Any possibilty that you might be or have been a student at Clarkson University seeing as your location is the location of their campus?? If so, is it nice there?? I'm picking schools for next year and I was interested in there.
Yeah I went to Clarkson a couple years back, and I transferred after my first year and never really changed my location. I guess I should do that. heh.
It's a good school, but it's in Potsdam, and everybody knows that Potsdam sucks. Regardless, the program (for mechanical engineering at least) it pretty strong. It isn't a school with a ton of money, but they have enough to do what they need to do- and that's teach, and they do a good job of it. RPI has tons more money than RPI and still doesn't have as good of a program as Clarkson. The physics labs at Clarkson are funny as hell. We were still using equipment from like 1940, but it was still functional so I couldn't complain. It really isn't too bad. If you want to see the highlight of the Clarkson campus, ask if you can see some of the wind tunnels in the CAMP building. The CAMP building is basically where all the high tech grad work takes place. If you enrolled as an engineer there, though, you'd be spending most of your time in the giant fugly concrete science building.
The professors there are really good on the whole, and they're usually very knowledgable and approachable, but the student body kinda sucks. You've got a pretty big indian population, most of which resides in this apartment complex over by the sunoco station, and then you've got a fairly large asian group, and I don't know where the hell they stay, and then the rest of the people are people from the general upstate NY vacinity.
Now... concerning the student body that is comprised of the local yocals: I'm not saying that they aren't smart, because they are, but they also tend to be fairly... uncultured. If I were to describe the non-indian and non-asian student body at Clarkson, I would describe it as uncultured. And that's the way most of the people in upstate NY are. They tend to be very conservative, very close-minded people, even though the ones (at Clarkson) are highly capable. As for the true locals of Potsdam, they're pretty much just wastes of resources and life. Just total wastes. The only thing that keeps that goddamn town alive are the colleges. That whole place is going straight to hell, if it isn't there already.
You'll find that the people who go to Clarkson are intelligent but there are very few intellects.
I got pretty sick of Potsdam after a year. The nightlife in Potsdam is absolutely nonexistant. The closest places to go out partying are either Alexandria Bay, Lake Placid, or Montreal. And don't expect to get any action on campus either. Every engineering school is like that, though, so the trick is finding one that isn't in the middle of nowhere. Although there are some local schools, such as suny canton and SLU (both in canton) and suny potsdam, which - you guessed it - is in potsdam. If you really like skiing, and outdoorsy stuff, Clarkson is fantastic for that, and if you happen to have your private pilot's license, that's also great, because it has a local airport (which I take advantage of on a regular basis) and it's also class-G airspace, which is always a bonus.
Anyway, I eventually transferred to the Albany area, and now I'm enrolled at RPI instead. The professors at RPI are generally worse. They're much harder to reach, they're generally less knowledgable, and they're generally less friendly. At RPI, you're on your f***ing own. You help yourself. Period. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It's good because it makes you work extremely hard (since you basically have to teach yourself everything you know), but it's also of course bad because you no longer have any free time in the day because you're always studying.
RPI, in general, is a school that is relatively easy to get into, and very difficult to stay in. I think that the statistic is that something like 1 out of every 3 students drops out in their first year here. RPI is basically a test in how proficiently you can teach yourself stuff. That's probably why I'm generally fairly independent when it comes to fixing/making stuff work. Most people immediately dial for tech support or something. A student at RPI would ask for the manual. I guess that's about the best analogy I can give. RPI basically teaches you how to teach yourself, because you're going to be doing a lot of it if you go there.
The party scene at RPI is a bit better. There's siena and russel sage, and of course you can also go to the city on the weekends if you've got the time and the money, which usually doesn't happen because any free time is occupied by your busy study schedule.
At RPI, everybody's involved in greek life. Holy crap. It's unreal. I've never seen a campus that is so greek life oriented. Just for the statistic, there are 36 frats and 3 sororities. If you're not involved in one of them, then your weekends will be very lonely if you don't have a good group of friends and a creative mind. It's a really divided campus. Lots of frats are snooty bigots. I've got plenty of fun stories that I'll refrain from telling right now, but the bottom line is that you have a group of people who are greek, and labeled as "cool", and then you've got the other people, who are generally social outcasts.
I'm somewhere in the middle, and in order to NOT be in greek life and maintain your sanity, you have to have a lot of connections to friends in frats, and generally just have a good group of friends to go out with on weekends.
Troy is a bit rough on the edges though. I had a friend who was just out partying in downtown Troy and was offered crack 7 times in a night. That's enough to make Dave Chapelle downright jealous. There's a saying that all the trash in Troy "rolls down the hill". Downtown is basically in the valley of troy, along the river, and RPI is up on the hill. There are tons of sketchyass people in downtown troy. People who will just do the weirdest sh*t... for example, I was walking with friends at like 2am on a saturday night in downtown, and this hobo lady walks up to us and starts making this weird clicking sound with her mouth. It was really friggin strange. Social decorum in Troy is basically completely backwards and upside down.
But you should definetly stop at "I love NY pizza" (know locally as "I love's") on 2nd street and pick up a slice. It's only a buck 50 for a soda and a slice of fantastic cheese pizza. That's probably one of the highlights of Troy.
Alright.... I gotta get my ass in bed. Thanks for listening.