I would have graduated college this week...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jared_B, Jun 26, 2002.

  1. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    It's funny how one can always look back on their life and say "what if I did x differently".
    Graduation week has brought some mixed emotions lately. If not for one small decision four years ago, I'd be standing on some stage somewhere receiving my diploma right now.
    Summer 1998 - I had just graduated high school, and was signed up for going to the University of WA and living in the dorms. At the last minute, my girlfriend and I decided we would move in together. It was a tough decision that drastically changed both our lives. For the first year and a half, I went to school full time while working 35 hours/week to get by (she worked full time, and had no plans of going to college).
    We eventually saved up enough to buy our own house, and soon after that I was offered my first non-retail job (IT contractor for a fortune 500 company). About this time I stopped going to school full-time, and started taking night classes. My wife also began taking night classes, as she had started an entry-level position in marketing and wanted to move up. Oh, and we also found time to in there somewhere to get married. [​IMG]
    Today we both still have permanent jobs in the industries we want to pursue, and we're still going to college part-time. It sometimes feels as if we’ve gone as far as we can on ambition and good looks, and the lack of a diploma is holding us back. At the current rate, we both have about 2 years until we finish our BAs. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I had gone to stay in the dorms. The way I try to look at it, is we took advantage of times were jobs were easy to find with little formal education. With the economy the way it is now, it seems that we are better off than our classmates who are graduating this month, but have no work experience. It has been pretty tough for people fresh out of college to find work lately.
    Do I think I made the right decision back then? Well, there is no right or wrong decision. I do wonder what would have happened, but I don’t have any regrets. I think it’s good to look back at things one has done in the past, just to reflect. I think the important thing is that I wouldn’t change anything if I could.
    Any similar experiences, or comments?
     
  2. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    boy, i've got you beat by a long-shot. [​IMG]
    i went to college for four years. at the end of my fourth year, i only had approx 20 units left to take. that would have taken me an additional six months to finish.
    for some ungodly reason, i stopped going to college. i never finished those 20 units. i never graduated. can you beleive it? only 20 units, and i let it all go.
    that was about 10 years ago. i only recently investigated the possibility of graduating...even the admissions counselor i talked to was like, WTF?
    now that's what i call a really really STUPID mistake.
    at least you now have a wife...that's definitely worth something! [​IMG]
     
  3. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer
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    ared it's not as if you stopped going all together and heck you are only two years away from graduating.

    I say congrats to you and yours. Sure you are taking a little harder route to graduation but hang in there and get it done. In the end it says quite a lot about you that you are working full time and still going to college.

    Like you said once you do graduate you'll have something that many new grads don't: real life work experience.
     
  4. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Jared,

    I did the same thing. (Got married instead of finishing college) I don't regret it a bit. I have an upper middle class salary and, up until 6 months ago, the lack of a degree has never hindered my progress.

    The company I now work for loves degrees, and for the first time in my career, I need one. So, I'm now going to school full time (taking classes online) and working. I'll have a Bachelor's in Information Technology some time in 2003. When I finish, I've got a bit fat raise sitting on the table for me.

    Oh, but there's one more little tidbit of information: The final cost for my degree - just the cost of the credits, not books - will be $49,200. And the company is picking up the whole tab. A friend of mine graduated nearly 8 years ago - he makes $10k less than I do (same industry, same city) and is still paying off his school debt. Now, I ask you, who made the right decision?

    You're doing fine. Don't sweat it.
     
  5. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    Right on, Ryan. My wife's company is paying for all of her college. Mine doesn't, but I hope to eventually get a job with her company.
     
  6. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I think only a very small percentage of people who start college actually follow the 4-year-degree paradigm. I doubt many of this year's graduates actually graduated from high school in 1998. In today's college environment you're "normal" if it takes you 6 years to get your undergraduate degree.

    It took me 4.5 years of going to school full-time to get my bachelor's degree...but that's only because I had 1 semester's worth of credits from AP tests and I went to spring/summer semesters in my senior year. Without all that it would have taken me nearly 6 years, and I only worked part-time.
     
  7. Jefferson

    Jefferson Supporting Actor

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    I did finally get done with it after years of waffling about it.....but...even so....it isn't everything.
    Most people I know are in a career that has
    little or nothing to do with their degree.
    Sounds like you have a good life, regardless.
    Cool.
     
  8. Jason Handy

    Jason Handy Second Unit

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    Bill, what kind of degree did you get? I don't know of any colleges that mandate 6 years of study.

    I made it out in 4 years, graduating in 1997. My graduating class was almost entirely made up of 4-year graduates. I can't speak for the people who did double majors, but I don't understand how it can take longer than 4 years for a standard degree. I do know that some colleges have co-op programs that result in 5-years of school/work, but it doesn't sound like any of you were in that kind of scheme.

    I am not trying to talk down to anybody, but I think that it is possible to finish colloge in 4 years, but a student needs to devote all of their time to the education and minimize extra responsibilities, if possible. Especially with technical degrees like CS and engineering.

    Jason H.
     
