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Old August 16 2010, 10:50 PM   #1
Major Chord
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College woes...

So, in the big Happy Picture, I am supposed to start this fall at Buffalo State college, majoring in History. That was all fine and dandy 6 months ago. Now, things are in limbo, and I'm at an impasse.

My registration at Buff State has been put on hold, because of a form they neglected to send me on time. I received it in the mail 3 days before it was due. By the time I had everything in order for it, it was over a week late. I put it in the mail...hopefully they've received it. The hold on my online account prevented me from registering for orientation on time. First Year Student orientation is mandatory. As of this moment though, the semester starts in 2 weeks, I have yet to be registered for the orientation, classes, as far as I know, or even in their system. I've called up the college, asking if there was a way to sort things out, and I was put on hold, then to a voicemail. My call has not been returned.

In the final months of high school, I had one of those eye opening moments...and my future plans have changed. I want to major in music, instead of history. I'd still like to teach, but not social studies. Buff State has a horrific music program, so I'd end up transferring to another nearby school, SUNY Fredonia. I had hoped to do that ASAP...preferably for the spring semester.

Where I'm running into difficulties, within my own head, is that a this point I don't seem to even be a student at BSC. I'm not properly registered in their system, and by the looks of it, there is no way I'll be able to in time. I see no reason to pay for a semester in a school I no longer want to attend, only to transfer. I can apply to Fredonia for the spring semester, audition for the music program in the winter...and be set. It's just...the idea of taking a semester of, before I've even started school, doesn't sit well with me. even thinking of it makes me feel like a bum. I've been an honor student for my entire public school career...I should be going to school in the fall. At least, I feel like I should be. The idea of sitting at home for 4 months doing nothing doesn't sit well with me. I mean, I could gt a full time job...but at the age of 18, with further schooling it won't be a job I'll like, nor will it be one I'll have for long. I certainly never envisioned myself working full time right out of high school. Like I said...I always thought I'd be going to school.

My mom has said I should do what I need to...I have no clue what my dad would say, but I doubt it would be supportive. My friends...well, they'd obviously be supportive...but I feel they'd be confused.

I'm going in to my high school to see my old guidance counselor tomorrow morning...and to see if they've even bothered to send in my transcript, another reason why I suspect the registration process has been hindered. I'll see if she has any advice for me.

Does anyone here have any thoughts on this? I'd imagine that there of plenty of you who have encountered hangups with higher education.
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Old August 16 2010, 11:04 PM   #2
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Re: College woes...

Don't get caught up on what you think you should do. Do what makes the most sense. If that means waiting till spring semester to go to college, do that. Find something productive to do in the meantime. Work part-time doing something even if it's not interesting, and use the rest of your time doing something relevant to your interests. Or just work full-time. I'd get on that registration ASAP though.

Just don't get stuck on this image of who you thought you'd be or what you thought you'd be doing. Life usually doesn't go as planned.
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Old August 16 2010, 11:20 PM   #3
TrickyDickie
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Re: College woes...

My advice would be to go with a Liberal Arts program at a community college for two years and then transfer to a larger college for your last two years. Liberal Arts gives you a broad range of courses and for anyone who changes his or her mind early on, that gives a two-year buffer zone to do that before a decision has to be made in the third year.

I went to Corning Community College, Corning, NY for my first two years and then transferred to Elmira College, Elmira, NY, which is a small, private college, but as of the late 80s anyhow they had a deal between them whereby graduates of CCC were guaranteed a $5000 a year scholarship to attend Elmira. Elmira is a very good school for the arts and even has Mark Twain's original octagon study on the grounds of the college.

It might not be too late to register for CCC.

One of my brothers graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 1975 and he said it was good then. I have heard that it still is.

If you need any help at all, PM me and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Glad to be of help to anyone from upstate NY, where I at least know a little of what's going on.
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Old August 16 2010, 11:23 PM   #4
gturner
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Re: College woes...

I can sense your confusion because the conventional wisdom says "go to school." But you are wanting to major in music, so instead of school you should move to LA, develop a cocaine habit, get a couple DUI's, shoot a rap artist in the leg, and then get thrown out of an MTV awards dinner. In six months you'll have a recording contract with a major record label and a massive following on Twitter.
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Old August 16 2010, 11:26 PM   #5
RJDiogenes
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Re: College woes...

If Buff State sent you a necessary form without giving you enough time to complete it by deadline, they are obligated to accommodate you. It doesn't mean that they actually will, but they are obligated to.

As far as taking a semester off and then going to SUNY for your music, there's nothing wrong with that. Plenty of people take a year or more off to backpack around Europe or something. Feel free to take some time off and live a little if you want. You're entitled.
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Old August 16 2010, 11:38 PM   #6
Maestro
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Re: College woes...

It's my understanding, and I'm a product of the BigTen, that SUNY Fredonia is a good school of music. James "The Man" Smith, currently Overlord of Orchestras at U of Wisconsin taught there at one point.

However, you seem to be looking at your situation as a disappointment ("Aw shit, I'm not starting college in the fall") rather than an opportunity ("Fuck this Buff State shit, I can go ANYWHERE I want starting in the Spring Semester to study music.")

So, now, properly framed as an opportunity, where do you want to go to study music ed? Still SUNY Fredonia, or was it just an option? Somewhere else?

Iowa is, granted, in the middle of a corn field, but it has a history of being one of the prime music ed schools in the US. Heime Voxman, the Grandfather of Instrumental Ed, established their program, and Richard Mark Heidel, one of the premier up-and-commers in College Instrumental Music is currently Director of Bands there.

Ohio State (still) has Jon Woods doing Instrumental Ed and Russ Mikkelson doing Bands.

Illinois has a phenomenal program with Donald Schlicher doing Orchestras.

