It pit everything regarding college (including my lack of foresight) [weak/long]

So I’m starting to regret my college choice. I knew it wasn’t top level or anything, but I figured it would be mediocre at least. My biggest decision for going here was due to me being a complete pansy and not wanting to be out of driving distance from Tucson, so I could visit my old friends and my mum. This was a mistake, a huge mistake, I coped being away from home really easily, and being too lazy to drive back most of the time the driving thing is moot, though I have gone back once to check on my marching band friends.

My first three classes are just annoying me. This “College Success” class is basically nothing but Philosophy Negative 101 with a teacher who seems to be rather confused about the prospect of AI, and gives me the vibe he hates technology in general. Now I’ll back off if someone can convince me he’s just using his Doctorate in Social Psychology to make us bond or critically think about our goals or something, but I’m not getting that vibe so he’s a pretty good actor if so. We also have to take notes in the most inane way possible, it’s like the Cornell Method, except we have to do “book notes” too. We also CANNOT take notes on our laptops in class, however we had to email the assignment last Thursday, making things needlessly difficult. However, I’m not too worried about my grade for half-assing the assignment considering half the class got full credit for the blog assignment without ever posting, let alone doing the required 20+ posts like I did. It just kinda vaguely pisses me off.

My Into to Game Design class is better, and has my favourite teacher so far. At least he has… um… credentials. I’m a little vexed by half of the class material being Gamasutra articles, but whatever, he brings a lot of material to the table, and talks from experience (well, mostly, he was more of a movie industry animator, worked on Titan AE, but the cycle is similar and he is a gamer and knows the industry’s process as well). The only real complaint is it’s too easy for me*, considering I have somewhere around 101.5%. I’m still baffled at how people are failing it, I assume by not caring about the work (well, I’ll give the one guy who kept having issues with housing and having to skip class to move a lot a slide on this).

My Introduction to Drawing and Design. Uhh… well, I don’t like the art style we’re being forced to use. It’s by far my weakest class (my mid term grade was a B+, but I think it went down a little). I can’t draw, but I’ve gotten better, however I’m a little fed up with the art style. I’m not a fan of uber-realism, the closest I’ll get to “realistic proportions” is anime (mostly proportioned except for the face). I want to do stylized, he wants America’s Most Wanted sketches. Though I’ll grant I’d probably have a similar grade either way.

However the school isn’t regionally accredited (so I have little felixibility when it comes to college choices, annoyingly throttling me). It was fine at first because I just wanted to understand general design, so I had some knowledge for concepts/an actual lead designer position, which is what I ultimately want to do and then go to Digipen, who I could meet the requirements for if I took a few classes from ASU or online independently. However, considering I haven’t actually LEARNED anything other than how to have a steady hand, and none of my classes other than game storytelling are (to my knowledge) anything but technical, I’m starting to think I should have just sucked up my worrying about homesickness and gone to Digipen in the first place or gotten a General Comp Sci degree (I’m going to get a doctorate in AI eventually, but I always figured I’d have to go back to the bottom level anyway for that).

My last thing, possibly the only thing that makes this post pitworthy is the other students. Other than a remote handful they are fucking morons. I know that sounds incredibly shortsighted, arrogant, and self-serving, but I say that as someone with typically zero self-confidence. We have discussed such basic, basic concepts that they don’t seem to be able to grasp. They seem to have no concept of logic. They fail the most ridiculous things on tests “what is a zero-defect push?” Look, I’m not the best person at rote memorization on class material, It took TONS of work for me to be able to remember most/all the presidential administrations in order, but it’s not that hard when the description of the concept is in the name itself. I have to dumb down my answers to teachers questions so I don’t lose the other students. Half of them honestly, and truly do not know half of my vocabulary. I could understand if they were incredibly arcane words, but “emulate” is hardly a complicated word, especially when there are things called Emulators that most gamers know about.

It’s college, I knew right off the bat there would be pseudo-scientists, conspiracy theorists, and people with particularly dodgy views on other things. But the VOLUME is staggering, if one person doesn’t think 9/11 was an inside job, they think Japan is a magical land of milk and honey where anime rains from the sky and no one has any problems. I can let it slide when you didn’t learn that much in your school, but the fact that most of the class failed the entry math and English exams scares me. The math portion never went beyond complex fractions (not even algebra), the English portion merely asked what a given sentence implies. Also, no, you cannot roll down my windows when I’m giving you a ride because we happen to be going to school from the same place, and whistle/talk dirty (I mean blatantly asking “will you sit on my face” dirty) to women on the sidewalk or in the car next to us. That’s RUDE. I don’t condone it, but you can do it on your own time. If you insist on doing it in my car, feel free to walk home. Also, you’re most likely staring down some serious venereal diseases if you get women to actually sleep with you from that, just saying. The fact that one of you called me at 1AM with a girl that would sleep with me (without ever talking to or seeing me) is somewhat disturbing.

