Southern Methodist University
Dallas, TX, USA

Reviews

Southern Methodist University
4.09 Average Rating

Ally from Dallas, TX

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am finding that most of what I am learning is everything I did NOT expect to be learning about. But, I suppose that's college for you! In the classroom, I'm learning more about staying engaged when I'm not challenged or indifferent to the subject matter. The classes move at a steady rate, though and it all depends on which major you choose to determine what type of work you will do during the day.
Am enjoying being here
I think just because of my initial major choice, I have not had the experience I expected out of college. It's certainly not the fault of SMU, because all the resources to having a fun and joyful time are here! I think it's a mixture of being so close to home, when I could be far away, and my learning that the degree I'm currently pursuing is not beneficial for the direction I'm headed. It happens. It will work out when it's supposed to though! I know there are a lot of people who are very happy with their choice. Just really consider what you're getting yourself into, and what's worth your 4 years at SMU. Make the most of it.
Bang for the buck
The main reason why I ended up choosing SMU was because they offered me enough money to actually be here! They have a very strong endowment and alumni donor base. I find that it's common for people to have chosen SMU for the financial aid offer. Whether that's a good or a bad thing, it is what it is.
Tips for prospective students
Do not make impulsive decisions about what you want to do, and consider that your major plans might be better off varying from school to school. One program might be perfect for YOU at one school, and not so much at another.
Great for these types of students
If you're looking for a school that can pretty much ensure you a job with alumni resources one day, SMU is for you.
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Sophie

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
SMU has everything: social sciences, dance, engineering, foreign languages, business, theater, pre-med, art, and more. Many students double-major or at least minor even across schools. It's also a good medium size with about 6,500 undergraduates and 5,000 graduates.
Tips for prospective students
Talk to current students. Ask them questions about what it's like to live on campus vs. off, how they like their classes, and what it's like to be a student at SMU in general.
Academic Rigor
Classes are challenging, but not impossible to manage.
Dorm Life
All the dorms have a mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen, as well as a mix of majors. The dorms feel like home.
Food and Dining
Food is generally fresh and varied, but there aren't many options if you go to the dining halls outside of peak mealtimes.
What to do for fun
People generally go out and explore Dallas when they want to have fun. Mockingbird station is a short walk from campus, so you can take public transportation to see live music in Deep Ellum or go anywhere in Dallas. There are a lot of good places to eat, view art, see movies, etc. in Dallas.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The Bridwell library has moving bookshelves!
Great for these types of students
Students with diverse interests (like Math and German or Engineering and art) would love SMU.
Greek Life
About half do, half don't. It is prevalent on campus, but not at all necessary to make friends.
Campus Safety
It's an open campus in the middle of Dallas, so it would be a bad idea to walk by yourself after dark. However, the SMUPD are always around, and there's a golf cart system you can call to drive you anywhere you need to go across campus at night. There are also emergency call buttons everywhere.
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Sarah from Richardson, TX

a current student here
26 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
My experience at SMU has been very rewarding since it has open up for me many opportunities. After taking organic chemistry, I realized that I have a great passion for learning about how things happen at the atomic and molecular level. In addition, I realized that I have a passion for research because in a way or another, you are creating knowledge by finding new discoveries. I decided that instead of going for an MD only, I want to pursue an MD/PhD degree because I get to combine the two things I like the most - being a physician and being a scientist.
Am enjoying being here
Two of my friends from high school have transferred in to SMU this semester, so it was fun hanging out with them. However, I also made new friends who are very nice. The campus is really pretty, so you'll enjoy going to SMU. They basically have every type of restaurant you desire - whether on campus, or just right next to it.
Bang for the buck
SMU's tuition is kind of expensive, considering the fact that it went up to almost $37,000 this year. However, if you are a good student, there might a chance for you to get some merit-based scholarships. In addition, you can get scholarships from the department itself. For example, I got a scholarship from the chemistry department after declaring my major.
Tips for prospective students
Be organized! I know you might hear that a lot, but seriously, it's true. High school is different that college. In high school, you used to have quizzes and homework all the time to keep you on track. In college, however, all you have is exams, and they basically make up 100% percent of your grade. No quizzes, no homework. So try to stay on top of things. Try to make a calendar or schedule that will help you with time management. If you have any trouble with a certain subject, make use of the ALEC tutoring center - it's free! And don't forget - always work out at the Dedman Life Center because it might be your only way to relieve the stress.
Great for these types of students
SMU would be great for out-going people because everybody just talks to everybody! The students here are very nice and welcoming, so you'll always find a group that you belong to. They love to hang out, but they are always considerate about having to study for a quiz or exam. In addition, SMU has a good Greek life. So if you are interested in joining a sorority or fraternity, then SMU would be the great place to go to.
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From Grand Prairie, TX

