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Let's talk about college!

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Let's talk about college!

Unread postAuthor: noname » Wed Apr 04, 2012 2:13 am

It's getting to be that time of the year where high school juniors start looking around at where they want to go, and high school seniors actually decide.

High schoolers, feel free to ask about anything college related/tell us where you're going and how the whole process went down. We're all interested and excited!

College students/grads, help give us advice as well as your current or past experiences, loans, tuition, whatever else.

I'm a freshman attending the University of California, Merced for a BS in Mechanical Engineering. It's not my first choice of school, but I never really cared about high school or tried. I ended up with above average GPA and SAT scores, as well as plenty of extra curriculars, so I was a little bummed at first, but now that I'm here it's awesome.
Classes are hard, as to be expected, but I live on campus and it's super easy to form study groups and stuff with the people I live with. The cool thing about college is that everyone wants to learn.
My campus is tiny, and the student population is mediumish (~5000). It's the newest and smallest in the UC system, and they're trying to pull in more students by offering scholarships for GPA! So yeah I'm having a great time. Enough about me.

EDIT: We also have lots of international spudders; if you've attended/are attending college, tell us about your experiences as well please!

Go go go
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Unread postAuthor: wyz2285 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:24 am

I´m in second year of high school, next year will be the last and Iwill have to decide where I want to go. What does Mechanical Engineering actually do? Because that´s where I´m thinking to follow.
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Unread postAuthor: sharpshooter11000 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:41 am

Wyz, what age are you? I'm in third year in high school and I've still got 4 more years to go, then university (or college, or whatever you call it).
I'm thinking of doing Mechanical Engineering too, or something else to do with engineering.
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Unread postAuthor: wyz2285 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:58 am

? I´m confused, don´t you go to college after the third year in high school? Or maybe it´s different here in Portugal... High school here are only 3 years.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:03 am

I never really knew what I wanted to do at university, even when I finished high school. The last year or so of HS I had been getting interested in evolution and science as a quest to better my knowledge and improve my argumentative skills (I got tired of not being able to back up my opinions without proof and I'm a pretty opinionated guy); probably as a result of me having problems with the school authorities and what I thought (and still think) to be unreasonable rules enforced by the school (we have compulsory uniform which is fine but other rules like having to be clean shaven all the time, not allowed to have hair deemed to be 'scruffy' or 'unorthodox', not allowed to wear t-shirts under school uniform even though the uniform supplied is paper thin and incredibly prone to even the smallest of sweat marks; which doesn't help when most of the school population bike or walk to school, and other bullsh|t like that).

So even though I finished high school without knowing what to do at university, missed the first semester of uni as I didn't know what to do and had a pretty shocking academic record from high school because I never realised that only about half the available classes taught at school contributed to recognised grades by many NZ universities... I stumbled upon my late interest from high school that I'm still pursuing a career in at university.

By coincidence, two of the careers I wanted to get in to as a child were palaeontology or forensic science (being of the CSI/Law and Order generation) and I abandoned those aspirations pretty quickly, as kids do, but have ended up at university with the possibility of doing either of them; though I'm heading towards more biology orientated studies now.

There's no doubt in my mind that if it wasn't for me having gone home after school and researched anything from evolution to astrophysics in my own spare time, I wouldn't be at uni or I'd be studying something that I would hate. None of my teachers at school in the last two years were above average, none of them did any more than they had to (teach the curriculum) and none ever pulled students aside and gave guidance or asked them about what they wanted to do. My knowledge in high school of how academia, university and science works was completely wrong and we never get taught that or scientific literacy in high school; just the science, not how it is done. I had (and most people still do) little idea about how science works and what it really encompasses and the large amount of diverse subjects at university that all branch off from classes at high school like biology and physics.

Teachers were more concerned about teaching from the book, controlling the class and joining unions to protest their reasonable wages. The deans and other staff whose job it is to make sure students are doing alright were entirely consumed by enforcing the rules by checking no guys had hair growing on their chin or were wearing the correct type of shoes (kids are obviously going to go buy black leather sneakers only for the dean to confiscate them even though the uniform rules only specify that black leather shoes are required).

High school isn't the be all, end all. In my last year I took hard tech (shop class), media studies, calculus (failed pretty much everything), physics (did ok) and history (did ok). I left high school without enough 'points' to get in to anything above a Bachelor of Arts, found something in my spare time that I really enjoyed, enrolled in some correspondence courses to get enough 'points' for uni, excelled at those, got in to uni and found a degree that I quite enjoy. My last year of high school was pretty much pointless and, in terms of contributing to my current studies, so was 95% of high school. English classes were always analysing poems and crap; useless for when you're a non-fiction reader and have no intention of studying english at university. History class didn't teach me much as I was an avid reader long before high school. Media studies, German, and a compulsory business course didn't teach me anything that would help me at university; although I did enjoy German and am glad I studied it for a few years. Math class was probably the only really beneficial class I took at high school even though in my last year I failed calculus and in my second to last year I read (fiction) books through most of the classes and still ended up with something like a B+. I've taken biology orientated and several statistics courses at university without having done them at high school and done quite well.

It doesn't matter if you haven't done well at high school as long as you can get in to university and do a degree that really interests you; something that makes you go home and want to research more. Sorry about this rant against high school, just thought there might be some younger members out there like me who felt lost during or after high school.
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Unread postAuthor: sharpshooter11000 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:24 am

I agree with the overboard school rules MrCrowley. Hopefully though most of the subjects I will be taking for GCSE will help me in uni as all of them apart from a few compulsory subjects (English, a language) are based around engineering, which is what I hope to do.

