Thought Piece: University Lifestyle: An Optimisation Problem Watch

Athematica
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The general mode of reasoning in selecting a university on this forum tends to be in terms of academic standing and/or graduate prospects. In deciding on a subject, most would choose that which is most interesting to them and/or, again, graduate prospects. These are not intrinsically invaluable metrics.

Being my my AS year, I actually have a few other considerations and I wonder why they seem to not be discussed as frequently on the board. Perhaps a lot of these questions are naive and if so I'm willing to be corrected in view:

What is the general makeup of the student body? Perhaps the biggest, worst over-generalised question on my list. The argument I make is that those studying at Loughborough and Bath will be more inclined towards sporting extracurriculars, and those at Brighton towards partying, and those at the LSE will tend to be more career focussed. Probably Oxbridge have a bigger percentage of people who are focussed solely towards their academics. The students at more prestigious universities will tend to be a little more neurotic and classic 'Type-A' personalities. Then, how does the 'vibe' at each university change? Who will be your peers? A similar question can be asked for those studying in your subject. It's a whole 4 years of your life, for some. 5% of your life in, if you go to Cambridge, a town deprived of live music and other cultural activities afforded in bigger cities. Is that a sensible trade-off? Ought we expect the Maths department to be mostly awkward and bumbling, especially relative to the PPEists? What about people of the preferable sex? Are there more attractive students (in whichever capacity you might wish - intellectually, physically, spiritually) attending universities that are not 'top tier' or, indeed, just not the ones you're applying to? Forgive what again seems like a ridiculous question - though, anecdotally, I have seen of those in the years above me that those I have found most attractive have not been Oxbridge applicants. Rather, they've tended for Nottingham and Bristol at the top end and other big cities. Hmm.. Am I going to be swamped down in work so much that I couldn't enjoy my life fully if I studied for a joint degree in maths & philosophy (2/3 the workload of each single degree at Oxford!)? Business studies may be sneered at here but if the degree leads to fulfilment, through having time to join clubs and give time to explore more fully outside of academics, are they the smart ones?

Even if my questions seem unfair or even obtuse (and some are purposefully, facetiously so), I think the sentiment in fostering general wellbeing and happiness is important. We ought to have a balance in not only academic and job prospects but social and personal development, through recreation, relationships and exposure to experience beyond the vicarious that will be learned in studying. Without forming a cohesive and definite ruling on this, I argue that some university settings and the courses of study are less conductive of this.

Then, what are we to do? How do we fully optimise this important decision so that we are properly happy and not rolling down a treadmill, towards The Path (cue enlightening music) and, in doing so, trapping ourselves in misery?

Perhaps a student forum where there is little more experience in the average user than I have myself is a silly place to ask, so I ask a special plea that the old, wise, weary and jolted (why else would they be here?! ) might chip in with a nugget or two of advice.
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Stoke123
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(Original post by Athematica)
I ask a special plea that the old, wise, and weary
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Athematica
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
Wow this is one of the most pretentious things I have read on TSR for a while. That is impressive. You should write for a student newspaper.
Do you write for the comments section of Youtube? Pretentious as I may be, you make no actual objection to any of my points. If I'm demonstrably wrong in thinking, show it. Already I have admitted plenty of times that some of my examples were silly and tongue-in-cheek. The point in this is that there ought to a serious consideration in whether the university culture most look forward to as students is really worth it. I'm not sure what is so absurd about that idea.
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kkboyk
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This is the most I've read ever since the start of uni
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Voi
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What's your point?
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Athematica
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
One must ask for your forgiveness for one's ham-fisted, vulgar, and obnoxious comment; one was but admiring your well-crafted, nuanced, and most refined post.
Even with ham-fists, you might try to grab the material instead of whatever this is-- Trying to assert intellectual superiority by not engaging the actual topic?

Again, if I am misguided, why not explain where I go wrong here? What's worse than a teenager who thinks he knows it all but possibly really doesn't have a clue (which I very well might be) is somebody who is willing to comment negatively on that without giving any actual direction. What purpose does that serve? Do you feel inadequate?
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cambio wechsel
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Being a Treatife on the Proper Confiderations of a Young Perfon's Progreffing to the Varfity


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donutellme
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You're in year 12, so you should take it easy.

Many of the factors listed don't matter so much because in every university, there is a wide spread of people and backgrounds. One person doesn't interact with the general student body, they interact with a select few friends.
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nulli tertius
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(Original post by Stoke123)
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Well he, or his father, chose Pembroke College Oxford. However, in his later years he tended to socialise at University College.
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