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The Reality of College

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posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 10:58 AM
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reply to post by prestonposthuma
 


I found my first year and half the same way. It was awful and I was lost in a crowd of people who thought college was a fashion show, all about partying, or skipping classes as often as possible.

Luckily it changes quickly as further into college you DO take what you want! [or should I say one does take what he or she wants to lol] You recognize that some of those first year electives allow you better conversations with strangers and that horrible Logic class did help you to think in a more defined and clear manner when needed.

By the third year college ROCKS! You are taking all 300- or 400- level classes in exactly what interests you and the professors recognize the difference. If a prof has to teach 400 first year partiers of course they're not going to care about the masses, only those who put forth a real effort. Teaching a class of 25 students in a 400- level neuropsyc class with cutting edge journal publications makes for an ENTIRELY different college experience.

I hope you hang in there, find a few professors you connect with, learn to write well [even if you're an engineer], and get good at your interest!




posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:01 AM
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reply to post by prestonposthuma
 


I see things haven't changed much since I was in University. I attended from 1990 - 1994. The first two years are essentially wasted on Liberal education requirements at major universities. It was all just a rehash of my high school curriculum with a little more depth.

I barely studied for two years and preferred to drink and go out. That got me into a little trouble when I stopped going to class and only showed up for exams in the larger lecture formats.

I didn't start to focus and see the light until I landed in my much smaller core classes. Most of my profs. in those courses were rather approachable with a few exceptions.

I found that the professors with the biggest egos taught the large lecture courses. With their full staff of graduate studen handmaidens, all they did was regurgitate the same drivel that they have been spewing for years. These tenured profs. were just there to collect paychecks and grant money to conduct 'research' and to write articles with hopes of getting published in the academic journals.

Looking back, would I change anything? Yes. I would have focused more on school in the first two years. College was a blast, enjoy it to its fullest because life will never be as simple. Cheap beer, cheap food, cheap rent, plenty of single girls looking to have just as much fun as you.

If you are looking for more of a challenge, seek out student groups with similar interests to yours. I played intramural sports, sailed and joined a fraternity. In the later years I joined various professional orgs. that helped give me some more focus and I volunteered in my field of study.

Good Luck! Hang on! It will get better.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:09 AM
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That's why I opted for the Technical College route.

I graduated high school and promptly got a low-paying full-time job and sat out of school for two years. In that two years I watched all but a handful of my high school friends go to a University (or even start taking Community College classes) and drop the bulk of their courses, or just not go to class. The handful that actually applied themselves and didn't waste their parent's money did go on to graduate in four years, but the majority of my friends went on to attend college for another 5-7 years, trying to figure out what they wanted to do - and in some cases, if they wanted to do anything at all with their professional lives.

After watching this for two years, I decided I'd try the Technical College after hearing that a local College offered courses in an area that I actually had an interest (and a small bit of high school experience) in. One of the biggest factors for this decision was the fact that my parents couldn't afford to pay for my college and I would have to make my own way. There was no way I was going to try to pay $20k+/year and not know if I'd ever use the information which I was being taught in a University core class.

I graduated in 3 years with a handful of different diplomas in my career field and a Bachelors Degree and I've never regretted it since.

The biggest drawback to this route is that in reality I'll probably make only 1/2 – 3/4 of what someone else would that was educated at a University level. Mostly because of the level of salary that a person would start at. It's easy to work your way up with raises, but when you are hired at half the salary that a University-educated person is, you're already put behind the 8-ball.

But, the truth is that I don't regret a thing. Money makes the world go 'round, but it also can't buy you happiness. Sure, I don't drive a BMW, but I've never complained about my Forester. I don't have a 42" Plasma TV, but my wife and I have never complained about our 32" CRT television. Things are tight, but I still own my home, unlike some of my friends who spent FAR beyond their means when they purchased their brand new house in the fancy neighborhoods.

The bottom line is ... you have to take a look at your life - where you are now and where you want to go. What's the most important thing to you? To me it was happiness. Rich or Poor - I didn't care, as long as I was happy.

