Enjoyable College Environment - Very Important?

<p>I've been wanting to go to UChicago, but now I'm told it's a miserable place - that all the fun is sucked out of it (or there was never fun to be sucked). So should I still consider going?</p>

<p>And how much more enjoyable would Yale or Harvard or Boston or NYU, etc...actually be?</p>

<p>i'm pretty sure it's not a miserable place. when i visited (i'm a transfer prospie) i thought it was a lot of fun! the 'fun comes to die' thing is sort of um, a joke. i think it'd make a student miserable if they weren't right for it, but that's kind of true of every school.</p>

<p>More enjoyable. For the average kid probably much more.</p>

<p>why wouldnt you want your college experience to be as enjoyable as possible?</p>

<p>exactly huskem55...exactly.</p>

<p>I guess if you only think of college as a stepping stone to career goals and nothing else, I suppose that would allow one to accept a less fun environment. But having been to college and enjoying a lot of what it had to offer (and wishing I had done even more fun stuff) I could never be able to understand why anyone wouldn't want to go to a place they found most enjoyable.</p>

<p>The whole "where fun comes to die" thing is part of the student body's self-deprecating humor. The campus is beautiful and the students are, for the most part, genuinely happy. Princeton Review gave it the #1 undergrad experience in the country. And, as arbitrary as these rankings are, it does show something about the general lack of "misery".</p>

<p>"You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You'll never remember class time, but you'll remember the time you spent hanging out with your friends. So stay up late, go out on tuesday when you have a paper due wednesday. Spend money you don't have. Drink till' sunrise. The work never ends, but college does."
-Tom Petty</p>


<p>Amen on the house</p>


If you're going to quote PR for this thread, why not use their happiness ranking instead? :rolleyes:</p>

<p>mastimola, I would suggest an overnight visit, especially over the weekend.
<a href="http://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/level3.asp?id=384%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://collegeadmissions.uchicago.edu/level3.asp?id=384&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>well I doubt Chicago has the happiest student body. It wouldn't make it onto that ranking. Very few of the academic intensive schools do. That's why I didn't cite that ranking. </p>

<p>Nevertheless, "#1 undergrad experience" is a fairly holistic title and it wouldn't be given such if it had a miserable student body, right?</p>

<p>College is one of the most enjoyable times of life and many of the elite schools offer tremendous social and community experiences. At the end of the day one of the greatest things about my college experience was the tremendous network of friends I was able to make. As someone who attended two Ivies for undergrad (transferred), I can assert that there are substantial differences in terms of quality of life at the top schools. </p>

<p>I like friendly, "happy go lucky", fun, social people who are intellectual and reflective but also love to enjoy their lives. </p>

<p>The most "balanced" top schools with the best quality of life (IMO):
Stanford, Dartmouth, Brown, Princeton, Amherst, Williams</p>

<p>Worst quality of life (IMO)
NYU!!!!, Chicago, JHU, MIT, Carnegie Mellon</p>

<p>"Where fun comes to die" is part of our self-deprecating humor. Tufts House puts the slogan on t-shirts and sweatshirts and every year they sell them in Reynolds Club, and every year students buy them.</p>

<p>Every other slogan you've ever heard about us also belongs to a t-shirt. If you remember hearing the slogan, props to the person or group of people who made it.</p>

<p>Chicago is only an unhappy place if it's not right for you. I have an older sibling (a very, very, smart older sibling, at that, who could get into Chicago tomorrow) who would HATE it. (He graduated from Cornell).</p>

<p>You should consider Chicago more carefully if you're academically motivated, you enjoy doing schoolwork, and you enjoy participating in class and listening to discussion. Students here become incredibly close with professors and grad students, have amazing opportunities to learn more and do more and challenge themselves with more. School is not a burden for Chicago students, but rather something that perplexes them and interests them.</p>

<p>There is no typical Chicago student; I can't tell you if the school is right for you.</p>



<p>That's not to say Harvard might be much better.

<a href="http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/03/29/student_life_at_harvard_lags_peer_schools_poll_finds?pg=full%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/03/29/student_life_at_harvard_lags_peer_schools_poll_finds?pg=full&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>65-70% is not really very good for this type of survey. By comparison on the NSSE Wisconsin survey 90% of seniors rated their overall experience excellent or good.</p>

<p>Whether a college is enjoyable depends on one's personality. </p>

<p>For example, a student who loves an urban setting and a very trendy/independent social life would love attending NYU or BU. A student who likes the great outdoors, a small town setting and frat house partying would probably be best served attending Dartmouth or Williams. For students who are require an intellectual and academically intense experience, Chicago is a dream come true. For techies who are into cutting eadge research and very challenging academics, MIT and Caltech are practically unbeatable. Some universities, like Brown and Stanford, are very well rounded and can please a large segment of the population, but given their all around excellence, will probably not be a perfect fit for any one type of person. </p>

<p>We each have an ideal setting and finding what that is requires serious study.</p>

<p>I would also like to point out that the University of Chicago Task Force on the Quality of Student Experience report is from 1996-- it's ten years old. If one looks at the "Strategic Goals and Recommendations" section, many of the suggestions have been implemented.</p>

<p><a href="http://www.uchicago.edu/docs/education/quality6.html%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.uchicago.edu/docs/education/quality6.html&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>most notably:</p>

<pre><code>*Build new Athletics Center including a swimming pool, with improved and expanded facilities for both recreational use, intramural teams, and varsity athletics.

*Work in whatever ways possible to increase the concentration of undergraduates on and close to campus in selection of site for any new residence halls.

<p>Have been resolved through the construction of the Ratner Athletics Center and the Max Palevsky Residential Commons. The Ratner is a beautiful facility (the old gym, Henry Crown, leaves something to be desired), and the Max dorms give a UChicago student a more "typical" college living experience if he or she so desires.</p>


<p>*Expand "late night" food options on campus and continue evaluation of campus food services using the Chicago Card to link Hutchinson Commons and residential dining halls.</p>

<p>(Two words to that one: BART MART).</p>

<p>*Improve ease and regularity of inexpensive access to downtown and the North Side.</p>

<p>(the 2 bus and the 173 run to downtown express; the 174 hits the subway lines; in addition there are the bus lines not specifically designed for Chicago students but still accessible, like the Metra train, the 55, and the 6)</p>

<p>There are other suggestions in there; however, I don't know enough about the University's past to compare to the system as it is today. From the way I see it, these small changes have made the University a much happier place to be for a larger segment of the population.</p>

<p>Hey, it was the most recent survey I could find. It is useful to know that the suggested changes have been made and that the numbers I quoted have doubtlessly risen.</p>

<p>On a considerably more recent note, Chicago boasts a 98% freshman retention rate, and 10-20% of transfers end up transferring back.
<a href="http://maroon.uchicago.edu/online_edition/news/2006/04/28/transfers-find-there-is-no-place-like-home-at-u-of-c/%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://maroon.uchicago.edu/online_edition/news/2006/04/28/transfers-find-there-is-no-place-like-home-at-u-of-c/&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>