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 Post subject: College
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:32 pm 
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The forums are slow, and this is on my mind a lot right now, seeing as admissions decisions ought to be showing up in the next week or so, thus, I felt a topic was an appropriate way to go about doing things.

College: I'm a graduating high school senior, getting ready to (hopefully) attend one of the following four schools: Stanford, Yale, Carnegie Mellon University, or Cornell University. For safety schools, I've been accepted at the Colorado School of Mines and Rose Hulman Institute of Technology, neither of which are anything to sneeze at (Rose is apparently ranked #1 in undergraduate engineering education), though I would still prefer one of the above four. To quote Groucho Marx, "I don't want to be a member of any club that'll let me in."

I should be hearing back, as I said, within a few days; the end of this month, the first of next month. Just wondering- how does the whole stress thing wind up going over? I recognize that I'm the youngin' on this forum (I am pretty much everywhere, actually), so I'm going to milk all of you old geezers for every ounce of wisdom you've got!

Feel free to swap your own college stories, tell me what to expect in the next four years (I plan to go into mechanical engineering, preferably in automotive engineering if I can, maybe working on alternative energy cars or high speed trains), or just tell a funny school-related story.

I'm not a mod or anything, but I like to keep topics broad enough for the conversation to expand.

*Fires a pistol shot into the air*

Commence!

_________________
"Never play chicken with a tank." - Frankie
"Now Az has killed someone with his head." - Halley
"Y'know... if he wasn't a schizophrenic, murderous horned drunkard, I'd think Az needed a cuddle."- Face


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:53 pm 
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Old geezers? :|

Psh...

Maybe Face :P

(An as for College? Stress = not going to magically vanish)

What you will get is that the Stress will come in waves...its all about learning to balance a wildly odd schedule on your own, and figuring out what works for you. I was never an all nighter or night owl, I took morning classes and tried to give myself a 9-5 type day between classes and work/homework. You might prefer a late start to the day/late night focus - that part is all on you to decide.

Do try to develop some sort of schedule for yourself however...it will prevent the stress from throwing you into loops of insomnia/crazy. I saw more than a few of my (engineering especially) friends fall to that trap.

As for funny? See my first addition to the Headshots line under the Art Gallery...

Details if you ask nicely (or read)

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 8:26 pm 
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Yes, Face is certainly a geezer!


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:45 pm 
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Wow, shootin' for the ivy leagues. Hehe, and the Colorado School of Mines. Just to warn you, that whole town of Golden stinks like hops from the Coors plant (good tour, though), but I'm sure people there get used to it. Not too far from Denver and lots of great outdoor rec, as long as you don't mind the occasional snowstorm in June (one of the reasons RS HQ didn't end up located there).

As for my college application experience, it was a little different. I did the community college thing first before transferring units to a uni. I looked at some state schools, some private, and even an IT Tech-type place. But the place I finally chose was the one where I felt I'd have the best experience, make valuable friendships, and get a more personalized education from professors who would know me by name. I hated giant lecture auditoriums where you're just another faceless drone sucking in information. I wanted classrooms small enough to be able to question and debate things freely and get to know the other students in my major as fellow colleagues rather than just another person who happens to be in the same classroom at the same time.

Oddly enough, the university I got into was the only one I actually applied to. After visiting for a couple days, getting to sit in some great classes, and staying overnight in a dorm where the guys took time out of their study to show me all around campus and answer every question I badgered them with, I was absolutely convinced it was the school I wanted to go to. And in my situation transferring from a community college with good grades and membership in the honors society, I wasn't worried about not being accepted.

