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Things you hate about your school


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My school definitely has its share of things for me to be annoyed about. These include:

- Takes three years to get a MFA (seniors say we have to take on a doctorate-level workload for a master's degree)

- Financial aid office ignores all loan applications because they expect you to fill out their special little form (I was eligible for $20K in loans, but the school would not give it because it was a federal loan. Meaning you can only get private loans here)

- Amount of work. Program claims to be for working professionals, but I hardly got everything done and I don't even have a job.

- People who are not only master's upperclassmen, but who have real jobs in art who make mediocre final projects. How can these people have such crappy skills and get hired? I hate to sound arrogant, but I know my skills surpass some of my classmates' skills, so why don't I have a job?

- Just a rumor...due to working people being unable to meet deadlines, the school is allegedly not letting anyone who works full-time enroll. This does not effect me, but it seems unfair.

- Cost in general. $4700 per semester and $500 for two weeks of food?

- Worthless classes like art history. Methinks this is just the school's way of squeezing a few more thousands of dollars out of everyone each year.

- Need to have an average grade of at least a B in each course.

- My major is set up in such a way that you cannot quit and come back.

I know a lot of those are money issues, but hey, I don't have any money whatsoever. And when I can't get a loan, it becomes a big deal. What about you? What goes on at your school that you hate?

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So are you saying that you didn't know that it would take 3 years to get the degree, how much tuition would cost, the financial aid situation (which sounds odd, how would you know you were eligible if the school wouldn't accept a FAFSA?), the classes you'd have to take, and that you'd have to maintain a certain grade in your classes before accepting the offer to go to this school? If this is the case then...wow, not sure that complaining is in order.

As for the not having a job thing, it doesn't matter if it's grad school or another arena, you will always see people who you don't think are as good as you advancing in ways that you might not think they deserve, but that doesn't effect your chances of moving up too, or at least it shouldn't, you could be amazing at what you do but if you don't get out there and present yourself in the best way possible it will never happen for you and all of the people who have crappier skills than you will be getting those jobs. I know first hand that's it's frustrating, everyone these days knows how hard it is to get a job and it's easy to fantasize that people who don't deserve the jobs are somehow stealing them from you, but that's really not the case.

Why would your major have to be set up so you can quit and comeback? Do mean like taking a semester off? I don't think that programs are designed to readily accommodate those who decide to quit in the middle of them. And if you withdrew from the program now are you saying that you would have to start from the very beginning if you decided to go back at some point? As in they wouldn't accept any of their own credits? That's even if you were accepted back, not sure how that works.

I'm sure everyone needs to vent and gripe about certain aspects of their programs every so often, but this seems like a serious dislike of the entire structure of what you're doing and a deep dissatisfaction with the institution you're doing it at. That won't change unless you make some serious changes in your mindset or life in general.

Edited by Mal83
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So are you saying that you didn't know that it would take 3 years to get the degree, how much tuition would cost, the financial aid situation (which sounds odd, how would you know you were eligible if the school wouldn't accept a FAFSA?), the classes you'd have to take, and that you'd have to maintain a certain grade in your classes before accepting the offer to go to this school? If this is the case then...wow, not sure that complaining is in order.

As for the not having a job thing, it doesn't matter if it's grad school or another arena, you will always see people who you don't think are as good as you advancing in ways that you might not think they deserve, but that doesn't effect your chances of moving up too, or at least it shouldn't, you could be amazing at what you do but if you don't get out there and present yourself in the best way possible it will never happen for you and all of the people who have crappier skills than you will be getting those jobs. I know first hand that's it's frustrating, everyone these days knows how hard it is to get a job and it's easy to fantasize that people who don't deserve the jobs are somehow stealing them from you, but that's really not the case.

Why would your major have to be set up so you can quit and comeback? Do mean like taking a semester off? I don't think that programs are designed to readily accommodate those who decide to quit in the middle of them. And if you withdrew from the program now are you saying that you would have to start from the very beginning if you decided to go back at some point? As in they wouldn't accept any of their own credits? That's even if you were accepted back, not sure how that works.