And I am.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:16 AM
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reply to post by prestonposthuma
 


Oh so very true! If you think campus is bad, try taking online classes. I think they are designed to turn the "student" into a salivating zombie with all their repeat after me bs. Work from the syllabus and shame on you if you go off topic. Look at it this way, at least you got some eye candy!!

I dunno care though, I'm working on my BA in Criminal Justice in Homeland Security and I am eagerly awaiting the 9/11 and terrorism blocks! Don't take that the wrong way folks, I'm working an angle here and I know who my friends are. Consider this infiltration, it's a dirty job but someones gotta do it..





[edit on 6-10-2009 by UndergroundMilitia]



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:20 AM
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OP, based on your comments I am glad to have not chosen whatever college you attended. My experience with college is far different than the one you described, my classes are rarely boring and I have not had a professor whom I would describe as a snob. While my materials frequently included a textbook, there is an equal amount of other sources that were utilized. As for the sheep and sports? I can't argue with those points. But there are indeed exceptions as you said.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:26 AM
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i am getting some special welding certificates at my college and there making me take communications classes to learn how to tig weld, how retarded is that?



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:28 AM
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I will agree with some posters on the outrageous cost of books. I simply don't understand the need to charge $300 for a textbook.

To the OP:

I appreciate your candor. You're just starting out and can see that there are similarities from your HS past. But, stick it out. It will get better. Remember, as with all things in life, it is yours to make it what you want it to be. If you focus on the negative, you're sure to have 4 years of crap.

Big universities and sports? This is a given. My niece is attending the University of Illinois and we got an inside look at how students are "chosen" to sit in the fan sections you often see during the televised games. (moreso for basketball). Wow! Very political and very much about $$$.

I surely would not want a prof that exudes snobbishness, but I had those same type of teachers in HS. Where I would draw the line is if I had to compromise my convictions in order to pass a class, simply because the prof was more interested in indoctrinating than teaching.

Good luck with your studies and go to a party this weekend!



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:29 AM
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Speaking as an educator and eventual (I hope) college professor, I'd like to offer a different viewpoint.

A lot of what you said is true, especially about the relevance of the core coursework and the sheep-like mentality of the mob. However, as others have mentioned, the core material is to provide you with the basics....and to weed out those who aren't willing to wade through the junk.

But remember, the purpose of a liberal arts education is to make you THINK.....and if you are questioning the purpose of your classes, then congratulation! You're thinking!

Bring up your questions in class, or at least put them on the evaluation of the teacher at the end of the semester. Get a little dialogue going on in class. If your professor is one of the "My Way or the Highway" types, then take the iniative to learn on your own.

I'm always tickled pink when a student says, "Oh, yeah? Well, what about this?" because that shows they are thinking, evaluating, and learning!

Good luck with your college years.....the classes will get better!



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:33 AM
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reply to post by Alaskan Man
 


I agree. I specifically enjoyed my microbiology class.

It's helped immensely in concepting creative ideas for clients and writing script for web pages.



But, it was "required" for the degree I wanted to earn, so I had to take the stupid class. Why? I guess I'll never know.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:42 AM
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reply to post by tyranny22
 


yeah and the worst part is this communications class i am taking (oral comm 101) is a joke, so far its mostly consisted of show and tell from grade school only packed with shame since we're adults.

I constantly have to bring items of personal importance to me into class stand if front of the class tell them why its important to me, what it represents and if it helps me achieve any goals....

I can feel my grip on my welding stinger getting steadier and steadier with ever show and tell....... /sarcasm


Not only that but this class cost me 600 dollars to attend and a 200dollar book we barley use, oh but hey they will buy the book back from me if its in prestige condition at the end of the year for a whopping 25% of what i paid for it. so its only 150dollars to rent a book for 3 and half months.

and to top that off, my welding instructor sucks, if i had access to the welding equipment myself i wouldn't take the class, you can learn more watching and reading demonstrations and instructions online.

this guy gives you about 10mins of instruction for a 4hour class, spends the rest of the time sitting in his office (real old guy) and this class cost me 1,300 dollars.

half the cost of the welding machine i wanted.....



