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tell me about college (university)


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#1 mkkmypet

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:01 AM

hey there, salt bros! i've missed you D:

see, i'm currently entering the second semester of my senior year in high school, and i've been so busy preparing for college that i haven't really posted here (or even lurked) in many moons. but salt flows incessantly through my veins, so i could never willingly, permanently leave this community.

so now i come to you to ask for wise words regarding my future. as in, tell me about your experiences with college/university! i am quite anxious about such things, and would like to hear some advice and stories. i remember a topic about college/uni that was popular many years ago (when GWers were of the average age to think about such things) but i didn't pay much attention to it because i was still a preteen. :P

as for me now, i have just finished applying to college, since the standard deadline was February 1st. i actually only applied to one place, which i know is not usually advisable. i sent an app+portfolio to the University of Michigan, applying for dual enrollment in the Residential College of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and in the School of Art and Design. so i'll be getting a dual degree-- a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the art school and also a Bachelors in something else (probably either psychology, English, or Japanese) from the other school.

i'm not really worried about getting in. i got a 34 on the ACT and have a cumulative GPA of about 3.8 (on a 4.0 scale). plus i submitted essays and a portfolio that i'm confident about. (after all, i have been writing posts and getting critiqued on my digital art since i was 6 years old! thanks, GW/SW~)

what i AM worried about is college itself. i've never been on my own in the way that college will force me to. growing up in a big family, i have never been home alone much and i haven't had to cook much either. i still rely on my mom in a lot of ways, including for waking me up for school. i'm worried about college because of those things. also, i have severe anxiety disorders, and that's a concern... blehh.

tl;dr: give me advice about how to survive college/uni! tell me of your own experiences. let's talk about this stuff, gogogo
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#2 rudy the red-beaked reindeer

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:28 AM

don't worry about it, a lot of people transfer or change majors and you can always get a second degree later

you just start thinking differently when you're out on your own, and there's only so much useful preparation you can do beforehand. I changed from neuroscience to landscape architecture, and I only found out about LA because I took some engineering classes to transfer into architecture and the head of the architecture school said it sounded like I was more interested in landscape architecture than dumb obese buildings

don't join an anime/hentai club right away, just mingle on your own so you can think for yourself, away from the influences of your family and HS friends

and don't you always talk about being busy? in college you're gonna have to learn to manage your time and say no to things you don't need to be involved in. college is more stressful than high school, and part of that is figuring out what kind of pace works for you and what is actually worth pursuing.

#3 Pilsen

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:42 AM

Do you think attendance should be 'required' in college classes. I just failed an engineering course due to absences and if anyone is wondering, i have good grades, you oculd even say I'm at the top fifth of the whole batch taking that subject(where about 3/5 of all students fail due to grades). That kinda sucked.

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#4 dada

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:40 AM

school sucks errybody knows that. I've only been to college for about half a year before I decided the degree would not be worth the paper it's printed on.


#5 hobo2

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:13 AM

school sucks errybody knows that. I've only been to college for about half a year before I decided the degree would not be worth the paper it's printed on.


While the majority of what I was taught in university was stuff I already knew or stuff I would have eventually learned myself in my programming pursuits, I think it's great since I find myself with plenty of free time to self-teach without the draining hours of a full-time job (luckily my part-time job isn't tiring). It has provided me with some useful knowledge and steered me towards possible career paths. Besides, a degree is always an asset on a resume. The only problem is the debt, but fortunately for me, it's a small debt that can be paid off within a year of full-time employment.

#6 dada

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:24 AM

I was being a 'lil facetious, what I mentioned was only true for the very specific college education I was doing. If you want to do web then just being somewhat driven will usually propel you waaay past the average college-goer. It's surprising how bad 99% of the people doing this are.


#7 bonzi_buddy

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:23 AM

idk how it is with british college system but dada posted some time ago a good reddit of some finnish anime guy who was planning to move over to japan: turns out that you have to have stuff like a good education, a job ready in japan, know language and become integrated etc etc basically meaning DON'T COME OVER TO BE UNEMPLOYED JUST BECAUSE YOU THINK JAPANESE CULTURE IS GRACIOUS DUE TO ANIME.

i'm not saying this to take a shit on your japan enthuasism but i think you could double on some vastly more useful degree! there's the thing about access to information when it comes to studying japanese language and culture to say, some specific job/science related information that you'll have hard time getting from books.

