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methodwriter85

The College Thread

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So. Yeah. I thought I'd start this thread for those of us who are in college to commiserate over the issues (financial, stress-wise, etc etc). And I suppose, solicit advice from those older guys who've been there and know what's what. And of course, those high school kids getting ready for college can come in here and ask for advice as well.

 

As for me, the financial thing sucks a bit- I think in the end I should end up being about 25k in student loan debt by the end of college...blah.

 

The other thing is, I took a year off for various reasons and came back to find out that I don't have nearly as many credits as I thought I did. Which means either massive summer and WINTER school, or doing the fall semester and missing out on spring graduation. And of course, raising the ire of my kinfolk, who want me to be done with college and in a job pretty soon.

 

Finally, I got an 830 on my practice GRE test. Ugh, ugh, and UGH.

 

So...what about you guys?

Edited by methodwriter85

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Eh, no GREs for me. I'm supposed to graduate next May after 5 years of college. Right now I'm panicking because one of my professors doesn't do partial credit, so I'm failing his class. I'm also trying to get a summer internship, but they won't look at my app until both of my letters of recommendation are in. One is in and the other person writing me a letter has kinda disappeared. The deadline is in two weeks... after that they stop reviewing apps and I'm f**ked, since this is my last chance for a internship. Yeah I could do one in the fall, but I can't afford to take a semester off since my parents' retirement depends on my timely graduation, and my job acquisition depends on experience from internships. Argh.

 

[/rant]

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Yeah, that does kind of suck. I'm lucky enough to have my parents foot the bill for my undergrad education. I'm still a year or two away from graduation, and even then I'll still have to go to grad school. I hope I'll be ready to enter the "real" world after that. Currently I'm trying to figure out my schedule for next semester. It seems like everything I come up with isn't very desirable. I'm not really a morning person, but it looks like I'm going to be stuck with a 9 am class once or twice a week. In addition to that I might have 7 hours of labs on one day. I also want to get my last gen ed out of the way, but I'm not sure if I can fit it into my schedule next semester. On the plus side, I'm doing an individual study with the head of my department this semester in preparation for doing research over the summer. She has a proposal due pretty soon, and if it gets approved, I might get a paid trip to Hawaii to do some observing! That would be awesome. Good luck with trying to figure out what to do methodwriter.

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And I suppose, solicit advice from those older guys who've been there and know what's what.

Well, if you promise not to call me older, I'll make a few comments.

 

The other thing is, I took a year off for various reasons and came back to find out that I don't have nearly as many credits as I thought I did. Which means either massive summer and WINTER school, or doing the fall semester and missing out on spring graduation. And of course, raising the ire of my kinfolk, who want me to be done with college and in a job pretty soon.

Eh, well I can understand not wanting to tick of the family, but if you're not really relying on them (as I inferred based on your comment about student loans, correct me if I'm wrong), then frankly it isn't really any of their business! If you need to slow down and take it a bit easier DO IT! It really is your decision.

 

If you don't feel like you can just bluntly tell them - and if you think they'd fall for it - then I'd even recommend a little no harm done deception. Why not act all disappointed and say that you'll probably have to go an extra semester due to a class not being offered or because of some other scheduling conflict. Act really ticked off and disappointed and if you're lucky they might start trying to comfort you :lol:

 

0:)

 

Of course I'm only advocating that because I really do think it's your right and your business if you're paying for your education anyway.

 

Now, if on the other hand you want to hurry up and get done as something you want to do for yourself then that's another matter entirely.

 

 

Eh, no GREs for me. I'm supposed to graduate next May after 5 years of college. Right now I'm panicking because one of my professors doesn't do partial credit, so I'm failing his class. I'm also trying to get a summer internship, but they won't look at my app until both of my letters of recommendation are in. One is in and the other person writing me a letter has kinda disappeared. The deadline is in two weeks... after that they stop reviewing apps and I'm f**ked, since this is my last chance for a internship. Yeah I could do one in the fall, but I can't afford to take a semester off since my parents' retirement depends on my timely graduation, and my job acquisition depends on experience from internships. Argh.

Good luck, Robbie!

 

LOL, I'd recommend that you take it a bit easier too if that's at all feasible.

