This morning, during a segment about The Princeton Review on the TODAY show, West Virginia University was dubbed once again the “#1 Party School”. A quick aerial shot of the beautiful downtown campus flashed on the screen as the anchor reviewed the elements which factored into the top spot. Here’s the segment
Being a fan of “All things WVU”, I took the publicity for what it was: Publicity. Almost as quickly as I could deliever a tweet about what I had just watched, I came across a post from a WVU Alumni who was not pleased with what had just broadcast across the nation. It struck a nerve. Anyone who knows me, knows I am the first to take up for the University, as you should for anyone who has done so much for you. Call it a “respect thing” if you will. So, before all the pessimists get out their pens & papers to jot down their rants, take a moment, have an open mind and consider my more optimistic, perhaps some will deem naive, outlook on our Alma Mater..
Yes, West Virginia University has nabbed the #1 spot again for partying. An issue that has plagued WVU administrators for years. Officials diligently downplay the ranking and try to gear the focus on academics. But as Alumni, maybe the stance should be a toned down a notch. Broadcasting your distaste for the school’s widely recognized reputation does little for your credentials & maybe even your character. I learned from the movie Bambi “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Furthermore, the University has been dealt this hand for upwards of twenty-one years, meaning, if you enjoyed a beverage or two or twelve on this campus, you were a contributor to the review. And, assuming you didn’t crawl out from under a rock prior to coming to the University, you were well aware of it’s student-based reputation.
So, let’s make the glass half-full. Use this review to your advantage. Be an optimist and show others you can make pro (literally and figuratively) out of a con. New graduates often have employers make reference to the ranking during interviews, skeptically stating: “You graduated from the No. 1 party school?” “West Virginia University, don’t they burn couches there?” – and although it may be painfully awkward, make light of the situation. While attending The Home of the Mountaineers, you learned exceptional time management skills, became phenomenal at multitasking, and successfully graduated from an Institution with a multitude of distractions on a daily basis. (We all know this translates into: Work Hard, Play Harder.) If nothing else, your quick witted ability to turn a negative into a positive will leave employers impressed.
Despite the negative connotation placed upon the Princeton Review/WVU relationship, the University has gained high marks in the “Best Library”, “Environmentally Friendly”, “Fire Safety”, “Students Who Pack the Stadiums”,”Best Athletic Facilities” & “Best Newspaper” categories. Silver Lining, people. Work with me.
Being the #1 party school has posed as a hurdle for University officials time and time again. It’s both politically correct and necessary from an academic standpoint, that they vocalize their discontentment of the review. But, lucky for us Alumni, we have a bit more leeway. More opportunity to be rose-colored.
Defend where your accreditation comes from. Keep it positive. Make light of it, because if we don’t, who will?
After all, 83% of the nation did vote against us