I'm sure everyone needs to vent and gripe about certain aspects of their programs every so often, but this seems like a serious dislike of the entire structure of what you're doing and a deep dissatisfaction with the institution you're doing it at. That won't change unless you make some serious changes in your mindset or life in general.

I second everything said here. Judging by this and other posts on this site, you seem to be a wellspring of negativity.

I know several art majors. Art isn't a financially-lucrative field, but they're doing fine. They're also not accruing tons of debt.

Like Mal83 says, how did you not know about these things before attending? Maintaining a "B" average in graduate coursework is essentially ubiquitous across all disciplines and graduate-level programs (MFA, MA, PhD, whatever): it's not something you can really bemoan.

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Nope, did not know how long it'd take until after I got here. I was under the impression I could get this crap over with in a year, maybe a year and a half. I also didn't think it'd be as expensive as it is. And I don't get the financial aid nonsense either. I went through Direct Loans and I filled out a FAFSA, and the school said they got all that information...they just wouldn't give me the $20K loan I was eligible for, for some reason. As far as grades, I guess I was under the impression that I just had to pass - granted, I have never gotten lower than a C in college (got 2 C's in some very hard classes the whole time I was in undergrad), but I guess it's annoying that I am being held to such a high standard - I can't get a B- or a C+ and still pass. I think that's a bit over the top for any major where neither lives nor other people's finances are on the line.

And the program is just laid out so very specifically (since it's a bit specialized as far as art) that if you skip something, you're going to just screw everything up. I don't know if you'd have to start over or wait a whole year if, say, you wanted to take off only one or two semesters. And yeah, I dislike this place more than I like it, especially since I feel an MFA in art is pretty worthless unless you intend to teach college (which I do not).

Oh, and another gripe: the health center and counseling office are both closed during the summer, which is the only semester my class is on campus. So if you need some peroxide for a scratch or you want to talk to someone, you have to fend for yourself. The school is just overall laid out in a very confusing way, the workload is much too large and you just cannot be expected to work and do this (just TRY getting a new job when in grad school - no one will hire you), it's much too expensive, the instructors are very vague about what they want (they will say "have sketches done for next semester" when they really mean "we want the final versions, but they aren't actually due until next year" and they will mark your grade down accordingly for not being able to read their minds)...it's just little more than a great big headache. Heck, one of the instructors is proud of the fact he made someone cry in his class because his critique was so harsh.

But I'm stuck here, and since I'll be half done with the program by the end of next week, I guess I'll just try and stick it out. If my mother goes senile or dies before then, I will be able to drop out since she's the one making me go so I can get the fantasy $100,000 job she thinks I'll get with a master's degree. Too bad I couldn't sell my degree - I totally would sell this one if I get it and my undergrad degree.

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Ahhh I remember you...You're the one who couldn't stand up for yourself enough to distance yourself from your mother and not attend grad school. You were doomed from the start. You likely would have hated any school you went to simply because you were being forced to attend.

You have control over your own life. Don't expect us to pity you for the decisions you make.

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But I'm stuck here, and since I'll be half done with the program by the end of next week, I guess I'll just try and stick it out. If my mother goes senile or dies before then, I will be able to drop out since she's the one making me go so I can get the fantasy $100,000 job she thinks I'll get with a master's degree. Too bad I couldn't sell my degree - I totally would sell this one if I get it and my undergrad degree.

Most of your complaints seem trite. Is this not information you could have, and should have, sought out ahead of time? I encourage you to empower yourself, and start using the intelligence you obviously have.

And as far as blaming your mother? Sorry, lass, that’s just weak. No one can make you do something you don’t want to—there is always a choice.Sometimes it's the lesser of two evils, mind you, but a choice all the same.

If you don’t feel some sort of drive and/or passion, you’re doing it wrong. I am broke too, but I went in with eyes wide open, and couldn’t be happier.

