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The University of South Carolina - Columbia

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Honestly, I have lovedAverageCriminal
Honestly, I have loved my time here. As an older student, I was concerned about how I would be received. But it has been great. I love the majority of my professor and my classmates have been great.
1st Year Female -- Class 1921
Education Quality: A, Scholastic Success: B-
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Before reading, bear in mind this review isBrightBusiness - Management and Administration
Before reading, bear in mind this review is based on my personal, individual experience at USC.
The "Disregarding friends" part of the question, "Given the chance to go to a different University, would you?" was crucial because I have made a couple of strong friendships here.

My answer to that question is yes, undoubtedly. There are some things I have enjoyed about USC, so let me list those first. First of all, I had the chance to study abroad in China for about the same price as in-state tuition and all my credits counted. That was the highlight of my time here. The study abroad department is amazing. They have a bunch of great, affordable programs ranging from popular countries to ones that are typically harder to find like Scandinavian and Southeast Asian countries. There are a lot of students and a lot of student organizations too so it can feel like you're lost in a sea of people sometimes, but it also gives you a lot of options.

Now, on to the negative. In terms of personality, I would refer to myself as introverted, reserved, and socially independent. I like to be by myself, it's typically a "default mode" for me, and I don't really care much about feeling "a part" of something or meshing with a particular group. If you are anything like this, you very well might be miserable at this school like I was most of the time. There is an ocean of people at this school that dress like carbon copies of one another - oversized T-shirts on girls and tacky colors on guys. Idk why these clothes are so popular and normally I'd think "hey wear whatever you want" but it gets tiring seeing everyone looking like they are seriously *trying* to look like a clone of another person. Fashion aside, the social "scene" isn't good either if you like meaningful socializing, going to aesthetically pleasing and cultural events. There are some, of course but generally, Columbia is described as a place where "there's nothing to do except get drunk" (which is used as an excuse by people who want to shamelessly get drunk because they don't actually know how to meaningfully socialize). That's pretty prevalent here.

This is also a huge sports school, so if you're into that, that aspect will be great for you. If you're not, it will be extremely irritating because every conversation started by professors and students alike will involve sports somehow, some way. Sports-related stuff is plastered everywhere, roads are closed off near downtown for football games, people don't know how to act, etc.

Moving on to the academics, I will admit, I wasn't the most academically "focused" individual. By that, I mean I generally like learning and did okay in my classes, but I changed my major twice and settled on business because not knowing what I wanted to do, I studied something that typically didn't require immediate grad school. I expected lots of hands-on activities with software and paperwork. Not much of that, even in the heavily-touted GSCOM program. Don't get me wrong, there are some great opportunities, but in my opinion, given the overall curriculum, I don't feel very prepared for a job. We did work with some software, but it wasn't enough to retain the info, like a lot of the coursework. Even in my specific major classes, I had upwards of 50 or 60 people and the environment was lecture-based. It felt challenging trying to hold my attention more than anything else. I did try to join a few student orgs my Freshman and Sophomore year, but I didn't connect with them or find them very inspiring so after I started working, I dropped them.

Like I said, there are good aspects to this university, but overall, my experience was "meh" at best. If you do go here and are reading this, check the study abroad office! And if you're considering this school, consider everything said by the school and alumni and weigh all your options because the next 4 or 5 years will be a key point of your life. Best.

5th Year Male -- Class 2018
Perceived Campus Safety: A, Useful Schoolwork: F
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I want to preface this by saying thatBrightKinesiology
I want to preface this by saying that USC has the potentially to be a dream school for a lot of people! I simply want to share my personal experience. I came from a high school with 1,200 students in a Connecticut suburb. After seeing the scholarship that I got from USC I essentially made the decision to go there (money was a huge factor in my college decision). I THOUGHT I wanted that huge SEC party school with football and tailgates, and I couldn't wait to be in a sorority. However, it turned out that the size of the school and the atmosphere simply wasn't for me.

I am currently a freshman and feel like in drowning in a sea of students. I don't like sitting in Chemistry and Biology classes with 250 other students, as that was the size of my graduating class! I also am a person who likes to know a lot of people, and once everyone establishes a set group of friends, it can be difficult to make new friends; ESPECIALLY if you are not in Greek life (I am not). I have gotten involved in a pre-medical fraternity and 3 clubs. In the clubs especially, people are more focused on writing it down on their resume than getting to know the members.

There is a huge emphasis on partying here which, again, is to be expected. Don't get me wrong, I like to have a good time and go downtown Thursday-Saturday but people literally go out every night of the week and sometimes ya girl just wants to watch Netflix and eat ice cream with her friends on a Saturday night. I want to emphasize that A LOT of people love USC, and I can totally understand why! I would recommend joining Greek life and getting involved as much as you can! I will be transferring to a small school of about 2,600 students next year because it is just a better fit for me. :) My biggest piece of advice is to choose the place where you will thrive rather than the place you THINK you want to be (or desire to associate yourself with)- go with your gut!!

1st Year Female -- Class 1921
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Individual Value: F
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