Ahhh...life.

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by ZiggyPastorius, Aug 7, 2008.

  1. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #1
    Disclaimer: This is mostly a rant thread. Looking for some help, though.

    As I get closer and closer to 18, life is starting to be a bit scarier. Don't take that the wrong way: I'm certainly not afraid of going off on my own and stuff more than a little. It's just so frustrating...Within a few months here, my girlfriend and I are going to have to sit down and really draw out plans for college, living expenses, et cetera...Anyone have any experience/advice/stories about preparing for college with a boyfriend/girlfriend? Perhaps some help with the biggest problems you faced when you finally moved out? The biggest problem I have right now in terms of college is the fact that the college I want to go to is in Boston...and Boston is expensive. Besides the fact that I'm not sure I can afford that, the college I want to go to is expensive as well. So, at this point, I think I'm going to apply to all of the ones I'm looking at, but (assuming I get accepted) go to Western Michigan University instead. It's closer to home, first of all, which means being able to be home more often/see friends/get help, and secondly, it's cheaper! Probably a good $1000 a month cheaper <.<...

    On another note, I had another lesson in life recently that just started in today (you'll see what I mean by that in a second). Over the past year and a half or so, I've slowly become more mature...I got a job last year, and started learning the lesson of having to pay for things and save...I didn't do very well with the savings, but I was able to make sure I paid for the things I wanted myself, rather than falling back on my mom for everything. I paid for my own car insurance, gas, and on top of that, was able to prove to my mom that I was mature and smart enough to make sure I paid off my own Macbook. Some of the proudest moments of my life have happened in the past year or so. I don't want to praise myself too much, though...I'm still a teenager, I still do stupid stuff sometimes, spend money way too freely, et cetera...but for the most part, I believe myself to excel beyond most of my peers in terms of responsibility. A lot of the little things I'm still getting wrong, like chores.

    Anyways, the lesson I just had...Last week (Wednesday, to be exact), I went on a trip to Jackson with my friends to hang at the mall and pick up an expansion of Guild Wars. The trip ended up being pretty bad. It was a very lucky trip that turned very unlucky. When we got to Jackson, I realised my van had no brake fluid. It was smelling really bad and smoking, so we bought some brake fluid and the like...I was extremely lucky that everything was working fine. We also picked up some extra oil and stuff just to be sure everything was all right. I know nothing about cars, and I didn't even realise the brake fluid was there, so I never filled it. Pretty stupid...Anyways, we get all the way back to my town, and I stop to get some gas. I go inside, pay, yadda yadda...get back, and my car won't start. ****ing great! I call my mom, she says it's probably flooded. Well, a long time later, it still won't start. To make the long story short, it turns out that despite the circumstances of the trip, it wasn't my fault: The timing belt broke. The car dealership told my mom a van of that type and age usually needs a timing belt replacement after about 100k miles. That van was on its first timing belt at 212k miles. Pretty good, I'd say.

    Anyways, it's an old, somewhat junky van, so I say...why don't I take this chance to, instead of fixing the van that's not gonna last me many more years anyways, for several hundred dollars, get myself a smaller vehicle that isn't too expensive, but gets good gas mileage so that I can hopefully save myself some money in the long run? Well, after being inconvenienced during a very busy week (I had work every morning, and pit orchestra rehearsal every night right after work 'til like 11 PM every single day this week, and it's going 'til next Sunday...ugh.), I finally got the car this morning. I realised what I was getting myself into, either way. So, now I have car payments, but I got a very good deal on an extremely well-working 1997 Buick Regal that gets about 24 MPG in town, which is much better than my old van. $2000, all the trinkets work, and it's in excellent shape. Not the best in terms of looks, but, I'm not complaining. Anyways, my mom isn't helping me with any of it, so now I have car payments every month that are almost as much as I make. It sucks, but, I'm hoping this whole thing will help a little bit towards my next step in life.

    I know this was a long, boring post, and not really relevant to anything...I'm just curious about people's hard experiences during their high school to college/real-world transition and stuff to that nature, as well as advice. I've been kind of stressed lately, so I'm also just looking to blow off some steam. Thanks to everyone at Macrumors, by the way, even the ones who don't read this. You guys help make some of my more boring days enjoyable!

    P.S. All the Apple stickers I've ever gotten (minus my first iPod and one other one) were on that van, so, if anyone wants me to send them some money by mail and they'll send me some/an Apple sticker(s), PM me :p
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #2
    It's great that you are learning to manage money and plan things out so early in life - I encounter people daily that are in way over their heads, and they are in their 20s. Good for you.

    As for the college thing, I can't help you there, I decided to join the Army, my classes are free, except books, but with work and family, I can only manage 1 or 2 at a time. Good luck.
     
  3. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #3
    I'd say my biggest downfall with money management is food. I find myself too often extracting small amounts of cash for coffee or a quick bite to eat, and unfortunately, it adds up.

    As for the army...yeah...I had a Marine guy pressure me into a meeting with him after telling him about eight times I had no interest in the military, and after getting like a 98% on the little miniaturised version of the entrance exam and having him tell me how awesome I am (seriously, it was creepy, he was just like "you're so awesome that you shouldn't have a problem getting in at all." Uhh...okay) But he told me he liked my honesty, because he asked me afterwards what I thought of what he told me, and I said "Honestly? If I could get all that college money and those benefits without being tied to the marines at all or having to answer to them for anything, it sounds great." I'm not knocking the military or anything, it's just not for me, and I think the guy understood that, even though he was a recruiter, so he had to do everything in his power to convince me.
     