anyways, idk i guess others here have a better advise on the main degree? you can do a search on your own thru internet about what other people say about the X degree or school. if you find any adult who has studied an area/degree/job you are interested of, be brave and ask him/her about it. ask people who are actually working in the field.

if you feel too anxious/hopeless about trying to figure out this stuff right now then i guess you could just go for that eng/lit thing for now and let things be & work things out about your life in time and s w i t ch. idk how others view this here?
and yeah, you'll be on your own but you should be fine, a lot of it comes to attitude when it comes to being alone. you can make garbage food initially but you'll learn to save money from living costs and there's tons of good websites in the internet about diets and recipes (free information!!). hints about how to save money.  you'll come to learn in time what is necessary in your life and what is unnecessary garbage that isn't really worth of your time and energy or doesn't bring much pleasure to your life.

#8 Barack Obama

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:42 PM

marmot went to university of michigan and I regularly talk to him, i'll try to get him to post here. basically your first two years of college you live in a dorm which is an alternate reality where a bunch of 18 year olds think they're grownups and then you move into a shitty house with a bunch of friends and eventually find out that you don't want to live with your friends and you'll finish school before you know it.

if you really want to study something like art or literature or japanese, be prepared to follow up with that and make it your plan to go to grad school, otherwise you should prepare to wait tables... and I'm not being flippant, most of my friends are arts and humanities majors doing exactly that. You're not even in school yet, so don't be so quick to declare a major, take the math and science classes as well as the arts/humanities in your freshmen and sophomore years, you may change your mind about what you want to do. hell, I'm going back to schol for a second degree because I ended up majoring in something I ultimately couldn't use/didn't enjoy.

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#9 bonzi_buddy

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:15 PM

let's get this rolling!!!! i'll be changing/trying to get into a school myself in the following year so it'll help me out as well... mkkmypet or bonzimyBUDDY, what's the difference really...

#10 Farren

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:34 PM

I agree with bonzai

if you're getting a degree in japan because you like japan thats not really a very solid financial pursuit. If its because you'd like to work in japan and translate or something I think it would be much more beneficial for you to major in some kind of linguistic and logistics that way you could go anywhere you wanted and do shit like that. Also I've got several friends with fine arts degrees, one of them had to join the military and is a nuke tech and the other tattoos for a living. I don't know the professional uses for a fine arts degree but from what I understand its hard to get a job with it.

I've never been to college but I take alot of different vocational classes and shit like that for my work and travel alot with my work and have to get used to new places and people. All I can tell you is a little nervousness is a good thing, be cautious and be disciplined with yourself but don't let the idea of being around new people scare you because they're just people and it doesn't really matter what anyone thinks but you. And I know you're just getting into it and you probably don't know for sure what you want to do yet but I'd think long and hard (and do research) on how the degrees I was pursuing would work as far as getting me employment and preparing me for a career path.

like you could get into web design/eastern asian language and culture or some shit like that and get a little art prep/learn about japan/china/korea etc.. and go over there to work. That would be cool. I dunno what you'd have to major in to do something like that or what you're interested in but its already hard to get a job these days and any degree won't really land you a job like it used to so I suggest being prepared for that and knowing enough about the field you'd like to work in.
DEUCE: MEETING THE URINE UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL AND REALIZING IT'S JUST LIKE ME AND MY PREJUDICES  THIS WHOLE TIME WERE COMPLETELY FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF PTTTTHTHTHH GOD IT'S EVERYWHERE<br />DEUCE: FUCK THIS TASTES LIKE PISS<br />PANTS: WHERE IT SHOULD TASTE LIKE COTTON CANDY OR PICKLES<br />DEUCE: OR AT LEAST LIKE URINE NOT PISS

#11 Farren

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:43 PM

Like we have this guy thats our logistics agent and he sets up everything coming/going to the ship and takes care of the people crew changing and shit like that. He makes alot of money and the company puts him and his family up wherever we're working. So he gets to live in a nice ass hotel and play travel agent with full expenses for months at a time living in a foreign country getting to do whatever he wants when he's off.

