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I came to the UI with big goals of working closely with professors, delving into legal issues, and seeing the world. I have achieved every goal that I have made. Iowa's small-town college feel allows for motivated minds to have the experience one desires. I not only studied abroad in Germany and Turkey, I interned at the Justice Department in DC. I will be returning as a full-time empolyee this summer, working in the Justice's Civil Rights Division. It was because of the support and encouragment of the UI's faculty and fellow students that provided critical guidance in shaping my career path in the legal field. Whether I am in the U.S. of travelling internationally, when people hear that I attend The University of Iowa, I always hear, "Wow, you go to Iowa! How about them Hawkeyes?" Iowa's reputation of a leader in education and school spirit is known far and wide. It is the experiences both in the classroom and in the stands of an athletic event that has allowed me to appreciate being a Hawkeye for life.
Everyone is proud to say they are a Hawkeye! Iowa is the perfect size for a school. It is large enough that you have to take care of yourself and seek out help if you need it, but it is small enough that it is easy to find a good group of friends. There are always new people to meet, and new things to get involved in. Iowa was by far the friendliest campus out of those I toured. Most of the classes you'll have in the first year or two are on the east side of the rive, on or near the pentacrest, making it easy to get to and from class. In Iowa City, many of the restaurants downtown turn into bars at night. Because of their day time activity, these places can let anyone in until 10:00 pm. After that time, some bars have a permit to allow 19 and 20 year-olds in to "dance". Others don't. Many say only 21 and older should be allowed in the bars after 10pm. Every couple years a vote comes up in the local legislature to attempt to ban 19 and 20 year-olds in these venues late at night. Everyone on campus and in Iowa City has an opinion on the matter, but it has yet to pass as an ordinance. Iowa City definitely has a large portion of town that is college-oriented. The downtown right across from the University and has many cute little shops, coffee houses, and restuarants. There is also a more residential area of Iowa City that most student never see. At one point I needed a copy of a do***ent to be considered for a scholarship. I had thought I lost my copy of the do***ent, and I knew it was something the University had to have on file for my financial aid. They take a scan of all paperwork they get, and then they shred the do***ents. They couldn't find the file of the do***ent anywhere in there system and could not find the hard copy. Then they had the brilliance to ask me to send them a copy if I found it because they needed to have it on file to keep giving me my financial aid! Luckiliy I found my copy later, or they would have totally messed up my financial aid package by losing that paper!
The best thing about Iowa is the sense of community. Ask any student and they'd agree, even though Iowa is a Big Ten school with 30,000 students, it has such a small school feel. With downtown so close and the buildings near each other, you cannot walk from one building to the other without seeing people you know. It really creates a strong sense of belonging. Plus, without any professional sports in the state of Iowa, everyone backs the Hawks. Game days on this campus are nuts- the town triples in size and it is black and gold absolutely everywhere.
The best thing about Iowa is that it's big....but not too big. I love the size of The University! It's big enough that you don't see the same people every day...especially if you don't want to! However, I often run into my friends on campus, and I feel very comfortable walking around the campus. While I feel like I know the campus well, I still learn new things about it daily! I'm always saying, "Wow! I never knew this was here!" When I tell people I attend Iowa they always say, "Ohhhhhh...." I know they're usually referring back to the stereotypes that they have about Iowa so I usually just smile, and say "Yea, I love it." I love the amount of school pride that Iowa has too! When I transferred here, I was amazed at the amount of students I would see dressed up tailgating and going to all of the football games. My first football game was awesome! I know nothing about football and I was still so involved in the game and all the hype that I was hoarse when I left! Tailgating is fairly fantastic here...where else is it acceptable to start drinking with your roommate's parents at 9:00 in the morning? Definitely at Iowa! One of my favorite memories was calling my Dad during this year's Michigan State game when it had gone into overtime, and being so excited that I was at the game because my Dad was watching it on television. It was so cool to hear my Dad getting excited and telling me how weird it was that he could hear the game through my phone and on the television! :) I spend a lot of my time at the library, I hate going there, but it's one of the few places I can get work done! :)
I enjoy my academic life at Iowa. I haven't had any boring or uninteresting professors. I have had one TA that wasn't up to par, but the rest have been good. When I tell people I attend UI they always say "oh I've heard about that school, it's very good." I was talking with someone from India(she immigrated here 3 months ago), and even she heard of UI and gave the school much praise. Based on participation and all the people who wear "Iowa gear," I would say much of the students take pride in the campus. I spend most of my time at the main library(2nd floor). The law library is also excellent for studying too. Getting to the critique of Iowa. I would change how much they stress diversity because the students are here, but actually promoting active diversity, talking and learing from cultures is not something that happens as much as diversity is promoted. Being a student of color, I would say this is one of the biggest complaintes among my peers. A recent controversy occurred when two student's had racial slurs written on their door and The University didn't do as much as it could have to intervene. A student group actually did the brunt of the work. I was upset that a spokesperson for UI or someone else didn't take the initiative to put something together since diversity is promoted so much.
I love that the school is big but it has a small feel too it. I can blend into the crowd when I want to, and I can choose when I want to be noticed. I honestly feel that this is MY campus, which is really cool. I also love the surrounding town. Businesses, bars, and restaurants are centered around college kids, so it feels like you're constantly being catered to. Its a great feeling. The Hawkeye spirt is pretty amazing, especially during football games. Everyone is really into where they go to school, and we all band together. I love that I can call myself a Hawkeye. A major drawback, however, is that Iowa is basically in the middle of nowhere. Getting to places like malls, movie theaters, and grocery stores, if you don't have a car, can be a big hassle. My best advice: make friends with someone who has a car on campus.
Katelyn SophomoreReviews provided by: Unigo