College

@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 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.
Where abouts are you, Erazor?

In Australia, law is a combined program at most universities (although they're all pushing to replace it with a JD, because they can charge more for it and it means they can make it graduate-only).

Much of what Res Ipsa said translates to Australia too, although there are some differences.

Nepotism is still very powerful but it's not the be-all. People who interview well and have an average around 75 or above can still get Summer Clerkship positions without knowing anyone in advance. These clerking positions are extremely important (typically done in the summer of your penultimate year) because most of the big law firms only take graduateships out of their clerks. Make sure your CV has a lot of extracurriculars or sport, (volunteer) legal work experience is good too, and you're in with a decent shot.

It's also somewhat strange when you apply, as you can apply to the Big Three, get interviews at all of them, and then apply to the next 6 down and get one. It's somewhat random what you get picked up for.

That all said, the clerk/grad programs are not the only avenues to get employed afterwards, and they're typically more important if your plans lie in commercial law as opposed to criminal, family, etc.


Australia teaches law slightly different to the USA (and slightly differently university-to-university) - there's a bigger focus on statutory interpretation and critical legal thinking, with some emphasis on comparitive jurisprudence between the UK, Canada, USA and Australia. This apparently makes Australian legal graduates quite popular with US firms and postgraduate colleges, because it's more skills-based than knowledge-based. The statutory interpretation skills in particular are not commonly taught as a focus in the USA, and so it's something that isn't readily available from US domestics.
 
i have a few questions for you mrindigo seeing as you're attending usyd and all

is the cutoff for law an actual cutoff or are there ways to artifically boost your ATAR? i cannot devote all my time to studies since i have other stuff that my mind is on other than school (managing my properties is probably chief of them) and i'm wondering if there are any extra-curricular activities available that will make me a better student in a university's eyes

how easy are bridging courses to get into? i would not mind at all doing an extra year because i am two years ahead academically of other people my age and an extra year would just be taking a year off that - i'd still be ahead

and lastly, given a miraculous overhaul of my work ethic leading to my achieving a 99.70 (or whatever the hell they're changing it to) ATAR, are there any problems that a 16-year-old high school graduate would encounter when studying law? i'm in year 11 at the moment and i've already had to study a different text in english to the rest of the students because of my age (they were studying M rated texts and apparently being 14 i'm not allowed to - though i turned 15 recently so it's all good now) and i'm wondering if something similar would happen in university
 

Erazor

✓ Just Doug It
is a Smogon Media Contributor Alumnus
Where abouts are you, Erazor?
I'm from India.

@Res Ipsa Loquitur: Thanks a lot! I'm pretty sure that case law is taught here. I'll only be able to tell you later on though.

@MrIndigo: When you say summer clerkship, do you mean an internship?
 

McGrrr

Facetious
is a Contributor Alumnus
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...

anyhoo i was just wondering if you enjoyed your course, where you did it at and any reservations about the whole experience
"Proper" work experience is not a necessity, but will always be of considerable benefit when you apply for any position. For some sectors, it is nigh on impossible to get your foot in the door without relevant work experience. For example, investment banks (IB) recruit the vast majority of their annual intake from successful internship candidates.

General benefits are:
1. Helps you deal with HR (usually the first round of interviews); they ask soft skills based questions like "when have you shown leadership?" and "tell me a time when you worked in a group?".
2. Experience working in an office can be tailored to pretty much any office job.
3. Helps you avoid lengthy time gaps on your CV; employers will ask wtf you were doing with your time.

That said, if the experience is a short stint without much intensity (and you end up doing admin and making tea), it is pointless. Be aware that in technical roles, you may not do anything substantial for the first month (IB is different because you are dropped in the deep end), especially if you make mistakes on simple tasks ("grunt work"). In that case, extra curriculars will be more beneficial.

Do not:
1. be idle, but if you do something, do something worthwhile.
2. "go through the motions".
3. complain (publicly) about grunt work.
4. make the same mistake twice.

Do:
1. work hard and ask for work if you find yourself doing nothing.
2. ask questions.
3. think about what you are hoping to take away from the experience.
4. be willing to go beyond your call of duty (working late is *expected* at IB).

