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Thread: Did your college degree help?

  1. #26
    Mjolnir Diamond Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonica
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    I wouldn't worry so much about the academic aspect of it right now versus the practical aspect (experience, resumé and connections). You're on a different path than a lot of your peers in that you're starting a family a lot sooner than most. I imagine you feel more of a sense of urgency. In other words, I'd jump on it whenever the opportunity presents itself. Put out some feelers and see what rapidpacersfan and pb777 have to say. Write to Mark Boyle and mention this place and his posting here. Instant ice-breaker. Pick his brain and see what he thinks. I can't imagine that he wouldn't write back.



    You and me both. I've never gotten over that hesitancy to ask for a favor. It's always painful, so just get used to it. And you watch, someday you might find yourself in a position to repay some of those favors. Like when Paul B is an aging out-of-work DJ and needs to change careers. I'm kidding, of course.
    Well you are definitely right about the urgency. I have started to feel like I'm running out of time.

    I might shoot rabidpacersfan and email, and see what he is there for, how he did it, and whats he do there.

    Paul B, someone I've actually met in person, hasn't posted here in quite awhile. Maybe if I see him start posting again, I'll see if he knows anyone in the PR dept.

    Thanks for the advice.
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    Mjolnir Diamond Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cox
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    Only in charge.
    Give 'em hell man.

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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Since86
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    Seeing how your male, ANYWHERE YOU WANT!
    I sure hope so.

  4. #29
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    There's a difference between education and job training. Supposedly, the average American holds something like 7 different careers in their lifetime, so why get a degree for just one?

    I went to a liberal arts school and got as general a degree as possible. I don't regret my degree for a minute, and I can't imagine a job where I wouldn't use it. My degree is Communication Arts, but I wasn't forced to specialize in electronic journalism or broadcast media or whatever. I got a lot of speaking, a lot of writing, some media and drama, and a good bit of communication and rhetorical theory.

    -----

    Our prez. had a favorite story about So-and-So, the head of SomeBank USA. I forget the guy's name and the bank's name, but it's supposedly a true story.

    Anyway, a college student writes Mr. So-and-So and says "Dear sir. What course of study would you recommend for someone interested in pursuing a career in banking?" And the guy wrote back and said "I don't know. But I do know that if you go to the most challenging school you can find, enroll in the hardest major, and take the most difficult classes, when you graduate there's not a bank in the world that won't hire you."

  5. #30
    Mjolnir Diamond Dave's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem
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    There's a difference between education and job training. Supposedly, the average American holds something like 7 different careers in their lifetime, so why get a degree for just one?

    I went to a liberal arts school and got as general a degree as possible. I don't regret my degree for a minute, and I can't imagine a job where I wouldn't use it. My degree is Communication Arts, but I wasn't forced to specialize in electronic journalism or broadcast media or whatever. I got a lot of speaking, a lot of writing, some media and drama, and a good bit of communication and rhetorical theory.

    -----

    Our prez. had a favorite story about So-and-So, the head of SomeBank USA. I forget the guy's name and the bank's name, but it's supposedly a true story.

    Anyway, a college student writes Mr. So-and-So and says "Dear sir. What course of study would you recommend for someone interested in pursuing a career in banking?" And the guy wrote back and said "I don't know. But I do know that if you go to the most challenging school you can find, enroll in the hardest major, and take the most difficult classes, when you graduate there's not a bank in the world that won't hire you."
    I don't know if I'd buy 7 different careers. But perhaps my definition of career is a bit different. 7 different jobs, sure, but not careers.

    I know what you're saying about not specializing too much, but that can also go the other way too. I don't want to be the type who is okay at everything, but not great at anything.

    But that story is probably true. Thats why I'm hoping that even though when I graduate, and companies are looking at all the Comm majors, that all my grades will get me somewhere.
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  6. #31
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave
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    As a college student working towards my degree I always here the horror stories of people who went to school, got degrees, and proceeded to go work in a job that kids in high school could be doing.

    I heard one yesterday from the person who was selling me my books for college. She had graduated and worked in the field for a year and now she was selling my books and going back to school for something else.

