College

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.
Is there a reason you're going for such a program? It seems like it would make it difficult to get in any extra-curriculars, which can be a big deal for your CV.
 
(Virginian post)

At my school: ODU is not difficult at all to get in to, and MIT is a bitch for Affirmative Action (which in general is total shit)

But next year I'm going to Longwood (small cool 2 girls for every guy school) but I doubt anyone's heard of it. It's a hipster thing

Either way, am I the only person who's tired of people always going around shouting about which schools are and aren't party schools? Practically every college (at least in my area) is a party school if you make it so, it can also have no parties if you choose otherwise
 
(Virginian post)

At my school: ODU is not difficult at all to get in to, and MIT is a bitch for Affirmative Action (which in general is total shit)
Did you get rejected from MIT? I doubt it was because of affirmative action. You seem to currently go to ODU, but there are many degrees of school that separate ODU from MIT.

well aren't you friendly.
I guess so. Thanks for pointing that out.
 

Loki

like seashells
is a Live Chat Contributor Alumnusis a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis a Battle Simulator Moderator Alumnusis the Smogon Tour Season 7 Championwon the 3rd Official Smogon Tournament
i think people, high schoolers especially, place too much emphasis on where you do your undergrad and the "prestige" it carries. this is usually based on their own ego (everyone thinks they're the shit in high school) or peer/adult pressure (especially so if you attend private school, I know many private school friends who felt tremendous pressure because pretty much everyone around them had this "ivy league/equivalent or bust" mentality). to be honest, your college experience is definitely more what you make of it than where you go. I would highly advise you guys actually visit the schools you're considering or at the very least talking to people who go there. college is super fun and goes by in an instant, go somewhere you feel comfortable. I went to a state school over a couple more prestigious schools because it seemed a lot more fun... and it was so I don't regret that at all. however, it is true that going to a better school in general affords you more opportunities, especially in terms of research. Just look at everything holistically and make an informed decision.

Either way, am I the only person who's tired of people always going around shouting about which schools are and aren't party schools? Practically every college (at least in my area) is a party school if you make it so, it can also have no parties if you choose otherwise
I agree, while it's definitely true that some schools have more of a party culture, you should have enough self-control to place academics first. Once I learned to manage my time well (this took until sophomore year lol), I went out thursday/friday/saturday outside of finals time and did fine.

Regarding fraternities and sororities, I didn't pledge but a lot of my friends did. tennisace is right in that you should really consider how well you get along with the current brothers + pledges and just the general vibe of the fraternity. I know some guys who just pledged with the most "prestigious" fraternity that gave them a bid and pretty much ended up paying money to hang out with a bunch of douchefuks (shoutout to pike!).

also chaosakita dude that attitude sure isn't gonna make you many friends, regardless of how "smart" your school is. you should chill out a little... and um if you can't tolerate dumb people, good luck in the workplace...
 
You don't have to like everybody around you all the time, but yeah it's helpful to at least be able to tolerate them. Not gonna lie, it's not always easy for me either.
 
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
I'm fairly sure Exeter is a BA for economics. I applied there last year

Loki;3583294[B said:
]i think people, high schoolers especially, place too much emphasis on where you do your undergrad and the "prestige" it carries[/B]. this is usually based on their own ego (everyone thinks they're the shit in high school) or peer/adult pressure (especially so if you attend private school, I know many private school friends who felt tremendous pressure because pretty much everyone around them had this "ivy league/equivalent or bust" mentality). to be honest, your college experience is definitely more what you make of it than where you go. I would highly advise you guys actually visit the schools you're considering or at the very least talking to people who go there. college is super fun and goes by in an instant, go somewhere you feel comfortable.
I agree about too much emphasis being placed the prestige of the university at times to an extent. In the UK, you'll get a real advantage in your first graduate job if you've come out of Oxbridge or LSE or Imperial if you're choosing a political science or science degree. After that it really makes very little difference bar say Warwick for maths/economics or other flagship courses. Your personal traits and work experience will trump everything else when it comes to getting a job.

