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Author Topic: The College Compendium: my attention whore thread  (Read 1373 times)
TheDeadFlagBlues
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« on: September 06, 2012, 01:07:21 am »
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While my hometown is a mere six hour drive away from Portland, it's been a complete culture shock to live on a college campus where being an avowed "left-Communist" is par for the course and where Lou Reed is a household name. While moving to Portland alone would have been a major shift in environments, going to school at a difficult liberal arts college compounds the change exponentially.

Scattered thoughts:
-Many of these kids are completely ignorant to how most mainstream Americans think and act. Growing up in Brooklyn, Austin or NorCal in an AP/IB bubble at school and in a cosmopolitan upper -middle class neighborhood is not the reality that most people face yet a sizable minority of my peers don't get it.

-Going from being the token "intellectual" in classes to being an average student has been jarring for me. I hope that doesn't sound narcissistic but my life's narrative has been constructed around being "that guy". Most of the time I thoroughly appreciate my friends intelligence and thoughtfulness. They have interesting insights and are rarely boring but there are times when I feel like I don't have a real identity anymore or a worthwhile personality and where my self-esteem bottoms out.

-Those on the far-left are very despicable and their dogmatic attitudes remind me of the worst of the worst on the GOP. This far-left encompasses such a miniscule portion of the American public that they usually aren't worth mentioning but at Reed they're non-negligible (~20%). Trust fund anarchists aren't fellow travelers of mine. The educated arsonists want to burn and pillage our society and aren't to be trusted while the naive followers don't understand anything outside of their bubble.

On the bright side I feel like I fit in here, I find myself picking up material in social science/literature classes as fast as the star students and I actually have a busy social life. Life on the whole is good but challenging and constantly oscillating between feelings of elation and mild depression/anxiety. I suppose that's what drastic change causes: rapid evolution and a general sense of uneasiness and fear even if much is being accomplished.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 02:01:29 am by TheDeadFlagBlues »Logged



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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2012, 01:10:10 am »
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I hate these types of threads but surely someone is interested in the thoughts of someone who moved from a conservative wasteland of rednecks and exurban retirees to a left-wing paradise where the children of quants, lawyers, ceos and professors attend school.

Give me a place to poop out my thoughts please. Also, tips and advice would be great. There are times when I feel hopeless and unsure of everything.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 01:12:25 am by TheDeadFlagBlues »Logged



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koenkai
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 01:26:48 am »
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Well, I'll be damned. My experiences have mostly been the same as yours. If it means anything, I enjoyed reading the post.

I also have no clue who Lou Reed is. Sounds like a baseball player.

Bwahaha. Meeting horrible college students is the first path of the road to moderation. Wait until you meet the first right-leaning student. Rare jewels, they usually are.

Anyways, I guess that's a form of culture shock. I came from a "blue" area, but I dealt with another culture shock. The whole foreign culture thing. But I guess its comparable.

Also, you might be overestimating your peers. I was a relatively average student (below-average) in High School, so I was pretty anxious about being accepted to a "rigorous" place. But it quickly became obvious that just putting basic effort let me blow out 80% of the students.
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2012, 01:59:18 am »
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-Going from being the token "intellectual" in classes to being an average student has been jarring for me. I hope that doesn't sound narcissistic but my life's narrative has been constructed around being "that guy". Most of the time I thoroughly appreciate my friends intelligence and thoughtfulness. They have interesting insights and are rarely boring but there are times when I feel like I don't have a real identity anymore or a worthwhile personality and where my self-esteem bottoms out.

     This was more or less my experience too. Realizing that I had to study to do well in classes was a very humbling experience for me. It's hard work and has only gotten harder with each new semester, but I believe that it has made me a better person.
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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2012, 02:08:06 am »
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Other input: juggling what to prioritize is tough. Now I don't have the luxury to spend much time idling around, even if the idling seems more meaningful because it's in a social situation. I have to determine which shows to go to even if it means missing seeing many bands I love. It's tough.

@koenkai Perhaps you're right. I have noticed that it's pretty easy to disguise how much you truly know via use of intelligent vocabulary and vague wording. Many of these kids might not know as much as I think they do or simply have attained a better work ethic than me. On the other hand there are quite a few legitimately brilliant people who can juggle earning a 3.7+ (super rare here) while getting stoned daily and taking hard science/math classes. I feel like so pathetic in comparison.
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koenkai
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« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2012, 02:25:45 am »
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I've always resented a culture that places value to people based on how "smart" they were, as if it were an inherited genetic number from 1-100 that determined how great of a person you would become.

When you've met enough people who clearly brilliant in some ways and not brilliant in others, I think you can get a feeling that this obsession with "smartness" is...not smart.

Kids at college are obsessed with proving which of them in smarter, but in the world after college, most people stop caring about that and instead care about what you can produce. At which point diligence and good work habits predominate.
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2012, 03:46:35 am »
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I've always resented a culture that places value to people based on how "smart" they were, as if it were an inherited genetic number from 1-100 that determined how great of a person you would become.

