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I'm currently a senior in Charlottesville, VA. After a lot of deliberation, I've finally decided to spend the next four years at the University of Chicago. I chose Chicago mainly over Penn, Brown, Duke and Northwestern because its economics program just too good to ignore. I'm also a very sociable guy and since Charlottesville is a huge college town (home of "The University") I've been to quite a few frat parties and the like. I've heard that Chicago's social life wasn't too great and I was wondering if this was really the case?

Is Hyde Park a typical college town? Does it have a lot of good bars, coffeeshops, stores, etc? How is the crime rate in and around the University of Chicago area?

How accessible is downtown Chicago from the University of Chicago? Do a lot of students go downtown on the weekends? Could you recommend any nice, upscale coffeeshops (preferably with wireless internet) in or near downtown that a college student could frequent in the afternoons?

And one last question: how do native Chicagoans view the University of Chicago? Most of my friends, when they found out I chose Chicago over Brown and Duke, thought I was crazy. Only my teachers and counselors knew how great the school really is. Is this the case in Chicago as well? Or is the University of Chicago well-respected there?

How do you guys view it compared to Northwestern? (My counselor, who's from the Northeast-- Boston and NYC, I think-- told me that UChicago was "on par" with Harvard/Yale/MIT/Stanford while Northwestern was "on par" with Duke/Johns Hopkins. Is this accurate?)

Thanks for your help. Can't wait to see Chicago this September.
 

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Congrats on getting into U of Chicago. This was the school I really wanted to get into but i wasted high school oh well. I will try to answer as many of the questions as i can.

U of Chicago has almost no social life as you along with almost everyone else will spend you life in the stacks. U of Chicago usually ranks in the top 2 along with Columbia when it comes to hardest undergrad curriculum and unlike some ivy league schools in the Boston region they don't give away A's.

Hyde Park is really not that typical for a college town either. Again this is because of the demands they place on you. But, in the end this will only make you a stronger candidate. Access to downtown by public transit is a few bus lines and i believe the Metra runs closest. This i could be wrong though.

Your counselor pretty much nailed it. UofC is a top 4 or 5 school while NW is a 10 to 15 school. To give you an idea of the esteem i hold for U of C, I would much rather have my child go there then Harvard, Yale or Princeton.
 

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uofcprospie said:
I'm currently a senior in Charlottesville, VA. After a lot of deliberation, I've finally decided to spend the next four years at the University of Chicago. I chose Chicago mainly over Penn, Brown, Duke and Northwestern because its economics program just too good to ignore. I'm also a very sociable guy and since Charlottesville is a huge college town (home of "The University") I've been to quite a few frat parties and the like. I've heard that Chicago's social life wasn't too great and I was wondering if this was really the case?

Is Hyde Park a typical college town? Does it have a lot of good bars, coffeeshops, stores, etc? How is the crime rate in and around the University of Chicago area?

How accessible is downtown Chicago from the University of Chicago? Do a lot of students go downtown on the weekends? Could you recommend any nice, upscale coffeeshops (preferably with wireless internet) in or near downtown that a college student could frequent in the afternoons?

And one last question: how do native Chicagoans view the University of Chicago? Most of my friends, when they found out I chose Chicago over Brown and Duke, thought I was crazy. Only my teachers and counselors knew how great the school really is. Is this the case in Chicago as well? Or is the University of Chicago well-respected there?

How do you guys view it compared to Northwestern? (My counselor, who's from the Northeast-- Boston and NYC, I think-- told me that UChicago was "on par" with Harvard/Yale/MIT/Stanford while Northwestern was "on par" with Duke/Johns Hopkins. Is this accurate?)

