Impressions Of
Clemson University

Academic Experience

Female Psychology Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
I was first a Biology major and then switched to Psychology. In Biology, I thought that the advisers were seeing us more so as numbers and would give us cookie-cutter answers. With Psychology, the advisers get to know you, will check up on you throughout the semester, and want you to take classes that will get you to get your degree on time. [In 2017-2018, there were 354 Biological Sciences degrees awarded and 250 Psychology degrees awarded.]

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s pretty competitive. If you make a friend in the class, they’ll probably be willing to send you notes. As far as the overall classroom, you fend for yourself and you either understand it or you don’t. Unless you’re friends with students, they’re all trying to learn and gain for themselves. It’s not because the classes are graded on a curve, people just want to do well for themselves.

Male Biomedical Engineering Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
The Biomedical Engineering Department has a bunch of resources. I personally don’t want to, but there are so many people who want to go to medical school so you are surrounded by a lot of students who work really hard. I personally like having those students in the same classes as me.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s more collaborative. There are a bunch of smart people in the major, so it is easy to meet people in your classes who really know their stuff and can help you out if you’re struggling. There is also [Peer-Assisted Learning] where you can go to tutoring sessions with students who have done well in the difficult classes you’re taking. I’ve always had tutors who are pretty smart, which blows my mind because I don’t think I could teach somebody how to do well in a class as well as they can.

Male Finance Major C/O 2018

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it was a good mix. It was competitive to the point where you were striving to do well on tests and do the best you can. It was also collaborative in that there were group projects and professors encouraged you to work with other people on your homework.

How accessible were your professors?
It depended on the professor, but, for the most part, they were pretty accessible. In the business school at Clemson, all the professors are in one building. Some were better than others, but most of the time the professor would be in their office for most of the day.

How was managing being in a big South fraternity and also managing your coursework?
It’s kind of tough at first. When you start pledging it’s a lot of work, but it teaches you to handle your course load. That got snapped into me right away. I actually got the best GPA of my college career when I was pledging because I was in that mode of doing work. When I lived in the [fraternity] house sophomore year it was a lot of having fun and partying, but as I got older that dissipated and I got more focused on my schoolwork.

Social Opportunities

Female Psychology Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Clemson?
When I was an underclassman I went to frat parties and day parties. Now that I’m 21, I like going to the bars downtown. I regularly go out on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

What’s the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
There are definitely certain bars that Greek people go to. One of my roommates is in a sorority and my other roommate and I have dated guys in fraternities, so I don’t think it really affects the nightlife. They just have certain events that other people aren’t invited to, like mountain weekends and mixers. Once you turn 21, people don’t care about those anymore. For guys, it matters more because their fraternities are hosting the events, but as a girl, I haven’t been excluded at all. That applies for tailgates too because if you’re not in the fraternity and are a guy you have to get on the list for the fraternity’s tailgate and pay two weeks ahead of time to get let in. [About 22% of students are involved in Greek life.]

What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
I haven’t done much of those. Pretty much all there is to do here is go downtown and go to parties, which is one of the downsides of Clemson. Unless you want to drive to downtown Greenville, which is like 45-minutes away, that’s pretty much what people do here. But, it’s fun.

Male Biomedical Engineering Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in at Clemson?
We generally have fraternity parties either at our house or at other peoples’ houses. We usually have them twice either on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Clemson doesn’t have a traditional Greek Row, so all of our houses are off-campus and that’s where the parties are held. Now that I’m older, I’ll do that for a bit and then go to the bars in downtown Clemson.

What’s the impact of Greek life on nightlife?
In my opinion, if you want to go to a big event or a bigger party, Greek life is pretty much essential. Until you’re 21, Greek life is pretty much where everyone goes if you’re looking for an event. Especially as a guy, it’s essential because girls can get into whatever party they want to. Guys have to be on the guest list and often have to pay to get in. It sounds superficial, but the parties do cost the fraternity money so they need to do that. [About 22% of students are involved in Greek life.]

