Your Opinion(s) on Your College/University/Trade School?

How do you feel about your college, university, trade school, etc. in general?

  • Total voters


Trouble Rides a Dark Horse
Nature Nuts 🐿️
Jun 2, 2023
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I've been really wanting to know others' opinions and stances about their college/university/trade school they attend (or previously attended). You don't have to share your school's name or events in detail if it makes you uncomfortable, but basically...
  • What do you like about your school?
    • If you haven't yet experienced higher education, what are you most looking forward to?
    • If you already graduated or left, what are some of your best memories? How have you benefitted from attending?
  • What don't you like about your school?
    • If you haven't yet experienced higher education, what are you most afraid of?
    • If you already graduated, what bothered you the most? If you dropped out and never returned, why?
  • What is something that could see improvement, that you're able to share?
  • If you never tried higher education past grade school, what are the reasons why?
Here's my opinion and experiences below. It's lengthy, hence the spoiler:

I'll start with the td;dr - I hate them. Now, for the lengthy part:

One of the things I liked about high school were the friends I saw every day. Sure, there was some drama between others every now and then, but our high school was sort of small in 2018 - just over 1,000 students. You knew where every class was; the environment was better and smaller than most as the school came into existence just over ten years prior; and the teachers cared about you in a way. Some students didn't like me, but I never tried to bother them if I knew that. I suffer from social anxiety, and it felt good that all the students knew me by name, even if they never actually knew me on a more personal level. It may not have seemed like it at times, but we were all local, and you could hang out with anyone if you wanted to. There's many students in my graduating class I'd love to meet again, but a lot went their separate ways, never to return to my hometown again.

Then came post-graduation. I could never decide which school I wanted to go to. I remember there being a time during my junior year where you could submit SAT scores to four schools of your choice for free, and I randomly picked them all as I had no clue where I wanted to go. My SAT score wasn't bad - it was above average, but not incredibly amazing either. Being from the state of Michigan, it was good enough to attend Michigan State, but not good enough for the University of Michigan. Going to UofM would've been nice, but I'm too dumb to attend apparently, and State was a bit too far away for my liking. My decision wouldn't come until after graduation - I wound up going to a community college, and even that was a last minute decision as I still had no idea where to go. I signed up for one class, just as a test run to see how I would fare. Being a resident, it was under $1,000.

For me only attending a single class, this "test run" was moderately unsuccessful. There was a good mix of students my age and people in their 30's-50's, which I didn't understand at first. Of course, with me not knowing anyone, I never had small talk with any classmates; not even for group assignments. I could even recall being distraught from the change of instruction and pace compared to high school, becoming so bad to the point of me refusing to contribute to groups and my teacher having to give me one-on-one talks about my poor attitude. It was quite embarrassing. Nonetheless, I ended up passing, and signed up for a few more classes the next semester. These all went by much better, though I still didn't put in 100% effort sometimes. I attribute that to better classmates and teachers, alongside me understanding the content and having interest in hands-on stuff several times. You could even rent equipment for free, as these were video production classes. That was something I appreciated. By far, this was my best semester of college classes.

One day, I started having thoughts that I could transfer to a nearby university in hopes that I could do much better. This community college was actually starting to become alright, but I wanted more. Getting a certificate would be good, but an associate's or bachelor's would be even better. Being turned off from the requirements for an associate's at the community college, I made the executive decision to transfer to a university, taking two final summer classes to get some extra credits before making the switch. One was a math class, and the other was an English writing class. I passed the English class, though did not like the fact that I was required to go to the "writing room" to get my papers checked for errors and do grammar exercises. Mind you that this was NOT optional; I had to go there every time I wrote a paper before turning it in. I appreciate them trying to help, but I didn't need it. It must have worked if the corrections they spotted caused me to get better grades, so I'll take it. Going to the class itself was always a treat, as I would occasionally see a popular female student from my old high school pass by me. She would actually stop and chat with me sometimes. If not, she'd wave to me every day she saw me. That gave me a boost of motivation to do well, despite her being in a completely different class there and university during the regular school year.

As for the math class, it was pre-calculus. I failed it previously when I went to high school, but that was mainly because I slacked off a ton and lost track of what we were doing after a while. I made an effort to try and pass again - even hiring a tutor - but for whatever reason, I failed again. Was it the teacher? The tutor getting confused on some problems? The way they made me take the tests? I'll never know. I will mention that the teacher wasn't all that great, the tutor was only available sometimes, and they made you schedule your tests in a separate room with restrictions. Nonetheless, I never took another math class again.

