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The University of Rochester

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA- Faculty AccessibilityA+
Useful SchoolworkA Excess CompetitionA+
Academic SuccessA- Creativity/ InnovationA
Individual ValueA- University Resource UseB
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA FriendlinessA-
Campus MaintenanceA Social LifeB+
Surrounding CityB Extra CurricularsA
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Arrogant, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

id='quarter' class='snapshot' style='color: #009704; line-height:80px';float:left;
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
University Resource Use
Highest Rating
Faculty Accessibility
He rated most things higher than other students did.
Date: Aug 17 2008
Major: Electrical Engineering (This Major's Salary over time)
I hate to resort to a cliche in my review, but that old, horribly overused statement, 'college is what you make it', fits my rochester experience perfectly. I have both loved and hated the U of R, and in retrospect, it was really my own choices that dictated how much enjoyment I had.

For a majority of my first semester, I hated the place. Coming from Central New York, I was used to the weather, but it certainly didn't help my mood to trudge to class through freezing rain, snow and sleet for the latter half of the semester. I met few people, even fewer that I liked, and generally kept to myself. I had set myself up a fairly easy schedule- the mandatory writing class, calculus 1, which I had already taken in high school, and a couple introductory engineering courses. Basically, I did everything the opposite of how I should have, and I was miserable for it.

Second semester, I learned my lesson, and finally took initiative to change my experience. I took harder classes, joined a fraternity (something I would never, EVER have seen myself doing in high school), and met tons of people who I connected to and enjoyed being around. It was an entirely different world, and I was amazed at how much fun I had, and how much faster the second semester went by. The entire summer after freshman year, I looked forward to going back, and couldn't wait to see the campus, rendezvous with my friends, and even get back to classes.

So, the moral of the story is, if you're going to go to UR, you have to be self-motivated. No one is going to make you take a hard schedule (though often it is inevitable), explore the city, or make friends, but if you do, you will only benefit from it as a student and person.

I know that many people complain about the lack of a good city. Now, I come from a semi-rural city in upstate new york, so I may be biased, but I find nothing wrong with Rochester. If you are coming from Chicago, New York, or another large city, you will undoubtedly find less to do in Rochester, but that does not mean that there's nothing to do. If you make an effort to get into the city on the weekends, you won't be disappointed.

No, the social scene is not the center of the rochester experience, but why should it be? To me, it's foolish to spend $50,000 a year expecting to get trashed 5 days a week. The social aspect of Rochester is by no means raucous, but it's enough to provide a break from a hard week of classes.

That being said, the music scene at both UR and in Rochester itself is excellent. UR has a direct connection with Eastman, which is by far the best music school in the area, rivaling Juilliard, Boston and the likes for all things performing arts. The fact that you, as a UR student, can take lessons from professors at this bastion of musical talent is truly an invaluable draw for the school. For the truly super-talented and super-motivated, there is even a dual-degree option, considering you are good enough at both a scholastic and musical field to get into both schools, and want to spend 4 (or 5) years with no life whatsoever. For everyone else, however, there are concerts almost every night at Eastman and surrounding areas, everything from classical to jazz and world music. UR also has its own music dept., which is still far above the standards of most research universities. If you love, or even like, music, you could do much, MUCH worse than rochester.

Aside from this, it's up to you. As I said, I have both loved and hated UR, based on my level of involvement. The frats/sororities can be a great way to get involved, as they are relatively mild (by frat/sorority standards), but still introduce you to interesting, like-minded people.

Academically, if you want to challenge yourself, you'll have no trouble doing so at UR. The poli-sci, comp-sci, economics/business, and health-related (pre-med, biomedical engineering)departments are all world-class, and a degree there will get you in anywhere. Even in the ECE department, I managed to get a well-paying internship after only 1 year, while most of my friends from home were flipping burgers or working for minimum wage. The teachers and classes really cater to preparation for the workplace, and if you ever need help, they have always been friendly and helpful in and out of class, in my experience.

No, UR is not perfect. But, for someone like me, it's about as close to perfect as I can imagine. Could I have gone somewhere else and had just as much fun? Possibly. Could I have gone somewhere else and had the chance to study at an internationally renowned music school, while completing an engineering degree and playing in 2 orchestras and a jazz band? I doubt it.

I could write forever about my Rochester experience, but that's not what this is for, and I've probably already written too much. Bottom line is, Rochester is a well-balanced university with a large number of opportunities that are ready for you to take advantage of if you take some initiative.

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