T Nation

Best (and Worst) Moments in Uni

I (and some of the other younger posters) talk/complain quite a bit about uni
@alex44938 @tlgains

I thought it might be fun if some of the older posters shared some nice stories
@cyclonengineer @polo77j @jshaving @SkyzykS

:man_shrugging:

I dunno. I loved going to school. I cut trees from spring through to mid winter and saved as much money as I could just so I could go through the winter/spring semester.

You think school is tough? Go do one of the longest running deadliest jobs on earth with a bunch of drug addicted psychopaths for a semester and get back to me! :rofl:

And concrete work. Not as dangerous, but the drug addict/psychopath stuff still applies.

Truly though, the book work is also tough, just a different kind. Generally, I hold people who have academic and professional achievements in pretty high regard.

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yeah… I’d take a whack maths prof over manual labour any day…

I didn’t go to uni as a youngin … I graduated undergrad when I was 30 so my experience was very different given the mass of adult life experience I had accumulated to that point.

That being said I thoroughly enjoyed undergrad even though I was a commuter. I served as a ta for 4 semesters, led an organization and organized a trip to the Boston federal reserve, had the chance to mentor a few motivated 20 year olds who are running their own businesses at the moment and are generally killing it.

The down side was I felt awkward being so much older than most of my classmates … there a bigger difference between a 20 and 30 year old than there is between a 30 and 40 year old so I had more in common with my professors than my classmates. Being a commuter made it kind of lonely on campus as well, even though I was busy with a full time academic load, working full time, and extracurriculars, I still felt like an outsider and a bit insecure … I couldn’t really relate to what these kids were talking about . Could really feel the generational or experience gap.

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I was not yet diagnosed as being bipolar while in college, so I wasn’t medicated. Life was…interesting. 4 colleges in 4 years. Took 6.5 years to graduate. Spent a year and a half living with some Fraternity guys next door to the Spurs Silver Dancers. Good times. Most of it is a blur, whether from alcohol or mania.

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I became a de facto welding instructor in some of my courses because I was older than the actual instructor.

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Best time was for sure walking across the stage and shaking the Deans hand at graduation.

Many other good times especially after my freshman year when I joined Triangle fraternity. I have great lifelong friends now.

Making the Deans list my first and last semester was a highlight too.

Too many crazy stories to recall.

We filled our fraternity basement with sand for a beach party in the middle of January one year. That was a fun party and a terrible idea. We were still finding sand a year later.

Was shutting down a party and turned on the lights in our large living room to check for stragglers only to reveal one of my fraternity brothers going twenty toes with someone…I just shut off the lights and walked away.

One of the worst was that the batteries in my TI-89 died during my compressible fluids final. I barely made it out of that class with a D.

Got my heart broke by a couple of young women.

Edit: Four years of undergrad feels like the longest period of your life while there. It’s been 10.5 years since I graduated and those years have gone by at 3x speed.

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:joy::joy::joy:

Ohh god!!

Two of my highlights so far are getting grades back for my diff eq (93) and concepts finals(97)
In both classes, I started with a C and relied on my friend or others(including the professor for concepts) to complete homework, but apparently I learned the material by the end
Diff eq prof actually took pity and rounded my grade up but a rounded up A is still an A

Disagree. I honestly can’t believe I’m a junior already

COVID has a big impact on the experience for many these past two years.

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Way too many to tell. I met my wife in college, which was a big part of it. That said, I came from an all boys high school and attended a University that was 70% women…so it was like getting out of prison. I went wild my first year.

I remember the little things the most. It was a Catholic School in Portland OR, and lent was observed. There was nothing better than getting to the dinning hall on a Friday evening after a full day of classes, coming in out of the cold rain and finding out they were serving grilled cheese and tater tots instead of fish. Or when breakfast was on point and the dinning staff saved me some bacon because they knew me by then. Walking with my future wife to the local Safeway and getting some terrible Chinese food to bringing it back (we did a lot of walking because we didn’t have a car until her senior year).

