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The College Series: The School


Written by Eric

First things first…I need to talk to Luca about post Titles. His last one was CRAZY long. I’ll make sure to get on his case. So what does “the school” really mean? Basically it means, not just the actual college, but the “attitude” and environment it offers. Now this is important, and in my opinion, the greatest factor future college students should consider in their decisions. After all, who wants to go to a school that they 1) can’t see themselves attending four years of school there, 2) hate the people there, 3) can’t identify with the college’s themes and goals, and 4) don’t ever ever leave campus. Now my opinion on that last point is different from some people, I have to recognize that fact. For myself, this means attending a college that views “actions” and “doing things” as top priority. I’m not the type to sit around and think (okay, besides writing this blog which I have hard enough time updating as it is…) about abstract ideas, theories, etc. As cliché as it sounds, I’m the type of person who wants to be doing things, accomplishing ideas, putting new stuff into action.

Aspects of a School

After all, personally I don’t feel at home with any of those three types which frankly make up 95% of all colleges in the US

So I’ve already talked about a few things that I feel are important in evaluating a college. However, let’s analyze that further. Whenever I have visited the 15+ schools (mostly located in the NE, sorry West Coast), I look for several things. But you also have to realize that often I didn’t know what I was looking for until weeks later when I reflected further on my visits. Anyway, the first thing I look for my gut feeling on the school. Do I feel like this is a complete party school, a complete engineering filled nerd school, or a complete pot-smoking (sorry, that doesn’t apply to all 24.5% of you) English majors liberal school? Or maybe something in between? After all, personally I don’t feel at home with any of those three types which frankly make up 95% of all colleges in the US. Then, after the gut feeling I ask myself do I like the attitude the schools attempt to portray? For example, does this school act like a complete engineering school advertising their great robotics/bio-engineering/computer programming and complete nerdiness everywhere (not naming any names here). Or does it act like a little elitist with some snobbish thrown in with great campuses located in places I have never heard of/places that I would be scared to go out at night (again, not naming names).

After that, I ask myself if I could see myself attending college here for four years. Surprisingly, I found the answer to be no most of the time. I’m not sure what it was about a lot of these colleges, but some of them just turned me off right away, I guess part of that had to do with my gut instinct as well. Another aspect of that questions involves the student body as well. Usually, this ties into the campus/school type/focus…but sometimes can be different. It’s important, after all, to go to a school where you actually feel like you belong/don’t get into fights with that guy across the hall everynight. Finally, are the persons of the opposite sex on campus attractive enough (seriously?)? That’s important alright…that’s the reason why I just absolutely hate the party schools, and schools that pretend to be serious but are really party schools underneath. And I’m honestly joking about that questions (if you couldn’t see my sarcasm in plain text). I just happened to see that criteria under one of those many college “handbooks” one time. It ranked colleges in accordance to how “hot” each sex was…next time when I’m in urgent need of a party, I know where to consult.

What’s Important to Me

The persona of a school that I’d love to go to would only encourage experimentation in pushing the envelope of developing new ideas, and implementing them

So now that you now what I ask myself…what do I think about all of these schools? Well, I obviously like some more than others, however there are a few that I really like. The persona of a school that I’d love to go to would only encourage experimentation in pushing the envelope of developing new ideas, and implementing them. I don’t really mean engineering there, although my background is technology does allow me to see that side as well…I really mean from the side of business.

My dream school wouldn’t place grades, papers (except for business plans), and research papers above actual experience in the field. Of course there aren’t too many schools who cater to this need…after all, most college kids have no idea what they want to study until Junior year. In a way, my knowing what I want to do now is a blessing and a curse in the way I have to find that one college I really like. I really feel that I should make these four years count, in a good way. Make them memorable, to learn a lot, to experience a lot, to mature to the point where I can flesh out my dreams and life goals. I can only see myself living this dream at a school where I’d enjoy going to everyday. And just maybe, maybe I’ll find that school (hopefully) soon.

Eric Huang


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