College, Young’Uns, and Ugly Reality Redux

Wolfie read back over his post from Sunday, and sent me a bit more. He had thought he’d do it as a comment, but I’m glad he didn’t! It’s long, but thorough and worth reading. 

For my adoptive brother-in-spirit, thanks! 

Wolfie here. Cedar was sitting very hard on the urge to snark at that there shindig. She didn’t for the sake of my niece. Me being the “official crazy adopted uncle”? [and no, I don’t quite know why my nieces and nephew think I’m crazy. ] Well, being Uncle Wolfie I felt no such constraints and probably wouldn’t have, had I been there with Cedar. Which might have gotten me in hot water with my niece but it wouldn’t be the first time I get in trouble with my loved ones and after almost 50 yrs on this rock I can tell you there is no such thing as a LAST time I’ll be in trouble with a loved one. shrug Not til the meat wagon carries my corpse to the morgue anyway.

Now… addendum for those professors that are actually worth their salt and actually, give. a. shit! And actually try to prepare their students for reality vs the fluffy headed BULLSHIT that many liberal and social arts profs try and force feed the new graduates and soon to be college students, like my niece. The Ginja Ninja. grumbles at the confused looks over the nick name Oh for fuck sake! I’ll explain it ONCE. Cedar is a redhead, my nieces and nephew? Redheads. Figure it out. Where was I? YEah I know not all of you are fluffy marshmallow, unicorn fart pushing, feeble brained morons. A fair number are though. Some schools seem to be full of nothing but, UC Berkley, aka Bezerkley is one of the latter for my money. For those of you that do try and prepare your kids for reality without pushing your personal political propaganda and agendas down their throats? BRAVO! Well done! You have my thanks for doing your best to push your students towards rational logical thought and not ‘muh feelz trump everything” mentalities.

Addendum for the shell shocked kiddos. There ARE solutions young uns. It just depends on how hard you’re willing to work. How much are you willing to sacrifice. I mentioned it in part in my response to those of you who are going for STEM and business, etc degrees. If you aren’t among those trying to lock down a part time job, change that status now. It means you’ll also possibly have to sacrifice and be in school longer, because you’ll have to cut back on your course hours to earn the money you need to do what you want with your schooling and living arrangements. It SUCKS…but it’s reality and there it is. Another solution if you live near the school and your parents are willing to keep putting up with you, is to stay at home, work, go to school and commute to and from every day. Another brought up by another friend of Cedar’s in conversation with her, myself and others is…Instead of going straight to a 4yr college? Start your course work at a community college for a year or two before transferring to your University of Choice. Community college is a lot cheaper and will allow you to pile on your initial basic class work and a steady job to save up money for the transfer later. In doing so you might find a major you want to get into more in the interim and have it not hurt you as badly to make the switch. Especially if the course work you do in CC for your second major choice, corresponds with what your first choice in major was. Follow me Ptolemy? Gooood.

As for the fluffy headed, marshmallows, rainbows and unicorn farts nonsense that some try to push? I have a solution for that too young ‘uns if you aren’t too deep into the unicorn farts to find your way out. I’ll note that now they are starting to push the unicorn farts early. I’ve seen it in friends kids pushed as early as grade school.

1. DONT take everything your teachers tell you in the historical and socio-political vein as goddamn gospel just because they are your teachers.

2. READ everything you can get your nimble little fingers on. and I mean actual BOOKS, not just stuff you read on the internetz. You think I’m being a nasty cynical bastard in what I said in my OP and now this addendum? Kids I was this way BEFORE I graduated high school. I was reading college level early. somewhere around 6th grade [Cedar’s note: slowpoke. I tested reading college level in fourth grade 😀 ]. Meaning I was ahead of the bulk of my peers. I read a lot of the usual stuff. spy thrillers, fantasy, sci fi, murder mysteries…but I also flat out absorbed a shit ton of history. Waaay more than they teach you in school or in your text books. Text books some of you will never get beyond. Either because you just don’t care enough or were told, and believe that you don’t need anything beyond what you’re teachers are giving you. Either of which possibilities I find sad and disheartening. Oh well if you’re in the ‘just don’t care enough’ category…have fun being the zombies in the upcoming zombie apocalypse.

3. Financially this is going to be the Time of Suck, for years to come. Unless you’re supremely lucky. Don’t let it get you down, it’s just reality biting you in the ass. Own it, partition it off as a learning experience and work your ass off.

3a. There are a metric fuckton of grants out there lads and lasses. Find ones you are actually qualified for and apply for ALL of those you qualify for, to help you in your financial needs for school. You might succeed in getting some, most, or even none; but you lose absolutely NOTHING but some time in filling out the paperwork, by trying.

I’ve got more bouncing around my head but my thought train got derailed. This however should do ya. Laterz! 


12 responses to “College, Young’Uns, and Ugly Reality Redux”

  1. I think that a lot of young people should also consider tech schools, apprenticeships, and other forms of getting an education, rather than just automatically jumping into college. A lot of ‘blue-collar’ jobs pay well and can make very satisfying careers. We need plumbers, electricians, welders, and so on. Miners, farmers, fishermen, machinists, and on and on and on. These are the people who build the infrastructure and then keep it working. Our modern culture would have people be ashamed of any kind of work that gets their hands dirty, but take all those people and their jobs away, and our civilization would rapidly fall apart.

    1. I won’t disagree with that. I will point out that it seems many don’t, want to, as you say, get their hands dirty. Because of modern culture pushing that those jobs are lesser or somehow demeaning, etc etc.