The stress came for me all through my first semester when I realized that my community college education, while great for general ed, had prepared me little for being in an art program filled with artistic geniuses (I'm more of a jack of all trades, master of none). I was much too hard on myself and often felt like I was failing, in the wrong major, and even at the wrong college. But I stuck it out and worked like crazy to keep up. In the following semesters, I learned to enjoy myself more and really have fun with my art, and in the end it made my work better and I graduated at the very top of my class. The whole experience taught me a lot about myself and prepared me for the real world. And that's another thing. Although the lectures, the tests, the projects, and the papers are important in teaching you a lot of skills and how to be intellectual, the more valuable learning in my experience came from learning how to work hard, never give up, not procrastinate, learn quickly, be diplomatic, be curious about the world, and, above all, problem solve, which is something I use on a daily basis in the real job world. It's the things you learn while you're learning that give you the real education.

And I have still yet to use algebra in real life.


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:42 am 
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I got into my #1 choice without any safeties, as well, so I'm probably a bad one to talk about college application processes. Then again, I wasn't trying for the Ivy Leagues, either. ;)

As for stress, the biggest thing to remember is this: stress is a choice that you make, not a circumstance that happens to you. You are never a victim of stress, only a victim of yourself. My policy has always been that I don't need to be any more stressed than I want to be. I do my best to live without worry or regret, and so far it's going pretty well.

I figured out in my sophomore year of college that, since I wasn't going to grad school and already had a job lined up that didn't care about my grades (or even that I graduated) my grades didn't actually matter. I decided to work out a schedule that let me keep up some other things in life I cared about (like spending time with my fiancée and later wife, sleeping, and generally not being a mole-rat that never left his room), work hard on my schooling in the time I gave it, and take the grades I got. I got mostly Bs, which would have terrified me in high school (where my 4.65 GPA was my crowning achievement), but I had a lot more fun and sure enough, I made it out alive, had a good time while I was there, and have a job.

The best advice I was given by one of my favorite professors is that you have to decide what's important to you, and live your life accordingly. If your schooling is what's important, make sure you give it the time you need to excel. If it's your relationships, family obligations, a job, or whatever else, let your school suffer and don't feel bad about it. I've found that by making sure that I only fret over things that I really care about, I'm a much happier person. I could have spent the extra time to get all As in college, and not to blow my own horn, but I'm smart enough to have done it without breaking my back. But it wasn't important to me, and I'd still be in the same job doing the same thing. To this day I'm glad I let myself have a life, and didn't kill myself with stress like so many of the guys on my floor, who did break their backs trying, and landed in the same place in the workforce as I did, without wives or fun memories to look back on.


General Corran Horn wrote:
And I have still yet to use algebra in real life.

I use algebra so frequently and so automatically, I don't even know I'm doing it, anymore. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 2:31 pm 
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Firstly, I shall resent being claimed as an old-geezer. I'm still the correct side of 30 (for another few months at least!). Also, it may be because I've never heard of it before, but I read that as the Colorado School of Mimes, and promptly went off on a slightly amusing tangent in my own mind.

As for advice? Well, I hate to say it, but the education system is different enough that the only comments I can make are general.

1) Don't have sex with anyone who is teaching you.
2) Rule one doesn't apply if they're REALLY hot.
3) Don't drink everything put in front of you. Alcohol is not inherently evil, but it sure screws a man up.
4) Unless it's legal, do not snort it, inject it, sniff it or lick it.
5) Do not be afraid to be different, but don't be different just to rebel!

As for stress:

1) Stress is natural. Even someone as laid back and as wonderful as me sometimes gets a little stressed out.
2) If the stress is your own doing, then realise it, accept it, deal with it, and don't bloody well let it happen again!
3) If the stress is someone else (who is in authority) then accept that you can only deal with a certain amount in a certain time.
4) IIf the stress is someone else (who isn't in authority) then... well, I wouldn't recommend my methods without copious amounts of martial art knowledge, or a handy escape route.

Anything else... well that's why it's called learning.

I'm now going back to imagine a group of people pretending to be trapped in a glass box...


