Tell me the ways your college kinda sucked

I’m a little irked at my university right now. Kind of a laundry list of things. Parking is currently number one on that list…I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to sort bs about it out; I don’t want this to become a pit thread, but I thought about making it one.

I’m curious, since you always hear people say how great their college years were–was there ever anything that got under your skin or made you want to just scream about your school?

Undergraduate in West Texas, not really. It was a beautiful oasis amid a sea of ignorance. The sports program could have been scaled back a tad though.

However, I’d estimate half the U of Hawaii, my graduate school, was dug up at any given moment. Seemed to be some sort of local political scam going on where contractors would get UH work to do from the local government.

During my undergrad years at The University of Pittsburgh, I happened to be in a few classes with basketball and football stars. It was embarrassing what they got away with.

Pray do tell.

Tulane University - nothing really springs to mind. It was brutally hot during the beginning and end of the school year but that is just New Orleans. There was a lot of construction going on most of the time and a lot of crime off campus. Other than that, it was a great experience all around.

University of Maryland, College Park. Parking was atrocious. The commuter parking was so far away you had to take a bus to get to the campus proper (or walk anywhere from 3/4 to over a mile, depending where your classes were). And there were White Hats everywhere.

My undergrad and graduate studies were at George Mason. Sure, parking was bad and was expensive, it was annoying, but not something that I would think back about sucking. What did suck was that it was expanding rapidly, so there was always construction going on.

Really, I think, the worst part was that it just doesn’t have the college atmosphere and experience. That is, the vast majority of the students are from the area and commute, and many of them are already working professionals. They have a basketball team that has had some success, but overall there just isn’t that sort of what I’d expected would be the college experience. I basically just showed up for class, would be on campus to work on projects or whatever, and go home. Even not as the partying type, it would have been cool if there were a more developed social aspect to the culture of the school. So it was to the point where when friends and coworkers commented along when they made their Final Four run in 2006, my general feeling, and that of the majority of the people I knew there, was pretty meh.

Colby College for undergrad. For me, it was the right place in many ways. Though I wouldn’t have said this at the time, culturally in the early-mid 90s it was kind of a drag. That said, I did choose to go to school in the middle of Maine.

Grad school? I barely avoided the Big Orange Screw, and I know people who couldn’t avoid it.

Well. . .there was the football star that beat a guy up, using his crutches. Anger management problems. One of the witnesses to the attack, a friend, received a request hat he not remember what he saw.

Then there was the basketball player I had English Composition with. The professor asked how he was able to write with a different handwriting each assignment. He just glared back.

Good times in general, though.

My school’s only big-time sport was men’s ice hockey, which competed in NCAA Division I and won the national championship my freshman year. One year, I took a humanities class for which 30% of the grade was a big paper. The day the paper was due, we were standing outside the classroom waiting for the professor to arrive and unlock the door and one of the hockey players (who had just signed a contract with an NHL team) asked me if he could add his name to my paper. (The paper could be written by one or two students in the course.) I declined, although later I wondered how much he might have paid for that. The best part is that the class was a senior-level one in ethics.

Campus housing provided most of the moments I’d rather forget. Parents felt living on campus was good for the college experience and would only help with housing costs if I lived in the dorms. Catch 22.

Freshman year we had a student, high on LSD, jump from the 7th floor window. The local tv news reporters were on our dorm floor by morning. Hello. Security?

Sophomore year was highlighted by fire and flood. 1) Food trays stuffed into a newspaper recycling bin with burn with very noxious fumes. 2) Removing old porcelain drinking fountains (the kind that are recessed into the wall) to replace them with handicapped accessible protruding fountains is good. Removing the fountain on a Friday afternoon and leaving a gaping hole in the wall with water pipes temporarily capped off is bad. It was 2am and the Clang! Clang! sound of someone hitting the pipes was quickly followed by a rather impressive arc of water that flooded the den and several rooms.

Junior year my roommate was Chad the Jesusman. Chad liked to read the Bible everyday. At 4:30am. Out loud. In our room. With the lights on. In one all-floor meeting to discuss some problems that arose from the raging alcoholism that was rampant Chad added this helper, “If everyone would just obey the law we wouldn’t have any problems.” Chad tried to go “save” our RA when he came out of the closet. Chad was the last one to know.

My senior year I ended up with a room to myself. Came home to find a note that someone was being moved into the empty space in an emergency placement. They wouldn’t tell me why. Found out he had just been arrested for assaulting his previous roommate. Something about roommate objecting to not having notice to vacate the room for a few hours when some alone time was wanted with his girlfriend. Nice. Welcome roomie. Uh… if you give me a few moments I can leave before you two continue that.

I was at UVM for both my bachelors’ and masters’ (“Seven years of college down the drain!”). During the latter, I had a teaching fellowship. So, the worst thing I can say about my college was that they had me for a teacher!

I’m pleased that no one’s complained (so far) of the food or medical services on campus. Those two areas seem traditionally ripe for complaints, but honestly, I found them to be more than adequate at both my unis. The U of Hawaii even had a bar on campus.