If you approach work with the right attitude and convey this through your actions, your seniors will make your experience infinitely more worthwhile.

---

I went to the University of Essex through clearing... which is quite fortunate I guess, because they were rated top 10 for economics on the Guardian higher education tables. Anyway, it was a mixed experience. It felt like we could have covered the content of the degree in less than two years and there is noticeable overlap between A level and first year, first and second year, and second and third year. This would be fine if the teaching material was not so mundane, overly academic and often flawed...

In short, I think the usefulness of economics teaching peaked at A level and everything useful/interesting thereafter, I learned by myself. I always considered economics a philosophy rather than a science, and my degree failed to persuade me otherwise.
 
i have a few questions for you mrindigo seeing as you're attending usyd and all

is the cutoff for law an actual cutoff or are there ways to artifically boost your ATAR? i cannot devote all my time to studies since i have other stuff that my mind is on other than school (managing my properties is probably chief of them) and i'm wondering if there are any extra-curricular activities available that will make me a better student in a university's eyes
Yes and no.

An ATAR cutoff for a course is essentially the same as a 'price' in basic economics; it simply reflects the level of demand for the course compared to the level the university supplies. You have a limited number of law positions, and lots of people want them. The top-down selection process UAC uses therefore fills each one up and the ATAR of the lowest ranked person to be successful is the ATAR cutoff.

What this means is that if you have a course with 100 places, but it's not very popular and only 80 apply in 2011 (the lowest ATAR among them being, say, 75.00) then the ATAR cutoff will be listed as 75 in 2012. If in 2012, it suddenly became very popular and 300 people applied, the 100th person having a 95.00 ATAR, then the cutoff will be pushed up and listed as 95.00 in 2013, even if the course hasn't actually changed.

Similarly, if you took the 100 places with the ATAR 75.00 cutoff in 2012, and cut the number of places to 50 in 2013, and the 50th person had an ATAR of 90.00, then the ATAR cutoff would be pushed up to 90.00 in 2013.

Ultimately, what this means is that just because you got an ATAR higher than the cutoff of the previous year, you're not guaranteed a place in that course - it entirely depends on how many people with better ATAR scores than you apply in the same year. Similarly, if you get an ATAR lower than last year's cutoff, you may still get into the course if less people with better scores apply.

For this reason, you should structure your UAC application preferences by first identifying what courses are in genuine consideration, and then listing them in descending ATARorder. If there's a course that you want more than any other, you put it first. Then if there are three courses that you think are equivalent second place, you list them in descending ATAR cutoff order (as long as they aren't drastically higher than your first preference, in which case omit them entirely). And so on, and so forth.

This is why ATAR cutoffs fluctuate year to year. Some, like Law, stay pretty consistent because demand is always much higher than the supply (so law at USyd tends to shuffle between 99.45-99.65. Others can fluctuate by wider numbers depending on whether new positions were opened.

Misconceptions abound about the quality of the course being reflected by the higher cutoffs, so there have been a few cases of universities lying about how many places they offered (saying they offered 100 when they actually took 150) to artificially inflate the cutoffs.

As far as improving your own ATAR scores, there's not much you can do besides doing better in the classwork/trials/exams. The ATAR represents your rank compared to the other students in the state (so an ATAR of 92.35 means you are better than 92.35% of the state). This is unaffected by anything besides your marks, however, some universities will give you an invisible bonus depending on certain circumstances.

For example, Newcastle University gives an effective 5.00 to your ATAR for their university courses if you are a local student (i.e. from the Central Coast), or a school captain, or various other things. (I don't think they stack, though, so it's a maximum of 5). So if you got an ATAR of 77, say, they would treat you as having an ATAR of 82 for the purpose of applying for their courses.

I think there's a blanket bonus for Aboriginal/Torrest Strait Islander students that does the same thing regardless of university (i.e. it's applied by UAC, not by the universities themselves).

EDIT: Also note - Your most important score from your high school assessment is your assessment rank in each course. When you do the HSC exam, your raw mark is averaged with the raw mark of the person from your school who's exam rank is the same as your assessment rank. For example, if you were 3rd in your grade in English, then in the exam you came 10th (with a raw mark of 91) and John came 3rd (with a mark of 97), your final raw mark for the exam would be 93. That mark is then moderated to a particular standard for the course (kept the same each year) to give you your final exam mark. Your assessment mark is then scaled so that the distribution is the distribution of marks from the exam for your school (i.e. if your assessment marks average at 70, but the average mark for your school in the HSC exam is 90, it suggests that your school has a lot of smart students but difficult assessments, so they scale you up). This essentially removes any discrepancy between the assessment difficulty of the different schools. Then, taking your final scaled exam mark and assessment mark and averaging them gives you your mark for that course. If you had a final exam scaled mark of 94, and an assessment mark of 92, your final result for that course is 93.

Each course then is weighted against a particular curve to give an "ATAR Contribution Value" - a 92 in advanced english contributes more than a 92 in standard english, say. An 85 in Physics might mean more than a 90 in Mathematics. The website boredofstudies.org has a "UAI calculator" that uses the previous year's contribution scores to estimate what your UAI will be in that year; you just stick in your final HSC marks for each course. It's not 100% accurate, but most people I know who have used it (especially towards the upper end of the bell curve) it's been fairly accurate. It predicted my UAI within 0.1, as I recall. You can use your trial HSC marks to estimate the same thing, but that's less accurate due to the differences of assessment difficulty between different schools.

how easy are bridging courses to get into? i would not mind at all doing an extra year because i am two years ahead academically of other people my age and an extra year would just be taking a year off that - i'd still be ahead
I'm not sure what you mean by bridging courses. I did a bridging course in Chemistry before I started at USyd (but after I enrolled), since I was going to be doing Chemistry in first year and didn't do it for the HSC. It wasn't a competition to get in, as I remember, though I think in some cases they can be quite expensive.

The Chemistry bridging course I did was run by USyd, and it was one or two weeks long, each day being a 2 hour lecture, followed by a 1 hour tutorial/workshop about the content, followed by another 2 hour lecture and another 1 hour tutorial (with a 1 hour lunch break between the two sessions).

The bridging course was very easy, it was almost entirely Year 10 chemistry stuff. One of the tutors said that despite not doing Chemistry in the HSC, I could have enrolled in Advanced chemistry without a problem (normally the Advanced science courses require you to have a Band 6 in the relevant subject at HSC level). Almost none of the bridging course content was relevant beyond the first week or so of university.

What bridging courses were you planning to do? They're normally in skills-based things like Maths or Science, but they may have some English (Language) based ones for ESL students, I'm not sure.

and lastly, given a miraculous overhaul of my work ethic leading to my achieving a 99.70 (or whatever the hell they're changing it to) ATAR, are there any problems that a 16-year-old high school graduate would encounter when studying law? i'm in year 11 at the moment and i've already had to study a different text in english to the rest of the students because of my age (they were studying M rated texts and apparently being 14 i'm not allowed to - though i turned 15 recently so it's all good now) and i'm wondering if something similar would happen in university
I don't think so. I thought also with the exception of MA films, you could get permission from parents to study all the texts in the curriculum, but they may have changed it up somewhat since I did it.

I was 17 when I started university, and I don't think there's anything that I encountered that was unsuitable. Generally, your lecturers or whatever don't really care. The only thing I can think of that was somewhat sensitive was Criminal Law (which USyd teaches in 2nd Year, I think), but that wasn't really a question of age.

At the start of the course, my lecturer asked that if anyone was particularly sensitive on any issues around assault, sexual assault, or murder to confidentially contact him outside of class so they could make arrangements. Apparently, before he started this practice, he started on the description of facts from one of the cases and then later found that one of his students had her daughter rapes and murdered, which was one of the impetuses for her to go to law school.

Some of the cases are pretty horrible, personal empathy notwithstanding. Royal is horrifyingly brutal, and Re Morgan shows how unbelievably base and stupid some men can be to their wives.


Other than that, I don't think there are any problems.

There might be some non-study issues to some extent (being under 18), in that social life of university is tied to drinking. Manning Bar, one of the principle bars on USyd's campus, doesn't card you for entry, only when you buy drinks, so it's still suitable, but outside university going to bars is difficult even if you're not drinking.

This is a surmountable problem, though.
 
I'm from India.

@Res Ipsa Loquitur: Thanks a lot! I'm pretty sure that case law is taught here. I'll only be able to tell you later on though.

@MrIndigo: When you say summer clerkship, do you mean an internship?
Yes - for some reason the law firms here use "clerkship" rather than "internship", but they're the same thing. Interestingly, it's only the law firms. The Investment Banks, Tax Accountants, and Consultancy firms all use "internship".
 
Yes - for some reason the law firms here use "clerkship" rather than "internship", but they're the same thing. Interestingly, it's only the law firms. The Investment Banks, Tax Accountants, and Consultancy firms all use "internship".
This terminology is the same in the US. Government agencies usually use the term "internship" also.

There are also "judicial clerkships," which are basically internships you work for the government, directly under a judge. Judicial clerks do things like research the law behind an objection or motion and prepare a memo for the judge on how to rule, write rough drafts of what will become published opinions, etc. These are typically unpaid for students, although they are sometimes paid. Judges also hire recent graduates (or, for extremely powerful federal judges, sometimes experienced attorneys) for paid clerkship positions with much more responsibility. The jobs for recent graduates typically last 1 or 2 years. Most lawyers consider this to be the most prestigious experience to have on a resume for a young lawyer.
 
This terminology is the same in the US. Government agencies usually use the term "internship" also.

There are also "judicial clerkships," which are basically internships you work for the government, directly under a judge. Judicial clerks do things like research the law behind an objection or motion and prepare a memo for the judge on how to rule, write rough drafts of what will become published opinions, etc. These are typically unpaid for students, although they are sometimes paid. Judges also hire recent graduates (or, for extremely powerful federal judges, sometimes experienced attorneys) for paid clerkship positions with much more responsibility. The jobs for recent graduates typically last 1 or 2 years. Most lawyers consider this to be the most prestigious experience to have on a resume for a young lawyer.
We have these roles as well, but they're called "Tipstaff/Tipstaves"; in fact, the newly appointed Chief Justice Bathurst of the New South Wales Supreme Court is currently taking applications. They're more equivalent to graduateships than clerkships, though, which tend to last only a single season rather than a whole year or more.

Tipstaff are usually paid (about the same as typical graduate roles, around $60-70k), and you typically do research for the judge on each case, preparing principle-summaries and case notes on relevant material for the case the Judge is currently hearing. The judge also writes a sketch of their judgment, and the tipstaff typically writes the actual judgment that is to be published (after it's been approved by the judge). They also do general legal research for articles the judge may be writing.

They are very competitive (Bathurst CJ requires D average minimum), and they're quite prestigious, particularly for celebrated judges; although they're generally more important for those who are planning to become barristers and judges in the future, not commercial lawyers so much (though some commercial lawyers have been tipstaff in the past).

They also tend to lead into other roles, like head of a judge's/court's research team.
 
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.
I just finished my first year of law school and I agree with everything Res Ipsa said, but need to stress how important networking is. Networking is the single most important thing you can do, unless you are in the bottom 10% or top 10% of your class it is way more who you know than what you know. Ex. my grades were significantly better than my girlfriend's grades our first year, but she is clerking for a New Jersey Supreme Court justice and I am working a BS job for a city's legal department. The reason for the job difference is mostly that her Dad's medical practices do hundreds of thousands of dollars of business with the Justice's husband's law firm each year. When you know people you get better jobs. Drop any name you can. Another example is a friend who got a clerkship for a federal appellate judge because she was a friend of a friend who was a clerk there last year. She never even met the person who referred her, just dropped the name and got the job. Anyway, just remember getting a job can sometimes be as easy as just being friendly with the right person.

Also, something that is extremely important for succeeding in law school is to make sure you are always prepared in class and raise your hand and contribute in class, often. Most professors will "bump" your grade as much as a full letter grade for thoughtful class contribution. Also, get to know your professors outside of class, they are usually not only brilliant but well connected and having a good relationship with them will only help you in class. But just being careful not to come off as a kissass, most professors will get sick of you quickly and the rest of your class will most likely despise you.


One final thought, be careful about what you say and to whom, word travels very quickly throughout law school and some times even out side of it.

Anyway, GL in lawschool, and have fun. This past year was one of the most rewarding years of my life. I hope you experience the same.
 
Well, I am pretty much in college now! I am taking two classes this month for credit, and I will be taking another class in July. If everything goes as I planned, I should have half a semester worth of classes before I ever graduate high school.
 
I go to UC, so I'd be happy to answer any questions you have about it.
Alright, thanks! I pretty much have in my head an image of each school and what it's like, but I have a question about UC.

Everyone who doesn't go to UC calls it "The place where fun goes to die", and I even know a few people who go there who call it that too. How true is that statement? Obviously if it weren't fun, I doubt you'd go there still, but how does it compare to other places in terms of fun?

Also, does it feel more like a big school or a small school?
 
well first keep in mind that I haven't gone to another college so I don't really have a great standard for comparison beyond what I hear from my high school friends. anyways, it's true to an extent, but it is definitely not a place where fun is hard to find.

the first thing you should know is that the house system is really great, especially at a few of the dorms (they are structured somewhat differently from building to building). at harvard and amherst (I think, I toured amherst a long time ago lol) they really stress the value of the house system, but before I came here I didn't really hear much bragging about ours. my building is split into houses, and our house has a two-story lounge with entrances on both floors; think of it as a big lounge with a loft. this promotes tons of intermingling, especially during the first few awkward weeks, and we have tons of house events as well. I think I knew all 60+ names in my house by the end of the first week of school, and I'm not especially awesome with names. most people stay two years in the house system; a decent number stay three years (or even four) or decide to move out after one, though. the majority of my close friends are from my house; the others are from my major classes and random clubs.

there is a greek system on campus. basically, everyone feels like going to frat parties makes them the shit first year, but then it gets old by the second year and beyond. people usually go out on friday and saturday nights (20 from my house, ish), and a few also go out on wednesday for "bar night" or thursday for thirsty thursday (5-10, ish).

we have a few boards that organize school-wide events - ex: this past "spring breeze" crystal castles came to perform and derrick rose showed up and got a big "mvp-mvp-mvp" chant. the club system is pretty extensive; I know this next part probably sounds cliche, but based on how many fucking advertisements I've seen for random clubs for which I have zero interest... if you have an interest, chances are there's a club that caters to it.

the best thing about the social life is there are barely any people who are stuck up party animals, if that term makes any sense. I guess a better way to say it would be there are very few bitches. even people who party wednesday thursday friday and saturday are still really nice people (wow, was I surprised) and they don't think "well, he doesn't go out much, what a fucking loser."

as for your second question, to provide some context, I went to a high school with a graduating class of 1200 kids. UC is no amherst (I keep using that b/c you said you liked it) in that you can definitely see tons of kids everywhere you go, walking to class, eating food, etc. it feels like I see complete strangers on the sidewalk when I walk around between classes; you definitely don't get that "hey I think I know almost everyone here" feeling. however, the classes are really small, especially in the core curriculum (15 kids ish, 20 max) which is stuff like social sciences, humanities, etc. I never feel overwhelmed, which is what's important... I kind of feel like I might get lost in the sea of kids at a big state school. depends what you're looking for with the big/small feeling, I guess.
 

uragg

Walking the streets with you in your worn-out jeans
is a Contributor Alumnus
I just finished my junior year, so will be thinking about colleges and working on college apps for this coming fall. I had a quick question: should I apply to the University of Maryland simply because it's my state school? I don't particularly want to go there and I'm p sure I'm overqualified for it by quite a bit, but it could serve as a 200% safety and I could get some nice scholarship offers I guess?
 

supermarth64

Here I stand in the light of day
is a Contributor Alumnus
Yea do it. UMD's actually pretty decent for a state school and it always makes you feel better for actually getting in somewhere. A lot of my friends actually chose Rutgers (state school) over some of their other choices simply cuz they wanted to save some money.
 

Fabbles

LN_Slayer
is a Contributor Alumnus
I just finished my junior year, so will be thinking about colleges and working on college apps for this coming fall. I had a quick question: should I apply to the University of Maryland simply because it's my state school? I don't particularly want to go there and I'm p sure I'm overqualified for it by quite a bit, but it could serve as a 200% safety and I could get some nice scholarship offers I guess?
If you want to party with 40k other kids on a nightly basis, then yes. If you are serious about your education, then not really. I have a lot of friends that go to Maryland. Its a decent school. Its a better party school. You could do a lot worse with your safety. Plus in-state tuition + scholarship is hard to beat.
 
I just finished my junior year, so will be thinking about colleges and working on college apps for this coming fall. I had a quick question: should I apply to the University of Maryland simply because it's my state school? I don't particularly want to go there and I'm p sure I'm overqualified for it by quite a bit, but it could serve as a 200% safety and I could get some nice scholarship offers I guess?
It can't hurt to apply there, especially if you get a sizeable amount of financial aid.

University of Maryland is also a school that has a very strong Computer Science/Engineering base and apparently many companies take interns turned graduates from the school.

I go to a competitive high school that has basically forced competitive academics down its students' throats. At first, given the status of the school and the intellect of my class mates, I thought it was disgraceful if I never went to a "good" college. However, as I progressed through high school I generally looked down on that stigma and realized my naivety.

A college exists for everyone. It may not be an ivy league or an elite school, but there is a fit. Someone on this page mentioned this earlier, don't do something that you will hate for the rest of your life. So many people go to medical school, business school, or law school because those careers are the only "acceptable" paths in life. Yes, being a doctor, or a lawyer, or an investment banker will make a sizeable amount of money, but is money everything?

Go to a college that you will enjoy. Visit the campuses and see if you can place yourself as a 4 year student studying at that school.

Society has been corrupted by a materialistic culture that places money and wealth over happiness, falsely believeing that money will buy them happiness. I'm sorry. There are other ways to be happy without the need of money. :|
 
A college exists for everyone. It may not be an ivy league or an elite school, but there is a fit. Someone on this page mentioned this earlier, don't do something that you will hate for the rest of your life. So many people go to medical school, business school, or law school because those careers are the only "acceptable" paths in life. Yes, being a doctor, or a lawyer, or an investment banker will make a sizeable amount of money, but is money everything?

Go to a college that you will enjoy. Visit the campuses and see if you can place yourself as a 4 year student studying at that school.

Society has been corrupted by a materialistic culture that places money and wealth over happiness, falsely believeing that money will buy them happiness. I'm sorry. There are other ways to be happy without the need of money. :|
Actually, I made the point earlier in the thread that people think these careers will get you a lot of money, and they will... if you're dedicated.

All three professions are EXTREMELY competitive; and of course they would be given that every single student they turn out is a top-flight one. What this means, though, is that you need to have quite good results (or connections) for those particular degrees. If you're not passionate and interested in the subject, you won't have the dedication your colleagues do and thus the chance of you actually getting one of those high-paid careers is actually much reduced.

They might be high-money careers, but only a few people within them get those salaries. There are a lot of average-wage bankers.


Furthermore, it's not even about materialism per se. You need money to comfortably live in a capitalist society because everything costs money. You don't need to be bathing in hundred-dollar notes but getting money is still important.

But going into one of these high-pressure competitive professions is not an 'easy money' track, as I said; the amount you make is going to be tied to your performance (with a few exceptions in some areas of liberal/fine arts).

If you do anything well enough, you'll get paid well for it. And you're more likely to do something well if it's something that you're passionate about than if it's something that you hate but perceive to be a wealth-giving career. And any difference in the salaries will be offset by the greater happiness you feel for doing something you enjoy doing than something that you hate.
 
MIT student here. I freakin' loved my first year of college. I definitely agree with a lot of the advice given here. One piece of advice that I would like to stress again is that networking is a blessing. Please try to talk to as many of your peers and professors as much as you can. They will definitely be able to help you find a job, an internship, or a position in a lab. Well, here at MIT they let undergrads do research which is pretty neat since a lot of universities don't offer research for undergrads.

Anyone here in a fraternity or sorority? I don't think that's been mentioned in this thread. Also, I just finished my first year of college and I was wondering if there were any pre-meds here who have any advice. I'm a pre-med student majoring in both chemistry and brain & cognitive sciences.

Last question: Anyone here attend(ed) MIT?
 