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Gyah! Every time I mentioned that I'd gotten into the Colorado School of Mines, someone would "mishear" it as "School of Mimes." That's part of the reason I applied to Rose Hulman as well. Well, that and because they waived my application fee. :roll:

Admittedly, I'm not quite the grade high-roller that Dru apparently was. All I've managed is a more modest 4.5-range GPA, but the primary reason for that involves an AP English/AP Literature teacher who loved both of my older sisters, and wanted to prove that she didn't favor families, and so came down harder on me than she ought to have. Amazing how much I could say without her hearing me, and how similar my answer could be to a perfect one without me getting full credit...

But I digress. English analysis isn't really my strong point unless I actually enjoy what I'm reading, and I don't generally enjoy books that people tell me I have to enjoy. I've got a bit of a rebellious streak in me, I guess. Thus, I'd rather be an engineer; most every problem has a precise answer that isn't really open to interpretation.

I intend to go somewhere where I feel like a member of the community. I've actually visited Carnegie and Cornell as a prospective student, and in both cases I felt like I could definitely find a place in those campuses with the other students. I visited Stanford to visit a family member who's attending (she'd be graduating before I enrolled in the rather unlikely event I'm accepted), but if I get in (big if, as I said) I'd be planning a visit over Spring Break to check it out, sit in on a few classes, etc. Yale's a different story: haven't really seen too much of it at all. I actually wound up applying- and I recognize that this is stupid of me- for three reasons, the first two of which were the primary reasons. 1) Someone I know at school who's a rather large jerk spent a massive portion of the last four years split between two activities: trying to put me down and call me stupid, and telling everyone that she was going to Yale. She applied for early action and was rejected. I have a higher GPA than she does; I wouldn't actually step out and rub it in, but it would be nice to see the look on her face when that happened. 2) I have a friend who goes to Yale. A very good female friend, who has helped me through some tough times before, who I consider one of the brightest, best people I know. Yeah, rather dumb move, I know. 3) (and my only legitimate reason) Yale is a liberal arts school, and I'd be interested in pursuing a career in writing. While I'm not nearly up to the par you folk are, and while my AP English and AP Lit Bs suggest otherwise, it's still a career I really feel I could enjoy. Oddly enough, I think I'd prefer something with filmography and screenwriting, whether for some form of television or for videogame scripting, or for movies. Failing that, I'd certainly enjoy actual professional writing.

Of course, I could just minor in that sort of creative writing while still majoring in engineering at any of the other three schools, but I also have reason number 2, which would still be applicable (and still be stupid of me) to consider if I got in.

The stress stuff helps, though. I suppose it really is a matter of what you're going to let get to you and what you won't. I'm just going to do my best to keep cool for the next four or five days and not freak out over finally getting accepted or rejected at any of those four schools. Thanks; it's appreciated.

_________________
"Never play chicken with a tank." - Frankie
"Now Az has killed someone with his head." - Halley
"Y'know... if he wasn't a schizophrenic, murderous horned drunkard, I'd think Az needed a cuddle."- Face


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:54 am 
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But it's still not as funny as a guy "walking in a high wind".

Ah mimes... ;)

Still, best o' luck. And seriously, if (for whatever dumbass reason they come up with) you get rejected, you HAVE to send that rejection of rejection letter!


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:23 pm 
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Aye! Maybe the school administrator will have a sense of humor and be like, "We've got to have this clown in our mime school!"

I mean mine school.

Oh, wait, you already got accepted there.


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:21 pm 
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General Corran Horn wrote:
Aye! Maybe the school administrator will have a sense of humor and be like, "We've got to have this clown in our mime school!"

I mean mine school.

Oh, wait, you already got accepted there.


Hahahaha! That's pretty good!

I'm going to refrain from clogging the mail system with rejection of rejection letters, though, especially seeing as I copied and pasted mine. It wouldn't be original, and if the college actually let me in, it would be under a false impression. By the same token, I'm pretty sure a large number of wannabe quirky students send their own "rejection of a rejection" letters in, as well. It would only serve to waste the time of the poor guys in admissions who had to make what was (I hope) a difficult choice in who to offer admission to.

