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| Friendly "Minnesota nice" students help make UMTC feel smaller and general experiences in the crowds pleasant, but this school is still very huge. You will definitely be lost in the crowd if you don't pick a group to invest yourself in. The religious groups are the best ones to get involved in - even if you are unsure about religion at first- they offer free cookouts, the strongest friendships, and the most meaningful volunteer work make them a good choice. It is easy to go to church on Sunday here and people feel better and more connected after they go to mass. U of M is also a very huge campus spread out over two sides of the river and even a campus in St. Paul. Most students bring bikes and ride them even in the dead of winter to get to class. This student body, on average, is extremely athletic. It will help you to be physically in shape should you decide to enroll here. You will also have to tolerate weeks of very bitter cold, even though there is abundant sunshine, which helps us enjoy snowsports. If you don't like being cold, and you don't like crowds or traveling long distances daily, do not go here. It's that simple. Minnesotan students aren't as worried about being lost in the crowd since most of the school is from in-state with their own high school cliques naturally transported to this college after graduation. Out of staters should be warned to be polite and reserved, respectful of everyone, and the people here will warm up to you. Minneostans can be quite cliquey towards people outside their state, although they are genial. Minneapolis is a sleekly modern city that manages to be vibrant and laid-back at the same time. It is a great city to be involved in the green movement or any liberal ideology you choose to believe in, even if you are conservative. This campus is definitely more friendly towards conservatives than Madison or schools on the coasts. Minnesotans tend to be socially conservative although they are politically liberal as a whole. A great, rather undiscovered spot not far from campus is the beaches of Lake Calhoun, a short bike ride from campus on the Midtown Greenway. There are several "NiceRide" stations where you can rent bikes on campus and all over the city. Use them! It's the quintissential Minnesota experience. Use them rather than the bus, especially when it's warm. Minneapolis is a place where you can enjoy the outdoors eventhough you are in the middle of a highly populated urban area. |
The school is becoming more diverse each year, as are most colleges around the country. Whatever your background, you will find someone like you here, but it is essential to visit each of the residence halls and student groups so you know what's out there. What ever your background, you will find a place where you can fit in, but not in every place will you find people similar to your background. It takes some research and exploration, and this school, being among the largest, doesn't hold your hand. You have to explore and be active on your own. Each residence hall and college within the university has a very different personality. I'd say go here if you prefer to be in an urban environment that still feels like a college town, AND you don't mind the 24/7 stimulation that comes with such an environment. Go here if you can schrewdly navigate very large crowds to find those who you fit with. Go here if you are quite athletic and can take all sorts of weather conditions and travel long distances on foot or on bicycle. Go here, espeically, if you are a reserved but polite personality. Go here if you like being in a major ut also enjoy the peaceful outdoors if you want a break.
|Sep 05 2012|| 1st Year Male --
Class 2016 |
| I am born and raised in the Chicago area, so I'm a pretty tough critic and hard to impress. This school has inspired me every day. Minnesotans simply understand life. Academics are outstanding, but wise Minnesotans know that quality of life doesn't just depend on how much you know. There are very intelligent people who are very unhappy and live unhealthy lives..(eg. "tortured geniuses." ) Minnesotans understand that the key to a healthy, productive life is phyical and positive social interaction and simply caring to make the world a better place. There's an aura of just pure goodness in Minneapolis. Bikers are everywhere, taking advantage of the peaceful greenery that sometimes it makes hard to believe you're in the middle of a major metropolitan area. They are a testament to the people here's general concern for their own health and everyone else's health. It's a very athletic place, but at the same time, it's so relaxed. If you want to see "every small thing makes a difference" in action, go here. A simple gesture holding the door open, a smile from a stranger, cars yielding to pedestrians, or just the people in the rec center caring enough to wipe down each piece of equipment they use - the people here do small kind things that add up - and you better bet it makes a difference: it's called Minnesota nice, and I assure you it's real. Of course, there