So, here's the "fun" part. University life for the 2019-2020 school year. I already made some choices before the year even began that I'd later regret. To sum some of it up:
  • I wanted to be in a dorm, even though it was a 30 minute drive from my house. The problem? I value privacy greatly, and wanted to get away from my parents and sister for a bit. They had single beds available, but at a much higher extra price. I bit the bullet and went with it as I didn't want to compromise. As I was on a floor full of other transfer students, they made us do group activities that were REQUIRED.
    • Rule #1 when it comes to telling me what to do: If I see that there's no incentive or value to have me do something, I don't want to do it. I work a lot because I want to get paid. I take classes and do the assignments because I want to pass. So tell me what the value is in attending these activities and why there's a punishment if I don't attend? What if I want to work on assignments or play on my PS4 with my friends who I already know? Makes no sense, really.
    • The worst part of it? One of these so-called "activities" were monthly one-on-one meetings with the dorm leader that lasts for an hour. I'm sorry, but forced social interactions where you can get punished for not showing up is not a solution to my anxiety.
    • In regards to the dorm, there were times when students outside would be loud late at night, and I had to leave the window open as my room would be hot and I needed air. I'm a light sleeper, and if I don't get proper sleep, I'm cranky the next morning. It didn't help that the area around the university had a nasty crime rate, and I was even recommended not leave the dorm at night if possible.
  • I signed up for a food plan (that you had to pay for, of course) that let you have up to 3 meals a day. The problem with that, however, is that the food you would get was very crappy and the portions were small. Want more food? Too bad, you had to pay. The food they had in the student center was miles better, though it cost a lot more and didn't count toward the plan. I ended up only going to the food court around three times. Every other time, I went to the student center. Big waste of money.
  • A big reason I decided to go there was to be with a few former high school friends who also attended the school. Unfortunately, it ended up being a waste of time as they were all too busy to hang out with me, sometimes not even acknowledging my texts. Weirdly enough, I actually encountered another old friend from high school that I forgot about, and they actually had an interest in wanting to hang out with me. However, I had already begun the dropout process when I encountered them, so it was too late to change my mind at that point.
As for the classes I signed up for, I'd say only one of them had any hands-on value. That being an audio mixing class. The other three were all forgettable; one was a required speech class, another being a movie critic class with an unlikable professor, and another one which made no sense to me whatsoever (I thought it would be about media history, but instead, got a whole bunch of random boring topics and assignments that had nothing to do with what I was going into). Again, the pace and lectures were enough to make me ticked off about being in those classes in general. I don't understand how anyone can learn from sitting at a desk and hearing a guy talk for hours, and expect you to take notes. I do NOT learn anything when professors do that. Give me the notes, let me study them carefully, and then I can pass the tests. I learn by reading and doing things hands-on. With the exception of the audio mixing class, each class consisted of sitting there and hearing professors talk, with the occasional video being shown. I barely learned a thing, and never even bothered to check my grades to see how well I was doing, as I started not to care at that point.

So, you're probably wondering: Why not join a club and see if you can make new friends? Well, I'm going to admit, nothing being offered by the university itself gave me any interest. Besides, you had to commit yourself to attend meetings, and of course, pay an unnecessarily large amount of money to attend. At that point, I was much more willing to work shifts at the job I already knew well, having to reduce my availability after committing to the university which I didn't want to do. I was heading on a downward spiral, and it eventually reached a boiling point to where I couldn't take all these changes anymore. Everything was taking a toll on my mental health, and that's never good. I wanted out.

So, in a fit of rage, I came to my parents and told them that I wanted to drop out. Thankfully, my parents fully understood that my mental health was on a major decline, and after the semester ended, I went to resident housing, and told them that I'm leaving ASAP. I cleaned out my dorm, told my dorm leader that I was leaving without showing any emotion, and was out of there before the next semester began. Thank god. It was also perfect timing, as it was the beginning of 2020 - the beginning of a dark era for everyone. Ever since those events happened, I never returned to another university again, despite me originally having a plan to take a gap year and go back to the community college afterward. It's my own personal decision, as I have way too many gripes about colleges these days. My total loan for the university ended up being over $13k, and I'm still paying it off to this day. Biggest waste of money ever. I've never been able to build a savings account since then to move out of my parents house, and that truly sucks.

Ironically, due to said events, my anxiety reached all-time high levels, and I've become a more sensitive person because of them. Lots of classes became online-only, and I don't do online-only classes. I want to see people in person and do things hands-on. I'm currently 24 years old, and I now consider going back to be too late at my age. It's funny when I bring up the fact that my CDL license training done by my employer paid me; I learned many things about stuff in commercial vehicles, mostly school buses, and did many things hands-on. They even paid for my license and exam fees. That alone gave me motivation to succeed, and I learned in the process. With college? Partial scholarships are nearly worthless. I'm sorry; it's just my opinion.

