College

asian female.

affirmative action, you get in wherever you want.
Me and two close friends applied to early admissions at Georgia Tech last year. I had similar scores/GPA but less extracurriculars than one friend, and I got in while he had to wait for regular admission. Both of us had significantly higher scores and GPA than the third friend, an asian female, and she got in during early admissions (though probably more because of the female part than the asian part).

But yes it is an engineering school so that obviously helps females get in; not sure if Georgia counts as the middle of Podunk, Nowhere but I guess it's pretty close
 
I currently go to University of Minnesota: Twin Cities. Its an awesome school, though I feel like i could have gone to a better school, but undergrad isn't as important. I am extremely happy with my school, its the 4th largest in the nation and there's plenty of opportunity for social life whether it be house parties, greek life (which I've had low amounts of experience with), and social clubs. I regret not joining any clubs until this coming year, as I'll be a senior. It seems you meet a lot of people which I've come to really appreciate this past semester which brings me to my next subject.

STUDY ABROAD. Do it. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I studied in Rome for the past 5 months. It was absolutely phenomenal. I met so many people, learned so many important lessons, and grew as a person. I became so much better at meeting people and figuring out what type of people I jive with. I've seen and photographed so many things and I really learned what I value in life. The rest of my life has and will be affected by studying abroad and I am now more aware of the types of things I want/need to be doing to have a fulfilling life. Hope this inspires you to take the plunge and get out there. You'll be happy you did.
 
the most important thing i've learned about college is: it's college, not high school. even if you were the shit in high school you need achievements that show you're the shit in college, or else you're not the shit anymore. practically, what this means is that it's never too early to apply for various opportunities, like research jobs, internships, scholarships, etc... the more you get early on, the easier it will be for you to get opportunities later.

i also think people stress too much about what college they get into, when a factor that is just as important (if not more important) is what they accomplish during college. obviously there are some qualifiers to this i.e. only true past a certain reputation level, only true given roughly equal opportunities at each college, but i really believe that the difference between "top" colleges is entirely psychological.
 
i expect a detailed report in my inbox by the morning.

along with a sandwich.
funny haha

Me and two close friends applied to early admissions at Georgia Tech last year. I had similar scores/GPA but less extracurriculars than one friend, and I got in while he had to wait for regular admission. Both of us had significantly higher scores and GPA than the third friend, an asian female, and she got in during early admissions (though probably more because of the female part than the asian part).

But yes it is an engineering school so that obviously helps females get in; not sure if Georgia counts as the middle of Podunk, Nowhere but I guess it's pretty close
I'm thinking of Emory, so Atlanta isn't too bad for me. It'd just that I'd have to go to Podunk, Nowhere if I wanted to capitalize on being Asian too.
 

Myzozoa

to find better ways to say what nobody says
is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Past WCoP Champion
I would say that there are 3 factors to consider, in order and they are:

1. quality of the departments in which you are interested in. Essentially, you don't want to go to a school just because it has prestige, instead look at how good they are in your department. Columbia is in my opinion the best education overall in America, but if I'm an agriculture major im probably better off at UC Davis.
2. Where you want to live. By my observation most people stay in the same place they go to college so many people who don't, but a slight majority saty in or close to the area they go to college. And even if you don't plan on living there, you will be there for 4 years.
3. Cool people. Every college has cool people, and this is why I think small liberal arts colleges (not like columbia) are the best places for college. Small class size maximizes your connections with your peers and teacher, and you know what they say, "it isn't what you know, it's who you know."
 
I go to UCF (University of Central Florida) in Orlando, Florida. It's pretty cool, but quite frankly, fuck college. I really, really don't wanna do it anymore. I mean, I know it's pretty much required to have a successful career and stuff but I'm getting burned the fuck out. And I'm not even the kid who stays in and studies all the time and has no social life whatsoever. I go out with my friends, and do shit like that but really I don't give a fuck about my grades like I used to.

But don't let that be misleading, college is crazy fun and there is (usually) a shitton of stuff to do. Just, don't be afraid to go out and make friends or you will be bored as fuck. I spent like my first two weeks in college just sitting in my room because I didn't have a roommate yet and I was bored outside my mind. Then I got a roommate and you know how it is. Also, study and don't procrastinate.

Also, MD's demotivational is incredibly accurate.
 
I'm not in college but I will be soon. I have a few sisters, all of which go to Harvard. Pressure much? I might get in, but I like Amherst College much more. I'm also into Pamona, Dartmouth, Ithaca, Middlebury, and UChicago. Anyone here go to those?

Anyway, I don't know what I will be doing in college, so I don't always know where to go. I like music (hence Ithaca), but I also don't want to be a musician because about 90% of them fail miserably. I like Biology, Math, and Engineering, and I also have a knack for languages (I speak English, Chinese, Spanish, and I can pick stuff up really fast). Should I study business because I know I can succeed in it? Should I study Science and become some sort of engineer? And if so, where should I go for these majors?
 
I find this thread very interesting. I am currently a Sophmore in high school, one week left of school. As Junior year is coming around, I've been thinking about college, and what I should do now to help me get ready for it. I'm wondering if you guys have some advice for someone who is still in high school, but thinking about college. What do they look for, what should I do while I have the time?
 
I really do NOT understand American culture one bit, so I'm afraid I can't give advice on which schools to go to seeing as I live in Australia, but I surely have no idea which Victorian University to go to when I finish school. (Well, a couple of years after, I'm too young, but whatever). Any help? Also, ChaosAkita, I hope you get into the courses and college you want. Which 'subjects' will you be taking???
 
I really do NOT understand American culture one bit, so I'm afraid I can't give advice on which schools to go to seeing as I live in Australia, but I surely have no idea which Victorian University to go to when I finish school. (Well, a couple of years after, I'm too young, but whatever). Any help? Also, ChaosAkita, I hope you get into the courses and college you want. Which 'subjects' will you be taking???
I don't know if it's just because I live in a hick town in the NSW countryside (plus we have the UAI [University Admissions Index] and Victorians do something else which I forget), but I find here we care less about what school you go to than the USA/UK. It's more about qualifying to do the course you want than qualifying to get into the school you want. Then again like I said I live in a hick town and we're all really lax here so I'm not sure if people care more about which school you attend in other parts of Australia. Probably people who go to really prestigious high schools like James Ruse in Sydney care xD
 
I go to a tech school in my city. I study Graphic Design there.

I'd go to the University but apparently the University's art program is absolutely terrible, otherwise I'd have gone. And since I have no plans to move out of the city, might as well get a degree from a college that is pretty renowned for its art department. B)
 
it's called the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) now, get with the times

i go to a top 20 school and yeah everyone cares. university admission is super competitive in NSW, especially for the 'big three' (USYD, UNSW and UTS)

they're shifting from a 'how intelligent is this person' to a more 'how can this person's learning at our university contribute to society (read: improve our image)' viewpoint when accepting applicants. the socially awkward genius is steadily encountering more difficulties in getting accepted into more prestigious universities because no matter how smart you are, if you have no interpersonal skills you can't function in the workplace. of course this also means universities can interpret the admission criteria for themselves. what this means is that i'm gonna have a lot of trouble getting into a good university being asian but hey that's how the cookie crumbles

of course this doesn't mean you can put on a big smile and walk into any course you want, ATAR cutoffs still exist because you don't want to put in thousands of dollars so jimmy mcaverage can study law at sydney
 
Oh, okay, I just blame my shit country education and all the opportunities that were denied me then :( I don't even have an ATAR since I didn't do the HSC!
 
Also, college prep high school is somewhat annoying, yet probably worth it.

It's good, and I have the intelligence to get through it, but my work ethic still needs...work. I've heard that it's what college is like academically-good thing I have two more years to get it right.
 

Eraddd

One Pixel
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
I'm not in college but I will be soon. I have a few sisters, all of which go to Harvard. Pressure much? I might get in, but I like Amherst College much more. I'm also into Pamona, Dartmouth, Ithaca, Middlebury, and UChicago. Anyone here go to those?

Anyway, I don't know what I will be doing in college, so I don't always know where to go. I like music (hence Ithaca), but I also don't want to be a musician because about 90% of them fail miserably. I like Biology, Math, and Engineering, and I also have a knack for languages (I speak English, Chinese, Spanish, and I can pick stuff up really fast). Should I study business because I know I can succeed in it? Should I study Science and become some sort of engineer? And if so, where should I go for these majors?
I won't divulge names, but I do know one goes to U Chicago, one went to Harvard, and a few others go to notable universities such as Johns Hopkins, Brown, etc etc.

I would do something that you wouldn't mind doing for the rest of your life. Salary may be important, but you really don't want to be miserable, knowing that you left something important behind that you could've done. In terms of your music talent, I would definitely do that as a side thing; not only is it a useful skill to have and hone (plus it's very fun to play), but also it looks very good on your resume/applications to medical/business/professional schools.

I'm just going to say, if you don't like the sciences, save yourself the trouble and don't do it. Too many people are miserable at my school because they're doing something they hate, but only do it because their asian parents want them to major in something "respectable."
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
I graduated in summer 2008 (BSc Economics hons).

In hindsight:

Things that I would do the same
* I learned the value of hard work, albeit only in my final year.
* I questioned the logic of what was taught and independently found more compelling arguments from different schools of thought.

Things that I would do differently
* Work harder in first year and secure an investment banking internship off the back of it.
* Get out more and meet people.

I grew up a lot during college, but still graduated a bit naive and lacking some common sense. The system does not really prepare one for the real world. You have to do that on your own.
 

Fabbles

LN_Slayer
is a Contributor Alumnus
Just wanted to say that it's really funny your two main choices are on the opposite sides of the country, lol.

I'm a junior in HS myself, and I really have no idea where I want to go. My main interest is somewhere up in Boston, preferrably BC (although I'm not sure my GPA is high enough - I'm a pretty average student). I don't really like the sound of NYU due to the lack of campus, and I'm not really a NY kind of guy (also too much diversity.... does that make me racist?). I also visited Villanova, which is also a good school but really preppy as well. My parents have the money to send me to almost any college I'd choose but I still don't want to go to an expensive college like that "just because I can".

Anyone else go to/have friends who go to BC/BU/TCNJ/Bucknell/Lehigh?
I go to Villanova. While I'm not going to deny that it is not preppy, there are plenty of people that are not. For example, if you join one of the learning communities as a Freshman (like I did), you get to live with the same people you have a class with. Pretty much everyone that does a learning community is not preppy. Not to mention Villanova is big on service and is good academically.

Honestly if you thought Villanova was too preppy then do not go to BC, I've heard its worse (if someone goes to BC they can correct me on that).

For anyone still in highschool, load up on AP classes. Depending on which college you go to (and you can usually check this beforehand), you can get college credits for your AP score. For example, I am a Political Science major in Arts and Sciences. For Arts and Sciences, Villanova accepted all AP scores that were 4 or 5. Meaning, I was able to come into Villanova with 37 credits, and am currently a second semester Junior heading into my second year. I never have to do science or math again because I got AP Credit for them.

I HIGHLY recommend anyone with AP credit check out the policy at the schools they are applying to. It could mean the ability to double major or graduate early, which are both excellent choices to have. Not to mention you do not get stuck taking a remedial Calc course. Downside, if there is one, is that day one of classes you will be competing with upper classmen. Most freshman just want gpa boost classes.

As for me, if I get accepted into the program, I can potentially receive my MA in only 3 more years because of all the AP credit I received. Basically, when others are coming out with their BA, I will have a MA. Sweet deal huh.

Another thing I would recommend is learning a second language. A second language could open up a lot of job opportunities. If you do not like Spanish, try something else. I'm taking Japanese and loving it.
 

Eraddd

One Pixel
is a Forum Moderator Alumnusis a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Make sure also to check AP credits for programs that come AFTER undergrad. Medical schools sometimes reject certain AP and IB classes, especially IB SL classes. I know my local medical school does not accept credit from IB Bio HL from scores under a 6, while UBC undergrad gives biology credit needed for medical school for a 5. That means, if you apply, you will not meet course requirements. Most likely, top tier medical schools will be even more strict on AP and IB credits, so do your research.
 
it's called the ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) now, get with the times

i go to a top 20 school and yeah everyone cares. university admission is super competitive in NSW, especially for the 'big three' (USYD, UNSW and UTS)

they're shifting from a 'how intelligent is this person' to a more 'how can this person's learning at our university contribute to society (read: improve our image)' viewpoint when accepting applicants. the socially awkward genius is steadily encountering more difficulties in getting accepted into more prestigious universities because no matter how smart you are, if you have no interpersonal skills you can't function in the workplace. of course this also means universities can interpret the admission criteria for themselves. what this means is that i'm gonna have a lot of trouble getting into a good university being asian but hey that's how the cookie crumbles

of course this doesn't mean you can put on a big smile and walk into any course you want, ATAR cutoffs still exist because you don't want to put in thousands of dollars so jimmy mcaverage can study law at sydney
ATAR cutoffs are expected to drop significantly from 2012, when a new funding regime comes in that doesn't limit the number of people who can take each course - the implication being that lots more people will be applying and getting in. It's basically "as many students as your university wants to take".

For the top vocational courses of Law, Med, and Vet, it might not shift much (Even if you doubled the number of USyd Combined Law positions, you'd probably still have a 99+ ATAR cutoff), but for BSc or BA, you'd probably see a significant shift.

The socially awkward are still getting in to uni, as far as I can tell - Probably because most courses don't have interview requirements.
 
I don't know if it's just because I live in a hick town in the NSW countryside (plus we have the UAI [University Admissions Index] and Victorians do something else which I forget), but I find here we care less about what school you go to than the USA/UK. It's more about qualifying to do the course you want than qualifying to get into the school you want. Then again like I said I live in a hick town and we're all really lax here so I'm not sure if people care more about which school you attend in other parts of Australia. Probably people who go to really prestigious high schools like James Ruse in Sydney care xD
It matters somewhat to first employers (i.e. when you're a graduate), not so much to peers.

I found a lot of people in my area (Central Coast, which is both a holiday destination and a hick town depending on what part) went to Newcastle University, particularly the Ourimbah campus, simply because it was close and they thought "A university is a university, it doesn't really matter." A lot of them didn't really enjoy their university experience, which I attribute to the lack of student services/clubs and socs. It makes such a huge difference.

Where do you plan to go, if anywhere?

I really do NOT understand American culture one bit, so I'm afraid I can't give advice on which schools to go to seeing as I live in Australia, but I surely have no idea which Victorian University to go to when I finish school. (Well, a couple of years after, I'm too young, but whatever). Any help? Also, ChaosAkita, I hope you get into the courses and college you want. Which 'subjects' will you be taking???
It depends on what you want to do. Melbourne University has one of the top law schools in the country. Monash is supposed to be well-known for medicine. Melbourne Institute of Technology is successful enough that they're setting up a campus in Sydney as well. Deakin is supposed to be good too.
 

Cooky

Banned deucer.
I graduated in summer 2008 (BSc Economics hons).

In hindsight:

Things that I would do the same
* I learned the value of hard work, albeit only in my final year.
* I questioned the logic of what was taught and independently found more compelling arguments from different schools of thought.

Things that I would do differently
* Work harder in first year and secure an investment banking internship off the back of it.
* Get out more and meet people.

I grew up a lot during college, but still graduated a bit naive and lacking some common sense. The system does not really prepare one for the real world. You have to do that on your own.
Im starting a bsc in economics at exeter / york this summer, depending on my grades (AAA for exeter, bastards). I heard that proper work experience is basically a necessity in todays job market given all the competition so im pushing for an industrial placement even if i didnt originally ask for one (naievety of 6 months ago), though it would kind of suck just working for a year given that i didnt take a gap year.

anyhoo i was just wondering if you enjoyed your course, where you did it at and any reservations about the whole experience
 
College is cool beans. Columbia student here. I like and agree with a lot of the college advice given here. I'd say that some of the important lessons I've learned thus far are:

1) You're not the brightest bulb. Honestly, if you go to any good school, don't go in thinking you're the smartest kid ever. I can't tell you how many people I know who were utterly crushed when their effortless As in high school became barely Bs in college. The sooner one gets off of one's high horse, the more enjoyable life will be.

