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Disappointed Parents/Second Guessing Myself


Replies to: Disappointed Parents/Second Guessing Myself

  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Posts: 252
    edited May 2013
    There are about 3000 4 year colleges and universities in the US. Brown is considered in the upper 1% of that group. So you want to start nit picking within the pecking order of that 1%? Well, then yes, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, MIT, Stanford, Columbia rank above Brown in terms of ratings, reputation and recognition combined. So what are you going to do? If it bothers you enough, ask for a gap year and go through the process again. I don't recommend it, but if that's what's needed to make you and your family happy, go to it.
  • bovertinebovertine Posts: 41
    edited May 2013
    LoremIpsum's kid is probably one of the smartest kids on here. He picked Brown over Columbia and a couple top LACs and apparently is tearing the math and CS departments a couple new ones (figuratively), and enjoying himself immensely. I don't think he even applied to Harvard.
  • lspf72lspf72 Posts: 2
    edited May 2013
    "I was extremely happy before (Yale and Brown were my top choices, because I thought they offered me what I was looking for academically and socially)"

    Sorry - I don't know how to do the quote thingy either, but to me, the above quote is very telling in that you made an effort to identify the schools that seemed the best fit for you rather than automatically aiming for HYPS... simply because they're HYPS. Good for you!
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Posts: 41
    edited May 2013
    Intellectually, you know all the things people are writing, OP. Now it's time to play mind games.

    Do some research and find articles that paint Brown in a better light than HYP. Show these to your parents. Tsk tsk that people are so uninformed where you live, and you're glad that THEY aren't fooled by the obsession with prestige that so many in your area are. ;) :D

    When dealing with my kids I often found the best method was to turn a negative ("only" getting into Brown) into a positive (pitying those poor people who don't know what y'all do).
  • Dad IIDad II Posts: 13
    edited May 2013
    OP, what are you trying to achieve from this discussion? What are your options, other than going to attend Brown and felt disappointed?

    Looks like you applied to Yale and Brown. What happen to your Yale application? Even if you apply to HPS, what is the chance?

    If all you want is for many people to tell you Brown is a great school and you did better than most of the other students. Then you succeed here. Congratulations. Does that change anything in the real life - like you are still going to Brown?
  • ViewerViewer Posts: 6 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    My son graduated with a CS degree last year from Brown. He had a wonderful experience there, both academically and socially. There are a very accomplished group of students at Brown. Give it a chance. I think you'll love it.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    The point really isn't to convince him of Brown's wonderfulness (though I'm sure it is wonderful). The point is to get him to understand that all the people around here don't know what the heck they are talking about, so paying attention to their "opinions" is useless.

    OP, are you an expert on what are the top universities in, say, Denmark? Or Sweden? If not, why would you expect people living in Asia to be experts on the top universities in the US? They THINK they know. But they really don't. You'll wind up knowing better.
  • MarianMarian Posts: 19
    edited May 2013
    Well, the opinions of people in the OP's country about a U.S. university may matter if the OP plans to go back to his/her home country to pursue a career.

    If the only university the OP gets a degree from is Brown, and Brown doesn't have a good reputation in the OP's home country, that might limit his/her prospects (even though we Americans know that Brown is an excellent university).

    However, if the OP plans to pursue a career in the United States, this doesn't matter. Americans know about Brown. And if the OP plans to go to any type of graduate or professional school after receiving an undergraduate degree, it doesn't matter, either. A degree from a prestigious school like Brown will help the OP get into a good graduate or professional program, and after that, it's the name of the graduate or professional school that matters -- not Brown's name.
    OP, are you an expert on what are the top universities in, say, Denmark? Or Sweden?

    Pizzagirl kind of made my point with this comment. I am not an expert on the top universities in those countries. If I were interviewing a job applicant with a degree from a Danish or Swedish university, I wouldn't have a clue about whether it was a highly respected university or a lesser institution. And that could be a problem for the job applicant. Similarly, Asian job interviewers' relative unfamiliarity with Brown could be an issue for the OP if the OP goes back home to get a job.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    If you were interviewing a job applicant with a degree from a Danish or Swedish university, you could at least google or find other sources to tell you whether it's a well respected university or a lesser institution. It doesn't seem like that happens over there. It seems that minds are already made up that XYZ are good and "places I've never heard of" can't be very good. That's a cultural mindset that's completely different. It's a cultural mindset that says I'm not willing to open my mind to the possibility that things are out there that are good that I just happen not to know about.
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Posts: 38
    edited May 2013
    Nikmillennia, if Brown accepted you they saw that you have the potential to be a self-directed, independent thinker -- and you need to be in order to properly take advantage of the school's open curriculum. So your first step is learning to focus on what you want, not what others tell you that you should want.
    a few of my peers have made some not-so-pleasant comments about Brown (especially making use of the pot-smoking hippie stereotype

