people get the idea that Drexel students are nerdy, boring,
and hate the school
Not true! There is a wide
variety of people at Drexel. Of course because the school
is on 10-week quarters vs. 15-week semesters, a lot of
work is crammed into a short period of time. I
think this stresses some students out and cause them to
resent the school (this is DEF not a place to
go if you want an easy, party, college experience), but
anyone with good time management should be fine.
the great things about Drexel is their co-op program. I
chose this school because it is one of the few
highly-rated programs in the area I was interested in (Music
Industry) and it also gave me the chance to work
in a competitive industry before graduating. I feel like I
am much more prepared for work after college and have
much more experience than my friends who went to state
schools. I feel like I have actual relevant work skills
and experience, vs. learning in classroom and working minimal wage
jobs in the summer that don't really help out getting
a career. When I first accepted my slot at Drexel,
I was worried about not having a summer vacation. Now,
I don't mind at all. Remember, you always have the
option to take a co-op in your home town if
you want to go back. In addition, the student body
doesn't leave during the summer like most schools, so banish
the though that you will be left alone on campus,
working co-op, and without any friends.
I can only speak
for my major, but I think the academics are excellent.
They are really geared towards getting a job and practical
skills. While “Music Industry” students at other colleges are learning
music theory and composition, we are learning that in addition
to business and management skills, copyright and legal skills, technical
skills such as recording, and much more. Although some of
the classes seem slightly outdated (which happens when studying an
industry in such flux), I think that Drexel does a
much better job keeping our classes relevant than most colleges.
In addition, the professors have all previously worked in the
industry and not only provide valuable connections, but also real-world
insight. The one thing to be noted about Drexel is
the amount of work. As previously mentioned, don't go here
if you want to be able to slack off in
college. We have midterms by week three of a term!
The academics are “go-go-go” in order to fit everything in
a quarter, and you don't get much time before projects
and exams begin.
One of the worst parts of Drexel
is the academic red tape. This could be similar to
most large colleges, but it is super frustrating. When I
was applying to be a BS/MBA student, I was constantly
running around to various offices because of the lack of
communication between them. I've dealt with lost forms, people who
are impossible to reach, inconvenient and inflexible schedules on the
part of the staff, and different guidelines according to different
people (there seems to be no “standard” procedure for anything
— or at least not one that the administrative staff
are aware of). If you have a problem, it can
get solved, but you can't be afraid of being persistent
and pushing them a bit. As the saying goes “The
squeakiest wheel gets the oil”. I think this would be
my one bad point for Drexel.
The student body is
relatively diverse. Most of the students seem to be middle
or upper class, but that is the way of most
high-priced, private colleges. There are many international students (I somehow
got placed on the international floor of my dorm freshman
year - it was great!) and I don't think anyone
of a particular race, ethnicity, or religion would feel out
of place. The same goes for political views, sexual orientation,
etc. There are activities, clubs, and niche for everyone. Within
the arts school, there are tons of hip, fashion-conscious type
students (but really that's any art school, I think). However
overall, there are many “types” of students at the school;
athletes, bookworms, artists, etc...
A common complaint that I hear
about Drexel is that there isn't much going on. WE'RE IN A HUGE CITY! There are tons of things to
do, for any type of person. The social life
is one of my FAVORITE parts of Drexel. I think
the main reason people complain about activities is you really
have to go out and find them yourself. Unlike a
school in a small college town where there isn't a
lot going on, Drexel isn't going to provide you with
activities every weekend. West Philadelphia is a very vibrant community,
especially for the arts (and once you know the city,
you know what's safe and don't have to worry about
dangerous areas - much safer than Temple!). I have gotten
very involved with the music scene in West Philly, which
is very tight and interconnected and allows me to see
live music for free pretty much every weekend. I've made
many friends within this community who don't go to Drexel,
which is really fun. I know people from Temple, UPenn,
Saint Joe's, Philly Community College, Uarts... This really expands your
social life and the things that are open to you.
There are also tons of restaurants, galleries, quirky events
in West Philly, you just have to look for them.
We're also very close to center city, which has even
more restaurants, clubs, movie theaters, etc.
Of course there
are the regular house parties and frat parties every weekend.
I don't know much about greek life, but it is
here if that is what you're interested in getting involved
with. I am person part of Phi Sigma Pi national
honors fraternity, which isn't a social fraternity but organizes lots
of outings for members (really cool tours, activities, trips, concerts,
evenings out, etc).
I have NEVER had any problems
finding things to do. Most of the time, I'm having
more trouble deciding what to do. I think the key
is venturing out into the city on your own, and
not sitting around in your dorm room waiting for an
event to be publicized by the school. I am often
surprised at how many students I meet at Drexel who
have never left campus, have no clue about the geography,
landmarks, or how to get around in Philly, and basically
have an alarming ignorance of the city they're living it.
I feel it's these kinds of students who complain about
not enough activities on campus.
I think the bottom line
is: If you're looking for a large state-school, huge party,
tailgate before football games, rolling hills, ivy covered buildings, rah-rah
school-spirit type college, this is NOT the place for you.
The quarter system and intense academics don't allow for a
person to go out every night of the week and
waste a whole day being hungover. The social life is
more centered around the city than the school. Anyone looking
for a constant stream of school-sponsored events that don't require
you to leave campus (and I know many people like
that in a college) would be disappointed.
Bottom Line: Drexel
is a lot of work, but in my opinion, worth
it for the environment. I feel like the classes and
co-op give me a huge leg up over people at
other colleges, and the social life in the city is
great. This is probably not a place you want to
go if you're looking for a more traditional, big state
college type education.