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The University of Maryland - College Park

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I came to Maryland with a positive attitude:Quite BrightCommunications
I came to Maryland with a positive attitude: it was not my first choice school, but I was in-state and the tuition was affordable. I was looking forward to a fresh start from high school with tons of opportunities. I got the exact opposite at Maryland.

UMCP does have some good academic programs, such as engineering, journalism & business. All of the other majors are pretty much average considering how much UMCP brags about it's "prestige". As a Communications major, I found my classes to be a mixed bag. Some teachers were fine, others I couldn't stand.

Students for the most part are not very excited to learn, they're more bent on partying, drinking, smoking pot & going crazy at football games. The girls tend to be stuck-up, cliquey and extremely boring. The guys are either jocks, nerds or SOMETIMES cool. I sound like I'm stereotyping, but believe me when I say UMCP is a high school re-run.

I don't know why everyone loves the campus so much. It's in a sh*tty town with a high crime rate and terrible traffic. The proximity to DC is not worth going here, and to be honest DC is an awesome city but isn't accessible too much for UMCP college students. The campus landscape is pretty and manicured, but many of the buildings are VERY OLD and practically decaying.

Living on campus sucks. Freshmen dorms are ratty, tiny boxes with no air-conditioning and lots of noise. If you want to move off-campus, you get to pick from the dangerous, sketchy ghetto that is College Park. The food is TERRIBLE and people often get sick from it. Since there is nothing really to eat off campus, you're stuck with dining hall food or fending for yourself.

Classes are enormous for freshmen and usually not worth going to. Lectures are mildly interesting but a bit reminiscent of high school in terms of quality.

The people at UMCP not only tend to be obnoxious, but closed off. Since most people come from in-state and nearby counties, everyone tends to stick to old high school groups or make friends by getting wasted 7 nights a week. I made some good friends but also had to deal with my childish, irritating classmates who thought it was funny to run up and down the hall screaming at 3 AM, stoned out of their minds.Overall, this school is not worth it. Football games can be fun but it gets old after awhile. Academics are generally mediocre, the student body will drive you crazy, and the quality of living is terrible. Luckily I transferred after 2 years of this hell hole. I know people that loved UMCP but as an open-minded, friendly and outgoing person, I was sadly not one of them.

2nd Year Female -- Class 2010
Useful Schoolwork: B, Individual Value: F
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I was pleasantly surprised by this school's amazingQuite Bright
I was pleasantly surprised by this school's amazing facilities. So many student organizations exist. Teaching is not too great overall. Many good lectures though, but not a teaching school-my gpa reflects this. I have needed better explanations than what I've gotten and my opinion is you shouldn't have to go to office hours to get this. A good source for teacher reviews is pickaprof.com

The bad part of this school is the students. I was shocked by the lack of cute guys who attend here. In terms of the white guys, they all look like geeks! To me, girls who wouldn't have given these guys a second glance in high school, do nothing all day, then get all dressed up starting 10pm just to go to a bar and get attention from them. The few cute guys this campus has have a girlfriend or have so many girls all over them all the time because they are in such short supply!

I heard that in college you can be yourself but at this school, you really can't. Drinking dominates. Maybe it's like this at most schools, but weekends, evenings, it's all drinking. This school has something like 11% of students in sororities, but the mentality (getting drunk, being hard to deal with, casual relationships, etc.) is more like 90% of the girls. It is unbelievable to me how students who had high gpas in hs and so many extracirriculars then only care about drinking and grades in college. If you don't drink, no one wants anything to do with you. If you don't drink or aren't a hard core Christian, it is very hard to find a niche, because you don't fit anywhere!

Besides alcohol and grades, students also care for one more thing...sports! Basketball and football are big here. Students get drunk before games, go to the game, and scream the whole time they are there. Again, geeky guys cheering for the jocks so a little bit of a puzzle and girls who like to watch 4 hours of football...interesting. More watchable sports to me like baseball and golf are not supported by the students at all. Students also play intermurals, but for the most part, you need a team when you sign up and you have to be good, so playing for fun or to learn isn't really an option.

The area closest to the school is DC. DC is grimy and unsafe mostly. PG county is also unsafe. Students can take the metro to get to DC or some places in PG or Montgomery County, Maryland. Word of advice: try not to get off anywhere on the green line, except to change stops because the areas are not safe at all. Bethesda is the best place, most clean and safe, to go. Dupont Circle is alright too, lot of business / government people work there. Many students go to Georgetown to shop, but you have to take a bus from the metro to get there, which eats up a lot of time. It's better to go to Union Station, stores are right at that station. Arlington, VA is 35 minutes by metro and is a nice area with a good mall right there.

Overall, so many opportunities exist at this university. It is just a shame more students don't take advantage because with a lot of fun things the university offers, such as clubs where you can go on trips: sailing, surfing, white water rafting, hiking, etc. a person can't really go by themself. Because students can join or start clubs, it is very easy to grow in leadership skills which I have immensely--did nothing in hs, have an unbelievable resume right now.

3rd Year Female -- Class 2006
University Resource Use/ spending: A+, Surrounding City: D
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Coming here, especially out of state, was theNot so brightUndecided
Coming here, especially out of state, was the worst decision of my life. Unless you are from Maryland and want to pursue what feels like a continuation of high school, I do not recommend this school..

Academics: I have no teachers that know my name. I have no teachers that care enough to make sure their students are ahead on the material. I have a few that are very condescending and make you feel stupid when you ask any type of question. Not a quality education in any sense, you could get better at a different state school.

Night Life: HAAA. Few ghetto bars and the occasional distugstingly packed frat parties. Most of these bars and the streets in general are not even CP students. If this is your idea of a good time, then maybe you'll enjoy it here and I also sincerely pity you. Don't expect to go out alone at night either, and don't expect their to be house parties. Don't expect anything, this place utterly is not a party school despite what people say.

People: If you're from Maryland, you probably won't have a problem getting along seeing as how I'm sure 50% of your high school is here. If you're not, people are very close-minded. There are a few other represented states that tend to fit into the MD lifestyle, i.e. New Jersey. Don't come here out of state thinking people will be open to meeting you. In reality, people could care less. Everyone is very inconsiderate and rude.

Food: is terrible. There are no nice places to eat off campus too so you're basically screwed.

Safety: What safety? College park is a slumI don't even feel like naming more reasons. Do not make the same mistake I did, I pay for it every day of my life until I finally have the opportunity to get out of here.

1st Year Female -- Class 2013
University Resource Use/ spending: C+, Individual Value: F
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The University of Maryland - College Park
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