- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Other
- Gender: F
- High School:
- Transfer Student: N
I'm absolutely supremely happy at the University of Chicago, and I was not at all sure I would fit in when I decided to attend, and I do not fit the stereotypes. As long as you're smart and you enjoy learning, you'll fit in here. It's not all awkward nerds or intense studying. The U of C is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. The size of the school is perfect--large enough so that you're always meeting new people but small enough so that you always see people you know. The administration tries really hard to involve students and react to our concerns. There's not a lot of school spirit, and some students definitely "love to hate" the school, but everyone I know likes the school and is pretty happy. Hyde Park can get old, but the downtown Chicago is a short bus/train ride away, so it's hard to complain too much.
The academics is where the U of C shines. Students aren't at all competitive with each other; the atmosphere is much more collaborative and supportive than I suspected it would be. Students are always studying together, working on problem sets together, and trading papers to edit before turning them in. The professors really respect students as fellow scholars. Almost all my professors go by their first names; right now one of my professors goes by his last name, but in turn he calls us Mr./Ms. LastName, too. I've been to several of my professors' homes for BBQs or last class parties. The professors are all very accessible. You can see or talk to them anytime. I've never felt nervous talking to a professor, and I've never not been able to talk to a professor if I've wanted to. The academics are very theoretical and are not pre-professional in nature, but you learn the skills (critical thinking, reading, writing) that you need to succeed in any job. Classes, especially hum and sosc core classes, depend on class discussion. Class discussion is taken very seriously, and it's always active, interesting, and on target. Often students from a class will get together for lunch to continue the discussion.
There are lots of different groups on campus, and they're all fairly well-integrated. I am a lesbian student, and I feel very comfortable on campus. I have friends who are extremely poor, fabulously rich, black, white, Hispanic, gay, trans, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, atheist, communist, conservative, smokers, druggies, virgins, pre-med, pre-law, pre-grad school, and everything else you can think of. The one thing everyone has in common is genuine interest in learning. Students are all over the political spectrum. There are lots of conservative econ majors, and lots of uber-liberal socialists. Most people fall somewhere in between.
The Best Things
I can't pick just one thing
The Worst Things
Hyde Park, maybe, but it's improving