Ret!

Asexuality and University

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Ret!

Next year is my last year of high-school and after a possible gap-year I plan on enrolling for University. Because of this I have been asking for the opinion of others around me for what courses I should take and all the other intricacies and differences between high-school and University. I still have a while to decide what I want to do, and whether I want to do this at all, but I would greatly enjoy taking a course on art theory / art history. Of the many people I have asked, I have gotten many different opinions. They range from saying that University is easy to claiming that it is the worst years of your life due to the stress. My mum dropped out of school at 15 so she can't offer me much help in terms of experience, but I feel like I've gotten every varied opinion humanly possible so far. Of these opinions there is one thing they share in common: University carries with it a strong exposure to sex and other such relationships. Is this true? I wouldn't be surprised if it is, but it makes me worried to know if a lack of interest in such activities would impede me socially (Even more than I already would be with Aspergers and ADHD). I'm not asking for a definite "Do this and that" answer, but this is a topic I would like some insight on in general.

 

(I don't know if college is different to university. I live in New Zealand if that offers anything.)

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Nowhere Girl

If you live in an academic city and don't have to live in a dormitory, studies need not have much impact on your social life. That's how it worked for me. I just took the bus or metro to university every day and spent all nights at home.

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Ret!
5 minutes ago, Nowhere Girl said:

If you live in an academic city and don't have to live in a dormitory, studies need not have much impact on your social life. That's how it worked for me. I just took the bus or metro to university every day and spent all nights at home.

Oh cool I didn't even think about that, the city the university is in definitely qualifies for that.

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Knight of Cydonia
7 minutes ago, Ret! said:

University carries with it a strong exposure to sex and other such relationships. Is this true?

I would definitely say "no". I've been in university for over 7 years now (through an undergrad degree and now a PhD), and that was never my experience, nor that of any of my friends or any of the people I've talked to.

 

9 minutes ago, Ret! said:

Of the many people I have asked, I have gotten many different opinions. They range from saying that University is easy to claiming that it is the worst years of your life due to the stress.

You definitely have to work hard, and first year is certainly a step up from high school so it takes more getting used to than other years (even if you find your last year of high school easy, don't underestimate what will be expected of you in university!). But I actually found my first year was the hardest, and it got progressively easier - partly because of knowing better studying strategies, but partly because you get more freedom to pick classes you enjoy rather than you have to take in the later years, and it's a lot easier to care about the class enough to put in the extra time.

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Ret!
2 minutes ago, Knight of Cydonia said:

first year is certainly a step up from high school

I figured it would be like that, it's the same from kindergarten to primary and then primary to high-school. In saying that, these are conversations I have only started having in the past 6 months or so. I really have no idea what I'm talking about :D

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Strifed

I went to school in America so school in your country may be different, but I still wanted to offer advice! If you're unsure about what major to pick up you can go in as Undecided and a major counselor can help you figure out what you like/don't like. You can also take a couple of intro to art history/theory classes to see if you like them. If they're not your style, you can head back over to a career/major counselor and they'll help you figure things out! There are also a lot of online resources like Bureau of Labor Statistics where you can click through different occupations and get a feel for what they do/salary/etc. I'd also recommend shadowing a professional to see how well you like a job. Just reading it online may make you think one thing, but being there in person is more helpful in making your decision.

 

This is just me, but I didn't have a great uni experience until my very last semester. Everyone is different though, the culture at each uni is different, and a lot of people in college have a really good time! It just depends on a lot of factors of what makes your experience awesome, meh, or just... not so great. I feel like when it comes to stress it's important to take breaks and give yourself some personal time or whatever activity you like to do that destresses you. A lot of schools have clubs/events so things aren't just "study, study, study!" all the time, and I recommend joining a club you're interested in!

 

To answer your other question, the unis I went to did have a lot of sex talk and relationship talk. It seemed like everyone was in a relationship, and sex was talked about a lot more than I thought necessary. Though this was the case I never felt pressured to do anything I didn't want to. You can always say no to people and if someone thinks you're a loser for not going to a party and doing the do, that's their problem. If you go to a big enough school, no one cares about what you're doing and after 4 years~ you don't even see half of those people you started going to school with for various reasons. If someone or something makes you uncomfortable you can always leave the situation too! One last thing, you might be surprised at the amount of people that aren't interested in those kinds of things either. I had a good friend that had zero interest in dating/men, just like me, and it was a huge relief. I can't say that there are droves of students that feel this way, but talking with her and having at least one person that understood was nice!

