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The University of Maryland - College Park

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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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Honestly, I don't know why there have beenAverageOther
Honestly, I don't know why there have been a number of negative reviews lately about this school. Too many bitter students...? Depending on your major, attending this school will be challenging, but let's be honest. We're talking about college. We're not in high school anymore, and if you're planning on an easy four years, then this school (or any school?) isn't right for you. Obviously classes will be harder depending on your major (bio, engineering, envsci, etc), so I really don't think anyone has the right to complain about that.

As for social life, there are plenty of things to do and people to meet here. I didn't meet as many friends as I hoped to my freshman year because I was stuck in a primarily-sophomore dorm, but I still met a couple of people that I connected with. This year I met so many more. Honestly sometimes you just have to go out of your comfort zone and go ahead and introduce yourself; that's how I met almost everyone this year, and we're all such good friends now. Before attending this school, I was super shy and reserved. Most of the time RAs will have activities to introduce you to your hallmates, and you'll end up being extremely good friends very quickly, so there's really nothing to worry about in that aspect. Plus, people here are always willing to go out and play games, sports, or just plain hang out watching tv or playing video games. Sunny days at Maryland are the best because students will just be out on the mall enjoying the weather (biggest mall in the nation, btw).

Back to classes... Teachers are almost always there to help you. if not, there are guided study sessions, TA hours, free tutoring services. There are a variety of ways to get help if you are struggling in a class; many people form study groups (and I highly recommend that because some of the classes here are impossible to survive without one). Come to Maryland.. you won't regret it! I sure don't.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2013
Useful Schoolwork: A+, Individual Value: D+
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I have been at Maryland for two yearsNot so brightAgriculture/Horticulture
I have been at Maryland for two years now and am finally transferring. I never saw myself here but made a last minute decision to go here after getting rejected or wait listed by my top schools. I started off as an architecture major, but I felt that the other students in the program were only doing it to get a job that seemingly paid well, and the faculty was often condescending and somewhat close-minded. I switched to environmental science, only to find enormous science classes with professors who are also researchers and therefore have very little time to devote to their students. And of course, many math and science TA's don't speak very much English -- that being said, I have no problem understanding them, but I find they have trouble understanding me when I ask questions. Even the first weekend at school, everyone already had friends and weren't about to leave their clique to meet new people (girls on my hall used to come into my room mostly to just borrow clothes). The school didn't make it any better by not providing enough well-advertised events for freshmen to meet each other. People here really seem content to settle for less than their best in many aspects of their careers as students. I think the only people who may be happy here are those involved in Greek life, but the process to join a sorority are superficial and there are so many girls rushing that no one can actually get to know each other, and the decision ends up being based on looks or clothes.However, people in sororities and fraternities seem pretty comfortable there. Other than that, extracurricular activities (and many school-run events) are either ill-attended or disorganized. I think it really is possible for SOME people to be happy here, but I recommend applicants know for sure what they want before they come. This school is big - it's easy to blend if you're into that but if you put in a TON of effort, you may get to know some professors. There is some "school spirit," but most sporting events are just excuses for people to get embarrassingly drunk and miss the whole game (not true fans, if you ask me).
2nd Year Female -- Class 2013
Campus Aesthetics: A-, Individual Value: F
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The University of Maryland - College Park
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