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Bitter Columbia Engineering Sophomore Rant

trashnastygamingtrashnastygaming 12 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
edited September 22 in Columbia University
My goal since middle school was to get into HYP. Ever since Ivy Day one and a half year ago, I have felt a tremendous, growing bitterness over not getting into HYP (rejected by H+P, waitlisted by Y).

As a result, my motivation and work ethic have gone down the gutter. I have skipped more lectures and recitations than I can hope to count, joined no clubs, and actively rejected making conversation with peers. Instead of sleeping 6-7 hours like I did in high school, trying to make as much use of my 24 hours as possible, I sleep 10-11 hours on a constant basis at the expense of classes. I entirely despise the city with its constant noise, people popping out of every corner, and filthy streets. Every time I walk outside, I want to run away back home (not to my dorm, my actual home) and never return.

The campus is ridiculously cramped (36 acres!!). It does not even try to compensate with some measure of beauty -- Columbia is by far the ugliest Ivy. The Core is a colossal waste of time. The administration is a sprawling mess.

There are so many relatively mediocre students here who I can tell solely applied because Columbia is the only Ivy in NYC. I am certain these students would not exist at HYP. No wonder our acceptance rate is 5% -- if we were located in Hanover or Ithaca, it would easily be 10%+. If you include Barnard and General Studies in the undergrad population, the quality of the students becomes so diluted, and a very, very small percentage are actually academically talented (by HYPSM standards).

I have already started looking into transfer apps. I don't care if I "only" get into Cornell/Brown/Dartmouth/Duke [they might not even take me]; this place sucks beyond belief.

By far, the worst decision of my life was choosing Columbia over Caltech. Parental pressure and simple fear drove me to choose this school.
edited September 22
28 replies
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Replies to: Bitter Columbia Engineering Sophomore Rant

  • EmpireappleEmpireapple 1717 replies26 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Take some time off. Work. Backpack through Europe. You need perspective and maturity.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1363 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    OP has a point. Columbia is overrated. Turning down Caltech for Columbia? Yes, it's a huge mistake.
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  • jym626jym626 55524 replies2894 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you are really interested in engineering and not just the prestige name of an ivy, Cal Tech would have been a better choice. Or Cornell .
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4217 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You need to go to the counseling center like the next time it's open. Sleeping through classes etc is signs of depression. It doesn't matter which school you could go to. Your problems will still be there. Hope your grades are good or your not transferring anywhere. Talk to someone now including your academic counselor.

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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1363 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 22
    OP didn't say that s/he was falling behind academically. S/he actually complained about the lack of talents on campus, so the inference is that OP wasn't challenged. In addition to the lack of challenge, Columbia also seems to be a bad fit as OP isn't interested in the Columbia core (even the reduced version at SEAS).
    edited September 22
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4217 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I am reading the tea leaves differently. Just because a school's a bad fit one with the intelligence they have usually wouldn't act or present this way. Sour Grapes I get. Once the venting stops it appears they need some help adjusting. The "real" world isn't just people from the ivys. We don't all live in perfect situations. So vent, work hard and move on.
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  • dropbox77177dropbox77177 266 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 22
    Hey man (if you are male), you sound depressed. Seriously, sleeping so much is not a good sign. If you don't like NYC, well then Columbia was never going to be the right place.
    There are so many relatively mediocre students here who I can tell solely applied because Columbia is the only Ivy in NYC. I am certain these students would not exist at HYP.
    Whoa, how wrong you are. Take it it from me there are many relatively mediocre students at every Ivy. Every one of them.

    But the top end is extraordinary. Without revealing too much information I was friendly with one particular student who graduated valedictorian at 18 years old (yes, 18) and went on to world level recognition in his field. My best college friend was salutatorian and went on to found a firm and retire with $500M+ by age 40. Both had smarts at an otherworldly level - the gulf between them and the "average" HYP kid....

    ...well, if you have some spare time instead of sleeping, read Heinlein's Gulf. ("The gulf between us and them is narrow, but it is very deep. We cannot close it.")

    Try to seek out the smart kids, and see if you can hang with them intellectually. You'll need to if you want to have a hope of transferring "up." Good luck!
    edited September 22
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  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 2217 replies36 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You're in an ivy! Get it together. Get help if needed. Apply for the transfers if you think you'll be happier elsewhere. But in the meantime, make the most of the college in which you are enrolled. You'll have a second chance at HYP for grad school, but only if your undergrad grades and experiences show you're worthy.

    From where I'm sitting right now, it appears HYP made the right choice. So prove them wrong.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34100 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    "skipped more lectures and recitations than I can hope to count, joined no clubs, and actively rejected making conversation with peers."

    Making life tougher than it needs to be- and burning some bridges. I don't find these choices to be the college's fault, nor about peers.

    This is an odd take on the old "X and Y college are beneath me" excuse, but applied to an Ivy. Kinda arrogant. Maybe homesickness or what. But it starts with the patterns he did establish.

    I'm not unsympathetic to initial adjustment issues. But he's reporting on a full year, is a soph.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14733 replies985 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Your arrogant atitude may have come across in your applications to other Ivy's, hence your rejections ther.
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  • trashnastygamingtrashnastygaming 12 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    Thank you all for your feedback. This school is not meeting any of my expectations and has been a tremendous letdown. I lost motivation because of my negativity towards this school, not the other way around. The culture here is despicable, and a significant chunk of students put on a ridiculous show of appearing as liberal as possible to fit NYC (maybe they were already that way). I almost have to visit Princeton at least once a month to recalibrate myself in an environment of true scholarship, intelligence, and good taste. This whole “embrace people of different backgrounds!!” mantra spread nonstop by Columbia is not cutting it.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4217 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 22
    You are always going to be unhappy. There is an underlying issue here. Seek the help you need and prove me (us) wrong. You might never get into the schools you want to.... Then what? What's your backup plan when your rejected for transfer?

    I bet if you sought out kids that are on your intellectual wave length and actually joined clubs and went to class you might even enjoy it. But you are letting yourself for some reason NOT enjoy your experience. Maybe to get back at your parents? Don't know. How about "attempting" to be a reasonable normal student at the school your currently at
    Anything less is just lack of maturity. Everyone I have ever known has found their "peeps". Go find yours!
    edited September 22
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  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1479 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    OP might not be 20 years old yet, so if they show some signs of immaturity, let’s face it, it is rather normal/typical.
    Just want to say, whatever the disappointment you feel today, you have the biggest advantage many of us will ever have again, your youth. Take some of the older folks advices, please. There might be many challenging opportunities and intellectual equals around you, seek them out, at least till you transfer out to greener pastures.
    Good luck.
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  • dropbox77177dropbox77177 266 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited September 22
    Columbia has gotten too insane SJW in my opinion, so heading off presumably to visit friends at Princeton doesn't strike me as crazy.

    Skipping classes? Again, not that much of a surprise - I know plenty of absolutely top kids who skipped classes regularly. In fact, one was salutatorian at HYP :)

    (Not saying OP is at that level, of course.)
    edited September 22
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  • websensationwebsensation 2106 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Is this a non fake post? All schools, including HYP, have kids who are not that smart. I assure you the level of smartness between HYPSM and Columbia is pretty much the same.
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  • lookingforwardlookingforward 34100 replies376 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It's in the delivery, droppedit.
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14733 replies985 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Columbia has gotten too insane SJW in my opinion, so heading off presumably to visit friends at Princeton doesn't strike me as crazy
    And Princeton is a bastion of conservatism?

    I think someone is bored today. If not the OP needs to visit the counselling office ASAP.
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