- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Government
- Gender: M
- High School: Troy High School
- Transfer Student: N
One of the reasons I love UCSD is because of its six college system. At first, it seemed really stupid and arbitrary, but as I spent more time here, I realized that it is actually really useful to have a six college system because you get to know everyone in your college really well (due to common GE classes, common living and eating areas, etc) which make a 20,000+ undergraduate university a much more personal and welcoming environment. In addition to that, a lot of the administrators within each college oversee only 1/6th of UCSD's students, and therefore they are able to provide each student with much more attention and personal advice than would administrators who have to serve 20,000 + students. I would feel completely detached and alone without UCSD college system, and I'm really glad that I ignored my original discontent with the system in order to come here. I do wish t hat I had spent more time choosing the college I choose (Warren), as each college has a cirriculum centered around different principles. Luckily I do embrace the principles of Warren College (a life in balance, embodied by GE's that force students to focus on non-major areas in which they recieve a virtual "minor" in) and am glad I got lucky when I randomly ordered the colleges at the time I was applying to UCSD.
Classes are large, no doubt. I am only a second year, but it is seldom that I enroll in classes of fewer than 100 or 150. There are opportunities to enroll in smaller classes, such as freshmen/undergraduate seminars of 15-20 people, but these opportunities are sparse. Luckily professors and T.A.'s are very approachable and have office hours through the week. The academic rigor here at UCSD nis intense, and easily comparable to any top university in the nation. Some come to UCSD expecting to skate by like they did in High School, and these people do often get shot down by the competition in many classes. Competition does not take the form of antagonism in the classroom (surprizing), even though most classes have some sort of a curve instuted. What I have found is that the difficulties students face bring them together, normally intheir angst against specific classes or professors (who tend to by unusually difficult). If you want to be in the top 5% of your graduating class here, you better get a 3.85 or higher, and that is not due to any grade inflation, as I have spoken to many outside grad schools who mention that UCSD students grades tend to recieve inflation from admission committees when being compared to students from other universities (such as USC or NYU).
There is a great deal of diversity here at UCSD, but it is not the most integrated institution you will find. In particular, African American students tend to make up an usually small number of the students matriculated. There are numerous institutions set up on campus, including the largest UC cross cultural center, which cater to students who identify strongly with their ethnicity and wish to socialize with other students who also identify along the same lines. I enjoy the diversity on campus a lot and have learned soo much from being surround by liberal activists, religious conservatives, fundamentalist libertarians, and everything inbetween. There is no homogeniety to the views you will find at UCSD, which I feel really helps students to explore important personal issues while being open to (and gaining a better understanding of) the opinions of other individuals.
The Best Things
The students, who make this university the amazing learning and growing environment that it is.
The Worst Things
The general apathy with regards to social/political issues