graduated from Wash U in 2012 in Film and Media
Studies. I loved the film program solely because of two
professors who profoundly influenced me as a filmmaker. These professors
no longer work at the university due to administrative politics
within the department. So I can't say I would vouch
for the program.
Wash U has a way of
stifling creativity. It is not a good atmosphere for “outside
the box” types or anyone looking to pursue a career
as an artist. All of my friends in the art
school had terrible experiences except for those in the graphic
design program. The pre-professional programs are undoubtably outstanding and offer
amazing opportunities for those wishing to pursue a career in
business, law, or medicine.
Although it seems like commenting
on the entire study body is inevitably an overgeneralization, I'll
try and relate my perspective based on my personal experiences.
I am a fairly extroverted person who makes friends easily.
I came away from Wash U with a couple very
close friends and a few people I will certainly keep
in touch with. However, I think the biggest problem with
Wash U is the lack of emotional depth present in
the students as a whole. Students are not particularly good
as expressing themselves and have trouble developing actual meaningful relationships.
A lot of this has to do with people overall
being uncomfortable with there own identities. People in greek life
(espcially fraternities since sororities have no housing) cling to that
as what defines them, the art school students cling to
a sense of superiority and have “advanced beyond a need
for socialization”, others cling to KWUR (the wash U radio
station) and envelop all the hipster they can muster. Not
many people are comfortable with being an individual, and this
translates to a lack of empathy. Obviously this is just
my own perspective. There are certainly some great people at
Wash U, and everyone if nothing else is very nice.
The social sphere is dominated by greek life. Meaning
that beyond freshman year, it is extremely hard to meet
new people if you are not in a fraternity or
sorority. There are also very few parties that are not
affiliated with a fraternity. I did my best my last
year there to facilitate parties outside the greek sphere, but
it ends up boiling down to about 1 party every
three weeks thrown by either the co-op or people affiliated
with the wash u radio station.
One other issue
Wash U tries to keep on the down low is
safety. The campus itself is absurdly safe. You should feel
comfortable walking all around campus at all hours of the
night. HOWEVER, the skinner-deballievere neighborhood which has about 50% of
students living off campus is extremely dangerous. Nearly all my
friends were mugged, one sexually assaulted, only a block from
where I lived. This being less than a quarter mile
from campus. Wash U students are targeted because of the
high crime rates in surrounding neighborhoods. This seems like an
exaggeration but if you look up the neighborhoods surrounding Wash
U's crime information (Delmar Loop area) my point extends beyond
I know I have made some harsh
points but Wash U can be a good fit for
some people, and just wasn't right for me. It is
a university constantly trying to give its students the best.
The dorms and food are excellent, and aside from one
or two professors, the academics and classroom experience is wonderful.