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Old 07-10-2012, 10:44 PM
ttk ttk started this thread
 
79 posts, read 178,932 times
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I look back on high school guidance center conferences and life preparation classes during my teen years and boy oh boy was there a plethora of misguidance that I was exposed to when it came to options and plans for college. I think now, being a junior/senior how smoother my life could have been over the past 3 years if only someone would have actually known what in the hell they we're talking about. Ill start sharing based on my experience and anone else can follow along or message me with questions.

Please look into everything I say before paying for or enrolling your child or yourself in ANY college.

1. Remember how you thought you would take classes at a community college for much cheaper? Don't do it. When you decide to transfer to a four year school outside of the community college and it's host school, your credits equal nothing. I did my first two years studying general education hoping to transfer to the university in my home town. After everything was said and done, 30 credits transferred. That's 10 classes out of 24 and that was because I fout the tranfer process at the school. Still, out of those ten, three only counted as electives and I still had to retake them.

2. Do not withdraw from a class because you don't like the workload. This stays on your record and looks bad.

3. Don't be one of those people that buys the book and brings it the first day of class. Around 75% of my classes have had required reading that was used less than 10 times. If you do happen to get the book, find it online using chegg or coursesmart. Those prices are a lot better than your school bookstore. Always RENT.

4. Do your financial aid work 4-6 months before the decline. Chances are at your school, like both schools I have attended, your financial aid officer is a complete moron and will forget to fill out some form that will cause you to wait three weeks before you can finish up your financial aid and buy books, pay for class, etc. P.S. Chances are that you will have around 75% teachers that really don't care whether you re paying their salary or not and the incompetence of the financial aid office isn't a viable excuse.

5. Don't let anyone tell you what classes you need. Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor and demand to see a tracking sheet or a detailed graduate requirement shee for your intended major, which you need to have in mind from day 1. This is simply because your advisor probably sees 500+ students a month and really doesn't remember what your name is so you have to be your own advocate. Get the sheet, see exactly what classes are required and take them. Do your own class scheduling.

**Always remember that college is still a business. It is your advisors job to keep you in school as long as possible so you can generate more revenue with your financial aid and loans.

6. Don't just take 4 classes. This isn't high school and you probably will have too much free time on your hands. I work 30+ hours a week and take 5-6 sometimes 7 classes at a time. The key is scheduling. Try to take as many online and 8 week classes as you can.

7. Base all of your work on the class syllabus. If the teacher verbally tells you to swim but the syllabus says to wade, the teacher will always refer back to the syllabus in the end. The syllabus legally binds you and the teacher to the specified set of classroom rules and requirements as well as assignment and testing directions.

8. Take class's during the summer. Most colleges offer classes that count for full credit but are extremely fast paced. They usually last for 4-6 weeks. Do at least 4 of these throughout the summer.

9. Get involved. This not only helps your portfolio but it also gets the faculty and staff acquainted with you even if they just see you around a lot. This can come in handy in a number of different situations.

10. Never settle for a C. It only takes a few of these buggers to bring a student below a 3.0 GPA.

11. Make sure that whatever assignments are due on Wednesday, you have submitted them by Monday. Forcing yourself to complete things early will prepare you for your concentration-the classes you'll take towards the end of your college career that determine what degree you'll obtain. The longer you stay in college the more you'll have to work and the less time you'll have to do so.

12. Remember that everything in this world has a shelf life. You may hate a teacher but guess what? In six months, if you play his or her game and suck up, you'll finish the class and you will never have to go back to it. Your time spent in college is short and the better you use that time, the quicker you can get out.

13. Don't try taking a semester off. You'll get a job, buy a car or a phone, and when you start school again, you'll have less time for work because of class and your bills won't stop coming.

14. Remember that technically, a student could graduate in 3 years. The key is to only take the classes that contribute to your degree, take as many as possible, complete all work on time and in good quality, take classes year round, and stay focused.