Wyz, according to Wikipedia if you're in second year you're only 7 years old...
In the UK it goes
age 5/6 to 10/11 is primary school
age 11/12 to 17/18 is high school
Then after that it's university.

if that makes any sense at all... :roll:
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:29 am

I could understand that in Portugal they might have a system of schooling where you have primary school (elementary) for 5-6 years and then an intermediate (junior high) school for ~4 years and then high school for 2 or 3 years. In NZ, our intermediate school only lasts 2 years but our high school 5, I don't think there would be many problems if they suddenly changed it so intermediate was 4 or 5 years and high school 2 or 3 years.
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Unread postAuthor: Crna Legija » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:30 am

sharpshooter11000 wrote:In the UK it goes
age 5/6 to 10/11 is primary school
age 11/12 to 17/18 is high school
Then after that it's university.


yeah that's how it is in Australia too, i didn't go to uni i started an apprenticeship as a tool maker.
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Unread postAuthor: wyz2285 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:45 am

primary school (elementary) for 5-6 years and then an intermediate (junior high) school for ~4 years and then high school for 2 or 3 years.

yap ,that´s pretty much it. High school are 3 years, I´m in the second.
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Unread postAuthor: daniel0663 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:47 am

school authorities and what I thought (and still think) to be unreasonable rules enforced by the school (we have compulsory uniform which is fine but other rules like having to be clean shaven all the time, not allowed to have hair deemed to be 'scruffy' or 'unorthodox', not allowed to wear t-shirts under school uniform


Sounds just like Westlake Boys High school. :lol:

But seriously, i've been thinking the same way as you wyz.
I'm on my second to last year of high school (6th form) but i am uncertain of what course i will apply for in Uni.

I've had my goal set since i joined high school to join Government services, specifically the Police force, and had similar interests in Engineering.
My older brother had similar interests when we were young, he actually went on his way to study Civil Engineering and graduated last year at Auckland University. Which makes me want to pursue in his direction and become an Engineer. (It won't be easy, thats for sure.... )

The subjects i am currently taking at HS are wide open; which should help me apply myself into the faculty of Engineering if i keep my grades above the minium requirements and pass NCEA level 2/3 endorsed with Merit or Excellence (NZ education system)

Teachers were more concerned about teaching from the book, controlling the class and joining unions to protest their reasonable wages. The deans and other staff whose job it is to make sure students are doing alright were entirely consumed by enforcing the rules by checking no guys had hair growing on their chin or were wearing the correct type of shoes


I totally agree with this, but as the years continue.
I've noticed a trend where low achievers/high achievers are seperated, where students truly excel/pass and the small majourity ( the trouble makers) just drop out because they do not want to re-peat the same year due to them, failing the year course.

Personally, i really liked the seperation last year (which was my last junior year) the teachers seemed more relaxed and were "passionate"
about the course. In other words, they had less stress? lol.


Sorry about this rant against high school, just thought there might be some younger members out there like me who felt lost during or after high school.
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Not a rant at all! :P
rather enjoyed it.

PS; Sorry for the hijack :roll:
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:09 am

daniel0663 wrote:Sounds just like Westlake Boys High school. :lol:
Yeah I imagine it's quite similar to Taka Grammar ;)

daniel0663 wrote:The subjects i am currently taking at HS are wide open; which should help me apply myself into the faculty of Engineering if i keep my grades above the minium requirements and pass NCEA level 2/3 endorsed with Merit or Excellence (NZ education system)

Make sure you read this and understand it clearly so you know exactly how many credits from what classes you need to take as well as how many points you need.
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Unread postAuthor: daniel0663 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:33 am

Thanks for that, i knew about the point system for entry.
But didn't relise how high the requirements were ...

The guaranteed admission score for the BE(Hons) in 2012 is 240


Seems like i will need to pass most of my internal/externals with Merit or Excellence to meet the point requirements.
I'm currently taking these subject which i plan to carry onto NCEA level 3.
currently;
-English
-Physics
-Mathematics with algebra
-Computing
-Geography
-Mechanical Engineering (which i will drop next year for Stats and modeling)

Hmmm... did you go to Rangi? or TG? :?: :D
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:43 am

daniel0663 wrote:Seems like i will need to pass most of my internal/externals with Merit or Excellence to meet the point requirements.
I'm currently taking these subject which i plan to carry onto NCEA level 3.
currently;
-English
-Physics
-Mathematics with algebra
-Computing
-Geography
-Mechanical Engineering (which i will drop next year for Stats and modeling)

My bad but i forgot, did you go to Rangi? or TG? :?:

Does that mathematics with algebra class include calculus? The link I sent you says you need 18 credits in a math course that includes calculus in the curriculum. Unless you really hate mechanical engineering or don't think you need it, it's probably better than stats because stats isn't too hard to pick up at university and I have a feeling they teach you all new stuff in stats compared to high school. I never did stats at high school but my friends did and they weren't any better off at stats courses at university than I was.

I went to TG; where everyone hated Westlake Boys because our top teams would play your 2nd XIs and 2nd XVs :D
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Unread postAuthor: daniel0663 » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:59 am

Mathematic with algebra includes calculus. Which will lead to Level 3 calculus next year.

Mechanical engineering is useless for me.......
Had to drop stats and modeling on day one, due to the fact we were not allowed to have two mathematics this year. (academic dean could of told us an early heads up when we were selecting our subjects for 2012.. :( )

Next year we will be able to choose both mathematics, or thats what i heard from my dean..

where everyone hated Westlake Boys because our top teams would play your 2nd XIs and 2nd XVs


:D [/code]
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Unread postAuthor: dahakka » Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:33 am

6rd year , medical college
worst job ever, :(
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