So you're headed off to college/university...

Disney's picture

and you know one other person who's sort of a friend and who you could sway to come with you to your dream school. Do you want a fresh start entirely? Do you want a potential buddy there to navigate the waters early on? Do you want a vote if you plan to run for something in school? Do you convince your semi-friend to go to another school, so you can start without their knowledge of high school you?

I'm in this predicament right now and would LOVE some feedback, asap. I know where I'll be going and I'm very glad about it, but there really are just a few people I know who'll be going to the same school as me, and only ONE of them am I more than acquaintances with. She's cool, above average smarts and nice enough to be around, but not my type of 'close friend' as far as I can tell. Do I steer her towards picking the same school as me? Or am I better off with a virtually completely fresh start?

I'm worried about not knowing anyone, and I know she'll be at least a bit popular so that's handy, but I'd also hate to have any of my stupid or uncool moments come bubbling back because of this girl. She also doesn't know I'm gay right now, she'd be fine with it though. Between my school and another school she's on the fence and I know what I say can impact her to change her mind. She lives in the same city as me, has gone to the same school as me for a few years.

Being pessimistic, I'd hate to be stuck in a male wing and wind up with very few friends, or be joining clubs and relegated to stupid positions because for some reason I'm having trouble connecting with people. I don't think my would-be friend would get towed around but hmm, what to do?

Lol-taire's picture

It won't make any difference

It won't make any difference to be honest. You'll probably bump into her at fresher's week/ at the student union (or Canadian equivilent), but her impact on your new start will be minimal unless you actively chose to stick by her.

You probably shouldn't try to sway her decision either way for your personal reasons, since that's somewhat bitchy.

Now help me with my university dilema. Do I resit this exam and (if I get an A) go to UCL or do I go to Goldsmiths which is obviously less prestigious, but which interests me more?
I thought I wanted to go to UCL so much, but I've forgotten why. My heart says Goldsmiths (but it might massively disappoint me), but my head says UCL.
Does it even matter?

jeff's picture

Hmm...

Depends. You say "interests me more," but is that because of what you would study, or just some other quality?

If it is the difference between studying something that matters more to you, then go for that. If it is studying the same thing, just a matter of which place to do it, eh, go for the prestige angle. Still matters in a lot of places (*cough*Google*cough*).

---

"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there." -- Josh Billings.

Add me on MySpace!

Ashe Wednesday's picture

odds are, if she's as

odds are, if she's as popular and friendly as you say she is, she will go off on her own and make her own friends, and that may drift her away from you...so you'd be on your own anyway. It seems kinda weird that she'd be so willing to accept an aquaintance's wishes to go to the same school as her...and she might decide to go somewhere else anyway. Besides, you don't want to put someone in the position of feeling obligated to do things with/for you. At least I hope not.

Go on your own. You won't be the only one. A new place brings a ton of new people, so just as much as she'll be making new friends, if you go in with a positive attitude, you'll make friends too :)

jeff's picture

Eh...

If one person holds you back from making a fresh start, you probably won't be making one.

---

"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there." -- Josh Billings.

Add me on MySpace!

pomegranate's picture

to Disney:

I say let her make her own decision and don't worry about it. After all, she's only one person; I doubt she could have much influence on your university life, especially since you say you're not even that close to her. Universities are big. There's really no such thing as popularity. Have fun, study hard, and do what you love. You'll find people with the same interests as you.

To Lol-taire:

Here are my two cents on your university dilemma: UCL and Goldsmiths are both good universites, so try not to think about what is the most prestigious, what looks the best. I'd say just do what you think will make you happy. Now, if being happy meant spending the next four years singing for free on a street corner, I'd advise against it. But that's not the case - you're going to university. Just that in itself means good things to come.
At the end of the day, I think what you do is more important than where you go. So which university do you think will be the best launching pad for what you want to do? Where do you see yourself most active, involved, learning the most, happy? Where would you feel most alive? I think these factors are far more important than prestige when it comes to future success.

Good luck to you both! :)))

Disney's picture

Thanks!

Thanks all round'! I had an extended moment of weakness/vice going on there, I'll leave semi-friend alone in her decisions and go ahead with mine!

Even though we're not close friends, she takes a lot of what I say pretty seriously and while she isn't the brightest tool in the shed, memorization = gold. AFAIK she's the only one who got accepted to the same school as I did in our student body, and I'm the only one aside from her in our relatively small school who really knows meaningful details about the place (sorrowful teachers/admin included)!

