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Thread: College Dilemma

  1. #1
    SG Enthusiast Joel's Avatar
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    College Dilemma

    Trying to figure out what to do, so I figured I'd ask the all-knowing entity that is SG.

    I'm in college right now, getting my degree in Graphics. I'm getting ready to go into my second semester now, and so I've been thinking a lot about the situation.

    You see, since I was 12 (I'm 18.5 now) I've known what I wanted to do, and have been working towards that, so I have a little headstart on the learning process. My problem with the college I'm going to is, see, I'm not learning anything. At all. Now I know what you're thinking, given that I've only been there for a semester, but that's the other interesting part of the equation: I have several friends in the graphics program, even my best friend is in it (who has similarly been working on learning graphics for several years with me, and also admits these people know nothing). The people I know range from being the same year as I am, to upper-level even to graduates.. And what's worse is that they all ask me for help, and for the people who are graduated, they want a job from me! (more on that later)

    The other problem I have with school is that I don't have any scholarships (for example, my best friend has the "Promise Scholarship", which is this deal where you get all of college paid for), so I'm paying for college out-of-pocket. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with going to easy classes and getting As for it, but I do have a problem paying for learning nothing - I want more from college, I want to actually learn.

    In terms of college and the problems therein, all you're doing is preparing for getting a job. I know some of you are aware of that business my brother and I started a few years back (Fusion), well it's still alive and kickin', and growing faster now than ever. It's worked out to where my brother takes care of the computer side of things, and I handle the Graphic Design (this is why my friends want a job from me). Currently I'm working on several web design projects, and a couple print jobs. We have a several employees, and are planning on doing some reordering / expansion in the near future (very near).

    Now I do believe in schooling, and how important it is - if for nothing more than just having a degree. But I also know that I could get more for my money, so to speak. The problem with graphic design is finding a good school, and I've been looking for the longest time. There is actually a school that I've looked into extensively, and have visited, so on so fourth, that I know I would learn from (The Art Institute, more specifically in Pittsburg - some of you may know about it). The problem there is that it's over twice as expensive as the school I'm going to now, and I wouldn't be able to afford to go for at least a year or two. On the flip-side of taking a break for a year or two, I would be able to donate more time to the business with the hopes of growing it even more.

    Something particularly interesting, and special, about Graphic Design is how unimportant the degree actually is. See, it only gets you your first job; from that point forwards it's all about what you can actually do. The other thing is, I decided a long time ago that I never want to work for someone. The money I could make running my own business, or partnering with someone.. There is just no reason, which also helps to negate the importance of having a degree. But again, I do want a degree at some point, it's just not like my life, both financially and otherwise, is on hold until I get one.

    What do you guys think? I know what I want to do, but I don't know what the best way to get there is.. That's what I'm trying to figure out.

    (sorry about the length there (: )

  2. #2
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    You can't apply for any scholarships?

  3. #3
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel
    I decided a long time ago that I never want to work for someone.

  4. #4
    SG Enthusiast Kyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel
    The other thing is, I decided a long time ago that I never want to work for someone.
    Then why earn a college degree?

  5. #5
    SG Enthusiast Joel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle
    Then why earn a college degree?
    I guess just to have one. You know, if someone were to ask 30 years from now when I was massively successful ( ) where I went to school...


  6. #6
    SG Enthusiast Kyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel
    I guess just to have one. You know, if someone were to ask 30 years from now when I was massively successful ( ) where I went to school...

    Many successful people dropped out of college to pursue their more profitable business ventures.

  7. #7
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle
    Many successful people dropped out of college to pursue their more profitable business ventures.
    Bill Gates

  8. #8
    Forum Techie A_old's Avatar
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    It doesn't mean everyone who does so is successful. The degree says you can be trained to perform a task. . .so it's something to fall back on if your personal business venture fails.

  9. #9
    Resident Rodent Randy's Avatar
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    I would say go to school. If your are so smart and already no so much then its not really going to hold you back. I would reccomend talking to the teacher of the class let him know how you feel. Who knows maybe the dean would even let you write an old exam to see if you really know so much. I am sure the colledge or university would not want to pass up on the opportunity of having a genius graduate thru there school. The school itself is a offers huge networking opportunitys.: Example> people who get 100% on finals etc are picked up like a first round draft pick. I would Look into things a lil deeper and find out what possibilities truely exist.

    I was going to post a link to that thread, but the SG search results for "bullsh|t" were too numerous

    sometimes you have to think outside the box to get inside the box .

  10. #10
    Moderator David's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle
    Many successful people dropped out of college to pursue their more profitable business ventures.

    And even more took the same route and failed.

    Hell_Yes

    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity - Seneca

    "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'" - Isaac Asimov

    It is my ambition to say in ten sentences what others say in a whole book. - Friedrich Nietzsche

  11. #11
    SG Enthusiast Joel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hell_Yes
    And even more took the same route and failed.
    Agreed.

    It's not so much a question whether I should go to school or not - I definitely want to, if for nothing more than to have something to fall back on incase stuff didn't work out. The question however, is if I should go to the school I'm going to, and right now.. ?

  12. #12
    SG Enthusiast Kyle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hell_Yes
    And even more took the same route and failed.
    Exactly why I wouldn't drop out.

    It can work for some people, but it's not for everyone. If you are already determined to go to school and determined not to work for someone else than it seems that making sure you learn something from school would be the most logical route. Something that you can them apply to running your own business. If you feel that your current school cannot provide that then perhaps you should move, otherwise maybe you should just change majors.

    Honestly, nobody here or anywhere else can tell you what to do, you'll have to think through it on your own and make your own decision, especially one this big.

  13. #13
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    You don't go to college to learn. You go to learn how to learn.

    My training in point-contact transistors, in conformal mapping for the design of vacuum tubes, etc, was and is of little use.

    The key thing you learn is how to think about learning and problem solving, critical judgement, etc.

    If what you are learning about the nuts and bolts of graphics is not useful, maybe you should take a couple of electives in art history or even anatomy. Your appeal to high-level customers will always come from what you produce and how you relate, not from your knowledge of the syntax of Visual Basic or SQL. They won't be around in a few years. For example, I used to be really good at Clipper and PL/I - ever heard of them?

    Hang in there, it is worthwhile.

  14. #14
    R.I.P. MissTynker2's Avatar
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    May I suggest that you speak to a school counselor then? That is part of their job, explaining how you feel, what your goals are, and what you hope to achieve. Possibly a change of class? Or even College itself? Scholarships are indeed a very important issue, and they would also have that information available to you...or should have. Can't hurt to give it a shot!
    Mystical Folding Minx

  15. #15
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John
    but I am nearing the end (done this June).
    June 06 or 07?

  16. #16
    Forum Techie A_old's Avatar
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    I'm done in December of this year, send me gifts (emails or visits to my website will do )! [/threadjack]

  17. #17
    Regular Member hoss's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you already have a good business started. if that is the case and you already know the graphics end, then may I suggest switching majors to something like Business Management? you may find that in the long run having the business education will be more helpful. the business end of things tends to change little from year to year, but the technology end changes pretty rapidly.

    The college I went to (DeVry, save the jokes -- truth hurts sometimes) was structured that way. I was in the Computer Information Systems program, but ended up with a business degree. they had the structure like I mentioned above: technology will always be evolving and changing, business is pretty steady in its concepts though.

  18. #18
    meat popsicle Zilog B's Avatar
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    If you have the means to get the degree and still work in the business, I would get the degree. Even if it is all BS to you now, having it may help you in the future.
    My son ... ask for thyself another internet connection, for that which I leave is too slow for thee

  19. #19
    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John
    June 2007

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