 

Yeah, that does kind of suck. I'm lucky enough to have my parents foot the bill for my undergrad education. I'm still a year or two away from graduation, and even then I'll still have to go to grad school. I hope I'll be ready to enter the "real" world after that. Currently I'm trying to figure out my schedule for next semester. It seems like everything I come up with isn't very desirable. I'm not really a morning person, but it looks like I'm going to be stuck with a 9 am class once or twice a week. In addition to that I might have 7 hours of labs on one day. I also want to get my last gen ed out of the way, but I'm not sure if I can fit it into my schedule next semester. On the plus side, I'm doing an individual study with the head of my department this semester in preparation for doing research over the summer. She has a proposal due pretty soon, and if it gets approved, I might get a paid trip to Hawaii to do some observing! That would be awesome. Good luck with trying to figure out what to do methodwriter.

Here's some advice I really do feel is important. Please don't try to fight your nature on this if it's strongly embedded and there are any other options. You're not being lazy; it really is TOUGH for a person your age to get up early, and it's likely not when you're going to be at your best mentally. Unlike both younger and older people, people in their late teens and early twenties legitimately tend to have body clocks which make them naturally inclined to be zombies in the morning. If no one is making you get up and go to class there's a good chance you simply won't be able to muster the energy and motivation to do it. Even if you do, you're probably not as well off as if you were taking it later in the day.

 

When I was doing my undergrad I dropped the same class three times, and really it was one of only two classes that I ever dropped. Why? Because they kept offering the damn thing before 10am. I finally got through it, and with no trouble at that, when they finally offered a session in the afternoon. Unfortunately, unlike most of my classes, I really did need to go to it regularly to do well in it. (I was lucky in that I was usually able to get by just fine in most of my classes without very much effort. I found my major very easy, and most of it was fairly intuitive stuff for me. It fit my personality and mind very well so most of my classes didn't take that much work. I also had the benefit of being genuinely interested so the effort I did put in typically felt almost recreational anyway. This class was not like that.)

 

On the flip side, I had a friend who really was a morning person. She did just fine in the morning class and had no trouble. On the other hand, she suffered through a night class big time. Personally, night classes were the easiest for me to make myself go to and the ones I was able to pay attention best in. I think it's all about trying to find a schedule that isn't in conflict with your natural disposition :)

Edited by AFriendlyFace

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I'm not in college yet but I have gotten a few acceptance letters. But now that I have my second ACT scores, I think I can actually look at a variety of BETTER colleges than the ones I had in mind. I was surprised when I had a 31 composite score on the ACT, which means that I could actually be looking at Vanderbilt up in Nashville. Maybe I should try Harvard as a gag joke, no? Yale?

 

And even though my dad is willing to pay for my tuition, I told him he could only pay for maybe half, if that. I want to do this on my own, so now I'm up to my neck is scholarship applications. :P

 

Wish me luck.

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Unlike both younger and older people, people in their late teens and early twenties legitimately tend to have body clocks which make them naturally inclined to be zombies in the morning. If no one is making you get up and go to class there's a good chance you simply won't be able to muster the energy and motivation to do it. Even if you do, you're probably not as well off as if you were taking it later in the day.

I gotta back him up on this. I really do have a lot of trouble getting myself to early morning classess...so far, the only classes I've failed in college were classes that started early in the morning. I've generally done absolutely fine in non-morning classes.

 

In fact, today I missed my 9:30 because I just couldn't get myself up. Oh, well.

 

As for the stuff I talked about, my sisters aren't paying for it. My mom helps me out, and she's generally cool about it. I am going to have to deal with figuring out loan consolidation though, after I get out. I mean, the plan is to go to grad school, but I am thinking about taking a year off in-between undergrad and grad school so I could work and try to pay off at least a few of the loans while living at home with my mother.

 

My friend Steve thinks I should just suck it up and do the summer classes, and my e-Dad Mark Arbour thinks I should do the extra semester. Bleh. If I do the extra semester, I could add the minor, which might look good on my grad school resumes. Hmm.

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I gotta back him up on this. I really do have a lot of trouble getting myself to early morning classess...so far, the only classes I've failed in college were classes that started early in the morning. I've generally done absolutely fine in non-morning classes.

