StudentsReview :: The University of California San Diego - Extra Detail about the Comment
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The University of California San Diego

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Date: Apr 01 2014
Major: Communications (This Major's Salary over time)
I generally don't write reviews, but I felt compelled to contribute my experience at UCSD here due to all the negative reviews.

I'll be upfront—education was my first priority (and why shouldn't it be?). I was the first in my family to attend college in the United States and had a breadth of college options (USC, Pepperdine, UC Berkeley, etc). UCSD was my first choice. Granted, location was my second priority, but I knew I was going to get a top-notch education with my choice.

The academic rigor certainly lived up to its reputation. Though I majored in a "lowly" social science, Communications, I constantly felt challenged. I was amazed at how intelligent my peers were (as aside: my best friend went to UCSB as a Comm major, and I went to a couple classes with her…completely different atmosphere. People were happier but they were also dumb as rocks). My classmates were smart, but they weren't overly-competitive; there would always be someone in my class that would set up a shared Google Doc/chat or study session, which made studying a lot easier. The professors were good, TA's alright, and every once in a while you would get a complete dud, but that's to be expected. I wish I would have gotten more practical experience in my classes, as Communication theory proved to be useless in my field of work, but it laid a pretty decent groundwork for critical thinking, effective communication, etc.

As for the social aspects… like I said in my first paragraph, education was my first priority. If I wanted to party non-stop, I would have gone to community college of a local state-school closer to my hometown. That said, I would consider myself a "normal" person with a desire for social relationships and the occasional party/boozer. I admit that a majority of the student body is on the more timid side (maybe due to the high number of foreign students?), but I never had a problem finding a kickback or someone to go to PB/Downtown with. I wasn't even remotely involved in the Greek system. If you're looking for an experience a la ASU, you won't be happy here. Period. The people here in general are more laid-back about their partying. And, like many things in life, if you expect something to just drop at your feet, you'll be sorely disappointed. Yes, you have to look for something going on, but as long as you put yourself out there, you really shouldn't have a problem.

Regarding "putting yourself out there," there are SO many opportunities at UCSD. Take them. Of course you'll be bored if you sit around your dorm hoping for a party to come around. I had a job on campus, joined a couple organizations (a couple "resume-builders" and a couple for fun), and volunteered abroad. There's something for pretty much everyone, and it's the easiest way to get an in, occupy time in between your studying, and make some friends. This really helps make you feel like a part of the school.

Some more social aspects: yes, the guys and girls aren't all knockouts. If you're an attractive female, be ready for some attention. I was in a relationship for most of my time at UCSD, but I did date some really smart, good-looking guys while I was there. And (gasp!) they introduced themselves to me in class. So it really does happen.

Even if UCSD isn't your cup of tea, you have to remember that the amazing San Diego is your playground. Most people think La Jolla is boring (and yeah, it kind of is), but downtown La Jolla is a fun place to shop or walk around by the cove. There is always something going on in PB. Grab a burger and check out the hippies in Ocean Beach. Drive to Coronado at night and see the little San Diego skyline in all its wonder. Invite friends to come down and do the touristy thing. It's a gem of a city, and there are quite a few students that never even make it out of La Jolla. The city is still my favorite part of my time at UCSD and I still hope that I'll find a job, move down there, and live happily ever after.

In conclusion, UCSD was a good time for me, but YMMV. It is really up to you to create the experience that you want, and UCSD gives you pretty much all the resources to do that. Don't go here if all you want to do is party. But if you want a great education (at a decent sticker-price) in a beautiful city, with some really intelligent and nice people, this may be the place for you.

If I wasn't already getting my MBA at LA, I would have gone back to San Diego.

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