    I've constantly got this fear going that I'm wasting valuable years of my life going to school. I work really hard at school (Dean's List every semester), have a full-time job, and am trying to plan a wedding. Needless to say my life gets pretty stressful when school season is in full swing.

    So what about you guys/girls? When you graduated college what happened? Did you get a job that pertained to your study?

    I'd like to hear some good stories to combat all the tragedies.
    Here's MY take on it.

    I have a pet peeve about people who went to college, take a job in a different field, then complain that they didn't/can't get work in the field they wanted. The reason I get angry? Because, in my experience, they weren't driven enough, weren't dedicated enough, to go for their dream. I never fault the degree. I fault them.

    Lemme explain.

    For me, I went to college for criminal justice and broadcast journalism. When I left college, I fumbled around a while and landed a job in the restaurant industry. Over the course of 4-5 years, I went from busboy/dishwasher, to server, sporatic bartender, to manager. It was good money and I enjoyed doing it....but is it what I wanted to do with my life?

    That's the point when most people stop and let momentum take it's course. They get on a career path and figure, hell, they've got a job, it pays decent, might as well stick with it.

    That's where I get pissy.

    Go for what you want.

    I repeat: Go for what you want!

    My thinking is a lot of people who get degreees, then take a job that a non-grad could take, don't keep their eye on the prize. They get into the real world, start making some cheddar and lose focus on why they went to school.

    For my part, I ended up applying to the PD and will have in my 20 years at the end of next year. A job. In the field I went to college for. (Now don't get me wrong, I don't have a degree. I left college following my junior year, but my college experience ended up being a real factor in my getting the job and my being a detective.)

    Let me use a better example. My brother graduated college with a degree in Food Science. He graduated, took rinky dink jobs for a while and networked like hell until he got a job in Food Science. He was making 40-50K a year, had a company car and got to travel.

    But then he realized he always wanted to be a vet. That was originally why he went to college. So what did he do? He quit his job, made himself indigent enough to qualify for loans and went to Purdue's very selective vet grad school. He was older than everyone in his class by a long shot, due to going back to school. Bottom line, my doctor brother now works as the chief vet in a local clinic. He kept focused and got what he wanted.

    I know it's hard to find a job in your field of study, but I think it can be done if you keep your eye on the prize. I've got sis-in-laws who USED to complain to me that they didn't get jobs in their field of study, till I always would chide them on just what did they do to make it a reality?

    My experience is that quite a few college grads allow themselves to be taken from their field of interest, then don't fight to get where they wanted to be.

    [Although don't discount the power of networking. The local FOX morning show was thinking about doing moring film reviews years ago. Thanks to networking, I was on the air twice, Yup, broadcast journalism some 20 years after college. They decided to go not do reviews, but I got a shot. I had a chance. And the combination of networking and college in the field got me there. I always keep opportunites in the back of my mind.]

    Not to sound like a bad Hallmark card, but I truly believe that if you fight for what you want, you'll end up where you want to be.
    Hey! What're you kicking me for? You want me to ask? All right, I'll ask! Ma'am, where do the high school girls hang out in this town?

  7. #32
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    I don't know if anyone has brought this up (since I'm too lazy to read the whole thread), but what really burns me about The Star is they won't hire a writer unless that person has a journalism degree. As far as I'm concerned a lot of us on PD could write better than some of those yoyos The Star has hired.

    As for my degree I couldn't work in my field without it. That being said if I knew then what I know now I'd have gone to school for something different.

  8. #33

    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    I think a degree's important, but I have two, so I may be biased.

    If it helps at all, a degree and experience are both vital. Most college kids think they're going to jump out of college and land a job they will love and work the rest of their life. The real truth is you have to earn your way, pay your dues. You always start out doing glorified monkey work at first.

    Both of my parents died before I entered college, so I ended up working full time to put myself through school. In a way, it worked out for me, because I was able to pay my dues while going to school.

    The degree you get doesn't matter too much. I earned a BA in History, but worked on a computer technical support desk. When I graduated, I got a job as a software developer.

    Then I moved to sales and marketing, and thought an MBA would be helpful (which it has been, more for the education and networking than the career benefits).

    So, the jist of my experience is that a college degree is a big help, and your major is all but meaningnless, cause no matter where you go, you have to start out at the bottom of the ladder.


