you and your job... (in Off-topic)

Jason Bourne May 29 2005 6:46 PM EDT

i was thinking, since im a senior in highschool in just a few more weeks, i should start to figure out what i want to do with the rest of my life soon. however, i can not find a job area that interests me and pays well, or that i dont need 10+ years of schooling for.

since most people on here share the same past time as me (duh) and most have similar interests, i figure if they like it, i will to...

so who out there likes their job, gets paid fairly well, and what do you do? what did it take to get there (what should i do) and what is your typical day like?

thanks guys, this would mean a lot to me, cause im in the panic stage of planning now :S

SBW May 29 2005 6:49 PM EDT

I like my job. I'm a highschool student and it takes an elementary and middle school education to get there. You know what a typical day is like. I get paid food and shelter. =P

BrandonLP May 29 2005 6:53 PM EDT

Seriously, college will be your best friend. The people you meet, the atmosphere, the maturing, the learning, etc. will all combine and shape the person you're going to be the rest of your life. I really suggest just looking into something that interests you. If you like math, pursue a math major. If writing is your passion, get a degree in English. But if you think that you're going to walk out of high school with a diploma and just get a job that "pays well" for that, you're wrong. It has taken a lot of hard work, a lot of studying, and a lot of maturing for me to even land this position I currently have with IBM. Trust me, school is important. It also gives you at least four more years to somewhat be a kid. ;)

Nixon Jibfest May 29 2005 6:57 PM EDT

Undergrad will be the funnest 4 years of your life. Don't waste by thinking about the future. well... think about it a little bit.

Undertow May 29 2005 7:01 PM EDT

Yah, I missed college, so did most of my friends. Some like me, were just plain lazy, others couldn't affoard it.

There's a line from some countryish song that sings about a girl that gets by on "Dreams and spagetti-O's." That's all my friends. 3 or 4 to an apartment, working Wal-mart, Pizza Hut, Jewel (Grocery Store), or the like for under $10/hr. Just scraping by.

Don't be like that. I get the feeling from your post your more looking for a school goal though. I'd say, until you know, focus on Gen Eds. Get your required courses out of your way.

After that, I recommend business. Leave school, take what you love and turn it into a business. My boss own the pizza place I work at, and if I had the money to invest, I'd open my own after seeing him do it. Business is not complicated. In fact, it's really really easy to understand, it just takes dedication. But after that, it's your own hours, doing what you enjoy. No boss. Good times. Hard work.

Will [Retired] May 29 2005 7:04 PM EDT

Im in the same position, only on the other side. Im just about to graduate in the next month. Being a fresher rocks, just remember not to live at home ;)

Mags May 29 2005 7:05 PM EDT

I'm a researcher for two different corporations, one from Japan and one a consortium of higher-ed research institutions. I love what I do, make more than I need, and have the opportunity to influence the world with my ideas. While I'm setting the direction of an entire industry in one job, the other is my chance to debate theories and gain knowledge from some of the very sharpest minds in the world.

I dropped out of high school, and I just turned 23. I'm lucky to have been in the right place at the right time, spotted by a hotshot out of Princeton, after gradually working my way up from the CU physics lab at $5.15/hr at the age of 17. From there I've just been blessed to have the skill to take advantage of these opportunities.

What BrandonLP says is fairly true. College these days is, broadly speaking, a total joke; it's nothing more than an opportunity to get variously messed up for four (to six) years. I'm a strong believer in vocational schooling, but the liberal education is dead because fields are simply too deep and knowledge too developed at this point to raise a new Erasmus or Da Vinci. My friends who went through college are generally having a very rough time of acclimating themselves to the thought of a real career where they actually have to do stuff. :P

If you want to know where the opportunities will be in the coming years, the BLS is curious about the same thing. I'd highly suggest looking there.

Jason Bourne May 29 2005 7:12 PM EDT

some people have caught it, but i should have made myself a little clearer.

im in school, and im looking for jobs that people like to do outside of school (after i graduate)

im currently interested in creative writing and i like to design storyboards and videogame pathways but i dont like to code and i cant draw well. im also interested in car design but the art side isnt there for me. i dont know if there is a job out there where all i do is come up with creative ideas for games (where i dont program or design them) but that would fit me best.

will jobs in these ares give me enough money though? i just want to have cool stuff when im older, and not live at home :P

anyone else have jobs they like?
and what schooling did you take to get there?

AdminJonathan May 29 2005 7:15 PM EDT

No, you won't find anyone looking to hire you fresh out of high school (or college) "where all i do is come up with creative ideas for games."

Jason Bourne May 29 2005 7:29 PM EDT

hmm, that is unfortunate...what would you suggest i do if i have talents in creative writing that would net me a good cash flow?

newspaper, journalism? start my own magazine? <--(that actually sounds kinda fun :D )

BrandonLP May 29 2005 7:33 PM EDT

We have a Communications major at my college that sounds right up your alley. Look into a similar program wherever you're from.

Mags May 29 2005 7:34 PM EDT

It sounds like you want a career sculpted around what you want to do and what you enjoy. That's not a very likely path to success. Look at where the jobs will be -- the BLS tells you -- and go there. Do the stuff you love on your own time.

