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The University of Maryland - College Park

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB Faculty AccessibilityA
Useful SchoolworkC+ Excess CompetitionB-
Academic SuccessA Creativity/ InnovationC
Individual ValueF University Resource UseC+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB- FriendlinessA-
Campus MaintenanceD Social LifeC-
Surrounding CityC- Extra CurricularsD-
SafetyD
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Arrogant, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Female
SAT1260
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Individual Value
F
Highest Rating
Faculty Accessibility
A
She cares more about Extra Curriculars than the average student.
Date: Nov 10 2005
Major: History/Histories (art history/etc.) (This Major's Salary over time)
I didn't want to go to this University in the first place, but when it worked out that I had to come here, I tried to keep an open mind. My parents both went here, so to them it's heaven. That kind of thing seems to happen a lot- if other people that know you went here, they assume you'll love it just as much as they did.

However, as time has progressed, I have become more and more disappointed by this school. While the programs are generally very good, and there are many opportunities such as study abroad (they really stress that, which is good) and internships, the other factors in the college experience suck. If you love to get drunk as often as possible, come here. Otherwise, look somewhere else. If, say, you look at college as the chance to get a good education that may not be available to everyone, don't come here, because a lot of students don't even care. If you really want to get involved in your school, look somewhere else because the clubs, outside of the very small ones, are at times elitist, and always packed so that it's impossible for underclassmen to get involved. The newspaper, for example, goes so far as to limit itself to journalism majors, and even if you're still a great writer for great ideas, you're going to have to practically beat down their door to get a small article in the paper.

There is very little to do here if you're not a mad partier. Sure, the bars are great for that kind of thing, and even if you're underage, you won't have much of a problem. But if you want to do other stuff, you either better have a car (which few underclassmen do, and the parking's horrid), or be willing to take the time to go to DC every weekend for some activity. A lot of students assume that EVERYONE loves to do the same "cool" things, whatever they may be, and if you want to be who you are, it's very hard to find anything to do, or anyone to be with. The sports can be another problem. If you love them, you will be very happy. If you don't or don't care, you will be very bored.

The social scene here is extremely difficult. Sure, you can join a sorority or frat and have a great experience. The Greek system is excellent here- they don't monopolize campus but they have a good presence, and they're about as respected as you can get. Yes there are people who still have the stupid view of them that they get from movies, but in fact all the students are kinda, friendly, and good students academically. That said, you will be completely lost in the school if you don't join the Greek system. I thought about joining, but instead I've decided to transfer, because I think it's wrong to run into the Greek system just so you can actually have friends. I'd rather have a smaller school and find my niche, and then join a sorority. The school will make you feel like a number. Unless you're lucky enough to get smaller classes your freshman year, your professors won't know or care one bit who you are or even if you're in class. Even in the smaller classes, while the teachers are accessible, they could be better at connecting to their students. And, of course, there are so many TAs. They tend to be good, and sometimes better than the professor, but the fact remains that they are involved in their own studies so much and they cannot provide the education that a professor (should) give.

Many people say the campus is pretty, and it does grow on you, but it could be improved- especially concerning the buildings, many of which are in a scary state of disrepair. The older dorms are awful- do not stay in Wicomico, Carol, or Caroline whatever you do. I know for a fact that Wicomico has not been updated (aside from, maybe, shower doors) since it was built in 1951, and still has asbestos in the floors and around the pipes, and the plumbing is so awful that showers will scald you. I have heard that the newer dorms are much nicer. Unfortunately, the University has a habit of sticking the brighter students (those in honors programs and language programs) in the worse-off dorms. Ann Arundel is an exception.

I will sum up this way: If Maryland is your only choice, make the best of it. You will get a good education. However, if you don't play a sport, I wish you the best of luck in getting involved. If Maryland is not your only choice, or if you are at least able to transfer after a year, go someplace else. Work very hard in hs and get into an Ivy or Public Ivy like W & M, or go check out other state universities.

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