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  9. #34
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    A degree better be helpful, because I do NOT want to spend four years at college, only to take over and run the family business the rest of my life. No thanks.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Luckily I've known what I want to do since my 5th grade project. Absolutely love science and medicine, and I so cannot wait till grad school!
    Don't ask Marvin Harrison what he did during the bye week. "Batman never told where the Bat Cave is," he explained.

  11. #36
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Degrees open the door. Once you've worked a while, they're mostly meaningless except in certain areas. After 2-3 years more employers will give preference to experience over education, even when the degree makes a big difference, like in a tech field. Where things get really flakey is at some point, depending on what the field is and who's hiring you, how you get along with others can even be as important as experience.

    I too have two degrees. The first one was non-specific, a social science, and I got it because I didn't know what I wanted to do. It opened doors for me, put me in the "interview" stack instead of in the "reject" stack. Was I a better candidate for those jobs because I had a college degree, any degree, the experience of college? You bet. Was I a better employee than my coworkers who didn't have degrees? Maybe, probably, not always.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay@Section204
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    You and Btown have each hit the nail on the head - your degree will be more beneficial if you know exactly what you want to use it for. I think we - as a society - push too many people into college right away when they really haven't figured out what they want to do yet.
    The second degree I got was after I figured out what I wanted to do with my life -- at age 35. In my case I was hired on spec into the field I was training for long before I finished that degree. I got to train to do my job while I was doing it. In fact I started a university course on a Monday on how to do my job and I had already started my job on the previous Thursday.

    There were other people with degrees who tried to work in our department, current employees even who wanted to transfer over and work with us, who had EXPERIENCE in our company AND a degree in our field. Most of them were not given the time of day. Others, who expressed some level of interest who the bosses also knew, but who had NO training, got the jobs. Others who had the right degree (i.e. from a school the bosses liked) got hired even though they were obviously schmucks, even though there are many schmucks who get pretty far in life because they know how to schmooze.

    CONTACTS matter more than skills. It's so true -- it's not what you know, it's who you know. Once you figure this out and can make it work for you, you're on your way. 5 of my last 6 jobs, spanning 23 years, were gotten because I knew someone and positioned myself as a logical candidate. Make it work for you.

  12. #37
    Junior Member The Toxic Avenger's Avatar
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Well, you already have a full time job that qualifies as experience in the Communications/Public Relations field and a cheesy as it seems I could give a nice speech about you or at least let you put me down as a reference...

    "Why yes... Dave single-handedly saved this company. In his two years here he has implemented an advertising camaign, organized several community events that I never thought would be possible, and become a great friend to myself and my family...God has Blessed that man."

    Well its a start.

    But honestly a Government Job? Good lord, I don't think I would be able to handle the bureaucracy... So many forms to fill out just to tell a guy he screwed. And you wouldn't be able to really work your way up the ladder as easily as some other jobs because the Depts all criss-cross and everyone else is looking for a better spot, so instead of just your company your competing with every employee of the state of Indiana. Just picture any person you know who works at the License Branch and picture Yourself in their chair, at that weight.

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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave
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    Awesome! Did you get a job right after college? Or did you have one waiting on you before you graduated?
    Yes, I was on the job search my entire last year of school. I had accepted an offer a few weeks before graduation.

    I'm still here too. Haha.

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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    One final thought DD. If your college has a Career Services or Job Placement department make sure you use them. You've paid good money and while it may not be their responsibility to find you a job it is their responsibility to help. They normally are willing to go the extra mile to assist. Like everywhere else colleges are about numbers and they love to brag about job placement rates.
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    I think a college degree is vital. Maybe you'll never use anything you learned while in college and maybe your career will not even be related to what your major was. But employers like hiring those with college degrees because it shows them that you can learn and accomplish something.

    Plus college is the best time of your life, whether you are living the "college experience" or not. I did both, 2 years on campus and two years off campus living with my parents, and looking back all 4 years were the best time of my life. (plus living with parents allowed me to go to more Pacers games, because I was closer and could afford to go

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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Cox
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    I sure hope so.
    Don't bank on it though. I was told the same thing coming out and it didn't really seem to help. Where you are willing to go is as important. I think my situation was different in that it wasn't ment for me to get a full time teaching job again until I met my wife.