How happy are you with the weekend options at Clemson? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I like them a lot. Clemson has been enforcing some sanctions on Greek life as far as you can’t have a certain amount of people in certain parties. I don’t really care them to be as huge as some others want them to be. I’m definitely satisfied with it and I’ve enjoyed my time so far.

Male Finance Major C/O 2018

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
When you’re a freshman and sophomore it’s more about the fraternity parties and house parties. The reason is if you want to go to downtown Clemson, you really can’t go until you’re 21. The cops are always patrolling the bars and will ask to see your IDs. Once you hit junior and senior year, it’s more about the downtown scene which is a lot of fun. There are a few great bars that people flock to.

What nights of the week do you regularly go out? Are there certain places you go on certain nights?
Like clockwork, we went out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Thursday I would go to a bar called Loose Change where there was usually a live band. Friday was Loose Change more than not. Saturdays in the fall are game days and in the spring is day parties, and at night we’d either stay home or go out to a bar.

What have been some of your favorite times at Clemson?
Without question, tailgating. It was pandemonium every Saturday. I actually went down to Tampa Bay to see Clemson win the National Championship and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

Campus Culture

Female Psychology Major C/O 2020

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
Honestly, there is not any diversity here. I don’t think the people who don’t mix don’t mix because of discriminatory reasons, it’s just because they want to hang out with what they know. I’m Black and I hang out with a bunch of White sorority and fraternity people and there are Black guys in the White fraternities and Black and Asian girls in the White sororities. But, I know the Black fraternities and sororities don’t interact at all with the White ones. [About 3% of Greek life members are involved in chapters in the National Panhellenic Council and the Multicultural Greek Council. About 82% of undergraduates are White.]

How do you like the size of Clemson in terms of undergraduate enrollment? How has that impacted your experience? [There are about 18,600 undergraduates.]
I think it’s pretty good. You can definitely meet new people and it’s easy to make friends because you have a lot of opportunities to meet people, like, you’ll know someone in your class and you’ll see them downtown and say hi. The size can also be bad because sometimes the library gets full and parking is terrible. You need to get to your class like an hour early to make sure you have a place to park. The campus definitely feels overcrowded. [The number of undergraduates has increased from 16,931 in 2013 to 19,669 in 2018.]

Male Biomedical Engineering Major C/O 2020

To what extent do people in Greek life and not in Greek life mix socially?
There not many joint parties or events between Greek life organizations and non-Greek life organizations. But, we have guys who always come around our fraternity parties who are just as good of friends with me as some of the guys in my fraternity are. Some of my best friends who I came into Clemson with from high school aren’t in Greek life and I’ll hang out with them too. Especially now that I’m 21 and am able to go downtown, there’s more of that mixing than there when we were only able to go to fraternity parties.

How do you like the size of Clemson in terms of undergraduate enrollment? How has that impacted your experience? [There are about 18,600 undergraduates.]
I like it, but I do sometimes feel that it’s almost not enough. I obviously don’t know everybody, but there is a certain group of people who are always around and I see at parties and downtown. I sometimes think it’s not enough people because I don’t see very many new faces often. Most people who are going out are usually always going out, so I tend to know of most of them.

Male Finance Major C/O 2018

How did you meet your closest friends?
I met them in a variety of ways. Some of my closest friends were the friends I met freshman year in the dorm, and then I met the others through fraternity life. Fortunately, some of my pledge brothers are my best friends in life and also some of the older brothers are some of my best friends. There were also friends I met through other fraternities. So, I met most of my friends through fraternity life.

What is the impact of Greek life on social life?
I think it’s a pro. People say that in Greek life you pay for your friends, which isn’t necessarily untrue. It’s like being in a club with a membership fee because you have to pay dues. Living in the house did more for my social life than anything else because you’re living with this big group of friends where people were always doing stuff and inviting people over. It also forces you to meet other people. When we had functions you’d always have to ask a girl, and that forced you to meet girls. When you end up meeting a fun group of girls you keep on meeting people through that. I would say it was pretty central to social life.

