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Author Topic: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?  (Read 903 times)

oldhat

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Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« on: March 28, 2006, 03:49:07 PM »
Hey, right now, I'm trying to pick between USC and Vandy. If Vandy matches the money USC offered me, I'd be very tempted to accept at Vandy because it has a better reputation and the degree is more national than USC's. Plus the atmosphere is supposed to be laid back, the campus is progressive and I m not looking forward to spending another three years in LA. I'm looking for a pretty campus and a collegiate feel. Vandy is supposed to be beautiful with lots of trees with a mild climate that I think I'd like.

Anyway, I doubt I'll be able to visit Vandy before the deposit is due. Would it be crazy of me to accept sight unseen? I've never been to Nashville but I don't see how it could be worse than LA.

oldhat

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Re: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2006, 05:09:46 PM »
Bump.

mjca83

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Re: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2006, 05:15:02 PM »
I would be wary of choosing where I'll be for the next 3 years without at least visiting.  Why can't you visit?

oldhat

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Re: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2006, 05:16:10 PM »
I would be wary of choosing where I'll be for the next 3 years without at least visiting.  Why can't you visit?

No time before April 15th. Maybe I should catch a red eye and head out there for a weekend...

EDIT: Maybe I'll just put money down on Vandy and hold a spot. USC doesn't require a cash deposit until May.

mjca83

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Re: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2006, 05:25:38 PM »
Yeah if you can afford to lose the seat deposit, I would do that.  After visiting law schools I really felt more comfortable at some over others.  It's just a couple hundred dollars anyways, which pales in comparison to the cost of law school anyways.  But if you can catch a red eye, you could get this process over with, and potentially open up a seat for someone else at either USC or Vanderbilt. 

l1lshady0

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Re: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2006, 05:48:34 PM »
I'm writing a fair bit here, but since we're both from LA, and I just got back from a trip to the South, hopefully this will be of some help.

I would strongly encourage that you visit, even if that means putting down a deposit at both schools and visiting sometime thereafter.  Not that visiting is going to give you any real idea about what it means to live there.  A visit won't expose you to the people nearly enough for you to know how they think, what views they have, what issues they deal with on a daily basis, what opportunities are there, etc.  However, it will allow you to see more superficial things like the campus, the town and how convenient it is, and even give you an indication about lifestyle, expenses, and the energy of the place.

I went to school at UCLA, so I definitely know what you mean about LA... it can get suffocating at times.  However, after having lived in and visited a good number of other states and countries... southern CA really is pretty damn nice.  I used to feel exactly the same as you, and sometimes I even still do, but after having travelled so much, I came back around almost full circle... SoCAl is pretty damn nice.  Are there other places I might still choose to live instead, especially while I'm young? Hell yes (altho the South probably isn't one of them... if anything, probably more like Miami, New Orleans, or possibly Atlanta than Nashville, though I haven't been to Nashville).  But in terms of having a nice comfortable lifestyle, as well as possibly settling down one day... socal is up there.

But I do think you should visit Vandy before you make a decision... I'm guessing that Tennessee, Vandy, and the South in general is a whole different bag of chips, the nuances of which will take years of living in to fully realize. I just came back from a visit to Tulane, and I got a glimpse of all this... and had I just not gotten into Fordham, I'm not sure I'd be any closer to a decision on Tulane.  Even though I visited, I came away with pretty mixed feelings, which is what I would guess might well happen if/when you visit Vandy. Some things will be good/better, others will be bad/worse... but it will definitely be different and that's something you should at least get a hint of before you  dedicate 3 years or more to it.  Even though I can't speak intelligently about the South, my short 5-day trip there show'd me a few things... that it's a very different culture from the west coast, and that's something you have to be fully prepared to accept if you go there.  And I don't know about Nashville, but NO, Katrina notwithstanding, was not at all as rich or convenient as CA, and the people obviously had a different mindset, for better or worse, than us Californians, who in many ways identify more with the North than with the South.  To tell you the truth, I met many nice ppl in New Orleans, but I could also tell that some ppl, not necessarily from NO but from Alabama/Mississippi/etc. had sort of a strange reaction/look on their faces when I said I was from CA... I don't want to say they have an inferiority complex or anything, but it almost seemed like it put distance between us, as if they took a step back and got more reserved, like they weren't sure if they could trust me or something.  Then again, that is the stereotype... and I can't say 100% that I experienced it there... but I think I got a hint of it.  Perhaps a bit of that was also on my side... when I went to the visiting students day and met ppl from Alabama and Mississipi, honestly, I found it a little hard to relate to them and at times felt slightly uncomfortable.

