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University stereotypes don’t reflect campus life

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The first time I stepped onto Carnegie Mellon’s campus last fall for my campus tour, I couldn’t help but notice countless festivities occurring beside the Fence, plaid as far as the eye could see, and a diverse array of students. Little did I know that just a year from my first visit, this campus would become a place that I would learn to know and love.

I thought that my social life would be the price I’d have to pay to go to a school that excelled academically. Stereotypically, Carnegie Mellon is known as a school with all of the work and none of the play.

However, it is clear that this stereotype isn’t accurate after my first few weeks as a student.

The people I have befriended remind me of myself. The various events throughout Orientation week, such as Playfair and House Wars, have revealed just how social, friendly, and exciting the student body is at Carnegie Mellon.

The campus is very different from where I was raised in rural Pennsylvania, and different in a fantastic way.

When I began classes, my love for Carnegie Mellon continued to grow. I was amazed by how much I learned each day. In a single week, I have learned what would have taken weeks or months in high school.

My professors are the best in the game, and have already helped me to discover things I never realized. When I nerded out over an explanation of how integration-by-parts is essentially the opposite of the product rule, I realized that this is where I belong.

There is, however, one Carnegie Mellon stereotype that seems to hold true: This university is a place where each and every student’s heart is in the work, a mentality that is perhaps the best thing about Carnegie Mellon. The people I have met thus far, from first-years to seniors, are passionate about what they do.

There are future CEOs, engineers, Hollywood actors or actresses, and scientists taking part in the hefty workload that has already brought so many before them to success. While the workload here is undeniably demanding, the students still take part in activities that they love and enjoy social lives, contrary to any stereotypes. A walk through the hundreds of tables at the Activities Fair is enough to prove that students are passionate and are active on and off campus.

Carnegie Mellon is a place where people have fun, whether they’re working or playing. There is never a dull moment. Whether they are spent exploring the city or determining the name of a mystery function in Principles of Imperative Computation, every day at Carnegie Mellon promises to be an exciting one.