The University of Rochester
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The University of Rochester - Comments and Student Experiences |
UofR is a beautiful campus, with many great resources. The campus provides a lot of educational resources, has an excellent career center, and hosts many events within the departments and the school as a whole. The students and professors tend to be approachable. There are exceptions, but what can you expect.
The math department is fairly large. There is a good amount of electives and advance classes to take, as well as honors courses and graduate courses for undergraduate students to take. Professors generally have review sessions before exams, and mandatory weekly recitations (for homework or extra help). Undergraduate research is available, but not abundant. Most research is done through independent studies. I have a few problems with the math department. One is that the prerequisites for the classes should be stricter. In some of my classes, there has been excessive amounts of time spent on basic ideas of sets and proofs which are taught in less difficult classes because students have not taken these classes.
I also have not taken a class with a math professor who has stayed in the department for more than a year or two. This makes it difficult to get recommendations for graduate school or jobs. This is perhaps my biggest complaint. The department constantly has visiting professors (who are very good, mind you) teaching upper-level classes that just leave once they get offered tenure at another university.
The philosophy department is small and focuses heavily on analytic philosophy. The research interests of the department are very balanced in this area, but I feel the major areas of interest are Metaphysics with emphasis on Philosophy of mind and Epistemology. Some professors in the department are excellent, and others are forgettable, and even worse, self-absorbed and unhelpful. If your interests are in Foucault, Hegel, Marx, Derrida, Materialism, Historicism, Critical theory, or so called 'continental' philosophers, stay away from this department, as they do not cover any of these subjects in any philosophy course. There are a few classes like this in Modern Languages and Cultures department.
CS: I'm very new the the CS department. But it is great. Small department with ample research opportunities. The faculty is very approachable, quirky, and energetic. Languages that are dependent upon windows (like visual basic, visual anything else) are not taught. Application programming is not taught. Very academic feel to the CS program as compared to some other colleges.Social life: A bit bland. Tons of activities, but lacking on the diversity of students. Sometimes it feels like I'm at a country club when I walk through campus. If that is your idea of fun you will fit right in. If it isn't, then it might depress you like it sometimes depresses me.
ACADEMICS: Are GREAT. You'll learn a lot if you apply yourself. You'll learn how to learn better. You'll learn about things you didn't want to learn about and then realize that they were cool anyways. The school's website will tell you enough about the academics, so I'm gonna make this brief because academics isn't all you go to college for...
ATHLETICS VARSITY VS. INTERMURAL: --------------------
You see that line? That basically describes it all. We're Division 3, folks! There's no big excitement here. No buff jocks (although they'll act like it), no cheer leaders (because most people here we're dorks in high school and they HATE cheerleaders... REALLY... it's quite interesting) Football team sucks, Soccers alright, no real Hockey, Track and Field breaks records so they're alright, but there's hope for everything, so read on. Now, I lied a little because: BASKETBALL ROCKS! We're the Duke of D3. Both Mens and Womens teams rock, like Final Four status. But don't get carried away, they'll let you down if you get too attached. Other than that, there's a Crew team that's a big social bang around here, and Frisbee (Whoa, I know) is also big here. REALLY BIG! And if you want to play any Intermural sport, they're someone out there to play it with you. Even in the winter cold.
CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS: Over 200 doesn't lie. And for our size of school, they're plenty of fun there. They're like 3 major dance groups that are great. Ethnic groups are many. Between the Blacks and Hispanics, there tends to be some drama in their cultural organizations, but it always clears up and leads to happy endings. Most of all the Southasian group throws it down like you've never seen. Look up "MELA" online and you'll see. Asian groups are coming about great (They'res like an Asian group for each country, but they all get together for big events and **parties**) even brought in a great speaker last year. Other groups that excel are student government and greeks. My-Small-Section-For-Greeks: Well, they are the big thing on campus (because of the people, read on). So if you're major Greek type, check into the school. You'll love it.
WEATHER: Okay, if you don't know already, it snows in Rochester. Just like it snows in Main, New York, Washington, Oregon, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Vermont, New Hamshire, New Jersey, Conneticut, Maryland, Delaware, Rhode Island, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Idaho, Pennsylvania, West Virgina, Virginia, Canada... Come on! Snow is nothing new. It only seems like it. The snow at Rochester is great. You'll beg for snow until January, then you'll wish it went away. But it'll go away just in time for you to take Finals in May and school will be over.
OKAY, THE SOCIAL LIFE: Most people say it doesn't exist. But that's not true. However, don't run here for the social life of your dreams, kids. U of R, is like other schools in the same ratings area (the number 30's to 40's on that "National Universities" rating for colleges). Like the others, like Case Western and maybe NYU and other schools, poeple who go here don't like it too much. The main problem is that they were expecting something different. Some people didn't get into the IVIES or Wash U or some other school that they wanted, and so they're unhappy. Others are just flat out bland people. So, the social life seems to suck. Why? Well...
