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A list of greivences and loves, from a 2nd year UC Merced Student.

Premed4lifePremed4life Registered User Posts: 321 Member
I just annoys me, when people who have probably spent all of 2 hours at UC Merced believe they have now become the foremost expert on everything here, ranging from social life---->difficulty of classes. Well, here is some feedback from a current UC Merced student.

I'll start with the bad....

1) The majority of students here live very close to home, and go home EVERY WEEKEND. Let me describe an average weekend here at UC Merced for you: Wake up, eat, go back to dorm, entertain yourself in your dorm, because NOTHING and I mean NOTHING is happening on campus. Im lucky to even see someone walking around on campus on the weekends. This place turns into a ghost town, I can go into detail forever on this really...but in the end its best summed up as "UC Merced is INSANLY boring on the weekends"

2) THE FOOD SERVICE HERE BLOWS. This is not another "LOL! I dont like the food here, because im a food guru with high standards". I mean, honestly the food is amazingly bad. I think the largest UCM facebook group is "I hate the food at UCM". On the weekends, they DONT OPEN until 10:30 am. Kinda sucks if your awake at 8, trust me it will happen. Second, the food during the weekdays can best be imagined as the slop farmers give to there animals in the morning (not really, but its VERY bad). Town is 5 miles away from campus (UCM is in the middle of a corn feild if you did not know this...), but the food in town (Mcdonalds, toco bell, etc.) is better than the food on campus....I got food poisoning from the Toco bell here, and reported them to the local poision control center. Breakfest here is impressively poor, the scrabbled eggs are squeezed out of a bag, and served in a rubbery state (to the extent, that I had to stop getting them) This left me with the following choices EVERY FRICKEN DAY: Hard pancakes, stale bacon, and tator tots. The prior three food items mentioned, are what is offered in the mornings aside from cereal and apples. Enjoy eating that for four years, I got sick of it after two weeks. I find, that oftentimes the vending machine has a better selection.

3) Location- UC Merced was ingeniously constructed in the middle of a corn feild 5 miles away from the closet building. If you are the type of isolated person who enjoys solitude, you will fall in <3 with this place. For the rest of us, it feels like a prison. A judge sentenced a convict to either 4 years in a minimum state security prison, or 4 years at UCM, the convict opted for the prison. Not really, but sometimes I feel like that wouldn’t be stretching the truth.

4) Classes- Ok, if your still considering UCM I would stop reading at this point. Going beyond will crush any illusion you had of this place being what you perceive it as from a tour guide here. The "student to teacher" ration is quite small, which is actually a positive. However, there are NO "fun" classes offered at UCM. Like tennis? Ever wanted to learn how to fence? Interested in how Disney impacts America? Too bad. CHEM,BIO,PHYSICS,CALCULAS,SPANSIH, and upper division classes of the former are essentially all that are offered. There are a few exceptions that I know of, but alot of work needs to be done to help make this place worth the $$$ Im paying for it (the same price tag as if I went to UCLA or UCB...what a joke.) UC Merced is a small school, and is expected to make vast improvements, too bad thats is not in the near future (2-5 years).

5) The degree of academic excellence overall- Fact: The majority of people who attend UC Merced, are not the brightest lightbulbs in the factory. When one thinks of college, you may imagine intellectual, political, or social debates with your peers, sadly I must say, carrying this out here is laughable at best. To be fair, in a few of my courses here, the professors had meaningful conversations with the class about issues. Sadly, this is not representative of what happens outside the classroom or even day to day here. At best, you'll have a semi-intellectual conversation with someone for 5 mins. The people who live above me smoke pot on a daily basis, and the more social kids get drunk on the weekends for fun. Kinda hard to debate who should be the next president of the United States with these people. *Note, im not a pretentious person, in fact I could probably be classified as quite humble, but my impression of my fellow students here is that they dont want to even be in college.

6) Size MATTERS- Excuse the pun, but yes I do believe that size matters when it comes to a college. If you’ve visited the campus, you will have seen all 2 of the main classroom buildings, and the library. Hope you liked them, because thats all there is. You might think "No no premed4life, But I like a sma11 campus LOL!" Yeah, not having to walk 1/2 a mile to class is cool, but living across the sidewalk from my classes isnt. You will know what I mean, come here and find out. Not much more to say about the campus (afterall, there isnt a lot of campus to talk about...)

Now for the good stuff....

1) Housing is great on campus (off campus, you may find yourself living in the ghetto).
2) "Its a UC"
3) You dont have to go to a CCC, yay =]!
4) You get to know alot of people personally
5) Personal attention by TA's and profs is good.



With all this said, I will be transfering to either UCLA, UCB or UCSD next year. If I could do it agian, I wouldnt pay $20,000 for UC Merdead. I would go to a community college and pay $180 a semester and transfer.


*It may seem like I am biased or even resentful of UCM, but really Im not. Most students here share my opinions, and some in fact are even more adamant than I am.

My favorite quote: "College is what you make it." Yes, so if I give you some glue, tick-tacks, and a rubber duck; can you make me a Shermen Assult Tank? Probably not, dont expect to make too much of UCM
Post edited by Premed4life on
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Replies to: A list of greivences and loves, from a 2nd year UC Merced Student.

