College life at "Elite" Universities

<p>I have heard that life at the best colleges is not enjoyable at all, as a lot of competition exists, and teachers can't be found besides "office hours". Is there any truth to this?</p>

<p>That's a stereotypical description, but there's <em>some</em> truth behind it. The best of the best get into "elite" universities, so there might be some type A personality competition going on as everyone finds their niche...certain people handle that better than others. Confident and easy going students won't be worried about it though. Professors at "elite" universities are often at the top of their field, so they probably have other priorities going on besides teaching - speeches, research, personal papers/books, lots of students, etc. If you're resourceful and persistent in getting in touch with him/her, you should be fine :). </p>

<p>That being said, I have a friend who goes to Harvard and hardly ever sleeps (as in, sleeps 2-3 hours a night...in the library). Not because she's partying =p. More like studying and doing extracurriculars. But she's very very happy with her life :). I couldn't handle that lifestyle but she manages it well. It's really what you make of it.</p>

<p>Define Elite first mate</p>

<p>
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as a lot of competition exists

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Some people, including me, enjoy such an atmosphere.</p>

<p>
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Define Elite first mate

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</p>

<p>Top 20 USNEWS, maybe extending to the top 50 in certain aspects but as you leave the top 20 the nature of the schools drastically change.</p>

<p>Yea ive heard that most professors would rather go do their research or finish writing their book.</p>

<p>Lots of type A personalities with talent and promise. It can be intimidating because you begin to compare yourself to these types of individuals within this setting, and some end up feeling that they aren't good enough. But you just got to remember that the real world is quite different.</p>

<p>As for teacher availability, it depends on the school. Smaller private liberal colleges have easier accessibility to professors.</p>

<p>Social life is what you make it to be. You can spend your time studying or you can balance it with work and play.</p>

<p>We spend all day reading and laughing at the silly non-elite's threads while easting sushi and sipping merlot, comfortably in our fur coats, sitting in our highly air-conditioned dorms. Life is good.</p>

<p>I go to an "elite" university and I have to say, perhaps more than being "Type A" there are a lot of kids who think the world of themselves. Having a conversation with a group of people turns into a bunch of people giving individual pitches about why there are so great. A lot of self-centeredness</p>

<p>i always wondered this too!
like i know my degree from harvard/pronceton/colombia etc. is going to be worth more, but wouldn't i have a lot more fun at UF, USC, or UCSB?</p>

<p>The schools even within the top 20 are extremely varied with vastly different lifestyles and traditions.</p>

<p>Even the student bodies within each of them are pretty diverse. I'm sure you'll find kids that study in the library 24/7 at each of them. Are these kids necessarily the smartest there? Maybe, maybe not lol.</p>

<p>"Cutthroat" competition? The elites are filled with nerds, here. What's the worst they can do? Study hard for an exam in order to do well? It's not like people are going to be cutting your breaks to maintain their class rank.</p>

<p>^I've heard at JHU and/or UPenn (can't remember which) that people will rip out pages out of books in the library so no one else in their class has that knowledge for the test. I'm taking that with a grain of salt, but still sucks.</p>

<p>^HAHAHAHAHAHAHA</p>

<p>That's great!</p>

<p>^^Heard about that happening at University of Toronto in Canada.</p>

<p>One of my good friends goes to MIT and she has a study group that meets at 3am because it's the only time everyone is free.</p>

<p>^You got to be kidding. I would be sleep walking at that hour.</p>

<p>^^^ you realize that is probably the exception and not the rule?</p>

<p>Please note that being driven is not the same as being competitive. At elite colleges, you will find that many of the students are very, very busy with academics and extracurriculars--that doesn't mean it's because they are competing with each other, though. Even so, some of the elites are more "laid back" than others, and these factors also vary depending on what major you are pursuing.</p>

<p>"One of my good friends goes to MIT and she has a study group that meets at 3am because it's the only time everyone is free"</p>

<p>Don't be fooled, MIT students have shifted sleep schedules because their classes usually don't start that early, and a lot of them can be in the evening.</p>

<p>I'm honestly not that surprised. I went to an elite prep school (and my friend was a year ahead of me) and this sort of thing was pretty common. Almost everyone, by the end of their time there, adapted and had the weirdest sleep cycles ever. My best friend used to only sleep 2-3 hours per night during the school week and then completely crash on the weekends. She was an outlier, for sure, but people just reasoned that she was just a little <em>too</em> intense. Most people (myself excluded) stayed up until 1am-3am doing homework (although I sincerely believe this was due to poor time management/procrastination/people taking inappropriate courses). Last year, I had to kick my roommate out of the room after midnight (this was our agreement) so she went into our neighbor's room to study chinese with her classmate every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.</p>