And on the upside, should I still be without any acceptance letters come Wednesday- hey, that's why I had safety schools. Oddly enough, the very basic, very obvious advice that I should have figured out on my own that you lot gave me helps tremendously. No offense meant, but it really should have been common sense to me, and somehow it wasn't. Still- I feel better about the whole thing, now. far less stressed.

I'm hoping to hear back from Carnegie Mellon, one of my best-bet schools on that list, tomorrow. Here's hoping.

_________________
"Never play chicken with a tank." - Frankie
"Now Az has killed someone with his head." - Halley
"Y'know... if he wasn't a schizophrenic, murderous horned drunkard, I'd think Az needed a cuddle."- Face


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:43 am 
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Well, heard back from Carnegie Mellon... didn't get in. That doesn't bode well for my remaining schools at all. I'm looking a lot harder at Rose-Hulman, now, and they've definitely given me a positive impression. Like I said, they're a top-ranked engineering school, and the male-to-female ratio isn't as bad as I initially believed it to be (hey, if I'm going to be living in the area for four years, I'm entitled to check that out!). It's still out in the middle of nowhere, unfortunately, but it's far from the worst place to get a college education.

_________________
"Never play chicken with a tank." - Frankie
"Now Az has killed someone with his head." - Halley
"Y'know... if he wasn't a schizophrenic, murderous horned drunkard, I'd think Az needed a cuddle."- Face


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 3:14 pm 
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As the only certified Geezer on the board (wrong side of 40)
I have a few words on the subject of stress.

'Je vais avec vous tujour.'
Unfortunately, these words are in French,
and I have no idea what they mean.

Oh wait now I remember!
'I am with you always'

My HS math teacher said that to me a few days before I graduated.
It kinda creeped me out at the time, but I digress...

My point being, that if stress is a part of a person's life now, it will always be a part of their life, forever and in perpetuity. There is no surcease of sorrow for the burdened soul.

While the stresses of today will fade in time, the odds are good that they will only go away, once they have been supplanted by things that are even worse. A life ruled by stress can become a never ending succession of priority one crisis', where any action taken in haste to resolve the problem at hand, will in and of itself, create new problems which, must also be dealt with in the greatest of urgency.

Peace comes not from luxury, nor power, nor wealth for as soon as these temporal things are gained the worries they would seek to absolve are, compounded by the paralyzing fear of losing the stability such thing provide.

Peace does not come from love, indeed the divorce rates today prove that people grow less and less prepared to make a lifelong nurturing commitment to one another with each passing generation.

Peace will not come in the arms of Morpheus. Instead expect nights that feel like a torturous eternity of fitful wailing as the mind replays agonies once real or imagined, all of which remain as unbidden memories, percolating in the subconscious ever at the ready to jolt us awake into the darkness from our sweat drenched nightmares.

Good times may come, and they should be rightly cherished, but such things do not last. Even the happiest of lives must end in death which will most assuredly bring sorrow to those left behind and what's worse, if one is of a certain philosophical bent, even death itself may not end the suffering.

Scientists now propose that the matter of the universe is collapsing back in upon itself (or will given a few million millennia) If so, what does this mean for the religious tenant of an immortal soul? If all matter is to someday be destroyed in a cosmic holocaust what could possibly remain to bear the proof that mere men once existed? Failing any hope for eternity we must conclude that all is for naught. That the works and joys and loves and lives, our songs and our stories, our art and our science will all be washed away so completely that it will be as if we never were.

It is one thing for a man to write a poem and erase it. It is quite another to witness the destruction of not just his journal but all the paper, and pencils, and trees, as well and the languages of every nation, and their histories. Lost forever will be their very world, its sun and the stars they once looked upon, even wished upon, in the vain hope of a better day.