When you've met enough people who clearly brilliant in some ways and not brilliant in others, I think you can get a feeling that this obsession with "smartness" is...not smart.

Kids at college are obsessed with proving which of them in smarter, but in the world after college, most people stop caring about that and instead care about what you can produce. At which point diligence and good work habits predominate.

I think every institution creates a metric to value people. In sports it's the number of wins, in business it's how much money the person or company makes, in politics it's how high up in office one goes. Academia is no different and its metric is success in intellectual pursuits. Students in college pick that up just as athletes pick up the desire to win.
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« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2012, 08:47:36 am »
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As I'm looking to apply there, this is a fascinating thread that I hope you keep updating. I'd probably be one of those AP/IB students from an upper middle class bubble, for the record, but I'd like to think I'm not ignorant of the world around me. I'm not "flying the black flag from suburban California" however, so perhaps I'd be less hypocritical.

I've thought the same thing regarding "the fancy word users." When someone throws out phrases like "myriad of minutia," I doubt their intellect rather than be astonished at it.

Are the professors excellent? Is the workload as demanding as advertised?
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« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2012, 02:24:47 am »
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You go to Reed? Good for you. Yes, the left is detestable.
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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2012, 06:01:01 pm »
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You go to Reed? Good for you. Yes, the left is detestable.

That wasn't necessarily my point but there is something so obnoxious about those who contrive themselves to fit a narrow dogma.
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« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2012, 06:05:09 pm »
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of course you should begin by drawing the elementary distinction between those who claim to be very left-wing but in reality spend their entire lives sleeping until 2pm, drinking cheap beer, and smoking weed, and others who may well do all of the above but also spend part of their lives engaged in concrete activism, even if it be merely within the unfortunate cultural sphere like w/ the LGBT movement.
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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2012, 06:05:01 pm »
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of course you should begin by drawing the elementary distinction between those who claim to be very left-wing but in reality spend their entire lives sleeping until 2pm, drinking cheap beer, and smoking weed, and others who may well do all of the above but also spend part of their lives engaged in concrete activism, even if it be merely within the unfortunate cultural sphere like w/ the LGBT movement.

This is true. There's quite a few activists who actually put some time into the IWW or anti-homelessness protesting but at the same time there is an equally large amount of trust funders who claim to be communists or anarchists but contribute nothing and have their comfortability via the system they claim to hate. The irony is that the people from poor/lower middle class backgrounds are less radical than the wealthies.
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koenkai
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« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2012, 06:07:50 pm »
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This is true. There's quite a few activists who actually put some time into the IWW or anti-homelessness protesting but at the same time there is an equally large amount of trust funders who claim to be communists or anarchists but contribute nothing and have their comfortability via the system they claim to hate. The irony is that the people from poor/lower middle class backgrounds are less radical than the wealthies.

The rich kids who claim to be communists and anarchists and then go hunt for jobs at Wall Street and try to jump into corporate recruiting should be destroyed.
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« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2012, 06:09:20 pm »
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This is true. There's quite a few activists who actually put some time into the IWW or anti-homelessness protesting but at the same time there is an equally large amount of trust funders who claim to be communists or anarchists but contribute nothing and have their comfortability via the system they claim to hate. The irony is that the people from poor/lower middle class backgrounds are less radical than the wealthies.

The rich kids who claim to be communists and anarchists and then go hunt for jobs at Wall Street and try to jump into corporate recruiting should be destroyed.

I know. These people are the absolute worst, as TheDeadFlagBlues will soon come to realize.
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« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2012, 06:11:47 pm »
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I see Nathan isn't in on the plan yet. Probably just as well.
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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2012, 06:14:38 pm »
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This is true. There's quite a few activists who actually put some time into the IWW or anti-homelessness protesting but at the same time there is an equally large amount of trust funders who claim to be communists or anarchists but contribute nothing and have their comfortability via the system they claim to hate. The irony is that the people from poor/lower middle class backgrounds are less radical than the wealthies.

The rich kids who claim to be communists and anarchists and then go hunt for jobs at Wall Street and try to jump into corporate recruiting should be destroyed.

As long as they try to absolve themselves by donating to the DCCC or gay rights initiative x, I can be content with their existence.

Another amusing observation of mine was seeing white boomers buy more indigenous Mexican art than Mexicans themselves buy. Zapotec rugs will never be hip to me, they're just a part of my existence.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2012, 06:16:55 pm by TheDeadFlagBlues »Logged



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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2012, 08:50:44 pm »
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In my experience, all people who voice strong political opinions in college are obnoxious and bad, whether they're on the left or the right.
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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2012, 10:37:38 pm »
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Latest vague contributions to thread: infatuation is unchill, the loneliness that stems from an initial lack of close relationships during college can be hard to handle at times and riding your bike while high during rush hour is a bad idea.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 11:05:44 pm by TheDeadFlagBlues »Logged



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« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2012, 01:41:49 am »
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When a place starts leaning so much towards one side politically, that's when the other side learns to keep their mouth shut, where such a small but vocal contingent of the dominant side because so loud and so annoying, where the people who don't really follow politics that much align with the dominant side because it's all they hear... It sounds like you were used to R-domination in Idaho, and didn't stop to think the same would happen in a D-dominated area.

