The University is more than just a party school

The+University+is+more+than+just+a+party+school

By Courtney Boyer

As many University students do, I absolutely love this school. It truly does have a little niche for everyone, no matter the interest. 

However, as many colleges argue to have “something for everyone,” the University is the best example I’ve seen of having a great mix of things to do on campus such as Greek life, majors and clubs.

Recently, the University was ranked as the number one “fun college” in the United States by Business Insider. It was up against other notable fun colleges, such as Syracuse and Iowa, but still managed to come out on top. My Facebook timeline was flooded with friends sharing this article and bragging that this proves that the University is “the best school ever”. Of course I believe that UIUC is the best school ever, and I love that this University and town have a great social reputation, however, this school is worth so much more than just being seen as “the fun school”. http://thetab.com/us/illinois/2016/02/24/uiuc-is-officially-the-most-fun-school-in-the-country-906?utm_source=local&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=pages

It disheartens me a little bit to see that the University is constantly ranked at the top of lists that only focus on the fun aspect of the University. While I do take pride in the fact that this campus is so fun, I would love the University to get recognized more often for its other amazing qualities, and not just seen as a “party school”.

Over this past summer, when UIUC officially earned the number one spot as Princeton Review’s “Best party schools,” a lot of people viewed it as a negative thing. I had a friend who went to Colorado and had never been here asking me if all I did at school was party, and if I ever even studied. I found myself defending my school against the ranking because I did not want my peers who did not love this university the same as I did to think negatively about it based on this party ranking. http://college.usatoday.com/2015/08/03/illinois-named-top-party-school/

Being a UIUC student, I know that the majority of people at this school work really hard and persevere to become the best students they can be. They set lofty goals and compete for internships and jobs with some of the brightest young people in the country. 

I would love to see people talking more about the amazingly bright students and academic programs at this school rather than just the party scene. To someone who does not know a whole lot about the University, they might just view this school as a party school, and be unaware of the amazing academics.

After this ranking came out, University officials were equally disheartened with the being minimized to a party school. The recent chancellor Phyllis Wise stated that it was disappointing to see that people were viewing this ranking as if it were meaningful, when students are here to become leaders of our generation. Now, with this more recent Business Insider ranking, the affirmation is there that a lot of what UIUC has to offer is fun, when that is not the whole story.

http://college.usatoday.com/2015/08/03/illinois-named-top-party-school/

I think it is important to keep in mind, while bragging to friends about this university, not just to mention the party stigma associated with it. This would only further the mindset that many who do not have enough knowledge on this school already have about it’s lack of serious academics. 

You might mention that the University holds one of the top engineering programs in the country, and that many students come here and go on to work for major organizations such as NASA, Google and companies in Napa Valley. It also boasts strong business, computer science, and agriculture programs. Additionally, this university is home to more than 150 majors and over 1,000 student organizations. It truly has something for everyone.

http://engineering.illinois.edu/academics/rankings.html

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-university-of-illinois-party-school-met-20150808-story.html

http://www.collegedata.com/cs/data/college/college_pg01_tmpl.jhtml?schoolId=982

College is supposed to be a fun and exciting time in life, and so I’m glad that I can attend a university that offers so many new experiences, and where I can have fun and be myself. I also want people to be aware of how awesome this school is in its more academic aspects. 

So instead of just boasting about the social aspect of the University, throw out some of the more notable academic tidbits so people are aware that you are bright, motivated and attend one of the best schools ever. 

Courtney is a sophomore in LAS.

[email protected]