[ISTP] ISTP: What type of colleges is most suitable? (not major. It's all about colleges)

ISTP: What type of colleges is most suitable? (not major. It's all about colleges)

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This is a discussion on ISTP: What type of colleges is most suitable? (not major. It's all about colleges) within the ISTP Forum - The Mechanics forums, part of the SP's Temperament Forum- The Creators category; Hi. I would like to ask you about the best college type for a student of mine who is applying ...

  1. #1
    INFP

    Hi. I would like to ask you about the best college type for a student of mine who is applying to US colleges this year. I'm pretty sure he's an ISTP: he has played Legos since being a little kid, loves to tinker with things inside his house, taking things apart then and putting them back together. He can be reserved and aloof in social circumstances when not talking to like-minded people. He has a logical mind and could have achieved a brilliant SAT score if he'd made more efforts in the Reading/Writing section instead of pursuing his robotics hobby at the most critical study time, etc. I mean he has all signs of a typical ISTP. Besides, he knows pretty well that he wants to study Mechanical Engineering and probably EE & CE in college.

    His parents can afford an US education and they want an environment that is most suitable for him. Together we have discussed a few options, but still unsure so I would like to ask for your opinions. I believe that different college environments can have effects on the academic development and general happiness of different personalities.

    Here are the options that we have:
    1. A large state university like Purdue or Virginia Tech. Here classes are big and low-level classes can have hundreds of students. He'll need to be proactive if he wants a research opportunity with professors, being an international student.

    2. A medium private university with a strong co-op/internship focus and urban setting, like Northeastern (Boston) or Drexel (Philadelphia). Still, I think my ISTP student needs to reach out more to compete for co-op opportunities.

    3. A small tech college like Rose-Hulman Institute, where most students are tech focused and enjoy the benefits of small classes and close interaction with their professors.

    4. A reputable liberal arts college with strong engineering programs, like Bucknell or Lafayette. I have mixed feelings about these schools. On the one hand I hope that their well-rounded education will help my student improve his social knowledge and skills; on the other, I'm worried that he will fail miserably at the humanities subjects. (I can't imagine him taking time to do research and discuss about abstract philosophical ideas although he can stand a technical writing course.)

    5. A small, LAC-like research university where students can design their own curriculum, like University of Rochester.

    I'm not sure if you're familiar with US colleges but hope you get the point via my descriptions. All in all it boils down to:
    - intimate vs. big-class environment
    - flexible in changing major vs. rigid
    - tech-heavy vs. liberal arts
    - project based/co-op vs. traditional research
    - large urban city vs. college town vs. rural

    Do you have your favorite? Please vote for one and give an explanation. Thank you.
    Last edited by tvu732; 01-12-2019 at 10:46 AM.
    Agent Washintub thanked this post.



  2. #2

    Oh boy!

    Aight, background for me. I'm 30 and attending college as a full time student at the moment. I believe the phrase is, I got lost on my way to college. I'm attending a major state university that focus on STEM subjects, as a chemistry major.

    The short answer is this:

    State University or bust. Regardless of MBTI.

    Private colleges (ESPECIALLY liberal arts colleges) are over rated, over priced and worth next to nothing in the long run, with a few exceptions. And with those exceptions, you really aren't paying for a higher tier education, you're paying for the ability to network. Examples of this are Ivy League, MIT, Cal-Poly. Rose Hulman is NOT an example of that. For the love of god, avoid that school like the plague. (Also, totally assuming you're from IN as you mentioned both them and Purdue, not many people outside IN know about RH and that the student is an exchange).

    The second half of the answer is start with a community college, especially if you can attend one in the same state as the state uni you want to attend, such as IUS if you want Purdue (actually, Indiana has a weird as fuck school system across the board so I should think of something else). You get the smaller, more relaxed class sizes, which are a plus for anyone. Costs far less money. You get a better social atmosphere. The classes somehow usually tend to be easier and the professors will care more. First two years of college are garbage anyway (which you should know if you're a teacher).

    After that, choose a state school that leans towards a tech field. Purdue, Texas A&M, UTK, UCLA, etc. Most of your 300 level classes and above are all smaller, even at larger universities. My Chem120 class was over 200 people. My chem380 class is about 30.

    As far as research opportunities go... Everyone has to be proactive. Being foreign has nothing to do with that. But even then, it's an afterthought until about 300 or 400 level classes, depending on the field. Most state schools run a mixture of co-op and traditional research, depending on what their major focus is. I'm lucky (or unlucky) enough that because I'm older, I inherently have a better report with my professors than most students and most of the chem dept professors know me by name, even if I haven't taken them. It also doesn't help that I'm easily recognizable.

    As for locations. That is entirely on him as to what he wants to experience. Does he want to focus on work and nothing else? Does he want to experience more of the US? Does he want to have the stereotypical college life? That all comes down to entirely personal preference.

    Feel free to PM me and I'll discuss my specific school more in depth if you want.

  3. #3

    Context: I majored in a social science, not a STEM subject. I went to a medium-sized urban research university with a liberal arts curriculum.

    1. A large state university like Purdue or Virginia Tech. Here classes are big and low-level classes can have hundreds of students. He'll need to be proactive if he wants a research opportunity with professors, being an international student.