I have a plan to do something with my CDL eventually. When I feel that I'm ready, I'll upgrade the license and drive bigger vehicles for more money. Driving to new places has always interested me, and I do love me some road trips in general. It won't be right away, but I'll make the big bucks soon.

NOTE: This is not a high school discussion thread. You can mention your experiences in comparison to college, but don't solely discuss it.
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So, if you guys have been on here since 2016 (or before), you guys may have read some of my posts talking about how I was planning on going to college in late 2016 or sometime in 2017.

I almost went to a community college called Delmar in 2016 or 2017 (which now we live pretty far from the college's hometown). This never happened. My mom never got around to enrolling me. My plans have changed completely since 2016-2017. When I graduated high school in 2016, I was planning to go to the aforementioned community college and then to become a florist (this is something else longtime members may know about me, my main dream job used to be florist). It was even announced at my high school graduation (since my high school also wanted to announced our colleges and majors/dream jobs/planned jobs).

I think it is for the best that college never happened for me. My, my dad, and my brother ended up moving more out west in Summer of 2019 for my dad's job (which my mom and dad had separated a couple months before, so she didn't come with us), so I cannot imagine how that what have ended up being like. It would have probably been messy. Plus I do not have the mental compacity to deal with the workload that college has to offer. You can be successful without going to college.

Though if I had to choose what type of college I had to go to, it would be a trade school. That way, I can only take classes that pertain to my dream job and not the required classes that I freaking hate.

. . .
A lot has changed since then. Nowadays, I am trying to work towards being an author. I just want to spread awareness on topics that people still lack knowledge on, and give life tips, and encourage people to spread kindness, etc. <3333
I’m not sure if you’re counting this, but during my tenth grade year, I attended a trade school. Admittedly, I did so to get out of having a gym class. The trade school lasted until after noon, so we had less than a three hour school day and only took the important classes. I ended up dropping out of the trade school the following year since I really wasn’t interested. My motives weren’t in the right place. I didn’t like it and none of the courses it offered interested me.
I attended a state university and a community college. The community college was a better experience but I feel like most of what both offered was a waste of time and money tbh impo.
The community college had an older age range of students, and they were more social and realistic than students from the state university impo. Resources were easier to find and use in the community college than in the state university.

I did graduate. Not sure what else to say.
I voted for the third option in the poll. It was okay, but I don't know that I'd go to the same school again. The only reason I went there really was for what I got my degree in, because their department for that major was really, really good.

I didn't really interact too much with the people there outside of classes, and I think I dodged a bullet by doing so as let's just say they're a very different vibe from the type of people you would find on TBT... but I mean, this worked out for me anyway, as I had to spend all my time studying and going to tutors in order to be able to even graduate on time. My Aspergers/Autism severely limited me, so I had to spend an excruciating amount of time just to understand concepts that others found "easy."

The one really good thing I can say about it is that it helped me land my career job, which I'm still at and enjoy very much, so there's that I guess. But as others have said, you really don't HAVE to go to college/university in order to be successful. Everyone has their own path, and as Zhongli says in Genshin Impact, "Every journey has its final day. Don't rush."
i did a vocational/trade school for the last 2 years of high school and i loved it.

college is way too expensive
Overall, I liked both of the universities I attended!

I selected "good" in the poll options, though individually, I'd say undergraduate = great, and graduate = good.

My undergraduate university had a large, mostly cohesive campus. It wasn't a densely populated area, there was a lot of nature, a lot of comfortable places to study, a lot of cafés or places to eat, onsite parking, the overall vibe was generally happy and relaxed. It was a really nice place to study! From an academic viewpoint, all of the classes were fantastic, and most of the professors and lecturers were also fantastic.

Comparatively, my graduate university is in a densely populated area, still great places to study, but not really any nature. I think the overall vibe is not as chill and relaxed, and the thing that probably has bothered me the most is the lack of parking! Academically, I've had a lot of great opportunities here, that I'm really grateful for. My one major issue is that the communication and support have definitely felt lacking at times.

