Just thinking about college

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by irain, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. irain macrumors regular


    Aug 1, 2005
    I'm a sophomore in high school and I've just been thinking about college lately. Shortly before Christmas break, one of my professors told me that I'd have no problem getting into any school, including Ivy Leauge. (Heads up: I'm not considering Ivy League) Anyway, I'm in all honors classes and I'm ranked second in my class of 125. My GPA is 5.3 weighted, and 4.3 unweigthed. Next year, my junior year, I'll be taking AP U.S. History, AP Biology or AP Physics (probably AP Physics), AP English Composition, AP Studio Art, AP Calculus BC, and AP French Language.

    I'm planning on attending a private university and I want to major in architecture.

    First off, I'm going to attend college in Boston. No questions asked. If the school isn't in Boston, I'm not going to it. I have it set in my heart that I'm going to Boston. I just really want the city-experience, yet I still want to stay close to home.

    Secondly, and partly why I started the thread, I wanted to know: How can I ask my parents about not living in university housing? I want to live in an apartment in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. I searched around on Craigslist and rent usually ranges from $1200 - $1600. How can I ask them something like that? Do I propose that I obtain student loans for college tuition while they pay for the rent of the apartment? Do I tell them that I'll work during the summer to help them pay for it? Is this even a good idea?

    Lastly, and mainly why I started the thread, what college (for all of you from MA) would you recommend for those wihingto major in architecture? The Boston Architectural College? Suffolk University? Boston College? Boston University? MIT?

    Thanks for reading this far and thanks for any feedback.

    [I know I'll probably get some responses like, "why are you thinking about all of this when you're only a sophomore?" Please keep in mind, I'm just thinking about it, not considering it]
  2. orangemacapple macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2006
    gad to see your scores and that you're thinking seriously about your education.

    my thoughts on the subject: live on campus the first year, then live somewhere else later. when i was in college a little over a hundred years ago, campus housing was required the first year -- even if you lived just a few miles from school. it was great -- i learned how to party and almost flunked out.

    aside from that, total immersion is the preferred way to go, and that means living on campus the first year. you'll learn about the social life and ways of the school. and you'll learn a lot faster where things are and become involved in them. you'll take advantage more readily of things like frats, student union, library, and much more.

    going to school isn't just learning from classes, it's about learning a new way of life. life's lessons are more than just books. don't try to be a hermit. much of your networking skills will be learned there. the friends you make are important. dorm life is a tradition for a reason. enjoy. there'll be plenty of time for you to live off campus later. it's not worth the hassle arguing with your parents about it. there is a reason why your parents want you to live on campus the first year.

    but seriously, good luck, no matter where you live.
  3. sahnert macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2003
    I second the suggestion to live on campus for at least the first year. I lived on campus my first two years and off campus the second. Living off campus makes it really difficult to make connections socially. Plus, on-campus housing will probably be part of your total expenses that will be included in an evaluation of your financial need when it comes to scholarships and loans. Living on campus will give you the chance to work and save a bunch of money for a year, or have the freedom to not work at all and just focus on school (do kids do that these days?).
  4. Kane.Elson macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2006
    What????? You are insane.... when you are in college you should be thinking about saving money not spending stupidly large amounts of cash on rent.

    You didn't mention a timeframe but I assume you mean US$1200 per fortnight?
    You can get one bedroom places here, right IN the CBD for US$120 per week, doesn't that sound just a little more reasonable ? Are you renting a mansion ????

    Not only does living in the student accomidation mean you save craploads of cash but it also means you are close to your college and you are close to anyone else in your classes so you can hang out with them and study easily.
  5. rontheancient macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2005
    It's good to see someone thinking ahead. BU and MIT sound like good choices, but do cost $$$ and if you dont live in MA, add a out-of-state tuition fee. One of the things about applying for college is being open, have some home-state colleges, even some in other states on your list. As for housing, what is your motivation for getting a apartment instead of a dorm? Only last year, I hated the idea of living in a dorm, now I share a dorm with two other people and I love it.

    Student Loans and Finantial Aid will help, but they depend on your parents income (lower income, more aid). Also, never get a job the first quarter/semester, allow yourself to adjust to college life.

    There are people in these forums who are very well qualified to advise you on applying to college, and some who are not really qualified (like me, a college freshman). I suggest that you make friends with your counselor, and some teachers, they are there to guide you to college and can help you the most (counselors especially).
  6. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816


    Dec 16, 2004
    Birmingham, AL
    I'm going to throw in a vote for living on campus for at least your first year. My alma mater recently instituted a policy of requiring freshmen to live on campus. The reasoning behind said policy is that students that live on campus end up fitting in better and have higher retention and graduation rates than those who live off campus. So far, it seems to be working.

