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AcademicGround >> you have to start college again (back in time)


1/31/09 8:36 AM
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MikeD
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You know what you know now (as far as what degrees are useful/you enjoy/etc.), 18 years old and just graduated high school.

What do you major in? What different collegiate decisions are made?

I didn't go to college until after I finished my four years in the military and I needed the time to mature, so I guess that stays the same. I definitely pick a different college and major though.

Knowing what I know now, I probably would have majored in Math or Special Education.

Instead of going back to my home state to get in-state tuition. I think I would have moved to Texas or Florida and just lived there long enough to be a resident, then went to school there.

What changes would you make?
2/4/09 9:24 PM
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amorphous
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Details riceavenger. What did your parents push you towards and what do you wish you would have done?
2/4/09 10:50 PM
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Power Paw
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I'd go spend 5 years in the military

then go get a degree in psychology, followed by a masters in social work


damn, I wish I could go back and do that

instead, I'll be doing (hopefully) the 5 years in the military starting this year and then I'll go back for that psych+sowk

I just wish I hadn't spent so much time screwing around in engineering (6years, 2 at a community college, 4 at uni)
2/5/09 12:37 AM
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VectorWegaLives
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 Can I start over with HS and get good grades there...well, that's unlikely, but if I could go back and study for the SAT so I could get a 1400+ that would be good.  Then go to a good business school and major in finance.  I would like to CLEP/test out of as much BS classes as possible and even take summer school that 1st summer at a JC in order to essentially enter my freshman year as a sophomore.

I would major in finance. (more specifically, real estate finance, but finance would do just fine).
2/5/09 12:58 AM
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amorphous
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What was wrong with engineering Power Paw?
2/5/09 1:18 AM
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Power Paw
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amorphous - What was wrong with engineering Power Paw?


It just really isn't what I want to do.

I've always been the kind of person that asks a lot of questions and really wants to understand how and why things work. I thought that engineering would be a good choice since I'm good at problem solving, and I enjoy helping people.

I was thinking that I'd be able to use my awesome problem solving abilities to invent/create things that would really help people out. It sounded like a great plan.

However, after about third year I had some kind of existentialist crisis and I became really disillusioned with my courses.

From a technical standpoint, I was learning that we really don't have all the answers and this bothered me quite a bit. I was learning empirical formulas and I just did not like that at all.

I was learning that engineering is really just another business and at the end of the day, the things that I'm designing, the materials I'm choosing all depend on that bottom line. I hate that. I'd have to do my best to cut corners and make more money for the owner. I'd get some of that money too and only people with money would be able to buy the products. Hooray for money!

That summer, I took a crazy/difficult summer job instead of looking for an engineering internship and realized that I was never meant to work in an office.

I would have considered engineers without borders, but if I'm going to go to a dangerous fuckin' country and help people out...I'm going to do it from a position of power. I will not be the prey.

Hence, I will join the Canadian Forces as a Combat Engineer. This is the plan, and if they'll have me, then hopefully I can go build some schools somewhere, or help rebuild a city after a natural disaster or...a million other things I'd rather be doing instead of serving only myself.
2/6/09 11:06 AM
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eabeam
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One one hand, I wouldn't change anything... I would fear a butterfly effect that would have prevented me from marrying my wife and having the life that I have now.

For the sake of argument, I would have been assessed for ADD earlier so that I would not have needed to transfer out of MIT.

Joined the MIT blackjack team with my fraternity brothers, and gotten my degree from there.
2/7/09 5:36 AM
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sepe
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I'd have done an MSW. I spent some time in school studying stuff I liked but wasn't going to make a career out of and then went to work. Hated working in the orthopaedic industry. Lost the job so I went back to school. I'm thinking about working a few years after this degree and heading back for the MSW.

2/7/09 5:31 PM
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amorphous
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That sucks man. Sorry to hear it. I would have gone with learning another language with a minor in business or computer science. That way you get to learn about all kinds of culture, history, art, etc while gaining some respectable skills to put on a resume.
2/9/09 6:00 PM
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DevilDawg
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Kicked my GF to the curb (now my wife) and majored in nursing.

College isn't college when you are in a commited relationship.
3/9/09 4:12 PM
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Willybone
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I would've stayed in UCONN, finished a degree in physics while my dad was willing to pay for it, and then gone on to get a teaching degree. Then, I'd be a high school physics teacher at the ripe age of 25, doing something I actually find rewarding, instead of this bullshit.

3/15/09 3:52 AM
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thesleeper
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If I had it all over to do again, I would apply for a drivers license in California my Junior year of high school and then move there my senior year. Then do an AA in one of the community college feeders for the UC system in order to get into Berkeley for free. But before Berkeley and after the AA I would go to Brazil, China or South Korea to teach English for at least a year to test out of the language requirement (earning money and gaining experience instead of wasting time in bullshit American language classes). Then I would go to a translating school abroad and get certified in about 2 yrs. Then make the big bucks as a free lancing translator from wherever I was in the world.