are "nice" and "less friendly" people everywhere, but the average person here is genuinely a very warm, respectful person. The typical student here embodies the standard Scandinavian personality traits: polite, reserved, and softspoken, but once they get to know you, they're your true friends for life. They value community achievement over individual achievement, (again a very Scandinavian idea), and it makes for so much warmth in the environment. Minnesota is truly an oasis of community in an increasingly impersonal world. There's a reason why Minnesota is on the top of well-being rankings by major surveys.The cold winters scare many people away from this university, like many of my friends back in Chicago. But the cold winters only make everyone cooperate even better. And there's even an extensive network of tunnels and skyways to help. Minneapolis may not be heaven, but it's the closest thing I've seen to it. |
|Aug 31 2012|| 1st Year Male --
Class 2016 |
| I hate this place. I'm in the honors program and I feel like I'm the only one here who doesn't look down upon those who aren't in Honors. By that I mean I have to hear honors students complain about the "stupid people." All the in-state students here mostly hang out with their high school friends, which isn't to say that they don't have college friends, but more that they never let those two worlds mix. I came here with NO friends and found it difficult to make in-state friends. State pride is a huge deal here, and as an out-of-state student I have to hear about it all the time. In-staters consistently ask me to compare how good Minnesota is compared to the other places I've lived, which I didn't experience when I moved to Texas in middle school (for context I'm originally from the Phoenix area). In fact, the famous Texas pride is nothing compared to how in-your-face Minnesotan pride is. In Texas people just talked about Texas every now and then. In Minnesota people are always telling me how much better Minnesota is than Arizona/Texas. Also, whenever people introduce me, they tell me name and that I'm from Phoenix, because they still sort of see me as an outsider. This is way different than what I experienced in Arizona or Texas, where you could go months without actually knowing where someone is from. Where your from is a huge thing here, down to the city.|
A good amount of white students here are pretty racist. As a white person you may only see it once or twice in your time here (it really depends on who you know), but for minority students I'm not ENTIRELY sure if I would recommend attending unless there's no better option. It's a decently diverse campus, and racism isn't really HORRIBLE here, but I know it's better at other places. For example, I once walked with another student by a couple of black people and he honestly turned to me a couple seconds later and asked "dude, how scary was that?" which shocked me. It's not really overt, but it's there.
Academically I feel the school is above average. In terms of test prep I've had many professors who will give out sample exams and then say "most of this will not be on the exam though," but homework and quizzes are decent prep. It could be better, but it could be a LOT worse. Every time I go into office hours professors are INCREDIBLY friendly and if you finish your discussion and nobody else is there, they ALWAYS ask about you, where you're from, how's life, etc. Very nice people.
I ranked the surrounding city a D+, but that's dependent on where you're from. If you're from a small town or Midwestern suburb, you'll probably find it amazing. If (like me) you spent time growing up in inner city areas, you may find it a bit more boring. I grew up on plenty of delicious Tex-Mex and later barbecue on every corner, and while Minneapolis and St Paul have some great 5-star restaurants downtown, there's not much to eat besides Chipotle, Jimmy Johns, a few (good!) campus restaurants, and many (also good!) Chinese/Korean/Vietnamese dives. It has a good culinary scene for the midwest, I'll say that. All nightlife is centered around Downtown, which is within view of campus but still a ways away. Uptown is nice, but even further. There are some nice little indie stores, which is cool. Most everyone here is obsessed with the Mall of America, which is like any other mall but really big and, in my opinion, tacky. There isn't really any "money" areas in the city (I've heard it's like an hour or so outside in the suburbs), which wasn't too good for me because I used to like to take strolls through mansion-lined streets and see how the other half lived. Honestly the city is fairly homogenous though, culturally and ethnically, with a few slight exceptions. If you sound anything like me, you'll grow bored with it, but if this sounds like the place for you, go for it.My advice is that if you're from around here, have any sort of connection here, or there is no better place to go, you'll be fine here. If you're not from around here and got into a school that's about the same or better, I would go there.
|Aug 26 2012|| 1st Year Male --
Class 2015 |