The Length of Time Spent in College

Discussion in 'SHH Community Forum' started by Warhammer, May 19, 2013.

  1. Warhammer Half Monk, Half Hitman

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    I got this idea from that lottery thread. There have been at least 4 or 5 people I've met that told me to not rush college because the real world sucks or because the time spent in college is always taken for granted. Personally, I should have graduated around a year ago, but I changed my major and now I have exactly a year left. Yeah, there are times that I feel like I'm underachieving and bulls***tin' because I know people who have already graduated. It is slightly depressing...

    However, aside from monetary issues (extra money for tuition and living expenses) I always tell myself that I am still young. I am barely in my 20s. I have made friends with people who are in their 30s on campus. One in particular is in his mid-30s and had the most interesting life story I've ever heard (was an athlete in college before having a kid, was a police officer for a few years, owned a gas station, sold it to fund college/medical school, and now wants to be an MD). Sometimes, I'm optimistic about where I am in life. Sometimes, I'm pessimistic. Sometimes, I'm at the point where I'm thinking "there's no point in b****ing about it because you can't change the past."

    Is there anyone currently in college but graduated high school over 4 years ago? Anyone started college late? How super seniors are out there? Anyone wish they would have stayed in college longer?

    Discuss away.
     
  2. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

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    When you're older and you know more about what you want to do with your life (like your classmate who wants to go to medical school), you tend not to waste your time in school. Sure, I guess you can make connections while binge drinking at parties, but you don't have to necessarily binge drink yourself into a 2-day stupor to do so. :funny:

    If you have a plan and you're trying new things and aren't running out of money, staying in school can be a good idea. Where people graduate with a degree and have no better idea about what to do next than when they came in, they're the ones in trouble. :funny:

    Now, I actually wish I had the money to go back to school for a career change, but I feel like I'm 10 years behind people who are already in my future industry, and $60K ahead (due to lack of master's degree), so I'm taking my education wherever I can get it. :yay: I just read a quote by someone yesterday: Education isn't given to you. You have to steal it. And that's true - you aren't owed anything by having a college degree. You have to learn how to utilize it.
     
  3. psylockolussus Merry Mutant

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    I spent 5 years in college and during the last 2 years in college, I didn't rush by getting a lot of courses. Its been 2 years since I graduated from college and I miss going to school. Real world aka finding a job or working sucks especially when you're not having fun. Thats what I feel most of the time.
     
  4. Ultimatehero Life is infinite

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    Was it this guy?

    [​IMG]

    And I don't really have an answer other than everybody's experiences are different.

    I love my life in the "real world," but for me school was the real world then I entered into the world I've always dreamed about in my imagination. For me it was film. But, this doesn't just go for the arts. It goes for everything. If you do what you love, whatever that is? You're always going to lead a happy and fulfilling life in some form or another. If you give into what corporations want you to do, or don't have a passion, then I've always seen those drones winding up with mid-life crises that inspire others to take risks. I truly don't know how anybody can be happy at those jobs or why they choose them when they say they hate them. Bottom line is - if you work just to work I don't see how you can ever possibly be happy. However, if you work in what you love - how can you not be in some way? I've found that it's way better than school. But yet again, I'm doing something I love with a huge support group behind me giving me courage. So, it all depends really. What I'm trying to say is this.

    Being a drone at a job that you hate = unhappiness.

    Taking risks and doing something you love whatever that may be = happiness.
     
    #4 Ultimatehero, May 19, 2013
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
  5. ProjectPat2280 SELLING...PERFECTION

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    Im on the Van Wilder plan. No joke, iv been in school for almost 8 years and NO im not in med school, law school or doing grad school. Its taken me this long for a few reasons:

    I didnt immediately get into the school i wanted so i went to a local Tech School. Transferred after two years.

    Got my university of choice and chose the major i thought would suit me best. 2 years in, i realize thats a mistake and transfer to a major i figured id like better. We are up to 4 years now.

    2 years into my new major, i realize i kinda want to do another major but realize there is no way i could convince my parents to let me back out of another major, so i just declare a second major. At this point iv been in school 6 years.

