The University of Texas - Arlington
The University of Texas - Arlington - Comments and Student Experiences|
My professors have always been there to help me out even in their spare time. Competition among science majors in the school can be pretty brutal, however.
The student body is extraordinarly diverse, with a large percentage hailing from different nations. Two students in my dorm alone are from Oxford. The university is also known for its rather large Asian population. While I enjoy the cultural aspects (my roommate is international, even), it can sometimes create language barriers between students you'd otherwise be able to communicate with.
Nonetheless, it is the student body that I find my biggest complaint with. There is so little school pride, even though there is a lot to be proud of here. The school doesn't go out of its way to share the lists of famous alumni, hugely successful engineers, researchers, military officials, politicians....so the students don't know about them. Furthermore, a large percentage of students come to this school for its price, using it as a stepstone to UT-Austin. These students, obviously, will lack the school pride for Arlington, as the Austin students (referred to as CAP students on campus) are so undyingly loyal to the longhorns. Most of them that I know (certainly not all) won't even tell you they attend UTA (even when you're in an Arlington dorm). Ask them and they'll say they've been going to Austin all along. "Where do you live?" I might ask a fellow student in one of my classes, referring to which dorm\apartment. "I live in Austin" is not an uncommon reply. No, they're not from Austin, no, they don't attend UT-Austin (yet)....it's actually quite bizarre and rather annoying. If you were to look on this website to compare this university to other major Texas schools, you'd find that in most cases (all that I'm aware of, but for safety, most) our students have a higher percentage of being in jobs they like, have a higher starting salary and have a higher average salary. Go ahead and check, since you, the reader, will undoubtedly find skeptiscism.
Unfortunately, it is this passionate LACK of school pride that drives me away. I desperately want a unified campus, a school I can be proud of and that other people will respect, a city that recognizes our existance! Alas, the students are not unified. The Greek percentage is very low (something like 7%) and very elite. While it's definately true that not all Greeks fit the stereotypical bill, you can most certainly find those that do here. Unfortunately, due to lack of mid-semester activities, being Greek may be the only feasible way to stay awake past week three in the fall semester. There is the occasional good campus wide activity or dorm party, but it hardly searches YOU, the student, out, like it did at the other institutions I have friends at. If you're a socialite and like a large group of friends, you will probably find difficulty here, as I am. But at least you'll have plenty of time to study (if you're science/engineering). You'll probably need it.
This is a fashion-oriented campus, moreso than even the private schools I toured. This is quite surprising.
Campus sports are a mixed bag. With top notch volleyball and basketball teams, we definately have a lot covered. But we are lacking the essential, critical factor-a football team. Yes, readers, we lack our own football team (though one is schedualed to reappear in about four years) , and this is a major obstacle in creating that much desired traditional, unified campus here in Texas.
Overall, for the price, I don't think you can beat the education anywhere in the world. Furthermore, if you're a future scientist wanting to get seriously involved in research, it would be very difficult to beat Arlington. But, while a traditional campus experience can be had if you want it bad enough, it will not come so easily as TCU, BU or TAMU. This is, most certainly, not a party school. I am currently working to build school pride and establish Arlington for the excellent institution that it is. Something *I* can be proud of. Failing this, I don't know what I'll do...I don't know if I can handle a student body who's its own worst enemy.
With that out of the way I have to emphasize just how bad most things are. Most of your core classes are filled to the brim with people who will attend briefly and drop. Signing up for classes is a downright rat race. Ironically the race to register is really unnecessary since most students won't survive to take mid terms. The professors/lecturers for most core classes absolutely do not want to be there with some exceptions. I would've taken these classes at a nearby community college if they weren't already paid for. These classes seem vindictive in nature. I remember taking an intro to History class that required 4 textbooks. The amount of reading was out of sync with reality. These intro classes seemed overall a way to eliminate students while siphoning their funds. I did not fall victim, but it was a significant waste of time that detracted from my major studies.
As far as the students go, well..... Do not come here expecting to live the college lifestyle, because it is simply not possible. Sure there are some attractive students, but they are jaded. I don't blame them either, I became jaded myself. I dated a biology major briefly, and she was so upset over her classes that she actually went into a full blown depression. Cute girl, but the establishment ruined her. Really the reason I am taking the time to write this is to stop people from making the mistakes I did. I became complacent, and did things the easy way. In the end I was deprived a college experience.
Also the counselors and administrative faculty, I can't stress this enough. The mass majority of them are unprofessional. They even hassled me about CLEP tests. They behaved as if I was doing something dishonest by trying to achieve college credit via testing. I eventually found a nice adviser and stuck with her, but without her I might have simply given up. Though I personally didn't have any transfer credits, I've heard second hand that it's an absolute nightmare.
Parking; Yes, what you've read is true. It's a total mess, and your car will likely be dinged to hell. I even purchased myself a beater for the sole purpose of commuting here.
Positives: I have to give credit where credit is due. The speaker series is great. You get free admission as a student, or at least you used to if things have changed. I took full advantage of this, and it was definitely worth my while. Bottom line is, if you can afford to go somewhere else do so. I'm attending a Masters program elsewhere and it's a night and day difference. Also I by no means want this to be a blanket statement about UTA. There are quality people there, but they are vastly outnumbered by less than mediocre employees who appear to be simply cashing a check.
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