling, big cities, but we can hold our own. But in Oxford, we are about 45 minutes outside of Cincinnati, surrounded on all sides by farmland. It's the middle of nowhere, and sometimes, you feel like you are trapped in what is affectionately called "The Bubble." But it's also really great to be immersed in this college atmosphere, with our Uptown full of restaurants and bars to fit our lifestyle. I do wish Miami had more school spirit. Our sports aren't great overall, and coming from Columbus, where Ohio State is King, there is a noticable lack of school pride. That being said, I was surprised to find the hockey craze that took over this winter. People camped outside our ice center--literally camped, in tents, overnight, sorority girls, no less. Their mission: to get good seats for the game. So maybe we are just selectively spirited. My best, ultimately amazing, coolest experience here was my time on our Luxembourg campus in Europe. Luxembourg is a tiny country in between France and Germany, and although beautiful, is certainly uniquely its own place, to say the least. But in my four and a half months in Europe, I had the absolute best time of my life. I learned so much about myself, about people, about traveling, and I miss it every day. It was incredible. I definitely encourage anyone and everyone to go abroad--you learn so much more than you ever could in a classroom, you make incredible friends, you get to see the world! All the cliches of course, but in this sense, they're absolutely true, and they are memories that will last forever. People are either impressed or put off by the fact that I go to Miami. They have heard the stereotypes, of both academics and students, and so depending on which ones they heard, I get an either/or reaction. But, Miami is my home now, a place where I've really learned so many things--more than just academically, and in spite of its faults, something every university, every place on earth has, it is a really great place to spend 4+ years and I would not have done it anywhere else. Well, maybe somewhere where it was a bit warmer. But other than that...
The best thing about Miami, is simply that it is Miami. If you talk to any alumni the only response I've ever heard is "Ohhh.. I LOVED Miami. Are you enjoying it? I wish I could go back." No one has any bad words to ever say about their time at Miami. It's the academics, the gorgeous campus and the college experiences combined that makes you as a student fall in love with Miami. If I could be "in a relationship" on facebook with it, hell, I think I maybe would. Making a pro and con list though, there are a few negatives. One of the big downfalls is for the "within driving distance" students. We're forty minutes out from a highway and from most forms of active life. There's no such thing as a "quick drive" to a mall or Target. As for the school size, in the words of goldilock's it is "juuustt right." The campus is larger than you'd imagine and yet small enough for it to be a comfortable walk to and from everywhere. You go out on a Friday night and always run into someone you know, but as for the ex-boyfriend who followed you from highschool, you can always find ways to avoid him seeing you grinding on someone new at the bar. Our school has 16,000 students in it but you can always find a niche so you're not feeling swallowed up by the size. For the out of staters and even some of the in staters you'll get used to adding on to Miami..."OF OHIO." People get confused easily but we're pretty damn proud to be us, so god forbid we are mistaken for that retirement state of FLA. For being in the middle of no where we really have a fair amount of things to do. Our uptown area covers a lot of what you may think is missing. After a night at the frat, a friend's house, or an apartment people like to head uptown. We have a fair amount of bars for how small our town is and it's always alive and well late at night. People go drinking or dancing or just out to eat and grab a beer. You really have a variety of choices. Once the daylight hits girls can find about four or five stores to treat themselves to a quick shopping spree, we have small town coffee shops or starbucks for the intellectual caffeine addict, there's an art store, a shoe store, a tiny but efficient movie theater, sandwich shops, an uptown park where musicians are brought--there's enough to do that you can go uptown and make an afternoon of enjoying the day. As for Miami's administration, there's a variety of opinions. For the most part they're friendly and efficient. President Hodge has been known to help out on freshman move-in-day, seen in the student section of a hockey game cheering along, or walking by on the street saying "hello" to students. As a journalist, I have had to interview a range of administration and they're always friendly, willing to oblige and helpful. Now, having said all that, it's not to say they're perfect. Miami tends to run on the conservatve side. For example we just passed a smoking ban for the entire campus. Students/faculty/workers are only allowed to smoke on sidewalks off of public streets. Another right they've seemed to have taken away is that it is a requirement at Miami to live in the dorms for your freshman and sophomore year, except if you join a fraternity as a sophomore and live in the