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Old 11-15-2011, 03:58 AM
511 posts, read 2,381,017 times
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I recently visited by nephew at college in his Freshman Year at a small (3000 student) Liberal Arts College. I asked him what life was like at the college. Here is what he said: (Is this typical?)

Weekdays Sleep until about 9 AM. Classes 15 hours a week. In between classes study at the library. Library all evening until about midnight studying. Go to bed about 1:00 AM.

Weekends: Parties and drinking both Friday and Saturday evenings with lots of booze. Go be bed about 4 AM. Sleep until about noon. Spend the rest of the time in the library studying.

I visited the campus on a Sunday afternoon and was shocked how quiet the campus was on a 70 degree Indian Summer Day. (Nearly everyone at this schools lives in the dorm), The student union was empty and the campus was incredibly quiet. Everyone seemed to be studying all day in the library or in their dorm room. The library was incredibly quiet, but completely full of people, everyone was studying and speaking in hushed tones.

The fancy gym facility was dead because the classes were so hard they had to spend all day studying instead.

The whole thing seemed very boring to me. Study, class, eat, sleep, party, (with lots of alcohol).

(Back when I was in college 25 years ago I rarely studied and spent most of my time in the gym and in sports)
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:42 AM
20,793 posts, read 59,120,778 times
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Was it mid-terms??
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Old 11-15-2011, 06:46 AM
Location: Ohio
668 posts, read 2,111,748 times
Reputation: 832
We all cant be geniuses

My Son's College, they got drunk on a Thursday night, and then Friday, and Saturday...
Thursday Nights were the roughest, cause they would do the most damage to the dorms...
And the morons, cant figure why tuition is going so high... To pay for the Repairs they do LOL..sheesh!

I went one semester of College and found it wasnt for me, so, I got a job and raised a family. Now my Daughter is in College and if she drinks and drives, she is grounded!!! Bus pass for life!!

I wish you well...

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Old 11-15-2011, 07:12 AM
Location: Camberville
15,018 posts, read 20,031,636 times
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I went to a small private New England research university (about 5000 including grad students). We didn't have much of a party atmosphere - upperclassmen would have a few big bashes a year (Halloween, Purim, "Disco Tent" in the woods) but most drinking was more sitting around and chatting with friends.

In my experience, I rarely had a class before 11 but often I would be in class until 9PM. I generally would have a few 1 or 2 hour gaps in my day that weren't enough to go to work (I worked an internship off campus unpaid and my campus job was a fairly long walk away) so I'd study in the library. Weekends too were mostly spent studying or going into Boston (always with a book in case I needed to study).

If it was midterms or finals, forget about doing anything else.

Although you hear otherwise up and down this forum, a lot of colleges require a LOT of work to be successful. My college was filled with almost entirely kids from the top 5-10% of their high school, so everyone was smart - it was the work ethic that make you sink or swim.
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Old 11-15-2011, 08:13 AM
Location: Middle America
37,413 posts, read 50,623,758 times
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I don't know what's typical. I know this was my liberal arts college experience:

1. Up at 6 a.m. my freshman year, not for classes, but for my work study job baking bread in dining services bakery (they made everything, didn't have it supplied by Sodexho or whoever, I think they do, now...this was a decade ago), and serving breakfast. My first class was always at 8. I frontloaded my days, because I was in music and theatre, and had to leave my afternoons and evenings open for ensemble rehearsals...so all my academics had to be in morning/early afternoon. After my freshman year, I switched to a different work study job that didn't require reporting to work at 6 a.m.

2. Classes roughly from 8-3:30 most days, with work study shifts as a writing center tutor interspersed, because choral rehearsal started at 4:30 and I liked to have a buffer. Choir from 4:30-6 nightly. Dinner. Theatre rehearsal from 7-10-ish, but I wasn't involved in a show every semester, especially when I was a junior and senior and more ensconced in my major. Study/homework from 10 p.m. - 1 a.m. or so.

3. Weekends: Mostly reading (I was an English major, and usually had three literature classes going at a time, which was a time-consuming chunk of reading assignments) and paper-writing. Not a huge party person, and really not the head-in-a-toilet at 4 a.m. type, thought lots of people were. But most drinking was sitting around with friends, not Animal House partying. If I did go out, it was to dinner with friends, etc. But because I was in fine arts, I had a lot of performances that took place on weekends, so there wasn't a ton of time for partying outside of cast parties, etc.

4. Finals/Midterm time wasn't too bad, because as an English major, I didn't have exams, mostly just papers to write. So there wasn't any real need to cram. It wasn't really any different than the rest of the semester, just different papers due.

5. Most students lived on campus, in dorms or campus-owned apartments. Hardly anybody lived off. It was a small school (2,500) in a small, picturesque town (9,000). People hung out in small, charming local establishments...coffee shops, pubs, a food co-op/restaurant.

6. Sports were Div. III, so nobody really cared a ton about them unless they were playing them. I never went to a homecoming football game, and many people didn't. Weekend days were typically quiet, because it was fairly academically demanding, and people tended to hole up in the library or their dorms' study lounges getting their work done. It was definitely a place where you had to put the work in to succeed...as another poster mentioned, most students were those who were high-achieving in their high school classes. My freshman year, in my 12-woman suite, there were four valedictorians. Some people didn't put in the work, blew off classes, heavily prioritized partying, etc. They typically didn't stay long, and if they did, they didn't excel. I was an RA, I saw it go down with various residents who weren't really prepared/at the right maturity level to do well. Def. sink or swim.

I had a great experience...I attended the type of college that I prefer. I wasn't ever the "The night we tore the goalposts down" type, and I was serious about my academics. I spent a lot of time doing all my favorite activities...music performance and theatre. I got to tour foreign countries doing both. I wasn't ever bored...often, I was under stress, due to splitting my time between my academics and my performance/rehearsal schedule, but I wasn't ever bored. I always had too much to do, not too little.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:03 AM
159 posts, read 229,995 times
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wow, this is funny since my sister and I were talking about it. I majored in history and shes doing a bachelors of applied arts and sciences with an emphasis on history. She stays up all the time and shes always reading. I did read do for my papers and stuff, but i dont remember having to read THAT much. She finally told me that not everyone learns the same way. I found my course load to be easy but she seems to struggle. My experience consisted of going to class mwf or all week and then going out on the weekend. I can count on one hand how many times i went to the library to actually study.
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:18 AM
Location: Middle America
37,413 posts, read 50,623,758 times
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Different schools do things differently, too. My alma mater was intentionally very, very reading and writing-heavy, no matter your major. They've received national recognition for their particular implementation of the Writing Across the Curriculum approach, and require upper level writing courses even within majors that do not traditionally have a heavy writing emphasis - in short, if you hate writing or suck at it, it's not your school, because it plays a huge role, and not just for English majors.

I didn't find work prohibitively difficult (challenging, at times...which is of course the entire idea...why would I pay for something that's not challenging me to learn?), but definitely time-consuming. I learned easily as much about what to do and what not to do as far as managing my time well as I did an academic discipline.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:32 AM
Location: East Coast of the United States
25,235 posts, read 25,754,631 times
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I went to a large university for undergrad - the University of Maryland in the DC area. It's known for its party and frat atmosphere. But I didn't partake in any of it.

During my entire time there, this is all I did:

attend classes
study as hard as could (even though it seemed useless at times)
occasionally talk to professors and TAs
listen to music/watch TV as a drug
hope and pray that I graduated and didn't flunk out

I made it through somehow. lol.
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