A friend of mine says her brother transferred from Uchicago after his first year...because of the pressure. A lot of people say Uchicago is where fun dies. I personally don't mind academic pressure that much, but is this real? Studying in UChicago can be harder than that in an ivy? just curious.
I think since most people here haven't actually gone to college yet it will be tough to get a good answer (at least from the perspective of a UChicago student). But I'll take a stab at it.
I don't think there is a one-size fits all type of answer here. Transitioning to college can be a really stressful time for a lot of students. You're typically away from home for the first time, you most likely don't know many (if any) people at the school, the workload is more difficult, you have certain expectations of what college will be like, etc. There are a million variables that can impact your experience and for some it's just too much to handle at first. Most people learn to adapt but not everyone does and they end up transferring, there is nothing wrong with that. When I went to college I didn't have a great first year. It wasn't because it was too academically challenging or anything but more because I had heard for so long "college is the best 4 years of your life!!" and after my first semester it wasn't living up to that statement or the expectations I had set in my head. However, I adjusted, tried some new things, and now I'm incredibly glad I ended up not transferring out like I planned.
UChicago is obviously a great school that requires a lot of work to get into. Chances are if you get in you are probably close to the top of your class in high school both by an academic standpoint but also extracurricular wise too. Suddenly at UChicago you find yourself in an environment where you're surrounded by a bunch of other people who are also incredibly strong academically and that can be intimidating. You're used to being the best and now maybe you feel average, or below average, and those feelings can be difficult to deal with. Going off this point, college can be a huge wake-up call for students who never had to work too hard in high school but still could get great grades. I know plenty of people who were able to breeze through high school only to find themselves struggling in college, at least at first. If you don't know how to study properly or how to manage your time effectively and think you can handle the college work the same way you handled high school you're probably in for a bad time.
It's all going to be how you make it. If you can handle academic pressure, great! Maybe you don't need to worry. Especially if you're confident in your abilities and how you study. If you can effectively manage your time when it comes to work/life, awesome! You'll probably be ok. You know you best. If you know what you need to do to stay happy, sane, and mentally healthy and you can make sure you fit whatever that is in during your day-to-day life or week I wouldn't worry.
I'll end with this: if UChicago offers you admission then they believe you can handle the academics and expectations of the school. You need to believe in yourself like the UChicago admissions team believes in you. The best advice I can give is to make sure you take care of yourself first because if you don't burnout can be a very real thing.
What @ShaquilleOatmeal said was really helpful. Something else you can check out is two of CollegeVine's student panels with Uchicago students. They are moderated by collegevine and not Uchicago, so I think the students on these panels are very genuine
I know in at least one of these panels they talk about the stereotype "where fun goes to die." Maybe they will answer some other questions you also have about uchicago
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