  9. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    I've got a mechanical engineering degree...so maybe that taints my opinion a bit. I don't know of any technical degree that can be done in only 4 years AND work (even part-time). It's not that the college mandated 6 years...it's just that that's what it took most people. What with changes in majors, repeated classes because the program changed, and all. I never changed my major but I did take 3 classes twice. (1 because I failed...it was a history class, 1 because I took it in my first semester and forgot it all a couple years later...retook it to refresh my memory, and 1 because the program changed and the class I took before suddenly no longer counted towards my degree.) Many people do change majors and end up taking longer overall.
    (Oh...and I also started a minor, but dropped it after just a few classes. That's also pretty common.)
     
  10. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    hey bill -

    did you ever hear from your friend? just curious...

    ted
     
  11. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Ted - Nope. [​IMG] I think his old email address (that he probably used to register on Classmates.com) is now defunct. I think I'll try his listed phone number and see if he's there anymore.
     
  12. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    My what if story is about relationships all though it took place in college.

    EPISODE IV

    My family moved about on hour away from my hometown in Erie after I graduated from high school in the summer of 1997. It took to long to sell the house so I started college a semester late in the spring of 1998. In my fist semester of college in my speech class there was this girl that I liked named Kelly. We talked a few times but I never got the courage to ask her out.

    Fast forward to the fall/winter of 1998. Im still visiting my friends and family in Erie and am also casually dating a girl named Alicia. We both just wanted a casual relationship because we where still a hour away and where going to be meeting a bunch of new people in the coming years of our lives.

    EPISODE V

    After Christmas break in January of 1999 I see Kelly off in the distance while im standing at the ATM. Not wanting to leave the ATM I hurried up and canaled my transaction. Although the spud thing still took some time to give my my card back. I could have yelled down the hall but did't for some reason. After the machine gave my my card back I ran down the hall and around a corner to catch her. She was gone. I looked in a bunch of rooms and down the hallway but nothing. A blessing that a few days later we ran into each other again. We talk and she asks "so are you seeing anyone one" and stupid dumb ass me says yes. I was still seeing Alicia but it was still causal. I never saw Kelly again to this day.

    EPISODE VI

    So im sitting in my tech writing class and a girl comes in late and sits down one day. The next day she was paired up with us in some kind of group discussion. Her name was Becky. She seemed like a really great person and she was very pretty. Pissed off at myself for not having the courage to ask Kelly out when I first met her and blowing it with her later, I asked out Becky the next day. We went out for almost 2 1/2 years (five days shy). Broke up three days before college graduation in August of 2001.

    Conclusion. What if I had not been seeing Alicia? Would have started seeing Kelly? If I was seeing Kelly, would I have asked Becky out? If Becky and I never would have dated who else might have met in those 2 1/2 years? All I can say is that things happen for a reason. What it is I don't know.

    P.S. It took me 3 1/2 years to finish my Bachelors of Technology degree from Kent State
     
  13. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Jared,

    Look at the big picture- you're 22 or 23, happily married, have a home, drive a Bimmer, and both of you have decent jobs. What more could you ask for? Many people your age are still mooching off Mom. If you're looking for material success, I'd say you've found it.
    I'm 32, don't have a degree, and don't plan on getting one. I would consider myself fairly well-educated (prior military schooling, and lots of self-taught stuff), but every time I think of going back to school, it seems a huge waste of time for little payoff. Sure, I can "expand my horizons" (whatever that means), but I can just as easily do that at the Public Library. Based on many of the people I know with degrees (which is to say most of the people I do know), they don't seem to mean much re: actual knowledge these days. Just my personal opinion.

    So long as your set up for the longer term, why sweat it?

    Congrats on your early success.

    Todd
     
  14. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    bummer bill - well good luck with the whole project! [​IMG]
     
  15. AviTevet

    AviTevet Stunt Coordinator

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    Good life you got [​IMG]
     
  16. Jed M

    Jed M Cinematographer

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    I graduate on July 12th and it took me 8 years [​IMG] In all fairness to me I took 2 and a half years off so it really took me 5 and a half. So I am 26 and just getting my degree. You have plenty of time so I wouldn't sweat it if I were you.
     
  17. TheoGB

    TheoGB Screenwriter

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    University is so much more than your degree, in my book. You can learn the stuff about life whether or not you go, and you will learn, but at Uni it's a little more 'cushy', and it's nice to finally get to an institution where you feel that you're really learning and are surrounded by people who also want to learn.
    But I don't think anyone should look on it as a big thing that is to be regretted or not. A piece of paper might well get you an interview but after that it's not so important, and those that are good tend to shine through regardless of their quals...[​IMG]
     
  18. Stevan Lay

    Stevan Lay Second Unit

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  19. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    Reading this thread, I get the impression that many think college is not that important, using themselves as example. What no one has said so far is that they are the exeptions.

    That "little piece of paper" is a surer bet than anything out there. While I am happy for those who are doing well without it, most of those who don't have a degree wish they did. Most of those have neither BMWs nor high paying jobs.

    College is not everything, but few investements are more rewarding than formal education.

    --
    Holadem
     
  20. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    I totally agree with you, Holadem. What was a good choice for me will not be a good choice for everyone else.

    I'm at the point where a degree of any kind will open a few more doors for me.
     

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