Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

College review by Lisa Bleich

We started the morning walking around Carnegie Mellon and had a better impression in the light of day.  The campus is self-contained, with the city right outside.  The athletic facilities are right adjacent to the campus.  The main campus forms an L with a grassy area lining the shape of the buildings.  There is an interesting sculpture of a pole with students walking up the pole.

The students were a hodgepodge of international students, nerdy students, artsy students, and down-to-earth students.  Some of the students walked with their heads facing the ground, while others walked with confidence.  We chatted with some students who made up the “Fringe” submarine, buggy racing team.  They were a cohesive, friendly, intelligent bunch of engineering, psychology, computer science, and pre-med students.  Each year, these clubs design and build a rocket and then race it.  This group of kids confirmed that CMU is a place where everyone has a passion and loves what they are doing.  This leads to the intensity that is often used to describe CMU but these students loved it.

Next we went into the School of Performing Arts building and saw a totally different crowd of theater students, excitedly chatting and discussing a project.  The facilities are incredible and it was clear why CMU has such a highly rated theater program.

Quad area

Finally we chatted with security guard to find out what it’s really like living in Pittsburgh.  He said the campus is very safe, but 2-3 blocks off campus (likely where we picked up our pizza) there had been several recent burglaries.  He said that the campus police is very present on campus and keeps tabs on what is going on.  Like any urban campus, it’s important to keep an eye out.

CMU offers a lot of opportunity for students who want to pursue their passion in science, computer science, business, performing arts, creative writing, or engineering.  It’s not, however, for students who do not want to work hard.

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