 

In fact, today I missed my 9:30 because I just couldn't get myself up. Oh, well.

oh man am I not a morning person. i suffered due to that in my degree. I was fine if they were afternoons. this year in my masters they are either 10am or 1pm. which i can cope with, I'm getting better. last year was my most favourite class ever and it was a damn 9am on a friday, it killed me, I loved it, it was deep crazy type of political philosophy (post-structuralism, particularly Deleuze) so i was determined not to miss any but I still did the occasional one. living off campus meant getting there took longer. it was a fight to be mentally engaged then, often without coffee as I was in such a rush until the mid-break but I enjoyed it, I got my best ever grade from that class.

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I gotta back him up on this. I really do have a lot of trouble getting myself to early morning classess...so far, the only classes I've failed in college were classes that started early in the morning. I've generally done absolutely fine in non-morning classes.

 

In fact, today I missed my 9:30 because I just couldn't get myself up. Oh, well.

 

As for the stuff I talked about, my sisters aren't paying for it. My mom helps me out, and she's generally cool about it. I am going to have to deal with figuring out loan consolidation though, after I get out. I mean, the plan is to go to grad school, but I am thinking about taking a year off in-between undergrad and grad school so I could work and try to pay off at least a few of the loans while living at home with my mother.

 

My friend Steve thinks I should just suck it up and do the summer classes, and my e-Dad Mark Arbour thinks I should do the extra semester. Bleh. If I do the extra semester, I could add the minor, which might look good on my grad school resumes. Hmm.

The irritating thing is that while it is widely known that once puberty hits, natural changes make it preferable to sleep in and stay up later, High School administrators still insist on starting school at God-Awful hours. They are idiots.

 

I remember my friends in college teasing me for oversleeping and missing my 1pm class. Of course, I'd be up at 4am the night before.

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Trust me. There's now way I would schedule a morning class if I didn't have to. My 9am this semester was only offered at 9. I actually have more flexibility in my schedule than most people I know when it comes to what classes I can take. There's pretty much a list of classes that don't really need to be taken in any particular order as long as you take them all. Right now I'm looking at choosing around 4 out of 9 different classes. The problem is as soon as I pick one class, it almost immediately picks the rest of my schedule for me due to scheduling conflicts. I'm doing alright in my current 9am class though. I just got a 100 on my first PHYS 325 (Mechanics and Relativity 1) exam (my 9 o'clock). It still sucks major ass having to get up early. At least that class is only a block away from where I live.

I'm not in college yet but I have gotten a few acceptance letters. But now that I have my second ACT scores, I think I can actually look at a variety of BETTER colleges than the ones I had in mind. I was surprised when I had a 31 composite score on the ACT, which means that I could actually be looking at Vanderbilt up in Nashville. Maybe I should try Harvard as a gag joke, no? Yale?

 

And even though my dad is willing to pay for my tuition, I told him he could only pay for maybe half, if that. I want to do this on my own, so now I'm up to my neck is scholarship applications. :P

 

Wish me luck.

31 on the ACT is pretty good. That's what I got. I took it twice and got the same score both times. It was that damn science section that brought me down. Funny how I'm double majoring in the sciences. If you really want to go to an Ivy League school, it wouldn't hurt to apply. This girl from my school got put on the waiting list at Yale and she eventually got in with like a 28 on her ACT. She was class valedictorian too, but only because they decided to start weighted grades in my senior year and I kind of got screwed out of it. I didn't apply to any private schools because I didn't feel like filling out the apps and writing those extra essays. Northwestern's app was ridiculously long, not to mention the $40,000/yr cost of attendance. Have you visited any campuses yet? You can also talk to someone in the department you're thinking about majoring in. I talked to professors in the astronomy department at UW-Madison, Northwestern, and UI-Urbana-Champaign. Obviously you probably already know this, but a few other things to consider are size and location. Do you want to get away from your parents or stay close to home? Do you want to go to a large university or go with a smaller liberal arts college? For me, it was important to go to a larger university because they get more grants for research and have more advanced technology (in general) than smaller colleges. Anyway, good luck with finding the perfect firt.

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my problem with my school is our outrageous core requirements.

