#1  
Old 05-15-2019, 02:17 AM
sta3535 is offline
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College Survey


1. What college did you end up choosing and why? Did you transfer, take a year off, or drop out in between semesters at all?

2. Did you live on campus, off campus, or were you a commuter?

3. What was your combined GPA after your first year of college, the adjustment period? What was you final cumulative GPA after you graduated? Could you've done better?

4. Did you ever switch your major and why?

5. How long did it take you to find your first "real" friend or group of friends? Are you still searching if you didn't find them yet? If you already graduated from college, are you still in contact with them?

#5 - A "real" friend or group of friends, in my opinion, means that you always hang out with them everywhere you go. They'll always be in touch until the day you die.

6. What was your worst roommate experience(s)? So far? How did you handle him/her? Were you able to change rooms or not?

7. What do you do for fun in college? Party stories?

8. What was your most memorable experience in college? So far if you're still in college?

9. What are some college hacks that you found out over the years?

10. Graduates only: If you could to do it all over again, would you change anything about your college path/experience? Trade school, community college/commuting to save money, etc.
  #2  
Old 05-15-2019, 08:32 PM
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1. What college did you end up choosing and why? Did you transfer, take a year off, or drop out in between semesters at all? A small liberal arts college a few hours from home. I went directly there and directly through.

2. Did you live on campus, off campus, or were you a commuter? On campus. This was required in the first year and my preference years 2 and 3. In year 4, I was a Resident Assistant.

3. What was your combined GPA after your first year of college, the adjustment period? What was you final cumulative GPA after you graduated? Could you've done better? No idea in my first year. My average overall was a B. I could have done better by taking easier classes.

4. Did you ever switch your major and why? No.

5. How long did it take you to find your first "real" friend or group of friends? Are you still searching if you didn't find them yet? If you already graduated from college, are you still in contact with them? A few days, and yes, decades later.

#5 - A "real" friend or group of friends, in my opinion, means that you always hang out with them everywhere you go. They'll always be in touch until the day you die. Okay. That's not how it works when people get married, come from other countries, etc.

6. What was your worst roommate experience(s)? So far? How did you handle him/her? Were you able to change rooms or not? I lived with a friend who had boyfriends over a lot. I didn't try to move, but it was annoying.

7. What do you do for fun in college? Party stories? Had long, interesting conversations, worked in student groups and on the literary magazine, and ate long dinners with friends. I didn't go to many parties.

8. What was your most memorable experience in college? So far if you're still in college? I can't answer this. The whole thing was memorable and meaningful.

9. What are some college hacks that you found out over the years? Back in my day, we didn't call them "hacks." And I can't think of any.

10. Graduates only: If you could to do it all over again, would you change anything about your college path/experience? Trade school, community college/commuting to save money, etc. Nope.

Last edited by susan; 05-15-2019 at 08:33 PM.
  #3  
Old 05-15-2019, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by susan View Post
#5 - A "real" friend or group of friends, in my opinion, means that you always hang out with them everywhere you go. They'll always be in touch until the day you die. Okay. That's not how it works when people get married, come from other countries, etc.
I guess it depends on the person or group of people. I just don't see why friendships have to change, despite getting married. I know people who've been friends since childhood, despite major life changes. The only problem is if they move far away from each other, but all they need is a simple phone call or video chat.

Last edited by sta3535; 05-15-2019 at 11:22 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-15-2019, 11:25 PM
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Last edited by sta3535; 05-15-2019 at 11:26 PM.
  #5  
Old 05-16-2019, 11:52 AM
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1. What college did you end up choosing and why? Did you transfer, take a year off, or drop out in between semesters at all?
MIT. Did the traditional four year thing.

2. Did you live on campus, off campus, or were you a commuter?
In a dorm all four years. And an architectural landmark at that.