      1. I still want to take up carpentry and woodworking as a hobby. There is a course that my husband thinks I would do very well at if I get it as a career (not carpentry) … and yes, it would be a great passion of work, but I also think it could be expensive and it could also be a huge headache.

        Then again, my life hasn’t exactly been smooth sailing, and seems to like things becoming seriously difficult pretty regularly, so I might just take that course.

    2. Draven Avatar

      Many of the tech schools are gone. Many that survive are teaching 30 + year old techniques, and to learn stuff like CNC machining you have to be in an AS-level STEM program.

  2. My Dad demanded that each of his boys have a trade to fall back on as part of their preparation for life. Hard to outsource some leaky pipes or a rough idling car to somebody in India. I don’t give a damn where or when you are, or what the price of gold is, or what the stock market or the economy is doing, a mechanic ALWAYS has a job. A good one makes as much as most lawyers.

    1. and in either the forthcoming zombie apocalypse, or the forth coming alien invasion…whichever hits first; anyone with blue collar skills like mechanics, machinists, welders etc are going to be worth their weight in unobtanium.

  3. *sputters* Slow poke? slowpoke? hmph

  4. Wolfies point #4. consider an old saying. “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” Does this mean you won’t have a job and work hard? *raises an eyebrow and laughs* Yeaaah. No. What is means is this. What do you enjoy doing? What do you love? for me and it’s one of my regrets, is I love books. So I worked in a bookstore for half a decade.I let people I care about telling me I’d never earn a living at it, push me into getting out. I love to play. So if I can come up with the funds for a new computer I might try streaming. Will it be a steady and main source of income? Mmm..doubtful, not without doing a lot of streaming, building a fanbase and building the channel and keeping up with changes. I do know people who do it as a full time job though. Quit their ‘day’ jobs to work full time at streaming and gaming. Do you enjoy gaming and computers and fascinated by how they work? go to a trade school and learn programming and hard ware. how to build. Do you love cars? Love your car and love working on it? Then go to a trade school for mechanics. Mechanics as pointed out upstream will never be without work. It breaks down to this…If you truly enjoy and love what you do for work…it will never FEEL like a grind. Jesus…did I just paraphrase Mary Poppins? Eh..that’s not as bad as it seems since it was growing up, and still is, a much beloved favorite of mine. That is all

  5. I’d like to point out one additional bit of information for the college-bound person, fresh out of high school.

    You have heard the dire forecasts, based on the outrageous costs associated with college. If that has steered you into a lucrative college major, great! If it has steered you into a two-year college first, also great! And if it has steered you into the area where the jobs will ALWAYS be available, such as building & repairing things, skilled trades, then SUPER GREAT!
    But regardless of which path you choose, I want you to keep this next thought near and dear to your heart. Write it down in several places. Email it to yourself. Ready? Here it is:


    Whether you are attending a value priced tech school (Chattahoochee Tech this coming year will be $3,352 per year, and state residents are eligible for $2,190 in annual grants, netting to $1,162)
    enrolled at the most expensive private college (Sarah Lawrence College is probably in that spot; tuition and fees for 2018-9 total $69,697 per year),

    It will NEVER be this easy again! The dollars you pay are only PART of the cost of continuing your education after high school. To that, you MUST add the time you spend applying yourself to reading, researching, writing, and, in general, mastering the course material that comes your way. If you don’t believe this is the case, ASK someone who did it a different way.

    I’m one of those people. I did a year of the conventional route, college right after high school, and partied until my brains ran out of my nose. Then, three years in the Army. Then, return to college, married, with a cat, working various part-time jobs and going to school full-time, and it was HARD. It got harder later, with graduate degrees and a family. It was so hard, I don’t QUITE know how I did it, but I was still (relatively) young when I finally got my last degree: 43 in 1996.
    I couldn’t do it now. I know; I tried. When I turned 62, I tried to take advantage of a program in Georgia that offers free tuition to people 62 years old, or older. Even with the incentive of free tuition, and some things I really wanted to learn, my physical limitations were simply to great.

    So, remember this: it’s NEVER going to be this easy again. Yes, there is a LOT more to college life than the coursework. Enjoy that; you are supposed to! But, in the midst of taking advantage of all the fringe benefits, you MUST do AT LEAST the minimum amount of study to keep yourself on track. Do AT LEAST that minimum.

    Because it’s never going to be this easy again.

    1. Well put Pat

  6. Find out which instructors have actually worked in the field that you want to be qualified for and take as many classes from them as you can. When you have to take a class from a teacher who has only worked in an academic environment, keep that in mind during lectures. They can certainly impart the information that you need to pass the class, and much of that information could be useful later in life, but remember that all that a college professor who has never been anything other than a college professor can teach effectively is… how to be a college professor. Unless that is your goal, seek out teachers whose CV includes professional experience in the workplace.

  7. I’ll note something that my mother was telling me when I was visiting last month.

    The Philippines’ schools no longer use textbooks. Your ‘textbooks’ are also workbooks, which must be answered in the book. They only teach to the lesson, and cannot be used as proper reference books later on, and worse, any younger child cannot inherit those books for use; new ones must be bought.

    That sort of education is a money-making scam; unfortunately for my fellow Filipinos, that’s the only education now available it seems, especially for those unable to get anything but public school.

    Books are valuable. Don’t forget that they have use beyond just what is needed for the lesson.