Discussion in 'MacRumors Old Skool' started by job, Nov 28, 2003.

  1. job macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2002
    in transit
    i've been wanting to post this for a while now, but i just have not found the time, nor figured out the right place to post it, until now. ;)

    i didn't want to post this in community, since i really don't know most of the users there. i only wanted a few people to read this, so what better place to post than here? ;) :D

    only the users that i've known since i joined post here in old skool, so i thought it would be appropriate.

    anyways...i'm tired...enough rambling..

    i'm applying to college right now and i wanted to list the schools and hear some general advice from people.

    the list:

    1. Dartmouth
    2. Georgetown
    3. University of Chicago
    4. Harvard
    5. Brown
    6. University of Pennsylvania
    7. Yale
    8. Princeton
    9. Rice
    10. Denison (a small liberal arts college in ohio. both my parents, two uncles, and two aunts went there. it's my "safe" school.)

    i've finished the georgetown, and university of chicago applications and will be sending the yale, rice, and priceton apps out this weekend. several schools want me to run track for them as well, so i've been talking to some of the coaches.

    any general college advice?
  2. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    the schools you mention are all great and you should do well at any of them

    a public university has the advantage of being cheaper and maybe you can consider a University of Virginia or something public like that in your region

    ...but the connections will be found at the private universities, but both forms of universities will be great for learning if you put a strong effort into it
  3. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Heh. I only applied to the University of Southern Maine and got in. :D

    As for college advice, unquestionably, your hardest required course will be College Writing. I'm going through College Writing this semester, and for only 3 credit/hours, you have a LOT of reading and writing to do. You'll be blown away by how in depth college writing goes.

    Some tips in College Writing:
    (1) College Writing focuses on attention to reading so that you can formulate your own ideas for essays. In particular, the course will focus on the following procedure:

    >Read a 15 to 50 page essay in a book.
    >While reading, mark the text!! You'll pay for your book.
    >Write your responses to the reading in your notebook.

    >Read the essay again.
    >While reading again, mark the text again.
    >Write your second reading responses in your notebook.

    You absolutely MUST may attention to key terms and key themes in the essays you read, and you need to respond to these terms/themes in the essays in your notebook. In particular, how does the author use these key terms/ideas? Because these terms/ideas will drive lots of specifics throughout each reading you do.

    (2) When you do ANY homework writing assignment that will be collected, use specifics and analysis. You have to work for college writing skills now, and you need to prepare for your College Writing essays with specifics. Especially focus on the author's usage(s) of key terms/ideas and how you feel about them.

    Now for the essays...

    (3.1) The hardest part of the course will unquestionably be writing up your essay drafts. My recommendation (and even I plan to do this, come my final draft in a few days): If you have no idea how to start writing your essay, find a quote in the reading, analyze its importance in the reading, find another quote, do the same, and keep analyzing until you THINK you've developed an idea that YOU want to demonstrate in your essay. Make that your argument. Then focus on specific aspects in the readings that support your argument.

    (3.2) Once you have an argument and have thoroughly written out the specifics (either in your essay, or elsewhere), develop a thesis statement. The key elements to it are:
    >The subject
    >An argumentative verb
    >A predicate

    Think of the thesis statement as this: "The subject does this." And that is your entire argument for the essay.

    Little do you already realize it, but an argumentative verb in a thesis statement drives a supported essay in completion.

    (4) My suggestion: NEVER hand in a draft to class unless you do a self peer review of the draft you just typed up. Look for both grammar and concepts that you may easily overlook in your sentences, such as explicit mentions of the subject and relevance of specific aspects of your essay in relation to the argument you want to make.

    As you keep going through the process of reading/responding 2x, writing essays and revising them, AND if you're the dedicated son of a bitch I think you are :p you'll notice three things:

    (1) You'll slowly improve from your first essay (which will more than likely be in the high C to low B range),
    (2) A certain percentage of the class will actually drop out of college writing, and
    (3) You may find yourself as one of the few students doing ALL the assignments AND doing them all on time.

    When I strarted College Writing, the class had about 20 students, and nearly all of them did their assignments and on time. Only a few months later half the class shows up, half of those people do the assignments, and less than half of those people do them to the required extent. (i.e. Just myself and three other people.)

    So the tough stuff comes in College Writing. You'll be blown away by the coverage of the course on college writing aspects.
  4. question fear macrumors 68020

    question fear

    Apr 10, 2003
    The "Garden" state
    one of the biggest ones is visit the schools before you make any decisions...i was sure i wanted to go to georgetown, and then i decided i really just did not like the campus (i was very oddly picky based on my gut feelings...i went to brandeis and had a fantastic four years, so my gut was right then.)
    Also, visiting a school, even without an interview, will color how you fill out the apps...when they ask why you want that school, what you want out of college, etc, having been there is one more way to create a personalized response.
    Assuming you get in somewhere and are happy with it, my biggest advice is get involved...dont wait for school to come to you, get out there...if you go to a larger university you'll find yourself a community faster, which makes college MUCH less overwhelming...and if you go to a smaller one, you'll find that when you want to do something big (run for student office, join/start a club or sports team) people will (hopefully) know and like you, and you'll get both admin and student support quickly.
    No matter what you do, good luck!
    What are you planning to major in?
  5. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i know you are now in the lengthy process of choosing a college and having them choose you, and then making a decision