The game industry in particular pays really awful salaries because there's always a fresh crowd of starry-eyed kids who would give anything to work on games.

Mags May 29 2005 7:39 PM EDT

To respond to BrandonLP's comment, in my experience, very few people who get communications degrees actually end up doing anything related to communications, and they rarely have a job at all. To quote from a University's communications degree advertisement page:

"Communications is not intended to be a professional degree. Rather, it is a liberal arts degree which, like all Communication & Culture major programs, emphasises a generalist approach to knowledge. Therefore you will not receive specialised training in media production (broadcasting, journalism, film, etc.), nor training beyond an introductory level in public relations or organizational communication. Rather, you will take courses that emphasise a critical perspective on communication as a cultural process."

"What can I do with an undergraduate degree in Communications?

An undergraduate degree in Communications is much like an undergraduate degree in any other non-professional area such as Philosophy, History or Anthropology: by itself it guarantees little, but it can be turned to advantage in a wide variety of areas."

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] May 29 2005 7:58 PM EDT

I am currently preparing to get into my last year of High School doing my Advanced Levels (UK).
I already know what I want to do and where I want to go and think that have chosen a good choice for job spaces also.
I have always been a numbers person so thought it would be a good idea to look towards routes of Finance and also have been very good when it comes to Business so thought would diverge into that at a later date.
So I have decided to look into doing both a Chartered or Management accounting degree (need to do a lot of research into opportunities) as well as Business Management.
This is probably not going to be the most fun of career areas but it is what I am good at and is very good pay if done right which are my motivation right now.
I was mostly drawn by the amazing pay and opportunities around, so many spaces within Finance right now people are in demand degree level trainees start on £19,000 pa which is roughly $25,000-$30,000 pa and can easily go up to £40,000 pa ($70,000-$80,000 pa) with few years experience so I see this ideal for me.
But I will just suggest that you start researching options available toYOU! as soon as possible, what subject matters are you best at now? what do you enjoy? what do various college courses require?
I suggest going to college or University as a degree will put you up the ranks of credibility straight away when applying for jobs.
But I say this, you should be researching yourself and not asking us, it would be wrong to base your career path on our information.
You need to establish openings in different fields.
You need to revise your current standing to see where you could be in 10 years time
Find out about different colleges and universities and respective courses which you may like to take and take note of requirements.
FINALLY don't panic and just make sure that you be as close to #1 at this level as possible.

Kilobot571 May 29 2005 8:00 PM EDT

I downloaded RPG Maker 2000 adn i sold the first 'game' i made for it on e-bay for #50 USD. It's fun doing what i like and getting paid to do it, though im only in 7th grade

BrandonLP May 29 2005 8:18 PM EDT

Hmmm, that could possibly be because I'm from a public liberal arts school. ;)

Really though, at my college, our communications program is not half bad. If you're majoring in it, you're required to be on the staff of the campus newspaper. Not only that, but they attend all sorts of major journalism events and functions around the US. Most of them have gone on to lead really good careers. It just all depends on the program at wherever you chose to study.

Maelstrom May 29 2005 8:19 PM EDT

I'm studying towads my Masters in Computer Science, working as a researcher, and teaching courses. I've been studying at University for 6 years now, I'll probably be studying for another 4, so I guess it's not really what you're looking for.

However, I get paid for thinking about weird math, and for tormenting (err "teaching") first year students. It's perfect for me. As for pay, well, it's not the best, but I'd far rather do something I enjoy for little pay, than to get paid a lot for doing something I don't enjoy.

LumpBot May 29 2005 8:22 PM EDT

I teach Martial Arts, I've been teaching since 14. I love every minute of my job, and every day is different. The pay sucks but the fact I'm a "local Celibrity" is awesome. But...unless you've been doing it for a while, you don't stand a chance. I recomend teaching as a profession. Teaching is a wonderful experience if you pick the right age group to teach.

Jason Bourne May 29 2005 9:43 PM EDT

i cant teach...i have no patience...

"what do you mean u dont know the answer?!?! 2+2 is 4!" bah...i cant do it...

CooperTX May 29 2005 11:36 PM EDT

Do a comic strip, I have seen plenty of comics that have sub-standard drawings but witty writing, and it is creative.

As general advice...

For the first couple of years of college go to the old community college. This is for a couple of reasons:

1. It's cheaper

2. It allows you to get your basics out of the way relatively easily as compared to a four-year college (in most cases).

3. It's an easier transition from High School to community than High School to 4-year.

4. It gives you time to figure out what you want to do. You would be surprised where your interests lie even 1 or 2 years out of High School, they may not be where you thought they'd be.

5. See 1

While you are at college...

1. From my experience it is better to take night classes. The students are more serious about their education as many of them have full time jobs and pay for college themselves. You also have profs that are more laid back generally, as some of them also may have day jobs teaching High School or some other job that is within their scope of teaching.

2. Get on the school newspaper if you like to draw and write, as I stated above, combine those interests into a comic strip for the paper. It will look good on a resume and you may make contacts that will serve you later in your search for a job.

