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| The University of Chicago is so often characterized as a social and academic wasteland, filled with students who weren't bright enough and didn't have the graces to get into an Ivy League school, and as a result are tortured day and night by the Core Curriculum.|
Oh, and they're not supposed to ever have fun.
People who think that way about the school have their reasons-- sure, the school has a high acceptance rate compared to the Ivy League, making it look like an easier school, and of course not everybody thinks that reading Aristotle and Kant is a good time. But for the students who want it, there's nothing better, and students left and right are turning down top schools like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford for the Chicago experience.What makes Chicago unique-- aside from its great resources, the attention that profs turn towards students, and the self-motivated student body-- is that students feel free to talk about academics day and night. That's not saying that they ALWAYS have intellectual conversations, or that they don't like talking about hot girls and playing beer pong, it's just saying that they ALWAYS CAN. Similarly, the school is terrific for those who want to pursue graduate school, but one is hard-pressed to find students who only care about grades and their career and not about the learning at hand.
|May 17 2007|| 1st Year Female --
Class 2010 |
| I was not qualified to go to U of C. I had extraordinary SAT scores. So, I was smart, and I had read a lot of books. But my academic background in high school was not remotely adequate to prepare me for U of C. And I did not arrive there with a good work ethic, though I did not realize that until I grasped how much work one had to do merely to survive. U of C taught me how to work hard, a lesson I might not have learned otherwise. It taught me that there are hard, objective standards of quality in work and in life, and there are people who demand compliance with them, and that you either rise to them or you do not, and that failure is possible. I was naive about the process, and made poor decisions about what classes to take and suffered the consequences. I graduated with a poor GPA. If I had it to do over again, I would do it. Going to U of C leveraged me into a higher quality intellectual, academic and ultimately professional world than I would have gotten to otherwise. A priceless though in some ways unpleasant experience. I got to meet and to know people who were absolutely top rank, and who would go on to do extraordinary things. And I loved many of the classes which have stuck with me to this day. My mind and life were shaped by them and I would not trade that experience for anything. And I met my wife there. As someone who was not qualified to be there in the first place, I am grateful that the University made a mistake in my case, and that I got in anyway, and got out anyway. |
|Feb 23 2007|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |