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Discussion Starter #1
since I'm a junior in high school, I'm busy making my plans for the future now, and I would like to know who all went to college, and how you paid for it.

basically I'm interested in knowing if you feel like going to college was worth it, and how you managed to pay for it. because right now, I've got no clue how I'm going to do it.
 

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Kolledge?

Yeah, I went to college. Then watched high school dropouts make more money offshore. So I went into the trades. Never got rich, but I saw a lot of things, met a lot of interesting people, spent a big part of my life drinking and partying, had a lot of fun.
Paid for it myself, out of pocket. It's not as hard to do as they make it sound.
But....
While you are going to school, forget your social life and concentrate on why you are there.
Then again, I know plumbers that make $100K a year and have weekends off. Electricians and welders that all ride dressers and wifey drives a Lexus. I've met PhD's that work for peanuts because they are too stupid to put their book learning to work.
You can do good whatever route you choose. Personally, if I had it to do over, I'd look at one of the trades that are needed world wide, (electrician, welder, diesel mechanic, turbine repair, etc.), then let them pay me to see the world.
Life long vacation if you have the right attitude.
Good luck.
 

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Personally, if I had it to do over, I'd look at one of the trades that are needed world wide, (electrician, welder, diesel mechanic, turbine repair, etc.), then let them pay me to see the world.
Life long vacation if you have the right attitude.
Good luck.

That kinda struck home.. I thought about college and ended up going to work. I've always had a knack for fixing stuff, so I went from cheese factory maintenance, to welding, and so on and so on..

I kept my ears open and my mouth shut, except to ask questions. After time, I learned welding/machining/controls/ and with that, and some common sense, I've done pretty well for myself..

I've worked on paper making equipment all over the world, and am currently 2 months into a new job servicing fluid transfer valves.. (mostly food and drug)
The new job's got me travelling as much as the old one, which is enough to keep me busy, and not enough to burn me out.. I'm headed to The Netherlands next month for training on beer testing equipment, and so far, so good!!:)

The trick is to find something that you're good at, and also enjoy.. If college is something that that line of work requires, go for it..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The way I'm looking at it, a diesel mechanic is someone who will be needed for MANY years to come, and is also what I plan to get my education in.

there was a time I didnt really give a crap about school, then I dropped out and spent a year out of school, which helped me learn how to focus more on my education than the crap outside that.
 

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Mr. Paper? I are plumb jell-ous. Will you adopt me and take me with you? I am a h377 of a cook!

BOB? Go fo it. Twisting wrenches is better than sitting at a desk or living under a bridge. When you get to traveling, drop us a line and tell us about all the things we'll never see. Then come back and adopt me.
 

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Dear Mr. Paper, I make a mean BLT. Actually it's a BBBLT, (three times the bacon).
And my grandpappy owns a pig farm.
And my wife is named Petunia.
And I used to ride a hog.
In fact, two of my ex-wives are hogs.

Besides, you can't quit eating now ... no one likes a quitter.

I am still available for adoption.

Oh! And as an added bonus, I know a monkey wrench from a whatchacallit!

((((((BOB.... take note.... if you don't go to skool, you'll end up writing doofus stuff on forums like the rest of us uneddykated geezers)))))
 

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:)

Sorry.. I don't like bacon..:23a:


I can't adopt you.. My cat only likes me..

You don't want to live in IL.. It's flat..
 

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To each his own

Yes went to college, there was no question about that for me. The first two years my parents paid for it. My grades sucked. I took a year off, worked as a civilian on a military base. Went back to school, this time a much smaller one where I didn't know anyone. And I worked to help pay the bills. My parents still paid for tuition, everything else was on me. Rent, utilities, food, gas, toys, fun. Did much better the 2nd go around, graduated w/ honors.
With that said, is college for everyone. No it isn't. Will you automatically be successful and wealthy? No. Does is give you an opportunity to expand your horizons, meet some great people, learn about the world around you and all that good stuff? Yes. I wouldn't have changed not going to college. I would have changed my major, but that's another thread subject.
My wife, who I met in college, used student loans for her undergrad degree and her medical degree (she's a resident/doctor). Now we have over $200k in student loans. But she has fulfilled her dream of becoming a doctor and won't have to live her life wondering "What if...?". As for me, when she is finished w/ residency (2 more years) I plan to return to school to get my masters degree in science. Why? Because it will be a real challenge for me. I think just as you need to keep your body active you need to do the same with your mind. Follow your gut instinct, I've met people who are happy either way (college or no college). You can always go back if you want, my wife and I are proof of that. It's corny, but life is a journey not a destination.
 