3. What was your combined GPA after your first year of college, the adjustment period? What was you final cumulative GPA after you graduated? Could you've done better?
When I went first year was pass/fail, so that I can't answer. GPA was somewhere between 4 and 5 (MIT uses a 5 point scale.) I'm sure I could have done better if I had tooled more, but the things I did instead of tooling were more rewarding, and I never screwed up any classes. I'd rather get a B in an interesting class than choose classes where I could get As.
4. Did you ever switch your major and why?
Nope.
5. How long did it take you to find your first "real" friend or group of friends? Are you still searching if you didn't find them yet? If you already graduated from college, are you still in contact with them?
Almost immediately. My dorm was set up so that there were more or less separate living areas on each floor, and on my section we all bonded pretty much immediately, and arranged to be near each other all four years. And we stay in touch.
#5 - A "real" friend or group of friends, in my opinion, means that you always hang out with them everywhere you go. They'll always be in touch until the day you die.

6. What was your worst roommate experience(s)? So far? How did you handle him/her? Were you able to change rooms or not?
No bad roommate experiences. Freshman year was fine. Sophomore year my roommate was living with his girlfriend in the girls' dorm, a relationship I encouraged. But we still got along fine. Most juniors and seniors had singles, I did.
7. What do you do for fun in college? Party stories?
We played cards. I was librarian of one of the world's largest collections of science fiction. I watched my friends get stoned. I dated.
8. What was your most memorable experience in college? So far if you're still in college?
The week I met my wife.
9. What are some college hacks that you found out over the years?
Define college hacks. At MIT we did real hacks, including throwing a piano off the roof of our building which is still famous (and seems to get repeated every year) and is the basis for an activity at our reunions.
10. Graduates only: If you could to do it all over again, would you change anything about your college path/experience? Trade school, community college/commuting to save money, etc.
I might have concentrated on my programming more - I only got good when I went to grad school.
  #6  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:03 PM
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1. What college did you end up choosing and why? Did you transfer, take a year off, or drop out in between semesters at all?
Union College. It was one of two that accepted me, and I got Regents scholarship money. I was there four years.

2. Did you live on campus, off campus, or were you a commuter?
On campus all four years.

3. What was your combined GPA after your first year of college, the adjustment period? What was you final cumulative GPA after you graduated? Could you've done better?
I don't recall. I know I graduated needing only one higher grade to get cum laude. I also took a course as a Senior that I knew from the start that I'd get a C. I don't regret that decision

4. Did you ever switch your major and why?
No. Political Science/History double major, though I was taking more history courses by the end.

5. How long did it take you to find your first "real" friend or group of friends? Are you still searching if you didn't find them yet? If you already graduated from college, are you still in contact with them?
The first week or two.

#5 - A "real" friend or group of friends, in my opinion, means that you always hang out with them everywhere you go. They'll always be in touch until the day you die. By that criteria, never.

6. What was your worst roommate experience(s)? So far? How did you handle him/her? Were you able to change rooms or not?
No real problems. I wasn't friends with my freshman roommate, but there were no horror stories.

7. What do you do for fun in college? Party stories?
Played bridge. A game would start after lunch and go on until midnight, with players swapping out and being replaced.

8. What was your most memorable experience in college? So far if you're still in college?
I ate at a fraternity, but wasn't a member. At one point, I knew more about the fraternity's traditions than any of the brothers.

9. What are some college hacks that you found out over the years?
Nothing comes to mind

10. Graduates only: If you could to do it all over again, would you change anything about your college path/experience? Trade school, community college/commuting to save money, etc.

Not really
__________________
"If a person saying he was something was all there was to it, this country'd be full of rich men and good-looking women. Too bad it isn't that easy.... In short, when someone else says you're a writer, that's when you're a writer... not before."
Purveyor of fine science fiction since 1982.
  #7  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:41 PM
That Don Guy is offline
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1. What college did you end up choosing and why? Did you transfer, take a year off, or drop out in between semesters at all?
California-Berkeley, as it was one of the top schools in the country for my intended major (computer science), and it was close to where I lived

2. Did you live on campus, off campus, or were you a commuter?
My first three years, I lived in dormatories; my final year, I commuted (more out of necessity than choice)

3. What was your combined GPA after your first year of college, the adjustment period? What was you final cumulative GPA after you graduated? Could you've done better?
First semester? Something like 3.3. That's about what it was when I graduated. I probably could have done slightly better - maybe as high as 3.5 - if I was a little more selective in my elective classes.

