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Columbia University in the City of New York

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I came from Chicago, so I wasn't expectingQuite BrightEnglish
I came from Chicago, so I wasn't expecting to have a problem being in the city. And I'm not. The city is great. It's the school that's killing me. I feel completely and utterly invisible here. I've gone through entire days without talking to anyone. And I'm not a particularly awkward person; I've been in a lot of different situations, i.e. study abroad programs, Habitat for Humanity trips, where I've had to make friends and I've never had a problem with it. I've made ONE real friend here so far. This school could care less that you're here. You get the feeling that they want you to be well aware of the fact that if you don't like it, there are three thousand other kids who would be more than willing to take your place. I've honestly never cried so much in my entire life. If you need a sense of community, or if you're not in to going to three different bars and getting drunk out of your mind every single weekend, this isn't the place for you. There is basically no campus life because they assume you'll go into the city. I'm sure there are other people who feel the way I do, but they're probably stuck like I am, sitting in my dorm, wondering why the hell I didn't go somewhere else.
1st Year Female -- Class 2008
Education Quality: A, Social Life: D
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Academics: You'll enjoy this college only if you are sBrightChemical Engineering
Academics: You'll enjoy this college only if you are sociable and you like going out. NYC is just the place. But if you are an academic (eg. you do more work than play) you're definitely not going to like it here. You are going to be loaded with TONS of work. Lots of pages to read. You think high school pushed you past your limit? Come here and you'll be pushed even more. The faculty here is ridiculous considering what my parents are paying for. I only have two good teachers out of my five classes. The rest, you might as well read the textbook and not go to class. Trust me, the opportunity cost is much better if you learn on your own here. It's just not worth listening to a bad professor for 1 hour and 15 minutes, when you could be learning something useful on your own. It’s also very hard to get good grades in this school. Professors here are TOUGH graders. They don't cut you slack.

The Food: The food is horrible. Don't expect your meat to taste good. It'll either taste like nothing or it'll just be plain horrible. The lunch people here are mean. They seem to have a grudge against all the students. I think it's because they assume that we're all elitist snobby kids even though a medium percentage of us are not. Also, all the food here is what you would call "American". Fast food and all. You're thinking McDonalds huh? NO. I wish. It's like food that's been left out for days. I'd advise you to get a meal plan that lets you dine outside of the dining hall.

The Social life: There is no school pride or unity here. There is no social life on this campus although people will be screaming outside your window in the middle of the night occasionally. Many of the people here also conform to the "white snotty" attitude. No matter what race a person is, whether he or she is Indian, Asian, or African American, they speak correct elitist white ditzy English. Basically if you're a valley girl who likes to talk snooty and likes to slander random people you'll be right at home. Uniqueness doesn't seem to be celebrated by the students in this university (although everyone has done at least one thing unique in their lives here). In terms of personality, you have to conform to the white elitist *like omg* attitude or you won't be considered "normal" by the majority of the people here (especially since the majority is white).

There is no diversity here. The number of African American and Hispanic people I've seen so far I can count with my two hands. However, there are a lot of Asians here. Also a lot of international students.

I thought I was the happiest person on earth when I got in. I thought Columbia was the best. Or at least worth 43,000 per year. I might as well have went to Cooper Union for some serious engineering.

1st Year Female -- Class 2008
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Social Life: D+
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Administration is anti-student, but there is a traditionSuper BrilliantPolitical Science
Administration is anti-student, but there is a tradition of administration/student antagonism. The bureaucratic machine of Columbia is legendary, and it is clear that the powers-that-be are not concerned with undergraduate education. There is a greater attention paid to undergraduate life, but still not enough. There is not enough space, and the neighborhood is dirty, though safe. Administration is very short-sighted, Columbia can really be the greatest university in America, but they are unable to achieve this because of their unwillingness to think in bold ways. The Morningside Heights locals don't help either. Be prepared for major town/gown conflicts in the coming decades.
3rd Year Male -- Class 2001
Surrounding City: A+, Individual Value: D+
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Columbia University in the City of New York
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