    Could be hit or miss. It depends on how well your student adapts to a small (foreign) fish in a big pond environment.

    2. A medium private university with a strong co-op/internship focus and urban setting, like Northeastern (Boston) or Drexel (Philadelphia). Still, I think my ISTP student needs to reach out more to compete for co-op opportunities.

    Again, hit or miss. But I think your student should learn to be proactive anyway.

    3. A small tech college like Rose-Hulman Institute, where most students are tech focused and enjoy the benefits of small classes and close interaction with their professors.

    Unless I really liked my classmates and professors, I would not want this. Sounds... I don't know, claustrophobic.

    4. A reputable liberal arts college with strong engineering programs, like Bucknell or Lafayette. I have mixed feelings about these schools. On the one hand I hope that their well-rounded education will help my student improve his social knowledge and skills; on the other, I'm worried that he will fail miserably at the humanities subjects. (I can't imagine him taking time to do research and discuss about abstract philosophical ideas although he can stand a technical writing course.)

    If he hates the humanities, please for the love of good food no LACs. Don't get me wrong, I liked my liberal arts education. But certain people are not suited for it. If they learn philosophy, literary criticism, etc. they should do it of their own free will.

    5. A small, LAC-like research university where students can design their own curriculum, like University of Rochester.

    The smallness would, again, unnerve me, as does the city of Rochester.

    - intimate vs. big-class environment

    Neither is inherently better or worse. But I would prefer a mix of small and big classes over only small classes or only big classes. But if I had to pick between only small classes and only big classes, big > small.

    - flexible in changing major vs. rigid

    flexible > rigid. What if I change my mind? It's always possible. Likely, even.

    - tech-heavy vs. liberal arts

    If I were more of a tech person I would have preferred a more tech-heavy environment.

    - project based/co-op vs. traditional research

    I don't think either is better or worse. He will have to be proactive regardless.

    - large urban city vs. college town vs. rural

    urban > college town > rural

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  5. #4

    If he's the type who likes to blow shit up, a rural enviroment might be better. Easier to get away with it and find the space for experiments. Honestly, I'm curious about how much a tinkerer would like an engineering major, given all the math and theory.
    Quote Originally Posted by letsrunlikecrazy View Post
    Context: I majored in a social science, not a STEM subject. I went to a medium-sized urban research university with a liberal arts curriculum.
    What did you major in, what was difficult/easy for you, are/were you happy with your choice, and do you work in a related field or want/plan to?

  6. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Hello Clitty View Post
    If he's the type who likes to blow shit up, a rural enviroment might be better. Easier to get away with it and find the space for experiments. Honestly, I'm curious about how much a tinkerer would like an engineering major, given all the math and theory. What did you major in, what was difficult/easy for you, are/were you happy with your choice, and do you work in a related field or want/plan to?
    Blowing shit up anywhere is hard af nowadays (chemistry major, focusing on explosives)

  7. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Hello Clitty View Post
    If he's the type who likes to blow shit up, a rural enviroment might be better. Easier to get away with it and find the space for experiments.
    I don't know for sure, but there are probably labs dedicated to blowing shit up where you can blow shit up legally.

    What did you major in, what was difficult/easy for you, are/were you happy with your choice, and do you work in a related field or want/plan to?
    I majored in economics. The intro courses and some electives were easy, everything else made me want to die. My program focused very heavily on applied math and statistics and I wasn't up for it. I'm happy with my choice because all else equal, my employment prospects are very good compared to, say, an Art History major. I'm not happy with my choice because I could have taken courses I actually enjoyed and would have been good at instead. There are a lot of what ifs.

    I'm currently job hunting and applying for data analysis and data support positions at private companies. My degree is indirectly related because it involved learning basic statistics and data analysis, and I held research assistantships where I worked with data and got experience with various software that are widely used across the industry. That sounds good on paper but actually, I feel pretty lost and don't know what I really want. :/

  8. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by letsrunlikecrazy View Post
    I don't know for sure, but there are probably labs dedicated to blowing shit up where you can blow shit up legally.
    99.9999999999999999% of explosive chemistry is theoretical in nature. Much to my dismay. Or else super controlled, done on a molecular level

  9. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Washintub View Post
    99.9999999999999999% of explosive chemistry is theoretical in nature. Much to my dismay. Or else super controlled, done on a molecular level

  10. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by letsrunlikecrazy View Post
    Honestly, it's actually kind of fascinating. The ability to predict what molecules can be explosive and why. Bond lengths, catalysts, etc all play a major role into it. I still haven't been able to wrap my head around why a single certain, common element MAGNIFIES any explosion it's added into.

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent Washintub View Post
    Honestly, it's actually kind of fascinating. The ability to predict what molecules can be explosive and why. Bond lengths, catalysts, etc all play a major role into it. I still haven't been able to wrap my head around why a single certain, common element MAGNIFIES any explosion it's added into.
    Hm yes. I noticed whenever I get excited about theory it's usually about something with potential for catastrophic human destruction. Like nearly the whole time I studied economics I was unenthused, but briefly when I went to a talk on the economics of terrorism I was so enraptured I had tingles. Or maybe just a cramp.

    Just curious, what do you plan to do after you finish your studies?


     
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