My first year at Cambridge is almost over and it's been a shitload of fun and a great experience. My exams start on Monday and I'm not really worried about not getting a 2.1 but I think that if I do get one I'd have missed the opportunity to get a first given that I've worked relatively little compared to my peers. May week is going to be mental though. Can't wait.
 
In the UK, you'll get a real advantage in your first graduate job if you've come out of Oxbridge or LSE or Imperial if you're choosing a political science or science degree. After that it really makes very little difference bar say Warwick for maths/economics or other flagship courses. Your personal traits and work experience will trump everything else when it comes to getting a job.
It's funny. I was looking at Unistats a while ago and noticed how King's CompSci students apparently had better graduate prospects than Imperial ChemEngers. Maybe it has more to do with the degree than the university but it's still definitely helping with the Imperial dropout shame (thank FUCK I did not apply to Cambridge - EDIT: I'm not saying Cambridge is bad. I just wouldn't be able to tolerate working even harder than I am now in a subject I hate, and not being able to drop out due to all the peer pressure)
 
To be fair, most of these university stats websites are nonsense. Particularly the league table ones where you get unis bumped up the tables because they tell everyone to vote them a high student satisfaction.

The thing about Cambridge is that once you get into the routine of work you don't know anything different. You work hard relative to a lot of other unis but it's not overwhelming at all (unless in exam term or 3rd year). I don't know you personally so I can't say whether it'd make a difference for you.

I know two people who've dropped out of Imperial this year and to be quite honest after visiting the halls, Imperial students are an odd bunch.
 
To be fair, most of these university stats websites are nonsense. Particularly the league table ones where you get unis bumped up the tables because they tell everyone to vote them a high student satisfaction.

The thing about Cambridge is that once you get into the routine of work you don't know anything different. You work hard relative to a lot of other unis but it's not overwhelming at all (unless in exam term or 3rd year). I don't know you personally so I can't say whether it'd make a difference for you.

I know two people who've dropped out of Imperial this year and to be quite honest after visiting the halls, Imperial students are an odd bunch.
The stats I'm referring to are pretty objective; basically inquiring about the destinations of graduates after 6 months. Sample size may be an issue but apart from that I don't see much room for distortion of the facts. Of course, there's also the question about the industries involved: IT's been seeing an exponential growth over the last couple of years (outsourcing? not as big a deal as people think) while most engineering industries are growing at the average rate, apparently. (Not really my main issue, though. I'm just glad I'll be able to study something I enjoy.)

Nah, I don't really see a problem with working hard, but sometimes I do wonder if I'd really benefit from a top university. While there's nothing wrong with wanting a prestigious name on your CV, that sort of thing doesn't really appeal to me: I don't really aspire to greatness at all, just a decent living and a comfortable life. For that reason I'd probably never go to Oxbridge even if they handed me an unconditional offer and paid me to go. Oh, plus I didn't think much of Cambridge when I visited: way too old-school for my liking, plus I'm not a fan of rahs 8(

Don't know about Imperial students being an "odd bunch". My hall's certainly very quiet, being the smallest, but other places seem to be pretty active, with people going out every week and shit and not many weirdos around. There is an unnaturally huge population of international students who don't want to have anything to do with the locals, though. I mean I am hardly xenophobic being an ethnic minority myself but I can't deny it's a bit unnerving being the only non East-Asian in the library at times.

Then again, my department seems to be the most social one with very average people (pretty much all in it to become petroleum engineers/investment bankers in the end - good luck to them I say) so I guess I haven't really been subject to the "real" Imperial experience. Hm..

p.s. 10 people've dropped out from my course alone. I'm really glad I'm not the only one! Would make the decision much harder than it already is if I was first to jump ship.
 

Badal

Shit
is a Contributor Alumnus
So I'm travelling the world visiting Universities. I'm doing a blog on Bulbagarden. I don't know whether to do a blogspot on it or not but it can be found here for now

Quite interesting project. I'd recommend you to check it out.
 
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.
Such an abrasive little intellectual snowflake!

(By the way, if someone goes into that much debt to get a PhD in any discipline, they very probably aren't doing it right!)
 
Oxford
Cambridge
UPenn
MIT
Harvard
McGill
What are you planning on studying? Econ?

Also, protip for applying to college: get it started ahead of time! I am/was a habitual procrastinator, and feel that subpar essays really affected me by preventing me from getting into universities that I could have gotten into, and wanted to as well.

Another protip: Don't stress over SAT/ACT. Honestly, it's not THAT big of a deal. At almost every college I visited, they played down that as a factor for entrance (the reason it's so commonly used is because it's a definite metric, as opposed to a more subjective one that matters more). As long as you don't royally screw it up, you'll be fine. Focus more on having strong extracurriculars and essays.

As for me, I'll be attending UF in the fall, which started out as my safety school, but Bright Futures and in-state tuition, as well as accepting more AP credits, makes it a much more attractive option. Which brings me to my final point: it's not a huge deal if you don't get into Harvard for undergrad (assuming you plan on a graduate or other professional degree), as the latest thing you get will really be the most influential. Regroup in college, round yourself out, and then be ready for the next round of applications. Transfers also work if you're deadset.
 
What are you planning on studying? Econ?

Also, protip for applying to college: get it started ahead of time! I am/was a habitual procrastinator, and feel that subpar essays really affected me by preventing me from getting into universities that I could have gotten into, and wanted to as well.
I think this extends through university as well; it's certainly the case with my graduate job applications. Even simple things take a long time, so having good management is key.

Another protip: Don't stress over SAT/ACT. Honestly, it's not THAT big of a deal. At almost every college I visited, they played down that as a factor for entrance (the reason it's so commonly used is because it's a definite metric, as opposed to a more subjective one that matters more). As long as you don't royally screw it up, you'll be fine. Focus more on having strong extracurriculars and essays.
For Australian Universities, it does matter if you're trying to get into a particular degree, since they don't see your extracurriculars. However, if you're trying to get into the Advanced version of a course (e.g. Advanced Mathematics, rather than the standard level), it matters less. Even when they say 'pre-requisite', you can usually consult with the staff and get permission to enrol in them.

The absurdest example of this is the Bachelor of Science vs the Bachelor of Science (Adv). At USYD, the former has an ATAR cutoff of 85, the latter a cutoff of 96.60 - but once you are enrolled in a BSc. with a 90 ATAR cutoff, you can enrol in the Advanced subjects in the same way I described above. If you enrol in the suitable advanced units, and maintain a credit average across your WAM, you can graduate with the BSc(Adv) despite not enrolling in it.

As for me, I'll be attending UF in the fall, which started out as my safety school, but Bright Futures and in-state tuition, as well as accepting more AP credits, makes it a much more attractive option. Which brings me to my final point: it's not a huge deal if you don't get into Harvard for undergrad (assuming you plan on a graduate or other professional degree), as the latest thing you get will really be the most influential. Regroup in college, round yourself out, and then be ready for the next round of applications. Transfers also work if you're deadset.
This is also true; with very few exceptions (mainly the old-boys-club degrees like undergrad law and med), it's your graduate/postgraduate degree location that's more important. Grad stuff is typically easier to get into than undergraduate anyway, especially in Australia.

As a reference, my friend got an ATAR of 80-something, did Journalism/Communications at Newcastle University (a mid-tier uni at best), graduated and got into Grad law at USyd (now known as the JD program).
 
I hate my computer. It keeps freeing, when does my mac get back?

Anyways, Badal, as far as I know, plans on doing neurobiology. @badal, wait til your grades come out before you decide upon such lofty expectations.

As for me personally, I too am just starting 11th grade in a couple weeks. My best subjects are (in order) Math/Literature/English/Spanish/Physics/Economics/Biology/everythingelse/chemistry. I'm taking Chem/Eco/English/Adv. Math/Physics/Adv. Spanish this year, and really I have no interest in taking Chemistry ever again, but I need to if I plan on doing Physics. According to my dad, chemistry all connects once you get to a certain point, but until then its the boring stuff we're doing now. If anyone knows, its him, considering he's a biochemist. Also, even though that order is all well and good, everything but chemistry is an A+ easily, and chem hopefully is an A.

Somehow, I'm good at lit and Bio, though I have no interest in them whatsoever. I probably wont end up doing physics since nowadays its not exactly figuring out why apples fall on your head, its all astronomy or very small particles, which again, I'm not particularly interested in. People say I'm a really good writer, but I can't see myself being an author or journalist, the latter because current events don't interest me at all and now that there are so many freelancers, pay is going down further and further. At some point the industry is going to be a big free-for-all and I don't really plan on getting into that mess.

Math and Economics are the two subjects I can really see myself going into, although I'm not sure what you can do with math alone. Spanish is... not very useful in India, to say the least, and I never will get why people major in a language. I always figured I would do a duel major with Eco and Math, or one as a minor. One problem with our school is that economics and Buisness are alternatives to each other, but how different are they really?

As for college, I lived in a small college town, Iowa City, for 10 years, in which everything revolves around the university. After having felt that sort of environment, I really cant see myself staying in India where colleges are cramped up. That being said, going back to Iowa is probably not gonna happen since the only subject they are good at is literature (which Im good at but have 0 interest in). Ever since 5th grade I decided I wanted to go to Stanford, although I've grown since then and realized a couple things:
I may want to think about other places and if nothing else check out the environment and academics.
Its really goddamn tough to get into Stanford.

Still, thats probably my top college right now, and I have friends in Stanford including being good friends with one of the business professors. I'm actually doing a project with him over the summer.

My results come out on July 22nd (give or take a couple days). My dad (who was on the admissions council at Iowa, and now is on the admissions council in NCBS, says once we see the results you can really start to narrow it down, but for now I'm focusing on my SAT and ACT, which I'm taking this year for the first time. I still need to decide my subject choices for that, but other than that, I'm pretty confident in my abilities.

On my list of colleges right now are Stanford, Michigan, MIT, and Princeton, though tbh I need some good solid back up colleges with good Eco/buisness and Math schools. Also, Ive actually been to all of these places barring MIT, (Stanford last year, in fact), though most were while I was elementary school. I know Michigan is a school like Iowa since both are in the big10, and the campus is similar. Same with Stanford, but Princeton and MIT seem like elit(ist?) schools and as such without much of a social life (and as far as MIT, no sports at all to go and watch, at least Princeton made the NCAA tournament). Anyone been there and know about the campus? I'll probably check it out next summer, actually, but still it would be nice to know.

One more thing, is that I'm an athlete. I would be a state level Basketball player if my exams weren't during the tryouts. Having played with some current recruits in Iowa, I know I probably am not good enough to make a major conference team, but does anyone have any tips to get some attention from coaches at smaller sports colleges like the ivy league schools, other conferences which get only 1 NCAA tournament entrance yearly, or d-II schools? Any info would be nice, since that would be one heck of a way to go through college.
 
I hate my computer. It keeps freeing, when does my mac get back?

Anyways, Badal, as far as I know, plans on doing neurobiology. @badal, wait til your grades come out before you decide upon such lofty expectations.
Grades alone won't get you anywhere...

Somehow, I'm good at lit and Bio, though I have no interest in them whatsoever. I probably wont end up doing physics since nowadays its not exactly figuring out why apples fall on your head, its all astronomy or very small particles, which again, I'm not particularly interested in. People say I'm a really good writer, but I can't see myself being an author or journalist, the latter because current events don't interest me at all and now that there are so many freelancers, pay is going down further and further. At some point the industry is going to be a big free-for-all and I don't really plan on getting into that mess.

Math and Economics are the two subjects I can really see myself going into, although I'm not sure what you can do with math alone. Spanish is... not very useful in India, to say the least, and I never will get why people major in a language. I always figured I would do a duel major with Eco and Math, or one as a minor. One problem with our school is that economics and Buisness are alternatives to each other, but how different are they really?
You've definitely got the right idea - do what you love, not necessarily what you're good at. As far as the difference between econ and business, from what I understand, business is applied economics. It's akin to the relationship between math/physics and engineering. Which one you prefer really depends on what you want to do.

My results come out on July 22nd (give or take a couple days). My dad (who was on the admissions council at Iowa, and now is on the admissions council in NCBS, says once we see the results you can really start to narrow it down, but for now I'm focusing on my SAT and ACT, which I'm taking this year for the first time. I still need to decide my subject choices for that, but other than that, I'm pretty confident in my abilities.

On my list of colleges right now are Stanford, Michigan, MIT, and Princeton, though tbh I need some good solid back up colleges with good Eco/buisness and Math schools. Also, Ive actually been to all of these places barring MIT, (Stanford last year, in fact), though most were while I was elementary school. I know Michigan is a school like Iowa since both are in the big10, and the campus is similar. Same with Stanford, but Princeton and MIT seem like elit(ist?) schools and as such without much of a social life (and as far as MIT, no sports at all to go and watch, at least Princeton made the NCAA tournament). Anyone been there and know about the campus? I'll probably check it out next summer, actually, but still it would be nice to know.
If you're doing those, you'll want, for subjects, math level II and a science. You can throw in an English if you can score well to seem more well-rounded, even if you have no intention of pursuing it in college.

MIT is...different. It's a very urban campus. When my father and I visited MIT and Harvard, we stayed on MIT's campus the first night and only realized after a couple days that we were staying on the campus. The buildings are all at least somewhat modern, if memory serves. Also, as far as athletics and social life, I think you are mistaken. From my visit, as well as communication with friends who study there, it's a VERY social campus if you want, just in a nerdy kind of way. Additionally, Newsweek recently ranked MIT as in the top 25 campuses for athletes, so you may want to look into the school more if that is your main inhibition.

One more thing, is that I'm an athlete. I would be a state level Basketball player if my exams weren't during the tryouts. Having played with some current recruits in Iowa, I know I probably am not good enough to make a major conference team, but does anyone have any tips to get some attention from coaches at smaller sports colleges like the ivy league schools, other conferences which get only 1 NCAA tournament entrance yearly, or d-II schools? Any info would be nice, since that would be one heck of a way to go through college.
I have friends who went that route, and I wish I had at least contacted coaches for myself, but I'd email the head basketball coaches for the schools you're interested. Make sure they remember your name, and it will (apparently) serve you very well.
 
I applied to my local uni on one of the last few days possible.

Kinda wish I had gone somewhere else, but I guess that's what you get for being lazy xD.
 
Jesus shit aren't you guys like 15?? That's insane; i didn't fully decide what i wanted to do at uni 'till like the year before. B)
I didn't decide until the year I had to decide; in fact I still hadn't fully decided to attend my current school until less than a month ago...I just realized that I probably could have done better had I worked a little smarter (read: had I played the game) and had a bit more foresight, and am sharing my experiences with other Smogoners so hopefully they won't err where I did.
 

Badal

Shit
is a Contributor Alumnus
Well both coolking and I are 1 year ahead for our age so w/e

I am interested in Biology. My plans are that I'll do a general biology major in Uni and then go on and do an Md-PhD course or just a PhD and then work in a research lab of sorts. But then again, I enjoy Economics so I am looking into Bio-Economics also, though our school is a shit-hole and so we can only choose one from Biology and Economics, since I prefer Biology over Economics, I'll pick Biology. I'll be doing - Biology/Chemistry/Physics/Math/English in 11th Grade [Junior year iirc]
So yeah they're quite the standard subjects. I'll probably take up Economics in University for a term or something.
I also have an avid interest in music. I want to maybe take up a few courses in relation to music in University. Lets see how that goes, this may be easy for me to do since I can play a lot of instruments and sing. Aside from that, I also play sports, I play football [soccer] and I play basketball (though I'm absolutely crap). I'm not going to focus on sports too much, but I'll try my hand at it again, nothing too seriously.
As of other activities, I'll be doing some social work this year, I'll be going to hospitals and helping out there and spending time there. I'll also be going to NCBS (National Center for Biological Sciences) in Bangalore, doing a month or two month long internship/ research project. I will also be doing some smaller research projects or things like that on my own. If I get enough time I'd like to write up a preliminary paper that hopefully gets published in a journal. If that happens, that will be extremely great.

