- Class: Sophomore
- Major: Engineering
- Gender: F
- High School: Upper Arlington High School
- Transfer Student: N
Wash U is the perfect size -- not just a few thousand like a highschool, and not so big that you'll get lost in the crowd. Most people don't know about Wash U. Many are mistaken when they think we're located in the state of Washington. Most people I know stay on campus the majority of the time. Some underclassmen go out to clubs on Thursday nites. Many students go out to dinner off campus. I think most students are happy they go to Wash U, but there isn't much school pride when it comes to sports at all. Our campus has many pesky squirrels and rabbits.
There is no typical class at Wash U... There are huge lecture classes like Chemistry 111-112, and there are plenty of small classes, too. It really depends on the subject and difficulty of the class. Students tend to spend a fair amount of time studying and doing homework. Most say they do the same or less than they did in highschool. The students I know don't have "intellectual conversations" outside of class. Unless maybe they go do to some type of debate or forum. Students are not competitive at all. Some big classes are graded on a bell curve, but no one sabotages eachother or anything. I'm a chemical engineer. Our department is close-knit -- you'll know everyone in your ChemE classes. The classes are difficult and typically don't have labs as underclassmen. Freshman year for ChemE's is basically just taking the introductory courses in all the basic sciences, & plenty of math. I really dislike WashU's cluster system for the school of Arts & Sciences (I transferred out of ArtSci to Engineering). It requires that students take related classes in order to fulfill distribution requirements. So your options for taking classes is severely limited if you're trying to fit in the minimum amount of classes outside your major. This isn't a problem in the Engineering school, which has very lax rules for distribution requirements... so you can take what you want. WashU offers a freshmen seminars for many majors which allows students to get a survey of what kinds of jobs & fields they can get into with their major.
Political conservatives may feel out of place at WashU on occasion. The student body is very liberal (granted there are some conservatives, too). Students don't typically dress up for class, but few wear pajamas, either. There aren't really cliques at WashU, but rather small groups of friends not segregated based on some certain shared quality or activity (except maybe sports teams). Many WashU students are from the midwest (especially Chicago). But there are students from all over the US and the world. Most WashU students are fairly rich, but I don't think the poorer students feel particularly left out. Many get scholarships.
The Best Things
The smart yet fun students.
The Worst Things
The cluster system for the College of Arts & Sciences' distribution requirements.