3. Make time to blow off steam. Now this does not mean doing Keg stands every night or Frat Parties 3 times a week. Just try to make time for doing nothing or going out with friends to eat. If you won't have a job while at school this will be easier, but if you do have a job, it will be more necessary.

4. If you do go to Community College, have an idea what will transfer to schools you may want to attend, find this out before you sign up for them. It sucks to take a class do all the work and pay for it, then find out it doesn't transfer.

5. If you can, find out as much as you can about a prof before taking them, and don't necessarily listen to people that say the prof is hard. Most of the time the people who say that didn't show up to class, or didn't pay attention when they were there. Talk to students who do well, and you will find out the true story.

6. Don't take Friday classes if possible. This is just a rule of mine.:)

7. If you do go to Community College then transfer, don't let the 4-year college deny you transfer credits without a fight. When I transferred from one college to another I was denied transfer credits in several cases. I went to each department I was denied in and talked to the heads of the departments, in almost all cases I got the credits approved.

8. Do not buy any books for the classes until after your first class. Sometimes the prof is different than who was posted and they want a different textbook, and in some cases, some of the books that are listed at the bookstore are optional.

9. Try to balance classes, what I mean is that if you take a writing heavy class (reports and such), balance it with a relatively easy class that just requires reading and study for exams. Also never take more than 2 intensive writing courses in one semester, they seem to always time major papers due simultaneously.

10. GO TO CLASS. I know some days it will be the last thing you want to do, but if you skip class you will have to:

A. Do the work anyway without the benefit of the

B. Deal with the fact that most profs hate perennial
absentees, and will not give you any break at final grade
time if you are absent alot.

C. Break the habit of skipping class. It is habit forming and
before you know it you are way behind in many classes.

11. There is a difference between kissing up, being on good terms with a prof, and being a pain to the prof. Be on good terms with a prof. They can't mark you down for being a pain, but they sure won't go out of their way to help you out if you are either. Sometimes you get a prof who's a real jerk, deal with it, we all have. Just be at class, pay attention, and take the notes. You will get through it.

I hope this helps a bit. If I think of anymore free advice, lol, I'll post again.

Jason Bourne May 29 2005 11:48 PM EDT

wow cooper...that helps a lot going to print these off :D

BrandonLP May 29 2005 11:50 PM EDT

As a side-note to what Cooper said, don't buy the books from the bookstore either, unless you like paying (in some cases) 300% mark-up. He's right though, if you go to college, make it a habit to be at every class every day. Don't be like me and go to College Algebra and Trigonometry 5 days out of the semester. Granted, I'm a math minor so that stuff was easy, but once you get in the habit of skipping classes, it's usually a downhill slope.

Arorrr May 29 2005 11:53 PM EDT

The best advice that you can ever get from my college experience:

Find a job on campus. It pays for both your time and sometime you can study while working. Just don't apply for jobs like janators/cashiers.

Best job: lab tech at odd hour shift. You make a lot of friends and you can spend most of your time studying for schoolwork.


CooperTX May 30 2005 12:00 AM EDT

Another few:

12. Stay with school, once you quit it becomes really difficult to go back. Full time jobs tend to make you have a full time job lifestyle. It becomes really hard to go back to school when you have a budget that can't afford it.

13. Do not sign up for the credit cards on campus. They are all rip offs and the free crap they give you for signing up is just that, crap. A free tote is not worth 22% interest and a bankruptcy 5 years down the road. I would in fact never get a credit card if possible, they are a temptation, especially when you are running low on cash.

14. Try not to do student loans. They will consume your income after you graduate like you wouldn't believe. It sucks entering your life with a huge debt. You can in many cases get grants that don't have to be paid back if you sign up for as many scholarships as possible, in fact if you haven't done that yet, start now and don't quit. FAFSA (Federal Application for Free Student Aid) is a great one in that they will almost always give some money.

Nixon Jibfest May 30 2005 12:10 AM EDT

I'll add a few more things to Cooper's list:

1. Don't take night classes. The students are more serious about their education as many of them have full time jobs and pay for college themselves.

2. Take psychology and sociology classes. That's where the pretty girls are and where you'll find out about parties on campus.

3. Don't walk into your final exam an hour late smelling like beer and cigarettes and looking like you just got back from gambling all night in Atlantic City.

4. Take a philosophy class and every time you're called upon, just say "I think that's a really interesting notion which seems to contradict the opposing train of thought." See how long you can get away with that.

5. Live on campus your first year in a dorm. That's where you'll meet your main group of friends most likely, and possibly friends for the rest of your life.

6. If you have a hometown honey, forget about it.

College is the funnest four years you'll ever have.

Jason Bourne May 30 2005 12:11 AM EDT

i forgot to mention that im also fairly good/interested in construction. im taking a class on it next year, and i currently hold a job with a general construction contracting company. i was wondering what you guys would think of going into Construction Management, what the pay would be like, versus going into a math related career (im starting to hate math)

CooperTX May 30 2005 12:16 AM EDT

I'd have to disagree about living on campus. It will be your first year out of High School, you will be tempted, very tempted, to screw off if you live on campus or on your own period. I know it sucks but your parents will help hold you in check when you feel the fickle fingers of fun pulling you away from what you need to do for school. I've seen a few full scholarship students their first year in college lose their scholarship because they flunk not one or two but all their classes. Party hardy catches up...

