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 Post subject: College
PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:33 am 
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So, uh, yeah, this is the summer after my Junior year, and I'm looking at colleges right now. I'm probably going to do a few visits soon, but I figured I might as well ask a group of (mostly) college grads: What questions do you wish you'd asked on the tours when you were visiting campuses? I'm visiting Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, and Rochest Institute of Technology in the next few weeks, and while I'm going to work on a few things I want to hear about, there's no substitute for people who have already done the college search... and borked it up. :wink:

Tex is exempt from answering this, seeing as there were no colleges back in 3 BC when he turned eighteen.

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:57 pm 
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Hmmm...one of the most important things probably is to inquire about your subject field. Maybe ask to talk to a student or professor from that department and make sure that their department will be suitable for you. For example, lets say went to college expecting to study Russian history. I'd want to talk to someone from there and make sure there is in fact an emphasis at the school on Russian history. Maybe talk to or e-mail a professor for a course syllabus for the more advanced courses.

To me, thats one of the most important things. I mean, depending on your situation, tuition and location could also be a factor. When I decided to go back to school for history, I had three schools lined up. One ended up being way out of my price range. With the second one, I did not like their department as much. Their history program was very limited. The school I ended up going to had an awesome history department. There are professors there who major in Russian, Middle Eastern, African, Latin American, Ancient Empires and whatnot. The head of the department specialized in Canadian and British history.

So yeah, to me the most important thing is to talk to someone and get a feel for what the program you're interested in is offering, and if you feel that it will be the best for you.

Edit:
Did you mean the Rochester Institute of Tech, which is located in NY??? 8O

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:20 pm 
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Umm, yeah.... Cornell is also in NY, I'm pretty sure... why do you ask?

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 5:45 pm 
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Just asking since its so far from your home. Also, it gets mighty cold in upstate NY.

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:19 pm 
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lol- so I've been warned. I'm looking at schools up north in the rust belt, but right now I think my top school is Georgia Tech. I'm visiting Tech some time in the next two weeks, and I'll see if it's as good as the books and other people say it is.

Call me nuts, but I don't want to stay in-state when I go to college. I'm interested in getting out and seeing the world as much as possible.

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:29 pm 
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Thats a very good idea. My first college experience was at the local community college, so I stayed home for quite some time before going away.

What is your major again? Was it robotics or engineering?

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:32 pm 
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Engineering. I'm looking into doing work in the automotive field, with an emphasis on alternative energy. If I could get a job working on better hydrogen fuel cell cars, it would be a dream come true... despite the fact that my experience working with cars is relatively limited. I figure that's what college is for, you know?

Other people are free to post in this thread, by the way. I feel like I'm spamming with just Rob and me in here. (Not that spamming has ever stopped me from making a lot of posts in the past, but still)

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:57 pm 
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I kind of felt the same way about us spamming this up. But we are staying on topic and whatnot.

Alternative energy is a really good field to go into right now. The age of oil is over, and we should be making way for something else. So yeah, if I were you, I would inquire about that kind of course work when you take a tour of the campuses. I dont know much about Engineering and whatnot, but maybe some schools offer at least a course or two on researching and developing alternative fuels that would help you when you hit the job market after graduation.

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:56 pm 
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Have you looked at Southern Polytechnic State University. It is in Marietta, GA. they offer a strong reputation as an engineering school. they started as a division of Georgia Tech. The tuition is lower that GT and the education is more hands on and less theory. An the best part, courses that GT doesn't offer. I'm getting my associates at the nearby community college and the taking Mechatronics at Southern Poly.


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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 8:25 am 
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DarthTofu wrote:
Tex is exempt from answering this, seeing as there were no colleges back in 3 BC when he turned eighteen.

Not as they are structured today, but there were "higher levels" of education available. But, that doesn't mean I don't have some sagely advice for young whimper-snappers :wink:

Check to see if any of the colleges you selected offer co-oping (co-operative education). Basically, you "work" for a quarter/semester for a company doing actual work in your field and receive course credit; then the next quarter/semester it's back to the books. Working then school, over and over until your final school year. You get some hands on training with real experience, and the company gets some temporary cheap labor. Usually, if the students are hard working and intelligent (and don't cause trouble, Tofu), the company's offer full time jobs to their former co-op students. You're already trained by them in their procedures and stuff, and it's practically a guranteed job; usually. And you actually find out if that is the job you want, or maybe it was a different one in the same company, or not what you want to do at all. But, having real world experience (not typical college jobs) on your resume' looks good to potential employers :wink:

Good Luck Tofu!


PS Engineering is difficult. The first year or two are giant classes (practically all of the budding engineers) with the "core" (boring) classes meant to "weed out" those without the "true resolve". The later years hit on the "meat" of the curriculum. Study hard, do all of the homework and sample problems for each section, don't hesitate to ask questions (there are no stupid questions; well, you might have some Tofu) and things should work out.

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 9:17 am 
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Engineering, eh? Why not a field so noble as, say, history? :roll:

I think GA Tech is a good idea. Look at Virginia Tech, too.

In general, Tofu, I would suggest against going to a small university. The fact is, going to a small university, as fun and exciting as it may sound ( :roll: ) is not going to fulfill much of the college experience that you'll want, and I don't just mean parties. I know I regret going to a small university my first two years and even now regret going to George Mason because it, too, is rather small, so the opportunities are limited. I'm spending the summer studying Latin at the University of Virginia and wish I had applied here. So for your undergrad, stay away from the community colleges and the small state colleges and just go to a large one. Besides, if you think you might get a Masters later, then you're more than likely to end up at a smaller, more specialized school, or at a large one but in a small department so it feels like a small school.

Sounds superficial, but trust me on this one.

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:23 pm 
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If you say so. My safety school is UF (If anybody wants to give me a dirty look: They consider a 3.5 weighted competitive. Seeing as I had a 4.45 last I checked, I can get in in my sleep), which is a large school, probably more to your liking, SOCL. ;) It's, like, number one or two party school in the nation.

My high school is pretty small already, and I like that. What sort of college opportunities do you think you missed out on because you were in a small school (besides parties)?

@Tex: Oh, boy, have I been checking into co-op programs. :wink: Good advice, all the same. I'm actually considering the University of Delaware right now, because they're getting so many grants in alternative energy stuff... 'cept then I noticed that it was all for chemical engineering majors. :P

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:16 pm 
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I have to agree with SOCL as to the dangers of a local community college. They do not prepare you at all for college-related work. My three years at the community college (I got two degrees out of it) were all like 13th grade. Its horrible. I was in for a real shock my first semester at Oneonta, but I survived.

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:21 am 
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You may have missed my point, Tofu. I wasn't advocating a large college for the sake of a large college. When I started applying for my undergrad studies, I also applied to UF and I'm absolutely happy I did not go there. Yes, it's a big school, but the first qualifier has to be that it has a program suitable to your interests and studies. UF is not a power-house of ancient history, to say the least, though, if I recall, it has decent environmental studies, agriculture, and engineering programs, which may be up your alley. Let me reiterate: find a school which is both large and has a good program, not just large or the other.

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 Post subject: Re: College
PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:59 am 
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Psst, SOCL: I'm going into mechanical engineering, not ancient culture. I'm the only young non-history major on the site, remember? :wink:

You said that a small college would have me missing out on some stuff that a larger college would grant me- were you talking programs? My first factor was whether or not the schools had engineering fields, dude.

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