- Class: Freshman
- Major: Other Social Science
- Gender: F
- High School: Bethel Park Senior High School
- Transfer Student: N
One of the most unique things about the University of Pittsburgh is that it is in a city; Oakland isn't just a college town, but the tallest building around is Pitt's own Cathedral of Learning. If you go out for lunch at Joe Mama's or The Red Oak Cafe, you'll see other students inside, but chances are you'll run into professionals in suits and scrubs on their lunchbreak, too. And there are plenty of activities and ways to be involved on campus, but there is so much else out there. Pittsburgh is incredibly diverse with a unique history and culture, with nooks and crannies to find if you take a step outside campus borders. We have free access to public transit, so why not take advantage of that? However, there's still a definite sense of community among the students; we still have dining halls exclusively for students and riots when our sports teams beat rivals, just like any other university.
Since Pitt offers a variety of majors, the classes you take can really determine your class size, if professors will know your name, etc. Even for general education courses, you can fulfill your social science requirement by taking Intro to Sociology with 200 students or Intro to Urban Studies with less than 50 students. Of course, upper level, specialized courses will have less students, sometimes 10 or less students. One of the best courses I took my freshman year was Seminar in Composition, a required course for any Arts and Sciences student. You can take a general seminar course or one that focuses on certain topics such as education, gender studies, or service learning. I took one that focused on service learning and required us to find a place to volunteer throughout the semester. It was a great class with less than 20 students, a passionate professor, and interesting readings, writings, and discussions that were all connected to the bigger picture of service. This is one of the reasons why Pitt is incredible - we have access to resources and opportunities that you won't find at even a huge university if it's surrounded by farmland or in suburbia. Interniships and service are easily found. We have students with perfect SAT scores attending on a full ride but also ones that make you wonder how they were accepted. Intellects, dumbasses, and everyone in between can be found at Pitt, and it makes for a great atmosphere. If you want a challenge, you can pursue it with like-minded individuals, and if you want to slack off, you can do that, too. Pitt also offers the opportunity to cross-register and neighboring universities. Yes, we offer classes about Russian madmen, but we don't offer a great number of dance classes. If you want, you can take a course at Chatham, Carnegie Mellon, Point Park, Carlow, and a few other schools nearby. We also can take classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. The types of classes we can register for are so diverse, and the number is uncountable.
Pitt's students are all over the board. I'm sure that someone has taken a demographic poll of sorts at some point and cound give a detailed description of the number of Jews, Hindus, Catholics, and Atheists; or the dominating race Pitt, but just looking around, it's hard to define a "typical" Pitt student. You'll see it all here: dresses, jeans, tights, sweats, heels, flats, tennis shoes, sweaters, polos, tank tops, hoodies, tee shirts; all shades of skin; straight edgers, potheads, drunks; democrats, republicans, libertarians, anarchists. If you're looking for a certain type of student, you can find it. And for that reason, I feel like anyone could call Pitt home.