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"After dreaming of UCLA for years, has it really come down to this?" |
"What am I, a genius and the hit of the age doing at UCR?"
That pretty much describes the thoughts of the incoming freshmen. UCR is a school where many people think their dreams go to die. Considered a school of last resort, especially by overachieving Asians, most of are in a downer mood the minute they step on campus.
And hence is the main problem with UCR. Freshmen have a bad start, with the wrong attitude from the get-go. And reality often mirrors expectations.
Its all too easy to fall into such a position. Many people around you feel the same way. The first experience of college, according to the movies, is supposed to be in an ancient ivy-blanketed edifice where dreams soar, where you can date a beautiful girl after hatching a Dead-Poet-Society-like plan with your high and mighty classmates.
And now UCR?
Actually, the students here are not that bad. UCR is one of the top 100 schools in the nation. Most of the students live on campus, so it's not going to be a boring commuter school.
But the majority of the students here never realize that. They feel that have to show off with expensive stuff, to compensate for their false belief that they failed. They have to compare with the upper-class elite UCLA. So the students tend to be overly snobby, arrogant, perhaps even angry.
And such a disease also has infected the professors and TAs. Students have more of an effect on professors than many acknowledge. Professors here, many from the top schools all around the nation also generally feel that they are not quite as well-off and respected as they should be. They compensate for not being a Berkeley or UCLA professor by purposefully gaining an absent-minded and unapproachable feel.
The situation is definitely not alleviated by the city and campus aesthetics. Riverside, though not as crime-ridden as some claim, is indeed a "metropolis of trailer parks and fast food joints". UC Riverside really resembles a business park more than the graceful, artistic, bucolic, picture-perfect campuses seen in movies. No one is going to gain any inspiration from the surroundings.
So far, I've pretty much castigated everything about this school, so why the neutral rating?
Because college is what you make of it.
You can still find what you're looking for.
If you search more carefully, there are lots of internships to join. Not all of your classmates are going to be disappointed, antisocial showoffs. While the majority of girls tend to be UCLA wannabees, there will be a gem or two looking for an individual less conceited than they have experienced so far.
There will be a professor that you can get along with. So make the best of what you have. UCR doesn't have the resources or reputation of other UCs, but you dont need to wallow in that forever.
|Aug 05 2012|| 3rd Year Male --
Class 2013 |
| I'm a fourth year student graduating this year. My experience at UCR has been phenomenal. I transferred here from another university because I wanted to be closer to home. UCR's philosophy program is phenomenal and was a major deciding point when I was deciding where to go. The faculty is filled with engaging, accomplished professors who are eager to meet with their students and discuss big issues. General Education classes can be pretty large and demanding, but once you start delving into your major, your classes get smaller and filled with students who are interested in the same things you are. It's really great.|
There's a big arts scene at UCR, which I loved and participated in. There are lots of cultural events, concerts, and publications to get involved in and bump up your resume. I wrote for and led several organizations, which would never have been as easy if I had gone to a big-name university.
UCR isn't considered super prestigious, but that's because it used to admit students who were rejected from other UCs. Now, the university is way more selective and our rankings are climbing every year.
The surrounding city is not as pretty as the campus. UCR has a lot of trees and a very park-like feel, and there is a village center down the street with a theater and plenty of places to eat. After the village, though, the ghetto part of Riverside takes over for a bit until you get back into Downtown Riverside. So, it's a mixed bag. People complain about smog and homeless people. I've never seen a homeless person on campus in my entire 4 years here. The main city of Riverside is smoggy, yeah, but so is LA. So Cal is smoggy. There are lots of trees and a botanical garden surrounding the campus, so the smog is limited to the metropolitan part of Riverside.
In short, do some research for yourself and visit campus. I'm really proud to be a Highlander and I'm excited for the future ahead of me. I've gotten into a big-name law school with my philosophy degree, and UCR provided me with the opportunities and experience I needed to become a truly effective student and human being. People who complain that UCR is "UC Rejects" haven't been on campus in decades and haven't heard all of the cool stuff professors and students are up to these days.Fiat lux!
|May 25 2012|| 4th Year Female --
Class 2012 |