Thanks for the tips and everything guys (and you Erazor)

I am not necessarily aiming for universities like MIT and Harvard. My parents want me to visit these universities to get an idea of things, get inspired, etc. So that is why I'm going around these Universities. Of course I would love to get into one of these, but doesn't mean I'm aiming for them. I just reached grade 11, so it will take me some time to figure stuff out. Lets see.
 
Math/Literature/English/Spanish/Physics/Economics/Biology/everythingelse/chemistry. I'm taking Chem/Eco/English/Adv. Math/Physics/Adv. Spanish this year, and really I have no interest in taking Chemistry ever again, but I need to if I plan on doing Physics. According to my dad, chemistry all connects once you get to a certain point, but until then its the boring stuff we're doing now. If anyone knows, its him, considering he's a biochemist. Also, even though that order is all well and good, everything but chemistry is an A+ easily, and chem hopefully is an A.
Chemistry does unify when you get further ahead, and becomes more like Physics, but you don't need it at all to do Physics. I dropped first year Chem like it was hot - the amount of Chemistry I've needed to do my physics degree, with a major in quantum physics (one of the most chemistryish physics there is), was absolutely minimal.

In general, for physical sciences, having a strong foundation in mathematics, calculus specifically, will serve you a lot better than Chemistry, or even High School physics will.

Somehow, I'm good at lit and Bio, though I have no interest in them whatsoever. I probably wont end up doing physics since nowadays its not exactly figuring out why apples fall on your head, its all astronomy or very small particles, which again, I'm not particularly interested in.
Physics is actually quite varied, though it will depend where you go. Your undergrad studies will typically cover: Mechanics, Fluids, Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics, Optics, Plasma, Astrophysics and Relativity.

In terms of research areas, this is a sample of some of the projects/areas that were on offer at USyd over the past couple of years:
- Computer simulation of the brain's response to certain stimuli, using a state-of-the-art computer model.
- The formation of magnetic solar flares on the sun's surface using computer modelling and Bayesian statistics.
- Computer modelling and manufacture/deposition of new materials using plasma deposition techniques, creating new kinds of glass, plastics, surface coatings, bio-sensors, etc.
- Development of optical fiber devices for optical computing and information technology, including slow-light materials, optical multiplexers evansecent couplers, optical waveguides.
- Development of quantum computing algorithms, quantum dot qubits for quantum computation, and low-temperature ion traps.
- Quantum philosophy and abstract mathematical formulations of quantum interpretation.
- Plasma modelling and fusion experiments, including plasma quantisation.
- Manufacturing optical fiber filter devices for radio telescopes.
- Characterisation of telescope data.
- Cosmology and explorations of spacetime constructions around black holes or other unusual topologies.
- Laser physics, including holography and semiconductor physics.

Math and Economics are the two subjects I can really see myself going into, although I'm not sure what you can do with math alone. Spanish is... not very useful in India, to say the least, and I never will get why people major in a language. I always figured I would do a duel major with Eco and Math, or one as a minor. One problem with our school is that economics and Buisness are alternatives to each other, but how different are they really?
Languages are significant to employers because employers are often worldwide presence, and so languages can be useful in that sense (certainly, in the west, Asian languages are quite significant). But moreover, learning a language shows dedication and commitment, and so on.

Business/Commerce is usually about running business, so it's Finance, Accounting, Human Resources, and so on. Economics is more wide-angled, it's about describing and predicting markets, so you tend to work with regulators, and so forth.

Mathematics is quite varied, it depends on what you're doing with it. Statistics and certain fields of applied mathematics is quite generally useful, and you frequently get used as consultants for the government and businesses on all manner of matters. Pure Mathematics, especially combinatorics and cryptology, often get hired by the Dept of Defence as codebreakers and encrypters. There's also academia, and IT.
 

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