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Parkland College - Comments and Student Experiences|
Registration: It all starts with meeting the advisors, which during registration seems almost impossible but necessary since it's mandatory. I don't know how many times I've told them I don't want to transfer to UIUC, which results in them looking at me like I'm crazy.
Faculty: I've had great instructors, and then I've had instructors who chat the entire class period, and no that does not make the class easy because we still had quizzes every week, homework every night, and tests every chapter. It was a basically on your own class which I wish I would of known prior to registering. If you EVER have to meet with the math chairman, go prepared to face the rudest man at Parkland. I had to meet with him to get his permission to reassess to a higher math class. I saw down in his office and spent 15 minutes of him saying I need to rethink my future, how he doesn't think 4 year universities are for me, and how I am wasting his time. This was all because he pulled up my high school transcript and saw I got a D in geometry my sophomore year, I think he failed to notice I got A's in B's in all other math classes. I left his office more upset, humiliated and angry than I've been in a while. No student should be called "unintelligent" by a college faculty member.
Social Life: What social life? There is none. Unless you're coming here with high school friends. People will avoid interaction here at all costs, with exception to the occasional group project. You will see so many people stare at their iPhone's in a silent classroom while waiting for the instructor. You can show up to Parkland and leave without any conversation at all. I've gotten many strange looks from kids when I try to initiate conversation to get rid of the awkward silence. Students also tend to segregate themselves, whites stick with whites, hispanics stick with hispanics, and blacks stick with blacks. There is also a seating area that tends to be predominately black, me being white I made the mistake of sitting there my first day during break and got many threatening looks. Also, don't sit by the bookstore unless you like to play with Yugioh and Pokemon cards.
I absolutely dread waking up in the mornings and driving to Parkland, and as soon as I arrive, I look forward to my last class ending and getting off campus as soon as possible.
Living: The majority of property theft and homicides occur in the housing south and east of Parkland's campus (off-campus, as their is no on campus housing). Find housing on U of I's campus and commute: it is worth your gas.
Academics: Read the fine print of the academic program you are taking. Then talk to a counselor at the four-year university you are trying to transfer into. Parkland's academic counselors, although friendly, are not knowledgeable about what courses will transfer to other Universities- this is your responsibility and is where you will most likely (like me) get screwed. Focus on your per-requisites here as your upper-division courses will most likely NOT transfer. Courses are straight forward and I never took one that required an excess amount of work- as this is a community college and the demographics don't allow the school to waste ppl's time.Social Atmosphere: There is none here. People are approachable in class but no one goes out partying with each other on the weekends unless they came here from high school together. That's why you should be living on U of I's campus as close as possible to Green Street. Keep in mind their are a lot of north shore (of Chicago) suburban kids at U of I so keep an open mind and a 'don't give a fuck attitude' and just keep being persistently outgoing. It'll help a lot if you live with someone going to U of I. From my understanding, Parkland does a lot for their students than most community colleges in terms of events- but the student body here is comprised of a lot of students who are working full time, have kids already, or are older and returning to college in their 30s+... kind of like a true community college (sarcasm intended).
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