Santa Monica College
Santa Monica College - Comments and Student Experiences|
Now while I appreciate the fact that they lived up to this promise I am not happy in terms of the preparation I received from this school. Being at UCSD I've realized how laughably easy all the courses I took were compared to the courses I've been taking at UCSD. I'm struggling to keep my grades up here and I blame SMC for not preparing me properly. Honestly I'm really fearing that I might get kicked out of this school right now.
As for the professors most of the professors I had were solid they did their job however I found most of them to be unapproachable, rude, haughty, kind of weird, and impersonal. There was this one math professor who was a complete jerk to me although I did sort of invite his reaction but still he could have handled it professionally. I started smiling quite smugly and shaking my head during this one exam at myself cus I knew I was fucked and he caught my smug smile and me shaking my head and I guess he took it as a jab at his teaching. I didn't get my exam back while the entire class did and I asked him where my exam was and he told me to meet him after class. I was so confused but I had a bad feeling it had to do with the "show" I displayed during the exam. So I go to see him after class and the guy literally writes a big fat F right in front of me like he didn't even bother to actually grade it like I literally I got a 0. He gave me this look as if I should "know" why. I mean I know I behaved rudely but dude this isn't high school and that was literally so unprofessional the guy took it way too personally. I wish I had reported that to administration at the time. I've never been so embarrassed and treated so disdainfully in my life. That was the weirdest most uncomfortable I've ever felt.
I also had this one English professor who was very haughty and unapproachable and also took things way too personally. He hated me because I was always late but I also got the vibe that he just plain did not like me for no other reason except for whatever "vibe" I was giving off. I never participated in his class because I didn't like his demeanor. I'm pretty certain it's because I was always late to his class though so whatever I guess some professors actually do care. It didn't affect my grade though.
I take these experiences as a reflection of the caliber of professors you'll meet here. The professors I've had at UCSD are so much better than the professors I had at SMC like I didn't realize how deprived I had been till I got here. Here the professors are incredibly passionate, very approachable, super helpful, and actually challenge me and I'm pretty sure they would have handled whatever attitude they perceived of me professionally and they honestly have the right to act haughty and condescending given the fact that they're teaching at UCSD and most of my professors have Ivy League degrees and have done groundbreaking research. Like I'm sorry SMC professors but where are your Ivy League degrees? What have you contributed to the academic realm? I guess they're contributing to the general public which is quite honorable I guess but still they needed to chill.
As for student life. The students are pretty strange. They're all dressed outlandishly and stylishly. The students here at UCSD are way different in that aspect, here everyone dresses conservatively. When I was at SMC I thought all the college kids were dressing like that but no it was an SMC thing but mostly could simply be attributed to it's being an LA thing. It's Santa Monica and everybody who lives there actually dresses like that.
I was able to meet some pretty cool down to earth people here though. I even had some random girls approach me and just befriend me out of the blue which was very cool. I made friends in classes quite easily too but they were only temporary sadly. I mostly just hung around my best friend from high school. While socializing was sort of dry there UCSD socializing is completely nonexistent and the people here are boring and not as friendly as the people were from SMC. I miss people watching all the kooky people around campus and making temporary semester BFFs lol though UCSD is known for being dull in terms of socializing and I'm pretty sure the social scene would be a lot better at UCLA for example and would undoubtedly trump SMC.
The parking situation is horrendous but you've just got to plan around it. I was mostly taking 8 am classes so I had the motivation to park extra early. Everything's all good until pretty much exactly at 7:30 so do not for the love of god be late for parking if you want to be horrendously late for or miss class. Actually parking might even be filled up by like 7 during the first 2-3 weeks so get there by 7 in the first few weeks of the semester. This is only the case in the beginning of the semester towards the end as people drop classes it's all smooth sailing though during about the middle of the day it will probably still get full so proceed with caution.