When that last day of time arrives, will it really matter what school you got into?

Hope that puts everything in perspective.

Best of luck in college,
Piggy

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 4:32 pm 
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...

Thank you Albert Camus.

We can call the world meaningless, or we can find those moments of happiness that are bound to happen. While we can't be happy all the time, we can most certainly have mitigated lows. How we mitigate those lows comes in the form of what we do with our lives; I've found that people help me with mine, though it's a two-edged sword. When a good friend goes away, it's a horrible pain to lose that person.

It used to be video games. I'd find a game that I thought was wonderful, and I'd play it and play it and play it until I no longer derived any satisfaction from running down the same corridor and killing the same enemies the same way I'd learned to do so in my sleep. Then there was the annoying loss of "happiness" as I tried to find something else to do that would make me "happy."

Real life, interacting with flesh-and-blood folks, is really the place where I've found happiness. Sure, sometimes it goes down, but the key is to figure out what sends me down, to figure out how best to avoid what might send me spiraling, and to avoid it. This girl was a bad fit for me; mope about it a bit, then figure out why she was, what went wrong in that relationship, etc. This person had to move away; figure out what you liked in that person, and try to see it in your friends, or in the people around you.

Constant reevaluations make a person feel considerably better, especially as they can reveal truths that one didn't want to see.

I suppose now I'm getting off topic. My point, if one can be derived from the above, is this: All things come to be. All things fade to dust. Ultimately, it's what happens in the middle that makes a difference.

Whether I die today or in thirty years, not too many folks will know that I've passed from this world. If my across-the-street neighbor were to die, I couldn't even tell you the guy's last name. But someone could. Some things in life are important, if only to the individual. They make life worth living.

This instance was a bad one for me, but not detrimental. Life goes on, regardless of whatever apparent hardship has happened, and if I think back to the last time I was upset or angry about something, I don't really perceive myself as behaving rationally. So, in growing, I behave rationally in this case. I get over it, I pick myself up, and I recognize that Rose is a great school, and that I still have yet to hear back from three other good schools, where my chances aren't as bad as they might initially seem, considering Carnegie is apparently now ranked up with Stanford and MIT in terms of difficulty to be admitted (for the record: it wasn't in my two-year-old best colleges guide)

Sorry to rant. I don't mean for this to be a diatribe... I just really, really disagree with existentialism.

_________________
"Never play chicken with a tank." - Frankie
"Now Az has killed someone with his head." - Halley
"Y'know... if he wasn't a schizophrenic, murderous horned drunkard, I'd think Az needed a cuddle."- Face


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:10 pm 
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Since when did we get so off topic!? This is MEANT to be a thread about people with white painted faces, trying to break through an imaginary glass wall!

Pay attention people!


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:51 am 
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I will now contribute to the above discussion in pantomime.

<dances around a bit> <smacks into some walls> <lies still for a very long time>


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:57 am 
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Corran... Allow me to explain through interpretive dance...


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:07 am 
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I also got into my tough first choice with no safety schools, so I'm not a good one to talk about there . . . :)

I'm also not spectacular to talk about in terms of college experiences. I hated college. So one one bit of advice is to not be afraid to transfer the hell out if something isn't right. It might feel like giving up but it is well well worth it in the long run. I really wish I had transferred.

Also - if getting drunk every weekend is NOT something you want to do, don't worry, you will find others like you and your group will have more fun and memories.


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:55 pm 
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Two more rejection letters. Whee.

_________________
"Never play chicken with a tank." - Frankie
"Now Az has killed someone with his head." - Halley
"Y'know... if he wasn't a schizophrenic, murderous horned drunkard, I'd think Az needed a cuddle."- Face


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:43 pm 
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If it makes you feel better, I'm swimming in the job rejection letters, so I know how you feel. Not that that will make you feel better, but I can commiserate.


