Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University - Comments and Student Experiences |
Freshman and Sophomore year, you are truly just a number, maybe that's an understatement. Your teacher doesn't know you, and your are not going to get to know your classmates. 300-500 student classes are not unusual. Too often an individual class will utilize 5 or more different resources for the same material!. Because of this, one feels overwhelmed constantly, and those who succeed are the ones that game, cheat, use sites like Koofers, and strategize on what is going to be tested. There are some exceptions in Engineering courses I had taken, where wisely only one text is used, and is put on the net for easy access. Classes that took that approach I did the best in.
Faculty: Teachers range in quality from lifeless non-english speaking T.A.s to friendly professors who are bad at lecturing. You never really know what you are getting into with any individual class, quality varies wildly. Advisors are mainly there to help you through red tape and the ridiculously complex and unorganized VT website.
Student Body: Buses and classrooms are solemn. The student uniform is plain, darkish colored clothing. Where there are discussions, they sway towards the mean spirited, bad mouthing, and back stabbing. Student organizations take themselves way too seriously with complex hierarchies, unnecessary events, and long constitutions. Most people's personality seems to be the same: lost of fake smiling, vacuousness, and some sort of inner struggling. Campus appearance has a sterile, depressing, bland feel. There's still plenty of left over paranoia from the tragedy, and the fake threats that echoed for a few years later.
The campus culture is patronizing, outdated, lame, and corny. The best example would be the naming of the middle of the Student Activities Center "Break Zone". Then there's "Venture Out", Greeks everywhere, a popular!? tan salon adjacent to the Math Empo, a white pride organization, cow milking club, a Rocky Horror Picture Show Club!?, etc. Oh and this year Bill Cosby will be returning for the 17th time!, and later in the year, a professional hypnotist!If you are highly self-motivated, diligent, are absolutely sure you love studying science, and are coming into the school with a dozen or more friends, then you should be fine. Otherwise, I don't know what to advise...
Psychology should be about understanding human experience/behavior and self-discovery, and I rarely get this from coursework. Though I do appreciate the emphasis on the scientific elements of psychology. It's boring for most people, but I'm getting sick of psychology being referred to as a social science or liberal arts major; it isn't.
The faculty are good for the most part. Some are very legitimate contributors to their field, others are practicing scientists but are horrible teachers. The "textbook + boring slideshow = class" model is pretty common.
I'm not a big fan of Tech in general. The students are largely slightly above average high school students from privileged northern Virginia. It reminds me of high school very often. Good number of smart people; a lot of dumb people. I haven't met anyone who is truly outstanding. Not a great deal of diversity in terms of ethnicity nor personality. I feel like there's been an effort to increase the number of women at the school. Fine, but I'm not a fan of the idea of letting more women in just to increase the ratio. There are a lot of people at Tech that honestly shouldn't even be in college (men and women), with pathetic writing and communication skills.
Socially, this place is mostly a drag. There are few decent bars downtown and a massive number of bland house parties, but that's it. If love playing beer pong and quarters every weekend in crammed apartments and 'dancing' to crappy, generic music, then by all means come here for the social scene. Downtown is one street. Good restaurants, yes. Food is one of few things Tech can brag about, but they seem to talk about that more than their academics. 'Exciting' is one of the last words I would use to describe Blacksburg.
To put Tech in a word: eh. Oh, and 'safe.' Academically, socially, and culturally.. safe. If you can find a niche socially here you'll have a good time, and very few people truly dislike being here, but I know I'm going to leave just thinking I could've chosen better in every way.
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