The loony left tends to be very powerless, though. The more mainstream Democrats just about always win, even in these areas.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2012, 01:44:04 am by bgwah »Logged

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« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2012, 11:11:46 am »
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Your experiences are a lot like mine, and I probably go to one of the more conservative universities in Canada.

What I find at Queen's is we've got a lot of young students who are a lot like Mitt Romney, but who are the most liberal people in the world because they've never actually had to spend or earn money of their own. There is a visible group of exceptionally rich students who just make you feel horrible about yourself, yet they talk about these leftist causes that they hardly understand. I hate it.

I also felt that "small fish in a big pond" syndrome when I first came to university. I used to go to an arts school where I was that one vocal conservative. And I have to say, by virtue of what arts schools are, the people are extremely tolerant folks. I had a place there, I could be loud, and I was sort of like the SNL guy who kept everyone grounded. I could say the most conservative things in the world and people would love me for it. Just so you get the idea, these people actually voted me valedictorian. I was at the top. And even if I hadn't been, it was still a great place to be: Each person at this school was hand-chosen because he or she had a creative spark.

Let's just say... university doesn't have a very high concentration of these creative people. I've instead found myself in an atmosphere of boring academics. This is a place where people either party really hard (I don't) or study all the time (I don't). There are a lot of snobs and a lot of handshakers, and being friendly or having a good personality hardly gets you anywhere. I've decided that creativity is sent to university to die. I legitimately feel like I am a lesser person since going to university.

The worst part is, I really feel like I'm not learning anything. For most of these classes, the professor could be replaced with a syllabus. It's all self-directed, which makes me really wonder what I'm paying for, and most of the time I can get away with not doing the readings and still excel. I did all of zero readings last term, and I managed A, A, A, A, B. At best, the marking is inconsistent. In another term, I went to lecture for this one class every single day and really thought I had an excellent grasp of the material, even after taking the final exam. I got a C. Meanwhile, I literally went to 5 out of 24 lectures for another class, figured I learned nothing, and got an A+. Where are the "hard knocks" that are supposed to teach me a lesson if marking seems like a coin flip?

I don't drink myself into oblivion, and all the clubs I've thought about joining are full of the most elitist people you'll ever meet. So I have very few friends here. The only point I see of university is getting that degree at the end, even though a history/geography degree will mean little. I'm really more of a family person, so I legit feel like I'm missing out when I'm at school, which luckily is only three hours away from home. All-in-all, I am not a fan of university... I know it's something that I kind of have to be doing, but I don't like it.

This is a very bitter-sounding post, so I apologize. But now that we've started a bitch-sesh, I might as well be open, honest, and comprehensive.

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« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2012, 03:30:17 pm »
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When a place starts leaning so much towards one side politically, that's when the other side learns to keep their mouth shut, where such a small but vocal contingent of the dominant side because so loud and so annoying, where the people who don't really follow politics that much align with the dominant side because it's all they hear... It sounds like you were used to R-domination in Idaho, and didn't stop to think the same would happen in a D-dominated area.

The loony left tends to be very powerless, though. The more mainstream Democrats just about always win, even in these areas.

Such is the story of our Republicans.

I see Nathan isn't in on the plan yet. Probably just as well.

I'd be humoured if this was actually a thing
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« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2012, 03:48:02 am »
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Such is the story of the Columbia Republicans.

I would call it the story of every one right-of-Kucinich in college, but w/e.

It gets even worse in some places because the fault lines end up not being a divider between relatively equal groups of Democrats/Republicans or liberals/conservatives, but between relatively equal groups of people obsessed about defeating "heteronormativity" and "white privilege" and "cisgender oppression" and what not and uh...groups of people comprising everyone else.
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TheDeadFlagBlues
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« Reply #22 on: September 28, 2012, 12:23:24 am »
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You guys who like telonovela nonsense will enjoy my latest contribution to this thread. I got friend-zoned by someone I accidentally fell madly in love with (as it turns out I'm a romantic and kind of conservative in a few ways). Pree normal but I was also told that I was very attractive and that she needed to get to know me better before committing. Socially inept females confuse me. Say no and be like "ur a nice guy" or something if you want to let me down easy. Don't make up lies or be inadvertently mean.

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Miamiu1027
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« Reply #23 on: September 28, 2012, 04:42:09 am »
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You guys who like telonovela nonsense will enjoy my latest contribution to this thread. I got friend-zoned by someone I accidentally fell madly in love with (as it turns out I'm a romantic and kind of conservative in a few ways). Pree normal but I was also told that I was very attractive and that she needed to get to know me better before committing. Socially inept females confuse me. Say no and be like "ur a nice guy" or something if you want to let me down easy. Don't make up lies or be inadvertently mean.

Brand New - "Secondary"
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koenkai
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« Reply #24 on: September 28, 2012, 12:46:09 pm »
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Dayum, that was fast. You've already gotten more relationship drama than I have in years of college. Then again, I'm essentially an international student, so that only naturally follows.
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