Mags May 30 2005 12:20 AM EDT

Listen well to CooperTX, great advice. I never went the college route, but if you're going to, that's the right way to do it.

I'm getting very sick and tired of America's current trends in ambition and desire. It's summed up in a phrase I've heard more than once: "pointless careerism." It's going to catch up with a lot of people once Daddy's money runs out, but we're rich enough as a society to live off our assets for a few more years yet.

BrandonLP May 30 2005 12:30 AM EDT

Number 6 on Jib's list rings all too true with my situation two years ago. ;)

As a PLC (President Leadership Council) scholarship recipient, I agree that living on campus is for the best. Yeah, you've got the party temptation, but if you can't keep yourself under control enough to pass classes after being guided by parents for the first 18 years, another year isn't going to help. Living on campus also solidifies a bond between you and other students. We use it as a retention tool seeing as how once you bond and identify with other students from the school, you're more likely to stay there and do well.

Nixon Jibfest May 30 2005 12:39 AM EDT

Seriously, I believe strongly about living on campus for both academic and social reasons.

First, the vast majority of freshmen living on campus do NOT goof off and fail. This can easily be proven by looking at how many new sophomore's there are each year.

Second, freshmen need to learn entire new studying and living skills to adjust to academic demands. Those that live at home are not likely to develop new study habits because they'll be doing exactly what they've been doing while they were in high school. While living on campus, he'll have several other peers to study with and consequently develop better skills.

Third, it's better to go through the adjustment phase during freshmen year then sophomore or junior year.

Fourth, freshmen commuters rely on old high school friends for socialization. Who are these high school friends that didn't go away for college? I'm not sure but regardless, i'm sure he won't be studying with them.

living on campus has so many advantages. It's easier to study all night. The library is more accessible. You can get together with other members of your class just by knocking on their door. You don't have to worry about mowing the lawn, parents telling you to do stuff, etc.

CooperTX May 30 2005 12:47 AM EDT

The library isn't accessible if you don't live on campus?

You can't study all night at home?

Hmm, free room and board if you live at home vs. rent and etc. while living on campus.

You can schedule study periods for you and your classmates, thus helping to develop time management skills.

Mowing the lawn - good to take your mind off of school for a bit while working those muscles that waste away while in class and doing homework.

Listening to your parents - you find as you get older they had more good advice than you thought they did at the time. They aren't (in most cases) trying to tick you off, they are trying to help you be the best you can be. Think of it this way, would you want your kid to be a failure? I wouldn't.

Nixon Jibfest May 30 2005 12:49 AM EDT

Cooper, did you ever live on campus?

Mags May 30 2005 12:55 AM EDT

Graduation rates have ranged between 60% and 65% in the last 10 years. 1 in 3 students never even gets a degree...

Undertow May 30 2005 3:56 AM EDT

Coopers list is good. And I'd like to emphasize:


You want to know what I learned in CC? How to shoot pool, and the ins and outs of tekken tag. Yah, I walked out one of the best Tekken Tag players on the planet, but I'm also 22, live at home, and deliver pizza. Although I DID pull a managment shift last night......... at $6/hr.

CoolWater [Superheros] May 30 2005 3:58 AM EDT

Interesting topic. Nothing beats the high school years.
I have a reasonably good job in Point Of Sales field.
Came out as a computer management graduate and did a few contract job with Fujitsu dealing with their Point of Sales system for supermarket and other retail shops. After 1/2 year, landed a permanent job as POS Field Engineer installing Point of Sales equipment in most major petrol stations (or you call it gas station in US) and some other retail shops. Pays reasonably well and work at my own hours as long as it's 8 hrs a day.

If you have a contract job right after high school, I suggest that you take it and after 1 year or in my case 1/2 yr, you will easily get a permanent job base on that experience.

QBJohnnywas May 30 2005 4:04 AM EDT

Soul, just my two cents: get as much education as you can. I've got a pretty good job, paying pretty well. But, I left school quite young adn it's taken me a long time and lots of hard work climbing the ladder. Meanwhile graduates with good degrees are walking in at my level and higher with little or no job experience. Work hard early on and it pays off later. You won't get any decent job without an education or a massive amount of hard work. I wish I'd continued my education.

Best of luck! =)

CooperTX May 30 2005 10:04 AM EDT

Did I live on campus? No. I knew many who did, and while most did alright, there were more than a few who didn't. Now there are a few good reasons for living on campus; getting some insight on living 'on your own' somewhat, and the fact that you may be able to participate in a few more activities than you would if you were home, but I think overall that living at home outweighs those reasons...

Here are the practical reasons for living at home:

1. If you have to pay for college, why waste extra money on room and board if your parents are willing to help you out? If that means a few measly chores around the house so what? I'd rather mow the lawn and take out the trash than pay upwards of $300 - $500 a month in rent, groceries, etc.

