- Class: Freshman
- Major: Journalism
- Gender: F
- High School: Scarsdale High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about Wisconsin is harder to decide than picking what college to go to. State Street is one of the cutest, most interesting places I have ever walked around. Coming from New York, the quaint area that the city of Madison is is a great break from the intense, rushed lifestyle we live on the east coast. One think that I might change is more availability to the several shopping areas that may be found about 10 minutes driving away from campus in all directions. We often find ourselves visiting the same 5 places up and down State Street relentlessly, although there is plenty available. UW-Madison is huge. There is no denying it! Almost every lecture of mine has at least 300 people in it, but those classes feature discussion sections which I have never had more than 15 people in. I love that the school is big enough to be constantly, throughout 4 years, keep meeting new people, but my dorm hallway is small enough to feel like you have a home within this huge school. People react differently each time I tell someone I go to Wisconsin. Anyone who knows the school with itÕs fabulous and only rising positive reputation is thrilled for me, and half of the time says Ògo badgers!Ó (one of my favorite phrases of all time.) That reaction is normally when meeting people throughout the mid-west. However, back home, the reaction is Òoh, thatÕs nice.Ó In my prestigious town, non-Ivy is somewhat frowned upon, and public schools are even more discouraged. However, again, the popularity of Wisconsin has been only steadily increasing, with 6 people of my 400-person graduating class migrating here this past year. I spend most of my time on State Street Ð whether grabbing a bite to eat with friends, shopping, or studying in a coffee shop. School pride is not even a question. If you donÕt have school pride, DO NOT COME HERE. I would say that I wear a Wisconsin item of clothing at least 2 times a week. On State Street, within 2 blocks of each other are about 5 different novelty stores featuring our red and white coloring. In every lecture hall, about 3 football jerseys can be found, a dozen ÔBuckyÕ hats, and about 70 t-shirts featuring something about our school being the amazing place that it is. Again, it is SO hard to pick out a single favorite moment here, but something that really stands out in my mind was my first football game here. Walking out on state street, there is not a color to seen other than red and white. Even people not going to the game sport our school colors. Then the walk down to Camp Randall, our football stadium, is a continuous flood of both students and alumni rushing to watch their beloved Badgers. It is easily the most amazing, exciting experience of my life. And not to mention the wave done at each game, with several rounds including double-time, slow motion, and criss-crossing arms. Most frequently I hear complains about the weather. It is clearly a cold place, but there are freak days that the wind chill is almost unbearable. But honestly, just stay inside as much as you can on these days Ð get to class, get home, and deal with it! And maybe invest in some long underwear.
None of my professors know my name, not a single one. However, I have close relationships with every single one of my T/As, who run the discussion sections we have complementing our lectures. Freshman year is mostly a year of large, basic intro courses, so while I do have some friends that go out of their way to introduce themselves to each professor, I donÕt really see the point. If there is a particular class that you have a passion in, I would say make sure to speak to your professor about it, but other that you making an effort there is little interaction between students and professors. Study habits of students vary a lot. Some people easily spent their nights at the library, still feeling as if they have not put enough time in to their academics that day. Others will never open a book until the night before an exam. It really is what works for the individual. I will say that a lot of students skip lectures. I personally find that simply sitting in lectures reduces your workload and increases your understanding of the subject greatly, but everyone has their own style. I have not really taken any odd classes yet, but I have heard of a lot of crazy classes in the foreign language department Ð which is one of the best in the country. From the basics of French and Spanish, to Swahili and the Star Trek language of Klingon, you can literally take any language you can think of. I am not actually a Journalism major yet. You apply into the competitive journalism school once you have taken 40 credits at the university, which tends to be around the end of first semester your sophomore year. It kind of sucks that if I do not get into the school I have to major in something else, but there are various related majors such as communication arts that will work well for me, and applicants understand that the difficult process to enter the school is only to keep to the prestigious name high.
UW is diverse in itÕs own way. There is definitely a gay community at school, which is only to be expected at such a liberal university in the liberal city of Madison. My sorority is actually close friends with the gay fraternity on campus, which is a really fun experience. Racially, there is not a lot of diversity. One of my friends, every time she sees a large African American male, points and screams, Òlook itÕs a football player!Ó which is blunt, but unfortunately, often true. In my womenÕs studies class last semester we learned that the average family income of undergrad students is around $35,000. I donÕt really know what that means in life overall, but I know that this kids from the coastÕs parents make a lot more than that on average, which I guess is understood by our out-of-state tuition that is nearly 4 times the price of what in-state students pay to come here. That being said, there are a surprising amount of out-of-state students here, which does give the university its somewhat diverse feel. I have met people from almost all of the 50 United States, plus several international students from places like Sweden, Australia, and even Iraq. Pretty much, if you are very conservative, you would feel out of place here. Most students, myself included, wear jeans and a sweatshirt to class, if not an entire sweat suit. Comfort is key here. However, there are of course girls that get up and put makeup on every morning. I donÕt really get it, they are not the majority, but they do exist. There is a huge in-state vs. out-of-state divide, which I will get to later, but it is interesting because I tend to find that most in-state students are here to major in whatever they plan to do in life, and to graduate into a job at the end of their 4 years here. However, most out-of-state kids are here for 4 years of fun, majoring in something they enjoy, only to go to grad school after their time here.
The Best Things
The Worst Things
it's different from high school - your teachers do not care about you being sick, you still have to get your work done.