I certainly wouldn't try to work my way through school while accruing debt or trying to get a corporate job to pay for my education. The biggest mistake I made was going to an expensive university while not being sure what I was really doing there. The community college gives you some cushion to feel around without getting punished too much. If you are mr. perfect, feel free to ignore this advice.
3/17/09 8:45 PM
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asdf
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Edited: 03/17/09 8:46 PM
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nothing.

If you want more originality in engineering, go to grad school. That's all original research. If you get a job in academia, is not focused on the bottom line. The sciences are also a little less focused on the bottom line in some places.

As for majoring in humanities over the sciences, I think there are more people good at reading then at math. In humanities, the payscale and job opportunities are way less to begin with, then you have more competition for those spots on top of that.

What I'm saying is, it's not always what you're best in or what you like the most. The field matters too. I'd enjoy and be best at being a pastry chef (for real). But engineering is good enough. The added enjoyment from being a pastry chef is not worth the difficulties that I avoid by being an engineer.
3/25/09 11:14 AM
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None So Blind
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 All "Butterfly Effect" issues aside like not having my daughters (whom I love more than life itself), I wouldn't really change much that I did - I'd keep the same interests and same eventual job outcome.

I just would have done it a LOT sooner :-P I fucked around way too much as an undergrad and even as a grad student - I could have been in my current position 7 years earlier and been making very good money all those years instead of being a broke student. Yeah, I partied my ass off and had lots of fun, but thinking back, it really wasn't worth what it cost me.

Maybe one other small change - I'd have gone somewhere for college that had a BJJ school nearby (think early 90's)  ;-)
3/30/09 6:49 PM
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P.V.Jena
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 I would have done more of everything.

Classes, work, partying, girls, everything x 10
7/22/09 12:56 PM
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supersaiyan
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Edited: 07/22/09 12:56 PM
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probably wouldve went to college within a year after highschool graduation and went on the rasslin team along with football.
8/1/09 6:09 AM
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LetsTalkItOut
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Vector why finance?

Been working in something I thought I would like. After bs of actually working and realizing a job is a job. I rather make as much money as possible in the same amount of time. Figure economics is where it's at and been going to my local cc, just finished my first semester with a 4.0, I've never had that before. Just happy I'm doing something about it instead of complaining all the time.
8/21/09 7:53 AM
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Buddhadev
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rebooting at 18 -- ah don't tempt me...this is a VERY psychologically unhealthy thing for a 30 yr old codger like me to think about...lol.

Definitely wasn't ready for school when I was 18. Should have done the military thing much earlier (like, at that age, instead of when I did do it: age 24). I would have gone active duty instead of guard and become a linguist instead of a medic (maybe would have done the guard & medic thing at age 24 after finishing a 1st enlistment). During that 1st enlistment, would have done maybe some isolated CLEP, DANTES, and night classes to knock out my CAF (College of the Air Force) Associates Degree. Then at age 24, while in the Guard, focused on a BA/BS.

Again, very unhealthy thing to think about! Best to look forward folks! :-)
9/6/09 9:19 AM
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microbiologynerd
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 i'm satisfied with where i am professionally and financially. there are a few other paths to be taken for more $$, but i dono if id be happy. may have taken a few different courses, but overall no big change.
9/10/09 5:54 PM
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Seul
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I would be much more excited about this game if I could jump all the way back to highschool, where I would have worked hard. I also would have studied for my SATs (I made a 1370 with no prep, so I think I could have gotten pretty close to 1500 with some realistic prep). Not that this relates to academia, but I would have started wrestling in 9th grade (instead of waiting until I was 20), too. I was in band all 4 years of high school, and I wish i would have spent that time lifting and wrestling seriously instead.

I would have jumped straight into University instead of spending 2 years at Community College and majored in Nursing (which I'm doing now, except I spent 4 years earning a degree in econ first), moved into the dorms (I have lived at home during my first degree, no debt is nice but I still regret it in hindsight), and worked my ass off to maintain a high GPA.

I would have quit Karate and started MMA once in college (while continuing to wrestle a little, my University had a club), as well.

I could be starting my career or picking out grad programs (either Nurse-Anesthetist, P.A., or Nurse Practitioner programs) with 8 solid years of lifting and training under my belt instead of looking at several more years of undergrad (during which I will be impoverished and unable to train much, more than likely) before I can get started with the rest of my life.

I agree this is pretty unhealthy, though. I'm trying to make sure that I can be satisfied with how I've spent my time when I play this game in the future. I've been working hard the second time around (good test scores, good grades) and I'm thinking about taking up boxing (cheap gym fees make this my only real option for getting some training in). In the meantime, I'm getting serious about my diet and exercise so I don't feel weak and out of shape in the future.
12/30/09 9:44 PM
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vico
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I would have made the same decision I made two years before eighteen. Dropped out and gotten my GED.

The only difference I would make is not to fuck up in the first semester at community college and instead do two years of gen ed (while living with parents and them supporting me).

Then hitch hike around the US/travel abroad etc and decided what I wanted to go to college for, if I decided I wanted to go.

I would have two years until my class caught up (if that would bother me) and know a shit ton more about what I wanted to do than most of them.
1/10/10 3:31 PM
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judo man
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I would probably would have gone for accounting. All that Calculus crap I saw was for nothing. Everyone needs an accountant.

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