a current student here
15 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
SMU has an amazing academic curriculum and expects a lot from its students. Although the workload is intense, time management is the key to success. Each professor gives a syllabus on the first day of class so writing the important dates down on a calendar helps visualize how much studying is needed. Depending on the major, some classes may be harder than others but regardless, a lot of studying is needed. I was never pushed so hard in high school and it took getting used to but I enjoy it. The ALEC tutoring center is always available and office hours are great for getting questions answered and getting to know your professor.
Am enjoying being here
Although grades are important, fun is necessary for staying sane. SMU's location is perfect because it is in the heart of Dallas. With the restaurants on Hillcrest and Greenville so close by, there is always somewhere to eat and locations to shop. On campus there are also many activities to do whether it be rockclimbing in the gym or socializing in Java City. Even the library becomes a fun hang out spot during study breaks.
Bang for the buck
SMU is definitely an expensive school. Because of the scholarships and financial aide I received I was able to attend the school of my choice. Although most of the people there are wealthy, there are also others receiving help so there is no need to feel inferior. SMU is a beautiful campus with many resources for the students to use. From the dance performances to the sporting events, the money paid is definitely worth it. Because it is a prestigious and private school, the cost is high but do not hesitate to apply, financial aide is available.
Tips for prospective students
Apply early to avoid stress. I suggest you tour the campus in order to know what residence hall you would like to live in. Once you gain acceptance, make sure to turn in your residence hall papers as quickly as possible in order to receive your first choice. I suggest attending any events like Mustang Days in order to meet people and a possible roommate. Avoid taking too many hours especially if majoring in a difficult field with difficult professors. That being said, ratemyprofessor.com is an amazing site so do your research before signing up for classes. Once you have your schedule, find where your classes are so you wont get lost and always have your books on the first day of class. Also, do not be skeptical and make sure you study. The workload is a lot more rigorous than high school so form study groups, work diligently, and do not procrastinate.
Great for these types of students
Intelligent and dedicated. Wonderful for minorities and women engineers because of the scholarships. Great school for liberal arts, business, and engineering.
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Allison from Tyler, TX

