Let's talk about college!

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Jimmy K
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:07 am

I'm just finishing up my first year at the University of Alabama.

I'm currently double majoring in mechanical engineering and mathematics, minoring in computational research, and am on an expedited schedule to cram in a masters in ME in around 4 years. Yikes.



Just a few words on high school vs. college:

High school was lame. College is so much better - more opportunities, facilities, people (especially of the female variety), etc.



Currently doing research in additive manufacturing. Cool stuff.
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noname
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:11 pm

For all you guys wondering about engineering, it's basically using lots of math and physics to design and build cool stuff. Considering the site we're on, I'm not surprised that a few of you are also thinking about going into engineering fields!
MrCrowley wrote: 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.
This couldn't be more true about college vs high school. High school tends to feel like an everyday grind through boring subjects, but in college you get to focus and do what you want.

In high school I had to take tons of english, history, health, and whatever else, but in my 8 classes so far (last semester and this semester) I've had 2 Calc classes, 2 Physics classes, 2 computer science classes, 2 undergrad general ed classes.
Jimmy K wrote: I'm currently double majoring in mechanical engineering and mathematics, minoring in computational research, and am on an expedited schedule to cram in a masters in ME in around 4 years. Yikes.
Yikes indeed.
Just a few words on high school vs. college:

High school was lame. College is so much better - more opportunities, facilities, people (especially of the female variety), etc.
I can't stress how true this is. College is better than high school in literally every way.
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sharpshooter11000
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:14 pm

Thanks for that, I still have 4 more years of high school :?
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:48 pm

I'm a 2nd year Mech.E at a small, private engineering school in NJ. I've had a hell of a rough time so far, but more in terms of getting myself situated with the school and numerous other life issues rather than academics. I was set on transferring for a while but have since decided to stay.

My advice to high schoolers: research the sh*t out of every place you're considering, spend time there, and learn everything you can. Personal discomfort is a bad thing to pile on top of a demanding engineering course load. As for academic advice, the obvious: study hard and do your homework. Don't just do your homework, do practice problems, go to study sessions... get your money's worth. There is no shame in putting in extra effort. Make friends with professors, they can write recommendations for you in the future or even offer you great opportunities to put on your resume. If you're not strong in algebra and calculus, do some independent studying or find a tutor. Essentially everything you will do in engineering relies on these skills.

Most importantly: take it easy. Sleep and personal time are seriously important. If you're stressed and tired you won't perform well. Every now and then, close all your books and watch some Dr. Who.
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:02 pm

I'll chime in... Sophomore in a high school of the arts, piano major. Realistically you can't get a good job out of piano but it's something I never want to let go of. I'm taking AP Calculus next year and AP US History and AP Physics. I have a high GPA/HPA and try to maintain all my classes because I'm still not completely sure what I want to do. I'll most likely end up in engineering though. When it comes to colleges I am just so lost... Like I don't know how to pick a school or even what to look for. I would like to stay in state though. I wouldn't want to leave Florida!
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Mr.Sandman
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:37 pm

AP Physics and AP Calculus is a lethal combination, prepare for hell.
Yeah, it's that important.
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 4:47 pm

All those college nerds wear those goofy flip-flop sandals things all the time.

GOOOSH!!!!!!!

Some of the gurls ther are really easy too.
(I think they just leave home to finally get some s*X really).

I did not go to college. Because it seemed like a waste of mommy/daddy money...$$$...

I'm self employed and doing pretty well.
Just couldn't see four + more years of school.
I was sick of school already myself.
Wish I had dropped out.
I make more money than most "dilberts" and I have a better life though.
So it IS possible is all.
Besides college is not very good anyway.
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MrCrowley
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:54 pm

DEATHSTAR wrote:Besides college is not very good anyway.
Coming from someone who didn't go to college? :wink:

College is great and is essentially your only option if you want to have a career in any subject that is offered by college (maths, history, teaching, engineering, science, commerce, etc). Sure, there are some other ways to do similar jobs but you're either quite disadvantaged or never have the opportunity to climb as high on the ladder.

