Carnegie Mellon Atmosphere...?

Hey guys,

My college councilor thought I should apply to Carnegie Mellon, but I’ve been told on multiple occasions that its students are stale and unsocial. Although I’m a very dedicated student, I really don’t want to go to a college where all my friends isolate themselves in their rooms and study like fiends on Friday nights. Don’t get me wrong: I’m definitely not some crazy party girl! I’m a well-rounded person who loves to learn but also loves to have fun!

Is Carnegie Mellon the right school for someone like me? Please let me know! :slight_smile:

I wonder if what you were told is true. If it is, then do only stale and unsocial students apply to CMU? Or is it that Admissions only admits stale and unsocial students? Those two possibilities don’t seem to work. Many apply to MIT and Cornell and Princeton along with CMU. Since not all students are stale and unsocial, it doesn’t seem possible that only that kind applies to CMU. It also doesn’t seem logical that CMU Admissions will only admit stale and unsocial students. Again many that are accepted by CMU and also accepted by Duke and UPenn, etc.

So if what you were told is true, then CMU must mold its students into stale and unsocial entities. That seems like a lot of work for little gain (if any). Perhaps what you were told isn’t true. Maybe it’s possible for you to discover whether it is true or not. Good luck.

Any CMU student will tell you that if you want to go to a party on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll be able to find one. There is greek life, which holds not only ‘typical’ parties but also things like formals or charity events. Many students choose to live off campus after freshman year, so there are a lot of parties at off-campus houses. Beyond that, there are tons of events on campus that are social in nature. And while athletics aren’t a huge thing at CMU, there’s always the option to go to an athletic event.

If you don’t want to go to a college where your friends are antisocial, then don’t befriend antisocial people. Any college is what you make of it.

^Probably better to say asocial, not antisocial.

Pittsburgh is a college friendly city with lots to do if you want to take part. In addition to CMU, there’s Pitt, Duquesne, and Chatham near by, as well as the Greek life previously mentioned.

Hey! Current student at CMU. As the others have said above, I’m not sure where you heard that we have a stale social life, but honestly it really depends on who you hang out with. CMU has a very wide range of social levels (although we are a nerd school and proud of it). 20% of undergrads are in Greek life, which is a pretty high percentage compared to other schools. There are parties on Friday and Saturday nights (my roommate always goes to them) hosted by many of the fraternities that people go to. I think you’ll find that even people in the busiest majors (CS, ECE, architecture, etc) find time to relax over the weekend. Trust me, it gets hard here, and people want to chill out and have fun. While you will find people that seemingly study 24/7, you’ll also find others that like going out and having fun with you. It depends on who you hang out with, but you can definitely find friends who have similar social needs as yours.

If you’re uncertain about CMU’s social atmosphere, I encourage you to come visit CMU for an overnight stay! These start in the fall and continue throughout the spring, and they’re normally 2 days long. In addition, admitted students have a Sleeping Bag Weekend in April where they get to meet one another and decide if they’d like to attend CMU.

Good luck with your college apps :] Feel free to message me if you have any more questions.

My D is a student at CMU and she is neither stale nor anti-social. It’s a HARD school with tons of work, but she finds time to do fun things, too. And the good thing is, she’ll totally be employed upon graduation. Pittsburgh is a great city and has the second most college student population (80,000) next to Boston.

Do people feel overwhelmed by the school work considering how intense the academics are? Because that may be a reason for the supposed lack of social lives of the students.

People get overwhelmed, from what I’ve seen, if they have way too much on their plate (very challenging/time consuming courses, athletics, lots of clubs, etc.) and/or if they don’t have good time management skills. Contrary to popular belief, there is a way to have good grades, a decent social life, and enough sleep, you just have to plan well and know your own habits.

Yes, kids can get overwhelmed. My D is an academic peer counselor in the Academic Support Office and has been trained to help students at CMU who feel this way or to help them with prioritizing their work etc. Most kids who go to CMU have been at the top of their class in high school but when they come to CMU, they are with all the same type of high achieving student. This can be very stressful, especially with the grading curve. Someone has to get a C, if you know what I mean. This freaks kids out because they probably have never gotten a B or C in their whole high school career.