    That being said, some points to ponder:

    1. Have you considered getting a private room? It would be closer to an apartment feel, but without the added expense of an apartment.

    2. You've probably already done this but haven't mentioned it - are you eligible for any scholarships? I would surmise that your parents would be more amenable to you living off campus at some point if they weren't faced with the prospect of paying both tuition and apartment maintenance.

    3. Pursuant to #2, consider a cheaper apartment. You're probably looking at close to $25,000 a year when it's all said and done, and that's just to live. In case you don't know, that's a lot of money. Your college years aren't supposed to be about living high on the hog, as it were, unless your parents are filthy rich, which I'm guessing they're not as you're coming to us for advice on how to ask them for what amounts to a small fortune.
  7. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    I agree with these thoughts. Have you taken the SAT or ACT? Once you start showing interest to certain universities, you'll be able to figure out costs because the schools will start recruiting you. You will be sought after for your high grades. Are you planning on taking the AP tests for college credit?

    Also, I understand architecture majors are hermits anyway. So living on campus will help as you have to be working in the school's building all the time.

    Good luck and keep us updated!
  8. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000


    Feb 17, 2006
    Clovis, California
    If I was a wealthy man, I would just go to college full time forever. I love school. I love the thought of learning about a career without actually having to work. :)
  9. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    I'm not from Boston but I had always dreamed of going to MIT as an aeronautical engineer. I ended up going to into architecture and I'll be finishing my masters this May.

    Philosophically I don't particularly agree with the "modernist" take on architecture. My school focuses more on traditional/vernacular/classical architecture (although not heavy on classical like Notre Dame University) and traditional urban design, so I can't really recommend one of those schools over another except for what I mentioned above. The chance to go to MIT is very rare.

    Have fun until then, architecture school is a lot of long hours :)
  10. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    I second going for on campus housing the first year (and possibly the second). Especially with colleges in the city like BU or MIT, you'll feel terribly isolated unless you're in the dorm. From what I've heard (and from my own experience at NYU), it will be nearly impossible to find a niche in the school if you've separated yourself from all the other freshmen. Why do you want to live in an apartment? You have plenty of time for that later.
  11. it5five macrumors 65816


    May 31, 2006
    New York
    While I don't agree that it is important to live on campus your first year of college (I'm not, and I'm doing fine), it is ridiculous to spend $1,200 a month to live in an apartment off campus. If living on campus and the $1,200 apartment are your only two choices, live on campus.
  12. iSaint macrumors 603


    May 26, 2004
    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    Get your PhD and become a college professor!!!
  13. mariahlullaby macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2005
    Neither do I for most colleges. However, with schools in the middle of a city like BU, where there's not a campus per se, then I think it makes it a lot harder. Of course, there are commuters at NYU and BU, but they all tell me it's harder to make friends that way.
  14. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a


    Sep 18, 2006
    Definitely count on living on campus for the first if not the whole time. You would be surprised how convenient it is to live in the heart of of campus community in a dorm rather than having to deal with an apartment off campus.

    Suggestion: expenses are outragious. Start investigating the grants and awards of the colleges you are thinking about attending. You would be surprised at the unknown programs and grants that each school has available if you take the time to jump through the hoops. Some of them require writing a short paper, some require you are of an ethnic or religious background, etc. The options are endless because they are set up by donors that can make up any rules they want within reason. It is surprising how much money that is available goes unclaimed because students don't investigate this path.

    In other words, there are more than just scholarships, loans and government grants out there to offset the cost. Investigate it. It might pay off for you.
  15. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    Live on campus your first year, absolutely.

    Also, I went to school near Boston (Brandeis University) and lived in Brighton for a few years. Some thoughts on Boston:
    1) As a college student, its going to be $$$$ to live in Boston proper. If you go to BU, get an apartment in Brighton/Allston, it will be much cheaper. If you got to MIT, or even Tufts, get an apartment in Somerville...Beacon Hill is nice but very, very pricey. There are nice areas of Somerville/Brighton/Allston and you can hang out in Beacon Hill when you want to be there.
    2) Don't know a ton about architecture programs in particular, but I would think MIT would be your top choice since it is a technical school. Beyond that I'd look at what BU has to offer. Unless you find a very specific technical program at a smaller school, a bigger school is going to offer you more connections and more chances to take classes related to your major, expanding your marketability post-college. You don't want to end up at a school solely for architecture only to discover the rest of your education will be sub-par. Also, Northeastern might offer a work/study Architecture program. And you could live in Jamaica Plain then, which is cheap and close to lots of public transit.
    3) Can't say this enough times...live somewhere with lots of students, either on campus or in Brighton or Somerville...you'll have a better college experience, you'll be close enough to the heart of Boston to be able to spend time and explore wherever you want, and you will be able to afford to go out to dinner and enjoy the city, rather than eating ramen noodles in your expensive apartment :).

