I visited the University of Pittsburgh during the COVID-19 pandemic. The school wasn’t on lockdown, but my daughter’s friend from sleepaway camp was contact-traced to someone who tested positive and spent two weeks in quarantine despite testing negative himself.
We were able to meet him for dinner the night before we left Pittsburgh when he was finally released from his confinement. His older sister recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, having attended on a full-ride scholarship.
Since we weren’t able to take an official school tour (they don’t offer them), we simply walked around the campus from my daughter’s other friend who actually attends Carnegie Mellon University right next door. The weird thing about these two schools is that they are literally right next to each other, but could not be more different. It’s as if there is an invisible wall between them.
The University of Pittsburgh though not in downtown Pittsburgh has more of an urban feel. There were tons of students out and about, with shops and restaurants along the streets, bustling with energy. I noticed tons of diversity in terms of the student body as well.
The campus does not have a defined border such as gates or walls which gives it a sprawling atmosphere due to its 145 acres. It is a large school, with more than 33,000 students. The medical center has a large presence on the campus and rightly so. U.S. News & World Report ranks “Pitt Med”, The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, as a “Top Medical School” in both research and primary care.
My daughter’s friend was a star counselor at his boys’ sleepaway camp. She was at the girls’ camp and they became great friends where they were both LIT counselors. He has a warm and friendly personality and a lot of energy; The University of Pittsburgh is a perfect fit for him. Despite being on the edge of campus in a hotel due to COVID-19 reasons, he is finding it easy to meet people and is having a great experience.
He did not opt for Greek life, but might at a future point, but he said it would be at a very mellow Greek fraternity with the least amount of hazing. It was interesting to me that someone who is a social rockstar isn’t feeling the need to pursue Greek life.
Her friend is a low key athlete and is not doing a varsity sport in college but runs cross country for fun. He recommender visiting nearby Schenley Park as he has been exploring it as a beautiful place to run. During his quarantine lockdown, he ran stairs in his building stairwell when no one was around or sprints in his living room.
Pittsburgh is known for its excellent bus system so students don’t need a car to get around. Her friend frequently visits different parts of the city to explore the food scene. There is a lot to discover!
For kids who want a large urban public university, I’d recommend adding the University of Pittsburgh to the list. Students in our neck of the woods, the Northeast, don’t always head to Pennsylvania, but it’s worth taking a look!
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