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The University of Minnesota is a perfect size. Yes, it is the third largest school in the country but the teachers, administration, and orientation officers do a wonderful job of encouraging students to get involved and to be active in their college community. If you are not involved in student groups or rec activities, I could see how one would feel they were just a number, but for me, I enjoy that I don't know most of the people that go to my school. The school pride is not what I expected at a large university. I feel as if Madison does a better job at school spirit then we do at most every sport, especially football. Once we get the stadium on campus, I believe that will change. The things to do around or on campus is vital to a students experience at that school. Sure, academics is what you are going to school for, but without a social life with social activies it can become draining. The U of M has thousands of things to do everynight of the week from free movies, to huge shopping trips at the major target dowtown, two huge cities fifteen minutes away, three malls within 10 minutes including the biggest one in American! There are so many places to explore, resteraunts to try, music to listen to, and clubs to dance in. The variety of activies in and around campus is a huge turn on to any student. The weather is a little harsh but the U's unusual underground tunnel system called the gopher way makes the campus weather friendly which I used more than I expected. The gopher way is a wonderful name for that system.
The best thing about UMN is the endless help and availability of opportunities. It is amazing how many people are there to help you succeed and what opportunities can arise. I also enjoy the amount of people because you get to meet so many different people and open yourself up to new experiences.
I love the size of the University of Minnesota. For me it is perfect. There are so many places to go and things to do. It is never dull. There are three parts to the university. The West bank is for business, law and the arts. It has a nifty little museum full of the art of traveling artists as well as exhibitions by students. It's pretty nice. The st.paul campus is a quite a distance from the rest of campus and is most easily accessible by bus. It's like a whole other world there. This is where the school of design is, as well as all the animal and most of the biology classes are. It's so quiet and peaceful here. While the East and West bank are full of hustle and bustle the st. paul campus is very calm and laid back. The gym on this campus has a rock climbing wall that is lots of fun. The East bank which is my favorite holds most of the restaurants and frat row. University ave. is almost only fraternities for quite a ways. Coffman Union is on this bank and there are protests, demonstrations and performances all the time in front of it. Most of the student organizations have a room in this building. I think it's safe to say that everyone will have at least one course on this bank. Almost all the buildings are connected underground by tunnels. These are awesome for the wintertime so you never have to go above ground. Gophers after Dark are activities run by students at Coffman that are always a lot of fun. Nearby restaurants will bring in free food, bowling will be free, there are hypnotists and other performers usually. My favorite time was when they had giant inflatables and my friend and I had a gladiator match. We stood on pedestals and tried to knock each other off. I lost but made myself feel better by getting a free air brush tattoo. If you want to get away from all the study and work of college the city is just a couple minutes away by bus. The metrodome is very close to the city and here you can see the Gophers though it will be far more amazing when they play at the new stadium being built on campus. There are also tons of amazing clubs, malls, museums and restaurants downtown. The U of M is next to Minneapolis and anyone with common sense will not travel alone after dark. There have been muggings and sexual assault reported to people who do. But there are campus escorts available for anyone needing to get anywhere and neither I nor my friends have ever had a problem with that. The U of M is full of so many different types of people. Different races and religions and they are everywhere, talking about themselves, drinking coffee and studying just like all the other students. At the U of M it's a gurantee that you'll find someone who your share interests and perspectives on if you just look.
The best thing about UMN for me is the wide variety of majors and other extra groups that smaller campuses don't have. I think the school is too big. If I have a problem that I need to fix I have to go to many different places and jump through many hoops just to fix it. When I tell people from back home that I go to the U the main reaction is how far away it is from home, or something about city life. Not many people know a lot about the academics or specifics where I am from. Most of my time spent on campus is working. I feel that the U overcharges their students and should give out more financial aid. The U's administration doesn't really instill an opinion on me much. I think the system treats you like a number, and as long as you are willing to be treated as one appeasement will get you through. I don't feel that there is much school pride, but that is because I compare it to Madison's school pride. There just isn't the same aura like at Homecoming or football games.
The best part about the University of Minnesota is the availability of anonymity, accompanied with the ability to be a social butterfly. With a campus over 50 thousand strong some high schoolers think that they'll fall between the cracks and never get noticed, but this is not the case. Teachers are always willing to speak with students and small discussion groups offer the ability to make new friends and allow for personal relationships. When I came to the university I was excited at being a face in the crowd. I came from a small town of 3,000 where everyone wanted to know everything about everyone. It was nice to have some privacy and control over what other people heard about me. I spend most of my time on campus at the rec center. I am on the women's rugby team so physical fitness is very important to me. I usually lift weights or work on the elypticals, but recently a friend of mine got me into some rock climbing. There is a bouldering wall in the bottom level of the rec center and my roommate and I often go there after class and hang out on the big bean bag chairs and do some climbing to unwind. There is a lot of controversy over the new football stadium that is going up. Its no secret the U has had some problems with its football team and a lot of students feel that a loosing record and poor personal choices are being rewarded with a gift of a new stadium for the players. In reality the stadium is a gift for the students to create more of a community on campus. Even with a losing record the football team still contributes more gross funds than any other sport on campus and a football stadium is a very good investment for the college. In the future it will increase the university's income, and hopefully promote a winning season or two.
The U is a great place for academics, meeting people, and to have a great time. For many students like myself coming from a small town can make adjusting to the cities difficult, but it will most likely happen. Give it time, and be open-minded. There is tons of stuff always going on around campus, take advantage of them (many are free, or very low-price). The first couple weeks of school are going to be the least stresful involving homework, use this time to explore. I love Coffman Memorial and the Northrop Mall. Both of these areas are great for studying but also double for recreation. Every weekend there is tons of things to do in Coffman, such as Gophers After Dark activities, which is a gret oppurtunity for those that would like to avoid the partying atmosphere. I also love going to the Gopher games, a great way to get involved with our school spirit is to purchase season football tickets. It is great to see so many people coming together to cheer for our beloved gophers!
Bethany FreshmanReviews provided by: Unigo