Thanks for your help. Can't wait to see Chicago this September.

i sure wouldnt choose u of c for its college life,
but i agree its a great school,
however, i definitely think you can find what you are looking for as far as college life and social life around depaul university in lincoln park
or northwestern in evanston, those are the most collegey parts in chicago,
besides UIC which still has a ways to go, but is getting better,
Loyola has a decent college life if you are a hippie type that smokes pot, type crowd, sometimes people go through different phases in college
so there is the frat (lincoln park, evaston) and hippie (Rogers Park and evanston?) places to go and everywhere in between.

ofcourse this is hilarious that this wound up in the development thread
this belongs in the
other chicago thread
which is the ongoing discussion of
SO I DECIDED TO F'N MOVE TO SHYTOWN
WITHOUT even checking it out,
youve got balls,
i like that,
moving somewhere with knowing nothing about the city,
i think you will do fine, but you will definitely need to leave hydepark to find a social life,
hydepark is perfect is you are a 40 something hippie/academic
otherwise a bit boring
but if i were you i would join in some econ clubs or perhaps become an orphan frat brother of some frat somewhere else,
i myself wasnt a frat dude, i dont know if you are, but is okay,
but definitely people are friendly in lincoln park and evanston,

there are some many bars and coffee shops to hang out in chicago
that if you went to a different one every week it would take you several years to reach the end.

brown has a nice college atmosphere, but i dont think
its a must do for that, duke probably is awesome, but i am ignorant of this place,
 

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U of Chicago's philosophy has always been to attract students that are deeply passionate about learning. If your idea of fun is wild college parties, then U of C isn't going to be a thrill for you. However, if you really love learning and having interesting conversations and exploring a big city with your friends, then you'll like the social scene at U of C. And if you really want to party, you're in Chicago! You can always head up to the thriving college scene in Lincoln Park.

As far as what your counselor said, I would agree to that as well. In truth, U of C is one of the best out there. And to go there for economics? Is there a more fit institution for that? Seriously, congrats! (I applied for econ some years ago, but was rejected... :( )

There's some blues clubs in Hyde Park that are popular with U of C students. And its a pretty regular thing for U of C students to head up to downtown or the near north side for fun.

Just don't start school in the fall expecting it to be one long party. ;)
 

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C.B.P.
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Downtown there is free wi-fi at the Chicago Cultural Center, Daley Plaza and Millennium Park.
 

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if your looking for fn its a short el ride to any one of the majow pary neighborhoods: linolyn park , lakeveiw/wriglyvill,rush division/gold coast,river north, wicker park/ bucktown , oldtown,evenston/rogerspark,uptown theater area, etc etc.
 

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Jack-Of-All-Trades
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Coincidentally, I'm an upperclassman here in Chicago who's considering going to UVa for architecture. (Seriously.)

I hear that partying is a big part of life there. Your take on this? Also, how does the winter compare to Chicago's? (A big factor in me picking UVa is the climate)

My parents both went to U of C, which means I've heard stories on just about every professor in the school. ;) The economics classes are very good, I hear.
 

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I visisted University of Chicago back during spring break. My grandpa went there and I was pretty excieted for the visit, but it definetly wasn't what I thought it would be. The social life and the strange schedule were the major turn-offs for me. I liked U of I a lot more just becuase of the social life. Not just the partying, but in general the student life seemed more exciting at U of I. The students at U of C seem very into studying, where as at U of I they were into other things too (not that they didn't ever study).
 

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XCRunner said:
The students at U of C seem very into studying, where as at U of I they were into other things too (not that they didn't ever study).
When I was at U of I, it seemed like no one ever (besides the engineering students) studied. I personally thought that just made the school feel like a joke. I liked the serious nature of U of C a lot more.
 

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My mom left from NYC to go to UofC. I don't know too much about it, but she graduated valedictorian, so yeah I assume it's pretty good.
 

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I work and live in New York City. A client of mine who attended UCLA's business school rambled on and on -- for at least 20 minutes -- in glowing praise and affection for the University of Chicago.

I asked him why he was so fond of UChicago since he attended UCLA. He said "Most of the modern world tries to pattern their economic models after the theories pioneered and taught by the University of Chicago. I'll guarantee you this: Chicago could run our economy better than Greenspan -- he knows it, the world knows it."