Loltaire, I was still in the midst of picking between schools a few weeks ago too! A heightened sense of freedom due to increased distance and some permanent summer temperatures seemed like nifty bonuses for one school on the west coast over the one I'm with for the east. My eastern love has lots going for it, from academics to facilities to GLBT population etc., but two things made me run with it especially, even though they may be the least meaningful in many people's eyes or in the grand scheme of future careers!

Prestige and reputation really stand out, and clearly UCL has been a dream of yours and I don't doubt you can imagine wearing some of their swag or writing for their student paper(s) or doing something 'only a UCL student could do! The school I'm going to has always been spoken of highly, and I really have to wonder if hearing some relatives comment about it a few years ago, or hearing a coworker squeal about my even APPLYING to the school, or any number of little-big comments pushed my mindset to this one school being the best option.

Knowing that though, prestige still makes a monumental difference in the world. Alumni matter as well, and obviously UCL's backing isn't anything weak. I think as far as desk jobs and bottom of the barrel work goes, very very few schools on Earth would make a difference, but once you look at being promoted/a meaningful occupation, where you went to school can make a bigger difference - most especially in a competitive field. I don't want to disuade you from Golds which of COURSE is an awesome school too, but honestly, think of who you or your parents or a former employer might be more keen on/automatically respect more: a UCL grad or a Golds grad?

You won't be emblazoned with your school's name on your chest, but it is 2-4 years of your life and your transcripts never die! There's so much to say in favour of following your dreams and forgetting prestige, since it could all be obliterated by our smartass generation within the decade (or diminished, at least... although I'm inclined to think prestige will just matter MORE!) and so on, but really just try for that exam, if you get UCL, great, if you get Golds, great - you'll excel at either, you'll find success out of both. Resit the exam, ace it like you know you can, and then be able to pick!

Goldsmith is an excellent school and of course you'll revel in your classes there, but ugh there's still also much to be said for feeling like you could've missed X or Y by not taking the labeled high road.

Well thanks for the advice, hopefully mine wasn't too screwy, it's supposed to be a toned down arrow directed at UCL and reputation and bling, but it probably came out wrongly. Eeek, you'll enjoy what you do no matter what, or you wouldn't be doing it, it's just that one will probably afford you more pride or cheerfulness early on, whereas one may be less explicit about what you've gained from it, for a while at least.

You're Amazing.

Splash's picture

is prestige really that big a deal?

Lol-taire: I disagree with Jeff and Disney. Your transcript, your resume, and the Google results page :-) are not going to spend 4 years in college. You are, and my argument is that you should pick with that in mind. Now, I honestly don't know anything about either of your two choices (maybe due to being in the USA?), but I don't think prestige is a good deciding factor. You didn't say why Goldsmiths interests you more, but if you think you could learn as much there as at UCL, and it's where your heart's telling you, why not go for it?

This of course from someone lacking the voice of experience -- I start college next fall -- but that's my take on it. In the end, though, it's up to you. We're all just voices on a forum -- it's your life to decide, no matter what we have to say about it! :-)

~~~ the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses ~ e e cummings ~~~

jeff's picture

Hmm...

I meant actually working for Google, not your search results. They are notorious for wanting anyone from top schools over any other factor.

I know employees who want to hire people they know who are leaders in a certain area... nope, they don't get past Google HR.

I applied for the identical job I held at a Fortune 500 company, the only difference being I doubled the required experience in every category, and the result is I was told I probably wasn't a good fit.

---

"Be like a postage stamp. Stick to one thing until you get there." -- Josh Billings.

Add me on MySpace!

Splash's picture

point taken...

I didn't know about Google's hiring strategies -- and I'll admit I forgot to think of them as a company rather than just a search engine. Consider the results page reference stricken from the record! :-)

The rest of my opinion stands. I'd rather have a good college experience than that one line on my resume that says I went to a top school.

But that's just based on my life and experiences. It's not the next law of the universe or anything. ;-)

~~~ the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses ~ e e cummings ~~~

Lol-taire's picture

Just wanted to thank

Just wanted to thank everyone for all their advice- it's all been helpful.

I really do appreciate it. Oh, the future is frightening, this being an adult thing.

And sorry Disney for hijacking your post a little bit.