Hi, I'm new to posting to this site, but I figured I would at least try it out because I have to make my college decision in just a few days. (I posted this in Cornell's section as well) I was accepted to UVA, and its engineering school, and Cornell in CALS for environmental engineering. These are the two schools I narrowed it down to.
Just to describe myself quickly, I, like many of the people on this website, worked very hard in high school, and have been accepted to at least one or two prestigious schools. However, after 4 years of working pretty hard, senior year proved to be difficult. I feel burnt out in a way, and it may simply be senioritis, but I'm worried that it may transfer to college. I think that I will be able to recover and study well again, as long as I pursue a degree I really want to. Also, in senior year, I started having more fun, going out more, and realizing the importance of doing that. I decided I want to go to college at a place where I can be really happy, and not terribly stressed out.
And that's where the college decision comes in. At UVA (with out of state tuition), I got the feeling that the program for engineering is a little more laid back, but if this is wrong please let me know. I think I could have more fun here, with better weather, better sports teams, and perhaps a better social life. The only thing is, I'm not sure if I would be willing to pass up an ivy league school, for UVA, a program that I felt had a less reputable and attractive program for engineering. I want to end up in Silicon Valley, at a big tech company, so whichever school, Cornell or UVA can do that, I will be happy.
Cornell, an ivy league education, is my other offer, and i am in CALS. I decided after I applied, that environmental engineering isn't for me, so I would have to transfer after 2 years, with the process of applying to a specific major. So I wouldnt really be able to study mechanical or electrical engineering for 2 years, if I understand correctly, which makes me anxious. I don't want to do bad in school in subject material that Im not passionate about. But at Cornell, if I rough this situation out, and stay positive, I would access to a great alumni system. A big part of it for me is access and availability of internships, and if Im correct, I think Cornell could help hook me up easily with connections they have in Silicon Valley. I think passing up an ivy league education is something I may regret, especially if it could've helped push me ahead in my search for a good engineering job out of college. Also, at UVA, i felt like the internships were limited and not encouraged until Junior year, and the ones that were offered, were very selective and highly sought out. I am turned off by the possibility of having to apply for an internship with only one slot, instead of being helped out by a career service and guaranteed an interview in places in California.
Price wise, I can lay it out. For Cornell, I have $5000 in loans, with a $3000 contribution and a $2500 work study. UVA, is $9000 in loans and a $4000 work study. UVA is also around $2000 more for my parents. This is irksome because UVA is usually such a great deal for in state students, but it turns much worse for out of staters. I would feel bad about my parents paying more for a school compared to an ivy league. Is UVA's engineering opportunities and a possibly better social life worth more than Cornell's package? I wanna be happy but also set up for graduation.
I reach out to everyone here to help me denounce any stereotypes or conceptions I had about each school. I guess for Cornell, its that the workload will kill me, and may deflate my grades so bad I can't even transfer into the engineering program i wanted to after 2 years. So am I wrong? would this process of transferring be less stressful than I am perceiving, and is Cornell a more manageable place, workload wise? For UVA, is their engineering program weak, in its job placement and internship opportunities. And another thing, while I am more of an athletic guy, who occasionally wears a polo shirt, would I be a good fit at UVA? I'm fairly outgoing when I get to know people, but again, I don't like competition, either in social life or academics. Thank you guys so much, I am overthinking everything clearly, and would appreciate any advice or info you have on either school.