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5 Reasons to Love the University of Chicago

picture of UChicago

Guest Blogger: Charlotte Semlies, UChicago ’26

1. The Campus

The University of Chicago is located in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, and is known for its beautiful Gothic architecture and sprawling green spaces. The campus covers 217 acres and is home to numerous academic buildings, research facilities, libraries, and student residences. The campus is centered around the Main Quadrangle, which features buildings such as the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, the Reynolds Club student center, and the Harper Memorial Library.

No matter the season, the University of Chicago’s campus is a stunning display of natural and architectural beauty, providing a perfect setting for students to learn, grow, and explore.

2. Academics

The University of Chicago is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world, with a reputation for rigorous academic standards. Students benefit from small class sizes and a focus on critical thinking and intellectual inquiry, which prepares them well for careers in various fields.

The most defining feature of UChicago’s academics is the Core Curriculum. The Core Curriculum is a rigorous, interdisciplinary program of study that requires all undergraduate students to take a set of courses across multiple fields, including humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. It is designed to cultivate critical thinking, analytical skills, and a deep understanding of the fundamental questions and issues that have shaped human history and society. Most importantly, it fosters a strong sense of community among students, who take many of the same courses together and engage in lively discussions and debates.

For those interested in business, The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business is widely regarded as one of the top business schools in the world. Booth offers a wide range of programs and resources to help students launch their own ventures, including the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which provides funding, mentorship, and other resources to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Booth also boasts a strong global network of alumni, many of whom hold leadership positions in some of the world’s most successful companies and organizations. This network provides students with valuable connections and opportunities for mentorship and professional development, both during their time at Booth and throughout their careers.

image from downtown chicago

3. Location

If you are lucky enough to have a day off from classes, downtown Chicago is just a twenty-minute Uber away! Chicago’s unique blend of urban life and natural beauty makes it an ideal destination for college students from all over the world. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s vibrant nightlife or delving into its rich cultural history, Chicago has something to offer every student.

Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods provide endless opportunities for exploration and discovery. From the trendy shops and restaurants in Wicker Park to the bohemian vibes of Logan Square, there’s a neighborhood to suit every taste. A must-stop for anyone who loves to shop is Michigan Avenue. After a long day of shopping with your friends, end the night with a deep-dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s.

Chicago boasts a thriving arts and culture scene, with world-class museums such as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. And for sports fans, the city is home to some of the most storied franchises in sports history, including the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago Bulls.

4. University Housing System

The University of Chicago has a unique House system, which is a distinctive feature of residential life on campus. It is designed to create a strong sense of community and belonging among students while fostering academic and social growth.

Each House is a residential community that is made up of students from different academic years, majors, and backgrounds. The Houses are named after famous figures in history, such as Burton-Judson, Max Palevsky, and Snell-Hitchcock, and each House has its own distinct character and traditions. The House system creates a close-knit community that encourages students to develop strong relationships with their peers, faculty, and staff.

I was a part of Rickert House this year in Max Palevsky West and some of my favorite traditions were Sunrise Coffee every Wednesday, the Rickert Snackert every Tuesday night at nine, and the weekly study breaks with yummy homemade treats!

5. Athletics

Athletics are an integral part of the UChicago experience, and the university is committed to providing its students with opportunities to compete at a high level while promoting physical health, sportsmanship, and teamwork. UChicago offers a wide range of varsity sports for both men and women, including basketball, cross country, football, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, volleyball, and wrestling. The university also offers a number of club and intramural sports, including ultimate frisbee, flag football, and quidditch.

UChicago’s athletics teams, known as the Maroons, compete at the NCAA Division III level and have a storied history of success. The university has won numerous conference championships and has produced several Olympians and professional athletes. In addition to its athletic achievements, UChicago is committed to ensuring that its student-athletes excel academically and maintain a healthy balance between sports and academics.

Being a member of the Women’s Varsity Lacrosse team at the University of Chicago has given me a unique opportunity to be a part of a group of highly motivated and like-minded women. We are a tight-knit community of teammates who support each other both on and off the field, and it has granted me lifelong bonds that will extend far beyond our time at UChicago. The camaraderie and support that comes with being part of this team have made my experience at the university all the more meaningful and rewarding.

Need any more convincing as to why to love the University of Chicago? Didn’t think so.

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