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Ret!
3 minutes ago, Strifed said:

I went to school in America so school in your country may be different, but I still wanted to offer advice! If you're unsure about what major to pick up you can go in as Undecided and a major counselor can help you figure out what you like/don't like. You can also take a couple of intro to art history/theory classes to see if you like them. If they're not your style, you can head back over to a career/major counselor and they'll help you figure things out! There are also a lot of online resources like Bureau of Labor Statistics where you can click through different occupations and get a feel for what they do/salary/etc. I'd also recommend shadowing a professional to see how well you like a job. Just reading it online may make you think one thing, but being there in person is more helpful in making your decision.

 

This is just me, but I didn't have a great uni experience until my very last semester. Everyone is different though, the culture at each uni is different, and a lot of people in college have a really good time! It just depends on a lot of factors of what makes your experience awesome, meh, or just... not so great. I feel like when it comes to stress it's important to take breaks and give yourself some personal time or whatever activity you like to do that destresses you. A lot of schools have clubs/events so things aren't just "study, study, study!" all the time, and I recommend joining a club you're interested in!

 

To answer your other question, the unis I went to did have a lot of sex talk and relationship talk. It seemed like everyone was in a relationship, and sex was talked about a lot more than I thought necessary. Though this was the case I never felt pressured to do anything I didn't want to. You can always say no to people and if someone thinks you're a loser for not going to a party and doing the do, that's their problem. If you go to a big enough school, no one cares about what you're doing and after 4 years~ you don't even see half of those people you started going to school with for various reasons. If someone or something makes you uncomfortable you can always leave the situation too! One last thing, you might be surprised at the amount of people that aren't interested in those kinds of things either. I had a good friend that had zero interest in dating/men, just like me, and it was a huge relief. I can't say that there are droves of students that feel this way, but talking with her and having at least one person that understood was nice!

Thanks for the advice, super helpful stuff :D

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Norellia

I don't know if my advice will apply much to a university in New Zealand, but I can try I can try to give my perspective a bit. So really the big change between high school and university is the teachers see you as an adult now. So you have more freedom but more is expected of you. College for me hasn't been horribly difficult, there will be some classes you may struggle in and have to study more for, but I did not find the difficulty level drastically harder that high school. It's more of just adjusting to how college courses work differently. For instance I took a level 1 and 2 art history and my big exams for the class was writing and in class analysis on a specific piece of art. After that the teacher would give us about 100 different art pieces that we had memorize by the end of the semester so he could randomly select five out of the 100 to grade us on if we knew them. It seems like a lot but we had the information from four-five months prior and some of my other art classes already taught us those pieces already. It's just learning how to adapt studying styles to how the teachers give tests. Some teachers may test solely on the book, some might be a hybrid from lecture to book, and others might just grade on lecture. Learn what the teacher grades and what information they like to put on assignments and focus on that. I would also advise to keep a planner and write down all assignment dates months in advance. I didn't do this until many junior year and wish I started sooner. There is a special feeling when a classmate asks when an assignment is due and you can pull it out of your personal planner like some sort of prophetic god.

 

As for the sex stuff, I literally never have experienced that at my school. Again I am going to college in the united states so there may be some cultural differences, but there still is that stereotype where college is hypersexual here too. Like I said earlier people in college are treated as adults, which means they are more mature. So people really are not flaunting their sex lives to the class room, and if they are most people are probably going to be annoyed by that.

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Ret!

@Norellia  Also very helpful advice, I'll keep the planning in mind for sure. I'm surprised and relieved to know that the hyper-sexual stereotype is nothing more than just that. Being able to stay away from people and focus on what I'm supposed to be doing is what I try to do now anyway. Socialising usually becomes a distraction for me

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Aebt

I live in the USA so I may not be a relevant source of info, but who knows, maybe I can be because I am in University now.