I guess he became familiar with UChicago because all his favorite professors considered their time at UCLA as nothing more than an audition for the University of Chicago. There was some kind of pipeline connecting the two places at the time, as I understand.

Anyway, UChicago receives massive respect out here in New York City. It's known as a school that puts NYU to shame with the challenges they present to their students. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you can survive UChicago's vigorous academic challenges, you'll be prepared to overcome almost any type of adversity presented to human intelligence. Additionally, if Econ is the name of your game, there's really no other place to be than UChicago.

OTHER NOTABLE TIDBITS OF INFORMATION REGARDING THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO:

1. The University of Chicago has something like 60+ or 80+ Nobel Prize winners. That is, by far, the greatest collection of Nobel hardware found on any campus in all America. I believe Yale was a distant No. 2 with 20+ or 30+ Nobels.

2. The first Heisman Trophy was presented to Chicago running back by the name of Jay Berwanger. The Maroons were known as the "Monsters of the Midway" long before the Chicago Bears ever were.

3. Berwanger's coach was the famous Amos Alonzo Stagg. He's one of 5 D-1A coaches to exceed 300 career victories. His 41 consecutive years as the head coach at Chicago ranks No. 1 on the all-time list.
I know this because the coach of my Alma Mater, Joe Paterno of Penn State University, will tie Stagg's record in the upcoming 2006 college football season. Stagg coached beyond the age of 90. No joke. To put that in perspective, Paterno will turn 80 by the time his Nittany Lions participate in their next bowl game.

4. The University of Chicago, I believe, was the founding member of the Big Ten Conference.
In the late 1930s or early 40s, Chicago recognized the commercialization of big-time collegiate athletics and felt they were a threat to compromise the school's emphasis for absolute excellence in academics. Chicago eliminated its participation in big-time collegiate athletics at this time.
However, to this day, Chicago maintains its affiliation as a charter member of the "CIC" (Committee on Instutitional Cooperation), which is an academic consortium of 12 "BIG11TEN" universities who share their intellectual resources and exchange ideas of academia.

5. This will be your favorite note of interest. I don't recall the exact details, but I vividly remember a big, bold headline on the front page of the Chicago Sun-Times (best sports section) from the 1990s. It read:
STARTING SALARY: $120,000
The article then went on to explain how University of Chicago graduates, on average, earn the highest starting salaries in America -- they cashed in at a whopping $120,000. I have no recollection as to which qualifiers (if any) were involved in this measure, but no matter how you look at it, that's a mighty impressive number. The No. 2 school wasn't anywhere near Chicago with regard to average starting salaries.


Anyway, congratulations on your admission to a university that is universally regarded as one of the few worldly institutions in pursuit of superior intellectual interests. Don't be discouraged if you find the academic challenges overwhelming. You have a rare opportunity to place yourself on one of the most lucrative and enlightening fast-tracks to the good life. Good luck.
 

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JoePa4Eva
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Oh yeah, and be sure to check out a movie titled "Chain Reaction." Keanu Reeves stars as a prodigy student at the birthplace of the infamous atomic bomb: the University of Chicago.

And I think there's a scene in the 1980s movie "Adventures of Babysitting" where Elisabeth Shue (and John Cusack?) and the gang's wacky travels lead them to a UChicago frat party.
 

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Interesting thought: do we really care what the east coast thinks of the University of Chicago, a marvelous institution of higher learning by any measure, even if we didn't live in Chicago.

I mean, does the east coast really care what we think about Harvard and Yale? I hardly feel a need for an "east coast filter" to determine how great an institution like the U of C is. There are folks in that part of the country who actually believe Stanford doesn't hold up among the nation's best universities because it is in California.
 

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here's my two cents.

