copied from facebook (yes I realize now it’ll get posted on FB twice since it’ll get imported. DEAL WITH IT)
Okay, it’s only fair that I put down my thoughts as well. Besides, it’s
been awhile and probably no one else is going to pitch in. Tagging
everyone who responded (thanks!).
Overall, my college experience has not been able to stand up to my high
school experience. Not even close. Of course, this is both due to the
fact that I had an amazing high school experience, and due to the fact
that, college life hasn’t really been all that thrilling (for me).
Let’s start with the good:
-I get to live away from my parents. This is HUGE! No longer do I have
my mom and dad breathing down my back and getting me upset over things.
My mom is actually one of the few forces in the universe that I really
have problems dealing with, so this is huge. I still end up seeing my
parents like once a week because they stop by or I come home, but
that’s actually a pro rather than a con–I get to have supplies (e.g.
FOOD) brought from home. The main thing is just that I’m not in the
same household anymore. As a corollary, this also means that…
-I get to sleep a lot later. I routinely stay up past 3 AM (i’m typing
this at 2 AM) and staying up until 6 AM isn’t uncommon for me. In
extreme cases I’ve gone all the way to 9 AM. I love staying up late,
and me and my mom have waged an eternal struggle over this issue, so
this is definitely nice. You might think that it’s really bad to sleep
that late, but I do make up for it. I try to handle my sleep schedule
best I can and allocate enough per day. I usually don’t have to get up
early so that’s always a plus. I have some classes that are earlier in
the day but…
-I get to skip classes. This might also seem like a bad thing, but
honestly, if I’m not going to get anything out of a class, there’s
absolutely no resaon I should just feel obligated to go when I could be
spending my time doing something useful and productive instead (or just
relaxing). Granted, some classes have required attendance, and some
classes you really SHOULD go to, but having the option, is really
liberating. Not having class from 7:30 till 3:00 every day also gives
me a lot more time. This quarter I’m a little bit more busy since I
have 18 units, but still I feel like I’m not as busy as I was in high
school. This is also because…
-College classes in general seem easier than high school classes were.
Or rather, they seem like they’re less work, in general. I know some of
you are probably screaming, “WHAT~!?” but hear me out. Yes, I have
taken some hard college classes, and have run into some times where
I’ve had a mountain of work to take care of in a short time, but in
general when you think about it, in college you have weekly problem
sets, whereas in high school you had homework due every day. True, in
college now I’m actually running into things that I have to really WORK
at to understand, but in general it hasn’t been that bad at all.
(certain classes have been icky, but those are special cases)
-The people here are also, in general, cooler. When I say this, I
simply mean the ratio of “people who seem alright” to “people who I
don’t ever want to have anything to do with” is a lot higher here than
it was at FHS. That isn’t to say that there aren’t “bad” people at
Stanford. On the contrary, I’ve met quite my fair share of people who
I’m not too fond of. (I’m a misanthrope, remember?) But in general the
ratio is better.
-Living in a dorm also means getting more contact with peers, in a way.
I mean this in that, if you want social contact (and you happen to live
near someone who’s cool), all you have to do is walk down a hallway,
provided they’re in and they have their door open, etc etc.
-Taiji/tai chi has given me a physical exercise activity that I actually really like. ’nuff said.
-The campus can be pretty. (minor point)
So college hasn’t been ALL bad. However, the majority of it, -in general-, has been a step down from high school.
-There’s no marching band. Well technically we have a “band” but that’s
not the same at all (duh). So goodbye to the #1 driving force of my
high school life. Also goodbye to the means through which I’ve been an
overwhelming majority of my close (and even not-so-close) friends.
-None of my close friends are here. The only other person from FHS
who’s even here is Kevin Schneider (hardly ever see him, not that it
really matters). It feels LONELY. I write, and call, and I’m not
utterly depressed about it most of the time, but from time to time the
isolation does get me. And that’s because…
-Even though there -are- cool people, it’s been hard for me to make
new, close friends. Because of my social nature, when I say “close
friends”, males need not apply–I’m a bit of a misandrist too, so the
whole guy-guy friendship thing doesn’t end up working for me most of
the time. Recap of my freshman year at Stanford–I became good friends
with one girl->we became -really- close->things fell apart and I
realized, whoa, this is NOT what I wanted. I also felt pretty close to
some of the staff members in my dorm, but they were all upperclassmen,
so I hardly see any of them anymore. So far I can’t say I have a “real”
close friend here yet. Things look hopeful at present, but nothing can
really make up for not being able to see any of my old friends.
-Having to live with other men is not really that awkward, but it gets
to me from time to time. Stanford has co-ed rooming now, and I’m
beginning to consider that option in earnest now. I doubt my mom would
ever let me go through with it though. At the moment I’m living in a
one room quad with 3 other guys. Granted, they’re not horrible people
or anything, but they are still men, and I don’t mix well with other
guys in general.
-I don’t really mix well with drunk people and rowdy parties either.
That’s an aspect of college which (thankfully) hasn’t really =intruded=
upon my lifestyle, but it’s still there, and it’s something i’m just
avoiding. I kind of find it insulting when people offer me
alcohol–especially if they do it more than once.
-I miss Kenneth.
-I miss high school classes. College classes are some of the most
boring things ever. Sitting in a room listening to an old guy talk for
an hour is not really my idea of fun. Now, there HAVE been some
lectures which I have actually enjoyed (the Computer Science class I’m
taking this quarter actually has great lectures–and even better,
they’re recorded online so I can just watch them from my room), but I’m
really, really not a lecture person (hence why I don’t feel bad about
skipping class). I really miss the camaraderie of high school classes,
where you actually got to KNOW other people in your class, and had fun
goofing off with them. Even if none of my “really close friends” were
there, it was still fun to hang out with people like Kim and Lin Hoang,
Josh Agbayani, Jackie Ha, Susan Lee, etc etc. Yes, I do live with my
peers now, but it’s really not the same kind of social interaction.