2) Be social. Networking is an amazing tool in college. Getting to know your peers and professors is something that will be useful as time passes. Those connections can lead to future internships or research opportunities, as well as info about other fields. If you're a wallflower, well, try not to be. I'm an antisocial guy myself, but I make the effort to smile and get my name out there because a simple "hello" could alter your life for the better.

3) Dorm. Do it. If you don't have the money, get some scholarships. The only people I know who aren't enjoying their college experience are the people who live at home. There are few things greater than the freedom college dorming grants you. TRUST ME.

4) Be responsible. OMG if you can't hold your liquor/do stupid shit when you drink then control yourself! If a girl tells you she doesn't like the feel of a condom, tell her to stfu and deal with it. If you do drugs (or I guess in my school's case, deal drugs lol), don't get caught. Why is this concept so hard to grasp. Just don't become an idiot college statistic, please. Be responsible in everything that you do.

5) Have fun. You are young, and you won't get these years back. I'm not saying you shouldn't be studious, but will you be happy knowing that you spent 4+ years of your life shut up in your room or a library, not experiencing at least some of what life had in store for you? In addition, constant studying might just make you stressed and worn out. Try to relax from time to time, in whatever way makes you happiest.

I think that's all I had to say.
 

Erazor

✓ Just Doug It
is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
I'm going to be starting Law School from next month, any tips?

Note that this is right after high school, over here we don't need a college degree to join law school - we do an integrated Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of laws.
 
College is cool beans. Columbia student here. I like and agree with a lot of the college advice given here. I'd say that some of the important lessons I've learned thus far are:

1) You're not the brightest bulb. Honestly, if you go to any good school, don't go in thinking you're the smartest kid ever. I can't tell you how many people I know who were utterly crushed when their effortless As in high school became barely Bs in college. The sooner one gets off of one's high horse, the more enjoyable life will be.

2) Be social. Networking is an amazing tool in college. Getting to know your peers and professors is something that will be useful as time passes. Those connections can lead to future internships or research opportunities, as well as info about other fields. If you're a wallflower, well, try not to be. I'm an antisocial guy myself, but I make the effort to smile and get my name out there because a simple "hello" could alter your life for the better.

3) Dorm. Do it. If you don't have the money, get some scholarships. The only people I know who aren't enjoying their college experience are the people who live at home. There are few things greater than the freedom college dorming grants you. TRUST ME.

4) Be responsible. OMG if you can't hold your liquor/do stupid shit when you drink then control yourself! If a girl tells you she doesn't like the feel of a condom, tell her to stfu and deal with it. If you do drugs (or I guess in my school's case, deal drugs lol), don't get caught. Why is this concept so hard to grasp. Just don't become an idiot college statistic, please. Be responsible in everything that you do.

5) Have fun. You are young, and you won't get these years back. I'm not saying you shouldn't be studious, but will you be happy knowing that you spent 4+ years of your life shut up in your room or a library, not experiencing at least some of what life had in store for you? In addition, constant studying might just make you stressed and worn out. Try to relax from time to time, in whatever way makes you happiest.

I think that's all I had to say.
I did my undergrad at Vanderbilt, with a summer at Harvard.

I completely agree with everything you said, especially 2 and 3. College will teach you a lot of information, yes, but it is also your first opportunity to be "on your own" and make some mistakes. Live in the dorms, get involved in the social scene, hell, take a road trip. If you are getting money from your parents, ask them to set it up as an allowance or lump sum, rather than reimbursing you for things, so you can get a feel for actually managing a fixed budget. This is a crucial aspect of college.