4. Did you ever switch your major and why?
No

5. How long did it take you to find your first "real" friend or group of friends? Are you still searching if you didn't find them yet? If you already graduated from college, are you still in contact with them?
Any "groups of friends" I had that I didn't already know from high school were people on the same floor of my dorm. I don't think I have talked to anybody I first met in college since I graduated.

6. What was your worst roommate experience(s)? So far? How did you handle him/her? Were you able to change rooms or not?
Didn't really have one. If anything, I would be on their list.

7. What do you do for fun in college? Party stories?
I went home every weekend. In fact, I managed to make it through four years not only without going to a single party, but without drinking any alcohol (but that's mainly because, for whatever reason, all beer and most wine just burns my throat - and it still does; just last weekend, I went to a restaurant/bar and ordered a "sampler" of five different beers, and I couldn't tell them apart).
The most "fun" I had was the occasional boardgame night.


8. What was your most memorable experience in college? So far if you're still in college?
I was at the 1982 Cal-Stanford "The band is out on the field!" football game. In fact, I got there three hours early just to be sure I would get a good seat (and I did, right on the 50-yard line).

9. What are some college hacks that you found out over the years?
If I learned any, they are all long out of date. When I went, the dorms still had rotary phones, and I don't think anybody had a color TV in their rooms as portable color TVs wouldn't be affordable until 1984 or so.

10. Graduates only: If you could to do it all over again, would you change anything about your college path/experience? Trade school, community college/commuting to save money, etc.
The one thing I think I would change is to take courses I knew I could get A's in during my first semester, if only because "honors" were based on my overall GPA, and a C+ I got in geography during my first term haunted me the entire time.
  #8  
Old 05-16-2019, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sta3535 View Post
1. What college did you end up choosing and why? Did you transfer, take a year off, or drop out in between semesters at all? First time, I chose a women's liberal arts college within bicycling distance of home. Dropped out after 2 semesters. 3 years later, I enrolled at Purdue University.

2. Did you live on campus, off campus, or were you a commuter? First time, commuter. Second time, lived off campus.

3. What was your combined GPA after your first year of college, the adjustment period? What was you final cumulative GPA after you graduated? Could you've done better? Honestly don't remember - this was over 40 years ago. But, yeah, I could have done better.

4. Did you ever switch your major and why? First time, I was going to teach foreign languages. Second time, I became and aerospace engineer.

5. How long did it take you to find your first "real" friend or group of friends? Are you still searching if you didn't find them yet? If you already graduated from college, are you still in contact with them? I'm in touch with 1 friend from the first college - we happened to go to high school together. And I'm in touch with one friend from Purdue. But neither is a "real" friend by your definition.

#5 - A "real" friend or group of friends, in my opinion, means that you always hang out with them everywhere you go. They'll always be in touch until the day you die.

6. What was your worst roommate experience(s)? So far? How did you handle him/her? Were you able to change rooms or not? N/A

7. What do you do for fun in college? Party stories? First time - nothing unusual. Second time, I took flying lessons.

8. What was your most memorable experience in college? So far if you're still in college? Twice, we had blizzards bad enough that they closed the university. Hard to forget 4' of snow.

