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Olin College of Eng. social life

kjake2000kjake2000 997 replies222 threads Senior Member
To anyone students alums or people knowledgable, how is life at Olin. I want an as unbiased as possible perspective on this topic.
Is there a gym or football field students have access to? (Whether its on Olin or Babson doesn't matter).
How are the parties?
Is there partying?
Do students go visit other colleges or travel to Boston in their free time?
How accessible is Boston?
Should I bring a car?
Do you need a car if you want to hang around Wellesley or Boston, or is there transportation?
Do Olin and Wellesley/Babson kids get to 'hang out' often?
How is the food in the surrounding area?
What do kids do in their free time? (Im just worried about spending 4 yrs on a small campus and feeling really bored).


Sorry for so many question, this is probably my top choice right now but I want to make it the right choice
19 replies
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Replies to: Olin College of Eng. social life

  • MuggleMomMuggleMom 541 replies7 threads Member
    Those are all excellent questions. Can I suggest asking Oliners? Did you meet anyone while you were at CD that you can talk to? What about an overnight visit. I know accepted students have been requesting them since decisions came out. CC has great info, but why not get your knowledge straight from the horse's mouth?

    Have fun weighing your options. Good luck getting your answers.
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  • kjake2000kjake2000 997 replies222 threads Senior Member
    I'll definitely ask Oliners themselves. I also thought that having the perspective of CCers couldn't hurt though.

    Thanks @MuggleMom
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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @Kjake2000 I was @ CW3 and based on my notes and from what I remember from the tour and talking to students in my group during the CW I can answer some of the questions.

    I am not very big on social/ Party scene so that'S a non issue and I don't have much answers there other than there are no Frats.

    There are 2 Gyms from what remember. Nothing fancy but good enough to keep us fit.
    You can use Babson facilities too
    You can join Intramural sports teams at Babson.
    Soccer and Frisbee are offered at Olin

    Boston is a train ride away and if you have time you can be in Boston in 30 mins.

    You can take classes at Babson and Wellesley college so yes you will get to meet students from those schools if Oliners are too Nerdy :)

    Olin freshmen work incredibly hard. The first semester is pass/fail however there will be a lot final projects due. No time to procrastinate. Lots of group projects and work. Lots of rigorous classes. High expectations for every student
    same crowd in most the freshman classes. Some classes may have less than 5 students.

    l4 years of dorm life / dorm food

    Wellesley center is walkable on a good day, has plenty of shopping and restaurants.It is upscale and expensive.

    Needham is a über ride away, good food but nothing else to do.

    I think you can bring your car. Parking is free.

    You can join clubs to keep yourself busy they have so many options!

    I am sure you must have visited at least a few of them during candidate weekend.

    Someone told me that it's like going to a summer camp. Small group of people and mostly sheltered life style! The only difference will be that you will be an adult

    Approximately 50% in your gender so about 35-40 of sharing 20 rooms at least for the 1st year. but if mix it over 8 terms and summer terms for research, I would say we will all be one happy family by 2022.

    I would also recommend reading their blogs there is a lot of info there. Better than asking someone here



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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    http://www.olin.edu/sites/default/files/final_cdmb_report.pdf.
    Great resource to understand the curriculum.
    I found this very helpful especially because IB/AP credits are not transferred.
    Trying to find out if they will let you test out of a class to take a advance level class. If I test out of MV calc and take other classes.
    If not I will have great GPA for 1st couple of terms and more time to spend on projects :)
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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @kjake2000 Looking at previous posts, I realized we have applied to lots of schools in common. have you decided yet?

    So far I am trying to decide between JHU, Olin, GT, RH, UCLA, UCB, Vandy & Duke. Because I am a CS/EE major I am thinking of dropping JHU, Vandy, Duke and UCLA off my list RH & Olin are small and I like that but not sure of the program which brings me down to GT UCB.

    Still waiting for CMU


    Any thoughts?
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  • kjake2000kjake2000 997 replies222 threads Senior Member
    direct admit to UCB EECS engineering?

    I too took JHU off my list because of its cost and my intended major (its not as strong for engineering). I did not get into Vanderbilt or Duke. Im deciding between Olin with major Engineering w Concentration in Computing, or Gatech CS. I think Ill go with Olin. Even though the program is 'not as known,' all top employers and grad schools are well aware of Olin so I think I'll be fine. I don't want to pass up such a unique education.

    Plus, 50% tuition doesn't hurt.

    @doneinamonth
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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    I got a priority wait list @ CMU! LOL i don't know what these places want anymore.
    My parents are willing to pay for OOS to both UCB and GT. They think it will be a very valuable to graduate from a high ranked school and GT especially because it is state school and although the program is hard the student population would be somewhat diluted compared to UCB. ( Yes it was a direct admit) and would make it easier to have better GPA
    I still prefer Olin because it is better for who I am as a person, I like the small classes and the familiarity of the small group of students. My high school graduating class is 600 and I hate it. There are 1/2 the number of students in the college than my class @ Olin.
    I just have to convince them
    Good Luck
    Hope to see you @ Olin
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  • kjake2000kjake2000 997 replies222 threads Senior Member
    Olin seems like the best option for me, but I don't think you can wrong with Gatech or Olin. I had the same thoughts about UCB, which I got into recently. I think I'll go to graduate school so having a strong GPA and recs will be important, also something I think I can attain at Olin.

    What are you trying to convince your parents of for Olin? It is roughly the same price as Gatech and cheaper than UCB.