    Once you get to Brown, you will see that the students and faculty totally delight in doing the same thing: mocking their reputation. It's the only school I have ever heard of that has the audacity to invite accepted students yet to make their final decisions to a gathering and then open their presentation with a 15-minute series of TV and movie clips that make fun of the school (I've heard since that many of those mocking clips were actually created by Brown alumni).

    My son absolutely loves Brown, but didn't really know he would until his first visit. I'm sure that you will feel the same once you have had a few weeks to settle in.
  • nikmillennianikmillennia Posts: 5 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Joblue - To answer your last question, I'm honestly not sure.

    skrlvr - Thanks! I will look into those (:

    Youdon'tsay - Haha I think you could be right. I do understand everything that's being said here, but sometimes it's difficult to believe what I "know". (if that makes sense...) I think I will take you up on your advice!

    Dad II - You're right - at this point I don't have any other options, because I've already committed. But no - that really wasn't my intent...I just wanted some advice on how to deal with what I'm going through emotionally, since I can't seem to find that support in my life currently. I think it was (and is) more about finding help to change my frame of mind (as Pizzagirl stated). If that is what you think the purpose of this was, I do (sincerely) apologize. Also, I was waitlisted, but am not banking much on that.

    Pizzagirl - You're right - I don't know much about colleges anywhere beyond the US, so I wouldn't make any claims about knowing anything.

    Marian - Yes, that was one of my worries if I did decide to return to Asia. I do think I'll end up going to graduate school, but I'm not sure how much later in life that would be. I suppose that's part of my worries regarding this entire ordeal...but I guess at the same time it is what it is and if it prevents me from finding a job here I will just work somewhere else?

    LoremIpsum - If I've had no experience with CS or programming, would it be a good idea to try it at Brown? I've been interested, but am afraid I won't be able to keep up since I honestly don't know much besides a tiny bit of coding.

    Again - thanks for all your help.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    The fact that you're able to identify these feelings and articulate them is terrific in and of itself. Best of wishes to you. You are about to embark on a great adventure, and leave the narrow-minded "life is about HYPSM" folks in the dust.
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Posts: 38
    edited May 2013
    LoremIpsum - If I've had no experience with CS or programming, would it be a good idea to try it at Brown? I've been interested, but am afraid I won't be able to keep up since I honestly don't know much besides a tiny bit of coding.

    Absolutely! The intro class which counts toward a CS major, CS15, is designed for students with an interest but no previous experience is expected (there is also a less technical class, CS4). CS15 is taught by the legendary Andy van Dam, co-inventor of hypertext and mentor to many on the Pixar staff; it has a theme each year (Harry Potter was this year, 007 the year before) and a skit is presented during the opening class. It's not hard to get a low A in that class, but students are offered special challenges for a trivial number of bonus points and, remarkably, many students participate just for the challenge, even if getting the A is assured.

    Java is taught in that class. One of the mid-semester projects is to program the classic video game Tetrius. For the final project, you can complete one of 4 or 5 pre-determined projects or create one of your own (with approval).

    Worst case, you work hard, get a low A, and decide programming is not for you; best case, you find you love the field, take on the extra challenges and get up to full speed for any subsequent CS classes. Brown has several pre-packaged dual majors (called concentrations at Brown) with CS as a component -- math/CS, applied math/CS (my son's choice) and economics/CS.
  • Dad IIDad II Posts: 13
    edited May 2013
    OP, sooner or later in your life you will learn to only focus on things that you have control of, such as picking the right classes to take and get good grades.

    Not all the people you meet in your life will be as nice as most of people here on CC. You will have no control of what others will say to you.
  • YoHoYoHoYoHoYoHo Posts: 18
    edited May 2013
    You are right and others are wrong. You have put thought into it and you know yourself best. Start Brown in the fall, have a blast, and don't look back!!
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