But enough of this noncomplaining. Back to the thread. :o

I went to school at a huge, diverse campus with foci in agriculture, engineering, and hard sciences. That part was cool. But I didn’t care as much for the hicks who studied agriculture and wore John Deere hats and talked about corn while drinking shitty beer and playing loud country music. The cornfields sucked, too: the town itself was fairly hopping because of the school, but it was in the middle of nowhere. And there was an ethanol plant fairly nearby… when the wind blew just wrong, the entire place smelled absolutely fucking foul. And also, there were several of those stupid trees that dropped berries on the sidewalk that smelled like dog shit. Google tells me they’re gingko trees. And **god forbid **you had to cross their path when the berries were on the ground, because you’d be stuck walking around with that dogshit-on-your-shoe odor for the rest of the day.

I’m a city girl, obvi.

Quite a few of my classes were taught by barely compensated TAs and Associate Professors. Tuition went up by a grand or so a year. Being located in a large city, there was not a huge amount of university interaction or communal activities.

Northern Illinois was in the middle of farms at the time. When they fertilized, everything stank. When they plowed, everything was covered in brown dust. When it snowed, it was really more like a blizzard.

Food was decent, but the in-building laundry was really on the other side of the roughly ten-acre building that had four 15-story towers sprouting from its corners and there were six washing machines for all those dorms.

Ugh, yes. Also $75 tickets for parking violations, which would be issued, without fail, if you left your car in the wrong place for any longer than about 90 seconds. Parking patrols absolutely everywhere. I think I was the only one in my grad program that made it through without being ticketed.

Also, College Park is not such a great area, and Route 1 is hideous. We were constantly getting alert emails about robberies or assaults or somebody spotted with a gun. Once, there was an escaped convict. One of several reasons I lived in Silver Spring.

Junior college. Parking sucked. You expected parking to suck. And it always seemed that no matter what you did, half of your classes for the day would be at the bottom of the hill and half would be at the top. Possibly alternating.

University. It was still a fairly small college so parking wasn’t as much as a problem, as the overflow lot wasn’t too far from the classrooms, although it was on the opposite side of the campus from the main building I was in.

Housing on the other hand… They couldn’t find their asses with a map. They were always completely disorganized. You’d get notices the same day as whatever it was. And parking came up again. Naturally, there were far less parking spaces than rooms, so you had to park in the other lot. There were a couple of spaces that were supposed to be for loading and unloading, but they were nearly always full. Emptying your car when it was parked ten minutes away was not fun.

I had problems with food, but I’m a picky eater with food texture problems. We were supposed to get sushi every Friday. Admittedly it was basically grocery store sushi, except blander, but it was something I could consistently eat. Except the guy only seemed to show up once a month. The grill was pretty good, but had a limited selection. The sandwich station was MUCH worse than Subway (and there was one by the bookstore. Of course you couldn’t pay for things there with your food card). I actually had a hard time using up all the money on my food card, although admittedly most of that was my own issues (not getting up early enough to have breakfast… not feeling like being around people… etc).

The library was an agoraphobic’s nightmare. It was all glass and open. The second story walkways were separated from main section and glass sided. And there was a giant open space in the middle and not enough shelves to block the view of GIANT DROP.

Actually, it was pretty great. Good school. Mostly good teachers. Most of my problems were directly related to my anxiety and depression, and the health services helped tremendously with that.

I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology. It’s a great place if your life revolves around fashion. Mine doesn’t, and in retrospect going there was probably a mistake*. On the other hand, my major was effectively a business major which focused heavily on fashion, so I still learned stuff that can be applied to any industry. I felt like I was missing out on the liberal arts though- we only had to take the bare minimum required by SUNY (FIT is a public college that’s part of the State University of New York system).

Classes were very easy and the only thing that kept me sane was being part of their honors program. It was also a commuter atmosphere, but I did make a few good friends there as well as friends outside of school since I worked and had a life in the city. So many things I didn’t like, but it balanced out. It got tedious enough though that when I realized I had so many AP credits from high school that I could take summer and winter classes and be done in 3 years I jumped at the chance.

*I was very into fashion in high school and decided when I was 15 that I wanted to live and work in New York and work in the fashion industry. I quickly became disillusioned once I made that a reality, but I figured it was best to stick it out and get my degree, rather than meander around figuring thing out. It worked out in the end- I am employed (in a different industry) and very happy living in New York.

A few years ago my husband and I were both “nontraditional” students at the University of West Georgia. They told us that we all had to pay a special construction fee in addition to our tuition and all our regular fees. It was to build the new Health and Wellness Center. So we grumbled about it, but hey, it was for the Health and Wellness Center, and that benefits us, right?

My daughter said she heard a rumor that they were building a new basketball arena. We said, no, it’s the Health and Wellness Center. They told us it was, and there’s a sign outside the construction zone that says so. They got a million dollar grant from the city government for it. They had to have a public forum about it and everything.

So they spent a couple of years obliterating tons of student parking and some pretty woods with hiking trails, and generally fucked everything up, and finally got this thing built, and put up a more permanent sign saying “Health and Wellness Center.” They still had to finish the inside and there was all this speculation about just what kind of health and wellness center it would be.

Maybe it’ll be a state of the art exercise gym! But they just built a new student center with a climbing wall and weight machines and yoga classes and a basketball gym.

Well, the clinic is pretty old, maybe they’ll move it to this new building and have more treatment rooms and a bigger waiting room and beds for students that are really sick and have to spend the night. And they can have health-education classes here too.

Finally it was finished! So they opened it to the public and…it was a basketball arena. A big state of the art basketball arena snazzy enough to have concerts and stuff in too. And they changed the sign in front to “The Coliseum!” There was no further mention of health or wellness.