Bio:Sarah Parr is a first-year student who is very undecided about her major, but enjoys free food, which is the whole point of college.
A couple of issues ago, I read a short opinion piece by Kevin Smith that got me fired up.
I looked to the 2013 article that Smith cited from Complex magazine, and found that the one line he didn’t include in the story angered me the most: “There’s little flavor beyond the cold brick here.”
There’s little flavor beyond the cold brick here? I could not disagree more.
First of all, Case Western Reserve University has some of the most diverse architectural styles and materials I’ve ever seen in an attempt to be harmonious on a college campus.
Because of my brother who is five years older than me, I honestly don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I’ve toured almost 50 colleges in my lifetime.
Our campus is not as pretty as many others. That’s actually a reason why it was so attractive to me as a prospective student. I’ve never been impressed by anything, or anyone for that matter, simply because of what’s on the outside. Looks are not enough for me. In fact, sometimes they even repel me.
Second of all, it’s not like our campus’s unique and eclectic architecture is a secret, but the question of whether we are “ugly” or not really struck a nerve. This school hasn’t been mine for that long, but I already feel insanely offended if a magazine that thinks they have weight in the world of the prospective college student calls my college campus one of the “least beautiful campuses.”
Does that magazine have any idea what beauty is? Or is that concept too complex for a shallow opinion like that to handle?
In the summer heading into fall, we have lush plants and vibrant colors surrounding us on campus — orientation was a lot more beautiful than the Admitted Student Program I went to last April. But there was something that intrigued me before the summer’s beauty.
When I came back to my high school from visiting CWRU, my college counselor asked me how I liked it. I told her, “This is it.” I had been struggling to find my “whole package” in a college. There are certainly college campuses that put insane amounts of time and money into maintaining a bunch of modern buildings that all look the same. It’s like they are all competing with each other to see who can be the prettiest.
The vibe I got from CWRU was that the students, faculty, administration and pretty much everyone cared way more about their classes, passions and activities than what they looked like to people. That was different to me. That was a first. It’s a unique mindset.
I see it in most students’ fashion, too, and that has trickled down to my usual style on campus. Most people wear comfortable clothes and sensible shoes for all the walking that you pledge to do simply by attending CWRU.
It’s true that looks matter, but there are things that matter way more. To me, the way the community looks is symbolic of the way the community thinks and what it values.
You know what a myriad of different styles and colors and textures and everything else in between has to do with my attitude towards Case Western Reserve University? It shows me that, generally, it cares so much more about what is on the inside, that only diverse parts of a whole create something worth looking at.
The fact that Complex magazine fails to value CWRU for lack of “fitting the whole package,” saddens me. As we’ve all been told at some point, college rankings are almost useless. There is something to be said for getting a general feel and impression from the rankings, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Visiting CWRU gives you a feeling that a picture and perhaps snarky comment from a website cannot. Our campus—our community—is more beautiful to me than any other school I’ve looked at. That’s why I’m excited and proud to be here.