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11月06日 628 次浏览

我的大学选择:Elle

 

自我有记忆以来,我的家人总是给我灌输要一定要上大学的想法。和别的家长不一样,我的父母一直认为上大学并不仅仅是为了学习一门课程或是为职业生涯做准备。他们教育我,大学的目的是个人成长:它可以激发人的热情,可以创造艺术和音乐,可以给你犯错的机会,还可以交到一辈子的挚友。上大学是为了学习如何成为对社会有贡献的人。总之,大学其实是个教你如何去学习的地方。

在申请大学的时候,这个道理已经在我脑海里扎根。除此之外,我还确立了自己的个人派对哲理——学得刻苦,玩得疯狂。幸运的是我发现了一个可以让我梦想成真的地方:Davidson College。我很早就申请了它,然后这成为了我一生中做出的最正确决定之一。

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Davidson学院的学习和生活特色:

文理学院文理学院(Liberal Arts College)的特征是注重全面综合教育,区别于以就业及研究为重要指针的综合性大学及各种专业学校、技术高校。课程设置以基础学科为主,涵盖艺术、人文、哲学等文科门类,这与工程或医药方面的学校有很大差别。文理学院的学生敢于挑战现状,他们探求真理,发掘自己的思维潜能,目标是成为更好更有智慧的人。Davidson学院帮助了我德智体全面发展!

小班教学。有些学生喜欢在200人的讲堂上躲在教室后方,他们不想引人注意,只想自己安安静静地做笔记,如果没心情的话就不需要向全班同学展示自己。我不是这样的学生。我希望去一个大家可以交换意见,小组讨论以及激情辩论的班级,这也是Davidson学院的宗旨,我们学校只有不超过2000个学生,每个班一般只有15个学生。

严格的学术环境。我想要疯狂地学习然后考过很难的考试,成为一个学习非常刻苦的人,Davidson学院让我实现了这一目标。你会看到学校给大家的分数都不高——在Davidson学院想拿到A是非常艰难的。新来的学生总是会觉得自己没法搞定这么困难的学业,但到最后他们都可以——这得归功于学校的职工老师们,我们有免费的课程辅导以及同伴指导。Davidson的学生们总是在图书馆学习到深夜——这为他们之后职场上取得的成功做出了重要铺垫。你在学校里最常见到的研究生标语就是:“Davidson教我怎样刻苦学习”。

热情的教授。在很多综合性大学里,课会由研究员或者老师助手来上。对这些“指导员”来说,教书只是一个生意——他们同意教课可能只是为了换取为自己研究课题有用的大学设施使用权。换句话来说,他们教书只是因为他们不得不上课,并不是因为他们真心想教学生,所以这样的老师可能不会真正关心这些学生是否能取得进步,这样的话整个班级就可能会失去动力、也缺乏鼓励去好好学习。Davidson学院从不会有这样的安排,这里的教授就真的只是教授。在这所享誉盛名的名校Davidson学院教书是人们梦寐以求的工作,老师们都是非常合格的,他们心存感激之心,对教书工作也有着极大的热情,他们愿意为了学生鞠躬尽瘁地工作。他们真的,真的十分关心学生。

如果你在Davidson学习的话,你的教授将不仅仅是你的老师,还会是你的朋友。他们会邀请你去家庭聚餐,也会和你一起喝咖啡,从作业的困扰聊到思乡的心酸。我跟在美国其它地方读书的朋友说到这个时,他们都震惊了。这种教授学生的关系在美国几乎是为所未闻的——当然也不该这样。如果教授可以知道你是谁——你的学习方法、优点缺点、目标野心——那他们可以更好地给你单独的帮助。如果教授是你的朋友,他们会更宽容、更有同情心,也会对你的未来有更多的兴趣。Davidson的学生和老师们建立了这样适用一生的关系。