If I was going to college I'd def look into some shit like that. They've got alot of us based international companies that need people to do shit like that.
DEUCE: MEETING THE URINE UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL AND REALIZING IT'S JUST LIKE ME AND MY PREJUDICES  THIS WHOLE TIME WERE COMPLETELY FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF PTTTTHTHTHH GOD IT'S EVERYWHERE<br />DEUCE: FUCK THIS TASTES LIKE PISS<br />PANTS: WHERE IT SHOULD TASTE LIKE COTTON CANDY OR PICKLES<br />DEUCE: OR AT LEAST LIKE URINE NOT PISS

#12 mkkmypet

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:42 PM

hey peeps thanks for all the advice so far. though i don't really agree with the negativity about a degree in art/English/Japanese/psychology, even though i know you guys are just being practical. i'm aware of the difficulty in finding jobs for those things but i'm very passionate about it all and i think i have a shot at being one of the select who DO get jobs in art and such. of course, i'm definitely trying to stay open about majors; i know that it's likely to experience some huge changes in ideas for future plans while in college. however, as of now, i can't imagine not pursuing the interests i have been so enthusiastic about since my childhood.

as far as Japan stuff goes, i'd like to assure you i'm not one of those people who thinks "nippon will accept me because i love their culture of anime and manga (=^w^=)". my love for Japan comes from hosting an exchange student when i was young, and i want to go to Japan to visit her. UofM requires study abroad for an art degree so i'll likely look into going to Japan for my junior year.

my ideal job after college would be making graphic novels, whether in America/Japan/wherever. however it might end up being a freelance kinda thing while i work another job, depending on how successful i am in my endeavor. what i'm currently thinking is that it's likely that i'll do my other major in psychology and then go to grad school for neurobiology. lots of people pursuing psych degrees are dumb because they just want to be psychotherapists because "i like to talk to people and listen to their problems and help them and stuff", but i personally like the more hard science aspect of neurobiology, so if i pursued psych it would be in a biological research direction. anyway i definitely plan on going to grad school for something.

oh and whether i major in it or not, i'll still be studying Japanese. that's why i'm applying to the Residential College-- it's a living-and-learning arrangement where you are part of an immersive language community. i really want to improve my Japanese language skills while in college, regardless of if it pertains to my future career.

and i'll definitely take as many classes in as many fields as i can. that's the whole reason i'm doing a joint degree thing-- i don't want to JUST study art. i know the choices of major that i've mentioned make me seem very right-brained or whatever, but i'm pretty equally interested and skillful in all subjects. like i've taken classes like AP Psychology and AP English Language and Composition, but also AP Chemistry and AP Calculus BC, ya dig? so, knowing that i want to pursue art above all else, i've always felt kinda meeeehhh because i really don't want to neglect other subject areas while doing art stuff. of course i'll always do lots of self-study in things that i'm interested in-- thanks internet!-- but it'd be cool to still formally learn math/science things.

okay now i'm rambling i think but uhh that's what i have to say about those things.
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#13 jamie

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:53 PM

I'm in my 2nd year of my degree just now (second attempt, already dropped out and gone back - i'm 22). I'm in a mixed arts/humanities degree, but I'm focusing on film and I'm going to do that for honours (major in it) because I know it's what I want to do. I don't feel like I have enough information to endorse or caution against an arts/humanities degree but I don't feel as if I've gained anything from university other than the freedom is gives me to live a stress free life, chances to meet people my own age (haven't met any of those like-minded people yet though!), and occasionally a program of interesting things to do in a given week. Basically what I'm saying is, I'm not getting smarter through the curriculum, but there are other things that are making uni worth it for me. I'm not really doing it for the degree.

I don't know about US colleges - I'm applying for exchange to a variety of them, so hopefully I'll find out soon - but UK arts/humanities courses are a joke in terms of how much is expected of you. Very low maintenance. You can pass and get a degree with about 10% of the effort they suggest you put in if you have a decent head for faking academic bullshit. I'm not saying do that, I'm just pointing it out to make you less stressed out about the prospect of going to college. You'll do fine. Living on your own is something you figure out very quickly, it just comes to you. Just don't worry, basically, about anything. No mistakes you can make in this area will be so bad you can't start over without losing much. The stakes are low. You've got a whole life of chances ahead of you.





#14 Bobberticus

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:05 PM

i'm a commuter student and i pretty much go to classes (except when i skip them) and come home and spend half my day on the bus. that's a shitty way to do it. no one should do that.

fuck it all, dd is dead


#15 Farren

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:13 PM

thats what I'm saying as far as I know its the same thing, you can do all that art stuff without a degree and be even more successful because you didn't spend four years and tens of thousands of dollars getting a piece of paper thats nearly useless in that field.