1 hour ago, Ret! said:

I have been asking for the opinion of others around me for what courses I should take and all the other intricacies and differences between high-school and University.

For me University, so far, is easy. Just keep yourself disciplined in scheduling and completing assignments, don't be afraid to ask for assistance, do what you need to do, and try your best. Luck does help somewhat but you can minimize relying on luck by studying some.

Sometimes professors will try to scare you with talk of how hard a class is, oftentimes that is ridiculousness designed to scare, most of the time ignore it. Always go into a class expecting some work, some fun, and all learning. Study as you need to, but do what works for you. Some professors or other university employees feel they have to hand out these "how to do well in university" pamphlets or talks that give recommended study habits. Sometimes they may help, but just like sexuality, you know yourself better than others know you. 

1 hour ago, Ret! said:

University carries with it a strong exposure to sex and other such relationships. Is this true?

In my experience not if you don't want it to. If you surround yourself with people who only seem to be in university for the sex then you will be exposed to it, if not then you will not be. There is little social pressure on you unless you want there to be. 

1 hour ago, Ret! said:

lack of interest in such activities would impede me socially (Even more than I already would be with Aspergers and ADHD).

Lack of interest in anything will not impede your socially. I am a very introverted, humourous, odd-mannered, and socially anxious human yet I have faced no social issues. Regarding Aspergers and ADHD, I know some students who have one or the other (maybe both, I don't really ask about it) and they face few social problems. Everyone surrounds themselves with people who will accept them so one rarely feels like they are missing out on something.

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Ret!

@Aebt I am now significantly less worried about university thank you 

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Tarvaa

I'm attending a London uni, which is very international and liberal in its atmosphere, so what I say may not apply to you. Furthermore, I'm one of the "older" student and commute from my own home, so can't say anything about the experiences regarding living in halls of residence. Depending on the atmosphere of your uni, you may get exposed to a fair bit of politics and activism, etc., but ultimately you choose what you want to join, same for societies, etc..

 

Art history is a nice subject and I've talked to various students at my uni about it as it overlaps with my ethnomusicology studies at times. Something you may want to consider is how often the subject of sex or imagery eluding to sex/nudity comes up in art in general, or your particular area of interest within the larger field of art theory/history. Would it make you uncomfortable reading or writing about that, or discussing art and its relations to sex/nudity? Often, in art, you may come across very veiled references to sex, like, in my studies, I may have to comment on a Cuban song that on the surface talks about a street vendor selling peanuts, but in fact, it'll have veiled references to sex. Sculptures or paintings are no different in their usage of symbolism, and sex/nudity is going to be virtually unavoidable.

 

Just my 2 pennies worth.

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Ret!
6 minutes ago, Tarvaa said:

I'm attending a London uni, which is very international and liberal in its atmosphere, so what I say may not apply to you. Furthermore, I'm one of the "older" student and commute from my own home, so can't say anything about the experiences regarding living in halls of residence. Depending on the atmosphere of your uni, you may get exposed to a fair bit of politics and activism, etc., but ultimately you choose what you want to join, same for societies, etc..

 

Art history is a nice subject and I've talked to various students at my uni about it as it overlaps with my ethnomusicology studies at times. Something you may want to consider is how often the subject of sex or imagery eluding to sex/nudity comes up in art in general, or your particular area of interest within the larger field of art theory/history. Would it make you uncomfortable reading or writing about that, or discussing art and its relations to sex/nudity? Often, in art, you may come across very veiled references to sex, like, in my studies, I may have to comment on a Cuban song that on the surface talks about a street vendor selling peanuts, but in fact, it'll have veiled references to sex. Sculptures or paintings are no different in their usage of symbolism, and sex/nudity is going to be virtually unavoidable.

 

Just my 2 pennies worth.

I'm aware that sexual themes are common in all forms of art, I'm okay with studying it from a thematic perspective (Why was it used, how was it achieved, what emotions were brought about by it's inclusion etc). I feel like I can do that without an expressed interest in sex (Or at least I can get used to it). It's the supposed constant atmosphere of sex that had me worried, but as you and the other people that replied have pointed out, it's just about who you surround yourself with

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