You are obviously smart, but I think you really need to sit down and figure out what are YOUR goals for the future. If you you continue to live by your mother's dreams, don't be surprised if it leaves little room for your own.

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I also have to add, none of what you describe would be unusual for an MS in my field... I'm not sure what's typical for an MFA, but 3 years, full time, no room for side jobs, no grade lower than a B-.... Those are all typical things. As is the fact that a lot of the "usual" campus services are closed or severely diminished during the summer- especially so at smaller schools. It's also typical to have grad programs set up such that missing a class will cause you to take longer than average- there are fewer grad students, so they offer fewer grad classes each semester. And honestly, $4700 is quite cheap for a semester... The tuition at my school is $23,000 per semester. Yours seems very affordable by comparison. As to the amount of work... 60+ hour weeks of work, not including classwork or homework, is common in my field, even for MS students. You seem to be expecting everything to stay as it was in undergrad, and that's not the case- graduate school is a step above in terms of difficulty, time, etc. Less services are offered because the students are treated more as adults/young professionals than college aged kids out on their own for the first time.

As has been said, they are also things you could have found out before you went in with a modicum of research.

Edited by Eigen
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Nope, did not know how long it'd take until after I got here. I was under the impression I could get this crap over with in a year, maybe a year and a half. I also didn't think it'd be as expensive as it is. And I don't get the financial aid nonsense either. I went through Direct Loans and I filled out a FAFSA, and the school said they got all that information...they just wouldn't give me the $20K loan I was eligible for, for some reason. As far as grades, I guess I was under the impression that I just had to pass - granted, I have never gotten lower than a C in college (got 2 C's in some very hard classes the whole time I was in undergrad), but I guess it's annoying that I am being held to such a high standard - I can't get a B- or a C+ and still pass. I think that's a bit over the top for any major where neither lives nor other people's finances are on the line.

And the program is just laid out so very specifically (since it's a bit specialized as far as art) that if you skip something, you're going to just screw everything up. I don't know if you'd have to start over or wait a whole year if, say, you wanted to take off only one or two semesters. And yeah, I dislike this place more than I like it, especially since I feel an MFA in art is pretty worthless unless you intend to teach college (which I do not).

Oh, and another gripe: the health center and counseling office are both closed during the summer, which is the only semester my class is on campus. So if you need some peroxide for a scratch or you want to talk to someone, you have to fend for yourself. The school is just overall laid out in a very confusing way, the workload is much too large and you just cannot be expected to work and do this (just TRY getting a new job when in grad school - no one will hire you), it's much too expensive, the instructors are very vague about what they want (they will say "have sketches done for next semester" when they really mean "we want the final versions, but they aren't actually due until next year" and they will mark your grade down accordingly for not being able to read their minds)...it's just little more than a great big headache. Heck, one of the instructors is proud of the fact he made someone cry in his class because his critique was so harsh.

But I'm stuck here, and since I'll be half done with the program by the end of next week, I guess I'll just try and stick it out. If my mother goes senile or dies before then, I will be able to drop out since she's the one making me go so I can get the fantasy $100,000 job she thinks I'll get with a master's degree. Too bad I couldn't sell my degree - I totally would sell this one if I get it and my undergrad degree.

well look, I think you must have some idea of how this all sounds to people who are serious and committed to grad school. The idea that somehow you got through the entire application process without knowing things like length of program, tuition costs, and financial aid is a little incredible. You have to have been to the school's website in order to do the application and you're saying that you didn't even stumble across any of this information during that time....or that you didn't even think you should know those things, I mean really, how could that be?