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
SMU is a wonderful school academically. I loved all of my professors, and they were mostly all amiable. They all had an interest in every student's personal achievement and progress. The professors all have office hours for extra help and are more than willing to help you get the most out of your classes. I've only been here a semester, but I feel like I've already learned so much. The English and History programs are exceptional. I feel that they have prepared me for much more advanced levels of academics.
Am enjoying being here
SMU is located in Dallas, Texas. There is so much going on in Dallas all the time. You won't ever get bored here. Also, being in Dallas, there are a bunch of career and internship opportunities. SMU is the perfect blend of small town community and big town enterprise. The campus is close-knit and interactive within different clubs as well as Dallas as a whole. The campus is gorgeous and green. As a very visual person, the beauty of the campus is an important thing for me. I would get tired of a dull and ugly campus. Also, the food on campus isn't that bad either. In the main cafeteria, they have an omelet station, cereal bar, soul food booth, grill, and a Chinese food grill. There is also an Einsteins Bros. Bagels, Subway, and Chick-fil-a, on campus. There are even two general stores on campus that have everything from sushi to cough syrup to cheese itz. I love staying on campus. The environment as a whole is just perfect.
Bang for the buck
SMU is pretty expensive. It was like $46,000 a year. That's why scholarships are so important. If you try hard in your classes and make the most of your time here, the money is worth the degree. The degree only becomes worth less when there are kids not taking their classes seriously, and in that sense they are wasting the money. But I think that is the same at every college. If you come to college to goof off instead of work hard, you won't get very far.
Tips for prospective students
The most important thing to remember when coming to any college of high academic standing is to go to class. That sounds kind of silly, but it's true. So many kids come to college and decide that they will skip some classes because attendance isn't mandatory like in high school. That is a very bad habit to get into. I know students who are very intelligent but failed classes because they couldn't keep up with the rest of the class due to skipping lessons. Also, when you skip, often the teachers will notice because the class sizes are small. They won't want to help you catch up because it seems like you don't care about their subject. Another helpful tip is to not procrastinate. there's so much going on that it's easy to wait til the last minute, but unlike in high school, your grade really will suffer.
Great for these types of students
SMU is a great school for student who want to work hard to achieve their goals. It is not a blow off school. It is also great for students who are interested in business. SMU's Cox business school is ranked as one of the best business schools in the nation. SMU is a liberal arts school, so you have to take a bunch of diverse classes. If you are interested in being a well-rounded individual, then SMU would be good for you.
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Deborah from Mesquite, TX

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot

The classes are as hard or as easy as you make them. Yes, some subject materials are harder than others, but it’s really not that hard to get an A in your classes. More importantly, come into class with an open mind to the class and professor, despite what you may have read on ratemyprofessor.com. I am learning so much in my classes right now. The professors are great, and they know their subject materials. They are approachable and always accessible, either via email or face to face. But in the end, how much you learn comes down to your willingness to learn. Besides academics, you learn things such as time management. Sometimes, the best lessons come in self-discipline. I had to learn how to say no to a fun night out, and instead, stay in to study for an exam. I’ve also learned so much about people, an inevitable consequence of community-style living. I’ve learned how to do deal with people I can’t ignore or get away from. Each day is a learning experience.
Am enjoying being here
Honestly, I never wanted to go to SMU. Even after securing my spot in the class, I was dreading the day when I would have to go. I refused to even visit the campus until it was necessary. However, I am extremely glad that I am here. The campus is beautiful, and the people are amazing. There's a nice balance between academics and a social life. In my experience, the professors are easy to talk to, both inside and outside of class. The campus is in the heart of Dallas, so there’s always something to do at night, whether on or off campus. I know SMU has a reputation (Southern Millionaires University) of being full of snobby, rich children who were not good enough to get into Ivy League schools. While those people do exist, the majority of students are down to earth. It’s not hard to avoid people that you don’t want to be around. You’ll meet people from every status group and station of life while you’re here, and you will find your group where you belong. Like I said, I am thoroughly enjoying my time here. When I leave campus, I can’t wait to get back.
Bang for the buck
Oh, the joys (horrors) of paying for a college education. There’s no doubt about it. Southern Methodist University is an expensive place to receive your education. However, they do make the financial burden a little easier to bear. They give out so many scholarships and grants to students. Financial cost was a big factor for me when I was deciding where to go. I never thought SMU would be a place to consider. My mind definitely changed when I received my financial aid package, and SMU was my cheapest option for college. I’m paying next to nothing, and I honestly don’t know anyone who is not on some form of financial aid. So, SMU definitely delivers considering its price tag. It’s a great experience, and there are so many opportunities for networking for future needs. Being so close to downtown Dallas, SMU provides many opportunities outside of the classroom for research, internships, and employment.
Tips for prospective students
My advice to prospective students is to just come visit with an open mind. Forget about the stereotypes that you’ve heard. Forget about the cost. Just visit and experience SMU. As for your application, highlight your best moments or activities. Get involved, and be a leader. If you’re a senior who doesn’t have the highest grades or experience as a leader or didn’t stretch yourself thin to be in 500 clubs in high school, just express who you are in your application. Give the admissions counselors a reason to pick you over the thousands of other applicants. If possible, schedule an interview. You’ll have a chance to present yourself, face-to-face. You will cease to be another piece of paper, and they’ll be able to see who you are as a person and what you offer as a future Mustang.
Great for these types of students
The school is great for those who are somewhat self-motivated. The professors aren’t going to hold your hand and walk you through the semester. You’ll have to be ready to jump right in and make it happen for yourself. It’s also great if you want a balance between academics and the social scene. You’ll have the best of both worlds.
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Dylan from Indiana