I understand you like doing that stuff and I hope you get to do it but if you want your degree to work for you and if you want to be successful later on you have to think about what will happen if you can't get the specific type of work you want. There are thousands and thousands of kids going to college for the same reasons, wanting to do the same things as you, and just as intelligent and talented. Yes you might get chosen but you also might not. Its very important that when you start thinking about this stuff you have a backup plan. You're picking two fields that are hard to get work in already and one of them is apparently your back up plan. I'm not saying don't do anything to do with graphical art or psychology just look for something in that area thats more lucrative and easy to get work in (as a back up plan) so while you're pursuing your graphic novel or private graphic arts business you can actually get a job to sustain you until then. IE: web design, professional counseling, social work. I don't really know specifically what you could do with graphic arts because I don't know much about that field or psychology other than the obvious.

There are so many people that get into college not thinking about shit like that and assume that there will be a place for them being a professor or artist or renowned musician and it just doesn't happen its just not practical and most people that are successful in the artsy way of it don't garner success from pursuing that field alone. If you get into some sort of business management you'll know how to learn how to run your own graphic arts business from the technical side of it and you can get a whole slew of supervisor/management positions with tons of different companies. That way atleast if you've got to wait tables till you can do what you want you'll make more money doing it (because you probably will unless your parents are willing to sustain you).

I'm not trying to be a dick and I'm sure you heard this before so you don't wanna hear it again but honestly think of how much shit we've told you that ended up being right later on. I'm promising you this is one of those things.
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#16 Frisky SKeleton

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 09:28 PM

what i'm currently thinking is that it's likely that i'll do my other major in psychology and then go to grad school for neurobiology. lots of people pursuing psych degrees are dumb because they just want to be psychotherapists because "i like to talk to people and listen to their problems and help them and stuff", but i personally like the more hard science aspect of neurobiology, so if i pursued psych it would be in a biological research direction. anyway i definitely plan on going to grad school for something.


Lots of people pursuing psych degrees are dumb because they know all about disorders but still think it'd be a blast working with the people that have them. I guess opportunities are better in the states, but here psychology opens the gate to buisiness stuff or therapuetic stuff. Neuroscience would open the door to reeeeeseeeeeaaaarch which means stipends and ramen noodles for an extended period. You could still do all the general stuff as well I suppose.

Figure out what you want from university, and as long as you get it it's not a waste. If you want career options and money, it's not always the best choice! If you want precious knowledge, there's free ways to get that (but it's harder to prove, and stick to), and if you want to socialise (but not drop out and fail) the degrees with a lot of class time are good for that (engineering etc. Engineers here on campus spent more on drinks in one night at one of their functions than was made during the entire orientation week).

I don't feel like I've written anything so hopefully you can take something from this vacuum of words.

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#17 Belross

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:28 PM

Oh god you're getting ready to go to college already? Jesus fuck I remember when you were like 12 years old and posting on here... I should just check into the old folk's home already.

My experience with college is pretty non-traditional. I joined the USAF right after high school and didn't take a college class until I was 24 and out of the military again. But contrary to what some others are saying, I think you should figure out what you're passionate about and pursue that wholeheartedly. Life isn't all about a paycheck and making mad cheddar yo; it's about living a fulfilling life and finding what you're interested in. For most people, discovering what they want to do with their life is the hardest part, but it sounds like you're halfway there already. I'm not too sure about your dual majors choice (you make it sound like you want to be some kind of graphic novel-writing, neurobiologist Japanese diplomat) but you're at a time in your life when you need to explore your interests and see what really clicks, so go for it!

I too am fascinated by both art and science, so I'll be studying Industrial Design at the University of Washington. ID is basically where applied art meets applied science, and it's exactly the career field I was looking for. You should check it out and see if it interests you.
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#18 Barack Obama

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 10:42 PM


I too am fascinated by both art and science, so I'll be studying Industrial Design at the University of Washington. ID is basically where applied art meets applied science, and it's exactly the career field I was looking for. You should check it out and see if it interests you.

no shit, do you live in seattle or are you doing distance-learning? Is it a BFA program?

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#19 ATARI

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 05:35 AM

i'm just about done with my biology and psych degrees. planning on going into public health graduate program and some point either next year or the year after.  It's okay I guess.  University is a lot of drinking and doing pot.

#20 dada

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:23 AM

if you're getting a degree in japan because you like japan thats not really a very solid financial pursuit.


It's ironic that I'm saying this but financial pursuit isn't everything. Being driven by genuinely liking something means you'll have a fun and easy time at college and will probably succeed with very decent grades. You don't just go to college/uni because you want to make more money later on in life.





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