文化。当我在浏览该去什么学校时,我把目标缩小到尽量离我的家纽约最远的地方。我想申请别的州的学校,那就可以得到探索全新文化的机会。(如果你熟悉美国的话,你应该知道每个州都有自己独特的文化)我从加利福尼亚州的学校拜访到了田纳西州,从安静的小镇学院拜访到了充满生气的城市大学,在这么多的学校里,我感受到了生活的滋味。最终,我选择了这所在湖滨小镇上的Davidson学院,它的南部文化、亲密团结的感觉以及学霸的读书氛围都让我觉得这是最佳选择。

在大学里,我遇到了来自各种不同文化、社会阶级、宗教信仰和生活宗旨的朋友。我在发掘南部文化,我发现自己爱上了乡村音乐、灵魂料理(美国南方菜)、车尾派对(和一群朋友或家人在比赛前聚在球场附近的停车场,享受BBQ、聊天甚至看比赛的好时机)和南部口音。

社团活动。在申请大学时,我不想让自己只成为万千大学生中不起眼的一员。在Davidson学院,我感到自己被重视,也受到了很多支持。我是一个重要社团活动中的乐器演奏者,我还加入了各种社团和课外活动,比如舞蹈队。
 

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Davidson小镇给了我一个更广阔的社区。我让自己融入这个小镇中,而不仅仅局限在校园里。我养成了周六去农民市场的习惯;我给 Charlotte(北卡罗来纳的中心城市)旁边城市的无家可归的小孩们当义工老师教他们阅读;我每天去学校旁边郁郁葱葱的树林里散步,还会在湖边野餐;我还很自豪是当地冰淇淋商店的常客。Davidson小镇是我大学经历中不可替代的一段回忆。

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美丽的校园 Davidson学院太美了。大棵大棵的树栽在校园里,围绕着经典的红砖教学楼。校园里随处可见森林和湖泊,学生们可以到处游玩或者游泳。北卡罗来纳州的气候非常赞,环境永远都充满了生机活力。在这里,很难感觉到沮丧或压力,因为你住在这么一个美如明信片的校园里。

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欢乐。大学时光本来就应该是快乐的,所以不要听信别人说大学只是一个用来学习的地方。人生中不会再有另外一段时光会让你感受到这样的青春和自由。而且,大学应该是你可以交最多有趣、志向相投的朋友之地了吧。请好好利用它!

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虽然Davison的功课很难,但我们学校的社交乐趣弥补了这一痛苦。Davidson给学生提供了数不胜数的主题活动、变装派对、演唱会和校园节日。我通过Eating House这个活动认识了现在最好的朋友,这是Davidson学院姐妹会里的特别社团。我真的参加了太多的派对。

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我的大学经历是我人生中极其宝贵的财富。很多大学毕业生,美国的或者国外的,都可能很难理解我对我大学母校的爱、依恋以及思念之情。我的建议:申请大学时,你要创造自己的幸运。你可以列出什么对你来说是最重要的,看哪些学校适合你的独特喜好、目标和个性。每个人都是不一样的,幸运的是,每个学校也是不一样的。

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How I Chose My University: Elle


For as long as I can remember, my family instilled in me a singular approach to college. Unlike many other parents, my mom and dad always insisted that undergraduate education is not for learning a trade or preparing for the workforce.

Instead, they taught me that college is for personal growth. It's for unearthing new passions. It's for making art. It's for making music. It's for making mistakes. It's for making lifelong friends. It's for learning to become a contributing member of society. Above all, it's for learning how to learn.

This philosophy was entrenched in me when I applied to college. Equally entrenched was my personal philosophy of having fun. I wanted to work and play extremely hard. Luckily, I found a place where this was possible: Davidson College. I applied early, and it was one of my greatest decisions.

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It's a school unlike any other on the planet. Here are just some of the features that make Davidson special:

Liberal arts. A liberal arts college is a type of school that emphasizes the development of intellect and general knowledge, instead of professional or technical subjects. A liberal arts education is rooted in subjects like philosophy and literature, as opposed to engineering or medicine.

Liberal arts students learn to challenge the status quo and become smarter, better humans. Davidson was committed to my cultural, intellectual, and moral growth.

