- Class: Senior
- Major: American Studies
- Gender: F
- High School: Carroll High School
- Transfer Student: N
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.
When it comes to academics, Miami has a great reputation especially in the Midwest area. The Richard T. Farmer School of Business is definitely a strong point for the campus and employers recruit kids from the program all the time. They have an excellent career fair that brings in the top accounting firms and companies like Proctor and Gamble. Because of this, the program is very competitive and requires a lot of hard work and long hours of studying. The reward is having a good chance of landing a job often before you ever graduate. The down side to this is that if you choose to go for another degree at Miami you can find yourself feeling a little ignored. The classes and professors are still great in other departments but the business school is by far the university's golden child. Other programs like architecture and engineering thrive at Miami, and a lot of development is going on around campus to renovate and build better academic facilities for the numerous other departments. Your curriculum at Miami is divided into two main parts: filling requirements for your major/college and completing what the school calls the "Miami plan." The "Miami plan" requires students to take a few classes from a variety of academic fields including science, math and English. This is meant to give students an opportunity to study a little bit of everything. It can at times be annoying to take such random classes that have nothing to do with what you are studying, but it can also be life changing when you take that art history class and discover your new life calling. And even though the classes are usually 100-level courses, they are often some of the largest and toughest. Requirements for your major will be spelled out for you by the college and will be pretty straightforward. These classes will tend to be smaller, and you will get to know both professors and other students in your major quickly. Take advantage of getting to know your professors Ñ they are great for recommendations and are way more lenient with absences or late assignments, ect. if you are a familiar face. If you don't know what you want to study right away, don't panic. Start by knocking out your Miami plan classes first and hopefully those will provide you with a little direction. Don't be afraid to major in something other than business or a medically oriented field. No matter your major you WILL get a job after college, and chances are your GPA will be a lot better if you are taking classes you truly enjoy. Education at a college level is a whole new ballgame, and if you follow heart you will find yourself enjoying class, which will make life exponentially easier. In terms of studying you will quickly figure out what is crucial to being a good student. Your professors will tell you that for every hour in class you should study 2 or 3 outside of class. This may be true, but especially as a freshman, is not very feasible when everything is new and there is a lot going on. When the reading starts to pile up prioritize what needs to be read and what doesn't. Often time professors will tell you the important stuff in class, so going is essential and is like automatic studying. Also, Miami has an amazing study abroad program. You can go almost anywhere in the world. We even have a campus in Luxemborg. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and is usually more fun than academic. If you are worried about missing out on a semester with your friends, anyone that stayed in Oxford will tell you that you didn't miss anything and anyone that has gone abroad will tell you it is worth it!
The student body at Miami has a little bit of everything, but the majority of students at Miami are white, middle-upper class kids from the four Cs: Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland or Chicago. Obviously there are thousands of kids that do not fit the aforementioned description but they are not the majority. Miami is very upfront about having a diversity issue and is constantly trying to work to broaden the spectrum of students that choose to attend Miami. People may tell you that Greek life at Miami is everything but in reality only about 1/3 of students are involved in the Greek system. Miami has more than a dozen fraternities and sororities and each one is made up of a different group of people so chances are you would find one you like. It is a great way to meet people, get involved in student life and party. If it's not for you, don't worry about it Ñ you'll be with about 10,000 students that feel the same way. Make sure not to completely write it off, though, just because of the stereotypes. In addition to Greek life, Miami also has a strong religious community that meets regularly and hosts events around campus. This provides a nice alternative to drinking on weekends and most are nondenominational. This said, there is also pretty much one of every church in Oxford. But in keeping with the vast array of students that attend Miami, there are also atheist clubs for those interested. The people that may feel intimidated about being a minority at Miami can rest assured that there are groups and organizations to help them thrive, feel safe and most importantly welcome at Miami. LGBTs are supported on campus and host events such as drag shows Uptown. They are also members of religious groups and Greek organizations. This said, it is only fair to say that Miami does tend to be more conservative in nature and mind.
The Best Things
The Richard T. Farmer School of Business
The Worst Things