The Big 'IF'

Are you going to grad school? So where will it be?  What's my top choice? Etc, etc...

Well, it's no big secret that I am looking at grad schools, THAT question I can answer.  As to all the other questions floating around about the big decision for this fall, those are going to just have to linger a little longer.  Truth is, I really don't have a true ranking yet of the schools I've applied to.  Sure, I've compared programs, housing, and other school info, but you really can't tell until you actually go there and "feel" that it's the right place.  You know what I mean?

For instance, during my junior and senior year of high school, I visited colleges all over the US, from Virginia to Pennsylvania to California.  I'll tell ya, I really had my doubts about Poly at first.  I went through high school competing to be at the top, and I figured I just HAD to go to the #1 or #2 major school in the country in order to get a good education and a decent job.  Well, after going to SLO and meeting Dr. Meyers (ah Len, I miss your stories of red and black trees) and seeing how nice of a campus and how dedicated they were to teaching you practical knowledge through their "Learn by Doing" attitude, I was determined that if I got in I'd go.  That and it gave me a chance to escape from GP and all my competition, a stupid factor I know, but just WAIT until you hear some of my factors I have this time round :-)  I got it, and westward went, and I've never regretted it!

Anyways, I learned how valuable visiting a place is and "feeling" like it's the right fit.  So this time around, I'm doing it all over again!  I'm super excited for next week, when I'll be travelling to West Lafayette, Atlanta and Seattle to visit all these places at once.  Not only do I get to go on a cool trip to visit places all over the country, I'll FINALLY have that answer!  Oh, and I got into GT, which is great!  It feels really good to get accepted so early by the highest ranked school on my list (not that rankings are the only factor :-).  Hopefully, after next week, I can give y'all a better answer to all those questions (that is, if you care :-P )

Alright, alright, I do have SOME idea of where I'd like to go, I'm the man with a plan, remember?  It's just a little bit more fluid at the moment lol.  I'd like to stay closer to the west coast, just because that's where I'd like to end up someday (not that I'm settling down yet lol), and it'd be easier to get a job out here if I was living here too.  I'm really excited to see what UW has to offer; I really could see myself living in Seattle and what better way to start out there than going to school in the city?

What about California, it's the greatest place in the world right?  Well, I do love the Bay Area, and it's going to be really hard to leave all my friends.  However, I do feel it's time to move on.  I feel like I do this every few years, pick up and move, which might not be the best, but I feel like now is the best time in my life to ship off since I'm still young.  Maybe I'll be back; the home of greentech is here :-)  UCSB would be the cheapest by far, but there's also the threat of budget cuts and hiked tuition.  I guess we'll just have to see...

It's funny, thinking about how tough this choice could be between these 4, so I decided to come up with some really ridiculous tie breakers, just like my "get as far away from GP" rule for undergrad.  So far, here are a few (in no particular order):

  • In a big city (always wanted to live in one to try it) - (+) for GT and UW
  • Has 4G coverage (stupid yes, but at least they're with it) - not sure yet, guessing (+) GT and UW again
  • There's a Panera (I like the UP2 deal, alright?) - all of em have one, so no tie breaker there
    • Score!  There's Jimmy Johns in IN and GA!  (+) for Purdue and GT - again, yes, it's silly
  • Is "green" (yea, it's just a buzzword, and hard to measure too) - guessing Cali will take the cake
  • Lots of biking and hiking potential - (-) on the cities, although Seattle should be nice
  • Has weather (defined as more than a "rainy" and "sunny" season) - (+) UW and Purdue, (-) on UCSB and I'm guessing since the ATL shuts down when it snows, GT might lose a point there
  • Does not have a > 90% male population (oh wait, you mean San Jose's not one of my cities?) - nevermind, I think any college will be an improvement :-)
  • And the list continues...
Hmm....well, you can probably tell how I'm slanting now, BUT I just need to force myself to wait until after the trip to call it.  Oh, the silly ways we make "informed" decisions haha.  To be honest, in the end it will be one tiny, unique experiences from this trip (or the trip to UCSB) that will ultimately make up my mind and dramatically shift my life for the next few years.  Funny, huh?

Well until I make up my mind, enjoy your week and your Valentine's Day (I don't practice :-P) and stay tuned for updates from my college tour!


P.S.  In case you were trying to guess the campuses in the photos above, they are (left to right, top to bottom): Purdue, GT, UCSB and UW.  Goodnight!

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