Drexel University, my Alma matter, is well known for many things. Some know the school for its expensive tuition; others for its prime location on the edge of University City in Philadelphia, PA. A lot of people have heard of the school’s unique co-op program, which allows students to gain work experience while their still in classes; and others recognize the name because of the ever-growing colleges of business and engineering.
But many people who have heard of Drexel know the name for another reason. They know it as the school that has been ranked number one on various “ugliest campus” lists.
You see what you want to see.
As a freshman, I was confused by upperclassmen’s continuous references and jokes about Drexel having the ugliest campus ever. Aside from the never-ending construction (which will one day be finished) Drexel’s campus wasn’t bad at all.
In fact, I thought the campus was pretty. Some of the original buildings that have been there for decades are gorgeous. And the old mansions that many of the fraternities and sororities are housed in are fantastic. I couldn’t understand why everyone though it was so ugly.
But then, I took a stroll through the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, located just a few steps away from Drexel’s campus.
UPenn has the most beautiful campus I’ve ever seen (although I honestly haven’t seen very many). The school’s grounds are a haven within a bustling city; it’s difficult to even hear the blaring horns and squealing tires from within the heart of the campus. It’s like a park.
It’s one of those places where you forget the real world even exists. As soon as I steeped foot onto UPenn, I regretted every decision I’d made that had led me to a different University.
But beauty isn’t everything.
By the time I returned to my dorm those feelings of awe had faded (ok not completely), but by the time I reached my sophomore year I had realized something.
There is a reason Drexel students endlessly discuss the ugliness of their campus; it’s a source of pride. With UPenn’s campus just a few steps away its obvious that Drexel isn’t going to be winning any beauty contests (at least not until the construction is finished), but Drexel student’s don’t care.
We didn’t choose Drexel University because it looked good in a photo. We chose the school for its majors, its unique co-op program, or one of the many other opportunities that the school offers. No other school could be compared to Drexel because it was our school. It’s amazing what college students will bond over.