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Disappointed Parents/Second Guessing Myself

13

Replies to: Disappointed Parents/Second Guessing Myself

  • mommusicmommusic Registered Users Posts: 13
    edited May 2013
    Just tell them Emma Watson went there. :)

    And John F. Kennedy Jr, and...just google "famous Brown alumni" to find more.
  • ViewerViewer Registered Users Posts: 6 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    My son graduated from Brown with a CS degree. He had NO prior experience with coding. He took no computer sciences classes in high school. He did well at Brown although he did find the major difficult. He did get through it and is now working in the industry as a software engineer.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered Users Posts: 29
    edited May 2013
    OP, how others react will partly depend on you. If you are confident and rock-solid secure in your choice and the research you did to arrive at it, the people around you may start questioning what they think they know. So, head held high, pick two things that are better/better for you about Brown than the other schools, and prepare an answer for the naysayers.

    Here's one argument I'd use: At Brown, the lack of core requirements will let me go much deeper into my major and gain greater expertise in it, than I'd be able to do at a different school. When you say that, say it like you're already an expert! Also, if I'm not mistaken, Brown has an undergraduate education dept. and HYP do not. That's a draw for us thinking of our youngest child. Brown is definitely tops in placing students in jobs with non-profit organizations due to their strong community service focus. It that interests you, there's another reason to select Brown over H and P.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered Users Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    But that goes nowhere against the person who says "but it's still not HYPSM." You can't persuade such people with facts. They are working off emotions.

    Trying to convince the naysayers that Brown is good, too, really it is, just perpetuates the notion that it's important that the other person "approve" of your college choice. It's a fool's errand.

    You have to shift the discussion to things that aren't arguable. "Brown's just as good as HYPSM; look, heres this piece of data and that piece of data" -- these people will debate that. "I'm so very happy and delighted to go to Brown" -- you can't argue with that! How can you argue with someone else's statement of their own feeling?

    It's like when you were a young mother and you wanted to raise your baby doing X and other people, maybe your relatives, thought you should do Y. Arguing the merits of X vs Y just perpetuates the notion that grandma has to approve. Saying "thank you for your concern, but I'm happy with X and my pediatrician agrees and it's my decision" -- they can't argue that, because it clearly is your decision.
  • nikmillennianikmillennia Registered Users Posts: 5 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    LoremIpsum - That sounds wonderful! (: I'm definitely going to see if I can sign up for that class. The whole "theme" idea sounds just like something I would love.

    Wow - those dual majors sound pretty cool! I was considering a neuro or cog sci concentration, but really wanted to do two. Of course, there are actually a lot of things I'm interested in, and that economics/CS sounds amazing (if CS really does end up being for me!) as I really liked economics class.Thank you again! That was really helpful. I think, if I have time, I'll look into some Java this summer.


    Dad II - I agree that that is definitely something I will have to work on, and have had my fair share of unpleasant encounters (sometimes even downright racist and cruel). I do think that usually I am able to hold my own, but I just needed a bit of support. I'm not too sure what you are trying to say, but my purpose for posting this was so that I could get some help sorting out my emotions. While I'm all for resilience and independence, I don't think cooping this all up inside and burying it down (emotions, after all, are often irrational and out of our control) is healthy. I don't see the crime in lending out a helping hand, or in my case, seeking one, from time to time.
  • nikmillennianikmillennia Registered Users Posts: 5 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    YoHoYoHo - Thank you! My new motto is to live life without regrets.

    mommusic - Yay for Emma Watson! Haha - I heard she is going back and that is awesome, but I do hope she is able to complete her final years in peace.

    Viewer - That sounds great! I was somewhat hesitant about trying it before, but now I definitely think I will give CS a shot for sure.

    TheGFG and Pizzagirl - Thank you both again, for both of your views on it.

    I think, when it comes down to it, I will definitely take the first approach to those who are more open-minded and actually want to know something about Brown.

    But, as Pizzagirl has said, I do feel that sometimes it's a moot point trying to convince others who have such deeply rooted ideas about certain things (honestly I'm not sure why - there are just certain names such as MIT and Berkeley or UCLA that seem to hold a lot of weight here; and they are all great schools, but some other wonderful ones such as Duke and most LACs are unheard of). I guess it is just prejudice.

    Even as I write this, I realize that the funny thing is I know all this, in my head. I guess reconciling thoughts with emotions will often be uphill battles.
  • ConsolationConsolation Registered Users Posts: 75
    edited May 2013
    I would not waste my time digging up information about the glories of Brown. The people who tease you about it, or intimate that you have somehow failed, are being COLOSSALLY RUDE! If you feel compelled to answer them, I would suggest saying, "Brown is a unique institution and one of the finest in the US, I chose it carefully. What motivates you to try to make me feel badly about my choice?"
  • PsychoDad10PsychoDad10 Registered Users Posts: 50
    edited May 2013
    Your friends are misinformed. Brown is a great school. It's not a school for everyone, and you should be extremely proud that you were admitted to the school. My son was not accepted to Brown but was accepted at WUSTL, a school that also struggles with name recognition. I really don't care that most people around us have never heard of the school. All that matters is that we know that it is an outstanding institution and so do graduate schools and employers. He plans on going into medicine, and the premed program at his school is undoubtedly one of the best in the entire nation. Keep your chin up and be proud of what you've done. Do not let other people make you feel ashamed of your decision. You have a lot to be proud of. In the end, colleges about you and not about others. What makes you happy and comfortable is all that matters.
  • je_ne_sais_quoije_ne_sais_quoi Registered Users Posts: 3
    edited May 2013
    It sounds to me like you want your parents to be proud of you and acknowledge your wonderful accomplishment. Instead you've found yourself in the awkward position of having to justify what you know ought to be patently obvious: Brown is a top-tier college and you are very lucky to have the chance to attend!

