Posts Tagged ‘college’

The Freshman 15…

Monday, December 22nd, 2014



Pizza via Flickr: rob_rob2001

I can smell the Turkey in the oven and will undoubtedly be feeling it on my hips and cheeks for several weeks after I’ve eaten it. Yes: it is Thanksgiving, and no: nutritional guidelines will not be obeyed today. This time of year can be difficult for managing one’s weight because of all the commercialized, incentivized mass-eating we tend to indulge ourselves in. But there are ways to escape the cycle at Thanksgiving and on the life-in-general level. You can have your cake and eat it too AND not feel too guilty about it… (more…)

Do I Need a Tutor?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Teenage boy using personal computerYes. Yes you do. At some point in your college career you will hit the academic wall, be it via essays, research papers or a problem set that’s giving you more problems than you need right now. The liberal arts education is supposed to push you into unchartered territory and force you out of your one or two subject comfort zones. Ultimately, there should be no sense of impending dignity loss in asking for help.

I took a science credit my first semester of freshman year, which actually turned out to be hardcore math. I had been hoping to prolong my math distributional requirement until they (“the man”) forced me to take it. But my Breakfast Club-esque attitude to calculus was broken by deceptive course content propaganda. Needless to say, I found myself in a bit of a pickle with all of these numbers strewn about the page. Bob, Sarah and Duncan were trying to navigate there way around town because Google Maps had conveniently stopped working. The question was slightly different to that, but you get the gist: math characters asking me to calculate something. (more…)

How to Apply to College

Friday, August 17th, 2012


Applying to college

Applying to college

Applying to college is a daunting task. The first three years of high school are all about preparing for this process, and between the SAT test, ACT test, SAT II Subject Tests, extra-curriculars, sports, AP tests, college visits, and getting that GPA up, those years were no walk in the park. For rising seniors, however, the real challenge is just beginning. Senior fall is one of most challenging semesters in high school, and when applying to college is layered on top of that, things can quickly spin out of control. When it comes to applying for college, therefore, it’s important to have a plan in place, and get started early. (more…)

Choosing a Major

Monday, July 16th, 2012
College Major

College Major

After the arduous task of working hard in high school, studying for the SAT or ACT exams, visiting colleges, writing essays, filling out applications, and waiting for acceptances you get the great news – you got in!  All your incredible hard work has paid off and you are on your way to college.  Four years of new intellectual frontiers, freedom, responsibility, and maturation await you.

One of the few things that students are prepared completely for is the process of choosing a major.  It’s an important decision and, along with the college you choose, a statement and choice about your interests and values.  A college course catalogue can, at times, feel like an overwhelming buffet and picking what you want can be quite difficult.

Of course, a number of factors, that vary from school to school, will affect the nature of this choice. Undoubtedly, one of the major factors that drew you to the college you ended up at was the nature of the curriculum.  Inherent in that curriculum, and the educational philosophy of any school is a question of freedom.  Some schools let you entirely pick and choose what you’d like to study and have no requirements outside of the demands of various majors, while some have very intensive demands for all students. At University of Chicago and Columbia University, they have a strenuous core curriculum that require all students to do battle with the great works of western humanities and sciences.  Other schools have broader distribution requirements, that demand you take classes is a wide array of broad disciplines like Humanities (English, Philosophy), Social Science (Sociology, History), and Natural Science (Biology, Chemistry).

In other instances, students attend specialized schools for bachelor degrees in fine arts, engineering, and business.  While there is certainly a degree of choice in these institutions, in affect your major has already been chosen.  Similarly, students who go into a undergrad experience with the full knowledge that they want to go on to pursue a graduate degree in Law or especially Medicine will want to elect a major very quickly so they can complete their rigorous and specialized requirements.

The toughest choice is usually faced by undergrads in a  Liberal Arts setting with more freedom.  Here, the playing field is wider and the timetable governing the selection process more fluid.  There are still factors that condition when you want to elect a major though.  The number of requirements in a given field will establish a need to start working early to have a balanced and manageable experience.  Also, if you plan to study abroad at any point, most school require that you have established your major by that point.

As a general rule of thumb, most students want to elect a major by the end of their sophomore year.  This means in the first two to three semesters of school it’s wise to take classes in many disciplines you suspect may interest you and see what fits.  Also, if there is a particular teacher whose work and style interest you – take his or her classes. This can be an organic and rewarding way to find the perfect major for you.