Des Moines, IA: All my life I have lived near Drake University. My parents are Drake grad school alums, my mom taught law there, and I know several current professors and students. Even though I have known about Drake since I was little, it was not until recently that I seriously began to consider attending.
Nestled in the heart of Des Moines, Drake is a small private school (undergraduate enrollment is 3,160) with many special programs that allow students to participate in internships, jobs, volunteer opportunities, even study abroad! They also have programs not available at other colleges. Their Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (BCMB) major, which combines the main aspects of biology and chemistry, is an example of Drake's one-of-a-kind programs. This major appeals to me since I want to be a doctor.
Another important aspect of Drake is the dedicated staff. Just ask any student about the faculty and they will tell you that most professors are very friendly and willing to help anytime, even after class or at their homes. One professor told me that she is good friends with many of her students! This left quite an impression on me, since faculty-student friendships are nonexistent at some universities.
School pride is also evident at Drake. Walking around campus, you often see kids wearing the Drake mascot (a bulldog) on at least one item of clothing. Home to the Drake Relays, an internationally-renowned track and field meet (begun in 1910), athletics are huge here. Drake has many intramurals too, including basketball, flag football, outdoor soccer, and even sports trivia! But non-athletes also have many activities to enjoy, including radio and television stations, a student magazine and theater. Plus, every student has the opportunity to get involved in Greek life!
Although Drake's campus may not be visually appealing (many of its buildings are old), do not let that throw you off! It is a great school.
Des Moines has a lot to offer, too, though it's often portrayed as a dull place. In fact, it is a developing metropolitan city full of fun things for college kids to do. Home to minor league baseball and hockey teams, aquatic centers, amusement parks, and many fascinating museums (not to mention great places to eat and shop), there is always something to do.
Overall, Drake University is an excellent school full of educational opportunities. I am glad to have had the pleasure of living near it all these years, and am counting the days until I apply.
Reviewed in 2004
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.