I would also like to reiterate what people have said about finding a good department. This goes beyond just "good engineering school" or "good liberal arts school." MIT is the tops for engineering, no doubt, but they built that reputation on a few key disciplines, mostly computers and EE. If you want to build bridges, the University of Illinois is better. Similarly, the University of Chicago is one of the top political science programs, but it is based on international relations and game theory. If you want to study America, you are better off at Vanderbilt or the University of Michigan. Research this.

@Erazor
I just graduated from law school. The biggest thing I can suggest is this: law school classes teach more in a shorter period of time than any other type of class, even medical school (I have heard this from multiple JD-MDs). You should work TOO HARD your first semester. Push the limit of what you are willing to do. Then look at your grades and see where you are. That will allow you to get a feel for the amount of work you will need to do in order to get the grades you want from now on.

I don't know how it works in your country, but in the US, grades are more important in law school than they are pretty much everywhere else. Here, you are evaluated based on class rank rather than GPA. This means that if your class is unusually high-achieving, you may have to work even harder to have the "same" performance. In my graduating class, the Top 50% cutoff was a 2.9 out of 4.0. In the class that will graduate next year, the Top 50% cutoff is a 2.6, with a 2.9 almost in the top third. Employers will glance at the 2.9, but the fact is that they will hire a Top 33% student over a Top 50% student even with the same GPA, or even if the Top 50% actually has a HIGHER GPA.

The other big suggestion is to be social, both—and this is the key—with your law school friends and some non-law school friends. Social networking is the key to advancing a legal career. I said that firms will prefer a better class rank, but what they will prefer even more is a friend of a friend. It's not like other disciplines where nepotism is an ace in the hole. In the legal profession, nepotism is the basic currency. In my graduating class of around 130, I can name off the top of my head just 1 person who got a private sector job by actually applying and interviewing with someone he had never met. It's almost unheard-of.

But you must also socialize outside of law school. One of the biggest problems is that as you study, you will find yourself turning to other people in the same situation for support. Complaining about law school will replace sports or the weather as "buffer" topics. Then, as you advance, your vocabulary will start to change. You will see lawsuits and police abuses everywhere you look. Since your classmates will see them too, they will be easier to talk to. Do not fall into this trap. You need a reality check from people who don't care about that stuff in order to stay sane. Please trust me on this.

I am also not sure if your country will use "case method" teaching. In the US, law schools teach by making you read judicial opinions instead of laws or textbooks. You learn how it works by seeing how it worked before, in litigation. If you use it, know that while it has advantages, it has major weaknesses. I highly recommend supplemental materials, books called things like, "Get an Easy A in Criminal Procedure."

Law school teaches what is useful, but tests pointless memorization. This creates a disconnect between your class and your exam. Supplements are written to help you take tests instead of to help you be a good lawyer. Using such books will save you tons of headaches at the end of the semester.

I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you have, also.
 
I'm not in college but I will be soon. I have a few sisters, all of which go to Harvard. Pressure much? I might get in, but I like Amherst College much more. I'm also into Pamona, Dartmouth, Ithaca, Middlebury, and UChicago. Anyone here go to those?

Anyway, I don't know what I will be doing in college, so I don't always know where to go. I like music (hence Ithaca), but I also don't want to be a musician because about 90% of them fail miserably. I like Biology, Math, and Engineering, and I also have a knack for languages (I speak English, Chinese, Spanish, and I can pick stuff up really fast). Should I study business because I know I can succeed in it? Should I study Science and become some sort of engineer? And if so, where should I go for these majors?
I go to UC, so I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about it. in terms of majors/careers, most people I know didn't decide on their majors before they entered college, unless they went to MIT/Caltech for EE, UC for Economics, Hopkins for premed, etc. I stressed a ton about how to pick a school based on potential majors when I was a senior in HS, but in retrospect, it was a bunch of trouble for nothing. almost all of the information that I used to pick what to study was based off either (a) college classes (b) summer intern experience (c) talking to older students. of course, having a general idea of what kind of field you want to study is useful because then you can pick a school that is strong in those fields, but other than that...
 

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