 

why would i take political science and sociology when the english and philosophy departments offer such fun things every semester?

 

so now i'm stuck either

 

a - taking summer classes or

 

b - having a really not fun last semester spring 2010 in which i take a bunch of classes with mostly freshman.

 

the money issue... i have never once had my tuition paid on time. something horrible happens and has happened every single semester. there is not one exception. this semester i finally thought my credit would be good enough to get a private loan by myself, but alas! the state of the economy forced a lot of banks to stop doing those.

 

as for the ivy league thing, unfortunately standardized test scores are basically the least important thing, namely because the admission committees realize they can be studied for. they can be good for scholarships at some state schools though, and they might test you out of some things. ohio university offered free tuition for my 33 ;)

 

morning classes really do blow. i only schedule 11 and after now. (except next semester. next semester my first class may begin at 930 in the morning, and my last end at 915 at night on thursdays. i'm trying to make that not happen.)

 

yay higher ed!

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All you non-morning people! I have two 8 am sections this term. I feel like such a farmer. On the other hand, three terms ago, my earliest class was at 10 (which I skipped), so I'd wake up at 12:30 and stagger to my 1:00 pm class. I felt like such a dilettante.

 

I'm kind of stressed out about the fact that I haven't taken or studied for the GREs at all, but I'm planning to worry about that over the summer. Maybe that is a really bad idea. But math and physics shouldn't be too hard to pick up the third time around, should it?

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Grad student talking,

 

Advice for those that want to speed through undergrad (I graduated undergrad last year in only 3 years): Balance your time and focus on what works for you. I utilized fast and effective college plan to graduate with both undergrad and grad schools with about 35k in student loans, which is pretty good on my account. I got in to college with 12 credits from AP courses in History, got a neat little award from AP examination for getting four 5's in my history exams. I play to my strengths: planning, adaptive courses i.e. keep back ups for course selection, and analysis.

 

For the tuition, look for money where ever you can. Additionally, if it means calling off spring break to save a few grand for college, then do it. I only started vacationing senior year, when i had a little extra for it.

 

Here's my list of best to worst for college financing:

 

1. Scholarships

2. Grants

3. Personal Savings

4. Parents/relatives

5. Loans

 

Loans are the worst on the list, but if you need to use it.

 

For college entrance exams, SAT was 1310 out of the old 1600 score, which placed me in the upper-middle of the pack. Really got bored during the old SAT. SAT II were more fun, I got a perfect score in US and World history SAT II's 800 points, Writing 720, and opted not to do a foreign language. I'd say do a few SAT II's to highlight your strengths.

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I was a strange puppy. I always scheduled my classes for no earlier than 11 am if I could help it, but I'd get up to work at 6 in the morning. For some reason, I could be bright and cheerful to the brats (or stern and vicious, as they preferred) at any time of day or night, but having a functioning brain before afternoon was tough.

 

I graduated on a fall semester. The only really bad part about it, besides the lack of a graduation, is that a lot fewer places are hiring during the months of January and February, so the job market is a bit dismal. Particularly this year, but even in boom times you aren't going to see the same opportunities in this quarter that you will later on in the year.

 

Of course, no ceremony is nothing to sneeze at. I'm still getting dirty looks from everyone except my parents, who understood why I finished early.

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i'm actually going to disagree with W.L.

 

the kind of student to get AP credit is the kind to double major (or triple minor if you're an asshole like me and like everything).

 

college is pretty... you know... great. i wouldn't want to blow through it. while finishing early has practical motivators, i'd rather spend four years getting all the education i can at this level and making myself a marketable candidate than graduating now with an average education.

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Grad student talking,

 

Advice for those that want to speed through undergrad (I graduated undergrad last year in only 3 years): Balance your time and focus on what works for you. I utilized fast and effective college plan to graduate with both undergrad and grad schools with about 35k in student loans, which is pretty good on my account. I got in to college with 12 credits from AP courses in History, got a neat little award from AP examination for getting four 5's in my history exams. I play to my strengths: planning, adaptive courses i.e. keep back ups for course selection, and analysis.