Your school isn't giving you the loans for a reason, you just didn't press them into giving you an answer. Perhaps you've reached your borrowing limit. But these superficial complaints that you have are not really the issue, from the other thread you posted a while back it's clear that it's more that you just don't want to be going to grad school and that your mother is forcing you. You're also completely committed to sticking it out and not make any changes whatsoever to improve your situation in anyway because as you've said, it's just easier to keep going the way you're going. If you've decided that you will not make any changes or stand up to your mother than what's the difference if you're in grad school or not? If this is your mother's plan for you and you're relinquishing control of your life to her than just let it ride. If you were able to finish the degree sooner, she would just have you move on to something else you don't want to do, so go with it and take comfort in the fact that you don't have any responsibility whatsoever for your own life, choices, or future. A lot of people responded genuinely and sincerely to that thread of yours to try to help you by offering a lot of ideas on how to get out, but you decided to not consider any of them and here you're expressing a deep seated dissatisfaction for what you're doing but have made it clear you're just going to stick it out, which is a choice you've made. I'm sure many people find that their program isn't as magical as they hoped it would be, but they think it over, seek advice, and either change their situation or their mindset so they can move forward. You're set on not changing anything. Now I do feel for you but complaining about grad school only for the sake of complaining about it on a forum that celebrates it isn't going to get you much sympathy.

Edited by Mal83
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My mother has always believed that college degree = $100K. Doesn't matter what kind of degree or what field. She believes this because her coworker's daughter went to college for something or another and earns a six-figure income. Well, since I didn't get the coveted hundred-thousand dollar job a year or two out of undergrad, she decided it was for my own good to go and get my master's degree in art. Knowing full well I don't want to teach (thankfully she doesn't pressure me to do that). What she fails to realize is that if I list my degree (and possibly degreeS) on any joe schmoe job application, I will most likely be overqualified.

Oh, thought of another thing I hate: Saturday classes. That's more of a minor peeve just because I like sleeping in on Saturdays if I can. And travel costs for the semesters where I need to go to here or there, shell out for hotels and food on top of the damn tuition. Since I'm totally just made of money like everyone else in the program. :rolleyes:I do like one thing about the school...free coffee in the art building (and it's very good). That's about the only redeeming quality. Even the professors who I've told I am enrolled against my better judgment try to encourage me to stay (yeah - greedy pigs want their $$$).

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If your professors were aware of your situation as expressed in this and your previous thread, I am positive, just as human beings, they would advise you to leave the program, IF that's what would help you free yourself from your mother. However, it's also not that surprising that they encourage you to stay; they're employees and spokespeople for what is essentially a business, not your personal counsellors.

I didn't want to jump into this thread because 1) I don't currently 'have' a school, and 2) I think you've heard all you need to hear from us. But as far as the salary issue goes, I think I mentioned this in your other thread: why don't you just tell your mother to google 'average MFA salary' and go from there? There is a cure to her delusions: facts.

Edited by wtncffts
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Well at $150 an hour (since they aren't "regular" professors at this school - just there to teach certain classes once a year), then yeah, I'd say they are. :P I can't think of any college that would discourage someone who is enrolled from staying there, honestly. Once they've got their claws in you, they want you to graduate so they can get their money's worth out of you. If one person out of a thousand goes on to get a good career, then hooray - reputation points for the school. The other 999 who end up working at Blockbuster and McDonald's? Ehh, who cares - the school got its money and that's all that matters. That goes for pretty much any program, be it undergrad, master's or doctorate.

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I do remember your prior post JustMe, and think that people really did try to help you figure out how to deal with your situation. Unfortunately for you, you refused the advice given, and now have the nerve to take up unnecessary space venting about a program's structure. Thing is, it isn't the school that is at fault, it is you. I'm sure there are many MFAs in your program that are happy and thriving...because they want to be there. Since you don't want to be in school for a MFA it makes sense that you would hate everything about the school.

My advice for you given your situation is to change your attitude so that you can at least finish this program with great work. I have a feeling that you will go through your program with terrible work (stemming from a terrible attitude), then go back and blame your mother for "forcing" you to go to school in the first place. I doubt any employer you go to for an interview will take that as an excuse. Take responsibility for your actions....as someone who is at grad school age, you should know this by now.