    I was supposed to finish up in like 2011, but needed to retake some classes i had made D's in and i needed some foreign language. So i did that over summer school and a few extra semesters.

    I am now like 8 years in and 6 hours away from graduation. Im done with all class work and only need an internship.

    Its taken me this long for a few reasons, bad decisions and flat out not wanting to graduate. I think there was a sem or two where i just took BS classes because i knew i could get good grades. Im now paying for that, literally, as my creditors have come calling about my student loans.

    Its been a loooong road. But im not the only one of my friends who are still in school. I had a buddy graduate, get a job, realize he hated it and is now back in school for another 4 years. Ya just gotta do what ya gotta do.
     
  6. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

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    That's the path I purposely am not taking. I like being able to pay my rent and have savings! :o But it depends on what you want to do - I want to get into design, and there are actually many self-taught designers out there. You just have to be able to do the work. If you want to be a lawyer or doctor or scientist then yeah, you need the degree. (But don't go to law school now. It's a terrible time to do so!)

    Anything else, save up your money and get an internship. Job shadow someone. Do a project. Find out exactly what you need to learn to be successful and take a few classes in JUST that. That's what community college and extension programs are for. There are some really good ones online now.

    Sign up for Meetup.com and network with like-minded people. I'm going to a user-experience design event every two weeks now, there's a HUGE local community. If I branched out into more general design things, I could probably find a meetup every day of the week. You don't have to get a formal education in whatever you want to do. You just have to have the initiative and steal your education.

    I mean, if you love going to school, that's your thing. I'm all about lifelong education. But school costs money, and you can't run away from "real life" forever. There are other ways of achieving your goals, and especially in the age of the internet, other ways to learn.
     
  7. ProjectPat2280 SELLING...PERFECTION

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    Yep, thats pretty much exactly what i was doing, i never admitted it, not even to myself, until now.

    Im currently looking for a job, even a part time, min wage job that i can use as my internship. If i can get my foot in the door, my intelligence and know how will take care of the rest.
     
  8. Victarion Iron Captain

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    I started college in 2007, graduated with my bachelor's in biology in May 2012, and I'm gonna be there until May 2014. I didn't make it into a good med school back in 2012 (Was accepted to Ross Uni, but I've heard its not all that great versus other schools). Now I've got aps going into PA school and med school for May 2014. I'm looking really competitive for PA, and I'd still get to do some of the stuff I'd do as an MD.

    Oh, and I'm working as a peer tutor on campus, so that's nice.
     
  9. TheAQU4M4N K1NG Of ATL4NTiS!

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    I think may have changed my major like 3 times since 2008, and I am still not sure if i want to continue in my major. I have an Associates but I am compared by my parents that all my other cousins who are my age have their Bachelors and are successful.

    for some reason I still cannot find anything that I can find a future in (job-wise).

    I also am debating doing a Civil Service test for NYPD and FDNY and doing volunteer stuff in my town because I am not return to College next semester.
     
  10. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

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    :up:

    Choose a job where you'll learn and move closer toward your goal. If you know what you want, go get it!

    I spent 7 years at my current job and probably should have moved on much earlier (most folks in my position only stay on for 2 years max), but my boss is so great and supportive, so I don't regret it. I was able to take classes even during the day when usually people work.

    Coming from a college that sends lots of graduates on to medical school, there's this joke that I often heard.

    What do you call the lowest-ranked graduate from the lowest-ranked medical school?

    Doctor. :oldrazz:

    I mean, you probably won't be able to compete for the most competitive residencies and hospitals, but you'll still be a damn doctor! :funny: But it's really all about what your goal is.
     
  11. Nell2ThaIzzay Registered

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    I just graduated a week ago, but you could say I started college late.

    I graduated high school in 2001 and went straight into community college, but dicked around as an undeclared student for 6 years (yup) and didn't accomplish anything. Didn't have any idea what I wanted to do. Just going through the motions.

