Miami University of Ohio
BackgroundInterview Date:June 2018
Gender Identity: Male
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2021
High School Experience: Public school in Ohio with a graduating class of about 250 students. There was a good mix of race. There was a culture of going to college among a specific demographic, I would say it’s split 50/50. You could see which kids were going to in the way they acted towards high school.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Undeclared. I’m still trying to get into the business school, so if I do, I will most likely declare Economics, and if I don’t I will declare Economics outside of the business school.
Extracurricular Activities: I’m in Greek life and I am on the Club Baseball team.
When did you start the application process to the business school?
I applied, but the problem is my application fee didn’t go through, so my application didn’t get submitted until much later than I would have liked. Because of that, the likelihood of me getting into the business school became less and less. In order to get into the business school after starting your time at Miami, you have to complete [30 credit hours, two class requirements and have a 3.5 GPA, see website]. It’s pretty easy once you meet those requirements. [The school describes the admissions process as “noncompetitive”.]
Did any of your extracurricular activities have a particularly big impact on your experience?
I would say both did. I gave myself a group of friends almost immediately through Club Baseball. Tryouts were less than a month after school started, and having that group of people to immediately call teammates was nice. You have a group of people you can hang out with and will hang out with you in a place that you’re not necessarily familiar with yet.
My roommate didn’t join an organization in any capacity and I think it definitely impacted him. When I was going off and hanging out with people who were my friends now, he didn’t have anyone and I think it impacted his experience in a negative way.
What was your favorite class last year?
Purpose or Chance in the Universe, a Philosophy class. It was a really cool class. It was like three or four 5-6-page papers. That was pretty much the coursework for the class. He’d give us reading assignments and during the lecture he’d break down the assignment. It was a great intro to philosophy and I think philosophy is really interesting personally. It’s over a pretty broad topic, like why are we here, what’s the basis of human life. It was an easy class to sit through and the professor was a really cool guy.
What was your least favorite class last year?
Pre-calculus. That is mostly because it was my rude awakening from high school. I didn’t take calculus in high school, so I thought I’d take it as a refresher. I had class three times a week and recitation two times a week and I was not ready for the rigor that is a college math class. It was incredibly hard. It was not a nice easy refresher, I was not prepared for the workload.
Is there anything you felt Miami did especially well or poorly in terms of academics during your first year?
All the first-year business students take the business core, which is this group of classes that you take during one semester if you’re admitted to the business school as a freshman. If you aren’t you just take it as soon as you can when you get in later. That seems to be incredibly hit or miss. It’s a really useful set of core classes for half of the students, and then it really messes up the GPA of the other half of the students because they aren’t ready for it. So, as far as business school goes, I think Miami can throw kids into the gauntlet a little bit too soon because, after looking at the syllabi, it’s pretty rigorous and people are taking that their first semester of college.
How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s a bit of both. One of the things I noticed pretty quickly is that it’s definitely a work hard play hard culture. I got there and the guys around me were mostly from out of state, so if they’re out of state they tend to be a little wealthier because tuition is more expensive, and they were all pretty focused on why they were there. They would go out on the weekends and party hard, and then during the week they would be working all the time. They’d already taken classes in high school that I never got the opportunity to, so it was a little intimidating at first honestly. It seemed like they were a step ahead of you, but they were always willing to help you if you are all taking the same classes.
I say it feels competitive on the surface, but if you reach out for help there are always people to collaborate with.
How accessible were your professors?
They’re incredibly accessible. If you make yourself available to the professor, they will make themselves available to you. If you make the effort, they will show it in return.
At one point during the second semester I was not doing well at all grades-wise. I was on pace to get a D or an F in a couple of classes, and I ended up passing those classes with a C+, it was a drastic turn around that is very hard to do with how heavily exams are weighted. I’m 90% sure it was because I sought out professors. I went to office hours and asked how I could turn my grade around, and they worked with me 100%. They told me what I could do, and said that I can talk the talk but I have to walk the walk as well. They were there the entire time helping me and telling me what I missed in my notes or what I could look over additionally for the next class. I took my notes to one professor before the final and asked if they looked good, and she’s was like yes, but maybe look more at these specific things. If you let them help you they will help you.
On and Around Campus
Where have you lived on campus?
Freshman: I lived in Dorsey Hall on East quad in a double.
Sophomore: I’m living in the fraternity house.
Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
Very high. That’s one of the things I liked the most about Miami, is I felt safe almost everywhere I walked. It’s like a little bubble. I’ve never felt any danger. I’d walk home routinely at the early hours of the morning with my earbuds in not worried about anything. [The overall crime rate is 18% lower than the national average.]
How was the transition from Nashville, TN to Oxford, OH?
It was rough for about the first two weeks since I didn’t know anyone. After two weeks I had made a really close group of friends. Culturally, it’s not really different [than Nashville].
What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
Skipper’s for sure.