All this being said, I'm sure you're tired of the stuck-up LA attitude like I am... so.... whatever.  Anyway, the point is, visiting will give you an idea about the place whereas right now you really have zero.  You could look at making a decision to attend there sight unseen as a gamble... it may be great, you may hate it... most likely you'll be somewhere in between, but if the first time you go there is one week before the start of class... well, you're going into one of the most important decisions of your life completely blind!  Alot of the ppl on this board seem to look at law school almost purely as an investment, and in my view, that's a mistake.  Of course that's a big part of it, but I wouldn't overlook where those three years or more of your life are going to be spent, because regardless of whether any of us realize it or not, they're going to be very formative in not only how we view the law and our careers for the rest of our lives, but they're going to form our very identities as people as well.

However, if it's the case that you have lived in CA your whole life, I would strongly recommend getting out and seeing something different... the experience is invaluable.  I guess I should say sorry, after spending 5 minutes reading this, I know I haven't given any definitive advice, but hopefully at least I got you to think about something you maybe hadn't before.  Good luck with everything!  

l1lshady0

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Re: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2006, 05:59:20 PM »
Oh just wanted to say one more thing...

like my dad always tells me, who spent his 3 years in law school in SF, the place where you go to law school may well end up being alot more than just 3 years.  From the sound of your post, it seems you want to do three years there and then go elsewhere, since you mentioned it's national reputation being better than SC's (which I agree with by the way.)
However, getting back to my dad, what if you end up getting involved in a serious relationship there?  What if, by some strange twist of fate, you find that after three years you've actually laid roots there, built connections there, or... who knows what might happen there in 3 years and find it very very difficult to leave, and not necessarily because you love it there?  Are you going to be comfortable spending, say, the next 10 years in Nashville?

It's definitely something to consider, cuz my guess is, it happens all the time.  Not that I'm saying this  is a bad thing... it may end up beign a great blessing... but you should think about it.  Trust me when I say that it's very difficult to just up and move from a place after you've lived there for a number of years, and then go elsewhere and just start your life over again.

Anyway, the point is: Visit!!!!

oldhat

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Re: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2006, 06:03:21 PM »
LiLShady, thanks, excellent points and post.

I left my heart in San Francisco, it's the city I love the most...pretty upset I didn't get into Boalt.

l1lshady0

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Re: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2006, 06:24:08 PM »
I feel you on Boalt... not that I applied there, but it's pretty ridiculous when the difference between getting in and not is 3 LSAT questions... a 168 and you're probably in there.

XelaWho

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Re: Accepting at a school sight unseen (USC vs. Vandy)?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2006, 02:12:15 PM »
I'm kind of in the same situation as you except with a small reverse.  I have just lived in Nashville a few miles from Vanderbilt's campus for the last 3 years, and I am trying to decide between USC(and I have never been to LA), Vandy, and Notre Dame.

The best idea is to visit, but if you can't, here are a few things on the area (warning: I am biased towards how much I like Nashville):

Vandy has a beautiful campus with great facilities and lots of stuff to do nearby and a great downtown that is not too intimidating or large.  You will need a car b/c public transportation is virtually zero in Nashville.  Supposedly they have a good graduate housing but I have never seen it.
The campus is pretty progress and open-minded, but Nashville is fairly conservative (though for the rest of the south, it is more liberal).  Remember it is in the Bible-belt.
The weather is great.  It snows maybe twice a year and it usually melts the next day.

If you can't visit and wan't to know anything about the area, just ask me.