    Waitlisted at CMU as well :)

    @doneinamonth
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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    My parents are immigrants and to them prestige is a big factor. They don't understand why I want to give up on highly ranked schools like UCB # 2 or GT #3 or any other top ten schools to go to a school that doesn't even offer a graduate program. Another big concern for them is the ethnic diversity, with more than 27% URM and 9% international (Last year) they think that it may be harder to find a group that would be the right fit for me for group projects and Problem sets. ( I have always been shy and I am usually the last one to get noticed and picked by others for group activities) Plus they know someone who went there and transferred out because of not fitting in. They feel I will be better off in a big school and I feel the opposite. Hence the need to Convince.

    The other thing that worries them is the curriculum it is very project based and theory classes are always supported by a project. Some where in their catalog my dad read a line that said "faculty act as coaches, mentors and advisers, providing just-in-time instruction and helping student teams find the resources they need" which he says is a concern because while projects are good there need to be theoretical instruction for the projects on hand. He feels that just in time instruction is what happens in a technical trades school where you are learning a concept to solve a problem at hand but not the in depth knowledge required to solve a similar problem in the future.

    We are scheduling a day long visit to sit through some Freshman level classes to see what it really means. Especially for CS I am very curious to see what these projects are. I can see MechE student being able to build prototypes in a Machine shop but I am not sure how this fits in to CS. Same concern regarding interdisciplinary curriculum as well.

    They want me to have a more traditional, academic education. They are concerned that some of the TA's are undergrad seniors and juniors too.
    The list is endless...
    Well , wish me luck and keep some for yourself

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  • kjake2000kjake2000 997 replies222 threads Senior Member
    honestly a lot of these concerns are mine as well. I like project based learning but I feel like I need theory to back it up. If Olin isn't as theory based as other schools, I might have to consider other schools. Luckily for me, GT is great for that. Keep me updated on how it goes.

    @doneinamonth
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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @kjake2000
    UCB class of 2022!
    GO BEARS!!

    did you decide yet?
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  • kjake2000kjake2000 997 replies222 threads Senior Member
    nope... between UCB, Gatech, and Olin.

    I would go UCB as well but I got into L&S so I'd have to reapply into CS and I don't know if its worth the risk. Plus, 65k and the super competitiveness makes me a little wary.

    Nonetheless, good luck to you, congrats on your accomplishment.

    @doneinamonth
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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @kjake2000

    That is a hard choice, other than GT it's kind of a compromise. With all the analysis my family went through, UCB was the best fit, yes it is a lot of money, but it's traditional education. I would have gone to GT if I didn't have a direct admit.

    Transfers unless guaranteed, is a risk. What would you major in if you don't have the GPA to transfer?

    Since CS is a industry centered major, the opportunities for summer internships is critical. I would want to be in a area where there are plenty of opportunities.

    In the long run, I want to consider an early graduation ( AP credits, summer classes etc) I am not sure if Olin would allow you to deviate much from their standard curriculum. Although I love the size of the school and hands on curriculum, I had to settle for something that would be both financially and academically a good fit. I know I will be awkward socially, but I will be okay.
    Let me know what you decide
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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @kjake2000

    Have you decided yet?

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  • kjake2000kjake2000 997 replies222 threads Senior Member
    no, I visited Olin and liked the environment, very relaxed and conducive to learning.

    Ive narrowed it down to Olin and UCB

    @doneinamonth
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  • jeffgordonjeffgordon 99 replies6 threads Junior Member
    @kjake2000 Those were my son's last two, and his choice was go to Cal immediately or reserve a place on Olin's waiting list. After a well-spent year at home and and four amazing years at Olin, he graduates in a month.

    There is no bad choice but those two schools are sooo different.
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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @kjake2000 Yes! Olin is has a great atmosphere for learning, other than that I still think GT is a better option than UCB for you. If you were in EECS i would definitely say UCB, but it is a lot of time wasted at UCB for the BA program @UCB on filler classes, Between 7 tech electives and 7 core classes and no advanced math or physics requirement I think it is a whole year wasted on classes you don't need, I would rather spend that tome at a co-op or taking engineering classes. Social sciences, humanities, philosophy, friend language are all filler classes unless you are want to focus on liberal arts.

    You can't go wrong with a tech school like GT or a engineering school like Olin. Another thing to consider is that although it seems like a great place to be at for tech internships with the big names, you will be competing with the EECS students for the same positions not only from UCB but also from other superior schools like Stanford, Caltech and other LAC schools like Pamona and Mudd so it is not going to be that accessible, Same with Olin where you wlll be competing with MIT and Harvard kids, but GT has a great connection with these companies where you are the best local talent.

    Can I ask what made you decide against GT?
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  • kjake2000kjake2000 997 replies222 threads Senior Member
    Ultimately, I feel that the main advantage GT has over Olin is the increased depth and higher level courses in CS. So if I ever were to pick GT over Olin, it would be for that reason. However, in terms of depth, UCB beats GT in that regard. Therefore, if I decide to attend the school with most academic depth, it would be UCB over GT.

    Maybe my reasoning is convoluted. I'm still going to visit before I officially rule it out.

    @doneinamonth
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  • doneinamonthdoneinamonth 51 replies8 threads Junior Member
    @kjake2000 I disagree, they both are comparable in depth, intact I feel GT offers more focused curriculum because of their pathways.
    Again I am basing it on STEM based technical/engineering education, but in another post earlier this morning, you had mentioned MET, if you are leaning towards a management degree eventually then UCB has an edge. I personally believe in pure science as foundation for long term career success. Being an entrepreneur and climbing the financial ladder when you in 20's sounds awesome, but the reality is only a handful are successful at our age.

    My older brother went to Penn M&T he had a solid 4.9 wt GPA 12 APs with 5. NMF, AIME award M3 winner, class valedictorian, Captain of the tennis team, Volunteered to help partially blind people seek treatment and improve vision in India (this is still his passion, he goes to India every year to run the program) He is a Phd candidate at London school of Economics now...

    I am no where near as hard working or smart as he is, hence the black sheep of the family :(
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