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DePaul University - Comments and Student Experiences |
COMMUNITY. Or lack thereof. There was no school spirit. There was no "We are DePaul!". It was a just a collection of people who came in to pump their brains full of liberal propaganda, to get that B.A./B.Sc. No one socialized outside of class, and my computer science classes were the worst offenders. Trying to organize even a mundane group study at Starbucks (no product placement intended) was like herding cats. I visited a buddy at another school, and made friends within 2 days I was there.
CAMPUS ARCHITECTURE. A few older buildings are amazingly beautiful, like the Byrne hall and the Coreylou Commons. The Richardson Library was built in 1993, but looks almost genuinely historic. There two more historic buildings, but they were torn down. Most other buildings are made of ugly, sterile-looking red brick, the one they build condos out of in gentrifying neighborhoods. No character or wow factor at all! If you walked on Kenmore or Belden, you wouldn't know a university was there unless you read the signs.
FIRST-YEAR LIBERAL STUDIES PROGRAM. It's basically glorified diversity training. You spend $400 per credit hour to learn that all straight white men are bad, and all women and minorities are good. Explore Chicago was nice, though. I still have Chicago's street grid memorized thanks to that class.
DEPAUL ACTIVITIES BOARD, the student organization. I was a member, and enjoyed it at first. But in later years, I started getting a bad vibe. It was an elitist organization for students who live on campus (but not on paper, of course), and my presence as a commuter was merely tolerated. Their events stunk. A famous comedian performed only once a year, the Homecoming dances had enough cops there to make it feel like a prison yard, and the Fest was just meh.
VALUE FOR MY MONEY: Abysmal!!! I'm still paying off the students loans, and for what? An education that I could have gotten at a state school 1/4 the price and a boring college experience to boot. If I could buy out the school, close it, and sell off the buildings, I would.
REDEEMING FEATURES. There are only two: small class sizes and the Students Ambassadors organization. I liked being able to raise my hand in class to ask a question, and the Ambassadors made me feel welcome and appreciated, despite me being the only commuter in the organization.In a nutshell, BORING! I found a better sense of camaraderie and shared enjoyment on a cheap cruise than I did in 4 years at DePaul.
DePaul has top programs in Music, Theatre and Business, but all programs seem to be solid from what I see. DePaul and Chicago are places that allow you to create yourself into a person that you want to be. The experiences of being independent in the city and at a big city school truly push, pull and shape you into a more well-rounded and wise person, and forces personal development and invaluable life experience. Classes are challenging but are not full of busywork, which is something I love about this place; things are practical and geared toward real-world application.
There is not much school spirit on an athletic level at the moment, because of the fact that our basketball team was top-20 year after year in the seventies and eighties, however there is school spirit on an academic and institutional level. There are definitely positive vibes among the student body about simply being a DePaul student for the school itself, as well as being a Chicago college student.
Job and internship opportunities here in Chicago are stellar when compared with a typical college town. Myself, as well as many of my friends, have jobs/internships during the year that will surely lead some of us to a long-term career. These employment opportunities are certainly easier to find in this type of environment.The social scene here is great, but is for a certain type of person. This person is independent, resourceful, diverse and open-minded. In terms of parties, fraternities have parties and sororities and GDIs show up to them. There are also regular house/apartment parties, which when not hosted by Greeks are generally tamer, however, good times can always be found with the right people and in the right setting. The bars around campus and nightclubs in certain neighborhoods short trips away are always a fun time. There are countless non-alcoholic things to do around the city of course, including world-class museums, the CSO, Lyric Opera, tons of concerts and festivals, Chicago's sports teams, and simply taking trips on the CTA to many of Chicago's unique neighborhoods. If you're looking for the quintessential college experience, you won't typically find it here, because of the fact that DePaul is an open and urban campus and students generally prefer to live off campus in apartments in surrounding neighborhoods. However, if you love the excitement and opportunity of the city, the urban beauty that Chicago is, and the idea of being independent in this type of atmosphere, you might just find your heart stolen by this place.
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