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
SMU is a great fit for a wide variety of students. Currently ranked the #58 best college in the nation, SMU has a lot to offer its students from all of its different degree-granting institutions. I was a little weary about attending SMU at first due to its high cost and distance form home, but I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.
Tips for prospective students
Definitely take a tour. I visited numerous other schools (when I was applying for colleges, I applied to almost 20 schools) but I felt the most at home at SMU. The campus is absolutely stunning and is the perfect size for me. If possible, visit on a day on which you can sit in on a lecture.

Once you are accepted, attend Mustang Corral. I will admit that it was a very annoying and crappy location (in the middle of nowhere, Texas) but I made a lot of friends there.
Academic Rigor
Some of the intro classes can be rather monotonous and easy, but the professors try their hardest to make them interesting. All my professors have a large number of office hours (some as many as 6-8 hours per week) and are extremely accessible if you fall behind in class. The school accepts credit for AP and dual-credit/dual-enrolled courses so it is likely that you will not be stuck in a class below your academic level.
Dorm Life
SMU has recently changed the way its on-campus housing works so that all freshmen and sophomores live on campus. There are a decent number of dorms, all of which are neither too large nor too small. The living quarters here are much more enjoyable than at other universities. Each floor has two lounges and numerous places for studying. There are two RA's on each floor as well and most dorms are being renovated so that every floor is co-ed. Don't be upset if you think you are placed in one of the less nice dorms- each residence hall has its own perks.
Food and Dining
SMU has perfected the art of college dining. There are two main dining halls (one at each end of campus), both of which serve their full menus all day. The food changes every day, but they have a number of food items that are available each day. The cafeterias are separated into different stations with their own types of food including pizza, made to order omelets, a custom deli sandwich station, international, southern comfort, and other categories of food. The staff is extremely friendly and there are a variety of seating arrangements from comfortable two person booth to 12 person tables. There is another dining place on campus called Mac's Place which is open late at night and has hamburgers, pizza, and other conveniences which are on the meal plan. There are also a number of restaurants on campus that use flex dollars (which can be purchased at discount rates and put onto your student account) including Subway, Chick Fil A, Pizza Hut, Einstein Bros Bagels, Starbucks, and more.
What to do for fun
There are a lot of attractions nearby the school, but many tend to be somewhat expensive. I would recommend getting a DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) pass, which is only $5 and can take you numerous places around the city. Within just a few miles of SMU there is North Park Mall, Mockingbird Station (restaurants, stores, and a movie theater), the start of the Katy Trail (which leads to the American Airlines Center downtown), and much more. There is also a lot to do on campus because so many of the organizations put on events almost every night of the week. Also on the weekends the fraternities and sororities put on parties at clubs/bars downtown that anyone can attend.
Bang for the buck
SMU is definitely expensive. There is no doubt about it. However they provide numerous scholarships for academics and athletics, as well as financial aid. Don't be scared to apply due to the cost- the last they can do is not offer you any scholarships, which is highly unlikely.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Tailgating takes a new image at SMU. 3 hours before each home football game, Boulevarding begins. It's exactly like tailgating, only classier. Girls wear dresses and cowboy boots and guys wear collared shirts, and the whole campus goes out to party. It's fun for the students and many local families come out as well.
Great for these types of students
SMU is good for all types of students. It is especially strong for business students, but I feel no less important as a biochemistry/premed major. It is not a large school, but it's also large enough to keep things interesting.
Clubs and Activities
SMU has tons of clubs, intramural sports teams, and just everyday activities to take part in. There is a club for almost every activity and interest, and if there isn't a club that appeals to you it's extremely easy to start your own.
Greek Life
Greek Life is a huge part of SMU. I personally never took part in rush, but I know many people who enjoyed it. I have heard that it is very selective and expensive, though. I was originally worried about feeling left out for not rushing but there are still a large number of people who do not partake in greek life.
Campus Safety
I feel extremely safe at SMU. The streets are all well lit at night and there is a service called Giddy Up, which is a golf cart service that drives students to destinations on campus after dark. There are also many blue poles on campus that connect to police and security at the push of a button. SMU also reports almost all of its safety instances, so it may seem slightly alarming. However many schools cover up some of their crimes, so it if nothing to be worried about.
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Theresa from Dallas, TX