    There are probably books and websites devoted to helping you find top rated architecture programs. I'd start there, but I'm sure you could also call the departments of some schools in Boston and ask for information and a brochure. Feel free to ask me if you have any q's on being a college student in Boston, like I said I went to school in Waltham and spent most weekends in Boston, as well as lived/worked there for 3 years post-college (and it wasn't that long ago). Good luck and keep us posted!
  16. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Living on your own (even in a dorm) is a much bigger change than you would imagine. A dorm is a good stepping stone. Of course, if you're looking into $1200 a month apartments I'm sure your parents are rich enough to provide you with everything. If you can convince them to pay that much to house your 18 year-old rear end I'm sure you'll have no problem living off campus, but as crappy as it is living in a dorm is a good way to meet people, much better than living in a neighborhood that only doctors and lawyers could afford.

    Also, why are you limiting it to boston? If it's close to home, then I guess I understand, but there are so many great architecture schools all around the country, and in all honesty many of the best are public. No offense, but it sort of sounds like you're limiting your options by being a snob.
  17. Kwyjibo macrumors 68040


    Nov 5, 2002
    Its nice that your teacher tells you that you can get into any school. Luckily they have an application process, and I've seen plenty of people with your stats or better get denied from top schools for being a little too cocky or a little too absorbed in academics. There are usually thousands of kids with similar stats trying to get the same spots.

    You need to focus on your SAT / ACT / SAT II scores before you even start picking out universities.

    Consider a university outside of your comfort zone, sounds like Boston is where you want to be, but go to the most competitive environment for your major.

    Live on campus. Its very worth it, there will be "nicer" dorms that will probably be up to your standard of living. The kids I knew who decided not to live on campus for college, often had fewer friends and just didn't feel like they had a social network.

    Start talking with your parents now about how to pay for college. They might have a plan you don't know about but they might also expect that you're planning on going somewhere a little more cost friendly, you never know until you start that dialog. Earning scholarships is great, but again plenty of talent kids competing for that money.
  18. letsgorangers macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2006
    i lived in a dorm my freshman year of college, and the remaining 3 years were spent in a 4-bedroom on campus apartment. now that i am in graduate school i am finally living off campus and alone. it is nice, but living on campus was extremely convenient.

    you don't have to worry about parking (parking is awful at my school, but i can park in the faculty lots now) in the morning, you get exercise daily from the walking, you can go "home" between classes.

    while campus living wasn't always great all the time, it's definitely not something i would change about the college experience. whoever said that it's not just about the education but learning things about living and life is right.

    plus if i lived anywhere that cost 1200 bucks a month, i'd be looking for a roommate. this is part of the reason why i decided not to go to grad school in new jersey. there are college/grad students who can afford to live with a budget like that?!
  19. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Architecture eh? Good times. Lot's of all-night lab fun. Rent? Hell, there were students who slept on the couches in lab and would go for the better part of a year without paying rent. Legend has it that a few never paid rent for 5 years. Students from other majors LOVE getting an architecture student for a roommate, because they know they've got someone who'll pay the rent but never be home. Bottom line, if you're serious about being an architecture student, don't worry so much about your housing situation.

    Anyhoo... Architecture school is very different from being an architect. In the real world, people rarely give a crap about where you went to school, or how "green" you're planning to make their building, they want something that won't fall down and won't leak, preferably within striking distance of the budget. IMHO you'll learn far more by getting yourself employed at an architectural firm as early as possible, particularly if that firm has a strong designer for you to learn from. School just doesn't prepare you for writing addenda and change orders, it won't help you evaluate submittals, or track RFIs from origin to contract modification. It doesn't help you draw correct flashing details or teach you the ADA-based measurements for toilet room accessories, or how to fire-rate a corridor. And trust me, that's what you'll spend most of your internship doing.

    But don't worry, it's an interesting career. The learning curve is massive, so you can literally spend your entire career becoming competent. If you like to learn, architecture is a great place to be.

