- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Journalism
- Gender: F
- High School: West Geauga
- Transfer Student: N
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's academics really are just more a testament to the quality of the school. For the two years I've been at Miami I can honestly say I am very pleased with most every class I've taken. There is a miami plan that every student has to take. It's a list of requirements you have to fufill, such as 4 hours of a math course, or 9 hours of humanities, etc. The requirements differ for students in the business school or the western program, but everyone is required to complete a few courses like this before graduation. At times it is tiring, people complain "I'm not doing anything with science, why am I taking microbiology." or they have to take spanish until their junior year to complete the language requirements, but really I personally don't mind it. I'm a nerd in the sense that I love knowledge, and it cools to learn about things that may not be your forte. Sure I struggled through math but it also helped me decide I wanted a minor in marketing--lo and behold I needed that math class as a pre req. The students are pretty 50/50 in the sense that some are 100% sure they're going to be pre-med (as so many do originally..) or a CEO, etc, and the other half are like "oh hell, I hope I even have a clue by junior year. I think the Miami plan helps you to explore this. Whether it's to make sure for certain that you want to forever have a scalpel in your hand or it gives you the chance to see hey, I really like music class. Maybe I should go into something with that. The Miami plan classes tend to be a larger lecture, but every teacher that I've had manages to make a class of 100 feel as though it is about 20. My favorite class as a freshman was PSYCHOLOGY 111-the introduction to psychology. It had about 100 students in it but the professor was so engaging, fun, and knowledgeable on the subject that even though attendance wasn't taken, I attended every class. He had me laughing, he had me studying to do well on his test, and he had me retaining what he taught. At the end of the semester he shared with us personal stories of his battle with Aids which he had recieved from a blood transfusion years before. It was so moving and so touching to see a professor letting us into his life like that that a year later when he passed away I wrote his wife a letter letting her know how he had affected me. Because of him and that class I decided to double major in psychology. I've had a lot of good-humored professors, in another Miami plan class about music my professor is short and bald. When he asked us what kind of music we thought he may like, someone shouted out "Phil collins!" He laughed it off and joked that he'd meet the kid after class outside. Not all the classes are large, in fact only a few of mine have been held in lecture halls. My spanish class feels like high school all over again in the sense that we all became friends because there was only about 20 of us. My journalism classes, as I begin to take more and more for my major are fun because there are a few people I consistently see in the classes and it's nice to have someone you can call when you sleep through that alarm. Even classes that I don't enjoy the subject, such as philosophy, I manage to pull through because the professor is still respectable as a professor and it makes the material a little easier. A downfall to Miami's academics is that bad news seems to come at once. At about four weeks in most students have 2-4 classes all with a test that week. Professors also really enjoy group projects, so you'll be studying for a chemistry midterm and trying to plan a time to meet with your marketing group to get you case study done. Life gets a little hectic. Our King Library is really great in terms of having a writing center in the middle of it, a starbucks cafe, and an abundance of printers, computers, helpful librarians and research material. For this reason it's usually utilized consistently throughout the year, but come test-week or finals time, it literally looks like a mall the day after Thanksgiving. I feel that Miami kids are good at getting their assignments done so that they can party for the night or weekend. They literally work hard and play hard. Class participation really depends on the class. Go to an 8 a.m. and it's doubtful you'll see many students raising their hand. But in smaller classes when questions asked by the teachers are more common, students are willing to offer their opinions. It's like highschool. You're going to have loud-mouths, shy kids, and sleepers. Students outside of the classroom have intelligent conversations or sometimes really really unintelligent conversations. There's a facebook group "overheard at Miami" where ridiculous things overheard (hence the name) are posted. Sure ditzy comments are said but also we have newspapers available to us everywhere. As the election draws near talk of politics reigns through the air. Professors make themselves really available. I am a huge fan of office hours. The personal attention and extra help is sometimes really needed. Every teacher has made a point to say "these are my hours, but let me know if they don't work for you and we'll set up another time." Whether it's through e-mail, a few of my professors have Facebooked me, one even handed out her cell phone, or just their office hours, the professors are great at being there for you. But YOU have to take the initiative and put in the effort. One of my teachers had two "spaghetti dinners" during the semester in which she invited all her students too. We recieved home cooked meals and just had a chance to relax outside the class setting with her. It was wonderful. I feel the workload is pretty fair. You probably have at LEAST an hour-2 of something to do every night but with more free hours in the day you can always find time to do it. Miami is great about subscribing to an abundance of websites needed for research, or having every copy of Time or Newsweek, or having their librarians on AIM to answer questions, they even have their own websites they made to help your create a resume or search for internships or find a book you're looking for. THey make sure everything is available and there for us. I think the academics are geared towards preparing you for the real world as well as the next test coming up. You are given real life experiences sometimes, but you learn about it by reading it from a book and discussing it in class. They do a pretty good balance between the both.
Miami as a whole tends to lack diversity. We have Asian American groups and fraternities for black brothers, but it still feels that you see a sea of white. Athletes from different backbgrounds obviously mix together really well and frats or sororities do bring everyone together. But, at times there's still a sense that the blacks stick together or vice versa. Not to the point where there is racism, I think people as a whole are just naturally attracted to people similar to them. Students at this campus tend to get pretty dressed up for class. There are definitely those girls who to class wear a dress I would save for my birthday weekend. The boys can be seen in khakis and button ups just for a politics class. But there are still that group of us who rock the sweats or sweatshirts. To be honest tennis shoes are acceptable when it's apparent that you are going to the rec right after. A negative to student interaction is that due to technology taking over the world, between classes, if people aren't walking with a friend they normally have their headphones on or their cellphone attached to their ear. It's not that they aren't friendly, we just tend to live in our own "miami bubble." Different types of students interact. Obviously people with similar interests, whether it's arts, drinking, or sports are going to be closer but people don't always snub those who are different. Walk into a dining hall and you'll see your cliche groups. You have the athletes in sweats and matching hoodies just back from practice. There's the freshman with their lanyards on backwards around their neck traveling in a pack of 20, there's the lone eater engrossed in the T.V., there's a few studiers who people are eyeing, wondering how the heck they get studying done with that noise. There's the frat buddies, dressed up from chapter they have their coats off and ties loose. Then there's jsut the bunch. Dressed up, dressed down, laughing over last nights T.V. episode or whispering the latest drama. A lot of Miami students come from Ohio. It's a reputable school and paying in state tuition is great. There's people from an hour away and there's Clevelander's who have to drive as far as Chicago people to get home. Within my own friend group I have a friend from Boston, from Chicago, from Atlanta and from small town Ohio. There's definitely people from all realms. It's no lie that the majority of Miami is wealthy. You see few beat up junk cars, beside my own, in the parking lot. People obviously could be here on scholarship, but they probably don't let on. We really are an upperclass society kind of school. When it comes to students talking about how much money they will earn one day, the continual joke between me, a journalism major, and my friend, a business major, is everytime he says "at least I'll make money," I say, "At least I'll be doing what I love."
The Best Things
The campus, the friends you make, the professors and classes offered, the traditions,
The Worst Things
The greek life being so huge, lack of diversity