    Towards the end, I finally decided what I wanted to major in (took some acting classes, enjoyed them, had taken a lot of literature and writing classes that I liked), declared as an English major, and then during my very first semester as a declared student, I basically **** the bed in one of my classes, and circumstances in my life had me moving across the country. So I left college, went to my new area, and for a year, struggled working 2 jobs, still couldn't afford living expenses, still always bumming money off of my parents and in general just not amounting to anything. My life wasn't good, I wasn't happy, and I had something of a nervous breakdown. Well, at least anxiety attacks. I had pretty much hit rock bottom.

    I decided that I needed to make some changes to better my life and give myself some meaning. I started looking for charitable organizations I could volunteer to, found some things, and began to work on that. I also decided that if I was going to be broke, struggling, and bumming money on my parents, I'd rather be doing so in a way to better myself. So I decided I wanted to go back to school. My apartment was pretty much right around the corner from campus, so I started going down there and putting in the paperwork I needed. I was good to go, and by the fall semester of 2009 I was registered in my first year of 4 year university, as an English major and a theatre minor - at the age of 26.

    My first year, I still wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do, but I started becoming involved in the theatre department at my school, and I already had connections as well (my brother's best friend was the son of a prominent faculty member, and my brother's best friend was also dating a girl who was a very active theatre major in the department, who kind of took me under her wing and got me involved. By the time I was done with school, this professor, and her whole family, would become very close friends to me), and by the time my 2nd year started and I got cast in my first major production, I realized it was something I wanted to do, dropped my English major, became a theatre major, and declared as a writing minor (the writing minor was more in line with what I was looking for from the English major in the first place).

    I did the full 4 years in college (although if I had declared as a theatre major from the beginning, along with a few other factors, I could have been done in about 3 years, maybe 2 1/2 with my Jr. College experience), and just graduated a week ago at 29. I'll be 30 in about 2 weeks. (Sidenote: One goal I set for myself when I first went back to school was to graduate before I was 30, and I did that by 2 weeks :D)

    Best experience of my life. I'm glad I didn't graduate in the 2 1/2 - 3 years that I could have done it in. I feel the full 4 years gave me a lot of experiences that I needed, quite frankly. I feel much more confident about my knowledge in my chosen field than I did a year ago, sticking around for the extra year allowed me some other experiences I wouldn't have otherwise had if I had graduated a year early. In a way, I wish I still had a little time left. That professor whom now I am particularly close to, she has expressed numerous times that she does not like when students rush through college. There's one student in particular who finished everything in 3 years, and is graduating at like 20. And her feelings on the matter are just "what are you going to do at 20? Companies aren't going to want to hire you that young, you didn't have all the experiences you needed, all you did was take too many classes and rush through. You didn't get the real experience you needed." Having done the full 4 years and how I feel it helped me, I think I can see where she's coming from.

    So I wouldn't feel bad about still being around when other people you know have graduated. I often joke about how it only took me 10 years to graduate from college, and the overwhelming response is "At least you did it. So many people don't even have that"

    Enjoy your time. Make the most of it. Savor it, cherish it. Take as much from the experience as you can, both socially, as well as professionally and educationally. It's a great experience. They say that college is the best time of your life, and I can really see why they say that, on a lot of different levels.
     
  12. Warhammer Half Monk, Half Hitman

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    If another lower ranked medical school accepts you and it's your only shot, my advice would be to take it this time. At the end of the day, you will still be a doctor. If you truly have the passion to be an MD, you'll do well. Residency competition may be tough but at the end of the day, graduating from Johns Hopkins doesn't even guarantee that you'll be a successful MD. After residency, the school you go to is irrelevant. Get in where you fit it.

    Or you could try DO school. My friend's sister is trying to get into DO school now since she hasn't been able to get into med school for about 4 years now.
     
  13. Warhammer Half Monk, Half Hitman

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    Keep it up. Very insightful posts in here. Very insightful.

    :up:
     
  14. Wolfwood Shasta McNasty

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    I'm finally graduating college after being in it for 10 years.

    I screwed around for a few years, taking a lot of different classes that interested me. Then I lost my way and nearly got kicked out. Thankfully I got my **** together, came back from the brink of failure and now I'm on my way to graduating.