15. If you get half way through school and realize you don't want to steer your life in that specific direction, take a breath and think hard about it. Don't think that you want to change your major from education to pre law simply because you enjoyed Political Science 101. Everyone second guesses themselves but you have to do something with your life, you can't stay in school forever until the right major or degree falls in your lap. Always remember that you don't have to stop with one degree. This especially applies to those juniors and seniors who are considering changing majors. Finish if you are that close then you can go back and pursue something else. At least you'll have a degree after all that hard work!

Overall, remember that your life and future lies in your hands. Get a good grip on it and grow up.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:26 PM
ttk ttk started this thread
 
79 posts, read 178,932 times
Reputation: 65
Did I mention requesting a "tracking sheet" to keep for yourself so you can keep up with your credits, pre-requisites, etc. Unfortunately, I've found that the pre-requisites "change" every time I see an advisor but luckily, since I kept my originals, I can prove that those "changes" are not applicable to me because when you become a student your are locked into a planned course of study that can't change. Any "changes" that may be made to your degree requirements, etc. during your pursuit of graduation cannot affect you, only new incoming students such as transfer or freshman students.
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Old 10-10-2012, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
30,708 posts, read 79,831,000 times
Reputation: 39453
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttk;251141351.[B
Remember how you thought you would take classes at a community college for much cheaper? Don't do it. When you decide to transfer to a four year school outside of the community college and it's host school, your credits equal nothing. I did my first two years studying general education hoping to transfer to the university in my home town. After everything was said and done, 30 credits transferred. That's 10 classes out of 24 and that was because I fout the tranfer process at the school. Still, out of those ten, three only counted as electives and I still had to retake them.[/b]

You can do the CC route. However you have to know which university or universities you plan to attend. THen find out which CCs they accept the most credits from. Then find out which classes at the CCs they will accept as core classes. THen find out how many credits total they will allow you to transfer. Then go to that CC, take those classes that will transfer and only take the number of credits they will accept. Keep in mind that your GPA usually does nto transfer. That means you will have fewer classes to balance out your GPA. If you struggle for a while upon transferring before you adjust to the new college/university, you can tank your GPA and have insufficient time to recover. [/b]

2. Do not withdraw from a class because you don't like the workload. This stays on your record and looks bad.

I withdrew from one class. Actually I just never took the final and got an Incomplete which turned into a withdraw (normally an incomplete turns into a fail wihtin a certian time period, but they agreed to turn it into a withdraw). It had no negative impact on my record. I had no problem getting admission to every law school I applied except one.

3. Don't be one of those people that buys the book and brings it the first day of class. Around 75% of my classes have had required reading that was used less than 10 times. If you do happen to get the book, find it online using chegg or coursesmart. Those prices are a lot better than your school bookstore. Always RENT.

the best solution is to find someone who just had the class and buy their book. Also check with such persons who just had the class and make sure the book is necessary. In some schools with some profs you may have classes where you never need to open the book.


5. Don't let anyone tell you what classes you need. Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor and demand to see a tracking sheet or a detailed graduate requirement shee for your intended major, which you need to have in mind from day 1. This is simply because your advisor probably sees 500+ students a month and really doesn't remember what your name is so you have to be your own advocate. Get the sheet, see exactly what classes are required and take them. Do your own class scheduling.

THis is very good advice, however i do nto agree withthe conspiracy theory (counselors are trying to keep you in school longer). However many counselers are either incompetent or just too busy to get things right. If they make a mistake, you suffer, they don't. They may have to shrug and say sorry, but that is about as bad as it gets for them. It is your responsibility to make sure you meet the requirements for graduation, not anyone else's.


6. Don't just take 4 classes. This isn't high school and you probably will have too much free time on your hands. I work 30+ hours a week and take 5-6 sometimes 7 classes at a time. The key is scheduling. Try to take as many online and 8 week classes as you can.

