- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Government
- Gender: M
- High School: Cherokee High School
- Transfer Student: N
It's a great campus. Plenty of opportunities on campus and in the community. Pittsburgh is a unique city because the colleges are what really make it what it is. Oakland is basically a college town comprising of a few colleges, but dominated by Pitt. In comparison to some NJ schools I've seen it is definitely not a suitcase college. Also, unlike WVU you do not have to take a bus to get everywhere fun or to get to downtown. When you become 21 Pitt has an awesome bar scene. It is a city that is recovering from the steel industry collapse, but is wisely investing in future technologies and is on the cutting edge for environmental standards. Pitt students get free city bus transportation for when they want to visit downtown, which is remarkably clean. Pittsburgh is a nice city, but feels like a small town. Especially if you are coming from the East Coast. There is a lot of school pride and the Greek Life is also active. I am involved in the Pi Kappa Fraternity which like others, can dominate some aspects of the school. However, the school does not huge mansions like Penn State and other colleges, so non-Greeks do not feel left out if they choose not to join. Also the Living Communities make excellent areas of learning for some students. My one personal compliant is how it is hard to change a mistake in your schedule or fix a mistake in financial aid. Sometimes you have to make 3-4 appointments with different people in order to get what you need. This is because its a big school and not every school employee knows all aspects for everything. The other concern is that it gets very cold and windy in the winter. This past winter it snowed every day almost. So bring a pair of boots. However, it gets real hot in the fall and warms up quickly in the spring. Also you get out before any other school I know. (As early as April 20)... and without going in excessively early. (You go in around August 20). Some of your breaks are just shorter, but it is well worth it for a long summer break.
Professors know your name outside of the big introductory classes and pre-req courses. Some classes are completely about class participation such as writing and language courses. Intellectual conversations outside of class really depends on your crowd of friends, but they always find ways to sneak up when needed before an exam or midterm. Students are extremely competitive, especially if the class is for their major. The most unique class I've taking it a swimming class. I got credit for working out. I also took a class where I had to go to the Peterson Events Center (our huge gym in the basketball facility) and work out for credit. I spend time with professors when I need to. I meet with all of them at least a few times during the semester. Pitt's academic requirements are reasonable, and are getting more challenging every year. It is becoming increasingly competitive. More example I declared one of my majors, Political Science, this year because they are adding many more classes to the requirements for the major before next year. I plan to dual major in Finance/ Political Science to set me on my way for a Law Degree. I am also planning to minor in International Relations and grab a Leadership Certificate in the process. I feel the education is geared for getting a job and learning for different people who feel differently. Teachers are happy to sit with you and discuss in depth issues regarding the topics of their classes. Obviously if a class is for your major you are more interested in learning about all aspects of the topic rather than just trying to get the grade.
Very mixed group of students. Most come from eastern PA. I like the independent feel of being a student at Pitt. With a lot of small schools, it almost feels like you are in high school all over again. Students know how to walk to class by themselves, eat sometimes by themselves and hit the library by themselves. That does not mean everyone does not do things together, it's just that I feel students here can act more independently when needed. In the city itself sometimes there is a feel of more black-white distinct groups. I guess it is not a huge problem, but I can definitely tell which students are from the area and which are not by the way they interact with people from different backgrounds. Fortunately, these people are increasingly becoming in the minority. And maybe, I only notice it because my community is so integrated with people from various cultures that anything slightly different is very noticeable to me. Students have been politically active this past year, but then again I've only been there for one year. The political viewpoints are very center. (Believe me it's my major and I've had plenty of conversations with people on all sides of the table. Most are very reasonable and open to new ideas.)
The Best Things
summer vacation, the campus, the people
The Worst Things