    If you can, you might consider saying as much to your parents. "I am proud and happy about my decision. I hope you can be proud of me and happy too."

    As for everyone else, keep in mind their comments reveal their own ignorance, nothing more. You have embraced your decision -- well done!

    Best of luck at Brown. I think you're about to embark on a wonderful journey :)
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered Users Posts: 153
    edited May 2013
    I would not waste my time digging up information about the glories of Brown. The people who tease you about it, or intimate that you have somehow failed, are being COLOSSALLY RUDE! If you feel compelled to answer them, I would suggest saying, "Brown is a unique institution and one of the finest in the US, I chose it carefully. What motivates you to try to make me feel badly about my choice?"

    Excellent, excellent observation and retort. Why WOULD someone deliberately go out of their way to make you feel bad about your college choice, unless they were a first-class jerk?
  • 2collegewego2collegewego Registered Users Posts: 24
    edited May 2013
    May I also suggest that some of these people are envious? I really have trouble believing that a status-conscious group of people at an international school don't know Brown. I suspect they all know the names of the ivies and are a bit jealous. Your parents may just be reacting to the comments.

    One of my kids decided to attend a small, top lac--- a school which my immigrant family had never heard of. When kiddo said they were going to this school, my family invariably asked, "Didn't kiddo apply to any ivies?" (The answer, by the way, was no. Kiddo very much wanted to attend a lac.) We are in the U.S. and, when my relatives mentioned the school to others at their jobs and in their social circles, people were impressed. (One of my siblings' bosses responded that his kid had been turned down in the same application cycle.) Well, it's four years later and my sibling, who attended a large ivy, was just telling me how they had received a wonderful education at that ivy but sometimes felt like 'just a number' and what an excellent education and personal attention my kid had received at the lac. Brown is a smaller school than some of the larger ivies and you will receive an excellent education. Realize that you may be the only Brown student, and eventually alum, that many of these people meet and their opinion of Brown will come from you. Whatever stereotypes they eventually hear will be met with, "Yeah, I've heard that too, but the only person I know who ever attended Brown was really bright, successful, etc...." Have pride in your school because it will influence how others see it and see you.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered Users Posts: 252
    edited May 2013
    I agree that trying to argue that the college you picked is as good, better than another is not very useful. It's where you have chosen to go , and that is it. I have one kid who turned down ivy for a school that few people know. He's never made any effort to defend his choice, or felt the need to do so He loved his time there, got a great education and that's all he cares about.
  • LoremIpsumLoremIpsum Registered Users Posts: 38
    edited May 2013
    Trying to convince the naysayers that Brown is good, too, really it is, just perpetuates the notion that it's important that the other person "approve" of your college choice. It's a fool's errand.

    While Pizzagirl is ultimately right, I believe there is a middle ground and making a small effort to sell the idea that Brown is the best possible school for your needs could be helpful, especially with your parents: give them strong pro arguments and they will become your strongest advocates. So let's give it a try.
    Wow - those dual majors sound pretty cool! I was considering a neuro or cog sci concentration, but really wanted to do two. Of course, there are actually a lot of things I'm interested in

    Brown is one of only a handful of US colleges with an open curriculum (Amherst and Oberlin come to mind), the only Ivy to do so and the best known school in international circles. The lack of required distribution classes means you never need to take a class that doesn't suit your needs. If you're going for depth, it's relatively easily to double-major or even triple-major if the fields have some common core requirements. For example, my son is considering getting a Bachelor of Arts in physics along with a Bachelor of Science in applied math/computer science; he wants to eventually run his own game design company and a strong physics background is very useful in game design and related fields (training simulators, virtual reality, perhaps movie special effects). Brown has no minors, but the requirements for a Bachelor of Arts in a STEM field is less than for a Bachelor of Science.

    So you could easily major in CS and neuro or cog sci and find work in the AI field. Or do CS/economics and cog sci and get a job on Wall Street writing predictive analysis programs or in government better allocating scarce resources. Or do CS/applied math with cog sci and use AI to do advanced data mining. In any case, you should have enough "free" classes left over to explore a couple of variations to determine your interest and aptitude before making a long-term commitment.

    Or you could just explore a huge variety of classes in addition to your major and perhaps along the way create a whole new field for yourself. I recall a person who combined a biology degree with an art degree a couple decades back and ended up becoming highly sought after as a designer of modern "natural" zoo enclosures.

    So tell your parents that Brown allows you to not "waste time" on "unnecessary classes" and will allow you to double- or triple-major within 4 years. You could also note that Brown is rated near the very top in undergraduate education, tied with Yale and close to Princeton, with Harvard not in sight:

    Best Undergraduate Teaching | Rankings | Top National Universities | US News

    Good luck and let us know if this "sales pitch" helps with your folks!
  • collegedad2013collegedad2013 Registered Users Posts: 8 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    I think that point that you could try making is that "Brown is the perfect school...for YOU".

    And that is really all that matters.
    School X could have a better athletic program, but that doesn't matter to you.
    School Y can have a more rigorous STEM program, but that doesn't matter to you.
    so on and so forth.

    The same thing will apply to where you eventually decide to live, what jobs you take, who you marry and so on.

    Good luck!
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered Users Posts: 252
    edited May 2013
    I agree it is a fool's errand to try to sell Brown to most others. And for yourself and your parents, well, that is where you are going, so you look for what you can get out of the scool, and that is if it is a school like Brown or one that isn't as well known. There are a lot more students going to less known, less higly ranked type schools, you know. It's just part of what one does when going to college. There are often "what ifs" and buyers remorse.
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