2. If your parent pay for college, why should they have to foot the extra bill so you can be 'independent,' like you would be if your parents are paying. Parents have a life too, and I bet they'd like the extra money they'd be spending on room and board going to things like cruises and other vacations. Realize, yes they are people, people who have interests other than paying bills;)

LumpBot May 30 2005 10:13 AM EDT

I can say this much on Dorms. I didn't live in a dorm my first year, my best friend did. I'm much more outgoing and have a lot more friends normally. With him in dorm he made roughly three times the friends, and did much better than I. In dorms you just meet people all the time, I had to introduce myself to strangers on the street to do the same so I recomend dorms. At home I just play CB all the time instead of studying =P

Todd May 30 2005 10:20 AM EDT

I'm an engineering supervisor. Part of my job is to I hire engineers and designers. So, I can tell you only what I see from my perspective.

Get a post high-school education. Period. You may get lucky someday and find a job without it, but, a college+ education is pretty much a given in most jobs that pay well.

I'd suggest taking an aptitude test to see where your skills and interests lay.

BrandonLP May 30 2005 10:44 AM EDT

Cooper, Jib and I are arguing that the social value and the academic value (not to mention independence, time management, "relaxation" management) far outweigh the benefits of living at home. Honestly, without you having an experience with living on campus, you can't put up much of an argument. It is a VERY valuable experience that pales in comparison to the price you have to spend on a dorm. I live in on-campus apartments that were built three years ago and I only pay $325 a month. Trust me, the three other guys I live with (4 bedroom apartment, don't get any ideas =P) are half the reason I stick around. Heck, the other day (without my knowledge) they decided to tow my car to an auto shop owned by one guys dad, spend a day tearing down my engine, replacing a head gasket, and fixing it all back up. You can't tell me meeting/living with people like that can be outweighed by saving a few bucks and living at home.

Max May 30 2005 11:20 AM EDT

Become a rock star, dude.

Click here for a demonstration

AdminJonathan May 30 2005 11:39 AM EDT

+1 to Todd's aptitude test suggestion.

If nothing else it will help you focus your thinking more.

QBBast [Hidden Agenda] May 30 2005 11:43 AM EDT

Get a 4-year degree. I don't care if you intend on being the guy that gets NEA funding for life to stand on his head 8 hrs. a day in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Go to college. At the very least you'll be a better reader, thinker, decision maker, communicator, and (most importantly for me!) voter.

Being one of those "communications majors", I don't use the degree I earned, but I can get any job that requires "a bachelors degree". My current job pays twice what I would be earning had I stayed in communications. It's not a career, but it pays the bills presently.

I also vote "live on campus". I'm a long way out of college at this point, and my best friends in the world are still the people I lived and worked with on campus. Yes, it was expensive. Compared to the total I spent, I definitely got the most for my investment out of dorm life. And then apartment life. There's just no comparing the financial burden to what you get from keeping your own curfew, feeding yourself, doing your own laundry, leaving for class and locking the door behind you while your roommate is off in the shower, etc.

As for your parents having more to do than pay your bills -- that's true. Pay for college yourself. :)

CooperTX May 30 2005 11:53 AM EDT

I very much dislike the statement that if you haven't done it then you can't have an opinion. It's like saying that since I haven't been in politics I can't have an opinion on policy. Since I haven't been in jail, I can't have an opinion on the state of jails in this country.

My opinion is based on people I have seen at school who have lived on campus, and once again, I said that many did just fine and perhaps they may even benefit greatly from the experience. My OPINION is though that the practical side should have some bearing on this. I don't know about any other college student, but $325 a month wasn't measly to me at the time, and that doesn't necessarily include all the extra things that go along with rent, like food, utilities, amenities for the room, etc. Hey if you are made of money I guess that's not a problem, but if you have a limited resource of cash, I'd much rather save it for:

1. Tuition
2. Books
3. A downpayment on a home for when school is over
4. A car

And that's only if YOU have to pay for college yourself. If your parents are flipping the bill, then my thoughts on that one still stands. Sowing your wild oats and 'having the college experience' on your parents dime, when you could save them a bit of cash for their retirement, or for your siblings education, in my OPINION, is typical of the ME mentality that is too rampant today. But then again it is my OPINION, and as you stated I really have no idea what I am talking about.

Max May 30 2005 11:53 AM EDT

Now I feel bad about my rock star response.

Try this for an aptitude/career test...

AdminJonathan May 30 2005 12:04 PM EDT

Ellis was my freshman roommate on campus. Just think: there may not have been a CB today if I had lived at home. :)

BrandonLP May 30 2005 12:37 PM EDT

"I very much dislike the statement that if you haven't done it then you can't have an opinion. It's like saying that since I haven't been in politics I can't have an opinion on policy. Since I haven't been in jail, I can't have an opinion on the state of jails in this country."

You have a clever way of twisting around what I said since all I said was that you couldn't put up much of an argument. Notice how all that people that did live on campus are highly recommending it. I never once said you couldn't have an opinion, but you're also trying to explain the reasons for not doing something that most people tend to call a positive and maturing experience when you haven't done it yourself. Please try to keep this to a constructive discussion. Thanks.

Bolfen May 30 2005 1:11 PM EDT

Try interning or volunteering at different jobs. If you see people at work, you can decide better whether you want to pursue it or not.

