Boston University - Comments and Student Experiences|
This part of Boston is really not nice or safe. I had a class in west campus and had to cross over the MassPike everyday to get to class. It was hideous. Not to mention the homeless panhandlers who would hang out on the BU bridge and approach girls on the island you HAD to stand on IN THE MIDDLE OF FOUR WAY TRAFFIC to wait for the lights to turn red so you could cross. You have to experience this yourself to understand how awful it is. They don't take you here on the tour or accepted students day. They take you to SMG, the pretty nice new building you'll only use if you're a business student.
Everything here is extremely cut throat. Grade deflation is real. No matter how hard you work, they only want, let's say 5 people in the class of 100 to get A?s, so they curve down so that happens. The average GPA in CAS is around a 2.7 or 2.9, which is terrible if you want grad school, forget med or law school.
People here are extremely snobby. I came from a private high school in New York, which is known for snobbiness compared to the Midwest or south, but I was in for a shock. Everyone here dresses and acts like they're 25 working on Wall Street, and NO one wears BU spirit wear and you look tacky if you do. Trust me, I got the evil stares and smirks.
Also if you don't like to go to clubs or have a fake ID, forget making friends or having a social life. Extra circulars are a joke unless you join a frat or sorority, but again those cost thousands of dollars a year, and you have to dress the part and fit the "mold" that exists here.
Basically, everyone here is filthy rich and spoiled. I felt way too poor and pathetic to be here, which is insane because I attended private high school, have traveled many places, and my dad went to college and has a decent job.
Also, a giant chunk of the school is the rich international students that barely speak English so they clique off together. Then there's the engineering and pre-med students on scholarship that make school their LIFE and never leave the library. Then there's everyone else who just wants to party and burn their parent's money at clubs.
The living conditions are disgusting and way overpriced for such an "elite" school where housing is double what my sister pays at her state school. Warren towers is overrun with freshman who drink a lot, which means there is vomit everywhere which is expected I guess, but the cleaning people were constantly on strike and don't work on the weekends so it was disgustingly dirty almost always. I constantly encountered pee in the shower from the large percentage of international students that BU caters to because they're full pay and donate a lot of $$$$ that BU can brag about having students from 300 countries or whatever. Everyone constantly had colds and the old carpets smelled like mold from water dripping out of everyone's loud and old heaters. Not to mention my floor had TWO TOILETS and TWO SHOWERS for the whole floor of like 40 girls, which means unless you showered at 3 AM it was ice cold and clogged with hair in the drain from over usage and there was always a line. Also, they were always having problems with the pipes so there was hardly running water at this time of night anyway. The escalators and elevators were ALWAYS broken which meant long assembly lines up the stairs constantly. These towers need new infrastructure because they're awful.
The food was a JOKE for their overpriced meal plan. I know that college food isn't good anywhere but they didn't even have basic American staples like grilled chicken or hamburgers. If you like sushi, kale, and tofu, this is the place for you. And on the weekends they hardly had ANY food, and when people would complain they would say ?because of less volume we scale back? completely disregarding the kids who stayed on campus on the weekends. But I guess this makes sense because everyone just comes here to go out in the city in a business suit, not to be a college student on a campus, especially on weekends, which were creepy and desolate.
I am extremely sad it turned out this way because I really wanted it to work out. I love Boston because it really is an amazing place full of history, culture, and charm, but my heart was broken because of how depressing and close minded this school is. There is a mold here and they do a very good job of convincing you otherwise at accepted student's day. I am now at a different university and am in shock of how different and diverse other schools are.
Want to come here for pre-med? Sucks to be you. GRADE deflation. I had a 2200 sat, 800, 800 subject tests and a 4.0 when I applied to BU. Now, my GPA is less than a 3.3 and I study my ass off-- trust me.
Only reason keeping me from transferring out is I qualify for financial aid but if they don't give me much next semester, I'm transferring out ASAP.TLDR: Don't come here unless BU is your best option.
Before I talk about my experience, I would like to say that I think some people can be happy at BU, but in my study of economics, I was less that thrilled. I undervalued the importance of a campus, which would have made the large school feel more like a community and less like I was just a number in such a huge institution. I luckily met some good friends, but they felt the same way. People just aren't as approachable with a school this big.
However, I was more frustrated with the academics. I realized (at least in economics) the smallest seminar courses are about 45 people per class, while most range from 60-200 people. The professors don't know you by name and they are very mechanical, all about going by the books and less about trying to apply what we are learning to the real world. Many of my classes aren't discussion-based, and I feel like I am just regurgitating information rather than really learning. A lot of professors just read off their lecture slides, and it has become apparent that many of them simply don't know how to teach. I finally understand the cons of being in a research institution because a lot of the faculty are just there for their research grants, but they aren't qualified whatsoever to teach. Additionally there are so many prerequisites for classes I found interesting, that between those and the large lecture hall distributional requirements, I wouldn't get to take interesting courses until junior or senior year (but since the classes are so big and most professors are so bad, they wouldn't even be worth it).
Ultimately the academics prompted me to apply to transfer. The administration didn't care at all about my transfer process and made my life impossible to try to transfer (one professor literally refused to sign the paperwork he needed to sign and my advisor said he couldn't help. Additionally no one knew who needed to fill out what paperwork and they wouldn't send in any of the transcript forms they needed to). The institution truly only cares about profits and number-crunching rather than the quality of life, and that came across in my school experience.This all being said, I've heard from some of my peers that the engineering program, psychology program, and a lot of the humanities are pretty good. Also the humanities classes are a good deal smaller, so maybe it would be worth it to any people looking in those majors, but my advice would be that for the cost, you are buying a brand name. Save your money and go to a more intimate school with professors that genuinely care about their students.
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