    If could, I might do things differently, but I'm happy with my place in life right now. I wouldn't recommend the path I took to anyone, but I think the things I saw and did over the past 10 years made me a better person.

    Sidenote: I had a friend that would talk down to me and another guy for not finishing school in four years like he did. After all this time he's still working a minimum wage job while my other friend is on his way to a rather high paying position in an advertising firm. You never know how life will turn out.
     
    #14 Wolfwood, May 20, 2013
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  15. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

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    Graduating early does hurt you in a lot of ways. My best friend graduated college with all A's in 2.5 years, and applied right away to law school, because her mom wanted her to. (Back then, law grads were making close to six figures out of school.) HUGE mistake. She's one of the smartest people I know, but none of the top 10 schools wanted her. She was simply too young, and didn't have enough on-the-job experience. She thinks she could have gotten into Cornell (one of the top schools for patent law, which is what she wanted to do) had she waited another year or two and clerked in the meantime.

    And when she graduated, the law field was collapsing and nobody but the top grads from the top schools (and living in the right areas) were getting positions. Right now she's at a non-law job she dislikes while she pays off her $$$$ law school loans and networks for more opportunities. She's going for an interview at a firm tomorrow. :yay: So there are always second chances. It might have been a lot less complicated had she waited the first time though. :oldrazz:

    Being in school means you have tons of opportunities for internships. Don't squander that. I want to get design internships myself, but so many of the internships at the most renowned firms will only take current students. Besides the fact I have the wrong major too, but anyway. :funny:

    Soooo, yes. You have to know what you want and how to get there. If you can get away with finishing school to save money and then getting on-the-job experience, do it. If you'll be at the mercy of an admissions committee, it might be better to wait and do internships while in school.
     
  16. ProjectPat2280 SELLING...PERFECTION

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    It really does seem like more and more people are going to school longer than they ever have. I dont know a SINGLE person in my life that graduated highschool and then was done with college in 4 years. Even all the people iv met while in college have gone longer than 4 years.
     
  17. Vartha Mod of Thunder

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    Actual time spent in college going to classes? lol If you count living there 3 solid years
     
  18. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

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    Might be because student loan debt is so out of control, and the job market is horrible. It doesn't surprise me at all that people are being more thoughtful about school, or at least not just barreling through just to get a degree and then take on any old job while they figure stuff out. Which is what I did (and at least I liked my job and made a living wage), but nobody has the luxury of doing that anymore, because the job market is so bad.
     
  19. Nell2ThaIzzay Registered

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    If I have one regret, it's not doing any internships while in college. I guess I didn't really realize the importance of them, and when so many of them are unpaid and I had no income to live off of, finding a summer job was more important than an internship.

    But now that I've graduated and sending my resume out to various companies in my field, I'm realizing that the experience I would have gotten from an internship would be invaluable. So currently I'm looking at some post-grad internships out there, and there's a couple in New York particularly that piqued my interest and are paid. Fortunately, my professor said she'd write some letters of recommendation for me so I can send those off with my resume and hope for the best!

    Worst case scenario, I have a job back home that I can get into - it's not exactly what I want to do, it'd be working at a school watching kids on their breaks for $17 an hour, but with my degree, I could likely translate that into becoming involved in the school's drama program and running some theatre activities for the kids. Like I said, not exactly what I want to do, but at the same time, education was originally one of the things I originally wanted to do, and I can think of a LOT worse things to do for a job than teach theatre to kids. Especially when part of my curriculum in college were classes on just that. And I figure in my spare time, I can still try to audition, or work side jobs at local theatres to help get my foot in that door until I have an opportunity at bigger things.

    I'm just torn now because while going back home to the San Francisco Bay Area was always my goal when I moved out here, now that I've been here for 5 years and, quite frankly, for the first time in my life built something on my own, for myself, it's kind of hard to pack up and say goodbye to the past 5 years. Despite my rants in the Relationship Advice Thread, lol, the past 4 years of my life have been pretty great, meeting some incredible people and forming some relationships that I truly cherish, and having many incredible experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life, that truly helped shape the person I am today. I mean, it's all ending anyways with college over, and people moving on with their own lives, but it's still hard to pack up and say goodbye to the people and the life that's still here, and just say goodbye to my life of the past 5 years in general.
     