1) The Frats. Fraternities are great, but not for everyone. Drinking is great, but not for everyone. Most of these kids never drank in their entire lives until they got to U of R, so they flip out, think its the best thing in the world, and ruin their time up here. The frat parties can seem to be all that there but can also turn into being boring as hell. On the most part, you wont hook up with any good looking guy or good looking girl, you just hold your beer, play some silly game, and walk out 3 hours later. Now, nothing against drinking and beer games, they're fun, but without the hooking up part, you'll get sick of it. But by then, you know nothing better to do. So, tips are to stay away from "Frat Burnout" and join a club that throws their own mixtures parties with other clubs. Plus, there is sooo much more to do SOOO much more than hang out at frats. There's drinking parties, dance parties, get togethers, and clubs in Rochester, people, get out and have some fun. Except for you major Greeks and those who know how to handle alcohol. You'll love it here.
2) The Girls aren't hot, BUT neither are the Guys. It's an academic college, so don't expect supermodels, and it's small, so the hot girl/guy percentage (About 5-15%) makes it even harder to find. And most of all, it's COLD FOR FOUR MONTHS! So, nobody wears their pretty outfits. That accounts for most of it. If people tell you the girls are ugly... THEY"RE LYING! Its because girls can't wear skimpy outfits in 10 degree weather, people, even though we have a tunnel system. Come on! Freshman 15 doesn't hit everyone the same and they're lots of hot girls or guys around campus. Just catch them in the fall. Seriously, most people who hook up for good, hook up in the fall, when it's hot. It's PSYCH 101 - Phyiscal Attraction (because of the clothing in warm weather) + AROUSAL (not sexual, fool) + CIRCUMSTANTIAL CONDITIONS (like the weather again) can lead to Affection. So my friends, a lot of it is the snow, and during the academic year, snow is a lot of what you'll be seeing. So all in all, the girls aren't that ugly and neither are the guys, but you'll think so.
3) Apathy, people. Apathy: (a) Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference. (b) Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness. Don't fall into it. So what if you don't have a girlfriend or boyfriend, don't sweat it. If you're like college students all around the world, chances are you didn't have one in high school neither. So give it time. Find something of your interest at this school and love it. This school would be great if people just cared.
**But to sum it up. It's all that you make it. There's lots of folks with great social lives up here. Great friends. Great enemies. Great parties to go to. Great parties to miss.
Come on, it's college, even if it's quite small, you'll find like 10 people like you. And the rest is up to you. But, if you stick in your dorm and migrate to and back from the Frat quad Thursday through Sunday from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM, you're gonna hate you're life. MAKE SOME FRIENDS UP HERE. Save yourself the stress (School is hard enough), please.
FINALLY, THE HOPE: UNIVERSITY OF ROCHESTER... THE HOPE WE HAVE FOR THIS BEING ONE OF THE BEST COLLEGES IN AMERICA.
That's why I love this school, there is hope. 20 years ago, people had fun here, people loved the campus. There were so many frats here. The administration loved the students, the students loved the campus. Then along came the 90's and the SAT's and the ACT's and other standerdized testing and intelligence testing. Every school wanted to be as good as the Ivies, students started "having" to go to college instead of it being only for "doctors" and "lawyers" and "teachers" and "smart people." Now-a-days you need a "degree." So, colleges amped it up, including U of R, with our Renaissance Plan in 1995. It kicked really socially-cool-but-sill-academically-stupid people out, and brought boring-kinda-smart-but-we-like-them people in. Clubs and organizations broke up, college costs increased, people started hating the place, but most importantly to administration... ACADEMICS SOARED (to greater heights). Without going into too much of the university's business, basically, they wanted to make it better for the school, not considering too much the interest of the students. But, it wasn't a bad decision. That was 10 years ago. The school is getting better in all aspects, especially socially. We have nowhere but up to go. The people coming in are great, the Admisions director IS EXCELLENT. The school is trying, that's right, ACTUALLY TRYING to be better holistically (that means all parts, not just academics). And if you push administration, they'll bend for you (that is, if you push for the right causes). I would advise anyone to attend this university because in 5 years, no one's gonna be talking about "the social life sucks" or "the girls are ugly" because U of R is getting a lot better.
U of R has great scholarships, over a billion in endowment, great students, teachers, and facilities. About the football team, they're joining a new league this year and will have more wins. U of R is more than hope, it's a great school. And you'll be proud of attending it. Plus where else can you become more than a number, have great connections with faculties, and travel abroad at ease than here.*But, as I wrote, if you're into the "COLLEGE COLLEGE" thing right now... go somewhere else. And if you do come here to U of R, lighten up your attitude, don't mind the winter, and get into other things than the Frats. Yes, visit them every now and then, they through great parties now and then, but the Frats will always be there so remember that there are sooo many other things to do on campus.
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