-Le Sigh- I guess I have a good shot at Valedictorian at least. I hope that starting my final (and I mean FINAL) project back in the second week of school with the only other people who seem to understand the process will pay off well (I do programming and music, one does art/animation and writing, the other guy does subordinate programming, after the first class on it, and system design… except for magic which only I touch for non-balance designing). It gives us a couple years more development/polishing time than the other guys who will probably make a Tetris clone in the last month at least. These guys came to the school ready and wanting to PLAY games, not make them, and I can tell already that most of them will be sorely disappointed when it comes time to do any sort of programming or actual design. I hope this school gets better, I heard it does but I’m not sure. I’m not willing to say my career will die because of it, but I think if it keeps going in this trend I may have significantly more WORK to do, having to re-acquire my bachelors (in design or Comp Sci) from Teesside or Digipen or Carnegie Mellon (though I heard going to Carnegie Mellon is like paying to feel stupid in relation to the brilliance of everyone around you) or something. I wish I could have turned up some of this information before going here, but all there was was about 6 bad reviews on a site dedicated to bashing stuff which had hate-dossiers on everything.

I haven’t named the school for fear of getting mocked/the administration seeing it, but hell, if I’m going to make my poor decisions public I might as well give people an inkling of what I’m talking about. Collins College, Tempe AZ. Yes, the one with the godawful commercial on G4 (which I didn’t even know existed until a few weeks ago). Though the film production/animation teachers must be doing SOMETHING right nowadays, considering several of the students got to work on the recent Hulk film last year.

[/useless rant on my stupid college choice that serves as fodder for others to laugh at me]

*Though having to adapt One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (well, that was my choice off the list) to a game concept took some thinking.

Eh, just suck it up and drown the sorrows with booze. It’s college. There are a lot of people in college who shouldn’t be in college. The downfall of the skilled trades in America has created a terrible situation with thousands and thousands of unqualified and uninterested kids half-assing their way through universities when they would be better off, more fulfilled, and make more money in the end by going into HVAC or electrical contracting. Those fucking guys can make more money than doctors and lawyers nowadays because nobody knows how to do that shit anymore. But that’s a completely different topic, I guess.

True on the money, but that felt boring to me considering my entire freaking extended family (and I have a big family) does construction, plumbing/heating, electrical contracting or some permutation thereof. Well, almost my entire family at least at least.

I’ve always liked computers, but you’re right there are a lot of people who don’t seem like they really belong here.

Edit: I know you weren’t necessarily talking to me on the HVAC thing, but I thought I’d address it anyway.

OK, so you’ve picked the wrong college. If you leave now, you’ll only be out a year in the worst case. And while there will be dumbasses at any school you go to, there will also be smarter students at better schools. Suck it up, transfer, and hope that your credits carry over.

I’m not sure I understand. Your college isn’t accredited? So you want to transfer, but you can’t because the credits you’ve already accrued wouldn’t go with you?

Those two statements just do not equate. You want to get eventually get a doctorate but you’ve chosen, for your first post-secondary schooling, a non-accredited institution?

You’re bitching that the school sucks and the education is lame… but you expected…? You realize a non-accredited school is non-accredited for a reason, right?

Yes. To the good part. This is where we identify the real morons. Raise your hand if you believe it is the students who signed up, knowing full well, that their enrollment at an non-accredited school would provide them with exactly what they are receiving. Or, raise your hand if you believe it is the prospective doctoral student who decided to attend a non-accredited school because he didn’t want to move far from home?

I know you say you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, but you’re actually learning the true lesson of college:

It is just prep for the real world. All of the complaints you have could be easily applied to your first job, your in-laws, whoever, just by changing the subject matter and some small details.

Sorry, but it’s true. And you know what? It’s not that bad once you get used to it. Even if you transfer to a great school, find your dream job, etc., this reality will still apply in some form in some area of your life.

So what is a “zero-defect push”?

It’s accredited but they don’t transfer? I didn’t know that could even happen.

Check out this Wikipedia article for a decent overview of how regional accreditation differs from national.

When they freeze the development cycle, having only the key employees (i.e. lead/senior programmers oftentimes) work on the product (in our case a game), usually before a trade show, and roll out all the bugs (or at least the major ones working down) and other presentation issues. In a sense, a push before a milestone so the product has “zero defects.”

When I said “not know” I meant more like “not remember via key words.” Whatever. And I’m probably wrong on what it is anyway.

I told you I expected to work from the ground up for that anyway.

I was told that accreditation was simply a financial thing, and had nothing to realistically do with the education’s quality by several academic advisers (not affiliated with said school).

