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The University of Missouri - Columbia

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I came to Mizzou from out of stateJournalism
I came to Mizzou from out of state to study journalism. Culturally, Missouri was not a good fit for me. I am liberal, atheist, and could care less about the Greek system and sports (in fact, you could say I am hostile toward both). Missouri is conservative, Southern Baptist, racist,and big on Greeks and football. As I always tell people, it was the last slave state. Also, you don't get admitted to the journalism school until your junior year. Once I started taking journalism classes, I realized it wasn't what I wanted to do, but as a junior, I felt it was too late to transfer, and Mizzou is not renowned for anything besides journalism, so I chose not to change my major. However, my sophomore year I became an RA and this was a very formative experience for me. In addition to giving me confidence and leadership skills, my fellow RA's became lifelong friends. Also, I had some great classes/professors in English Literature, Anthropology, Peace Studies, Latin American Studies, History of the Environment... Funny that none of my favorite classes/professors were in the Journalism school! Still, if I had it to do over again, I would not have attended Mizzou. In retrospect, I wish I would have chosen a college that was a good fit for me instead of choosing a college for its major. I give money every year to my law school which was a good fit for me culturally, but though I am asked from time to time to give money to Mizzou, I never have.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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Quite BrightJournalism
I came as a transfer student. LOVE the school but there's not a lot of scholarships for transfer students!
2nd Year Female -- Class 2014
Campus Aesthetics: A+, Scholastic Success: B-
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If you're coming here fresh out of highBrightComputer Engineering
If you're coming here fresh out of high school, I think it's fair to warn you that the general coursework will hurt you. Out of all the things I've learned at this University, "weeding out" students appears to be the town motto. Bottom line, Mizzou brings in too many students, all the time. It brings in more students than it has space for, to the point where some students are forced to room in dorm LOBBIES rather than having their own rooms. So the solution? Well, not to digress, but first, expect to be living off-campus your second year, not usually by choice. A lot of students will have you believe they want to live off-campus, and for some it may be true (tuition costs are RIDICULOUS when it comes to food and dorm prices, and if you're not getting financial aid, it can be a big bill), but I didn't have much choice in the matter. There are 800 contracts for upperclassmen who want to live in dorms, and by 7:30 that day (contracts are available at 7), they're gone already. So, be prepared to do some house shopping. Fair warning: the student-ready apartment complexes are as awful as if they were on campus, rent will usually be $500 and up if you're expecting a shuttle (for a single room in a 4br apartment, so bring a car) and staff for the most part will vary in friendliness but almost always be disdainful and unhelpful when it comes to issues.

Anyway! If you're a freshman (through however many semesters you need to finish your generals), expect to be challenged, and not in the fun, interesting, educational way, but in the way that even though you have 18 hours worth of classes, your professors will all expect you to study their course material 2-6 hours a night, preferably after their lecture. And, well, we all know that isn't feasible, ESPECIALLY if you have some sort of job that you need to pay off bills, but oh well! I remember getting reading assignments for PHYSICS, of all things. We were expected to look over our notes and do hours worth of practice problems for at LEAST two hours after lecture. That, along with a relatively challenging math class that expected the same amount of attention, and I was ready to tear my hair out. And that was just TWO of my five classes. If the hours don't break you, the book costs might. I've heard of people breaking down and crying, literally, because they can't afford their /absolutely necessary/ required $300 geography text from the bookstore which is not available to rent. If you're a freshman, don't worry - you're usually first come, first serve if you want to get Early Bird (which is a lot like closing your eyes and waiting for someone to shoot an apple off of your head since more often than not, you'll get all new books), but after that? You're on your own! Hope you get their early. Also expect to never crack that book in your life, even though it was totally necessary and important and required, absolutely. For your reading that will probably only barely correlate with the notes your professor will give you to follow. At least, you can only hope. Sometimes, your professors will give you a bare outline, and good luck remembering that when exams come along!

Professors here are a mixed bag. For all its prestige, I can tell you Mizzou probably spends more on its football team and its tshirts than it's EVER spent on its professors. I've had professors from grad students to people who probably should have long since been retired. I've known professors who have died on the job to some that have never taught anyone before ever, and I once heard someone say "research does not make a good teacher", and that's quite true. Mizzou cuts budget costs by lumping their researchers and professors in one sum, and as you can imagine, that's not really ideal in the way that sometimes researchers can understand things better than they can relay them. So that happens.

Need a tutor? Better hope not! They're students, usually upperclassmen, with possibly just as much coursework as you if not more. I would almost feel bad for them sometimes, because they come in and they're really not up to being friendly and helpful sometimes, which can be discouraging if your confidence is waning. Or, sometimes, they just don't know what they're doing. I don't feel like the screening process is very in-depth. Once, I got a really good tutor, but he made fun of me when I got my problems wrong or was completely lost in what I was doing. Another time, I got a tutor who was nice, but he was as lost as I was when it came to doing math problems, and often times I just told him not to show up unless I was desperate for help. Professors will help you sometimes, if you go to their office hours, but if their hours coincide with a class you have, it can be difficult to find a time that works best for you both, and sometimes office hours are chock-full of other confused students that might sap up the time before you get in.In regards to the students, I really can't tell you. To be honest, I came to Mizzou to learn, I wasn't really concerned with meeting people or making friends that I wouldn't see after Generals were up. If you get into a specific field, expect to see some familiar faces after a point? But I wasn't really worried about making friends. I made my own group thanks to my roommate, but in terms of other options, to my knowledge, nightlife consists of bars and friends made through sororities/fraternities. No luck getting into those? Your best bet is your specialized classes. You'll see a lot of people walking around in soror hats and Greek letters and millions more in the bookstores buying gear for games, which i daresay was maybe the most fun I ever had at the school, and it should be, honestly, considering it's where all of Mizzou's money goes.

3rd Year Female -- Class 2015
Surrounding City: B+, Collaboration/Competitive: F
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The University of Missouri - Columbia
The University of Missouri - Columbia
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