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PROS: Students are on the whole very approachable. The food and health services are superb. Plenty of high quality study areas such as a fantastic library and a helpful place called the Math Empo. People respect stranger's boundaries. If you seek help, you will usually get it. Drinking is kept off campus. Long, long walks to classes will help keep you in shape. CONS: Academics: 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 The campus culture is patronizing, outdated, lame, and corny.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...
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