I know it was stupid, but I figured I’d learn something related to the CREATIVE aspect (instead of the technical one), then get a comp sci degree, then go into the industry, then go back to the bottom and work up. I expected the school to teach me the process, and the ins and outs of the market, not just regurgitate what I’ve already read on Google “preparing” for the school. I certainly didn’t expect it to teach me in depth comp sci, or amazing sampling or modeling, I expected it to be a DESIGN school and teach me the nuanced aspects, hence the fact it’s a BA. And yes, I do know it’s stupid, I’ve bitten myself 100 times on the arms now and given myself several good stranglings due to my stupidity.

I believe that if I personally screw up I’m not allowed to cut my losses (though everyone else can, I don’t want anyone but me feeling bad). It’s a punishment on me for being a terrible person throughout my life. And even if I wasn’t - someone, somewhere, needs punishment for something and isn’t getting it so I need to take the punishment so at least SOMEONE can take consequences for the action.

No, I was more worried about… nothing, really. I’ve only finished 3 classes so far. By that point in the rant I’d lost all concept of reality and was just pulling off whatever random facts that COULD bite me in the butt in the future, even if they possibly/probably will not.

Leave. Leave now.

At least if a recognized degree and transferable credits are your objective.

I’m assuming you’re a brand-new college student, maybe just out of HS, right? Yet it sounds like you’re already into the specialized courses (games, programming, etc.) that would be part of a major. Sounds like it’s just what college ought to be. In fact, the teachers might be good, the texts might be good, and you could no doubt learn a great deal if you apply yourself. And you appear to be motivated to do well.

But if they’re not accredited, you’re not going to get into graduate school later. If you want to transfer to ASU or wherever, I’m guessing that Collins doesn’t make you do all the GE classes that a traditional university does, so you’d have to spend a year at your next school making up lower-division deficiencies.

Really. I’d get out now. It’s only a semester. You’ve got to get GE requirements out of the way sometime, so it might as well be now.

*"

We do the GE and specialized at the same time, but now that I’ve calmed down (since last post) I’m considering switching. I think I’ll call a meeting with my two friends and see what they want to do, I know one of them would jump at Digipen (though I’m also looking at Teesside, though it’s a bit pricey, and I’m not a UKer so I don’t know how that would affect my enrollment), and we could all take GenEd until the next term together. The other guys won’t bog me down if I make my decision, but I figure I may as well try and not lose everything here.

This is the stupidest, most masochistic thing I’ve ever heard. Go to a therapist as soon as possible. You are staying in a school where you aren’t happy and aren’t learning anything to punish yourself for other people’s transgressions? Think that through once more and run, don’t walk, to the nearest therapist and figure out why that is the approach you are taking with your life.

You want a doctorate in AI.

You need to get your ass to a University. Arizona State and U of A both have good reputations. You need to understand what what human intelligence is, what computers can do and how to bring them together. That won’t happen at Noambition Community College. You are wasting your time there and time is all you have.

Your problems extend far beyond the school you’re enrolled in. It may not seem like an issue now, but if by some accident, miracle or deception you get into a doctoral program with this attitude–and those are the only three ways it can happen–you will fail out with 100% certainty. You really need to get this taken care of before anything else.

(Also, if you have a degree in computer science or a closely related field from this school, you will probably have significant difficulty getting a university to admit you into their computer science program.)

This is awfully self-indulgent, and I suggest that you abandon this way of thinking. I am now going to impart, without request, a pearl of wisdom that you may use your entire life (and like a game of Civilization technology, you can sell it to every fool who comes your way): ***If you make a mistake, correct it as soon as possible and fully correct it. *** This will stand you in good stead in life. If you had screwed up someone else’s HVAC while trying to repair it, you would be obliged to stick it out and do whatever it takes to finish the job. But here, you are responsible to yourself, and the mistake in college choice is the mistake and to correct that, you must get yourself to the right University.

Cut your losses and get out. I opened the thread figuring it would be a typical person away at a large school and on their own for the first time. Perhaps see if you can take some general education classes at a community college.

Rio Salado has classes that you can probably still enroll in. I know they market to non-traditional students. They should be able to transfer to ASU or UA.

Also, here’s a post about the Phoenix area dopefest in a couple of weeks. Love to have you join us.

Quit. Now. Do not waste any more time and money on a non-accredited degree. Even if you have to wait a year, just get a job and do something. Graduating at 22 instead of 21 isn’t a big deal - spending four years on a degree that most institutions aren’t going to recognize is.

The other stuff, about how this is punishment you deserve for some reason, I ain’t even gonna touch.

I agree that you’d be better off at a conventional school, even in a community college. Work hard and you should be able to transfer to a good four-year school after getting the AA degree. And public schools will almost certainly be cheaper than the for-profit school you’re in.