actual current student

<p>Hello. A friend of mind told me about this forum, disparaging the fact that many of the posters seem to be aspiring students, people who graduated a long time ago, or well-meaning but sometimes misinformed parents. I just wanted to offer my services as someone who goes to U of C currently as an undergrad, and also as a Chicago (not the suburbs) native, to answer any questions people might have and try to curb the spread of confusion.</p>

<p>Though he enjoyed his visit, my S on his visit was surprised by the lack of note taking in the 3 classes he visited, and in the lack of student involvement, re discussion and debate. What has your experience been as to the level of discussion and preparation required of students?</p>

<p>Thanks so much for your time eve3555. I do have one question: What is the social atmosphere like at U of C? Is it as somber and anti-prep as everyone says?</p>

<p>idad: Depending on what classes your son attended, it's probably not surprising that most people did not take notes. For instance, in humanities and similar classes, note-taking often serves no purpose because the whole class is a discussion. There aren't facts to be memorized that you can write down and refer to later. It's the experience of being there, interacting, arguing, asking questions, and reflecting that teaches you. Perhaps you'll think of an interesting point that you might want to make into a paper later, and in that case you'd write it down, but for the most point there's no reason to just copy what everyone is saying. </p>

<p>As for the general question of participation, that also depends on the class (sorry). In my discussion classes, people have been very spirited, thought-provoking, and informed, drawing from a wide range of sources to make interesting points. There is definitely a "Chicago style" of formulating an argument that people tend to have. In science or math classes, people don't always participate, just because time in class is considered time to listen and take notes; the time for questions is later, in problem sessions or during office hours.</p>

<p>I hope this helps. What classes did your son attend?</p>

<p>jaimie17: The social life is pretty much what you make of it. By no means is U of C the gray pit it's often made out to be. However, it is very easy to fall into your homework and never come out, if you let that happen. If you don't, it won't. I've had tremendous fun here, but I also know people who never do anything. The choice is yours, which I think is a good situation, because people who want to have fun shouldn't be stuck in a socially desolate wasteland, while people who want to work shouldn't feel pressured to party or be unable to study because everyone around them is going nuts all the time. Basically, when you have free time and feel like it, you'll go out and there will be plenty of people willing to go out with you. If you have a ton of work, you'll stay in and get it done without a problem. </p>

<p>Is U of C anti-prep? My gut reaction is to say that it is, on a whole... sort of. It's not that the people here are anti-prep, but they're pro-learning (this sounds lame, but it's true). Many of the preppy people here are frat guys who have no interest in their classes and just want to be done with all this "gay" stuff so they can get into business school, graduate, and make a ton of money. This is an attitude that the majority of the student body hates with a passion, as it's completely antithetical to everything the school stands for. So there's an attitude on the part many people that the frat boys/preps/jocks are dumb and wasting everyone's time. The frat boys/preps/jocks respond by saying how much they all hate this school anyway, that it's full of nerds, and so on. </p>

<p>However, there is an important caveat to this relationship, and that's the individual. If someone happens to be an athlete, or a member of a fraternity, or if they wear Ralph Lauren all the time, but they prove themselves to be hard-working, kind, and full of academic integrity, people won't hate them just for who they are or what they wear. It's only when people are disrespectful in classes or have drunken frat party brawls every night that people get resentful.</p>

<p>Hi, eve
One of the confused parents, here!</p>

<p>Can you give a brief description of 'chicago style argument' - I have run across the term before in conversation. The fellow that mentioned it seemed to be appalled that I didn't know about it (not a Chicago grad, btw).</p>

<p>ohio_mom: There's a certain way of arguing, of making a clear case for your opinion and backing it up thoroughly, with which they indoctrinate you here-- particularly in your writing, but I also think it carries over to the way you speak, and it's the norm in class discussions. It's partially based in Aristotelian style, and is basically characterized by a strict adherence to evidence and logic, with exploration via examples and questions. Basically, you must always construct a careful, step-by-step argument, you must always define and thoroughly understand your terms and the terms of your text, and you must be willing to apply your ideas to hypothetical situations and difficulties in interesting ways. Making irrelevent points, trying to argue without strong evidence, and making assumption without carefully defending them are all frowned upon mercilessly. </p>

