The SJSU Experience
In terms of getting the ?college experience? that is often portrayed through the media or passed from person to person, San Jose State may be worth looking into. As a first year student, I can?t say from personal experience that San Jose will provide a worthwhile experience for students, but I can see from spending a semester here the potential going forward. The students who were here seem to have enjoyed their stay, especially the upperclassmen I?ve spoken with. Of course SJSU is not for everyone, no school is, but the diverse culture, location, and resources available make San Jose appealing to a vast range of people.
Academically, San Jose has much to offer. It is a well-established school for engineering with a plethora of opportunities with its location in Silicon Valley. Engineering companies also come to the school to find future employees, which can get some students a job right after graduation. While San Jose is known for it?s engineering, it also has the best business program as well as great programs in health science, science, animation and more (?San Jose State University? scr. 3). The school has a lot to offer, especially for a public university. It ranked ninth in the West?s top public universities offering bachelor?s and master?s degrees (?Top Public Schools?).
Being in downtown San Jose provides students of San Jose with plenty of things to do off-campus. Within a close walking distance are a number of affordable restaurants such as Johnny Rocket?s, Pizza My Heart, and the oh-so-famous La Victoria Taqueria, ?home of the orange sauce.? For students twenty-one and older, there are quite a few bars and nightclubs they can enjoy on Thursday and Friday nights. Only a block from campus is the newly-built Safeway, and around the corner a Grocery Outlet is on the verge of completion, which will give students the opportunity to by groceries without heavily impacting their wallets. SJSU also gives students unlimited public transportation on the VTA buses and light rail. This allows students to go virtually anywhere without having to spend money. They could visit Eastridge Mall, Santana Row, or even Raging Waters. The public transportation really opens the door for students to explore San Jose and be able to travel to places too far to walk from campus.
The student organizations of SJSU also provide plenty of things to do on campus as well. There is usually some event happening on campus every day, usually free of charge. In addition, the resident advisors of housing do well to plan events that work best for most students to be able to enjoy. Fraternities and sororities also host events, sometimes free and sometimes not, that are almost always fun for any crowd, regardless if they are participating in Greek life or not. There are also outside organizations that come to campus to advertise or entertain the students, such as Rockstar handing out free drinks or EA Sports hosting an NCAA College Football gaming tournament. With the many things happening around the university campus, it usually isn?t challenging to find something to do.
Socially, San Jose is great for meeting new people. US News reported a total of 24,804 students enrolled this year, with the genders split almost down the middle (?San Jose State University? par. 1). What?s more, the campus is compressed into only 154 acres making it seemed packed all day (?San Jose State University? par. 1). Joining one of the clubs, organizations, or going to a social event are all great ways of meeting someone new. For those living on campus, housing is almost a guarantee for meeting new people. During the first weeks of school, most residents usually leave their doors open or go room-to-room introducing themselves and getting to know one another. The resident advisors also coordinate events within their buildings and floors so the residents are able to socialize with one another. Greek life is also a great way to meet people. While US News reports that only 6 percent of male students and 5.4 percent of female students are actually Greek, I, as a pledge, can say I?ve met over one hundred people I probably wouldn?t have met without pledging to a fraternity (?San Jose State University? par. 8).
However, San Jose State does have its disadvantages. While it isn?t extremely difficult to be accepted (US News reports a 75.1% acceptance rate), the school doesn?t have enough classes and seats to support all its students (?San Jose State University? par. 1). For first year students, who are at the bottom of registration?s priority list, it will usually be difficult to get all the classes you need. However, to overcome the high competition for classes, a student can undertake an on-campus service or job such as being a resident advisor, peer advisor, or even taking notes for disabled students. Doing so would give a student priority registration.
For people who aren?t comfortable talking to strangers or have trouble meeting people, it may be a challenge to make friends, as with any college. One obstacle is San Jose is a big commuter school, so many students leave campus after class and only residents are left on campus on weekends. The result, campus is a ghost town on weekends. To combat this, students can join an organization or club to meet people in a more private setting, which may benefit people who tend to be shy. Students can also choose to participate in Greek life to meet new people. I?ve seen that most fraternities are friendly to new members or people thinking about joining. While joining is another fee on top of tuition, it has been a great way for me to meet new people and to form close friendships with a number of people.
San Jose may not be your dream school, it wasn?t mine, but most of the students I?ve spoken to are not disappointed with being Spartans. Including myself, San Jose is a backup school for a lot of people, and is a good choice academically and for providing a great college experience.
?San Jose State University.? US News & World Report. US News & World Report, 2012. Web. 23 October 2012.
?Top Public Schools.? US News & World Report. US News & World Report, 2012. Web. 23 October 2012.