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Heck yes. SMU gives you MANY opportunities to perform extra research and try out other projects AS AN UNDERGRAD (if you so seek).

I'm always getting e-mails from my department about opportunities to get involved - and even get published. AS AN UNDERGRAD. (Dunno if you want to go to grad school, but if so - THAT IS HUGE)

The faculty and staff here are STELLAR. AND THEY ACTUALLY CARE. And if you start to fall ... they won't let you hit rock bottom. :)

You might also be interested to know that they also offer classes during May, Summer I, Summer II, August, and Winter Break.

And they have so many interesting courses. Check out their listings:
http://access.smu.edu
Am enjoying being here
See above!
Bang for the buck
Lots of people have scholarships. 100% tuition would be expensive. But you are paying for quality.

(There are so many opportunities here that would be hard to come by as an undergraduate enrolled in a public university. I would know. I came from one.)

With reference to Sarah's review: (I just learned this today, actually.)

If you are at all interested in attending grad school, go all out and get a PhD! Did you know that some schools will pay you tuition, housing, food, AND a stipend to get a PhD? Often, the Masters is included in the PhD! And in the end, you'll also be a lot more marketable! (But you have to really really love learning. And be able to tolerate completing a thesis. Or it would probably only be unnecessary torture.)
Tips for prospective students
As many have said:

PLEASE DO NOT BE DETERRED BY OUR STEREOTYPE. AND IT WILL NEVER CHANGE IF YOU DO.

I thought I was open-minded when I came here. Then, I began assuming things about people I'd never spoken to. I've recently found out that I had made an enormous miscalculation (was that a dorky word to use? cause right now I can't think of another to replace it.)

Speak up, and someone will befriend you. :)

P.S. MAKE FRIENDS WITH MEADOWS KIDS. They're pretty cool. ;)

Also. Not happy with the level of class engagement?

SPEAK UP. I've found that, when you speak up, everyone else will also have a lot more to say.

Oh. As Grand Prairie said, please remember to take care of yourself. :( Just think of everyone who has dropped out, tried to drop out, attempted suicide or decided to shoot up a campus. Your well-being affects your schoolwork (and your future) just as much as your level of dedication.

And look out for your friends. :) Stick by them through the tough stuff. And listen. Ask. You really never know who might be going through something. Most of you will not always have direct access to your parents, their home, your old friends, or your dog. You are each others' primary support system!

As for grades, maybe you didn't do so hot in high school. Well, you're in college now. It's time to buckle down. It's nowhere near the end of the road, but every single one of your choices begin to have a much greater impact on your future! (But don't be scared. ^_^)

Really it's all about trying to think about things on a deeper level and, like everyone else has seemed to say: TIME MANAGEMENT. And it matters way more than intelligence, prior knowledge or even (sadly) how much you actually care about the subject you're learning.

(Oh, by the way, if you still end up needing another chance. Plan to go to grad school, and look for a grad school that only cares about your GPA for the last 60 or so credit hours.) *See below, on Bang for the...
Great for these types of students
Haha, has anyone else noticed the admissions trends where you can have a high SAT but low GPA and get in, but not the other way around? ^_^ Explains so much. I'm pretty sure you have to have a solid resume/personal statement, though. Like 98% sure.

Everyone here has a story.