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:28 am 
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Callista wrote:
If it makes you feel better, I'm swimming in the job rejection letters, so I know how you feel. Not that that will make you feel better, but I can commiserate.

Ouch, not a happy time for that :(


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:33 am 
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Yeah, not at all. But at least I have a job while I'm looking for one.


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:27 am 
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Sorry to hear it, Callista. Well, in the end, nobody wanted me, so I'm going to my safety school, Rose-Hulman. They aren't bad by any stretch of the imagination, like I said- they're ranked first in the nation for undergraduate engineering, which is no small feat.

My biggest worry is that I'm going to have the same issue I've had in public school systems for so long: I'm sick and tired of being the "big fish in a small pond." I'd much rather let someone else be the big fish already, so that I could just be average, and have other people I can relate to easily. Right now, not to be arrogant, a grand total of about five people at my school can actually keep up with any conversations I have with them. That isn't to say that I only have five friends, but I only know five people who I feel like I can have an intelligent conversation with.

Looking at the student body at Rose, I'm afraid it'll just be a continuation. I'm (hopefully) completely wrong about that, and will be checking when I visit next week. But reading through the online newspaper, the Rose Thorn, there seem to be some royal idiots on campus, who can't even properly manage a newspaper. Of course, the scathing letter to the editor was well-written, backed up with sources, and eloquent, so I imagine there are at least some bright folks on campus.

_________________
"Never play chicken with a tank." - Frankie
"Now Az has killed someone with his head." - Halley
"Y'know... if he wasn't a schizophrenic, murderous horned drunkard, I'd think Az needed a cuddle."- Face


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:59 am 
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If nothing else, you're bound to have tons of excellent conversations with your professors! You can also look into transferring if you truly hate it after one year.


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:56 am 
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I would caution about self-fulfulling prophecies, Az.

If you go in assuming the school is full of idiots, well, you might just assume yourself out of some good conversations and friendships.

Just a cautionary note: there will be the idiots, there are always in life. But assuming there are more than actually exist can backfire.

Also? Don't worry about people expecting you to be the big fish - just be you, and trust me, you'll be happier and you might find that the stress issue will decrease as well. I know personally that's easier said than done, but one of the best choices I made was to stop letting other people dicate how good I had to be and focus more on doing what made me happy vs. what I thought other people expected of me.

But grats! I have heard of the engineering rep. for Rose-Hulman via my engineering friends and my job as a University Stats/ranking officer after I graduated and that's a good place to be from the grapevine if you're into engineering.

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:32 pm 
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Aye, and it's the royal idiots who seem to make themselves known more than anyone else, even if they're a small minority.

Five people you can have an intelligent conversation with? That's actually quite good. And you got into a good engineering school, so congrats! You actually made an attempt to get into those other big schools. Doesn't seem like most of us here even tried, so kudos to you for that.

And, ya, I discovered that my preconceived notions about my uni and just college in general got in my way a lot my first semester. Abandon those notions as quickly as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:03 am 
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I'll take your advice to heart, folks. I'm also checking out Purdue (ranked eighth for undergraduate engineering as a school where you can get a BA), and while I haven't actually applied (they have rolling admissions), the woman representing them felt that, if I made it into Rose, I could get into Purdue no problem. I'll be wary of self-fulfilling prophecies, though, seeing as I was supposed to be able to get into CMU "no problem" according to everything I'd read.

I intend to go in with an open mind, though. I've looked through a few pics on the Rose Hulman campus (it didn't help that all of the Google Maps images were apparently taken in the dead of winter, when everything looks dead and lifeless), and it's looking a lot better. The students apparently build one massive bonfire to kick off the year (like, three or four stories tall, massive) and one pic even showed a guy in a flame-retardant suit roasting a marshmallow up near the flame. Not sure if it was shopped in, but either way, it's amusing.

There also seems to be a rivalry with Purdue, so seeing who makes fun of which school better ought to be amusing.

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