house. Lastly, for me personally, we have an alcohol task force that tries to lay down the long arm of the law on any activities associated with alcohol. Unfortunately, it gets tiring trying to pretend that drinking doesn't go on and their strict rules get old. For example, as a journalist I tried to do an article on the drunk munchies and sent out a survey over e-mail regarding it. I instantly recieved emails back from the heads of the department forewarning me to handle this subject carefully and make sure I really wanted to write about it. Despite them not having any idea how I was approachign the subject, it was from the journalism department which encourages "write what you see" and the freedom of word, and I felt I was being slightly censored. Another time Campus Activities Council tried to bring a concert to a bar for the students. At the last second the task force vetoed it because when held at a bar it "encourages drinking." When in reality, even if underage, people are going to find a way to drink if they want too. Students and alumni are proud to say they attend(ed) Miami, but when it comes to sports fans can be lacking. Football has slightly gone downhill in the past few years and fans are willing to fill out some of the bleachers on a nice day, but by halftime they seem to disappear. I guess it's easier to root for a winning team and Miami's hockey was recently ranked #1 in the nation. At a #1 vs. #2 hockey game students camped out in freezing cold weather the night before to get tickets. It was pretty neat to see that kind of dedication and fanhood. Unfortunately that doesn't transfer over to everything and it takes the spirit boards some bribing with prizes to get rally towels and painted faces in the stands. Before I attended Miami, my sister (also a Miami grad) told me to make sure to walk around the campus at least one time every season. And that has probably been some of the best advice I've been given to enjoy Miami as a campus. It's positively beautiful and ideal. You come to visit and don't believe that the guys playing football in the front yard aren't planned, or that the red brick buildings and red brick road of uptown can be as inviting all year round, but Miami does seem to cast a spell on you. Whether there is snow on the ground, fire-colored leaves sprinkling the sidewalks, or students out in bathing suits trying to catch some rays, Miami is always breathtaking. I remember after pulling a late nighter for studying with a friend, we walked the streets between academic buildings and dorms at four in the morning and simply talked. It was really special and even in the twilight Miami glittered. Students generally feel really safe at Miami and though you shouldn't go running off by yourself, it's not as though muggings or rapes happen every other weekend. More alcohol related crimes or accidents, such as drunk fights, or indecent exposure are in the police beats than anything.
Miami University is located in Oxford, Ohio and is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I often wonder how out-of-state students even find out about Miami and what they must think driving to campus for the first time. When you tell someone from the Midwest that you are a student at Miami, you will usually get a look of approval. When you tell someone from another state that you are a student at Miami, you will usually get a look of approval because they think you go to school in Florida. This is a common occurrence that gets cleared up when someone's next question is, "So, how do you like the weather down there?" Despite the lack of metropolis and often frigid temperatures in the winter, Oxford is a great college town that has charm beyond belief and the isolation lends itself to cultivating a close relationship between the Oxford and Miami community Ñ not surprising since the student body comprises almost half of the Oxford's population. There are about 15,000 undergrads and some 1,500 grad students enrolled at Miami which means there are plenty of people to meet, but not so many that you'll get lost in the crowd. It is incredible how familiar a place with so many people can feel after only a semester or two. The compact nature of both campus and the Uptown region help you feel at home in no time. The dominance of college students in such a small town adds to Oxford's appeal, along with the lack of need for a car, but at times can make living in rural southwestern Ohio a little claustrophobic. For this reason it is nice to have a city like Cincinnati only 45 minutes away. Plus two major airports, Dayton and Cincinnati, are only one hour away so getting home is relatively easy no matter where you hail from. But if you can't get away from Oxford there are plenty of activities on campus and in town to keep you occupied. Whether you are into sports, filmmaking, music, politics, service, Greek life or environmentalism Miami has something for you. Getting involved in organizations is a great way to meet people and is great for your resume. The university is constantly bringing speakers, some more interesting than others, and events to campus which are usually free or cheap for students. If you are looking for stuff to do off campus, you can catch a movie Uptown, grab dinner or get a beer at one of the many, many bars.
Jane SeniorReviews provided by: Unigo