I am a few weeks away from completing my first semester at KSU. Overall, I am mostly satisfied, but certain that things could be much better. I live over 3 hours away from campus, and was very disappointed to find that almost everyone I meet lives just a few minutes away. The same high school cliques are here, and many people know everyone else. I suppose I came to this school to escape my high school, but only ended up more disappointed.
The campus, itself, is really nice. Well, maybe not when compared to other campuses, but I am satisfied. They try to make it look nice and this effort is certainly noticed in some areas of campus.
I always feel safe here, too, and am not worried if I want to take a walk at 4:00 am. The facilities are safe and always in working order. Well, except for when the elevator breaks in my dorm, which happens about once a month. This is usually because too many people try to get on the elevator, and it can't handle the weight, then breaks. Other than that, no worries.
I expected the course work to be very difficult. I got a 3.7 GPA my first semester. If you're still in high school, this may sound like no big deal. Well, I thought so too, until I heard that the average GPA was 2.2. Yes, few people, and I mean FEW, actually work hard and care about their education. Two words: party school. The course work, I believe, is not very difficult, so long as you go to class regularly and study on your own.
The faculty are very friendly, and some seem very experienced in knowledgeable in their field of study. Yes, like most colleges, almost all professors are left-leaning liberals, but for the most part, they do not try to "brain wash" you. I actually did not know the political beliefs of my Comparative Politics professor until I stumbled into his office and saw political cartoons everywhere. They do a good job at remaining objective (well, some.) It's easy to schedule time to visit an advisor, but you will have to wait a week or too. The requirements for a degree are very complex, but they do a good job of explaining.
People complain about not having anything to do on campus, but they probably aren't searching for anything. I wouldn't say there's "a lot" to do, but there's certainly enough, including the weekends. Get involved! There are many student groups you can join, and I highly suggest it.
The food isn't so bad. There are many places to eat, and almost always somewhere to find whatever it is you're looking for. Unless if you want to eat late at night, when there is only one restaurant open (open 24/7) and most of the food there is greasy and unhealthy, but they do have other options.
The student body, well, kinda sucks. It's not very diverse. If you have very specific interests, good luck finding friends. If you play Halo religiously or watch pointless MTV shows targeted at idiotic teenage girls, then you're in luck. Also, everyone goes home on the weekends. Ok, not everyone, but ALMOST everyone (I'm not even kidding) does because they live, again, within like 10 minutes of campus.
I haven't explored much of the surrounding city, but it is very small, and yet, there are many unique stores downtown that make for a more local experience. Yes, there's a Wal-Mart and Target and everything like that, but many smaller stores as well. The local economy is horrible, by the way, and there are closed-down and crumbling buildings everywhere. Kent is about 30 miles from Akron, but there's nothing to do there either, and not too far from Cleveland, but... being the poorest city in the nation, I wouldn't expect too much from there either.
KSU does have a rich history, especially with the May 4th shootings. Unfortunately, the school is politically dead. We have College Democrats, College Republicans, College Libertarians and the International Socialist Organization, but fewer than 0.1% of the student body is involved with these organizations. This is not an exaggeration. The few of us,though, are dedicated and enjoy being involved.
Basically, if you can only afford a mediocre school and are looking for a mediocre, yet fun, experience, KSU is for you.
If I had the choice to go back in time, I would not wish to attend KSU. It is overpriced for the quality of nearly everything available, and from what I've heard, a degree from KSU is no better than a degree from anywhere else (unless you are a nursing major), including cheaper schools.
I don't think anyone who has graduated from KSU has gone on in their life to do anything great (except for the author of Captain Underpants.)
Again, if you want a fun, mediocre, easy, and probably generic college experience, come to KSU.If you really care for academics and wish to really learn, work hard and expand your mind and meet other intelligent, individualistic people as I had hoped, look elsewhere.