How many hours/semester did you take? I entered college with like 25 credits (between AP, ACT score, etc.), and there's no way I can graduate a whole year early unless I take summer classes or take ~18 hours/semester. People with a lot of AP credits are the kind of people to double major (like me!). Edited by Collegeguy1

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I'm not really a morning person, but it looks like I'm going to be stuck with a 9 am class once or twice a week.

Because I am not a morning person I've tried to plan my schedule so I don't have any early morning classes. I've had 9:00 classes every semester until this spring (I'm a sophomore, so that was three semesters). But 9:00 isn't early morning. This semester I have a Software Engineering class at 8:00 every Friday morning, so I have to get up at 6:30 instead of my usual 7:30. UGH! There are some classes here that start at 7:00 and others at 7:30; fortunately, not in my major (Computer Science). On the other hand, on Mondays and Wednesdays my first class is at 2:00, on Tuesdays and Thursdays it's at 12:30, and on Fridays my next class after the 8:00 one-hour discussion session is at 1:00. Oh, by the way, 8:00 Friday was the only scheduled discussion session for this course, so I didn't have any alternative. I need this course this semester because it's the prerequisite for courses I need to take in my junior year.

 

Just remember: once you graduate and go out into the working world the starting time won't be optional, or flexible, or to your liking if you're a late riser. So use college as a training ground to get used to the idea of getting up early. Seriously!

 

Colin B)

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Just remember: once you graduate and go out into the working world the starting time won't be optional, or flexible, or to your liking if you're a late riser. So use college as a training ground to get used to the idea of getting up early. Seriously!

 

Colin B)

Unless you're an astronomer. The stars are only out at night :P .

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so now i'm stuck either

 

a - taking summer classes or

 

b - having a really not fun last semester spring 2010 in which i take a bunch of classes with mostly freshman.

You and me are basically in the same boat, except I don't really have the option of choosing between a and b. The only possible way I can graduate in spring 2010 is if I take 16 credits again for both fall 2009 and spring 2010, and then take six credits during summer session and six credits during winter session.

 

So, yeah. That will suck, a lot. I'll have no personal life at all. But on the other hand, I'll get to finish, go to the kick-ass graduation ceremony (I've seen the receptions and stuff they throw for spring graduation and they're awesome), and my family will be happy that I finally got it done. Plus, with little time on my hand, I'll stay out of trouble. And of course, because summer and winter sessions are cheaper, I'll save on money that I would have otherwise had to spend on taking that extra semester.

 

On the other hand, taking the extra semester would make life easier, and at my school, they allow people who graduated in winter to walk at the spring semester graduation. So I could walk at the spring 2011 graduation; it just wouldn't really be with my friends, who are all graduating for spring 2010. So...things to think about, I guess.

 

Of course, the final option would be just staying through spring 2011 and taking a minor. That WOULD make me life a lot easier. But I'm worried about the cost, and question how much having a minor would really mean in terms of grad school and getting hired.

 

The joys of higher education....lol. I know Mark A., who's my mentor and the guy I see as a surrogate father, thinks I should do the fall semester and just forget about spring graduation. But man, I really wanna walk across the stage with my friends! *whines in a voice that only a last-born could do*

Edited by methodwriter85

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As usual, joining late...

 

I'll be joining college, this Fall. Where, I still don't know. I am still awaiting decisions from some of the Unis that I applied to and then only will I be able to reach a decision as to where I end up living the next four years of my life. The money part of it is a little bit easy, though. I will be going to only that Uni that gives me a good scholarship/FA....Already, two Unis have given me a fabulous offer.

 

So, I am not that concerned about the money part of it. My Dad will be taking care of the remaining tuition and living and I may end up taking up a job in my sophomore year when the Visa regulations relax.

 

The only thing I am worried about is the weather. I hate cold and I think NY, DC and NJ are all quite chilly places... :lol:

 

BeaStKid :devil:

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Congrats Bk, let us know how your doing!

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Congrats Bk, let us know how your doing!

sure, will do, mate.. :)

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As usual, joining late...

 

I'll be joining college, this Fall. Where, I still don't know. I am still awaiting decisions from some of the Unis that I applied to and then only will I be able to reach a decision as to where I end up living the next four years of my life. The money part of it is a little bit easy, though. I will be going to only that Uni that gives me a good scholarship/FA....Already, two Unis have given me a fabulous offer.