  20. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

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    Yeah, my boss ruminated about the same thing. Most internships even in science were unpaid when I was in school (even when the economy was doing well), and the only students who could afford to do that for 3 months were the ones who were already well-off and had parents who could provide for them. Or in my case, I had an aunt who worked in the same building (and who got me the gig in the first place), and was willing to take me into her house and feed me. For "payment," I drove her and my cousin (also interning) most days through rush hour traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike. :oldrazz:

    A lot of places won't hire you straight out of school unless you have topical experience, and for a lot of people, that means unpaid internships. I mean, I did a hands-on experimental thesis in school too (which a lot of grads don't have), but that internship doing microbiology seemed to be the clincher. My boss said he simply couldn't hire someone straight out of school who worked at Starbucks instead of a lab, even if they swore up and down that working at a lab was their dream. People need proof.

    That sounds like a plan! There was a video made by astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield about becoming the person you want to be, and he suggests always doing something that you like. Even if you don't end up in your dream job, you'll be doing something you enjoy doing. It's definitely a good lesson.



    Yeah, TN to the Bay Area is quite a jump. And a ton has changed in the past 5 years. Today, one of my Fb friends in Palo Alto ranted about "Gl*******s," ie the *******s who are wearing Google Glass everywhere. :funny:

    I always did think that the big theater scene was in NYC, but it all depends on what you want to do, like I've been repeating ad nauseum here. :oldrazz:
     
  21. Erzengel |-o-| (-o-) |-o-|

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    4 and half years to get my BS in Engineering. I dropped a class that pushed everything back half a year because it was a prerequisite.

    But from what I'm told most Engineering students don't finish in 4 years. Or at least that's what my Guidance Counselor said.

    That being said. I just turned 22 when I graduated.
     
  22. Nell2ThaIzzay Registered

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    The big theatre scene definitely is New York, but there's a big market for it in San Francisco as well. Chicago is a huge theatre city also, and Atlanta even is starting to come up a bit. But the job will be in San Jose, which puts me in close proximity to San Francisco. And since I spent the first 24 years of my life living in San Jose, I'm pretty familiar with the area :)

    Luckily, at least one of these internships in particular is paid. That's the main one I'm looking at. It's in New York, pays $600 a month, and also has opportunities for part time work at $10 / hr. Financially, that's the best deal I've seen for internships. I'm gonna apply to a few, but that's the one I hope to get.

    And I agree about doing something you love. That's the whole reason I went back to school. I want to do something with my life that I enjoy. Which is honestly why I'm hesitant to work at this school, because watching kids on their recess isn't exactly what I went back to school for. But it's a job, and may be a stepping stone to better things, and can pay the bills while I search for what I really want to do. Might be a pretty good situation for me.
     
  23. Anita18 DANCE FOR ME, FUNNY MAN!

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    Engineering taking 5 years isn't unusual at all. My husband took 5 years, didn't hold him back a bit.

    Besides, that's practically the only field that's still hiring, so it doesn't really matter how long you take. :oldrazz:

    Except for chemical engineering. That went out decades ago. My chemical engineering PhD uncle has been in software for as long as I can remember, and I can remember WAY back! :funny:
     
  24. Mrs. Sawyer Registered

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    Many students I know go to school for 5 years. Hell, for our Architecture program at Syracuse, 5 years is a requirement.
     
  25. Baramos Registered

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    Depends on the degree. Something more difficult, it makes sense to only take 12 credits a semester sometimes, depending on the classes you are taking that semester. For my degree I always took 15 or 18, though. In fact I took 18 a couple of times. I could handle it, as it was usually just an extra literature class (I'm an English teacher).

    I could see someone in engineering taking 5 years.

    Keep in mind, though, most liberal arts colleges will only allow you seven years to finish a bachelor degree, after that you'll have to repeat some classes you took seven years ago.
     

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