I went to engineering school
at Valpo. I think they have a very tough engineering program there. It was certainly tough for me, because I had to work like a madman to keep my grades up. While, this might be a good thing, meaning the school is very competitive. I question whether we really benefitted from being worked quite that hard. I graduated with good grades, but I can honestly say that I never want to work that hard again. I'm talking going all out every day plus the majority of the weekend. I went on to graduate school at Colorado State and it was so much easier, and more fun (more on that later). I received a masters in Mechanical Engineering
at CSU but now do web development for a living. Go figure. So, was all the hard work at Valpo. worth it. Good question.
Now, here is where Valparaiso really sucked for me. I'm no social butterfly
but I managed to have lots of friends and fair amount of success with the opposite sex in high school. Unfortunately, this came to an end at good old Valpo.
First of all, the chics there were on average some of the most unattractive I have ever run across. I don't know if this is a Midwestern thing or what but it was simply the truth.
Another thing is that I was very out of place there. I believe it was probably a combination of politics and religious beliefs and social class
. Having grown up Lutheran, I thought I'd have a lot in common with people at VU. Wrong. I consider myself moderate and open minded (of course everyone thinks of themselves as a moderate). Valpo. kids by and large a bunch of fundamentalists and if you don't have the same religious beliefs as them and like the same football team they do, you can pretty much forget about fitting in. VU people in general seem to be extremely clanish. Also, Valpo. is a bit expensive so there is a lot of money from Chicago there. I also believe this raises the brat factor to an abnormal level.
The fraternity thing is simply suffocating. If you're not the fraternity
type than there is almost nothing to do.
Now for some positive things, about a different place. Colorado State University is simply awesome. I think it was one of the best times of my life. I met my wife there and spent my free time biking, skiing, hiking, camping, and playing soccer and frisbee golf. I made more friends in the first 2 weeks than I did in 8 semesters at Valpo.
Sometimes people have bad times in there life and have to wonder if it is them. Fortunately, the problem isn't always you. Sometimes the place you are is just a really bad fit. So, if you are like me (see above to get an idea of what kind of person I am) stay the hell away from Northern Indiana, Valpo., and the Midwest in general.