What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
I didn’t have a car as a freshman, so I didn’t really have that one place off campus. If you can count it, the fraternity house is off campus and I’d go there a lot. I didn’t really have that one place off campus though.
Pros of being in Oxford, OH?
1) Safety. It’s a bubble. Even the people I’ve met from Oxford have been nice and accommodating. I know sometimes we can be a little much, but they understand.
2) I would say being isolated lets me focus on my studies that much more. It makes me feel kind of disconnected like I’m on an island and all I’m meant to do there is meet people and succeed in school. I couldn’t go home. If I was going through difficulties, I had to deal with it myself. So, I’m a fan of there not being much around.
What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you participate in at Miami (OH)?
First semester, I would go to the bars three nights a week, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. That would be preferably Brick Street, but if that was too hard to get into, I’d go somewhere else. Where I got in trouble was I was going out second semester probably 4-5 nights a week and that was pretty hard to maintain. If you can’t drastically discipline yourself, I would not recommend doing that.
What were some of your favorite times at Miami?
Joining a fraternity gave me a lot of cool experiences with a group of people I had met pretty recently. It’s a very unique thing to be a part of, especially at Miami because the culture there is very Greek life-centric. There were a lot of events involving that that were pretty special to me. Obviously, Miami has Green Beer Day, which was really cool. It’s the Thursday before spring break, so not necessarily St. Patrick’s Day.
I actually went to a couple of football games during my first semester. Among the people I know, people don’t get too excited about them, but I had a decent time. I also went to a couple of hockey games.
How happy are you with the nightlife at Miami? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I was pretty satisfied with it overall. It is very drinking centric at times. Miami sends out emails that provide alternatives for nightlife that are not involving alcohol. I never did them, but I recognize they are making the effort to provide non-alcoholic alternatives to fun. But, one common thought is that it is very drinking centric.
How did you meet your closest friends?
I got along really well with a couple of guys on my floor of my dorm. I’ve made friends through my club baseball team. Practicing with those guys three days a week and going out on our away tournament trips was a great time and I’ve made some good friends that way. Joining a fraternity increases your friend count at your college ten-fold.
How would you describe the social scene?
In my opinion, would say it’s very centered around Greek life. A lot of people know this about Miami that consider going to Miami, but it is very centered around Greek life. It’s a very big part of this college. It does seem to be very drinking centric as well. [About 30% of students are involved in Greek life.]
How would you describe the student body?
I would say the stereotypes are true. It’s a predominantly Caucasian school. We do have a lot of international students and they seem to be very wealthy. In terms of attitude towards school, it’s a very cooperative environment. I would say it’s a work hard play hard environment. People are from a wealthier background, but they don’t seem entitled and know why they’re there. [About 73% of the student body is White.]
What is the impact of Greek life on social life at Miami (OH)?
It gives you a wide network of people. It can only be a positive thing in my mind. I could see the difference because my roommate, who was a friend from high school, didn’t join a fraternity. I had a group of friends I could talk to any time, people who I could study with or play basketball with as far as the second semester went. He kind of stayed in our dorm room group chat and a lot of the time those people would be busy doing their things. Greek life gives you a network of people who are always there to help you out. That support system is pretty helpful.
Advice for Prospective Freshmen
What advice would you say to somebody who was going to live with a friend from high school in college?
I would say don’t do it. It didn’t leave any bad blood between us. There were times that neither of us would say it, but we both didn’t want to see each other. When you live with somebody it opens you up to a completely different dynamic of your relationship. I would also not recommend it because you guys can have different friend groups from different dorms and then maybe intermingle in those friend circles separately instead of both making the same friends. When one of you wants a break from the other you can go hang out with other people.
What is something you wish you knew about Miami (OH) before entering as a freshman?
It’s so much different than high school because it takes some time adjusting to having your own free time and having your own schedule and being responsible for yourself. I also wish I could have told myself that this is the place for you and you belong here when I was struggling.
What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
I would check out the King Library. It’s the 24-hour library. Understanding how useful that space is and how it’s a giant place of resources is would be a really cool thing for a prospective student to know.
Reasons to attend Miami (OH):
1) You’re surrounding yourself with academically focused people. Most of them are there for the right reasons. It’s work hard play hard, but the right people here are focused on their work.
2) It’s a beautiful campus. I walk around every day and think “Wow, this is a really pretty place.” I’m in awe every day looking at the brick buildings and the grounds are really well maintained. I didn’t like leaving it much when I was there.
3) It’s a bubble where you can focus on academics and Miami things and it feels like your home life is cut off except the friends you choose to keep in touch with. At first, I didn’t like that, but I came to love it.
Reasons to not attend Miami (OH):
1) If you want to go to a bigger city.
2) If you don’t like being separated [from the outside life]. If you want to feel more connected.
3) If you’re not into Greek life. It does tend to be pretty Greek life centric here.