College: the Final Decision (Jester Begs Pitifully for Help)

Well, all my college decisions are in. And, as is the custom with things in my life, it’s not going to be very easy to decide where to go. Northwestern finally wrote back only to say, in effect, “we’ll tell you later.” Wait-list, huzzah. So unless I get accepted there, it’s either Boston College or University of Virginia. Neither of which is very shabby, to say the least. But that’s part of the problem: I have no idea which I would rather go to.

Money, of course, is one big factor, and UVA is considerably cheaper than BC. So in order for BC to pull ahead I need a really, really clear benefit of going there instead of UVA.

And that’s where all of you fine people come in. I’ve done a lot of research on both schools, and still have no idea where I wanna go. So, I was wondering if any Dopers out there attend either school, or know about them enough that they could offer some helpful persuasion either way.
To help out, I’m very interested in becoming a journalits/writer, so I’m looking at each school’s English departments. But I also want really good music/theatre depts., because that’s hopefully going to be a big part of my college experience. A number of other things are also being considered, like social life, campus, housing, and of course concentration of Female Doperettes in each area. :wink:

So please, for the love of God, help! I have no idea, and any words of advice would be more than appreciated, they would be revered!


Is UVA still the sort of place where the undergrads dress up for the football games? Like, jacket and tie for the guys, dresses and pearls for the gals?

I was there on a football weekend with my a capella group for a performance, many years ago. It was not homecoming weekend, and yet that is what I saw. My eyes nearly popped out of my skull. It hurt.

Speaking more generally, and from a bystander’s perspective, UVA is a school that takes (or at least took) its Grand Old Traditions very very seriously. Whether or not that’s a good thing, or a bad thing, or otherwise, is up to you.

Oooh, pick BC! Pick BC! I don’t have any really persuasive argument for why you should go to Boston College, except that I go here, and I think it would be kind of cool if a fellow Doper was among my classmates. :slight_smile:

What Grandfather Trout said. UVA – still – has a serious reputation for having their collective head up their ass. Not to mention the Grand Old Tradition stuff. Not that I can talk – I go to the University of Richmond, not too far away, and my school has much the same reputation as UVA. Stay far, far away from here, Jester.

just one word of advice:


Yeah Jester, you should wait until after you visit places to beg for help. I’m waiting till I’m done with my overnights till I come here pleading for help. We’re pretty much in the same situation, in two schools we like but our first choice (other than those Georgetown jerks) waitlisted us. Good luck with Northwestern.

You don’t need no stinking college edumacation boy. Learn a trade! Shoe repair or maybe decorative ironmongery. Then the World is your oyster.

Have you ever heard of artificial insemination? Do you like cows? Do you have soft hands? This could be a job for you!

(Boston College, because Serendipity goes there.)

Y’know, two years ago I had to decide where I was going to law school. I was admitted to three schools–two were at home, and one was a risky new venture 600 miles from my home in Philadelphia. Worse, one of the schools at home was cheaper; the other was more expensive but was located at my undergraduate college.

The short version is that my heart ultimately law at the school 600 miles away. I knew this through the entire course of my deliberations, but I didn’t want to admit to myself that the better school necessitated risk and sacrifice. However, the controlling factor that ultimately changed my mind was that I knew I’d be regretting it years later if I didn’t make that leap.

So, maybe a good way to prod yourself into a decision is to ask yourself: twenty years from now, which school would you most regret NOT going to? Screw the cost, screw the sacrifice…if you’re not doing what you love, it ain’t worth it.

Some pretty hot looking babes at UVA, and those Catholic girls at BC who just got let out of prep school need to make up for lost time.

BC girls are more stuck up and the winters are colder. Everybody sounds nasal up there.

Besides there’s nothing sexier than a Southern accent coming out of a long-limbed auburn haired beauty.


Sorry to be flip on what’s a serious and important decision, but you know what?

They’re both fantastic schools.

Congratulations! You should be both proud and honored to have the opportunity to make such a decision.

On the other hand, they are both such great schools that my criteria might be as good as any.