If you want a career in something that isn't offered at college or not exactly required (starting your own business or something), than college is a waste of time. In fact, college is a waste of time unless you want to be there.
and I have a better life though
Because we all know "better life" is a continuous ratio scaled variable with "no life" being 0 :lol:
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spudtyrrant
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:07 pm

It has been a long time haha, joined the army, went to o.s.u.t., about to begin my freshman year at Arizona State University majoring in information technology.
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:09 pm

A couple thoughts....

1) I consider high school to be the biggest waste of time in my life. At the time, I thought about getting my GED, dropping out at 16, and going into college 2 years early. To this day, not following through on that plan is my only real regret in life.

2) Don't worry too much about what college you go to. As long as it's a "real" college and not just a degree mill, you'll get out of it what you put into it. I went to a garden variety state school for financial reasons but have worked with people who went to elite schools. Not once have I felt out of place or outclassed because I didn't go to [insert elite school here].
Last edited by D_Hall on Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jsefcik
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:14 pm

im finishing up highschool in 9 weeks woot, then graduate votech

its a trade school, i went for plumbing and heating, and i start college in the fall for more plumbing and heating, then make moula!!! :D :D :D
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Zeus
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:09 pm

I'm at tech college, TAFE for Australians, doing a diploma in lab skills. Planning to work for a few years, then be able to [s]buy my way in[/s] survive on savings and pay upfront. So far I've decided on a bachelor of science, then I'd like to do chemical engineering.
/sarcasm, /hyperbole
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Jimmy K
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:36 pm

D_Hall wrote:Not once have I felt out of place or outclassed because I didn't go to [insert elite school here].
Does that hold true for both undergrad and graduate degrees? I've been told the only real thing that matters is where one gets their Master's or Doctorate degree.
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D_Hall
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Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:38 pm

Jimmy K wrote:
D_Hall wrote:Not once have I felt out of place or outclassed because I didn't go to [insert elite school here].
Does that hold true for both undergrad and graduate degrees? I've been told the only real thing that matters is where one gets their Master's or Doctorate degree.
Let me put it this way....

Once upon a time - very early in my career - I found myself on a 5 man design team.

Me: BSME from University of Oklahoma (run of the mill state school, obviously)

The others...

1) BSME from MIT and a MSME from Cranfield.
2) BSME and MSAE from USAF Academy
3) BSEE and MSEE from Georgia Tech
4) ok... I don't remember his quals other than he had a MSAE.

...And even though I was the only guy in the room without a Masters, and even though I was the only guy who didn't go to a top notch school (possible exception for #4), I never once felt out of place or outclassed.

Since that time, I've worked with many folks from many backgrounds. I've routinely had PhDs defer to me on technical matters (and I've deferred to them). The longer you're out of school the less anybody cares about where you went to school; it's all about what you've done since then. Generally speaking: An engineering degree means you're trainable. But if you get out of school and think you're the shit? You are sooorely mistaken.
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Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:27 am

DEATHSTAR wrote:All those college nerds wear those goofy flip-flop sandals things all the time.

GOOOSH!!!!!!!

Some of the gurls ther are really easy too.
(I think they just leave home to finally get some s*X really).

I did not go to college. Because it seemed like a waste of mommy/daddy money...$$$...

I'm self employed and doing pretty well.
Just couldn't see four + more years of school.
I was sick of school already myself.
Wish I had dropped out.
I make more money than most "dilberts" and I have a better life though.
So it IS possible is all.
Besides college is not very good anyway.
This post is great beyond words.

Although it does make him sound a little uneducated... :D

Spudtyrrant, I thought about following the same path, I almost did due to some life stuff coming up...

Gun Freak, when it comes to colleges, apply to a few, and pick the one offering you the most money if there isn't an obvious difference in quality. Undergrad studies don't tend to matter that much, but debt sucks. The reason I'm going to the school I'm going to is because they're giving me $14,600 a year, even though I got into "better" schools.
AP tests are really useful. I got 4s on Calc, Physics, and Environmental Science, so I came to college with 14.5 units completed already. I also waived a semester of Calc, and the physics courses I'm in are a lot easier since I'm already familiar with the material we cover.

D Hall, your perspective is much more reasonable than anyone my age, thanks for the advice!
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