Small classes. Some students like hiding in the back of a 200-seat lecture hall, where they can remain anonymous, take notes quietly, and opt not to show up to class when they're not in the mood. That wasn't me. I wanted meaningful exchange through group discussion and impassioned debate. This was the norm at Davidson, a school of under 2,000 students, where the average class size was 15.

Rigorous academics. I wanted to study like mad and pass tough tests. I wanted to become a harder worker. Davidson epitomizes this pursuit. It all but gloats over its grade deflation — an A is a rare gem at Davidson.

New students can't fathom how they'll possibly handle the workload, but they do. It's a feat made possible by free peer tutoring, painstaking faculty guidance, and an all-around supportive environment.

And all those late nights in the library leave a lasting positive impact. Alumni frequently attribute their professional success to Davidson's intensity. The recurring post-graduate refrain is: 'Davidson taught me how to work hard.'

Passionate professors. At plenty of big universities, classes are taught by researchers or teacher's assistants. For many of these instructors, teaching is a business deal — they agree to teach a few classes in exchange for access to university facilities for personal projects. In other words, they teach because they have to, not because they want to. This might yield a lack of interest in students' success. It might weaken the incentive to engage and inspire in the classroom.

This arrangement doesn't exist at Davidson, where professors are professors alone. A teaching job at Davidson is prestigious and coveted. Instructors are qualified and thrilled to teach, and they work tirelessly for their students. They really, really care.

When you study at Davidson, your professors are mentors and friends. They invite you to their homes for family dinners. You meet them for coffee to discuss anything from homework to homesickness.

When I explain this to American friends from other schools, they're shocked. This type of professor-student relationship is almost unheard of elsewhere in the US — but it shouldn't be. When professors understand who you are — your learning style, strengths, weaknesses, goals, and ambitions — they can guide you properly with individualized support. When professors are your friends, they show leniency, sympathy, and personal interest in your future. Davidson students and instructors form lifelong bonds.

Culture. When looking at schools, I narrowed my search to places far from home in New York, jumping at the chance for cultural novelty. (If you're familiar with the US, you know that each region within each state has its own distinct culture.)

I toured schools from California to Tennessee. I explored quaint college towns and vibrant university cities. I got a sense of life on dozens of campuses. Ultimately, I picked the lakeside town of Davidson. Its Southern culture and tight-knit, intellectual community seemed like a great fit for me.

At school, I met friends with all different traditions, social circumstances, religions, and life philosophies. Discovering Southern culture, I fell in love with country music, soul food, tailgating, and Southern accents.

Community. When applying to schools, I wanted to be more than just another student in a sea of undergraduates. At Davidson, I felt valued. I was an instrumental member of an important community.

I further tightened my network through clubs and extracurriculars, like the dance team.

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The town of Davidson offered me a place in a broader community. I immersed myself in the offerings just beyond the borders of my school. I made a habit of the Saturday morning farmers' market. I taught reading to homeless kids as a volunteer tutor in the nearby city of Charlotte. I took daily walks through tree-lined neighborhoods and picnicked on the lake. I was a proud regular at the local ice cream shop. The town of Davidson was an irreplaceable aspect of my college experience.

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Beautiful campus. The college setting was endlessly invigorating. North Carolina weather is glorious. And with massive trees framing classic brick buildings, as well as a lake where students hang out and swim, Davidson itself is equally as gorgeous. It's hard to feel homesick or stressed when you're living in a postcard.

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Fun. College is supposed to be fun, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. At no other time in life are we so young and free of obligations. What's more, college is probably the easiest place to make tons of interesting, lifelong friends. Take full advantage.

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As tough as the Davidson workload was, our social scene compensated. Davidson offered a never-ending stream of themed events, costume parties, concerts, and festivals. I met my best friends through my Eating House, which is a type of sorority that's specific to Davidson. I partied my face off.

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My college experience was hardly universal. So many graduates, both in America and abroad, don't share my sense of love, attachment, and nostalgia for their years at university. I was incredibly fortunate.

My recommendation: when applying to schools: create your own luck. Make a list of what's most important to you. Look into schools that suit your specific preferences, goals, and personality. Everyone is different, and luckily, so is every school.

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