    As for going to college or not, I would definitely encourage anyone to do it. There are just more opportunities for someone with a degree, even if it isn't where you think it can be. The most important thing is to be happy in what you are doing and not let the dollar signs get in the way. I may not make a lot of money, but my schedule lets me do more outside of work than if I was making twice as much and working year round. My wife is an RN (a associates degree) and has a job where she can work 2 days a weeek, make her own hours, and still make almost twice what I do. The most important thing though is we have time to do what we WANT to do, not what we have to do.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by SycamoreKen
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    Don't bank on it though. I was told the same thing coming out and it didn't really seem to help. Where you are willing to go is as important. I think my situation was different in that it wasn't ment for me to get a full time teaching job again until I met my wife.

    As for going to college or not, I would definitely encourage anyone to do it. There are just more opportunities for someone with a degree, even if it isn't where you think it can be. The most important thing is to be happy in what you are doing and not let the dollar signs get in the way. I may not make a lot of money, but my schedule lets me do more outside of work than if I was making twice as much and working year round. My wife is an RN (a associates degree) and has a job where she can work 2 days a weeek, make her own hours, and still make almost twice what I do. The most important thing though is we have time to do what we WANT to do, not what we have to do.
    Man ain't that the truth.

    Anybody that wants to be an RN in this day & age can pretty much set their own hours & make money that is out of this world. There is & has been for almost a decade & a half a shortage of nurses.

    I bet your wife has the weekend shift & get's paid for three days even though she only works for two of them. Is that correct? I know a lot of RN's who take that deal with the local O.B. departments.

    I'm not kidding guys when I say that agency ICU nurses make $50.00 an hour as a starting scale.

    I'm not saying they don't deserve every Penny they make but if you ever wondered why health care $$ have gone up this is just one of the many factors.

    My Sister in-laws Mother in-law (wow that is convoluted) is a D.O.N. a group that owns several Nursing homes & she makes mid 6 figures a year. Plus a Ford Excersion, monthly stipend for housing & they pay her more $ everytime she goes to a class. She hasn't even touched a patient in years.

    It's good you & your wife have a lot of time together, that is very important in life.


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  18. #43
    Jeff Foster
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    2 more years and I have a degree in IT! I can't wait

  19. #44
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    I will agree with those others on here that recommended a college education. Just don't set your sights out of reach. When you graduate you probably won't be making more than a guy out of highschool, but hopefully you will be in job that will increase your skills and experience. I have only an Associates degree, but I worked my way up from the ground floor at my full time job, and I probably wouldn't have gotten that start without my degree. My best advice is once you get your foot in the door, work hard, and listen. Big money comes with successful experience, which is why all those jobs on Monster usually mention having "years in" qualifications.


    GOOD LUCK
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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peck
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    Man ain't that the truth.

    Anybody that wants to be an RN in this day & age can pretty much set their own hours & make money that is out of this world. There is & has been for almost a decade & a half a shortage of nurses.

    I bet your wife has the weekend shift & get's paid for three days even though she only works for two of them. Is that correct? I know a lot of RN's who take that deal with the local O.B. departments.

    I'm not kidding guys when I say that agency ICU nurses make $50.00 an hour as a starting scale.

    I'm not saying they don't deserve every Penny they make but if you ever wondered why health care $$ have gone up this is just one of the many factors.

    My Sister in-laws Mother in-law (wow that is convoluted) is a D.O.N. a group that owns several Nursing homes & she makes mid 6 figures a year. Plus a Ford Excersion, monthly stipend for housing & they pay her more $ everytime she goes to a class. She hasn't even touched a patient in years.

    It's good you & your wife have a lot of time together, that is very important in life.
    Actually she just started agency work today so she doesn't have to do weekends. She's making +$30 an hour with it getting bumped up to +$40 in about a month. Better than the $24/hr. + differential that she was getting working full time. We pay more for insurance now, but she makes up the difference in 1 shift.

    She used to be an EMT and a paramedic, so she has seen things from both sides of that fence. She liked doing it, but when she moved back to Terre Haute and couldn't get a job decided it was time to become a nurse. She has plenty of stories, some that I find too gross to hear. She tells me anyway though.

