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UCLA or UChicago?

bademsibademsi Registered User Posts: 31 Junior Member
For some of you, this may seem like an obvious one, but I have been torn lately. I went to visit the campuses. Before that, I was almost certain that I was going to attend UChicago. But as soon as I set foot on the campus, I realized that it was the darkest, gloomiest and the most depressing place that I had ever seen. UCLA was so lively and happy! Even the squirrels at UCLA were friendlier than the squirrels at UChicago. On the other hand, the classes at UCLA are huge! By huge, I mean around 200 students. The classes at UChicago are mostly 20 people, tops. And the professors there are much easier to talk to. I accidentally ended up in a quantum mechanics lecture and the professor was absolutely adorable! We chatted and he was so cheerful. I don't know what to do...

Replies to: UCLA or UChicago?

  • anhydriteanhydrite Registered User Posts: 575 Member
    edited April 2015
    If costs aren't a concern -- you have not mentioned them -- then you should probably attend the university where you feel most comfortable, and where you will consequently perform the best, and feel most fulfilled. If that happens to be UCLA and not U of C for you, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that choice. Both universities have excellent academic departments and resources, and can serve as great stepping stones for graduate school or career. Yes, there are certain disciplines in which Chicago excels, as well as its difficult (and rewarding) core curriculum, but those may not be best for your goals or life. As I know both campuses fairly well, your estimation of the general atmosphere at both is not incorrect. Well, I cannot attest to the squirrels' respective personalities.

    It is a positive step you took visiting both, so try to follow through with it now.
  • eddi137eddi137 Registered User Posts: 304 Member
    You said "But as soon as I set foot on the campus, I realized that it was the darkest, gloomiest and the most depressing place that I had ever seen."

    I have been to UChicago's campus a couple of times and I did not feel what you had observed. Sure it is cold in Winter (and a great part of Spring). But I cannot see where the dark part came from. Did you mean the campus, or buildings, or classrooms, or dorms, or students, or atmosphere?


  • bluewater2015bluewater2015 Registered User Posts: 563 Member
    I think if your heart says UCLA then go there. Especially if you're a California resident and can go to UCLA at a much lower cost. Chicago may have a higher ranking in US News etc., but UCLA is still one of the world's great universities.

    You're right that UCLA has a lot of large classes, and besides that some people have a hard time graduating in four years due to difficulties getting the classes they want. And it can be difficult to change majors, especially if you were admitted to a lower demand major and want to switch to a higher demand one. It's a large state university and just can't offer the kind of attention to students that a place like Chicago can.

    All that said . . . if you find Chicago depressing and UCLA makes your hear sing, to me that's your answer right there.
  • artloversplusartloversplus Registered User Posts: 8,430 Senior Member
    You should go with your hart, it sounds like Ucla to me.

    However, make sure you have your priority set up correctly. It's living comfort vs. quality of eduction, after you considered both, the decision is easy and you can't go wrong in either school.
  • eddi137eddi137 Registered User Posts: 304 Member
    Usually I will say to go with your gut feeling.

    But from what I have read the gut feeling is not strong enough to favor one.
  • FStratfordFStratford Registered User Posts: 407 Member
    I think you think it is a wash.

    But think of it another way... what action will you regret more? Not attending UCLA with its beautiful bright and breezy campus, or UChicago with its warm engaging classes and professors? what is more horrible? Having to jostle it out with 200 other people just to be noticed by professors or having to go to an intimate class by passing through all that gloominess?
  • excanuck99excanuck99 Registered User Posts: 378 Member
    Chicago is far from gloomy. In the winter, it is frequently snow bound but that makes it even more beautiful. As for UCLA, it obviously has much better weather. And if you are from Cal, it is much, much cheaper. From what you have written, go with UCLA.
This discussion has been closed.