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.
To start off I am a black female from out-of-state. Speaking on diversity at this school-there is alot of it! There is a place for everybody at this school to fit in. I will admit there is some clique-iness around (other races only hanging out with themselves, etc.) but we don't live in a post-racial world in my opinion so there will always be things like that until we do. But there are more groups of diverse friends than anything else here. I haven't seen any racism here and I'm going to go ahead and say it's because UMD's student population is made up of mostly open-minded people than close-minded people. Not saying that there aren't any close-minded people here-but you would have to try pretty damn hard to run into some. Now speaking on being an out-of-stater, I read the comments here about "if you are an out-of-stater don't come here-it isn't worth the money" and "you won't have any friends if you come here from another state because half of the people here came with alot of people from their high school" and other comments along that line. When I read that back during my senior year in high school, I got turned off from coming here even more. There are people that have their high school friends here-but that is not the majority of people here from what I've seen. Maybe it is true of the freshman class but the people of every other class I've met (and I've met alot this semester) don't really talk about their high school friends at all. And just because people here do have friends from their high school does not mean they don't want to make friends with other people-they do. I can honestly say that I have made more friends (better friends at that) here at UMD in the last 3 months than I have in my hometown all 18 years of my life. Do take advantage of clubs and organizations-if you don't then do expect the other negative reviews to start looking like the truth. Like they say-it is all what you make of it.
Now for the whole "being a number in a classroom"-it will only happen if you let it happen. Teachers and T.A.s almost always have office hours-use them to your advantage. That is how you don't become a number. There will (not often) be that one teacher that doesn't have office hours because "that's what your t.a.'s office hours are for" (I actually had a teacher say that to the 300+ class I'm in). But if that happens, the next best thing is the t.a. and I advise you to take advantage of their office hours.
The crime on campus-at the beginning of the year they were just stupid things that would make you say "And that person was doing that why?" and they were usually crimes that were the victims fault-like going upstairs with your bf at a party to "sleep", waking up to getting groped by a man that was not your bf, and calling the police several hours after the incident happened. Now before thanksgiving is when the crimes started getting a bit more serious. There was an armed robbery outside of my hall the week before thanksgiving break (which was not during the usual said crime hours of 12:00-4:00 but at at least 10:00 going on 11:00), and two more during that following weekend that were not during the usual crime hours either. Just always have 1+ people walking with you at night time wherever you go-especially if you are walking from north to south campus because south campus tends be deserted earlier then north campus does. And always keep a close eye on your stuff-especially at parties. I have a friend that went to her friend's friend's party and because it was a friend of a friend she thought it was ok to set her stuff down for two minutes. Her wallet and her phone got taken and she had to have everything replaced from her id card to her credit card. Common sense-don't lay your stuff out in the open unless you are going to have your eye on it.Aside from the crime-there is nothing about this school that is bad in my opinion. Everybody is friendly, there are so many resources around to help you, and there is a niche for everyone-whether it be partiers, people who are big into academics, atheletes, etc. And the best part about that is that a lot of these groups tend to mix-and you will see people fit into more than one group. Like I said-it is diverse. Coming to UMD has been the best decision I have made in my life so far and I can't wait to see what the rest of my years here will be like. It is worth every penny.
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