 

So, I am not that concerned about the money part of it. My Dad will be taking care of the remaining tuition and living and I may end up taking up a job in my sophomore year when the Visa regulations relax.

 

The only thing I am worried about is the weather. I hate cold and I think NY, DC and NJ are all quite chilly places... :lol:

 

BeaStKid :devil:

They're not THAT bad.... okay so maybe there was snow on my car when I showed it this morning on the first day of Spring, but that's no big!

 

If you go to any of those places and we have the East Coast GA get-together (the one before the inauguration was informal I think) I can bring ya to it LOL.

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Because I am not a morning person I've tried to plan my schedule so I don't have any early morning classes. I've had 9:00 classes every semester until this spring (I'm a sophomore, so that was three semesters). But 9:00 isn't early morning. This semester I have a Software Engineering class at 8:00 every Friday morning, so I have to get up at 6:30 instead of my usual 7:30. UGH! There are some classes here that start at 7:00 and others at 7:30; fortunately, not in my major (Computer Science). On the other hand, on Mondays and Wednesdays my first class is at 2:00, on Tuesdays and Thursdays it's at 12:30, and on Fridays my next class after the 8:00 one-hour discussion session is at 1:00. Oh, by the way, 8:00 Friday was the only scheduled discussion session for this course, so I didn't have any alternative. I need this course this semester because it's the prerequisite for courses I need to take in my junior year.

 

Just remember: once you graduate and go out into the working world the starting time won't be optional, or flexible, or to your liking if you're a late riser. So use college as a training ground to get used to the idea of getting up early. Seriously!

 

Colin B)

Colin, I'm absolutely with you on this one. :worship: Agreed that there is such a thing as the body's biological clock. But as with all clocks, this one can also be synchronized. :music:

I'm not saying its easy, I have classes from 850 am in 4 of the six days a week. This is miserable because i had a 12 year habit of attending first class at 1130am. :lmao: Boy was i screwed. What made it worse was, all early morning classes were the most boring of the lot. Without coffee or breakfast, sitting straight through this is torture. and ya, i do miss 2 out of the 4 850's every week. but hell, I'm trying!! 0:)

We cannot really say we wont work at so and so hour because our biological clock dosn suit it. We'll get booted out from wherever is it that we work, unless of course your an enterprenuer or a freelancer. :ranger:

Its great to know its not just me undergoing this torment. but then as E.M.Forster puts it,

"What is pain if friends pain together?" :2thumbs:

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Its great to know its not just me undergoing this torment. but then as E.M.Forster puts it,

"What is pain if friends pain together?" :2thumbs:

When friends pain together you have the knowledge you're not the only one who's miserable. Unfortunately, that doesn't make it any better. :lol:

 

I make sure that I get up early enough to get to the dining hall and have breakfast and bring a coffee with me to my 8 a.m. class. Since it's a discussion session, it tends to be lively and keeps me awake, and it's a short walk from my dorm. I'm glad it's not a lecture; I'd probably doze off after about 10 minutes. :ph34r:

 

You're absolutely right about the getting booted out of a job if you can't be on time. Even as a freelancer, at least at the beginning, you're bound by what your clients want.

 

Where did you go to school for 12 years where it didn't start until 11:30? That sounds amazing! My elementary, intermediate, and high schools all started at 8:00. I'm jealous!

 

Colin B)

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But now that I have my second ACT scores, I think I can actually look at a variety of BETTER colleges than the ones I had in mind. I was surprised when I had a 31 composite score on the ACT, which means that I could actually be looking at Vanderbilt up in Nashville. Maybe I should try Harvard as a gag joke, no? Yale?

I think it is still true that a student with good scores, etc., can often get more aid at top-tier schools, so that in effect it is cheaper (or no more expensive) to go to an expensive school than to one that charges a lot less. It's at least worth a look.

 

Schools' endowments are down, so it is harder for them to keep their aid policies in place, but a lot are trying hard. I'll scrounge up an extra $100 to send to my alma mater for their fund that keeps students from having to take out student loans. Scrounging is truly the word for me right now, but I think it is important.

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