I was interested in law...until I interned at a law firm and saw how it worked (both for firm and non-firm lawyers).

CooperTX May 30 2005 1:22 PM EDT

I had been keeping it constructive and using facts. If you disagree that is fine and you are entitled to your opinion. To say that someone can't put up much of an arguement is the same as saying they really can't have an opinion, you have discounted their opinion by saying that their basis for the opinion is not there, it's semantics.

I think it is great so many here have had constructive and meaningful experiences living on campus. I, however, had an opinion that living at home may be better, and I stated the reasons why. I based my reasons on observation of people who did live on campus and basic common sense facts, i.e. it's cheaper to live at home. Your reasons did not necessarily refute my reasons as mine did not necessarily refute yours. They are just different reasons on different sides of the issue.

Nixon Jibfest May 30 2005 2:05 PM EDT
In 1973, Gates entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived down the hall from Steve Ballmer......
-- The other way of looking at that is "In 1973, Steve Ballmer entered Harvard University as a freshman, where he lived down the hall from Bill Gates ......"

Ok. Living at home may be financially practical. now get past that and listen to what everyone is saying. The home is a very sheltered place. A person living at home is limited to growth because the student living at home won't have the opportunities to meet the wide variety of people that someone living on campus does on a 24/7 basis. Commuters hang around during class hours but so much more learning and experiences happens after class hours while on campus. For some reason, you seem to be only pointing out the negative consequences (too much partying, etc). I had a very good social life in college. Weekends were great. Yes, there was quite a bit of drinking, but during the week, almost everyone i knew who were slammed the previous weekend would be busy studying Sunday night through Thursday.

For a lot of people, college is the first real place where they network for future jobs. Four of my good friends (from the same hallway freshman year) work at the same company. One of them got the job first and left the door open for the other friends. Another good college friend of mine was promoted to a new job, and it was no coincidence that the person that took his old job happened to be his roommate.

Living at home is practical in the short run but perhaps living on campus is more practical in the long run.

BrandonLP May 30 2005 2:11 PM EDT

"To say that someone can't put up much of an arguement [sic] is the same as saying they really can't have an opinion..."

In no way are those two things even related. If you wish to argue semantics, please look more into what I say rather than arguing 1/2 of a cup is the same as 3/4 of a cup. I appreciate your point of view on the situation, but much like you seem intent on trying to twist my words, I'm intent on clearing up misconceptions. Perhaps your friends didn't succeed because they didn't care about college. Perhaps they had no ambition. Perhaps they partied too much. Whatever the case may be, it's probably not going to change with another year at home.

Tezmac May 30 2005 2:12 PM EDT

I got my mechanical engineering degree here a few years back. During that time, even though I had a full ride and actually got paid every month to go there, I worked at a computer repair company part time (~25 hours a week). Not only was it a great job and a great break from school, I gained a lot of experience that got me my job I have today. I do mostly computation fluid dynamics but I'm also the system administrator for our office a two others. You never know where your part time summer work will take you!

As to the living on campus vs. not, I think Cooper is way off base, especially having not done it. If I could go back and do it again, I'd still eat ramen for most of my meals so I could live on campus as opposed to living 20 minutes from school with my parents. I wasn't in a frat, but I made many lifelong friends who I still see when I go on travel to various places. I would not have passed a few of my classes if I lived at home. I can think of many nights where my roommates (5 people in an on campus apartment for 3 years) and I helped each other out with homework. No way I could have done that at home, or I would have had to meet up with a study group with a schedule to keep. I could get up at 8:15 AM for my 8:30 classes, throw on sandals, a hat, a t-shirt and shorts and just run out the door. How can you honestly beat that?? The gym was free for students, so I could just walk over any time I wanted and get in a pickup game, lift, or go swim. You meet so many more people that you wouldn't meet just going to class. People that lived in my hall my freshman year have gotten me job interviews out of college that were fantastic. I have a couple friends that I keep in touch who are artists. They still to this day send me free tickets to the symphony and give me the heads up when good art will be in the local galleries. I would have never had this benefit if I had just gone to class and hung out with engineers. As you get older it seems to be more of who you know and not what you know, and if you have a large academic social base you can take advantage of for the rest of your life, why not provide yourself a way to do it?

Special J May 30 2005 2:20 PM EDT

Stay out of business reguardless of what you want to do. No matter the side you are on in a business, back end or front end, it involves too much stress.

That is unless the money you are making is going in your pocket directly, being your own boss is a nice twist, but even with that comes a lot of stress.

Avoid retail like it is the plague, it will suck you into it's trap of deception.

Nixon Jibfest May 30 2005 2:24 PM EDT

#1 reason for living on campus (for me): I have a place to stay in almost every part of the country.

LumpBot May 30 2005 2:26 PM EDT

For 100K a night, Nixon, you can stay in my guest room =P

CooperTX May 30 2005 2:27 PM EDT

I appreciate what everyone is saying about staying on campus, I just had my two cents in there (once again stating that), I originally just posted to help SC out with some advice, that's what it was and that's the value it had. I responded when I thought that there were some things that I believed were not entirely accurate, i.e. you can't hit the library as easily if you live off campus and such, and I responded when I thought it was necessary to defend my thoughts and opinions. I was not 'trying' to twist any words, I was going with what I perceived had been said.

