The Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology - Comments and Student Experiences|
Looking back on my 4.5 years at Georgia Tech, I have to say the frustration and bitterness I experienced during that time still affects me to this day. I constantly wonder how my life would have turned out if I had gone somewhere else and had a more pleasant college experience. Despite making some great friends, I still have vivid memories of the misery we went through. It was as if Georgia Tech was a bonding experience for us like people would have bonded through an epic war. We had a common enemy and it was the ridiculous workload and unhelpful professors. Images of students bursting out in tears during tests, people joking about suicide, friends taking Redbull, Monster, and Adderall to help pull multiple all nighters are burned into my memory. I remember one time watching the sun rise up from inside the library after pulling two consecutive all nighters and wondering what the heck I was doing with my life... questioning if this pain and suffering would be worth it one day. The negativity of the atmosphere has sadly made me a more cynical and sardonic person.
Academically, Georgia Tech had the potential to be a great school. The professors definitely knew what they were talking about, but for the most part classes seemed very rushed and if you wanted to understand concepts better, you would need to invest time outside of class to ask them questions. Many times professors would be very busy with research and defer your questions to the TAs. Individual attention was not expected. What helped me the most was working through a lot of problems with my classmates on conference room whiteboards. I feel like my teamwork skills improved drastically during this time.
Socially, GT is not as bad as people make it out to be. There are many interesting people, just as there are many strange and uninteresting ones. The school definitely taught me that associating with certain people helps elevate your mood more than associating with others. You definitely learn to pick your friends here. One thing that helped me get through the tough times was working out at the CRC. The gym facilities were amazing and served as a sanctuary when everything else was going to hell. It was also very difficult to meet girls at Georgia Tech, and I ended up dating girls from other schools in the Atlanta metro region during this time.
After I graduated in December 2007 it was not difficult to find a job. I found a job after living at home for a few months which turned out to be nothing closely related to what I had studied. Instead of doing hardcore electrical engineering, I ended up doing software consulting for engineering software. Fortunately for me this opened up a career path into areas which I could excel and prosper in the growing software/IT industry.
I also ended up relocated to a different part of the country. What I found disappointing was the fact that nobody outside of the south gives GT alumni the recognition you feel you deserve. The school is simply not well known outside the south by the people who matter. When I say people who matter, I'm not talking about technical coworkers. I'm talking about people who matter towards your employment prospects who are mostly managers and HR people.
In conclusion, I had to put up with more hardship than the average person during undergrad and it did not make a huge difference in terms of results. Unless you are serious about being an engineer, and engineering is your passion that you will devote most of your life to, I would advise against going here. I was motivated by wanting an above average salary, and I got what I wanted. However I could have accomplished the same at someplace moderately easier but similarly ranked. A moderately easier school may have also helped me in the search for a graduate program. This is really the next step I am looking to take and I feel like having a sub 3.0 GPA has really hurt my chances of getting into a top tier graduate program. I'm into my late 20s now, and for what it's worth I look back and slightly regret missing out on a more enjoyable while I was 18,19,20, and 21. I have a solid career now, but one thing I cannot have back are those lost years of my life.
I slept through FASET thinking the fun is yet to come, however the worst was yet to come. The schoolwork I learned was incredibly boring and monotonous. Not to mention you get tons of it. I was busy pretty much every night. You learn soon that the professors are there to research and they see any instruction as a favor to the students.
During the Fall semester I felt like I was a number in a factory..they might as well have stamped a number to my forehead. If you can get a study group and work the system you'll be better off.Overall I've regretted my decision terribly. You only get one shot at life. If I had to choose between being an engineer and "being happy" I would choose the latter. If only I knew that before coming to this school. Don't make the same mistake I did.
"Your department environment fosters creativity and innovation." Hell no...it's do your work and that's it.
"Teaching faculty is available & helpful -- not absorbed into personal research, or avoidant." Professors feel like liaisons to the university, and the university is the actual professor.
"Scholastic success (exams, homework, projects, etc.) is dependent upon understanding -- not 'random' or dependent upon being able to 'work the system'" Are you kidding? The only way to graduate is to work the system.
"You feel safe both day and night." I stay in my dorm day and night, but if you go out, there will almost always be hobos around.
"University resources provide opportunities for students, through facilities and programs, to learn and grow -- instead of being spent on 'proUniversity' propaganda." FASET and freshman experience were the biggest bullshit "salesman pitches" I have ever heard in my life. They make it sound like you're going off on an adventure when really they're just luring you into a trap.
"This University treats you as a person, not just as a number in the factory." No, a number has too much value. Maybe a tick mark.
"There is a great social life and atmosphere, fun things to do every day & night." So far I haven't done a single fun thing while being here.
I have been trying to change myself for the past two years thinking that I was causing my own misery. After seeing some of the reviews I see that I might not be alone here after all.
This place seems good on the outside- when you drive by on the interstate, when you see gatech win football, when you drive around campus with the nicely planted trees and see the crc and the north ave apartments and the student center. Don't let it fool you. It is like seeing a good book cover when the book is really bad and mind-numbingly boring.
Gatech is a place with no culture. Don't expect to make great friends everywhere (or anywhere) and be smiling everywhere you go. It will most likely be walking to class with your head down and then walking back to your dorm where everyone hides and playing computer games or something to distract yourself from the depressing situation you're put yourself in.
The people may very well be the reason this place sucks so much. Combine a bunch of arrogant nerds, douchey frat guys, and a small fraction of girls (who are mostly not very good looking) and it starts to seem like hell on earth.
Now, I would be able to handle most of this if it weren't for the fact that the academics are RIDICULOUS. People will say "You need to use better time management" or "You need to learn how to succeed" or "You can't handle the rigor". In reality, almost all classes and the information they teach you is pointless busy work. It's like in high school when you had a big yearlong project the next day and had to put spend a night on it, imagine doing that here except you do that every night, most times it is worth a big chuck of your grade.On the other hand, there may very well be a day in my tech years that I get to upper level classes and say "hey, this is kind of fun and interesting" or "wow, this has been really worth it and will prepare me for a lifelong career" or "this has been worth all of the crap that I've had to put with for the past few years and I like the person I've become". What I'm saying is so far, I have not seen one good reason for doing ANY of this or being here AT ALL, other than making money after college, which to be honest, I don't care for too much as long as I have an OK job. As of now I am really wanting to transfer somewhere else.
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