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Author Topic: Newbie Uni Student Needs Advice  (Read 13789 times)
Finn
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« Reply #30: November 05, 2010, 12:06:25 pm »

I don't know how it works in Australia, but in the US, there's sort of a traditional expectation that college will take most students four years to complete.  So a lot of people go in with that expectation.

In practice, though, it doesn't always work like that, depending on a HUGE variety of factors, like: how many times you change majors, how your financial aid works out, whether you work at a full- or part-time job, whether you decide to get married while still in school, things like that.

Actually, these days, people consider it a near-miracle if you graduate "on time" in four years.
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« Reply #31: November 05, 2010, 03:00:19 pm »

Actually, these days, people consider it a near-miracle if you graduate "on time" in four years.

Depends on the person, school, and major, I think.  Although I think you're right -- most people don't do it.

My god-daughter is about to graduate "on time" with an education major, and her brother graduated with a business degree in only three years.

OTOH, I know lots of people who took longer -- and were very glad they did.
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« Reply #32: November 05, 2010, 03:13:51 pm »

Depends on the person, school, and major, I think.  Although I think you're right -- most people don't do it.

You're probably right--I just remember being struck by how many approving-but-slightly-astonished responses I got when I said I would be graduating last year. "You're graduating on time? That's fantastic!Wink
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« Reply #33: November 08, 2010, 06:02:28 pm »

Incense is hard on other people with allergies. Candles generally aren't allowed because of fire risk. (You might be fine. Not everyone will be. And large buildings often have a surprisingly low burn time). Other restrictions might be because the building wiring can't take the sudden load of an electric kettle or whatever, if too many people do it all at once. If you look at the restrictions with the "If everyone did this, would it be safe/appropriate/okay", you can usually figure out why the limit's there. (And figure out alternatives that are fine: for example, my dorms didn't allow an electric kettle, but they did have a boiling water tap installed in the kitchen on each floor, so getting boiling water was really simple.)

I know there is boiling water installed, and that makes total sense as to why electric kettles aren't allowed.  Thanks for solving the little mystery!

It's good to think ahead - but don't fret about it too much just yet. It is good to think about it as you're picking courses (because it's good to have skills that can lead to a job if you don't stay in academia.) A lot of my friends did a practical course (computers, biology, whatever), and then other classes in subjects they enjoyed. In terms of *staying* in academia - some people are cut out for it, some people aren't, and both are just fine.

If you're thinking about it, talk to your professors relatively early (the end of your first year, unless they suggest it sooner) about what courses you should take, chances to start doing larger research projects, perhaps get an internship or whatever over the summer. It can be a lot easier to move forward if you realise that the paper you wrote your sophomore year can be developed into a thesis, and that a piece from that can be a core part of your work for your Master's, and so on. (Especially if you keep really good notes on sources and ideas and other details all along.)

Man, that means I'll have to think about what I want to do other than go into academia!  *grumbles at extra work*  Tongue
No, I probably should.  Both of my job options at the moment involve either luck or will take eight years or so to get there (author and university lecturer, respectively).  I'm planning on jobs to get my by at uni (find a job at a bookstore/library/McDonalds if I'm really, really desperate and tutoring high school students), but they'll be taxed a bit when I move out of a catered dorm.  So I ought to think about that.  Thanks!  Sometimes I need the shell of idealism cracked a bit...

Sure, I'll have a talk to the professors.  What would I be looking to do at an internship, just out of curiosity?
And I'll definitely keep my notes and all of that.  Thanks for the advice!
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« Reply #34: November 08, 2010, 06:07:08 pm »

Everyone has already given you great advice, but I have one more tip: try not to bring unnecessary expensive items, or items that have a lot of personal value (especially jewelry).  Unfortunately, not everyone is respectful to other people's property, and I have heard tons of stories of friends having their jewelry/movies/name brand bag/random sentimental item stolen.  I have always lived in an apartment and I still ended up having things missing.

Noted.  Darn, now I'll have to cut down on the amount of movies I bring  Wink
That's probably not a bad thing.  At all.
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« Reply #35: November 08, 2010, 06:27:19 pm »

No, I probably should.  Both of my job options at the moment involve either luck or will take eight years or so to get there (author and university lecturer, respectively).  I'm planning on jobs to get my by at uni (find a job at a bookstore/library/McDonalds if I'm really, really desperate and tutoring high school students), but they'll be taxed a bit when I move out of a catered dorm.  So I ought to think about that.  Thanks!  Sometimes I need the shell of idealism cracked a bit...

Keep in mind that you can pick up employable skills lots of places: I took a grand total of one computer science class in college, but have gotten 2.5 jobs on the strength of work I did in a summer job designing websites and digital projects for faculty and on my own - you just need a really clear way to demonstrate you know what you're doing. (Keep a portfolio, collect people who are happy to be your references, etc.)

Working student tech support, library, or other jobs of that kind can give you a lot of really useful skills that can help pay the bills when you need to (since they're also all customer-service related) - more so than fast food, or even retail. The better your general technology skills are (everything from typing quickly and accurately to being comfortable using a wide range of common programs), the better off you'll be too - more options and choices.

If you want to write and/or teach, I'd look at whether your school hires tutors for a writing lab or similar program (place where students come to get help with writing essays/papers/etc. Usually involves a combination of working through editing with them and creating supporting materials like online resources.) You probably won't qualify as a first year student, since they'll need you to demonstrate you can write great university-level papers first, but you can ask what they do look for and collect great materials for a future application.

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Sure, I'll have a talk to the professors.  What would I be looking to do at an internship, just out of curiosity?
And I'll definitely keep my notes and all of that.  Thanks for the advice!

Depends on the field, but there are often options for supporting a faculty member's research projects over the summer (either being a research assistant, or whatever). They can also suggest programs and options in the field that will look good as you get further into the subject area. Or, alternately, things that can make you money but that have transferrable skills into your field (since internships range from 'not paid at all' to 'okay payment, but you might want to supplement' with a small number paying decently.)
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« Reply #36: November 08, 2010, 09:57:31 pm »

Everyone has already given you great advice, but I have one more tip: try not to bring unnecessary expensive items, or items that have a lot of personal value (especially jewelry).  Unfortunately, not everyone is respectful to other people's property, and I have heard tons of stories of friends having their jewelry/movies/name brand bag/random sentimental item stolen.  I have always lived in an apartment and I still ended up having things missing.

My daughter and her husband were having a party, and my daughter found someone's girl friend going through her clothes and trying them on!  My daughter kicked the girl out and told her to never come back...
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« Reply #37: November 13, 2010, 06:24:55 pm »


Thanks for the advice!  It's good to know a bit more in-depth about what's out there to do.  I'll have a really good look around when I get there.
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