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The University of Maryland - College Park

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Just finished my freshman year and UMD seemsBrightCriminal
Just finished my freshman year and UMD seems pretty competitive and academically challenging. I like a lot of the courses available but unfortunately we have WAY too many core requirements, some of which I think are really a waste of my time.

We have more food around here than anyone could ever need--Starbucks, Vitos, Jimmy John's, Bagel Place, etc. and bus transportation is great--but parking costs way more than it should.

The party scene used to be better with the Turtle but it's still decent--so long as you make sure to drop your red solo and run for it when you see those obnoxious flashing car lights that just scream I'M TAKING YOU TO COURT FOR DRINKING ONE YEAR UNDER THE LEGAL AGE. The faculty is usually helpful but the cops in this town are more concerned with chasing drunk students on a Friday night than catching real criminals. Also don't ask them questions even if you're sober, a lot of them seem to think that's a crime too.Too many people get jumped around here--definitely don't walk by yourself at night, even if it's not that far!

1st Year Female -- Class 2014
Campus Maintenance: A+, Surrounding City: F
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I can't believe I chose to go toSuper BrilliantAerospace Engineering
I can't believe I chose to go to UMD over an ivy league. I thought saving money (full ride w/ banneker key) would be worth it, but this education is sub-par with a even worse campus facility. Housing choices (both on and off campus) are overpriced and the food is disgusting. Would never attend here in a thousand years.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2012
Useful Schoolwork: B, Friendliness: C-
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Let me begin by saying that I hadNot so brightEconomics
Let me begin by saying that I had really high hopes for the University of Maryland. I did a leadership camp program a week before school started and met some really cool people. Overall, it was great.

But as the year went on, I found out what Maryland was about. If I were to choose which school I would go to back in senior year of high school, I would have definitely not picked UMD.

The classes are huge and impersonal. You are able to skip any class at any time because none of the professors know your name. Classes are based not around in-class learning and relevant material, but textbook crunching. Rather than learning from the professor, you end up skipping class midway through the semester because you realize that you're not learning anything important. That said, you can just read the textbooks and take the exams and still do just as well (if not better) as someone who has attended all the lectures.

Some people say the campus is pretty and I agree, it has some nice spots. But much like a pool of poop with gold at the bottom, you'll mostly be staring at the shit. The alumni center is closed off to students. It's really pretty, but there's a steel gate surrounding it to prevent people from getting in. The student athletes have their own cafeteria, which is fenced off and closed to everyone else. Also, there's red brick everywhere -- it gets kind of old.

College Park as a town is horrendous. In a two week period over winter break, 5 students were shot and one had his home broke into (in which he was subsequently shot and killed). There are rundown, closed stores everywhere resembling the economic decay of CP. When I was walking on route one, I saw some black guy beat up his girlfriend as she ran across a busy highway. I also saw a guy threaten someone with a gun. Enough said, this town is a dump.

Let's move onto costs. The diner food isn't good. It's not horrendous and it's certainly edible, but it gets old pretty fast. The food is not all you can eat and they overcharge you for EVERYTHING. I've easily paid over $20 for a meal that is cafeteria quality food. They charge you just for using a cardboard container rather than a tray. About 2/3 the way through this semester, after eating healthy food and gaining muscle through good diet, I ran out of dining points. I've paid an extra $500 in dining related expenses since then. I'm not fat either: I'm 6'2" 160 lbs. If you're an out of state student and are attracted to the cheap tuition, don't go here. They'll make you pay the rest in dining expenses.

Apparently, the students outside my hall are pretty friendly. Try to be placed in an honors/scholars dorm or you might hate it. I got placed with the worst people in the school. I've gotten in two physical fights, both of which I have not instigated. One was started because I was talking to some kids and somebody wanted to rough me up for no reason so he started slamming me against the wall. Then some other kid earlier this semester decides it's funny to spray shaving cream all over my bed. Overall, the guys are stupid, lazy, and drunks. At least one day every week, there's someone's puke smelling up the bathroom. Some always want me to do their homework because they're too lazy to learn the actual material. The girls are just as bad. Some are just plain mean while others just act nice to use you to do their homework. And while there are some really great people who go to this school, they are smart enough to usually go home over the weekend because they know just how boring it is in CP. This school is too big to keep in contact with people on a regular basis, so it's tough to have a good social life if the people on your floor sucks.

Luckily, the academics are easy. I hear engineering is hard, but all the other courses seem pretty easy. I have yet to get less than a B and I don't consider myself that smart. I was able to do very well my first two semesters and got into some very good transfer schools, such as William and Mary and UNC.

Overall, this school isn't great.

1st Year Male -- Class 2014
Collaboration/Competitive: A, University Resource Use/ spending: F
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The University of Maryland - College Park
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