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Auburn University - Comments and Student Experiences |
I majored in graphic design for a year and made absolutely no friends. I was terrified of one professor in particular, who I kept getting stuck with because, well, I wait until the last minute to sign up for classes. That's on me. Anyways, he wasn't a bad professor. He was just arrogant and completely unapproachable. I spent much more time measuring and cutting foam board into little pieces than I needed. I could have learned the basics of 3D design in a much less tedious and more time-friendly manner, had he not held strong to a profound Mr. Miyagi complex, which likely stemmed from his inability to find a job in architecture, which was what led him to become a professor in the first place. His demeanor wouldn't be as relevant to this review if it didn't represent the majority of the Art & Design department.
Every single student, and I do mean every single one of them (I reached out to them, desperate for social interaction) was, on my level at least, arrogant and unapproachable. I could not get to know them past their previous academic history and how far they thought one dot should be placed from the next dot in our godforsaken 2D design class. This social rejection was devastating, as was the project I spent 50 straight hours working on, only to get an F because I didn't finish in time and wasn't a convincing enough liar to be given a doctor's excuse. (By the way, the med clinic at Auburn is run by actual Nazis. They stamp a swastika on your release papers. I promise.)Perhaps I'm just not responsible enough or smart enough or creative enough for Auburn's design program. Maybe I'm being too sensitive. But you damn well better cut that shit out if you plan on going through this program because it's a cold, cut-throat environment past the glass doors of Biggin Hall. I believe the first day they told us only 15 out of about 50-75 students will graduate the program. I don't wish this upon the fragile-hearted. My year at Auburn was the closest to suicide I've ever come.
As for my program, I was a COSAM double major with heavy ties to the School of Forestry and Wildlife. The biological sciences are not for the feint of heart, particularly anything that can go pre-vet or pre-med. As someone who was not on a strictly preprofessional path, I felt like I was constantly competing with the pre-vet/pre-med kids, even though I wasn't on their paths. The intro classes are ball busters, too... I even had a few professors refer to their classes as 'weed-outs'. I also had a few professors that were clearly there for research and not teaching, which was super frustrating. However, the macro bio teachers are typically sympathetic and friendly, and I even got close with a few of them. Expect to work hard, and try not to overload yourself- I took 18 hours each semester and nearly killed myself trying to get the double major. Be reasonable with yourself. My main piece of advice for the biological sciences is to be hyper involved in the clubs. It's an amazing way to get to know your professors and the people you will be in the field with, plus you get some really cool opportunities for research and exploration. I met some great people in TFWS that asked me to send them my resume when I got my degree! It's a total win-win. Alabama is a great place to study plants and animals, so I would highly recommend Auburn if that's your path.
For housing, I would suggest living off-campus. The apartments in the area are diverse in options, and are all pretty cheap. I lived in the Hill and the Quad, and while they are conveniently close, the luxury of a kitchen and your own room is much nicer (and typically costs less). Plus, Southcentral Alabama is stunningly pretty and very spread out, so it was very easy for me to find an apartment complex that was more than a concrete jungle.Overall, my experiences at Auburn were highly positive. The South was charming and friendly, and Auburn was definitely a pocket of old Southern hospitality. However, I am white and come from a fairly affluent family, so I had those advantages. For my friends who are people of color and/or paying their own way through school, their experience was undoubtedly more difficult. Basically, if you are coming from outside the deep South, expect the Southern stereotypes.
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