Well hello. Thanks for asking :) I’d be happy to fill you in on UC!
Personally, my experience at DAAP and UC as a whole was fantastic. I graduated last April and miss it a lot actually. Luckily I get to see friends I made there somewhat often.
UC’s strongest point by far is the Co-op program. I was able to co-op all over that country at different companies, as well as internationally. Those jobs gave me professional experience that has been invaluable going forward in my Design career.
The ID program specifically is incredibly competitive. But being surrounded by talented peers always motivated me to be better.
The ID course is challenging but you get to tackle almost every angle of ID. Sketching, rendering, 3D modeling, 3D digital and hand prototyping.
The DAAP professors are top notch. Some you will like more than others, but they all have valuable information. I also suggest becoming friends with professors in the other majors (like graphic or fashion) you never know when you’ll need help on a project outside the realm of ID. And the facilities at your disposal are amazing. Full woodshop, rapid prototyping lab with laser cutting, CNC, and 3D printing. Aaron Rucker runs the prototyping lab and is a BOSS with anything 3D. Become his friend ASAP ;) There’s also a fantastic computer lab full of scanners and wacoms to use.
I grew up in California, so going to school in Ohio was a massive change. As long as you’re open to people, you’ll make a fabulous group of friends like I did. Your studio mates in your year will become your new family, get to know all of them early. Don’t be afraid to talk to and ask the ID upperclassmen questions, they’ll help you out (or maybe invite you to parties…).
I also loved being able to get a #1 ranked design education, but at the same time enjoyed a classic college experience with football games and campus life.
And of course, you’ll get out of it exactly what you put into it. If you push yourself, there are all the resources you need to become a great designer right out of school.
There are going to be all nighters and projects you don’t like, but try to include elements of things you do like to make them better.
Hope you like sketching, a lot, because there will be plenty to do (don’t worry if you’re not very good now, you’ll get better).
So in the end, if I had to do it all over again, I 110% would. And I would not think of going anywhere else. Find what you love designing and try to focus on that early, that will help you in the end.
Best of luck my friend!