9. What are some college hacks that you found out over the years? No idea what a college hack is.

10. Graduates only: If you could to do it all over again, would you change anything about your college path/experience? Trade school, community college/commuting to save money, etc. I wish I'd paid more attention in a couple of classes - it would have helped me in my career.
oops

Last edited by FairyChatMom; 05-16-2019 at 01:52 PM.
  #9  
Old 05-16-2019, 02:08 PM
Procrustus is offline
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1. What college did you end up choosing and why? Did you transfer, take a year off, or drop out in between semesters at all?
A small liberal arts college in Ohio. I liked the cooperative education aspect (alternating real life work and study quarters)

2. Did you live on campus, off campus, or were you a commuter?
On campus when on campus. See above. A variety of different kind of residences when off campus.

3. What was your combined GPA after your first year of college, the adjustment period? What was you final cumulative GPA after you graduated? Could you've done better?
No grades. Evaluated by written narratives. Did well enough.

4. Did you ever switch your major and why?

Never really focused on a major until the end. Then totaled up my history classes and figured out I was a history major.

5. How long did it take you to find your first "real" friend or group of friends? Are you still searching if you didn't find them yet? If you already graduated from college, are you still in contact with them?
I had a few good friends within a month or two. The circle expanded over time. No longer in contact with any of them.

6. What was your worst roommate experience(s)? So far? How did you handle him/her? Were you able to change rooms or not?
I had a terrible roommate my first quarter. A truly disgusting human. He moved out after a few weeks and squatted in a vacant building until he was thrown out. Moved back into my room for a week or two but eventually disappeared forever.

7. What do you do for fun in college? Party stories?
Lots of hanging out drinking beer and/or rum.

8. What was your most memorable experience in college? So far if you're still in college?

Sorry, that's classified.

9. What are some college hacks that you found out over the years?
If you know the people in the housing office, you can arrange to have your girlfriend as your roommate. A much better way to live then sharing a room with some asshole.

10. Graduates only: If you could to do it all over again, would you change anything about your college path/experience? Trade school, community college/commuting to save money, etc.
Not really. There were plenty of "I wish I knew then what I know now" kind of moments, but college is one place where you can make some the stupid mistakes of the young. I got a great education, had a lot of wonderful times, and gained exposure to the world. My four years in college were truly life changing.
  #10  
Old 05-16-2019, 05:18 PM
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1. What college did you end up choosing and why? Did you transfer, take a year off, or drop out in between semesters at all?
Whitman College
(this building was the dorm I stayed in my first 2 years); went right out of high school, 4 uninterrupted years. I don't really remember how I ended up there. Nobody in my family had been to college so it wasn't a tradition for us or anything.

2. Did you live on campus, off campus, or were you a commuter?
In dorms for 3 years, in an apartment for my senior. Went back home (300 miles away) during the summer.

3. What was your combined GPA after your first year of college, the adjustment period? What was you final cumulative GPA after you graduated? Could you've done better?
Heh...0.7 at the end of my freshman year. Something like a 1.0 after sophomore year. Still managed a 2.5 final.

4. Did you ever switch your major and why?
Yup. Biology wasn't sticking in my head like I'd expected. Off to the English department. Again, I don't know how I ended up there but I've never been sorry about it.

5. How long did it take you to find your first "real" friend or group of friends? Are you still searching if you didn't find them yet? If you already graduated from college, are you still in contact with them?

He had already checked in and was moving in to the room when I got there. I reject the #5 definition of friendship, though, because I don't have/wouldn't want anyone like that in my life apart from maybe a spouse. Rather, we can go for months or years without any interaction, and then practically pick up our last conversation where we left off. I know exactly 4 people who would help me make and dispose of a body with no notice, and who know they can expect the same of me. I met one such fellow the moment I tossed my duffle bag on my bed late August 1985.

6. What was your worst roommate experience(s)? So far? How did you handle him/her? Were you able to change rooms or not?
The worst experiences usually involved vomit--sometimes mine, sometimes his, sometimes a guest's. Never needed handling or reassignments, we were both chill enough to tolerate, because we were both cool enough to clean up after ourselves as soon as possible.