    Oh, and if you're looking to make money, be a Construction Manager instead. The sad-but-partially-true joke is: "What's the best way to make a small fortune in architecture? Start with a large fortune." Sure you can make a decent living at it, but if you're just after the money there are other careers that are much less work that pay just as well or better. Just sayin...
  20. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Definitely live on campus your first year.

    Some of the closest friends you can make are on a dorm room hall, and it will be much more convenient living in university housing rather than managing your freshman year + an apartment of your own.

    You'll also meet people in the dorm who may want to share an apartment with you. Several of my friends and I already have plans for getting a suite together next year.

    You are starting quite early...though I'm not sure what your school situation is like. Going to a prep school with 100 percent matriculation and an office full of college advisors didn't leave me searching on my own...I didn't even think about college until fall junior year.

    As far as speaking in 'absolutes' goes....give yourself a little breathing room. Starting this early gives you plenty of time to visit colleges outside of Boston...just to get a feel for what it might be like elsewhere. You don't have to commit for a long time, take the time to explore.

    In my case, I had my heart set on a Little Ivy. Most of my applications were to these schools, but I also found some larger universities that I liked as well, just to keep my options open. Even though I got into a number of the little ivies I appreciated having a spectrum of possibilties when it came down to choosing time senior year. (fwiw I did end up choosing union, which isn't technically on the list of little ivies, though it's identical to many of them)

    There's much time left...if you only look at boston now, what happens if you decide you're not so sure about boston right before you have to apply places? You'll be stuck with schools in boston.

    Just my 2¢
  21. sturigdson macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2006
    I, personally, did not enjoy living on campus much at all. Also, where I went to school for undergrad [Las Vegas], it was actually more expensive to get a dorm room with a food package than to find some nearby rent.

    I'm now in grad school in NYC, tho, and the urban world is obviously completely different in terms of costs.

    I would personally say it's okay not to live on campus, but really, find an apt that's in a very "young" neighborhood- try to find lots of other college-age people. That would have been my ideal.

    Good luck.
  22. kalisphoenix macrumors 65816


    Jul 26, 2005
    Background: I've been to four colleges, and I'm on my sixth major. I currently have 293 credit hours. I should be getting a B.S., two B.A.'s, and a B.F.A. in the next year :eek:

    Advice: Don't friggin' live off campus. The cost is exhorbitant, it limits your social interaction, and your GPA will suffer mightily. You need to stay on campus, where the drugs are easier to obtain, the female population is denser, studying is easier, and where you don't have to worry about bills. Don't live in an apartment until you have to. Live with as few complications as possible for as long as you can.

    If you don't take this advice seriously, I'll be happy to come out to whereever you currently are and kick you in the balls repeatedly until you listen. DON'T LIVE OFF CAMPUS.
  23. Aniej macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2006
    hopefully this will solidify what a mistake living off campus would be as you enter college. I am only 25 so college was not so long ago for me, i.e., I am not some random old dude that you might write off more easily. (sorry random old dude). While I do not personally agree with the limitation on Boston, you clearly have your reasons and I respect that. If you are willing to look beyond Boston and to Ivy, but still want city experience, I would suggest Yale for architecture or Penn (a personal fav of mine) and obviously for major city Columbia is great too.

    Can I ask why you want to live off campus so quickly? if you don't feel comfortable answering, I respect this too.
  24. Film Divine macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2007

    I'll second this, sans the ball kicking.:D
  25. BigPrince macrumors 68020

    Dec 27, 2006
    I live at home. I rather invest the money I am saving into a real property then come out spending a lot of money and have nothing to show for it, especially my colleges dorms which are crap and they have many triples in double rooms.

    I am doing fine at college. Sure it takes a little more effort to fit in, but I spend a lot of time on campus so its non-issue. I am lucky to live only 15 min away.

    I hang out alot at the Student Union, my Major's Computer Lab, and the recreation center. I am not into what most kids call "partying nowadays."

    My kind of parties are with the purpose of:

    Socializing and meeting new people
    Playing games

    These parties are few and far between nowadays.

    Most parties have one sole purpose:

    Getting more wasted then the party before.

    Living off campus, in my exp. has not sheltered me from college life style. I am well aware of it and choose not to go in that direction and in the end I have saved a lot more money, will graduate debt free (hopfully graduate debt free with my masters as well), will have stayed true to my values, still made great friends, and will have a great down payment for a house.

    Just my 2 cents.

    EDIT: Also, I know quite a few people who can't handle it and are moving back home after the first semester.

    It also makes me feel fuzzy inside for not being a huge burden on my parents.

    Also, if I wanted to waste my time getting wasted, I wouldn't need college for that.

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