Appalachian State University
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Appalachian State University - Comments and Student Experiences|
First and foremost: the weather. Do not underestimate this. I came here thinking that it would be a minor detail that I could learn to deal with, but there really are some weeks where it rains all day every day 24/7. If you do decide to come here make sure you have a good big hooded raincoat and watertight rainboots--umbrellas are useless since the wind, which is also whipping the rain in your face, will get around them. Usually we have sideways-rain, it doesn't fall down on top of you so much as at you. Anyway, you WILL get wet and in the winter, the rain is freezing cold, so mostly you have to just stay cooped up in your dorm room, coming out of it only to take long treks to classes in it. (I don't mind lots of walking, I think it's good for staying healthy, but if you don't, be aware that there is a lot of walking up hills, up steps, down steps, down hills. this is mountain country.) It does snow often too, and the campus is quite beautiful when it's all covered in snow, and people go sledding, build igloos, etc. which is fun. However after a while it gets pretty old and the snow gets all gross. and piles up to the sides of the roads and freeze into big ice piles.
So, be prepared to be cold and be prepared to be inside a lot. High school seniors beware: the freshman dorms here, which you have a good chance of being put in, are horrendous. These are the smallest dorms on the east coast, smaller than a federal prison cell. They were originally single-person dorms but now are shared by two people. Gardner and Coltrane are the two dorms that I'm speaking of, and the rooms are something like 10 feet by 12. They are also very old, showers dribble and water goes from burning to freezing, all in all it feels unsanitary and old. The good news is that the dorm is built in such a way that since everyone is packed so close together, everyone on the floors know each other well and you'll have a good chance of making friends. I hear a lot of complaints from people who were put in really nice, big dorms, that they don't have any friends. This is because their dorm room is NOT horrible therefore they are always in it. Always in the dorm room = you're not going to meet new people the same way you would if you were in a close-knit crappy dorm. Not all the dorms are as bad as these, there are some which are quite nice and shiny, but if you're a freshman you'll probably be cramped for your first year.
Faculty so far, in my experience, have been really helpful and friendly. I haven't had one bad teacher, all of them really have cared about helping me and been available if I needed them, and were really in love with their subjects. Other people might not have had the luck I've had, but so far my teachers have been great. Then again when choosing classes I relied heavily on ratemyprofessor.com. make sure you do too.
In terms of students: Sorority sluts. Frat bros. They roam in large obnoxious herds infecting everything they touch with stupidity. If you're interested in joining an idiot Greek cult yourself, you'll probably enjoy yourself here. I obviously can't stand them so I have a harder time with it. I also personally can't stand drinking and doing drugs, and that really is all anyone seems to be interested in doing here. There is little to do in Boone but get drunk, and every weekend everyone's out at it. Once again you'll find this at other colleges, too, it just seems more rampant here in Boone. I haven't really met anyone who doesn't get smashed all the damn time, except my roommate.
In terms of things to do we have one little cool street, King Street, with lots of cute little hippy shops, a coffee shop, restaurants, etc. However it gets old, especially if you don't have money. That's about it. There's a tiny one-floor 'mall' with a few nice shops, and a Wal-Mart. Aside from that, really no place to go. And, parking on campus is impossible. They make you park the car miles away, then you have to take a bus to the parking lot to go get your car. The bus, Appalcart, is notoriously useless. The drivers will drive right by you, be hours late to the stop, etc. It is literally an all-day 5-hour event trying to take a bus anywhere. Hence you'll be staying on campus 24/7.
Buildings are mostly pretty nice, clean and spacious. The library is new and very nice/modern, the student union and dining halls are very newish, nice buildings, as are most class buildings. Biggest exceptions to the rules are the anthropology/language building and the art building, both of which have not been remodeled since the 70s. There are a couple of big wide tree-filled lawns where people throw frisbees and play football on nice days, but when it rains they turn into mud puddles.
If you are an art student: DO NOT COME HERE. this is probably the reason I'm transferring. The art program is ridiculous. You have to basically take b.s. classes that won't help you improve at all. I've been taking art classes since I was 10 and here I am re-learning the color wheel. They will not push you or help you excell; instead you will find yourself required to take useless classes with projects designed for 6th graders. Did you take AP art in high school? Your credits have a 15% chance of being accepted; they probably won't be. The building you'll be spending all your time in is probably among the worst on campus and has few windows. ARTISTS NEED WINDOWS. Do not come here if you're an artist. Even if you're not sure if art's what you want to do with your life--you will be required to switch your major to art and submit an application if you want to get in an art class.
So, that's all I can think to tell you about App. I'm going to try to get out of here because I like busy city life and a thriving art scene, but if you like staying home, reading a book and drinking hot chocolate, this is right for you. No crime really, not a scary campus, lots of trees and hills and stuff. If you're that type of small-town homebody kind of person, come here, you'll like it.
Oh, one last thought: App has a reputation as a hippy school, but all the kids here are from Raleigh/Greensboro/Charlotte/etc, so it really isn't a 100% liberal hippy place like some comments suggest. I'm quite liberal, and I feel outnumbered by conservatives here. But my conservative friends have told me that they feel outnumbered by liberals. So just be aware that App is an even mix in terms of political preference just like any other place. Good luck with your choice and don't worry about making friends. Even if you choose wrong, like I'm sure I did, you WILL make friends.
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