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| The opinion below is my sincere opinion, I did not sugar coat anything, and I have no goal to drive up the enrollment at UT.|
I truly had the best experiences of my life while attending UT. I now live in NYC and most of my friends attended private universities in up state NY or New England and I cringe when they describe their college experience compared to what I experienced at UT. To be quite honest, UT is a school for kids who thrive on social interaction (or would like to become more social). The social life at UT is NOT decided by the Greek population like most SEC schools. The campus has a wide variety of social scenes to choose from (excellent and diverse bars, huge intramural and club sports, great guest speakers,and very outdoorsy if that's your thing).
The way I would describe UT football: When UT students attend a game, it's all about the football game and they genuinely love watching the game, as opposed to most SEC schools where the games are dominated by Greek students dressed like they are attending a polo match in Nantucket. Tennessee is about the football experience. It is a tradition you will carry on for a lifetime, that you will hand down to your children, and your friends throughout adulthood will grow jealous of the bond you have with Vol fans no matter what state, city, or country you're in.
Pros: Down to earth students, everywhere is walkable (no need for a car), bar scene, football season 2nd to none (even if you don't like sports this will become part of your life and that's nothing to be ashamed of), attractive people, NOT a bible beater school, excellent student workout facilities, EXCELLENT restaurants, cheap off campus housing, plenty of trendy/artsy areas
Cons: bad parking, lack of english speaking professors, some of the architecture is modern which clashes with the pretty traditional buildings, academically difficult but does not garner enough respect in princeton review national rankings, alumni network will not get you a job if you venture out of Tennessee after graduationGraduating from Tennessee will give you a respectable degree and a loyalty to the Vols for a lifetime. Go to Rocky Top, you won't regret it.
|Jun 12 2011|| 4th Year Male --
Class 2008 |
| I want to emphasize to any high school students who are reading this that college is where you learn to take responsibility for yourself and grow into an independent adult. If you come into the University of Tennessee expecting it to take care of you and parent you through your college years, you are sorely mistaken. If you expect the university to make what you need available to you and give you a chance to succeed or fail on your own, this is a good place to go.|
I was a geography major for my undergraduate years, but came in undecided and contemplating a hard science major. I admit that I was not prepared for college fully -- I did not have a clear path, such as engineering, science, social science, or humanities, picked out. It's helpful for you if you can narrow it down to one of those before you get here. You can get a degree in each area here, but the prerequisites for the major and distribution requirements for the different degrees (BA, BS, Engineering, etc.) are very different, and you can find yourself repeating your freshman year if you change your major too drastically after you have already started on one path. Also, funding issues can cause some ugly problems. Lack of funding has led to increased load on Teaching Assistants and Teaching Associates, and methods that will eventually remedy the problems of large lecture classes (technologically enhanced "smart" classrooms and online course programs such as Blackboard) are not perfected. Those who come in without any AP credits can find themselves having to build up credit hours in order to be first in line to sign up for a required course which may be offered only once in every 4 semesters (such as Quantitative Methods in Geography). Be sure you're well-informed before you get here and that you keep up on these issues once you're here, or you may find yourself spending 6 years trying to graduate. There's a reason fewer than half of our graduates finish in 4 years. . .Aside from funding problems, the university is capable of giving you the education you need to succeed in graduate school. You really get out of the university what you put into it, and the professors certainly make it clear what sort of material you should learn in your classes. Some are better teachers than others, but all have something to teach you and you can learn from each of them. Classes aren't horribly hard, but they put the info out there that can make it possible for you to learn a great deal. The library is a terrific resource and should either have or be able to acquire any book or periodical you need for a project. Dorms aren't beautiful, but are sufficient for a student's purposes. Extra-curriculars, including the terrific athletic department, are fun and cater to a good number of different crowds (we even have a NRML chapter working for the legalization of marijuana). Students tend to be on the conservative side, but enough liberals come here that you'll still get heard. Professors tend to be liberal, but do not grade based on political skew -- you're graded based on your abilities, not your opinions. Cliques abound, but the social scene is not closed, and just about anybody can find someone to be anything from an acquaintance to a lifelong friend. Knoxville itself is not the prettiest or cleanest city on Earth, but has the basic resources one needs as a college student (including cheap apartments) and Nashville and Atlanta are short drives away. I think that pretty much sums up UT -- not an amazing super-school, but does not put limits on you.
|Jan 31 2005|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| if you liked high school and a shitty football team that constantly breaks your heart then go to UT. Also the school is designed to take your money and screw you out of the classes you want to take. |
|Feb 20 2011|| 2nd Year Male --
Class 2015 |