It depends on you and on the classes. I had semesters where I took 12 credits (four classes) and struggled and semesters where I took 21 credits (seven classes) and breezed through. If you work, it is good to find a job or jobs where you can do homework or study or read at times during work. Jobs like security, information window, toll booth, and many others only requre you to be there. Most of the time you are not doing anything (depends on your shift) and you can study.

7. Base all of your work on the class syllabus. If the teacher verbally tells you to swim but the syllabus says to wade, the teacher will always refer back to the syllabus in the end. The syllabus legally binds you and the teacher to the specified set of classroom rules and requirements as well as assignment and testing directions.

Legally binds you? No. A syllabus is a guide, it is not a contract. If what you are taught conflicts with the Sylabus go see the professor and ask her about it. the prof will often be happy that you caught it (at least somoeone actually reads the syllabus) and it is good to visit your profs during office hours. You need to get to know them. You will need letters of recommendation from them. Plus if they like you, they may help you with finding work or getting into grad school.

8. Take class's during the summer. Most colleges offer classes that count for full credit but are extremely fast paced. They usually last for 4-6 weeks. Do at least 4 of these throughout the summer.

This is great. I took astronomy at a CC one summer ant fulfilled my science requriement. the class was from 4-11 p.m. one day a week. It was a painless way to get credit. Took some other summer classes too. It is great because it can lighten your regular year load and allow you to get in some requried core classes that may be difficult to work into oyur schedule. Some students have to go 5 years becasue they cannot work in all the requried classes. Summer classes can avoid this. If you only take 1 or 2 classes, it will be easy. I was able to take a class or two in the summer, work 60+ hours and still party quite a lot. The trick is to sleep and study at work. Since the grades do not transfer, you only need to work hard enoguh in the classes to get a B and it will not hurt your GPA.

9. Get involved. This not only helps your portfolio but it also gets the faculty and staff acquainted with you even if they just see you around a lot. This can come in handy in a number of different situations.

This is super critical. Do something, anything. SOmetimes recommendations from profs are required, all times they are helpful. Knowing a prof can get you into an otherwise closed out class. It can get you introductions to potential employers or profs at your intended grad scool. It can get you real useful advice - the kind you cannto get from counselors. It can get you paid TA or RA positions. Sometimes profs will take you under their wing and go searching for scholarhips for you if moeny gets tight. However be selective in what you do. Do not waste time in political protest groups, or a bowling league where you will nto be working with professors. Theater, academic teams like debate, social clubs that involve professors, music programs, and chritable clubs/groups with at least one involved ina active professor/sponsor. As you get to know profs, tell them about your interests, talents and skills. Can you act, let them know, maybe one will ask you to try out for his theater group in his home town. Do it, you will get to know him or her well.

10. Never settle for a C. It only takes a few of these buggers to bring a student below a 3.0 GPA.

I cannot comment on that. I tried to avoid Bs. certinaly set your sights higher than a C. If you think you are aiming for a C, that is what you will get. The better the GPA the better chance you will have to compete for jobs or grad school.

11. Make sure that whatever assignments are due on Wednesday, you have submitted them by Monday. Forcing yourself to complete things early will prepare you for your concentration-the classes you'll take towards the end of your college career that determine what degree you'll obtain. The longer you stay in college the more you'll have to work and the less time you'll have to do so.

If you can accomplish this, your will almost undoubtedly do well. I knew it was a good idea, but never was able to do it. I was just happy if I was not thinking up excuses to get them to let me turn something in late. A very bad and stressful way to go. Follow number 11 if you can, grades will be better, life will be more pleasant.

12. Remember that everything in this world has a shelf life. You may hate a teacher but guess what? In six months, if you play his or her game and suck up, you'll finish the class and you will never have to go back to it. Your time spent in college is short and the better you use that time, the quicker you can get out.