Living in a dorm doesn’t necessarily mean socializing all the time. I
don’t even know the names of half of the people on my floor this year
(I admit, last year the dorm was more close-knit). I haven’t made any
new friends whatsoever through college classes.
-I also miss hair. Or rather, the unbridled freedom with which I was
able to fondle everyone’s hair in high school I was REALLY SPOILED by
the girls in high school–hardly any of them minded at all. Freshman
year of Stanford, I got BANNED from touching hair by my RA. It was
-Now I have to deal with choosing a major and deciding on my future,
which is another mess in itself. Granted, it isn’t as bad as it could
be–I just have to figure out what the hell this “EE” business really
is, and whether this path that’s been set out for my by my parents
YEARS in advance will actually work…
-Faculty interaction is not my strong suit. First of all, I’m really
picky about my teachers. The only teachers I’ve ever had that I can
give A+ grades to are Mr. Steffen and Ms. Lee (possibly Mr. Maisel).
I’m -okay- with a lot of teachers, but in college it somehow seems like
that number has gone down, possibly due to the “lectures are boring”
fact that I already mentioned before. Yeah, okay, people are always
telling me to go and approach faculty, even if I don’t really have a
good resaon to, but I -hate- doing things without a good resaon,
especially when I KNOW it won’t really lead to anything (and I know it
won’t). Eventually I’m supposed to find a major advisor. As of now, I
can’t see how that’s going to happen. I’m trying to finish a minor in
“Music, Science, and Technology” which -should- be cool, but….so far,
-The dorm food ain’t always that great. Last year it went downhill
realllll fast. This year it hasn’t been that bad, but yeah. I’ve
probably lost weight here.
Basically, the bottom line is, college has separated me from everything
that I used to have. That was good in one respect (I got to be
separated from my parents) and bad in basically all others (I can’t see
any of my friends anymore, I don’t have marching band, the classes are
boring, etc.). To add to the problem I haven’t really found anything
NEW in college that has really been great. If you look at my high
school experiences you can tell that they changed my life, and made me
who I am, and gave me something to be passionate about, and gave me
really fond memories to treasure, etc. I haven’t found any of that here.
No, it doesn’t really suck that hard…in fact I do have my fair share
of fun here. But really, I miss what I used to have, and that’s why I’m
still living in the past. I haven’t found any resaon to move on, so I’m
still holding on to everything I used to have. Can I really be blamed
To address people’s responses specifically:
Kenneth – Well, there are certainly SOME interesting people with
interesting hobbies here. There’s another guy who I met last year who’s
on your plane of techiness (as opposed to mine, which, as you should
know by now, is lower…). I don’t think it’s a problem that they’re
not the norm. I might feel intimidated if that were the case
(mayyyybe). To me, it’s always been the personality that counts, since
I’ve always KNOWN that pretty much no one can stand up to the
talent-mass that is Timm[ie] (who else can you name that plays insanely
fast Tetris, Beatmania IIDX, sequence breaks Super Metroid, competes in
online leagues for Guitar Hero 3, speedcubes, etc etc etc).
Michelle – I feel like high school was about finding who I wanted to
be, and becoming that person. And college is where you take that person
completely out of their element. The material in college courses hasn’t
challenged me extraordinarily, and it hasn’t really excited me that
much either (CS107 is pretty neat though, hence why i’m considering a
CS major). I’m still just going through the motions of “learn material,
do work, finish class”. My extracurriculars are a complete 180 from
what you experienced. I can’t explain marching band though, so I won’t
try. As for all-nighters, I thought high-school was terrible for
all-nighters because you always had class at 7:30 AM. Nowadays I can
stay up working until 6 AM, still catch a decent amount of sleep, and
then go to class…
Alexa – Yeah, that’s pretty much completely different. Hahaha. I feel
like I should be saying more but nothing comes to mind. bahhhh.
Rachel – uhhh yeah. well sort of.
Sophia – Ah yes. So, all of the friends that I still care about deeply,
seem to be going through the same phase–drifing away from high school,
and toward college friends. The problem is, that means they’re drifting
away from ME. =( In general, people don’t seem that good at maintaining
friendships with people they don’t see on a regular basis. To make
things worse, for some resaon no one ever really considers me as one of
their closest friends. I do my best, and I like to think that I do a
pretty good job at keeping in touch, but if I stopped trying, people
would just forget about poor old me. I’ve written close to 100 letters
in the past year, and the number of those that have gone without -any-
kind of response is staggering. It’s just frustrating. You could say
that I’m clinging too hard to old habits, but really, this is who I am!
Not to mention, I’m not just going to let go of everything I have, and
be left with NOTHING. If I’m going to let go, there had better be a
damn good reason!
Tracy – Random talks at 3 am ARE fun! yes, yes. But I haven’t developed
any deep relationships. Well, there was the one, but it broke. Gah. I
don’t know. I do take a bit to open up to people, but when I meet the
right people it really isn’t that hard. I know I’m not incapable of
making new deep relationships because I made one over the summer, but
so far at Stanford, it hasn’t really happened (it could soon,
Isabelle – I became myself in high school. That’s when I became
“Timm[ie]”…and I really can’t see anywhere else I want to go with
Okay that was #$^#$^ extremely long. there’s probably more that I’m
leaving out but I’m done. commence your pitying and denials, advice,
etc etc. (really the point of this isn’t a cry for help, but rather a
narrative of where I am)