A Tale of Two Cities

With winter break having officially begun last Monday for pharmacy students, I have no exciting campus events to write about. So today’s post is a little different. I’d like to tell you about how two years ago, I came to the decision of choosing Shady Grove (Rockville) over Baltimore. I’m sorry if you love Dickens and thought that this would be about London and Paris! Speaking of which, I’m in need of some good reading material over break, so please comment if you have any suggestions for me.

Alright, back to Baltimore and Shady Grove. When a student is accepted to the University of Maryland (UMB) School of Pharmacy, as long as space is still available at both locations, they have the opportunity to preference either the main campus in Baltimore or the satellite campus in Shady Grove. For me, this was no easy decision to make. I could think of so many ways in which one city makes more sense than the other. I weighed both options to the best of my ability, and also reached out to current UMB Pharmacy students I knew for additional insight.

The majority of selected students choose Baltimore, which offers the traditional UMB experience. This includes going to classes often, living with roommates, and regularly exploring the city to find amazing restaurants and cafes. It means you’re right there at the center of everything. Most pharmacy school events, whether social or community service oriented, take place in Baltimore. It means easier access to professors which, aside from visiting office hours, also leads to more research and clinical shadowing opportunities.

Now let’s talk about Shady Grove. Before even setting foot on the campus, I knew that choosing this option would mean saving an enormous amount of money as it’s close enough to family for me to live at home. Parking, prior to this year, was also completely free for anyone and everyone. Shady Grove is the suburbs, an environment that I grew up in and am very familiar with (aka no one way streets!). It’s certainly safer, relative to Baltimore, and quieter, which I like to say better fits my personality.

But it wasn’t until I actually made the decision to attend USG and after several months on the campus, did I realize how right this decision had been. I love Priddy library, the Green Grove Cafe, and the friendly USG staff. I love having a good relationship with the few pharmacy professors who are based at Shady Grove. I love all the fun, non-pharmacy specific, events that happen here. I love that the 20 or so of us in the Shady Grove Class of 2019 get along so well.

No one campus is perfect, each has its own perks and disadvantages. But for those of you who are thinking about attending USG for any one of its 80 programs and have happened to stumble upon this post, I hope I’ve given you at least one reason to more seriously consider our beautiful campus.

Happy holidays, everyone! Can’t wait to share more stories with you in 2017!

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