The University of Maryland - College Park
The University of Maryland - College Park - Comments and Student Experiences|
Academics: As an engineering major at UMD, I absolutely love my department. Everyone seems knowledgeable and loves their field and from what I've heard, there seems to be a great number of internships for upperclassmen, and I actually know a freshman who just got a job at the Space Systems Lab last semester! However, one will of course get those classes where one essentially has to teach themselves but office hours are always there and from my experience, the professors are eager to help you with the coursework if you come for help.
Campus: I absolutely LOVE the campus! I just love walking around campus, especially the mall, because you just think "God, I'm in college; my life is just beginning!" However, as an engineering major, living on north campus, I only see a small part of it and the farthest south I go is the Engineering building. But this has actually become a pro. For all of those that are terrified of the large campus size, it really just gives you the option on whether or not you want to disappear into animosity or not. Since most of the people in my dorm are some kind of engineering or science major, I constantly see people I know on my way or even in my classes. It has even gotten to the point of annoyance because I would see everyone constantly, making it feel more like a small town than anything!
Social Life: So I am not a partyier at all and was pretty worried about what it would be like going to what is known as a pretty big party school. However, although I've noticed that a pretty big part of the campus is into partying, it is possible to have a social life outside if it, if you find a group of friends that dont drink either. But I have to admit, from talking to other people, I've realized that I got lucky with my dorm. Yes, everyone on the floor is friends and most of them go out partying on Rt. 1 together but theres never any obnoxiously drunk people in the dorm late at night. And on that note of friends...
Diversity: So yeah, I have noticed a bit of clique-iness and some people tend to stay with old high school friends or people within their own race. But then this is what you make of it. Then there are people who have a very diverse group of friends. Basically, just make an effort to meet as many people as possible and you'll be okay.So overall, your experience here is what you make of it. You can sit there and complain about the academics, all the cliques, and huge party scene or you can go out, be proactive about your education by going to office hours and studying (because you will need to study), and not clinging to old friends from high school and meeting as many people as possible, and with a campus of +20000 undergrads, this will be easy. And although I've never, ever been one for school spirit, I have come to love this place.
Let's just get this out of the way:
Positives-good engineering ranking, pretty campus
Now everything else;
People: The students at this school are just the lowest quality of people I've ever come across. Everyone is rude, self-absorbed, ignorant, and honestly dumb. I came into this place totally open minded and ready to meet people (remember, dream school) and after being here a year and a half I've met ONE person that isn't a huge tool. Everyone is so immature and party obsessed that it actually made me miss the kids from my high school. People go to classes drunk or high if they show up at all. The only conversations you hear are "oh my god i was so drunk last night i can't believe i did that chick who was passed out." I could honestly rant on about the terrible people that plague this campus for hours but I'll spare you.
Housing: Huge problem at this university. On campus housing is horrible. Imagine living in a tiny cinder block cell and sharing it with 2 other people with no air conditioning. The food is disgusting. At least people loose weight here rather than gaining. Off campus housing is a rip off and not safe.
Advising: There is none. They don't tell you about critical information as an entering freshmen. They don't tell you about 45-credit reviews or the repeat policy or anything. You have to go digging through an unorganized website to find it on your own. Don't bother scheduling an appointment to ask an adviser because they won't know the answer to any important question.
The Classes: A huge waste of money. First you have to spend a ton of money on books that the professors write and then you're only issued online busywork. The lectures are a blur of power point presentations that the teacher reads directly from the screen. The discussions are run by arrogant TA's who monopolize the conversation and then grade you on participation or who are unable to answer your questions.
The professors: Suck at teaching. I had one excellent professor (Laskowski-Calc III). But the rest were less competent than my high school AP teachers. They also don't give a flying crap. I've had a lot of health problems since entering college and they were not willing to work with me. If I was in the hospital and couldn't turn in an assignment because of it, they wouldn't accept late work, even with a doctors note. I actually had one physics professor say "you're an adult now, you can't just make excuses." It was the entire university's unwillingness to work with me that made me withdraw. The advisers don't care about you, your professors don't want to see you do well, and they don't care if you leave their school because guess what? There's thousands more just like you.
"Finding your niche": Doesn't happen unless you're interested in Greek life. I tried to join many musical groups because that's what I love. Turns out most groups wont take you unless you're a music major and the only group that would take me said I had to bring my own marimba to join...
Diversity: I feel like I was scammed into this school. There isn't any diversity. If you are different you're pushed into fitting in. I actually met a guy from Jamaica that faked a Maryland 'bro' accent to get into a fraternity. It's also pretty damn segregated because of how the white kids act. The black kids sit with the black kids and the asian kids sit with the asian kids etc etc.
The town: Is disgusting. A few times when I went grocery shopping I had to ask the mall security guard to escort me because there were shady characters harassing me. It's ugly, bad traffic. I've had to swerve to avoid hitting drunk girls falling into the streets. There's no culture.Just don't go. It's the worst decision I've made about my education and now I'm paying.
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