    ...and this may be off topic

    but once you get in, realize you are there to learn and it isn't a race to try and get out in four years or less and that is the mistake i first made in school...i wanted to just do the minimum in school to get by and just breeze through the courses and try and finish is the journey which counts and the same with high school since the best years in one's life, and usually the easiest, are the ones before one graduates from college or high school and then falls into the adult world of bills, work, little time off, and a very unchanging existence

    college has a lot of fun activities that some students find a nuisance, but when you get into the working world, you will find then that you won't have those choices in activities because you won't have the free time...and the more successful you are, the less time you will have to yourself...short of winning the state lottery

    so when you get in, look into the fencing club, the rafting club, the hang glider club, or whatever since it will likely be the last four years in your life that you have that you will be able to have the time and energy to enjoy these types of activities and years later, after the memory of professors and classes fade, the great times you had in your time off when you were a student (ie - activities) will stay fresh in your memory for the rest of your life

    in other words, don't forget to have fun while in school:D
  6. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    the game's a gamble. don't be disappointed if you don't get into a school despite having a great app. it's seriously not because of your deficiency. it's more like the admissions officer had to sleep on the couch the night before and so doesn't like anyone the morning he looks at your application.

    other than that, finding a good school depends on what you want to study. if you're into the sciences (or even the social sciences), go to a school with lots of research funding--you'll want to get in on the research action as soon as possible.

    I noticed Harvard's on your list. More than any other place I visited (mind you, I didn't visit TOO many places), that campus is magical. You get this feeling walking through Harvard Yard that you won't get anywhere else. But the undergrad is a little fluffy. Grade inflation there is pretty notorious, which could make your college experience somewhat more relaxing if you end up there as opposed to, say, University of Chicago, from which no one has graduated with a 4.0.

    U of C is known for its suicides and it's in a pretty depressing part of town. I go to Northwestern, which is on the North side of the city, and let me tell you, nobody wants to go to the South Side of Chicago. It's dangerous & frightening. I suggest a place with a nice big campus, strong research, grassy knolls, and little marshmallows in the dining hall cereal. But you don't get everything in life, alas.
  7. job thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2002
    in transit
    really? i thought that would be more of the case at a smaller university.

    thanks! i'm considering studying economics or international relations/studies for my undergrad.

    yeah, i'd like to take it easy. these last few years in high school have gone by so fast, i haven't been able to do all the things i thought i might have been able to.

    i'm looking forward to some frisbee whereever i go. :D

    to be honest, i'm applying to harvard for kicks. it uses the same application (common app) as dartmouth, my first choice school, so i thought i might as well apply. if i get in, cool. if not, no big deal. what's another $40 application fee anyways? :)

    Really? that's a shame. any particular reasons why the south side is so bad? what's the campus itself like? uofchicago ranks pretty high on my list because i like some of their programs and they want me to run track for them.

    funny you should mention 'grassy knolls' and 'dangerous' in the same paragraph. ;) :D
  8. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    Yeah, unfortunately, the South Side has a LOT OF CRIME. Very high murder rate, a lot of drug abuse, etc. If you want to go to a community where you could lend a helping hand, though, I doubt you'd find a better one. The school itself, though, is VERY into academia and very focused. The students tend to be extremely focused on grades, adding a lot of pressure. The grading is tough, making that pressure more unbearable. The surroundings, both campus architecture and crime off-campus, make the atmosphere additionally tense.

    With Econ, I can see why you'd want to go to U of C, but remember that Northwestern's got a great econ department, too! Be cognizant of Penn, as well. Tufts also has a good IR program. Northwestern's somewhat weak in the IR department. I'm not sure about U of C in that matter, but I know they've got a great literature backing in a lot of exotic fields in their library.

    On the academics side, I'd say go somewhere big, because there will be more resources. Go somewhere with a reputation, because when it comes down to it, that counts for something. Don't go somewhere where you'll stress out TOO MUCH.

    Put some effort into building connections with professors. This can be harder at a larger university, but even the largest classes, you'll always be able to pop into office hours if you want.

    Hey, if you do consider NU and decide to visit, let me know. I'd be happy to show you around. I've got a buddy who's a prof in the econ dept. and you could talk to him about econ-ish stuff. I have some friends in the Int. Studies program who I'm sure would be happy to discuss all that sort of stuff with you. And with Kellogg (#1 B-school in the world according to the Economist & Business Week, second year running) right here, NU's a great place for networking in that field.

    edit: yeah, 'grassy knolls' and 'dangerous' in the same paragraph is odd, unless there's a sniper at the top of that grassy knoll waiting to take you out. ;)

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