大学生谈他们的大学生活(四):The University of Chicago

这是BayEcho的Teenager做的一个社会调查,The University of Chicago 的新生的心声:
What is the name of the institution you attend and what year are you currently at the school? Additionally, please provide any information pertaining to your relevant background i.e. high school, ethnicity and gender. All of your answers to the questions below will greatly help parents with prospective students separate the reality from myth of different colleges.
The University of Chicago
Male [I’d rather not disclose my high school or race]
Top 10 High School in California
1. What were your expectations of your college in terms of its academic and social culture? How did your time at this institution stack up to your expectations?
The University of Chicago is as intellectual and idiosyncratic as I expected it to be. Professors are all required to teach at least one undergraduate class, and Nobel-prize winning professors as well as acclaimed professors can be found teaching lower division undergraduate classes. Meanwhile graduate students who teach classes are nearly all from top-10 undergraduate schools, and know enough to facilitate discussion at the level of if not better than most professors. Nearly all students are also intellectually motivated—intellectual conversations can be found wherever you go; meanwhile the college provides a diversity of students—some students want nothing but to get a job into Wall Street while other students want to go into academia, and yet nearly all students are fascinated by liberal arts from humanities to the physical sciences, if not explicitly than at least by default, through the discussions they have in class and outside of class.
The University is a top target for large investment banks and consulting firms and successful alumni can be found in nearly any walk of life. Prospective engineers who are discouraged by the University’s lack of engineering program will be glad to know that the University of Chicago has top-ranked mathematics and physics programs (mathematics is a popular major for students [9% of graduates]). The University also runs two national laboratories on behalf of the United States Federal Government: FermiLab and Argonne National Laboratory—where many physics and chemistry majors actually help professors do research/intern.
In short, the University is everything I expected it to be and more.
2. In your personal experience, what is the drug scene (excluding alcohol) at the college like? Please give estimates of the percentage of people that use them. What are the disciplinary actions taken towards student who are caught using substances?
I have not yet witnessed or heard of hard-drug use (crack-cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, etc). Marijuana is present but definitely not pervasive on campus (probably less than 1% regularly use marijuana]; the only drug that seems to be relatively noticeable is tobacco [Probably 5-10% of people smoke]. The college very much discourages illegal drug usage (especially hard drugs) and operates on an escalating three strikes policy, concluding in expulsion.
3. In your personal experience, what percentage of people drink on a regular basis (at least once or twice a week) at your college? What are the disciplinary actions taken towards students who are caught drinking?
Over 40% of students drink at least once a week; the college has no alcohol policy in order to encourage students, in need of medical attention as a result of alcohol, to feel comfortable going to residential advisors, residential heads and residential masters for help. Numerous instances result in residential heads having discussions with students and possibly the recommendation of seeing a university-provided psychiatrist. Also the lack of alcohol policy allows many students to feel comfortable self-restraining from alcohol. There is no pressure to drink because of the fact that the University does not actively limit alcohol usage and in fact many, many students choose not to drink or touch alcohol.
4. What are some of the most significant differences between your college and high school experiences?
College provides world-class opportunities to work with world-class minds both in the form of your peers as well as your professors. The University of Chicago operates on a house system which is very, very tight-knit. Students (and residential heads) regularly cook for another (and students), and each house has house tables as well as a very big intramural sports competition (e.g. Hogwarts). This gives students the opportunity to truly participate in a family of peers. Furthermore, although the academics are certainly tough (and notoriously so) students often find comfort in working and living with one another. The University’s reputation for grade deflation is greatly exaggerated as it has very comparable grade point averages with top rival schools like Harvard and Princeton.
5. What do you like most about your college? And conversely what do you enjoy the least about it?
The University of Chicago is an urban university tied to the history of the south side of Chicago. Beginning with the University’s participation in urban gentrification its surrounding neighborhoods in the 1950s, the University has had historically a rocky relationship with the neighborhoods around it: Woodlawn, Washington Park, Bronzeville, etc. However in recent decades, the University as well as faculty and students have really managed to build a mutual dialogue between the surrounding neighborhoods and the University. The University operates 5 charter schools for the Chicago Public Schools System and also maintains the Urban Education Institute. Furthermore, the University Community Service Center was founded in the late 1990s by First Lady Michelle Obama (when she was an administrator at the University of Chicago), and many Registered Student Organizations (RSOs, or clubs) are involved in maintaining and growing such a dialogue.
The benefits of a college with such a history include students’ abilities to help facilitate and prosper such a relationship. However at the same time students should be wary and sensitive to the history that the University has. The University also maintains a city park, the Midway in campus, where figures such as President Obama as recently as 2010 visited, helping grow the University’s relationship with the surrounding neighborhoods.
6. What are some of the most important things you feel students should know or do going into college? What about going to your college?
Students should be aware of the urban environment. There is much to learn for students coming from surburbia; Chicago’s public transportation system for example sprawls throughout the city enabling residents to go about to nearly anywhere in the city without a car. The city also provides a true look for students at what the composition of America is truly like; the old-world segregation present in the city, provides a very clear contrast to truly how cosmopolitan the West and East Coast truly are.
 Also, students who really have initiative in meeting with professors and meeting with advisors will really reap the resources that the college provides to its undergraduates. The numerous career fairs, the Nobel-prize winning professors (especially in the famous Chicago economics department), the award-winning research of the University, etc. provide students with many opportunities that other colleges do not provide. The diversity of career path the University enables allow the University to maintain alumnae in nearly any and all fields.
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