Wisconsin is back on the map with Smith doing Orchestras, Scott Teeple doing Bands, and the delightful Terry Dobbs doing Instrumental Methods.

Outside the Big Ten:
Kentucky has John Cody Birdwell doing Bands.

Louisiana State has the lovely, yet incredibly talented Linda Moorehouse.

Gene Corporon continues to put out landmark, definitive recordings at North Texas.

Jerry Junkin is doing Bands at Texas.

Colonel Lowell Graham, retired from the USAF, is teaching at one of the Texas schools.

H. Bob Reynolds and Frank Ticheli are both teaching at Southern California.

Tom Duffy is doing Bands and Composition at Yale.

See, options, my friend. Options.

It's just too bad you can't come to Chicago for the Midwest Clinic in December and shop around for a program there. There's tons of great schools represented, and their top people will wine you and dine you at the College Night.
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Old August 16 2010, 11:45 PM   #7
farmkid
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Re: College woes...

Kestra wrote: View Post
Don't get caught up on what you think you should do. Do what makes the most sense. If that means waiting till spring semester to go to college, do that. Find something productive to do in the meantime. Work part-time doing something even if it's not interesting, and use the rest of your time doing something relevant to your interests. Or just work full-time. I'd get on that registration ASAP though.

Just don't get stuck on this image of who you thought you'd be or what you thought you'd be doing. Life usually doesn't go as planned.
I couldn't have said it better myself. It's not a big deal to wait a few months, as long as you use that time productively. Don't just sit at home killing time until you can go; use the time to earn some money, get more prepared for your program, join a band, take some general ed classes at a community college, work at a homeless shelter or an orphanage in some third world country or whatever else you can think of. This is your chance to do something productive for a few months; don't waste it.
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Old August 17 2010, 04:04 AM   #8
Major Chord
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Re: College woes...

Thanks for the input guys. I've know several people attending Fredonia, for a variety of majors. Regardless of what I teach, I want to teach, bottom line. Fredonia is a good college for that.

Maestro, thanks for the list of schools. I doubt I'd ever attend any of them though...I like music, and I'm one of the better musicians in my graduating class, but I'm no expert, and I don't want to perform professionally, that much I know. I want to teach it. But, no matter what I decide to do...they at least give me the option. Buff State's program is abysmal at best.

TrickieDickie I have a friend who is going to Elmira, actually. They gave her a full ride apparently.

The months off...I wouldn't be able to get a full time job even if I wanted to, until October...it's when my seasonal employment at the country club ends. that would give me two months basically, of full time employment. I wanted to find another part time job afterward anyway...

I suppose a talk with my counselor tomorrow may help iron things out...but I'll take everything that you all have said into consideration! It certainly is nice to have input from people who are detached from the situation.
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Old August 17 2010, 04:58 AM   #9
Maestro
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Re: College woes...

You need to be very careful, then, that as a potential Music Educator, you pursue your major at a school that excels in Music Education. A lot of schools are conservatory-method based. They'll teach you how to be an excellent performer on your instrument, as well as how to intimately understand the language and history of music. They won't teach you how to be a good MUSIC TEACHER. That's one of the reasons I trumpeted Iowa as an option. It's always been a strong Music Ed school, but with Mark Heidel running its Band Department, it becomes an even stronger Music Ed Ed program.
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Old August 17 2010, 05:08 AM   #10
Major Chord
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Re: College woes...

^SUNY Freodonia is a good school for Music Ed, at least around here, that much I know. All of the music teachers I've had in High School have gone there at some point. I do like Fredonia because It gives me the option to go for history Ed...and then change over to music should I so choose. There are a lot of hurdles for me to overcome before I'm ready to go into a music program...I'm more of a practical musician than a technical one. theory, confuses the hell out of me. I need to learn the basics there. I already know most of them, but in a different, 'dumbed down' sort of way. But at least going to Fredonia allows me to take my time and learn the proper stuff...I guess I just don't like how I'm being treated at Buff State, and I haven't even started school yet!
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Old August 17 2010, 06:46 AM   #11
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Re: College woes...

If you don't want to be at that college anyway, take this as a sign. Put in your application for the college you really want to be in and start either in the spring or next fall. In the meantime, take a ride down to your local community college and knock out your basic liberal arts classes. It's a hell of a lot cheaper, will keep you moving forward, and will help you transition to college.
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Old August 17 2010, 07:51 AM   #12
gturner
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Re: College woes...

While you're at it, why not take the down time and do something useful the greater community, such as watching Star Trek Enterprise in its entirety? You can tell us what happens.
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Old August 17 2010, 12:07 PM   #13
Scout101
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Re: College woes...

be careful you aren't putting too much money into the education, as well. Going to the most expensive school you can find is great, but if your aim is to be a music teacher, your income may not be all that high, and large student loans would crush you. Sure SUNY isn't that bad, just a consideration...
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Old August 17 2010, 03:53 PM   #14
scout
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Re: College woes...

Four months may seem like a long time...but it really isn't. I can't really help with the practicalities at all as I'm not familiar with the US college/university system, but it seems an overly convoluted approach to attend, just to transfer, especially if you have no desire to go to BSU anyway. Apart from feeling like you should, which certainly feels like a reason but isn't really.

Good luck with it, whatever happens
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Old August 17 2010, 04:18 PM   #15
trampledamage
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Re: College woes...

Captain Ice wrote: View Post
If you don't want to be at that college anyway, take this as a sign. Put in your application for the college you really want to be in and start either in the spring or next fall. In the meantime, take a ride down to your local community college and knock out your basic liberal arts classes. It's a hell of a lot cheaper, will keep you moving forward, and will help you transition to college.
Good advice. Also, take the opportunity to take some music theory classes since this is where you're worried about your abilities.
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