- Class: Junior
- Major: Engineering
- Gender: F
- High School: Evansville Harrison
- Transfer Student: N
I enjoy it when people ask me where I go to school, only to discover they've never heard of Wash U. I live three hours away, yet plenty of people from home don't know Wash U is in St. Louis. I'm glad that I can be proud of where I go to school, but at the same time I don't seem like I'm bragging by telling people where I go. The biggest recent controversy on campus was a student movement against the administration to bring presidential candidates to campus to speak for free. The administration cited legal and logistical reasons for not allowing Barack Obama to come speak. While these are probably very legitimate reasons, the students were still very upset. Wash U is in a great location. We're essentially in St. Louis, with easy access to the City Museum, major league sports events, concerts, musicals, etc. We're also a self-contained campus, so the campus is relatively compact. There are also two MetroLink stops on campus, for which we get free passes, so St. Louis is literally a couple stops away. It's perfect. The Loop on Delmar is also a fifteen-minute walk away, with "college-town" shops, restaurants, etc. My favorite aspect of Wash U's location is Forest Park, which is across the street from campus. Whether for a run, playing ultimate frisbee, going for a bike ride, going sledding down art hill, going for a walk, or going to the science center, Forest Park is a wonderful asset to Wash U. The most frequent student complaints are the lack of variety and healthy options in campus dining. Wash U's food is really very good, but we all get sick of having practically the same menu everywhere. Although cost is probably an issue at every school, students frequently get upset at substantial cost increases in tuition, room, board, and fees every year. Many of us also feel like Health Services is inconvenient and not as effective as it should be. There is not a lot of attendance to varsity sports, yet there is "school pride" in the sense that students are proud to be part of the Wash U community. One of my more unique experiences was winning the intramural inner tube water polo tournament two years in a row. One of my favorite unique activities Wash U offers is Residential College Olympics, a Saturday full of free t-shirts, food, and all sorts of games: ultimate, soccer, basketball, tug-of-war, ping pong, foosball, euchre, dodgeball, flag football, etc. It's awesome.
Not a lot of professors know my name because I'm in biomedical engineering, and we have large classes. Last year in BME 301A, Quantitative Physiology, Profs. Barbour and Thoroughman learned about all 88 of our names and were incredibly personable. They have been my favorite BME professors so far. Dr. Barbour even pulled a prank lecture about an extra homework problem to get the entire class to sing to my friend on her 21st birthday. I think one of the general weaknesses of the Wash U BME department is the lack of interest of the faculty in really getting to know the students. On the flipside, professors are very approachable in having students get involved in their research, and there are countless amazing opportunities in that respect. I think all Wash U students want to succeed, but we work together very well, with competition and curved grading scales being only small concerns. Mainly, we help each other learn.
Students don't wear pajamas to class, but they also don't spend an entire morning getting ready for class. WU students have a good perspective on taking class seriously, while still enjoying being students not yet in the working world. Some stereotypical WU student groups are the sorority girls who do care more about what they look like and often where spandex pants. There are self-admitted "dorky" engineers who are often really fun to talk to. There are students who live for the weekends and parties. And there are plenty of students who don't like to party hard but still have a great time with friends on the weekends. Many students are very politically active, with the entire campus leaning very left. Most people don't talk about future salaries.
The Best Things
There are so many opportunities, both academic and extra-curricular, and it's incredibly easy to try things and change your mind later.
The Worst Things
The Athletic Center desperately needs renovating (which will happen in the next 5 years or so).