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Computer Science
Bethlehem PA

The Decision to Stay

Jeff Maher on Monday, 19 February 2007. Posted in Co-op, Coursework, Majors & Minors

As I approached course registration (which was a couple of weeks ago), a pretty big decision was resting on my shoulders: Should I leave RIT? While Computer Science is a 5 year program, if you stick with it and take 4 classes per quarter, you can really graduate 1 or 2 academic quarters early. In my case, I'm officially done with my graduation requirements as of March 1st.

Despite this, I really want to stay in Rochester for another 3 months. The town and the campus have been more of a home to me than any place I've ever lived and the people here are like my extended family. Why would I want to leave the town and my friends early?

So I set it in my mind to find something to do in order to stick around and still cling to my full time student status (which also lets me stay in my on-campus apartment). Two options are available: take more classes or go on a local co-op. At first the co-op option was the one that I pursued. After a successful run at my full time job search, I figured getting a co-op would be a piece of cake (with me essentially being a graduate). I sent out a few resumés and got instant bites. Nevertheless, most fell through because the companies wanted 6 month co-op students and I need to start my full time job over the summer. In the end, I did land a position at a local telecommunications company for 3 months.

Only after I did the interviews did I really take the class scenario more seriously. To my surprise, RIT began offering a journalism minor this year and enough of my Communications minor overlapped that I'd be able to get it after a single quarter's course load. Before coming to college, I knew that I would either be working with computers or would be a journalist. When I chose RIT and computer science, the only downside to the college was that there was no way for me to explore my journalistic side. However, that's changed (albeit late in my career) and I have the opportunity to grab that minor just in time. Furthermore, my financial aid and scholarships will last until the end of spring quarter.

Long story short, I turned down the co-op offer and will be returning for one last quarter at RIT to take strictly journalism classes. The time that I have left here is still short and I know I'm ready to move on to bigger and better things. However, I'm happy that I have 3 more months to enjoy the place I've come to love.