- Class: Alum
- Major: Journalism
- Gender: M
- High School: Stuyvesant HS
- Transfer Student: N
It's a small campus, ugly, and there's not a lot to do (though that is changing rapidly). But the great part is, none of that matters because you're just a few subway stops away from the heart of Philadelphia. If college is a place to experience something new, then there's no better hands-on teacher than living in one of the country's biggest cities. It's no wonder most of my best memories take place off campus. I don't like to speak for anyone else, because there were plenty of people that did love Temple, for various reasons. It's an enormous school, so one is never lacking for new people to meet. The new administration seems keen on expanding, and in the last few years a number of great additions have been built - a movie theater, a 24-hour tech center, restaurants, etc. There's a lot of school pride, in a self-deprecating way. All the other local schools are private, so Temple students pride themselves on being the "ghetto" college in Philadelphia. We take pride in telling the rich kids from the other area schools that we're from Temple. Plus our basketball team is historically pretty good, so that's another source of pride. The most frequent complaint is boredom, but that's easily solved if you're willing to leave campus.
Like any school, it's hit-or-miss with academics. Communications, law, business and music are all world class programs, but even within majors a lot depends on your professors. I was somewhat disappointed with my journalism education, as I found it focused too much on theory and not enough on practice. Your mileage may vary. It's not the most intellectual community. If you were hoping to spend your days sitting in a coffee shop discussing Proust, Temple's not the school for you. There are plenty of intelligent people, but I'd say the student body skews more toward a party school than an intellectual hotbed. There are a ton of fun classes to take, though with the core curriculum, there's not enough time to take all the ones you'd want. Some offbeat classes I've taken include Jewish Humor, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and UFO's in American Culture.
Temple endlessly trumpets its diversity, and that is a high point. Keep in mind there are a ton of kids from white-bread suburbs who, if not for their four years at Temple, might never interact with people of different colors and religions. That's a life experience for a lot of people. There are a lot of clubs for students, so no matter what their interests and backgrounds are, they'll be able to find people like them. Nobody feels out of place at Temple. It feels more "real" than any other school I've ever seen. It's a very left-wing school, but probably no more so than other east coast universities. It's also strongly middle class; very few people come from money. A lot of people are putting themselves through school, and it's rare to find someone who doesn't have a job.
The Best Things
The people - this isn't some teen movie depiction of college, these are real, authentic, good people.
The Worst Things
The campus - you can see everything the school has to offer in a day.