  • Cali TrumpetCali Trumpet Registered User Posts: 1,607 Senior Member
    Interesting and informative post Premed.

    I was actually expecting you to be more positive about your experience as you have always seemed to defend the school and put it in good light.

    It is good to know that there are smart people like yourself attending Merced, for the sake of others on this board. Your biggest argument seems to be that the campus is not done growing yet, structurally or socially. That is my biggest issue as well.

    It also interests me that you would have gone the CCC route had you the chance to do it all over again. I think this is a common preference many students will take because they do not want to attend a school like Merced, but I always thought once students actually dorm at Merced and receive a quality education, they are happy with their decision. If your experience is any indication, this is not always the consensus.
  • MORECOWBELL!!MORECOWBELL!! Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Hey Premed4life, I go to UC Merced as well, and I have to say I completely agree with a lot of what you said.
  • MORECOWBELL!!MORECOWBELL!! Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    hahah for those of you who arent on the "in", me and premed4life are friends here at UC Merced, and I can verify that sadly the negaitve aspects that he is highlighting are true, and these thoughts are shared by many students here (and even some staff!). Lately I regret not going to another UC, although UC Merced may be a fantastic school in 20 years from now, the fact is that it lacks in many many critical areas that define what a college experience should be. My biggest grievence with UCM is the fact that 70% (no joke) of the students go home on the weekend, and some even go back thursday night. Although, I can say I blame them.
  • sunnysideupsunnysideup Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Premed and Morecowbell: What interested both of you to go to UC Merced, since you expected it to be a better experience?
  • aznguy417aznguy417 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    Is it really that bad?
    I'm starting to regret choosing Merced now...
  • Leviathan08Leviathan08 Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
    To aznguy417:

    Don't regret choosing UCM because of what they think about UCM. I don't regret choosing UCM. I am actually thankful of MORECOWBELL!! and Premed4life let me know UCM faults because now I know where I can try to improve UCM.

    I'll start with the bad...

    1)If most of the students go home on the weekend then you might get your dorm to yourself and you might get more time to focus on school. And if nothing is happening on campus then you could change that, try to get some stuff started on the weekends.

    2)So the food stinks oh well. I took UCB classes in the summer and the food they provide is also horrible, probably even worse. On Bobcat day, I went and ordered some nachos at UCM and it wasn't bad at all, I actually enjoyed it.

    3)I guess there's no fun classes at UCM. Well I'm not sure if this sucks or not because at my high school we have fun classes like PE, art, tap dancin,...etc and I strongly dislike them. I wish high school students could just take classes required by the UC system and then go home. So i guess it depends what you really want out of the college. Fun classes or classes that will actually help you in life.

    5) Ok the kids at UCM aren't smart. To be honest when i took summer courses at UCB I was the best one in my pre-cal class and all the other students we UCB students. I got the highest grade on most of the tests. The point is not every school harbors the brightest and best. Even if the kids "are not the brightest lightbulbs in the factory" that will give you the chance to shine and stand out to the profs. If the kids smoke pot or get drunk can't you report them? And if you don't report them, it's not like you have to be around them. At every college there is always a group that smokes pot or gets drunk for fun. AT CSU Eastbay they have drinking parties every weekend in the dorm(a friend told me). At CSU San deigo they also have drinking parties(a friend told me). AT UCB they definitely have drinking parties, huge drinking parties!(Trust me I have been to one). Every schools different and if ppl drinking bothers you then don't hang around them.

    6) I thought the small campus was a plus. Being able to walk 1/2 mile to your classes. Going to UCM you Definitely will not be overwhelmed or confused by your class schedule. UCM is small and is considered to be a small liberal arts college just like say Williams college. Is this bad? I don't think it's bad receiving a good UC education in a small school.

    Now for the good stuff....
    LIKE HE SAID!

    1) Housing is great on campus
    2) "Its a UC"
    3) You dont have to go to a CCC, yay =]!(Being taught by prof at a UC and being taught by instructors with master degrees is totally different.)
    4) You get to know alot of people personally(You will find your life time friend at UCM)
    5) Personal attention by TA's and profs is good.(Attention from the Profs is the BEST thing about UCM. TAKE ADVANTAGE!)

    I suppose in the end what it comes down to is "what do you really want out of UC Merced?" I want to learn all i can from the profs at UC Merdead. What do you want?
  • aznguy417aznguy417 Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    I see..
    I'm not really worried about most of the negative aspects of UC Merced, I hope the food isn't as bad as he says and also there won't be as many idiots as there are in highschool...
    It would have been nice if he went a little more indepth with the positives too since he nearly wrote an entire essay on the downsides of Merced
    but thanks for clearing up some of my concerns.
  • Leviathan08Leviathan08 Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
    Your welcome. In the end it depends on what your going to UC Merced for. If your going for a wild college experience UCM might not be the place for you. Unless, your the type to start fun things on your own and if you know how to get others involved. I don't think you should worry UCM is coming along GREAT!
  • Premed4lifePremed4life Registered User Posts: 321 Member
    "Unless, your the type to start fun things on your own and if you know how to get others involved."