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I am a college student so I will chime in with a little advice. You need to decide what kind of work you want to do, if it involves college then go to college if not then don't. College is not for everyone and if you don't go to college don't let anyone make you feel inferior or not as smart for not going. For me I did not want to go to college but I know that I want to be a veterinarian and I have to go to college for that. I am paying for my college out of my pocket, I work part time, take out loans, and my wife works. You can save a lot of money by living off campus. Don't go to college for the social aspect stay away from all that and study and work hard and you can make it. :)

P.S. I am in my senior year of undergrad just 4 more to go.:28:
 

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Go to college.

If you want to be a mechanic, get an engineering degree.

If you want to be a welder, get a fine arts degree and specialize in metals.

If you don't, at some point there is going to be some a-hole that doesn't do crap getting paid twice as much as you to showcase your work.
 

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With either college or learning a trade you will still have to pay your dues with time, energy, sweat, stress, and learning. Focus on what you're interested in (or what you can tolerate easier), not what might pay you more money, or you will get burned out and whatever time and effort you've put into earning your skills/degree will get flushed down the toilet when one day you decide you don't' want to do that anymore.

I went to college -- too much college -- a very specialized 6 year Mechanical Engineering degree combined with a year and a half internship. Since you're from New Port Richey you should be familiar with University of South Florida in Tampa which is a state school quickly climbing in academic rank. Their in-state rates are very reasonable compared to a lot of universities. There are boatloads of grants and scholarships available, but you will have to start researching those now before you get to senior year. I made it through USF on an academic scholarship to cover tuition expenses, and my parents and internships covered living expenses. You might consider going to community college for 2 years to get your Associates of Arts degree because: 1) its cheaper than a major college or university, 2) you can see if you can tolerate more schooling, 3) having an AA with decent grades makes transferring into 4-year colleges easier since you have already proven you can stick it out, and 4) community college gives you time to feel out what you might want to do without having to fully commit to it like at the university level.

Alternatively I agree with the other guys that you shouldn't feel compelled to go to college if your interests don't require it. Almost all of my friends are tradesman (electricians, carpenters, machinists), and they ALL made more money than me as starting engineer. The only problem you will have with the trades living in Florida is that there is virtually no Union power, so its unlikely you will be making the $30-$40 per hour like my tradesman friends back in Chicago unless you move North. The good point is that if you become a skilled tradesman, you can generally make a decent living most anywhere.
 

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B.S. Degree Here

Is college for everyone. No it isn't. Will you automatically be successful and wealthy? No. Does is give you an opportunity to expand your horizons, meet some great people, learn about the world around you and all that good stuff? Yes. I wouldn't have changed not going to college. I would have changed my major, but that's another thread subject.
+1

In High School, Going on to more schooling was a given; I never considered Not going. That in mind, it was a question of "what for?" I decided on something I loved to do. I'd always been into the outdoors, rock and ice climbing, backpacking, etc., which ended bringing me into Recreation Resource Mgt. as a major. However, being flogged for four years with schooling on something that's always been just a hobby with me ended up making me lose a bit of interest in that which I had enjoyed for so many years. Not to say that it "killed it" for me, just made me not enjoy it as much.

So, it might sound like this is a textbook example of a "wasted" college education. I don't feel like it was wasted at all. All of the social experiences, higher learning, and just raw mental excersise, all are still with me today.