In all honesty I don't see why people complain so much about parking when they have satellite parking and shuttles to get you to main campus and satellite parking is free! I never once had a problem finding parking at the satellite campuses. Park at Bundy or the Communications building. The shuttle is always on time. If I wasn't so lazy about making time to take the shuttle instead of battling out it in the parking wars on the main campus I would have just not payed for the decal but I wanted the sweet luxury of being able to leave straight after class instead of waiting 30 minutes for a shuttle to arrive.
If you do decide to park on the main campus there are metered parking spots around the area which is what I would do when I was late for parking and it was too late to take the shuttle, after class I'd just move my car. Those are the closest walk to campus. I've heard you can find free parking around the area like I think the freeway bridge nearby has free parking but it's a very far walk. My brother told me he just does that.
Honestly the only thing I absolutely loved about this school was its location. It's in the best location in LA hands down. Santa Monica is honestly one of the best areas in LA. The pier, beach, and promenade are a bus ride away that you can ride for free as an SMC student!
The campus is way too small for the amount of students here it's so overcrowded. The buildings are very industrial and boring and kind of ugly and outdated and have a rundown public high school aesthetic. Not that easy on the eyes. The library is tiny as hell too and super noisy! I never went there to study. I did all of my studying at home.
As for campus safety I don't have much to say. During the day it feels safe. Not too sure about night time as I was rarely there past dark. While I was attending we actually had a campus shooting and two people were killed. Thankfully I hadn't been on campus at the time. It's LA though so I'm pretty certain it can be shady at night.
All in all this school offers nothing exceptional besides getting you into a good school. Transferring is so easy here because they have transfer agreements with so many schools not just UCs and Cal States.
I'm giving this a neutral rating because it wasn't a very exceptional experience and it got the job done for me. I got into a top ranking UC out of it. Oh and I'd recommend joining the scholars program. The majority of the professors are actually great and you get priority admission into classes meaning you're able to sign up earlier than most especially important since classes get full very quickly.
I've been here far too long - longer than I'm willing to admit - due to my own lack of motivation when I was fresh out of high school; however, that means I KNOW the good and the bad about this school.
THE BAD -- parking. That's it, parking. Ridiculous. The end. If you're thinking of arriving here around 9-10am because your class doesn't start until noon and you think 2-3 hours ahead is more than enough... well, you're wrong. If you want to find a parking space your best bet is to arrive by 7:30 AT THE LATEST. Not during the first 2 months of fall semester though! Better be there by 6:45! [This does not apply if you have evening classes] Oh, and the parking decal is $85. TOO EXPENSIVE when you aren't guaranteed a spot.
Also, higher division math professors... GOOD LUCK. They all suck. Not joking. Check ratemyprofessors.com and trust the comments. There may be 1 or 2 exceptions to that. Science courses here are INTENSE. Yes, the caps were necessary. I KNOW this is due to SMC's attempt to prepare all students for UCLA. Hey I get it, these are future physicians, vets, engineers, pharmacists, dentists, etc., but I'm almost sure the classes at UCLA are not as hard as the classes at SMC. (Some professors teach at both schools and they know what goes down at each)
THE GOOD -- Any other major besides a math-based or science-based? You'll pass with flying colors. I WOULD KNOW, I've taken many GE's and received 100% in several GE classes. Really? Wish I could say the same about chemistry.
There are many professors who actually DO CARE about your performance in their class. Attend office hours (my worst regret when I was in my young, immature stage) - these people are paid to help, take advantage. Attend tutoring - math lab tutors and science tutors available.
Many clubs & programs available (Adelante, Black Collegians, STEM, Scholars, etc...) Sorry, I know nothing about clubs.
PS, if you're here to socialize and make friends, shouldn't be a problem making friends in your classes. Keywords, IN YOUR CLASSES. Friendships don't usually last thereafter. IMO. And does anyone actually hang out in Santa Monica that doesn't live nearby? The beach is fairly close so I know people who bus it over. Cool stuff. Not me. I'm not about that life. I should have gone to LACC. It's a joke there. :D
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