- Class: Alum
- Major: Journalism
- Gender: M
- High School: Christian Brothers High School
- Transfer Student: Y
Best thing about UT? Football Season. You've never seen so many people in your life. The school is about 26-28,000 kids, and if you're looking for the "college" experience, you'll find it at UT. In Tennessee, if you go to UT, you kind of think you're a badass. It's no Vanderbilt, but then again, you're not paying 30,000 dollars more for the same undergraduate classes you'd take at UT. I spent most of my time on campus on Fraternity Row, or in Circle Park. Knoxville is a comfortable college town, with great night life, a fun downtown area and the mountains 45 minutes away. What else could you want? UTK's administration likes to screw students on everything from graduation requirements to parking tickets, so watch out for the "Big Orange Screw." There is a tremendous amount of school pride, especially when it comes to sports. Unusual? Probably that they take better care of the mascot (Smoky) than they do the students. Student complaints are always about parking tickets, that the UTPD are idiots and that you could hire trained animals and they'd probably do a better job than the police do about keeping campus safe at night. One experience I'll always remember...my sophomore year when we were losing to Florida, 5 seconds on the clock, we kicked a 45 yard field goal to win when everyone in the stands had already accepted that we lost. The crowd went NUTS.
The professors do know your name, the TA's and GTA's in the lower division classes don't. Favorite classes were Italian 111-112, 211-212 and 342. If you need a language and are looking for professors who really care about you, take Italian. I was a journalism major, so I can only speak to that school, but the instructors with the exception of Video Production classes were always nice and always went out of their way to make sure you knew what you were supposed to know. In the major, the best class I ever took was Advanced Photography with Rob Heller. It was a fantastic experience.
I was in a fraternity, so we were pretty much all racially, religiously and socio-economically all on the same level. I never met anyone in the LGBT community in four years at UT, and the black students have the Black Student Center, so I never really got exposed to that group either. UT does have lots of group activities to mix different groups together, but I never really did any of that, so I'm not a reliable source on those topics. Most students are from Tennessee, with the majority being from Memphis or Nashville. The dining halls are terrible, and nobody eats there after freshman year. Most of my classes were 90% white, and most of the people I interacted with were also in the same financial stratum as I am. I met mostly student on the right politically, but that might be because of the groups I was apart of. They do have a lot of groups politically and religiously for any stance you might take.
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