Edited by ZeeMore21
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Well at $150 an hour (since they aren't "regular" professors at this school - just there to teach certain classes once a year), then yeah, I'd say they are. :P I can't think of any college that would discourage someone who is enrolled from staying there, honestly. Once they've got their claws in you, they want you to graduate so they can get their money's worth out of you. If one person out of a thousand goes on to get a good career, then hooray - reputation points for the school. The other 999 who end up working at Blockbuster and McDonald's? Ehh, who cares - the school got its money and that's all that matters. That goes for pretty much any program, be it undergrad, master's or doctorate.

This is kind of like complaining about a newly elected president when you didn't vote, if you don't do your part to change something you have no right to complain about it...ya know that sort of thing. Just try to remember that the school and the professors are not forcing you to be there, you're allowing your mother to dictate your actions, it's not their responsibility to tell you to leave the program, that choice is actually YOURS to make. Even if they did, would you actually do it? Not likely, so what's the difference what they say, how much money they make, and how many people end up at Blockbuster or McDonald's after graduating?

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My mother has always believed that college degree = $100K. Doesn't matter what kind of degree or what field. She believes this because her coworker's daughter went to college for something or another and earns a six-figure income. Well, since I didn't get the coveted hundred-thousand dollar job a year or two out of undergrad, she decided it was for my own good to go and get my master's degree in art. Knowing full well I don't want to teach (thankfully she doesn't pressure me to do that). What she fails to realize is that if I list my degree (and possibly degreeS) on any joe schmoe job application, I will most likely be overqualified.

Well, if it's money that's important to her, she picked the wrong degree to pressure you into. I could understand an MBA, JD, or medical school, but if she thinks people with MFAs make a lot of money in general, she's pretty sadly mistaken.

Average pay for MFAs in California

And I think that number of $58k listed is being pretty generous. That's assuming you can get a job with an MFA in the first place.

Edited by Golden Monkey
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My mother has always believed that college degree = $100K. Doesn't matter what kind of degree or what field. She believes this because her coworker's daughter went to college for something or another and earns a six-figure income. Well, since I didn't get the coveted hundred-thousand dollar job a year or two out of undergrad, she decided it was for my own good to go and get my master's degree in art. Knowing full well I don't want to teach (thankfully she doesn't pressure me to do that). What she fails to realize is that if I list my degree (and possibly degreeS) on any joe schmoe job application, I will most likely be overqualified.

Oh, thought of another thing I hate: Saturday classes. That's more of a minor peeve just because I like sleeping in on Saturdays if I can. And travel costs for the semesters where I need to go to here or there, shell out for hotels and food on top of the damn tuition. Since I'm totally just made of money like everyone else in the program. :rolleyes:I do like one thing about the school...free coffee in the art building (and it's very good). That's about the only redeeming quality. Even the professors who I've told I am enrolled against my better judgment try to encourage me to stay (yeah - greedy pigs want their $$).

I've seen several of your posts on here... and I understand you may have been influenced by your mom for undergrad but... why are you still doing everything she says like you're a hcild?

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I know several people like you, who constantly insist on playing the victim. Until you stand up and take responsibility for yourself, you probably will continue to fail. It's impossible to succeed when you blame others for your failure.

Many people on this forum have attempted to help you and give you advice, which you have ignored. At this point it is difficult to feel badly for you when you insist on doing nothing to help yourself.

This may be harsh, but I have never been able to feel sympathetic towards people who do nothing to help themselves. As a strong, independent woman myself, I have never been able to put myself into their shoes and understand their thought process.

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This may be harsh, but I have never been able to feel sympathetic towards people who do nothing to help themselves. As a strong, independent woman myself, I have never been able to put myself into their shoes and understand their thought process.

I even understand the thought process. I had a parent who pushed me to go to the major they wanted and walk on the path they wanted for me. Midway through sophmore year I realized how much I hated it (which clearly the poster has already done), and what did I do? I swtiched. Was my dad pissed? Yes. Did he get over it? Yes. Is he still a dick about it? Yes. But I'm happier and that's what matters.

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