Like JoMoKLR said, I would have changed my major if I did it over again, but definitely would still have gone. :35a:
 

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Cornell and UNC, degree in engineering. Get one of those and you can go any where you like and get a job. I like the fact that I get paid to break stuff. The big thing is when to go, if your smart, your going to go right after school so that your still in the groove so to speak. If money is an issue. Grants are available. If you think you'll have more issues, join either the military or the coast guard and let them pay you to go to school. Yes, the Coast guard, they have the same pay and benefits as the military, just not as many bullets flying your way right now.
 

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I like Gunny's answer. Considering the cost of college these days a hitch in the military and the GI Bill can really be useful. And not only for the money -- the increased maturity you will have when you do start college will put you ahead of many of your fellow students both socially and academically.

I started college just after HS, and back then was able to cover the costs at a state university with summer jobs and by working at school in a cafeteria and as a lab assistant. But it wasn't much fun with no cash to spare. Uncle Sam was kind enough to invite me to his war in Vietnam when I graduated with a BS, and at that point my real education began. After the service I went to graduate school on the GI Bill and it was a hell of a lot nicer than barely scraping by like before.

As to the NECESSITY of college, as others have said it depends on what interests you. Choose a career path first, then decide what credentials you need to get to your goal. If you really don't have any consuming career interest right now (or by the time you get out of the service) college is a good place to find your interests since you can sample a lot of subjects. A general course of study keeps your options open and, of course, a college degree will open many doors that -- fairly or unfairly -- are closed to non-graduates. I ended up with a career unrelated to either my bachelor's in zoology or master's in linguistics, but without the degrees I probably would not have been considered for the job.

Whatever you do, don't be seduced by the money. There isn't a salary in the world large enough to compensate for the lifespan wasted at a job you hate.
 

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mab nailed that last part. even if you love your job, don't let it be your life, I spent a few years working an enormous amount of OT, yep, the money was great but I had zero time for myself or my family. Stick to the 8 X 5, you'll like yourself a lot more when you have time to decompress.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I can fully understand the idea behind having a bit of time for myself. honestly, I enjoy OT pay, but at the same time, it takes away from time I'd rather spend with someone I care about, and time better spent at home enjoying a nice evening.

the good ole 8-5 job is all I need, if I can get by on what the pay is, and enjoy what I do within reason, thats ALL I need from a job. no sense working in a job you hate no matter what it pays.

I regret leaving my school board job now. had good benefits, a great boss, alright pay(good enough for a high school teen though) and I could have easily gotten by on it. plus conveniently enough, to get to work, all I had to do was go to the school.
 

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I can tell this much. As a licensed plumber, working in the trades is a rewarding career. I take pride in a job well done. Not every day involves a dirty toilet or a plugged drain. Also not every day is digging ditches. It can be very physical and very delicate. A wide enough variety so you never get bored. However like was posted earlier you have to keep the mouth shut and work. Any employer will work you a year as a laborer to see if they want to invest time and money in you as an apprentice. In wisconsin it is a 5 year program that includes day school, night school, and work hours. You are under a contract with the employer and your pay raises during your apprenticeship are a certain percentage of journeyman scale. Nothing wrong with college and nothing wrong with any skilled trade. From HVAC to steam fitter to plumber to fire sprinklers:character00271: to electricians. I am glad to have chosen plumbing. The possibilities of weekend work are endless if you need a little extra cash, think about how many houses you see on your way to school. Everybody has a faucet that needs fixing or a water heater to replaced. Keep that in mind if you decide on a trade.:character00271:
 

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Good thread and opinions. Here's mine.

First, learn a skill or trade. You can always go to college. I did when I was 30. Worth it? Dunno. I don't look back very often.

I do know that if you have good mechanical or construction skills, you'll have the luxury of being able to walk away from any job that doesn't suit you.

One path that no one has mentioned is anything in the technical medical field. Your skills will be portable and very much in demand. You can pretty much work where and when you wish.

Another is a military career. That's not a popular option today but, if you have the stuff, it can be very rewarding - not just while you're active, but for the rest of your life with a guaranteed income and medical care (I can't even guess what the medical care alone is worth). Dangerous - yes, but logging, commercial fishing and many other active vocations are probably more so.

Good luck.
 
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