Really, the biggest thing I loved about college was so much freedom and so little obligation. I loved making my own schedule and discovering myself.

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College during covid in Australia was/is rough

First of all, unlike America most kids in Aus stay at home during college as rent at its cheapest is something absurd like 300+$/wk.

Unless you’re willing to hold down a job (or two) while you study in order to pay for rent, food, gas and a parking permit; you’ll be staying home… Unless you have very supportive parents.

I moved out of home for college as my campus was too far away to justify going back and fourth multiple times per week. I had to work part time, two different jobs. Currently I work akin to what one would call “full time”.

If you’re on university residence, the stereotypes that make up American college line up perfectly. Hazing, parties, hedonism, groups of kids struggling to figure out their place in the world and thus becoming encapsulated within irritatingly woke identify politics… You name it.

A large difference within the paradigm has to do with middle/high school life in Australia. In AUSTRALIA, the legal age to purchase alcohol is eighteen, and depending on the state there may be no legal drinking age. Couple this with a culture catering towards alcoholism and the environment is even more toxic than frat culture in terms of binge drinking.

By the time I got to college I was older than most of my first year peers as I’d taken a gap year. I’d also been around the world, I’d had my fare share of fun at house parties, pubs, clubs, concerts, raves and beach gatherings. So much fun in fact that almost an entire year before I started college I was bored of it all.

Whereas many who came to college thought of it as the time to get wild, this was the time wherein I was looking to continue settling down.

When lockdowns weren’t confining people to the dorms for months at a time it was fun. I made gym friends, I went on a date or two, went out a few times, started making friends during class.

Unfortunately due to the constant lockdowns I ended up deferring the year. I want my education to involve peer to peer, face to face interaction. I want my chemistry labs to involve me actually handling chemicals, as opposed to doing it on a computer…

I’ll come back to college, but I’m not sure when as I’m due to leave the country for a while later this year. Australia has gone fucking insane, I don’t want to be a part of what it has become.

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Thankfully I went to school before this permeated too much. My wife however, seems to be getting caught up in it as a current law student.

I definitely don’t regret college at all, but I did partake a few more times than I like to admit in binge drinking (I was mild still compared to many peers). I could have accomplished so much more.

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Lost post coming, @anna_5588.

I think my college experience has been very different from a lot of people’s…peoples’?

I had my first kid during Christmas break of my sophomore year. So more than half of my undergrad years, and all of my grad school years, should I go that route, and I think I will, will be spent as a parent.

I haven’t lived on campus, ever. I’ve spent at least as much, if not more, time working than I have in class or on homework, pretty much the entire time. I’m not saying these things to brag - they’re hardly unique, and not something I consider special by any means. It’s more just to illustrate that for a lot of people, when they’re in college, the main thing in their life is college. For me, it’s been like second or sometimes third on my list of priorities, so I’m definitely not experiencing it to the fullest like many other people do.

I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. I think it’s fine, and I’m content with how things have gone for me, but I also think I have different ideas than some on what college should look like or what it should do for kids.

Haven’t had any great or not-so-great “moments,” honestly…like I said, I’m hardly there, haha, so not much time to have experiences. Overall, the best part for me though is the professors. Really, got quite lucky here. It’s just a really good school, with a pretty good atmosphere. Example: one of my professors rents a room here in town and drives five hours back to his wife and kid in the Twin Cities on Fridays and comes back on Mondays. Something like that. Because of their work/school situations, they didn’t want to leave the bigger city they were in, but he has made this commute for probably almost 15 years because he likes teaching at this school so much. For whatever reason, it’s a lot less competetive and cutthroat than other universities. Professors seem to be happy here.

