a fourth year student graduating this year. My experience at
UCR has been phenomenal. I transferred here from another university
because I wanted to be closer to home. UCR's philosophy
program is phenomenal and was a major deciding point when
I was deciding where to go. The faculty is filled
with engaging, accomplished professors who are eager to meet with
their students and discuss big issues. General Education classes can
be pretty large and demanding, but once you start delving
into your major, your classes get smaller and filled with
students who are interested in the same things you are.
It's really great.
There's a big arts scene at UCR,
which I loved and participated in. There are lots of
cultural events, concerts, and publications to get involved in and
bump up your resume. I wrote for and led several
organizations, which would never have been as easy if I
had gone to a big-name university.
UCR isn't considered
super prestigious, but that's because it used to admit students
who were rejected from other UCs. Now, the university is
way more selective and our rankings are climbing every year.
The surrounding city is not as pretty as the
campus. UCR has a lot of trees and a very
park-like feel, and there is a village center down the
street with a theater and plenty of places to eat.
After the village, though, the ghetto part of Riverside takes
over for a bit until you get back into Downtown
Riverside. So, it's a mixed bag. People complain about smog
and homeless people. I've never seen a homeless person on
campus in my entire 4 years here. The main city
of Riverside is smoggy, yeah, but so is LA. So
Cal is smoggy. There are lots of trees and a
botanical garden surrounding the campus, so the smog is limited
to the metropolitan part of Riverside.
In short, do
some research for yourself and visit campus. I'm really proud
to be a Highlander and I'm excited for the future
ahead of me. I've gotten into a big-name law school
with my philosophy degree, and UCR provided me with the
opportunities and experience I needed to become a truly effective
student and human being. People who complain that UCR is
“UC Rejects” haven't been on campus in decades and haven't
heard all of the cool stuff professors and students are
up to these days.