Two nights ago while I was scouring the web for advice on what to bring to CMU, I found this scathing review about the school which infuriated me beyond words. The reviewer constantly referred to Carnegie Mellon as a hellhole that doesn’t teach you anything, is a complete waste of time and money, and is filled with worthless people with the exception of himself.
His first complaint is the social life—that it’s a “24-hour study group”. Obviously he thought he’d be partying and hooking up every night. True, the athletic teams are division three, some of the “worst in the division” according to him. Yet he wasn’t good enough to make any of them.
Then he goes off on a loooong tirade about how he hates ugly people. This makes up core of his review. He complains about the gender ratio, the unattractiveness of people, and… well, more of the unattractiveness of people. He addresses both genders in his review—his bottom line being that no one has any chance of a meaningful relationship at all. Because everyone is ugly, apparently. He obviously fancies himself some sort of devastatingly handsome prince that for some reason, can’t get any of these girls despite his claim that they are all unattractive.
Or perhaps unattractiveness is a quality he cannot live with in a friend. He must have a checklist, with personality barely making the bottom.
Trying to assuage his shallowness, he continues on to the fact that the university just wants your money. Maybe that’s true—tuition is extremely expensive. But isn’t that what all schools want? At my old high school, we had near hundreds of opportunity to pile our money into the school’s towering fund of pink bills. But we did have excellent facilities. And despite the reviewer’s claim, so does CMU. On College Prowler, we rank number 2 among American universities for the best technology in the classroom, 1 for best computer availability, 3 for best network availability, 4 for fastest internet, 5 for best wireless availability, and 15 for best performance venues. It’s true that we have one of the lower scores for athletic facilities, but it doesn’t really matter if athletics aren’t a big thing anyway.
Number four to bash on his list is campus parking, misleadingly labeled “CAMPUS LAYOUT”. The entire section is simply a complaint on how he can’t show off his fancy car on campus. From everything I’ve heard there is absolutely no need for a car at CMU—walking is faster than driving. Somewhat linked to four is number five—the city of Pittsburgh.
The majority of this section is devoted to how Pittsburgh is an “aweful” city with literally “no place to eat, drink, socialize, or just hang out” which I find strange since CMU is rated as having the #15 most affordable college town, and come on, it’s Pittsburgh! Home to both Heinz and Hunt’s ketchup, and in the same state as Philly Cheese Steaks. Not to mention those sports teams that I don’t follow but probably should. Steelers, yeah?
He also goes on a long spiel about how dirty the bus is, and how it’s a disease-riddled cavern of “poor, dirty, and uneducated” people. Too bad he couldn’t get his chauffeur to drive the limo down to campus. Another paragraph goes on to state that he knows friends (really, he has friends?) who have gotten their cars stolen or seriously “vandelized”. Again, really no need to have cars on campus.
Part six talks of the academic uselessness of CMU. Which I know for a fact is completely untrue. Carnegie Mellon has a spectacular undergraduate employment rate; According to collegedata.com, 98% of undergraduates were offered full time jobs within six months of their graduation.
And the wrap-up. This part I like almost as much as his eloquent conclusion, so I have to quote it here:
Remember those “geeks” in high school with the thick glasses, tall white socks and skinny/fat arms? If you are one of these guys (you know who you are), please go to CMU.
Remember those real people with real lives who care about themselves and each other and look forward to an exciting and fun life? If you are one of these guys or girls, (you know who you), please do not go to CMU.
I don’t even have any words to describe the fury I felt after reading that. Of course, most of it has dissipated by now, and my general opinion of this reviewer is that he is a shallow idiot who has not made any attempt to get to know people, fails to look the superficial, and has a serious case of sour grapes about not being able to get any girls. My counselor warned us about these kinds of people—people who write scathing reviews simply because they aren’t having the time of their lives. I think college is ultimately what you make of it—sometimes happiness and fun doesn’t just come to you, you have to take action and pursue it. And this person obviously did not make any effort at all.
On the CMU Overheard Facebook page, I saw that someone over at the neighboring University of Pittsburgh said that CMU stood for the three kinds of people that went there: Chinese, Married, Ugly. It bothers me somewhat that all the students at CMU are stereotyped as dorky and strange looking, as if that’s a bad thing. Sure, I’m a super nerd, a dork, a geek. But I love that about myself, and I am so much more than that. Another review I read, although positive, stated that “[t]he people at CMU are really nice and there are just so many types. Of course there are the nerds, but there are also the drama kids and the partiers and people who are just normal.” It’s like we can’t have more than one personality trait! It’s like we’re the only negative part of the student body, and all the drama kids and partiers and the normal kids are just there to assuage our presence. We’re just abnormal freaks of nature, apparently.
But that’s okay, because I suspect in the real world, people look beyond unspoken stereotype labels. Labels are made to be ripped off, just as rules are made to be broken.
So why then was I so infuriated by the long-winded review of an ignorant person? Perhaps, despite never having spent more than a few hours there I’ve developed a kinship with my school. Perhaps I simply loathe ignorant, superficial people who can’t spell. Perhaps because it’s reawakened my own deep-seated fears and trepidations that have been clawing at me since my decision to attend.
Or maybe it’s all of the above.
I have so many expectations. Some may be accurate, most won’t be. Again, college is what you make of it. But I won’t be able to know until I go, and I can’t wait.