<p>I hope that doesn't sound too vague or scary or pretentious....</p>

<p>eve3555, I'm in a bit of a dilemma; I need to pick a school by May 1st, but I'm still undecided. My parents are saying that I should go to one of the other schools at which I was accepted. They seem to think that Notre Dame is a much more well-known name than U Chicago, and that will help me when getting a job. In your experience, when you mention U Chicago, do people know what calibur of school it is? or do you have to explain?</p>

<p>Hi eve, thanks for the reply. My S sat in on Hum: Reading Cultures, Honors Calculus III, & Physics 133. I do stand corrected on a point, S informed me that I misunderstood him about the Hum class, there were 7 out of about 10 students who participated. It was the Calc & Physics class that surprised him because there was little student participation and little note taking.</p>

<p>"They seem to think that Notre Dame is a much more well-known name than U Chicago"</p>

<p>Maybe in football circles...well, that may be understating ND's reputation. But in terms of top 30 schools, academically, they are one of the weakest.</p>

<p>I would disagree with jpps. ND was just ranked number 18 by US News and World Report. U Chic. was in a three way tie for 14, so I would say that the two are comprable, but I was just wondering about their reputation off the college campus.</p>


<p>parent here: UoC has a phenomenal rep with employers and grad schools, so not to worry. OTOH, ND has an outstanding alumni network and likely much greater spirit. Go with where you would feel at home for 4 yrs (assuming parents will pay).</p>

<p>eve: thanks for posting.</p>

<p>"I would disagree with jpps. ND was just ranked number 18 by US News and World Report. U Chic. was in a three way tie for 14, so I would say that the two are comprable, but I was just wondering about their reputation off the college campus."</p>

<p>Look at their peer ratings--deans of other colleges gave UofC and average rating of 4.6 out of 5, while ND got a mere 3.9 out of 5...</p>

<p>ND is only ranked so high because of their strong alumni network.</p>

<p>Hey eve, this sounds really dumb but um...I'm currently packing for an overnight and trying to cram as much junk into two bags and I am wondering 1) how is the heating system over there right now? (i.e., how many blankets to bring) and 2) do most girls have/share their blow dryers? (i.e., do i need to bring my own hair dryer)? and 3) Is Chicago a flip-flop friendly campus (i.e. do I need to bring sneakers...I pretty much live in flip-flops)</p>

<p>Does UChicago count the points you get added to your grade for taking honors and AP classes?</p>

<p>They will take either a weighted or unweighted GPA</p>

<p>In all reality it doesnt matter because they are just going to modify any wiehgting your school gives in order to make it comparable to unweighted GPAs</p>

<p>Thanks for your reply, eve3555!</p>

<p>bing: Depending on where you are, U of C either has an incredibly strong "brand name" or none at all. If you get into a conversation with a random person on, say, a plane, or in a grocery store, you won't get the reaction that you would if you said you went to an Ivy. However, people in fields like medicine, law, econ, business, English, or anything in academia tend to react strongly to the U of C name. And you know, if you're going for a job and your interviewer has never heard of U of C, you'll make an impression by the skills you learned there even if not by the school's label, and I think that's the most important thing.</p>

<p>coffeecake: The thing about Chicago weather is that it's very variable. Right now, as in right this second, the moment I'm writing this, it's very sunny outside but chilly enough that you need long sleeves and/or a light jacket/sweater. Yesterday, it was cold and disgusting. The day before, it was incredibly hot and sunny and my ears are sunburned (and I have medium brown skin; I don't burn easily). The best way to deal with this is to check the weather and be prepared with layers-- wear maybe a T-shirt over/under a long-sleeved shirt, and have a jacket, and be prepared to put on/take off whatever you need to. </p>

<p>As for the heating system, that depends. Where are you staying?</p>

<p>If you can't live without a blow dryer, you should bring one. I'm sure your host would gladly share, but not everyone has one. There's only one in my suite of four girls. </p>

<p>The campus is very flip-flop friendly, but you should know your own comfort zone. Some people wear flip-flops through winter here (masochists). Personally, I don't wear flip-flops unless it's over 50 degrees or so, but my roommate from San Francisco will wear them if it's 40.</p>

<p>mbhA999: Unless your GPA is totally abysmal, don't even worry about it. It's more important that you took challenging classes and did pretty well in them, and that you write a great essay and have a great interview. U of C isn't really a numbers school. Lots of kids here had tons and tons of APs, but some came from schools that didn't even have them (but were still very challenging). A good GPA is important, but it won't get you in alone if you're boring; similarly, an incredibly intellectual and interesting person won't be shut out completely by a low-ish GPA.</p>