I think that’s what makes it enjoyable for me. My grandma went to Michigan State, then I think Minnesota State, and ended up back at my college (50 years ago or whatever), and liked it much more. It’s small, so you’re able to have personal relationships with people. She said at her other schools, she’d sign a number on the top of papers, rather than her name, since that was the only way professors knew who people were. Your entry level courses are almost always taught by tenured professors, not just TA’s.

One thing that was cool happened the winter of my freshman year. I shovel for an old lady, and on my way home passed by a couple out shoveling their driveway. I thought I recognized the guy as someone who I’d met at a welcome gathering right before my freshman year started, so I pulled over and offered to help. We shoveled for a while, then I got offered in and talked to them for a bit. It turns out that he was the new provost of my school. (I’m still not sure what exactly a provost is, haha, but my understanding is that it’s basically like vice president.) I saw one of my advisors the next week and she said she’d heard from him and he was impressed and appreciative of what I’d done. He ended up offering me a spot on a committee to search for a new dean of my “portion” of the school, whatever it’s called. I’m a history guy, so I think mine is the College of Arts and Sciences. I’m just not sure how you word it…my school within the college? Moving on.

Didn’t end up taking it. It would’ve been too much of a committment for the season of life I was in at the time, but the guy still stops and talks to me when we see each other and after I had my kid, he asked how that was going the next time he saw me. I’m not sure how he knew, but it’s a small community so word spreads I guess.

Anyway, that’s my best part of college. It’s a well known school in my region, and generally recognized as a good school, but I know I’m not going to impress anyone when I tell them where I went. It’s a liberal arts school, so it churns out good teachers and musicians, but few alumni who become millionaires like the bigger state universities around here. But I’ve gotten to know people, and have been able to build relationships, and I think I’m getting a very good education. I’m learning a lot, and becoming a better reader and writer, and rather than leaving college with no idea who I am or what I want to do, I am getting a clearer idea of what’s important to me, which is rare amongst the college kids I talk to these days.

FWIW mentioning, the politics scene here is good too. It’s in a small Midwestern town, so plenty of conservatives, and it’s a college, so plenty of liberals, but it’s really not that crazy. Professors are pretty cool with letting the straight, white, farmboy Trump supporters be themselves, and the gay Mexican socialists be themselves, with very little forcing of their own opinions on the students, regardless of who’s involved. So you can think whatever you want and generally not be treated badly because of it, even if someone disagrees with you.

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That’s amazing!!!

The profs have definitely been the best part of my uni experience so far as well. To start, all of them have been extremely good people (even if their teaching ability wasn’t the best)
Some really stood out:

  1. There’s a very highly regarded prof at my school/department. I didn’t think I’d get to meet him until grad school, but went to one of his talks and he ended up hiring me as his RA. He answers my emails and is going to write me a rec letter
  2. My research advisor (the ocd one I complain about) agreed to work with me despite the fact that I asked him via email in the middle of summer break, forgot the subject line in the correspondence and he was recovering from major surgery at the time. I imagine I’ve been frustrating to work with at times but he hasn’t given up on me AND seems interested enough in me as a person to spend time talking about my hobbies, Chinese culture, cats and grad school
  3. My diff eq prof is a big reason I changed my views on maths (in a virtual class!) He spent hours and hours putting together fun videos to explain class concepts, was great at lecturing and spent office hours as “chill time” to listen to metal and get to know us. I ended the class with an 86.1, the cutoff was an 87 (86.5or above rounded up) but he still gave me an A. In high school, students would have to bargain to get .45 rounded up.
  4. My emerging markets prof is unbelievable. Super enthusiastic about teaching and his energy rubs off. He saw that I was struggling and personally reached out to me. He’s also funny without trying. Couldn’t ask for a better prof. I went from someone who sought to do the least maths possible to someone who writes Econ models for fun because of him, my friend and the diff eq prof

Wow!
You never know when/where opportunities will arise when you put in extra effort and do the right/hard thing

You also seem significantly more mature than the typical person your age