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:43 AM
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To the OP: One of the things my wife kept saying, and I agree to some extent. Is that education now a days (high school and college) has now become a "Happy factory worker" factory. I know, redundant. But what it means is, that education now a days in the U.S. is no longer focused on shaping the new Einstein's or the new Bach's of the world, but rather, create workers that will be happy working a 9-5 job and will have just enough knowledge to help "run" the machine (entry level to upper management positions) but not enough so that they can build their own machine or help fight the one that is enslaving them right now.

Now my college experience definitely shares a lot in common with yours. Classes seemed all too familiar to high school classes, roommates were interested mainly in partying, sports or sex. Really, the only classes that were drastically different from high school, were classes in my specialization (film making, theater and the arts). My teachers were not as arrogant or snobbish, they were a lot of fun and very helpful. They were fun to be around with, but then again, I always was the odd one in school. I got along better with teachers than I ever did with students, but that's just because I was always taught to show respect to my teachers, something the other students never understood. So naturally, my instinct was to avoid students like that.

I definitely concur that a change in the educational system is needed, and no, I don't mean the Obama brand of change. I mean real and MEANINGFUL change. We need to look back at history, research what it is that our educational system did pre and post WW2 (when we became a super power) and see how it can be emulated, and improved on.

See, when I was a kid in the 80's, we still saw kids playing outside, doing hobbies such as building boxcars (a low level forms of carpentry) or build and play with the toy rockets where you had to make your egg survive (a form of physics), how about flying the big toy airplanes? or, in my case, building HAM radios (electronics) Now a days, kids won't go outside, few do hobbies like these as they prefer to play computer games instead. Our kids are no longer involved with the world around them as they used to and this is really sad to see as this is an important building block for them.

Now I'm not saying THIS and THIS alone is the solution, it's not, it's simply a small step in a bigger plan that is needed. Of course, kids can't do this alone either. Parents have to get involved and help get their children involved. You have to stop letting the TV and the computer babysit your children and get them involved in these activities. Get them involved in boyscouts, or send them to space camp, take them to the museum, get them excited again about their world. If you have to, then put away the TV and the computer, disconnect the internet if you have to, but get them out of the house and make them go out and explore their world! That's how we start getting Einstein's and Bach's back into our nation!



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:43 AM
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I would recommend that you add "My Opinion" to the front of your thread title as your experience is not what everyone else experiences. I am currently a first year university student with a full course load and can say that I appreciate the privileged of being able to attend post secondary and could contradict all your own experience statements with my own.
However, is my own opinion worthy of a thread?
You state what you know as if it's fact. Maybe you should go back and learn.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by prestonposthuma
 


Well, in a sense you are correct. Please do not forget that colleges are a business...

However, I do have to say that it sounds like you picked the wrong school. I went to a smaller school (2000 students) and found my experience to be similar in the party aspect, but the other areas were quite different...of course, this was 14 years ago.

Anyway, good luck. Large school tend to be huge processing plants and assembly lines. Maybe you need a different set up?



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:46 AM
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Here's a nice bit of "college reality" for you...

When my folks went to college a four year degree cost about $24k. When they graduated they were just about gauranteed a $24k salary.

When I went to school a semester cost $24k (Samford University, 1990). Nobody could gaurantee any job, entry level was still $24 per year, most majors weren't supported by any industry, etc...

Now the "education" system fails everybody. The economics didn't add up and I left without a degree. Now I'm doing the hiring and prefer folks that havent been indoctrinated. The people that have degrees think I owe them something. The people that have busted their humps want the opportunity, and act like it.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:53 AM
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I really wish going to college wasn't a prerequisite to getting a halfway decent job, because it dilutes the experience when you have everyone going. Most jobs don't even require a college degree for you to be good in them, and so it really is a problem. I wish we could go back to the days when you only went to college if you wanted to specialize in a certain science or language, or wanted to live an academic life as a teacher. Most people just want a job, and that is a fact. I can guarantee you that the vast majority of people that I see in my college at the moment will not continue to educate themselves after they graduate, unless they have to for their job.

This is not an elitist view, it's just a practical one. Why go to college when it isn't necessary, and you don't really want to? I want to go to college, but only because I want to be a doctor and it isn't possible any other way. You can be a fashion designer or even a computer programmer and not have to go to school, those involve talents that you either have or you can teach yourself.