MIT student here. I freakin' loved my first year of college. I definitely agree with a lot of the advice given here. One piece of advice that I would like to stress again is that networking is a blessing. Please try to talk to as many of your peers and professors as much as you can. They will definitely be able to help you find a job, an internship, or a position in a lab. Well, here at MIT they let undergrads do research which is pretty neat since a lot of universities don't offer research for undergrads.

Anyone here in a fraternity or sorority? I don't think that's been mentioned in this thread. Also, I just finished my first year of college and I was wondering if there were any pre-meds here who have any advice. I'm a pre-med student majoring in both chemistry and brain & cognitive sciences.

Last question: Anyone here attend(ed) MIT?
Lanturn314 is a premed neuroscientist at Hopkins (I think), you might want to try her.

We don't have sororities/fraternaties out here. They're something a bit like what we call 'colleges' which are basically on-campus living spaces. They're all based on different religious affiliations or churches (though you don't actually need to be of that religion to stay there), so we have things like Sancta Sophia, St Paul's College, St John's College, Wesley College, St Andrew's College etc. Some are all-male (Paul's, John's), some all-female (Sancta, Wesley) and some are mixed.

They tend to be old-boys'-clubs and a lot have strong affiliations to the various private religious schools around Sydney. They're very expensive (ball park 30 000 p.a.), but I don't know it's that much more than living on/near campus is anyway.

I commute, though, so I've no first-hand experience with the closest we have to Fraternities/Sororities.
 
Yea do it. UMD's actually pretty decent for a state school and it always makes you feel better for actually getting in somewhere. A lot of my friends actually chose Rutgers (state school) over some of their other choices simply cuz they wanted to save some money.
That's why I am here, only paying 10k a year is a hell of a lot better than paying 40k for Brooklyn or Fordham. Although going to school in Newark fucking blows.
 

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Anyone here in a fraternity or sorority? I don't think that's been mentioned in this thread.
I am! However fraternities are generally hit-or-miss, a lot of it is who you pledge with and the current brothers. Also, if you're planning on rushing, try to figure out what their policies on hazing are "off the record", most people who have friends in the greek system generally know what goes on, even if your school has a "STRICT NO HAZING POLICY". Also make sure your fraternity is affiliated with a national organization because if not you can't really make that many connections outside of your school.
 
Spent the past year studying Chemical Engineering at Imperial College, London, and hating it. I tried to transfer to Computer Science, but was unfortunately a bit late for Imperial (read: 10 days past UCAS deadline. Frigid bastards), so I have to settle for King's College London instead. This may be a blessing in disguise, however, because 1) they do a CompSci with Management with a Year in Industry programme which is pretty spiffy 2) I probably won't have to study as hard! Hello part-time job/some semblance of a life!

I don't think you'd have this sort of problem seeing as the US education system seems to be pretty flexible, but just in case I feel this needs to be said: make sure you major in something you enjoy. There's no point slogging through a degree just for the career benefits because sooner or later you will either burn out or become, like, a shell of your former self or something.

EDIT: Oh, and also don't be so tempted to rush into the "best" uni possible. Generally (at least in the UK), the more prestigious the university, the harder you'll have to work, so do be careful of that. Remember, you only live once!
 
Society has been corrupted by a materialistic culture that places money and wealth over happiness, falsely believeing that money will buy them happiness. I'm sorry. There are other ways to be happy without the need of money. :|
lol wow what a philosopher!

On the other hand, tell that to people who have $200k worth of debt and can't find work with their Medieval studies PHDs. Money isn't everything, right?

I'd kill myself out if I had to go to a dumb school. Not because of its reputation or anything, but because I can't tolerate dumb people as well as I should. Oops.

But seriously, I'm so tired of being around people who aren't like me. Even here at the summer program I'm currently attending, which pretty much has the smartest people in my state (which isn't that smart to begin with, but oh well), I don't feel like I can relate to other people that well. I think this has made me more motivated to go to a good school more than anything else.
 
I'm going to college in august and I found this topic to be really helpful, especially flareblitz's post. The thing is, I'm going in a program to get my bachelors in two years. 140+ credits in only 5 semesters. It's really quite intimidating, but I'm fairly content not having a social life for 2 years. Has anyone here gone through the same kind of program? I could really use some advice.
 

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