7. What do you do for fun in college? Party stories?
D&D, Risk, drinking, skiing, racquetball, video arcade, experimenting with a coffee grinder and a wall full of whole coffee beans down at Merchants, building snow sculptures (made a 20 foot long lizard out in front of the dorm my freshman year, used food coloring and a spray bottle to decorate it), intramural flag football. There was certainly plenty of drinking, but nothing like frequently--couldn't afford it for one thing.

8. What was your most memorable experience in college? So far if you're still in college?
Meeting...someone during my senior year. Should've treated her better, but I did the best I could for what I was so far. 30 years on I'm certain I think more about her than she does about me. Probably for the best.

9. What are some college hacks that you found out over the years?
Learn which dining halls have the better chow (even the same menu will taste different depending on who the cooks are), and avoid them. Yes, avoid the good grub. It's the same menu so there's not a great differential between the best & worst, and if you go to the worst it won't be as crowded. You get bigger portions, less hassle when you go back for 2nds & 3rds, nobody gives a damn when you break out a bottle of wine (really!), and an overall finer ambience. Let the elitists have their bests, I was always happy with good enough and peaceful experiences with friends.

10. Graduates only: If you could to do it all over again, would you change anything about your college path/experience? Trade school, community college/commuting to save money, etc.
Nope. Might have switched earlier from beer to vodka, because that's when my grades really improved. And it never would've worked out with me and #8.
  #11  
Old 05-16-2019, 07:49 PM
Hari Seldon is offline
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Let me describe my experiences in a narrative, rather than Q&A.

When I finished HS I had no scholarships, no money and no prospects. I thought if I could somehow scrape together enough for a year at Drexel, I could enter their coop program. I was enamored of chemistry (we had real chemistry sets in those days) and planned to do chem engineering. So I looked for a summer job. I answered one for a lab assistant and went for an interview. It turned out to be a lab at Penn and in the interview I was told that this was not a summer job, but a kind of coop program. The idea was that I would work full time (at about $35 a week!), I could register in General Studies (night school) at half tuition (then $9.50 a credit) and take 9 credits each term plus 3 credits each summer term for 24 credits a year and then graduate in 5 years. It was also clear that if I needed day courses, I could take the time and make it up at night. Naturally I jumped at this prospect. I have no memory of my first year GPA--my final one was 4.6/5. I commuted of course. I made friends basically in the lab. Later I made two good friends that I am still in contact with. Two things dictated my change in major. First, in the lab, I discovered that I was really not cut out for lab work. Second, one day I came on two of the grad students in the lab talking about this strange subject called modern algebra. One of them had studied it the previous year and talked the second into taking it then. The latter was having trouble with it and the former was helping him. This was the conversation I had overhear one evening. I became totally intrigued by the subject and started reading the text. I had only just gotten around to taking calculus (which, frankly, I found boringly trivial). I immediately signed for the modern algebra course the following year and determined I would major in math. At the end of that course, I was thoroughly hooked. In retrospect I realize that that undergraduate course covered about 90% of what the typical grad course in the subject (which I have taught a number of times) covers. I had an email exchange with the professor--in his 90s--just last fall. After three years of this, I applied for a scholarship to finish full time. They gave me a half scholarship and a half loan (the total tuition was just $1000). I kept my job half time and I and one of my two friends mentioned above shared an apartment a half mile off campus. At the end of that fourth year I was about 18 credits shy of graduation. I applied for a TA-ship and got it so that I was teaching two sections of calculus and taking 18 credits. I signed up for 3 graduate courses and a couple others. Fortunately, an undergraduate taking graduate courses got 1.5 times the credit so that the three grad courses gave me 13.5 credits, which together with a couple others gave me enough to graduate. It now seemed natural to stay at Penn for a PhD which I got 3 1/2 years later. So 4 1/2 undergraduate and 3 1/2 graduate years.

Would I do anything differently? I could not even imagine it. Really best result possible. What amazes me is how serendipitous it all was. I even had time for a couple of quite serious love affairs. I can't say I enjoyed every minute of it, but overall totally positive.
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