You Know You Go to a Tech School When...

I don't know what a typical college campus is like. Everything I've experienced at Georgia Tech is apparently not normal for a university lacking "tech" in the title. I've compiled a few things I've noticed around school for your enjoyment on this slow news day. I'm working on a Customizing K2: Part 4 but that will take a while, I didn't think there was enough substance to the story regarding TDK shipping Blu-Ray media and I did not feel like analyzing the performance numbers of AMD's new socket AM2 processor. Here we go. You'd be surprised at how much I'm not exaggerating.

You Know You Go to a Tech School When...

Internet Related

  • There are more kids in your classes with laptops than without laptops. Your history professor has to be careful of what he says because Kurt in the front row with the iBook always has Wikipedia loaded, waiting to correct the professor.
  • Students have memorized the campus Wi-Fi (GTwireless) network's WEP key.
  • Campus seems twice as populated when the internet dies.
  • Students complain when the internet is slower than 5MB/sec.
  • You can see 47 wireless networks in your dorm when students are forbidden to have their own access points.
  • People don't ask "did you get her number" rather "did you get her screen name?"
  • Students (male) talk in real life like they do online. "That CS midterm was like total pwnage d00d."
  • When people talk about "getting out" the common response is something related to wardriving.
  • The network can be slowed to a halt when it's raining outside and everyone is online.
  • One of the campus bus' status can be tracked online so you know exactly where it is and know how much longer you can sleep in.
  • Housing officials are working on networking the washing and drying machines so you can check your laundry status online. Unfortunately, crashes occur and laundry gets locked in the washer.
  • An acceptable excuse for being late to class is "I was waiting for a download to finish."
  • Even the dining halls have Wi-Fi.
  • Facebook stalking is a popular hobby.

Gaming Related

  • The library holds a LAN party every year to welcome freshmen.
  • Your roommates can argue about the ethics of a videogame when put into the perspective of modern day reality for hours.
  • You know when there is a Halo LAN game being played because of the whole floor below you yells "TIMMY'S A TEAM KILLER @#*#@##*#%!!!"
  • Alcohol is bad because it slows down your reaction time in CounterStrike. Redbull is the answer.
  • Class is always sidetracked when someone comments on the latest game and the professor actually has something to say about it, as he is a gamer too.
  • Your professors know about Web 2.0, blogging and World of WarCraft.
  • When someone talks about your love life, you immediately assume they mean your character in the Sims 2.
Assorted Geekery
  • Everyone has a newer iPod, some sporting expensive Burberry and Gucci cases for them.
  • Computer Science class is actually enjoyable with the students in front of you watching a new movie everyday.
  • Asking the CS professor what polymorphism is results in a mass-mocking from the rest of the class.
  • People actually wear all those nerdy shirts you see on Think Geek. I'm guilty of that one.
  • Whenever a professor asks a question, at least one student yells out 42.
  • When the professor does something crazy, like wear a weird hat from Mardi Gras, 10 kids whip out their camera phones to snap a pic. The photos can be found on flickr minutes later.
  • Those same kids in your HIST2112 class made shirts with a picture of the TA's face on it. They wear them every friday.
  • Friendship depends on what browser and OS you use. Those IE kids get awful lonely.
  • Nerds are separated into classes by their gadgetry. The highest level nerd totes a Treo 700w, 60GB iPod video, an ultraportable notebook running the latest Gentoo Linux distribution, a PDA with a processor speed of at least 400MHz, a 1GB or higher USB thumb drive on their keychain and a bluetooth headset with an annoying blinking blue LED.
  • You always know what's happening on digg thanks to the kids in front of you in CS2260.
  • People have died taking up others on "I bet you can't live without the internet for 3 days" bets.
  • Most people have more than one computer.
  • Your friend welds and builds vapor phase change cooling systems for high-end computers in his dorm room.
Campus/Academic Related
  • Your professor and TA let you talk to them on AIM and give out their screen names in the course syllabus.
  • The bowl of free condoms at the health center is never empty.
  • The treadmills at the campus recreation center have TVs built into them.
  • Your campus is roughly 70% male.
  • Lecture hall seating is sporadic at best, with clusters of students sitting near power outlets.
  • Students switch majors every semester after realizing they can't possibly pass a certain required CS, ECE or other engineering course.
  • You are "insanely smart", or took many summer semesters, if you can graduate in 4 years.
  • The sand volleyball courts around campus are only used for warchalking in the sand.
  • When talking about your ECE course with a friend on the campus bus, the guy behind you corrects your comment about SR latches.
Paul StamatiouPaul Stamatiou

Paul Stamatiou is a designer, developer and photographer living in New York. He has been a product designer at Twitter since 2013. More »

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"You Know You Go to a Tech School When..." by @Stammy