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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarionDeputy
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    I will agree with those others on here that recommended a college education. Just don't set your sights out of reach. When you graduate you probably won't be making more than a guy out of highschool, but hopefully you will be in job that will increase your skills and experience. I have only an Associates degree, but I worked my way up from the ground floor at my full time job, and I probably wouldn't have gotten that start without my degree. My best advice is once you get your foot in the door, work hard, and listen. Big money comes with successful experience, which is why all those jobs on Monster usually mention having "years in" qualifications.


    GOOD LUCK
    I agree with this post. When I graduated, I had to take a temp job making $8.00 an hour and had to live with my parents for 6 months. Then I got a job in Indy, which paid considerably better, but it was still a job that you didn't need a degree for.

    A year into that job, I got a promotion without even interviewing for the job. The one question I got asked by the director at the time was "Do you have a college degree in something?" I said yes, and got the job.

    I did that job for 3 years, and got the necessary experience I needed in the industry. Even though I got laid off recently, I found a new job in under two months, and the manager of the department told me they knew they were hiring me when I walked in the door for the interview.

    The hardest part is getting your foot in the door. But the degree is definitely worth it. Try to get as much experience as you can during college. That's my biggest regret.

  22. #47
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    Yay! I have a piece of paper...er, degree!

  23. #48
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    I'm close to finishing up my undergrad at UCLA right now. I think, at least from what I got out of so far, is the better critical thinking skills, communication skills, organization and discpline. Oh and working better with people, because that's important.

    I think that's what you get out of most majors unless they are highly specialized like Medicine.

    But hey, I have not finished yet nor have had a big paying job(although I do like my current job). So we'll see, which is the biggest scary part...

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    Default Re: Did your college degree help?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonica
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    I wouldn't worry so much about the academic aspect of it right now versus the practical aspect (experience, resumé and connections). You're on a different path than a lot of your peers in that you're starting a family a lot sooner than most. I imagine you feel more of a sense of urgency. In other words, I'd jump on it whenever the opportunity presents itself. Put out some feelers and see what rapidpacersfan and pb777 have to say. Write to Mark Boyle and mention this place and his posting here. Instant ice-breaker. Pick his brain and see what he thinks. I can't imagine that he wouldn't write back.



    You and me both. I've never gotten over that hesitancy to ask for a favor. It's always painful, so just get used to it. And you watch, someday you might find yourself in a position to repay some of those favors. Like when Paul B is an aging out-of-work DJ and needs to change careers. I'm kidding, of course.
    I missed this thread the first go round, but let me just say that there is some really good stuff in here.

    Firstly, as others have said a college degree is kind of a catch 22. If you dont have it some, maybe even most employers wont even look at your application. But when you end up getting one, more times then not you dont use a lot of what you learned in college in the real world.

    Harmonica said a lot of great things in here, and I can say from experience (I didnt want to go to college, still dont) that he is correct 100% in what he has said. Being persistent and having a "never let failure hold you down" attitide will take you places.

    Also, as he said, use your connections. I know that while I like my day job, I dont like waking up at 4AM to be at work. With that said, I knew some people and I asked about getting my foot in the door. Even if you dont decide to go down that career path, any internship looks great, both academically and on your resume.

    I also agree with who ever said we push people into college in our society all to often. I have long said I think we should make it requires for our students to finish 9th grade, and then if they want to go out in the real world and work them let them. If you want to stay in school then you can.

    I can tell you from personal experience that 99.999% of the kids who left school would end up coming back within a year or two.

    Sure, the allure of having a house and the privacy that comes with that is nice, but esp. in areas with a high cost of living, can be down right dreadful. Trying to make mortgage, pay a car note if you have one, and all the other responsibilities that you have is a lot to have on your platter, esp. if you are working a full time job. In reality what sounds great turns out to be you spending very little time at the house, usually just sleeping and on the weekends, and thats assuming you dont have a weekend job.

    Not to say there is anything wrong with going that route, cause I love it, but it is a lot of responsibility and it can get to be a pain in the *** (not to mention grociers add up very quicky)

    Sorry about the ramble, and best of luck you you!

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