Other than that, I'm really happy and grateful for both!
i've been to university twice since i dropped out initially but the university i got my degree from has a pretty bad reputation and honestly it's kind of deserved. i'm very lucky i got a graduate job, i don't think it's necessary to go to a top tier university or anything but definitely wish i'd done some more research but i was pretty desperate and they were the only ones who had space in clearance
My college is online, and I really love how organized and simple it is to do work and take tests- especially since it's self-paced. The only thing I don't like about it is that they don't have a GPA system. Either you do excellent (A), you pass (B or higher), or you fail and have to retake the course's final exam.
Did university and graduated. Focus of my study was a career path I am no longer interested or currently working in. The university did not help me at all despite going numerous times to the resource center. Most schools basically function as businesses, which is what they are, so I won't go too much in detail over why I think going to a university/trade school should require a lot of planning before going. However, I will say that as long as you study a subject or skill that you can take away from it, maybe it'll be worth it. Some career paths literally require it.
For those who are interested, I finally edited the first post to include my own thoughts and opinions about my experience. Be warned - It's very lengthy, so only read it if you truly care about what I have to say.
Well, for me, I wish I had waited to go to college, or I should say, I should have waited to consider going to college until I was sure i knew what I wanted to do with my life. I don’t think college is completely useless because of course there are several professions that require the degree as well as some people benefit more from structured learning.

When I went to school, I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do and thinking back, I feel like I could’ve even benefited from a break b/t finishing highschool just to live a little life to know what I wanted from it. I feel like the idea of figuring things out in school was pushed on me and I think that idea can be a bit harmful for some b/c it’s not guaranteed. Spending money with the idea that the piece will just fall into place has the potential of leaving some with unnecessary dept.

I am of the opinion that college isn’t the only option for some people. I think that other options are something that I wish was talked more about when I was younger. The idea that college was the only way was pushed a lot by my highschool, and I think so many people could’ve probably benefited from other options based on what they actually wanted to do.
I do feel like community college is important, but a lot of college feels like a scam. I don't know about the situation in other countries, but educational inflation is a thing and it's absolutely ridiculous. I see so many jobs that require a bachelor's degree to be a receptionist.
it was okay. i definitely should have done more research into what school i went to after high school because i have a lot of regret in that area, but i don't regret going to college in general. it wasn't really the smartest choice (for me) to go to a private university in my hometown. i would have greatly benefitted from having some distance from family and people that i went to high school with.

i will never regret getting my degree, though. i know a lot of people think higher education is a waste of money, and i don't disagree that it has gotten extraordinarily expensive and something needs to be done about it, but i value education so highly that, looking back, i could never imagine not going to college. even if i end up working in a field unrelated to what i studied at my undergraduate school, i am still a better person for having achieved all that i have.

(also: not saying that you have to attend a university to value education. i'm fully aware of other opportunities to achieve an education for yourself that does not include paying tuition for 4+ years. this is just what my education journey had in store for me.)
The college I graduated from was admittedly a good college, but my experience was okay at best. I transferred there and immediately experienced burnout and flunked out, and once I came back I was kinda only focused on graduating since I had been in school (original college and community college) for over 4 years at that point. So I didn't really have a social life lmao, and my brain definitely isn't made for a college workload. I wish I had had a better idea of what to major in once I entered, but I'm still really happy I got my degree, tho I don't think I'll be going back to college anytime soon.
I liked my school quite a lot. I had my heart set on going out of state and had even went and toured some campuses on a trip I took my senior year of high school, but it just wasn't feasible. I applied to some schools in-state at the last minute and wound up going to a university in the city. Part of why I wanted to go out of state was to put up some distance between my parents and I, and my school didn't have dorms on campus so I had to keep living at home, but in spite of that I enjoyed my time there much more than I was expecting to. It was pretty inexpensive compared to other four-year schools but I had great professors. We shared our campus with two other schools so there was always plenty to do but my class sizes were hardly ever very big. My biology lab partner became one of my best friends and I met a lot of other really cool people. I also joined a DSA chapter on campus and got more involved in the community and politics, so I'm really grateful to it for that.

I'm still living with family after having graduated so I sometimes wish I could've had the experience of living on a campus and being away from home at a time when it would've been easier, but I can't say I regret the school I chose.
My school sells really good ice cream. I've missed my commute back because my ice cream purchasing habits.

Of course the school is okay too.
My schooling was good, however nothing will give you more experience than working in that industry. My education allowed me to begin working in the industry but I have learned far more about graphic design working than I did while in school.
I went to a university primarily known for its elementary education program, which was ideal because I had decided on that major before applying to any colleges. It was comprehensive and I didn’t really struggle with it too much. The internship during senior year was a good experience, and I learned a lot. I didn’t love the dorm I was forced to live in for freshman year, but I was able to transfer to one with a personal bathroom in a much nicer building for my remaining years. The building also did little events for the students really frequently, which fun! I have very few complaints about my college experience, really. The campus was small in a cozy way and in a very scenic location close to home. I came out of those four years with the necessary experience I had hoped to gain, which is all I can really ask for!