We can all search a school, but how do you know what it’s REALLY like to attend? In Their Shoes looks at the ins and outs of some of the top universities in the country, from the people who know it best— the students. Read the full article here.
We asked current sophomore Rebekah Sugarman: What are the top 5 things you WON’T read in the brochure about UChicago?
1. UChicago has a reputation for having weird, “quirky” kids and strange events like Scav. Although these people definitely exist, nobody tells you that most of the kids here are very normal and want to have a great college experience just like kids at any other school. The one thing I have noticed is that EVERY kid, frat star and science geek alike, studies incredibly hard and incredibly often. The fact that everyone is working hard is one of my favorite things about the school, because we all have a common interest and common mindset despite our personality differences.
2. It’s ridiculously cold here. It’s much colder than I expected and there were times during the winter that I honestly wouldn’t leave my dorm for a day because I didn’t feel like putting on a huge jacket, gloves, hat, boots, and a scarf. There is barely any autumn or spring in Chicago. But when Spring Quarter comes it’s amazing how electric the campus becomes, with students emerging from their winter “hibernations.”
3. UChicago touts its Common Core a lot in brochures and makes it really appealing to students who want an overall educational experience, but they don’t tell you that it will take away from exploring major options and taking courses just because you are interested in them. Although the Core is really cool and I am being forced to take an acting class and a philosophy class, both of which I love and I would never have taken on my own, I really wish there was more freedom to take random classes just based on interest. (Disclaimer: I’m also Pre-Med, which has a LOT of requirements so this problem is probably worse for me than it is for other majors.)
4. The workload is hard. I know that goes without saying, but I really underestimated how difficult college was going to be. My college classes are 100% harder than my high school classes ever were, and even though I am only taking four classes at a time it is more work than my 10 or 11 classes during high school. UChicago also has a reputation for grading really harshly, and my GPA is nowhere near what I expected it to be coming into school.
5. There’s a weird bell that plays in the library at 12:30 AM, warning students that the library floors will close at 1 AM (except for the first floor which stays open all night). The bell is kind of frightening if you’re not expecting it, and I’ve had many experiences thinking it was a fire alarm and leaving my seat only to realize it’s just UChicago laughing at me for staying late in the library yet another night.