Personal Qualities to Have (that would make life at SMU easier and more enjoyable):

Innovative, Open-minded, Proactive, Humanitarian ... Outgoing

(I'm not outgoing, though. And I still love this school.)
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Katherine from Renton, WA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Southern Methodist University is a top notch school for students interested in business. The business program is excellent at placing students in internships and jobs. The school offers phenomenal scholarships, numerous extracurricular activities, and very caring professors.
Tips for prospective students
Prospective students should really seek to sell themselves to the school. Include every activity on your application, no matter how small. SMU offers numerous, large scholarships so do not be frightened away by the initial price tag. It is especially important to look at how the individual programs rank as opposed to the entire school. Some programs are far superior to others.
Academic Rigor
SMU encourages its students to strive for perfection in all that they do. It has high expectations for its students so academics is at the top of the priority list. Classes are not impossible however. The professors do an excellent job covering the material and accommodating special needs of students. The professors are also excellent at making the students aware of their expectations, allowing the students to succeed through hard work.
Dorm Life
Several brand new dorms have just been opened up close to the gym, stadium and a new dining facility. The dorms more closely resemble a classy hotel than a traditional dorm. The facilities are clean and spacious. Additionally, the commons council and RA's work hard to create frequent bonding and social activities.
Food and Dining
The older dining facility, which has been newly renovated is an excellent place to find any kind of food you are craving. This facility offers numerous choices for every preference. The newer facility specializes in healthy food choices and also has numerous choices. In this newer facility there is usually something to eat, however, the choices are more limited than those of the older facility.
What to do for fun
Dallas has a booming social life. There is a party every night through some organization. Dallas offers concerts, fairs, shopping, food and fun. Dallas has a phenomenal mix of class and country.
Bang for the buck
The scholarships really make this education worth it. The original price tag is a little alarming but very few people actually pay full price. The education and opportunities received from SMU make it extremely valuable.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Boulevarding is an untraditional form of tailgating. Instead of getting dressed up in crazy spirit gear or body paint, the students dress in nice clothing such as sun dresses or button ups. The students even wear this to the football game.
Great for these types of students
SMU is great for students who are focused on school yet enjoy a social life.
Clubs and Activities
There are too many clubs and activities to count. There is an organization for everyone. Clubs are based on religion, ethnicity and/or academic interest.
Campus Safety
SMU is very focused on safety. There are numerous call boxes located around campus that can be pushed in the event of any emergency. Also, between the hours of 7pm and 3am, a golf cart service will take you anywhere on campus to help protect anyone, especially women walking alone. Campus PD is always on call and safety alerts are given frequently to help keep students safe.
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from Lake Worth, FL

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I truly am learning a lot both academically and socially. I enrolled in some rather challenging courses for my first year to test myself and it proved successful. Yes, sometimes the workload may have gotten overwhelming, but I knew that if I stayed organized and on top of things my hard work would pay off. If you are trying to get into the Cox School of Business, which I currently am, you will realize that you will not succeed if you slack off. SMU's Cox School of Business is the hardest department to get into and they make it that way for a purpose - to separate the ones willing to work to get there from those that do not put the equivalent effort in.
Am enjoying being here
I absolutely love it. I came to SMU literally knowing no one, and now I know hundreds of people. I have always known the same people throughout my life so it was nice for once to start fresh and make all new friends and acquaintances. I also love being in Dallas. The Highland Park area SMU is located in is beyond stunning and a safe neighborhood as well. SMU has the perfect balance of city life and college life, and I could not be happier with my decision.
Bang for the buck
Yes, SMU is definitely expensive but so are most colleges and universities. Like with anything, you have to put in effort in order to see results. In this case, you have to pay the tuition in order to give yourself the opportunity to do something with your SMU education. Whether or not you make the best of SMU education is up to you, but I know I am going to make mine well worth what I am paying to receive it.
Tips for prospective students
Be yourself, stay organized, do not get ahead of yourself, set your priorities straight, balance work and play time, and go after what you want.
Great for these types of students
Great for out-going, self-motivated, disciplined students.
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