Depends on the professor. I had one gay teacher who literally wanted me to suck up after the final exams (which he conducted in his apartment). I went to the dean and we reached an agrement. The Prof would not prosecute me for dangling him out the window of his 7th floor apartment and I would not pursue anything for his proposition (which included ripping my shirt open) - wierd guy.
On the opposite end of hthe spectrum I had another prof (also gay by chance) I disliked at first, but i had to take several of his classes. We eventually became good friends and I ende dup teaching a class for him to cover up the fact he was in the hospital due to aids (back then you got fired if you had aids). He helped me with grad school admissions, and gernally life counselling and motional issues (loss of a long term girlfriend, a best friend attempting suicide, another friend getting arrested for murder). Many times I had Profs I hated at the beginning of the semester and wanted to drop the class but ended up really liking the professor by the end of the class and even taking more of their classes. In fact that is pretty much true of most of the professors I had. There were only a few I disliked from beginning to end of hte class and subsequently avoided them. That was becasue they were boring boring boring and had no personality at all. All of the others I adjusted to and learned to like the quirks or overlook their failings.


14. Remember that technically, a student could graduate in 3 years. The key is to only take the classes that contribute to your degree, take as many as possible, complete all work on time and in good quality, take classes year round, and stay focused.

Don't try that. it is not worth it. what is your hurry to rush out and start doing what you will do every day for the next thirty or more years. There really is no hurry. One year will not save enguoh money to make a differnece in your life long term. Take your time, enjoy college, learn, make friends, chill, play raquetball, enjoy the lack of responsibility. You will not likely have this opportnunity again.

15. If you get half way through school and realize you don't want to steer your life in that specific direction, take a breath and think hard about it. Don't think that you want to change your major from education to pre law simply because you enjoyed Political Science 101. Everyone second guesses themselves but you have to do something with your life, you can't stay in school forever until the right major or degree falls in your lap. Always remember that you don't have to stop with one degree. This especially applies to those juniors and seniors who are considering changing majors. Finish if you are that close then you can go back and pursue something else. At least you'll have a degree after all that hard work!

However, do not be afraid to change majors, add majors, drop majors change back. If you are 18-24, you are not supposed to know what you want to do. take your time and figure it out. You will find that many majors are releated and have similar requriements, so changing back and forth does nto really hurt anything. By the time I was done bouncing around beteen majors and double majors and triple majors, I graduated with a single major, ut only one or two classes short of four other majors. I know pre-law is just an example, but that is a pretty stupid major. It gives you one option and you do not need pre-law for law school. It does nto really give you any advantage for law school. If you bomb the LSAT or just change your mind, you have a completely worthless major. English and Philospohy are particularly good majors for law school, but any major will do. At least with a specific major you will still have at least some viable options if law school does not happen. Howevr thre are othe majors that give you very limited options. What do you do with a classics major if you do not go to law school? Maybe get an MA or a PhD and become a museum curator?

Overall, remember that your life and future lies in your hands. Get a good grip on it and grow up.
No need to grow up too fast though. Most colelge kids try that. Relax enjoy this in between stage. You have decades to do the same old job and slog around being an "adult"

Last edited by Coldjensens; 10-10-2012 at 04:31 PM..
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Harrisburg, PA
2,336 posts, read 7,780,296 times
Reputation: 1580
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttk View Post

2. Do not withdraw from a class because you don't like the workload. This stays on your record and looks bad.
A "W" on your transcript looks better than a D or an F. Also, it doesn't affect your GPA. The best thing to do is to sit down and talk to your professor. Be frank and have them advise you if there is any way to salvage your grade (a C or higher). If not, drop it and take the W.

My previous job involved looking at transcripts all the time. We didn't care about the individual grades...just the final GPA.

Other than that, great all around advice!
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Old 10-11-2012, 02:31 PM
 
1,458 posts, read 2,659,374 times
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Point #1 is only true if you don't do any research ahead of time.

Plenty of CCs have transfer agreements with major 4 year universities (I transferred my entire freshman year in, every single class transferred, because the schools have an arrangement.) But transfer students between 4 year schools sometimes lose credits too, depending on the degree requirements.
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