Brandon, I don't know why you feel the need to attack my friends (though that is not who I was talking about), but I think that with your next comments I'll leave you with the last word.

BrandonLP May 30 2005 2:31 PM EDT

But what you perceived and what was actually said were two totally different things. I didn't mean anything against the people you knew who lived on campus. I just threw out a few "perhaps" phrases. I'm not in any way trying to insinuate that those things are true, but that they might true. I'm honestly not trying to attack you in any way, but you chose to pick my comments and turned them into something they weren't. That's my only reason for continuing to point out your posts. I honestly have nothing against you. I appreciate your outlook and views from the other side of the philosophical fence.

Tezmac May 30 2005 2:35 PM EDT

Going back and reading Coopers tone of "Hey if you are made of money I guess that's not a problem" nonsense, there are many ways to refute what he says. If you live on campus, you wont need a car and insurance. In fact, depending on the area in which you live, you could take the bus or the train wherever you needed to go. I was lucky, one of my roommates drove me to work because it was on the way to his. The money you would spend on books, supplies, etc is easily overshadowed by having to pay for gas everyday to drive to class as well as car insurance and a parking pass and the dreaded 20 minute search for a parking space. There are so many financial aid (dont read loans, read scholarships and grants) opportunities at a univerisity you have to be either unaware of them, or too lazy to get one. Especially if you are so hard off that you're worried about being a burden on your parents. With my part time job I was able to save a decent chunk of change and after college I moved back home with my parents for 3 months while I worked at a new job, did nothing but save, and bought a nice new home. Everything comes down to choices and what you prefer, but I can't imagine the hundreds of thousands of people living on campuses worldwide every year are making their parents miserable and wasting their money.

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] May 30 2005 3:13 PM EDT

Just a little info about the way I went.

From early on I creamed my GCSE's (Er, 11-16 for the US folks). My parents pretty much pushed the idea of university on me. It wasn't anything I was agaisnt though.

A levels came, and to tell the truth, I rebelled. I found cars, beer and girls. Plus the fact I could stay at home, my art teacher dispised me, and my history course sucked. Big time.

I scrapped thorugh. I applied for uni, but had failed every entry requirment I went for. I was distrought. My family was there for me in a way I didn't expect.

My first choice Uni (and not for the fact it had 7 bars on campus..) took me unconditionally. It was a shock to both me and the Uni. I Did pure maths, personally I think they had a vast shortage of maths students that year..

As for further education, do it. It's not just for the qualification. Hell I'm in a job I love, that pays well, that has nothing to do with my maths degree. I have friends who left school at 16, have worked up through company ladders and now earn more than me. (I have friends who left school and are now window cleaners, who earn nothing near me as well...) Unless you choose a degree course specifically to get into that profession (accountancy or what not..) Your degree won't help you get a job. Your interview technique is MUCH more important.

What further education (the type where you live away from home) will do is give you a social eduation. It'll drop you in the deep end. Having to fend for yourself, on a limited budget et all, will do more for you than the qualification you get at the end of it. Not to mention the social development you'll gain. And the fun.

Have fun!

Besides, if you REALLY need a qualification you find out you don't have for a job you absolutly must do, take a night course inadult education to get it while you're working a job you can get.

Unless you don't want to earn money, you're never going to do a job you love. Win the lottery, and you'll be able to choose the things you love to do as a pass time. Other than that, be prepared to work in crappy places, for crappy money. :P

Use your crappy works internet access to pass the mundaneness of your job by playing CB!

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] May 30 2005 4:59 PM EDT

Well although I haven't experienced it yet I would advise on living on campus.
When I go to Uni, I plan on staying on campus mostly for the fact I am planning on a Uni too far to stay at home being Oxford/Cambridge, England or Bristol, England but also I know that even if I was to go local I would want to live on campus, I know that if I were to stay at home I would carry on with a high school lifestyle and continue to slack off and living in then around school without family pressures I think I would be more motivated to work rather than sleep, play games, eat and generally grow fat :P
Anyway SC this is your life, you need to figure it out for yourself :)
Yes ok view other peoples experiences and wishes but try to only take in the advise not follow it, to become a decent adult you need to learn how to get through life yourself and not on how other people say you should, I bet they didn't tell Bill Gates to start Microsoft when he was in Uni :D

Jason Bourne May 30 2005 6:31 PM EDT

thanks everyone for their valuable input...
i have taken the aptitude test as suggested by max, and it came back that i am best suited for:
1) writing
2) sales
3) science

i also found that i might enjoy a career in real estate. anyone in this business? they seem to make good money, and ive always liked the field.

i also found out what i HATE:
1) teaching
2) clerical (stupid desk jobs...)
3) healthcare/ patient care
4) outdoors (imagine that)

i would like to thank everyone here for all of their oppinions and help on this matter, and i think i have some direction now. i have decided to intern at a real estate place over the summer, and find out if this is something i would like to do. thank you all again :D

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] May 30 2005 8:51 PM EDT

Nice to know you have found some direction thanks to our help :)
Oh and I took the aptitude test Max gave and what do you know it said I should be in Admin and Finance :)

Zoglog[T] [big bucks] May 30 2005 8:53 PM EDT

Although aptitude tests are easy to sway on what you think you want to do, you already say you want to be a designer just answer like that.
So they really are more useful for those with very little or no direction in life.

