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View Poll Results: Stay or pay?
Stay, focus on school. 17 80.95%
Stay, focus on riding. 0 0%
Stay, focus on riding and beer. 2 9.52%
Pay, focus on doing stuff I wouldn't otherwise. 2 9.52%
Voters: 21. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-24-08, 07:17 PM   #1
Corcis
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So, Foo - College: Stay or pay? tl;dr

Foo,
I've been in college since Fall 2004 til now, possibly into the future. But, Foo, I have yet to get a degree. I have yet to get my butt in gear. I took a semi-break from college the year before last (worked for Winter and Spring quarters in 2007) because of this. I'm back at it now and doing perfectly fine in my classes.

What I'm worried about right now is what will happen if I don't have that desire to complete the courses, if they're not my kind of courses. I also will have to deal with the Financial Aid department. They say I am taking too long - fair enough, I am. So I will have to apply, every quarter, to get an exemption from the time limit for financial aid.

What makes this a dilemma is that a friend back home has the info on a great job. I make a very respectable hourly wage during the summers, better than overtime at min wage. She's making half-again as much as that. Training is paid for by the employer. Good benefits. Vacation time. (gods...I'm 22. I've never HAD a job with vacation time.) Opportunities for work abroad.

What makes this difficult, Foo, is that I just found a group of people that utterly kick ***. They're my school's biking team. They are, to say the least, supportive. I'm far from an athlete, but they welcome me and are encouraging me and, I feel, helping me a lot. I love riding and, moreover, I love riding with them. I came in only intending to ride road last year, but didn't. They did succeed in convincing me to do a cyclocross race and now I'm riding in the local series. One of them is trying to convince me to ride track up in Burnaby. I'm doing road racing in the spring, come hell or high water. And there are nothing but words of encouragement.

What it comes down to is this: I can stay, get a degree and ride with the best people ever OR I can get my loans paid off, figure out what I want to do, travel a bit more freely, and relax for a while. Which would you do and why?
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Old 10-24-08, 08:54 PM   #2
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It all boils down to finances. If nearing the limits of student loans, focus on graduating. If you can hang in there, its better to stay in school until the economy picks itself off its prat.
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Old 10-24-08, 09:13 PM   #3
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Stay in school. Don't do drugs.
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Old 10-24-08, 09:34 PM   #4
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Stay in.. Finish school. You can ride and travel anytime.
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Old 10-25-08, 11:28 AM   #5
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Finish.
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Old 10-25-08, 11:36 AM   #6
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Without a college degree in today's economy, you'll never find a decent job.
With a college degree, you'll never find a decent job either.

It's your choice.

Where's "back home"? I've heard there are a couple of nice mountains and a half-decent ocean in Bellingham.
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Old 10-25-08, 12:02 PM   #7
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A college degree allows you to pass a filter, where not having one means that your resume gets chucked in the round file before it even sees human eyeballs.

This is why I'm finishing up college. A CS degree has little to bear on what goes on in real life, but without it, I don't even get a letter of interest. To be honest, a BS degree is pretty much what a high school diploma was about 10 years ago. For a shot at serious stuff, it seems employers consider a MS a must for even entry level stuff.
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Old 10-25-08, 03:50 PM   #8
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How much are you into it now with just a little left to go? Dropping out would be pissing that investment away. Finish, get the paper, then do what you want. You'll have more options to choose from, too.
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Old 10-25-08, 06:14 PM   #9
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i've been in college (undergrad) since fall 1992 - i've got one 2-year degree, though "only" 13 of the past 16 years have actually been spent as a full-time student. so i may not be the best person to get advice from.

but stay in and finish up. like others have said, it's not the degree that's important - it's having it.

a 4-year degree tells an employer that you can finish something. it also suggests a certain base level of time-management skills.

why aren't your courses interesting you? are you maybe in the wrong major program for your interests? maybe it's just that old end-of-college malaise setting in.

but yeah, get the degree. it's just a piece of paper, but it's an important piece of paper.
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Old 10-25-08, 06:37 PM   #10
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Absolutely get your degree. A college degree is quickly becoming like a high school diploma once was: the bare minimum to get a decent job in the US. It's the best investment you could possible make into your own human capital. The higher wages you'll earn over the course of the rest of your life will pay back the investment of of your money, time, and effort many times over.
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Old 10-25-08, 10:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhota View Post
i've been in college (undergrad) since fall 1992 - i've got one 2-year degree, though "only" 13 of the past 16 years have actually been spent as a full-time student. so i may not be the best person to get advice from.

but stay in and finish up. like others have said, it's not the degree that's important - it's having it.

a 4-year degree tells an employer that you can finish something. it also suggests a certain base level of time-management skills.

why aren't your courses interesting you? are you maybe in the wrong major program for your interests? maybe it's just that old end-of-college malaise setting in.

but yeah, get the degree. it's just a piece of paper, but it's an important piece of paper.
Wait, is that right? You've been a full time student for 13 years as an undergrad and only have an Associate's degree??
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Old 10-25-08, 11:19 PM   #12
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If you don't stick it out and finish school, odds are you never will. I'm all in favor of having a good time (I spent years doing interesting things and traveling about), but you will cut yourself off from a lot of opportunities if you don't finish.

Get your degree, then have some fun, and you can do your "serious" work later.
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Old 10-26-08, 02:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
Wait, is that right? You've been a full time student for 13 years as an undergrad and only have an Associate's degree??
Geez, full time is 24 credits a year here. At $100+/hr, you might as well have paid out-of-state for a top tier Ivy League.
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Old 10-26-08, 10:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiahh View Post
Wait, is that right? You've been a full time student for 13 years as an undergrad and only have an Associate's degree??
Quote:
Originally Posted by z415 View Post
Geez, full time is 24 credits a year here. At $100+/hr, you might as well have paid out-of-state for a top tier Ivy League.
yes, that's right. just a 2-year degree. and i've earned over 250 credit hours. but just because you've earned them, doesn't mean they hang together to make a coherent degree.

for example:
all the usual history classes, with some 300/400-level regional stuff
all the usual English classes, with 300/400-level English literature
lots of art history classes, some film theory stuff
biology, chemistry and physics (two semesters of each, with labs)
navigation (celestial and terrestrial)
law (business and maritime)
circuit analysis, drafting, programming (i'm on my seventh high-level language now)
foreign language (Spanish and German)

i may be dumb, but i'm well-rounded.

i've changed majors more times than i'd like to remember, and still don't know what i want to be when i grow up.

i've only attended three schools, though. but part of that changing schools/majors is credits not transferring.

i'm also retired. seriously. for twelve of the past 16 years, i worked full-time (sometimes for 80+ hours a week). when i left that job, they gave me a retirement check (which i took as a lump sum and rolled into my 401k).

did i mention i'm a Shellback as well?
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Old 10-26-08, 02:09 PM   #15
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Go for the college degree, man. Employers have bosses which need to justify hiring people. Degrees are easy for a boss to show to his higher ups, as opposed to "wow, he has great experience" talk and nothing to put on the table.
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Old 10-27-08, 10:31 AM   #16
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Stay, get the paper, ride.
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Old 10-27-08, 10:38 AM   #17
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The education will serve you better in the long run.
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