Now college has developed this culture of football and partying and getting a slip of paper so you can get a mediocre job and a mountain of debt. I don't even want to get into the fact that most professors have a political and religious agenda nowadays, and that they are encouraged to impress their ideas onto gullible students because it's just so easy and there are so many coming in. If you had an annual class size of 5 or 10 for each course, and you cut out all the bull crap classes that are superfluous, I can bet you the professor the college hires will be more qualified for the job and eager to actually teach the course. With a class size of sometimes 200 or more, do you really think the professor cares about whether you pass or are getting the whole truth? Now compare that to a class of very few people, where he knows you by name and feels like he is being held accountable by the failures and successes that he sees directly happening to you.

[edit on 6-10-2009 by Viral]



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 11:55 AM
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reply to post by prestonposthuma
 


1. Sorry for your bad experience but maybe it is just your prospective.
2. You are required to take general education classes to ensure you have the basics down before moving on to other, more complex things. College is not just about one concentration, that is what grad school is for.
3. If you find yourself bored in classes (as in you know everything already) test out of the ones you can, if not then it is just something you have to deal with.
4. I do agree with the social attitudes but it is not all that bad, plus what do you expect? Unless it is a higher level class (like grad study) you will always have this, so deal with it.
5. I don't know why you seem dead set on persuading people not to go to college because you think it is bad, that is not a good thing to say the least.
6. About the "secret history", lol please don't tell me you really expected to be told the truth about Roswell, JFK, etc, etc in college! I assure you, IF ANY OF THAT IS EVER PROVEN it will be taught.
7. I think the "professional snobbery" varies from teacher to teacher, and also how the individual perceives "snobbery", there is something called academic professionalism.
8. I am in school myself right now and it truly is a GREAT experience, one I hope ALL partake in.


I don't know, maybe you are just having a bad experience or are expecting way too much. Maybe you have been on ATS too long... Either way I hope it all works out for you in the long run.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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Another thing....

It seems some posters on here either are older and attending college (like over 30) or just do not grasp the fundamentals of a undergraduate program....

So before you all go on and rant and rave about having to do this and that and being "9-5 factory workers" and how "college is no longer interested in making the Einsteins and Bachs" maybe you should take a step back, realize everything is not a conspiracy and that there is a reason for everything you do, from giving a speech in com-101 to taking music theory to taking Eng 1010. They are all supposed to be building blocks to a higher level of interaction, communication, and awareness. After all your Gen Ed stuff are done then you you can go on and concentrate on Cosmology, Astrophysics, Biology, Medicine, or whatever you want, I promise you there are COUNTLESS schools with many programs that are shaping the next geniuses.

College is all about learning to be professional, but at the same time come out of your shell and be the person you want to be. You just have to get past the admittedly boring GenEd first.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 12:04 PM
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Sounds like you should drop out and start your own business. If you do not pick a good field that is hiring, you will get that degree and work along side other people that do not have a degree. I remember when I wrote software for a living, I met all kinds of customer service people at my job that had more format education than I did but made 1/3rd the salary I did. So if you are not happy with the opportunity to learn and do not want to make the best of it, be sure it is for the right field of work. Otherwise you might as well try to get that customer service job now. Or invest that college money into starting your own business.


By starting your own company
1) You will not be a sheep.
2) You will not be bored.
3) You will make your own rules.
4) You will spend 80% of your waking days working.
5) You will financially suffer until you finally get it to work after 2 years (only if you do the right business for you, and have a good model and product.)

If that does not sound appealing, and if customer service does not sound appealing, then get into the medical field and suck it up. You will have a lot of schooling ahead of you.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by Alaskan Man
i am getting some special welding certificates at my college and there making me take communications classes to learn how to tig weld, how retarded is that?


If you used "there" instead of "they're" on a resume it might keep you from getting the job; the top hiring dog might not be so lax. A year or so of basic English can help anyone.



posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 12:09 PM
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That's why I think vocational/technical colleges are the way to go. They are very specific to the field you want to pursue your career in.



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