Undertow May 30 2005 8:55 PM EDT

Sounds like you'd be a good pharmacudical rep. Obviously that's misspelled.

Nixon Jibfest May 30 2005 9:04 PM EDT

majority of pharm reps are smokin hot females with free tickets to sporting events. Ranger can confirm this.

Jason Bourne May 30 2005 9:56 PM EDT

where do u live nixon?!?!?

the majority of the reps here look like my grandmother when she hasnt taken her meds...

QBRanger May 30 2005 10:20 PM EDT

Here in Florida, the Pharm reps are very pretty women who use their beauty to their advantage.

Nixon Jibfest May 30 2005 10:22 PM EDT

my guess is that doctors your area look like your grandfather.

WeaponX May 30 2005 10:25 PM EDT

anybody got a ticket to a Florida pharm?

Jason Bourne May 31 2005 12:23 AM EDT

im with you megaman :D
im moving to Florida!...hey ranger, know of any pharmacy openings lately? :P

Reebok May 31 2005 10:50 AM EDT

My only advice is, if you've got the cash (either you're own or your parents') go to school. And stay there. A lot of the time businesses aren't so much looking for what you have a degree in, but whether or not you have one.

The job market is pretty crappy right now (my local Wal-Mart isn't even hiring), and every advantage you can get will help. I was laid off (permenantly) from my job a month before I was going to start tech school, and didn't have the funds to make it all the way through, and finding a job is so hard right now. I've actually thought of applying at fast food restaraunts lately.

So yeah, if you're worried about not knowing what to do, just get the general ed classes out of the way, and buy the time you need to pick electives you'll have a better idea of what you like.

Max May 31 2005 12:43 PM EDT


Way back in the 90's I worked for Jack In The Box, Burger King, and a failing movie theater. (At that time I never graduated Hgh School. I was a drop out.)

I decided that I should get my High School diploma and took the bus every day for 2 hours to Glendale, CA. I graduated after a few moths. (Not a G.E.D.)

Later, I walked into a Marine Corps recruiting center and signed up. Yes, that fast. Most everyone I knew said I was making a mistake. They said that I would get stuck behind some .50 Cal (Which I did at times but only when necessary)

I signed up as a 3043 (Supply Admin) I figured Supply would be cool. I wanted M.P. or Intel but my background check wouldn't allow it :P

I aced the ASVAB test and when I went to boot camp and became a special tester. Anyway...

During my Marine Corps years I was trained as a Natural V2 Programmer. I programmed the supply system for the SMU aboard Camp Pendleton. I was lucky enough to get formal schooling in various network infrastructures. Interconnecting Cisco Networking Devices, Microsoft, Linux, Banyan Vines, Exchange, etc. I also attended college in my off time. I graduated too. At the tail end of my stint I even attended a Police Academy.

My point is this, if you get stuck, join the Marines! I don't think it gets any better than that. Free school, college graduate, police academy graduate, 4 great years, MGIB, my pension, etc.

BTW, pharmacy techs don't have anything on AUSTRALIAN Women! Woot. :) (Eh, or any foreign women for that matter.They just loooove Marines.)

Jason Bourne May 31 2005 12:55 PM EDT

marines eh. if i were probably going to go into service, id go air force. thats what my family has mostly gone into, if they have gone into service.

plus it wouldnt be so bad to get stuck in hawaii with cable in your room :D

Yohan May 31 2005 2:23 PM EDT

I went to a Liberal Arts school for 3 years dual bio/chem major. I realized about 20% of graduates get jobs in this area and average salary for the 1st 10 years was about $28 grand a year. I looked into vocational schooling and found a communications tech program (phone/ip/data) for 2 years cost me 6k to go. Started mid 30's and now make 75k a year after 6 years in the business.

It is not a passion but now I have the means to run my own business and am branching in to real estate. Hopefully by the time I am 35 I will have no need to work for anyone but myself.

Vocational education is not sexy but many many companies are leaning towards hiring for specific trained skills. If you can give up your dream job for a few years to get a good base financially you are apt to be much more successful at achieving your goals.

House June 2 2005 6:27 PM EDT

they all speak rubish...NEVER EVER LEAVE HOME..the world is a big icky scary place....suck up to your parents and siblings so you will always have a place to stay.......if you don't like the weather at your current location, you probably have a realitive living in a more suitable climate..suck up to them, then move in.......Don't forget..The real world is very SCARY and MEAN...never leave home..stay where it is safe...

Nixon Jibfest June 2 2005 7:24 PM EDT

Black dog... don't you have a few step kids you'd like to get out of the house?

House June 3 2005 1:51 AM EDT

yes I do, but I tell them lies about how wonderful the world is......with chocolate syrup hi-ways and gingerbread houses every where...and all the nice nice people that will just give them stuff if they say please and thank you ....
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