I also give the nod to UVA for a broader curriculum. So, you might want to go there if you haven’t decided what you want to do.
Also, Southern Seminary is nearby.

In case you didn’t know, Southern Seminary is that all girl horseback riding college for rich, and spoiled buxom lasses who want to explore their sexuality.

Do you know why the girls horseback ride?

They love having strong beasts between their legs.

SS girls lust after UVA guys. Trust me on this.

Hey, Jester, I’m currently in my fourth year at UVA, so if you have any questions, feel free to IM me.

Would using eeny, meeney, miney, moe help you make a decision?

As someone who’s in debt just going to the state school, and with grad school to follow–

all other things being equal, choose the cheaper school. Are you planning on going to grad school? If so, then definitely choose the cheaper school. $80k in debt would not be fun. Seriously–where you go for your undergrad is important, but after grad school or your first job, almost no one will give a shit. Also, go where you think you wil have fun. Do I sound jaded? I just don’t like debt. I love my school (Wisconsin), which is why I’m on the 5-year plan.

You want to be a writer …this is what you need.

A one way trip to some unpopular/undiscovered place. Omaha is not an option. Invest most of your money in booze, cigars, hookers and a faithful dog.

Get drunk alot! Chase after the pretty senoritas alot. Fist fights are good, too. Travel all over, but never by the conventional methods. A donkey cart would be ideal. Don’t forget sunscreen.
Become a homosexual for an experimental weekend/month/year/decade, marry several times to the sex of your choice, write a hit song, be a one hit wonder, do lots of drugs and wear horribly painful to look at clothing and hairstyles.write everything down with passionate words and using lots of exclamation points! Don’t forget your camera!

Then come home and sell it to Dreamworks.
BTW, there is nothing you really need in this post. I am just padding my numbers. Move along now.

With regard to studying English…
I just finished deciding where to go to graduate school for English, and UVA’s English department has a reputation for not exactly being the friendliest place in the world. A lot of this seems due to stuff that’s specific to the graduate level and I don’t know if it carries over to the undergraduate experience. But it might be worth asking students about the tenor of the department.

If you can swing it at all, a campus visit is incredibly helpful. If it’s not possible, you might ask the admission office or the departments you’re interested in to give you email addresses or phone numbers for some students to talk to. I asked a lot of people about the quality of their interactions (in and out of the classroom) with other students and with their professors, the kind of advising they got, etc.

CONGRATULATIONS! You can probably have a great time and get a great education at either school.

Yeah! You should be ashamed of yourself! Trying to steer a young, impressionable boy like our little Jester wrong! Sheesh!

Gift baskets. There’s a huge future in gift baskets.

Visit the schools. I can’t stress that enough.

Talk to the administrators, talk to an advisor for your major.

Trust your instincts on this one. You’ll be sorry if you don’t.

If you don’t know what your instincts are, do the following exercise:

Heads is BC, tails is UVA. Flip the coin.
Before you uncover the coin, you will know which way you are hoping for it to land.

It sounds goofy but I’m serious.

Best of luck to you.

It sounds like you actually do have a preference, judging from your OP, for Northwestern. If you are interested enough in journalism to consider it as a career, I’m sure you already know they are far and away the best choice for that field, and I give you my best wishes for getting a positive answer from them. While UVA and BC are obviously fine schools, neither of them has a journalism school, and I can tell you, having a journalism degree myself and being married to an English major, that a course of study in journalism is completely and utterly different than one in English. You will not be prepared for a career in journalism by getting an English degree. You’d actually be better off considering a degree in history or political science if a journalism career is a goal.

Regardless of where you do decide to go, make sure you get as much hands-on experience as possible via writing for the school paper and internships (I know you already have had a start on the intership thing). That will end up making a great deal of difference when it comes to getting a job, particularly if you end up with a degree in something other than journalism, because you won’t be getting the practice you need to hone your skills in journalism classes.

Best of luck to you regardless - I think you will love college no matter where you go. It’s an experience not to be missed if you can do it.