Students love the busy city life of Pittsburgh that lacks the stress of being overwhelmed by an area too large to explore. There are so many different things to do and different colleges to interact with that most students have no complaints about the atmosphere in and around campus. In the Oakland area alone, there is enough to do that you can have fun and easily stay within walking distance of Pitt. Exploring other neighborhoods around Pittsburgh is sure to expand your experience of living here tenfold.
One of the main complaints about Oakland is the number of panhandlers. Over time, students figure out that these people are harmless. There are a few areas of the city that you should stay away from, including some parts of East Liberty and the Hill District, for example. Like any city, there are places that you shouldn't go to if you don't know your way around. The few "bad areas" of the city are mostly out of the way, and there's really no reason that students would ever need to go there. These areas are also out of the way so it is unlikely that you will stumble into them accidentally. Nearly every neighborhood has something to offer, from upscale dining and shopping in Shadyside to nightlife and restaurants in the South Side and Station Square and the cultural districts of Downtown and the North Side. Top everything off with three sports teams, the extensive Carnegie Library and museum system, and you have a well-rounded city atmosphere to enhance your college experience.