What according to you works better at an undergraduate level, a small liberal arts school or a larger university?
It depends on the personality of the student. I have friends at CMC who wished they were at a bigger school because they are bored of seeing the same people or want to meet different types of people. Sometimes in an economics and politics dominated college like CMC you come across the same kind of students. I personally like small liberal arts colleges.
Does having to meet a core curriculum turn out to be an annoyance in any way?
Usually there is a very good balance between electives and the core curriculum. If you make sure you have a few core classes and a few fun electives every semester, it is a lot of fun.
While deciding on colleges what part did the geographical location (NE, Mid West, West, South) and setting (urban, rural, suburban, college town) play in your decision? Did your opinions regarding this fact change when you joined college?
I did not concentrate on geographical location when I got into Rutgers. Initially the snow was fun but the excitement lasted for a very short time. There were times when you do not want to get out of your room because it is snowing, wet and windy. It is a lot of fun playing in the snow and no doubt the snow looks beautiful, but it can get gloomy. Living in California has been a lot of fun. The weather adds to your happiness. I have learnt that location is important.
A beauty of the American education system is that you’re not required to commit to any subject the minute you join. Did this flexibility help you in anyway when you joined college?
I was a very confused student throughout freshmen and sophomore year, so the flexibility definitely helped me. I came in as a premed and pre-business major. At Rutgers I took mathematics and decided to take at least one math class every semester. I dropped business and premed. I transferred to CMC as an Economics and Mathematics major and have stuck to it.
Taking electives I realized that I would like to learn a little bit more about computer science and philosophy. If I could do undergrad all over again, I would definitely have considered majoring in them.
Did you consider size (student population) as an important criterion while choosing schools? What do you think is a size that is ideal for you? Why?
I personally think small liberal arts colleges are good for me. I transferred from Rutgers University which is a large public school. Even though I enjoyed my time at Rutgers, I think I like CMC better. I get to interact with the professors on a personal level which is important to me. Professors have classes at their homes and invite you for dinner here. It’s a whole new atmosphere. At Rutgers I would hang out with 10-12 kids because it was difficult seeing the same people again in such a large school. It is easier making new friends at CMC because it is a smaller college. There is a very high chance you might see the people living in your dorm in one of your classes or at the dining hall. I did not consider size when I applied to Rutgers because I did not know better, but I think it is an important criterion.
My Definition of Intellectual Vitality: To unlearn and relearn