    If I give you a gallon of water and an ice cube, can you start a brush fire? Basic necessities are vital in creating what you desire, at UCM I think they are either lacking, or nonexsistent with respect to social life (not to say I havent gone to a few parties though...)

    Upon popular demand, I will expand on the positives of UCM:

    1) Housing is great on campus (off campus, you may find yourself living in the ghetto).--Hands down UC Merced has the best housing out of all the UC's. There is a 0% chance of you being stuck in a triple, b.c you will either get a single or a double, most people prefer it this way. At the other UC's people oftentime complain about the lack of space in a triple etc. Merced has your back with respect to this aspect.
    2) "Its a UC"---Although UC Merced may not have a lot of prestige, the staff here sure do. Most teachers are from HYP, UCB, MIT etc. When you couple this fact with the ability to actually talk to them in class and after class easily, you really have a terrific combo.
    3) You dont have to go to a CCC, yay =]!--I like what MORECOWBELL!! said "You wont get the college experience living in your mothers basement, eating corn puffs, while going to your local CCC" UC Merced is a college, so I guess you could say you get a college experience..although it may be lacking
    4) You get to know alot of people--For better or worse, everyone will know your name here. I see the same 5 people pass me everyday its kinda nice to feel comfortable like that in a college, because the level of trust you have in everyone really goes up when your all either friends, or know eachother well.
    5) Personal attention by TA's and profs is good.---Although, I have had some TERRIBLE TA's here (esp. in the math department here); I have also had great TA's..luck of the draw I guess. If you ever need help with a problem or a topic, its easy to seek and get quility help from your TA's or Prof's. It was a frequent occurence, where I went to my prof's office hours to find I was the only one there, and basically got tutored by a PHD in there given field for like an hour every week....that kind of help is indeed PRICELESS.


    I think this will help balance out the pro/con of this school =]]
  • Cali TrumpetCali Trumpet Registered User Posts: 1,607 Senior Member
    Your point number 5 would be the most important to me if I was attending Merced. That is the 'CSU argument.' People will say that a CSU education can be better than a UC one because you get more personal attention. If they really want student to professor time, just go to UC Merced!

    1) Although the dorms may be nice, many of the UC's also have new dorms built in the early 2000's, so they are probably fairly similar to the newer dorms at most of the UC's.

    2) It is a Uc. That is all there needs to be said when people are in question whether Merced is a good school or not.

    3) CC I can imagine is very boring and your 'professors' are definitely not the best. UC professors all have masters and PHDs.

    4) That is pretty cool. I am someone who is definitely going to get lost in the thousands of students at UCSC. I can imagine it being very nice to be at a school with less students.

    Good read :)
  • fusionallfusionall Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    Amazing list Premed. The hamburger I had during Bobcat Day wasn't exactly satisfying. :]

    Anyways, would you consider making a list of things to bring to the dorms and things to keep at home specifically for UCM? Of course we (the fresh admits) already know to bring the basics but anything unique that is a must-have at UCM?

    Thanks.
  • Leviathan08Leviathan08 Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
    To fusionall:
    Probably a car. lol
  • cenirecenire Registered User Posts: 218 Junior Member
    dude, leviathan, if you took pre-calc at berkeley (which most of us take in 9th or 10th grade or just skip all together), then you were indeed with the dumbest of the berkeley kids. now try taking a regular class at cal and let me know how it goes. or even better, take a whole semester here and then judge. berkeley doesn't get its competitive reputation from nowhere (although i think people exaggerate that a bit).
  • fusionallfusionall Registered User Posts: 169 Junior Member
    To cenire: Correct me if I am wrong but summer courses are open to anyone. I don't think he meant to stereotype all of UCB students from just one class he took, considering the class was open to anyone. :]
  • Leviathan08Leviathan08 Registered User Posts: 180 Junior Member
    To cenire:
    oh geez don't get offended. I wasn't trying to judge UCB or prove that UCB students aren't competitive or UCB students are "dumb". I took pre cal at UCB so I wouldn't have to take it in high school(is that ok with you?). I actually skipped algebra 2 trig which to me is pointless(I sat through it for 2 weeks). Obviously you didn't read the post well enough. I said:

    "Ok the kids at UCM aren't smart. To be honest when i took summer courses at UCB I was the best one in my pre-cal class and all the other students were UCB students. I got the highest grade on most of the tests. The point is not every school harbors the brightest and best."

    Read that last sentence again for me.
    I said:

    "The point is, not every school harbors the brightest and best"

    If I was with the dumbest kids or even if I wasn't, it doesn't matter because that had nothing to do with my point. In my previous post I stated my
    main point which was:

    *not every school harbors the best and the brightest*

    I sense you must have not down well in precal,or other classes at UCB, yourself because your getting offended that I said "I got the highest grades on MOST of the test". And if i was with the dumbest kids at UCB then that even proves my previous point even more which was:

    "not every school harbors the best and the brightest"
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