The UofChicago econ department is legendary. world renowned. it's impossible to overstate how unbelieveable it is. If you're interested in econ, and it sounds like you are, and you've already been accepted, i don't see how you turn them down. screw parties and all that. you've got the rest of your life to get jiggy with it.
 

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mikeczyz said:
here's my two cents.

The UofChicago econ department is legendary. world renowned. it's impossible to overstate how unbelieveable it is. If you're interested in econ, and it sounds like you are, and you've already been accepted, i don't see how you turn them down. screw parties and all that. you've got the rest of your life to get jiggy with it.
Right. When you graduate and are making $120k, let the party begin. :lol: :cheers:
 

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NittanyBLUE2002 said:
Oh yeah, and be sure to check out a movie titled "Chain Reaction." Keanu Reeves stars as a prodigy student at the birthplace of the infamous atomic bomb: the University of Chicago.

And I think there's a scene in the 1980s movie "Adventures of Babysitting" where Elisabeth Shue (and John Cusack?) and the gang's wacky travels lead them to a UChicago frat party.
Speaking of movies.... a recent movie called Proof with Anthony Hopkins and Gwenyth Paltrow was filmed there.
 

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UrbanSophist said:
Right. When you graduate and are making $120k, let the party begin. :lol: :cheers:
Are you sure that isnt for graduates of the UofC MBA program only? I recall that figure for that in particular, because otherwise I cant imagine a typical B.A. in something like Political Science making that much to start anywhere. Also PhD's (of which the UofC trains ALOT of) regardless of where they get their degree often start out as assistant professors making alot less than that no matter what institution they are at.

Anyways, the University of Chicago is very well know worldwide amoung academics (its probably the best place to get a PhD in just about anything), lawyers (several supreme court justices are alumni), doctors (one of the best medical school and hospitals in the country), basically anybody who is anybody knows that the University of Chicago is hot shit.

Now if your talking about your average joe blow that is a different story. UofC has no major sports teams and thus it isnt in the public eye in the same way that Northwestern is that is known for its sports. Also a more lacking social life means it has a less of a reputation amoung your average high schooler looking to party in college. There are alot of people even in downstate Illinois who are pretty clueless about the UofC, even people who would confuse it for UIC! They mistakenly think the UofI is the best college in Illinois completly oblivious to how hot shit the University of Chicago is. I mean going by the average person the UofC is by far the most underrated university in the world IMO and that is because it has a bunch of "nerdy" stats and not "cool" ones.

I cant praise the University of Chicago enough and im not even an alumni (Im a twice alumni of UIC). It was my dream school really but I was a slacker in HS, when I brieftly considered getting a PhD in political science I almost applied there but I went for urban planning instead. If I ever did decide to get a PhD later I would want to go there. I second someone else's comments that when I have children I would much rather have my son or daughter go to the UofC than even Harvard or Yale. It has everything going for it, excellent academics overall, a gorgeous campus, an intellectual environment second to none, if the only drawback is a lacking social life than that is a very small sacrafice, and besides Chicago is the third largest city in the US, if you really want to party just go off campus! UofC is one of the many reasons I am proud to be a Chicagoan, its one of the intellectual gems of the world!
 

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UrbanSophist said:
Right. When you graduate and are making $120k, let the party begin. :lol: :cheers:
Exactly...too many kids think college is 1. a place to party 2. a place to learn.

Sickens me, to be honest.

oh, and I have to seriously question that 120K figure. if you go here
you'll see that harvard mba graduates this past year earned, on average, only 116K. Can't imagine a UofChicago ugrad earning more than that!
 

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mikeczyz said:
Exactly...too many kids think college is 1. a place to party 2. a place to learn.

Sickens me, to be honest.

oh, and I have to seriously question that 120K figure. if you go here
you'll see that harvard mba graduates this past year earned, on average, only 116K. Can't imagine a UofChicago ugrad earning more than that!
The $120K figure was for University of Chicago MBA graduates, I am sure of it.
 
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