Clemson, SC

Pros of

  • “Clemson is in a perfect location where you’re not far from Atlanta and you’re not far from Charleston. It’s a great spot to be for traveling. Because of that, I was able to visit a lot of schools.”
  • “Lake Kiwi and Lake Hartwell are close to campus.”
  • “People love the football team here.”
  • “You don’t have people leaving campus much because there isn’t a lot around the town. I like that everyone is always in Clemson so the farthest you have to travel to get to somebody’s house is like 10 minutes.”

Cons of

  • “Two of the surrounding towns are Seneca and Central, SC which are not great areas. I don’t mind it, but if you go outside of Clemson there’s nothing.” [The population of Seneca, SC is about 8,200 and the poverty rate is 20%. The population of Central, SC is about 5,200 and the poverty rate is about 41%.]
  • “Because we’re not near a big city, there’s not that much to do other than things on campus.”
  • “The area we’re in is not a very diverse area.” [About 78% of people in Clemson, SC are White.]
  • “It’s a small town where everyone knows everyone. The cops don’t have much to do, so there is a lot that happens that wouldn’t happen in a big city.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Psychology Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Clemson before entering as a freshman?
I knew Clemson was a small town, but I didn’t realize how small of a town it is and that you need to drive at least 20 minutes to get anywhere, so you don’t have many options. [The population of Clemson, SC is about 15,375.]

What is something a prospective Black student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
Don’t be intimidated by the reputation of it being a Republican and southern school because most people are not like that. I have never felt threatened or discriminated against on campus.

Male Biomedical Engineering Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Clemson before entering as a sophomore?
I sort of knew this, but growing up you see movies about college being a crazy experience and it’s really not like that. Everybody’s pretty focused, so it’s not that wild, which I’m happy about because I don’t need that.

What’s something a prospective student interested in Greek life may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
Rush isn’t very long so it’s tough to see which ones you think are good socially. It’s good to ask around and see which ones are what you’re looking for. Also, know what you’re looking for in terms of [community involvement], because there are some fraternities that cater to that more than others.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Everyone talks about the “Clemson Family,” which sounds kind of corny, but there is honestly a culture where people look out for each other at Clemson. People are pretty civil with each other and there is a friendly culture of looking out for each other.

Male Finance Major C/O 2018

What is something you wish you knew about Clemson before entering as a freshman?
This is kind of weird, but I was kind of glad I went in blind. I went in with an open mind. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into and that is what led me to be open to everything. I guess I wish I knew that there would be a major downswing in Greek life after a student died. I don’t think it would’ve changed my outlook or decision, but it was a big factor in that everything changed after that.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Visit the stadium and go to a place called Smokin’ Pig for barbecue. It’s some of the best barbecue in the country. You should also check out Lake Kiwi and drive around the area because in North Clemson there are the fraternity houses.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Clemson University

To Attend

  • “The football team is so much fun.”
  • “There’s a lot of school spirit. As cheesy as this sounds, if you go to Clemson and see someone in public wearing a Clemson sweatshirt, you’ll go up and say hi and tell them you went to Clemson and instantly have a bond.”
  • “There’s a lot to get involved in at Clemson. If you want to do Greek life, clubs, or student government it’s easy to get involved with and there are a lot of options.”
  • “The culture here. There is a caring culture where we look out for each other.”

To Not Attend

  • “If you’re not into football, it’s going to be put in your face either way. For me, that’s a negative, but for a lot of other people that’s a big plus.”
  • “It’s a small town, so if you want to be near a big city Clemson’s not a great place for you.”
  • “Parking is terrible. You’re paying $178 a year for a pass and you don’t even know if you will find a space on campus.”
  • “If you want all your classes to be small. Some of the classes will get to over 100 people and you don’t know the professor. As you get to higher-level classes, you get smaller classes. All freshman year you’re going to be in a general education situation where you don’t know the professor because the classes are too big.”
Notice: Clemson University is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Clemson University.

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