As many of my friends are starting to go back to college this fall, I am staying behind.
Some background first, out of high school (at age 17) I was recruited by a local city to run their municipal ISP as an “Paid Intern” for two-years and then head off to college with a scholarship from them too. During that period of time I “networked” with a lot of people and was fairly well known in the industry. I was really tempted to not go to school and forfeit the scholarship. I would have been starting out at $42K/year + insurance + PERS (retirement account with 8% interest, SO GOOD!) and that is basically out of high school. I already had a PERS account and 401K through the city as an intern, plus I had money invested in the stock market – I was doing quite well.
I also had the chance to go to the Caribbean for 3-weeks with my flight, food, and hotel paid for AND getting paid $200/day while working on this project. Sadly the project was in October and I was going to be in school.
School… George Fox to be exact. My sister went there for 4-years and got her Bachelors in Organizational Communications (part-business/part-communications – “exactly what businesses are looking for” according to her advisor) --- she didn’t have a job for 9-months after graduating. She finally got a job with a mortgage company, but she hated it, so she then got a job with Starbucks and worked there until this past month. Now she is a customer service rep. with CCLI making less than I did with the city as an intern.
Anyways, she really liked GFU, so I thought I would too. But I hated it to death! At every turn it was like a slap. My admissions counselor told me one thing while in reality it was something else. Orientation was a waste of my time with “group bonding games”. The first-year seminar class was a pointless waste of my evenings. I had teachers (yes, plural) that didn’t know the subjects they were teaching, I had teachers that couldn’t speak English, I had teachers that thought God was a woman, I had teachers that having been teaching for ages and don’t know how to teach anymore… I had a Jazz class that was not taught well and I suffered in it. In US History (Kerry Irish is awesome!) I started with a C and ended with an A-. In Jazz, I started with an A and ended with a B-…. “Understanding Jazz” shouldn’t have been hard. I love Jazz – but that class was horrible. I worked by backside off as a photographer for the newspaper… out of the 5 of us, I took the most pictures and was the most reliable, and not to be cocky, but I think my photos looked better. All for $200/semester. PSU photographers get that a month… I am not complaining too much – I was doing fine for money, but still, I spent a lot of time....
Speaking of teachers that didn’t know the subject --- I learned more about business during my two-day trip to Napa, CA for OSP:West than I did during the whole semester of Intro to Business. And OSP:West only cost $40 + gas/food….
That said, I also enjoyed college because of the people I met. While there are too many to mention, I will mention those that I talked to the most and are on my Facebook…
Not in any order and nowhere near complete, but I don’t think writing paragraphs about each of you publicly would be a wise thing…
I enjoyed talking politics with David K. (and talking about the issues with GFU)
I enjoyed talking about the outdoors and hiking with Rusty T.
I enjoyed talking about Jazz and business (fudge project), and our classes with Jeremy P.
I enjoyed hearing about marketing (who knew that different colors mean different things?) and talking about our horrible business class with Cait S.
I enjoyed studying and working (on the fudge project) with Konnie C. (and having coffee together)
I enjoyed working with Kristin G. and spending time together in class, etc.
I enjoyed talking with and spending time with Katherine S.So what are you going to do?
Well, I have been working at the city again this summer as the assistant to the guy who replaced me. There is a chance that I could start working there full-time next budget year (July 2009), but nothing is set in stone. There are a few jobs I am looking at that I am qualified for, but I am also working hard at my own companies and devoting more time to them.Will you go to college again?
Maybe… I might take online classes or I might go to an “adult” program that is only two-nights a week so that I can still work. That said, I don’t really think a degree is the best use of my time and money. It used to be that if you had a Bachelors you were special, now everyone has a Bachelors and you need a Masters to stand out. I went through (with some complex spreadsheets) and calculated the implicit and explicit cost of college (undergrad and grad) and then took into account starting wages and wage increases over time, etc, etc. All is well and good. Well, then I added in life’s cost… car, food, house, insurance, student loans, utilities, fun, savings, etc, etc, etc… Wow – it adds up fast! And you know what? Compared to what I would have been making if I didn’t leave and go to school (but have no debt) – I would be better off than someone leaving college… now that is for about 15-20 years.. after that things start looking better for the graduated. But you know what I have? Time and freedom…Well Scott, if you ever want a management position at a company you will need a degree…
Yup – I would… good thing I don’t want to work for some large company where I am just a number and not a name. Good thing I don’t want to work for large company with tons of office politics, etc. Good thing I don’t want to be a manager and have to deal with paperwork and employee issues instead of what I like doing.
No – I want to work for a smaller company doing what I like to do… OR I want to be solely supported by my own companies where I AM the boss.You are making a mistake that you will regret…
Maybe, maybe not… I am taking the road less traveled – but that is a risk I am willing to take. What separates a millionaire from a middle-class citizen? What is preventing that middle-class citizen from being a millionaire? Is it their education? I think it is their drive, passion, and will. Some people say “I will never be able to make a million a year” – why? What is stopping you?
Anyways – it is 12:30am and I am tired and have a sore neck… I hope to see all of you again (maybe more than once) during the year. My schedule is pretty flexible, so let me know!