  4. brendanryder macrumors 6502a

    brendanryder

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary
    #4
    wow, nice post.
    being 16,almost 17 i can relate to this thread in a few ways. ive had no car experience but just the relations of things in my life are kinda the same.

    spend alot of time when your deciding on a college. i spend a good solid 10 days reserching tons of different options and was set on the acedemy or art university in SF but after spending another week of reseaching i changed my mind. now i dont know what the hell im going to do :( just make sure it what u want to do and nothing else.

    when it comes to spending money i have/had the same probelems. so many tiny purchase's, especially food, add up so quickly! before you buy something spend 20 seconds, seriously!, and just think "do i really need this". i know it sounds so corny but it has saved me alot of money. if u are buying something online, pick all the things u want to buy and put it into the cart. look at everything in the cart and just think about everything. make adjustments and change things. once you are happy with it screenshot it or bookmark it and wait a day. do the same thing the next day. i dont know how many times i have don this and saved alot of money buy thinking bout how stupid of a purchase it would be.

    anyways, my legs are burning from my MBA so im done typing haha

    hope i could help, good luck with your...... life (sounds weird but i mean it in the nicest, none selfish, way :D)
     
  5. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #5
    Thanks! I try to be as reasonable as I can with my purchases, but it doesn't always work out. I'm working on it, though.
     
  6. brendanryder macrumors 6502a

    brendanryder

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Location:
    Calgary
    #6
    i know, its tough. i have the same problems sometimes:(
     
  7. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    Location:
    5045 feet above sea level
    #7
    definitely go to an in-state school. so much cheaper

    i really dont understand people that want to go to an out of state school when the educations is like the same....esp for undergrad


    sounds like you are setting yourself up pretty solid though
     
  8. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #8
    Well, to be fair, the in-state vs. out-of-state tuition is the same for the college I want to go to...it's just expensive, because it's a private school xD Only slightly more expensive than the private college in my town, though (Hillsdale College).
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #9
    So you need money to go to Boston (which is probably the better uni, right?), and so you decide that what you really need is a car, and car payments that equal what you make? How are you going to save? Do you "need" a car? Would you need it if you moved to Boston? :confused:
     
  10. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #10
    Do I need a car? Yes. If I go to college in Boston? Not while I'm actually in Boston. The thing with the car, was that I would be paying a LOT of money, to fix an old junky van that gets terrible gas mileage, and isn't worth much more than it cost to fix it, anyways. I was thinking about the long term in gas mileage. I still have the ability to save a bit over the payments, and I also have a savings bond to help me out.

    The biggest thing with the car is: I still have a year before I have to leave for college. I can pretty much have the car paid off by then, plus some extra, maybe. I do need a car to get back and forth from work, and other things I may have to do, for example: right now, I have to drive to the next town over every single day after I get out of work to do pit orchestra for the play "Oliver!" I know my plan's not foolproof, but a car is, while not a necessity, very very close to one. It's been a pain in the ass this past week without one, let me tell you...
     
  11. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #11
    Me and my girlfriend met at college and we did have a bit of a talk about university before the crunch came. We did want to go to the same university but it wasn't fully required. In the end we both went to seperate universities and it wasn't great, but we're still together.

    There's nowt to be scared of really. The futures all scary and stuff till you get there.
     
  12. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    I wasn't trying to point you in that direction, just letting you know what I did. The military isn't for everyone, it just happened to be for me.
     
  13. gonyr macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2006
    Location:
    Niagara County, NY
    #13
    I hear this circular logic a lot from teenagers. Why do you need a car? So I can go to work. And why do you need to work? So I can pay for my car.

    Don't take it as criticism - you seem to have your head screwed on pretty straight. It just caught my attention and struck me as funny.
     
  14. mac daddy macrumors newbie

    mac daddy

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    #14
    Be sure to pick a college that is right for you, and don't be too concerned with the "brand." Although some employers are infatuated with having employees from prestigious schools, the vast majority are mainly concerned with getting good people. Once you have some experience, you'll rarely be asked where you went to undergrad anyway. It's your performance on the job that matters in the long run.
     
  15. ZiggyPastorius thread starter macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #15
    Haha, don't worry about it! :D I wasn't trying to make it sound like I thought you were telling me to go into the military, I was just sharing a story. :)

    Oh, don't worry, I caught the circular logic. I even mentioned that very thing to my friend Joe a few days ago. Work is just one of the many things I need a car for, and to get around, especially when you're a musician that has to carry a big bass and an amp around with you, is a pain in the ass without a car. I didn't get a job solely to pay for my car, it's just now that a lot of the money I do make will go towards that car, so it's a bit of a different situation.

    Yeah, I started looking into colleges my Sophomore year, and I've been looking since. It's not so much the brand, as I hadn't even heard of my first-choice College before it was mentioned to me that year by my band teacher. The college is Berklee College of Music, and the main reason I want/need to go there is because they offer the Electric bass as a principal instrument, whereas most colleges only offer Upright. I can play upright, sure, but nowhere near as well, and I get nowhere close to the enjoyment out of it -- It's not my instrument. The other reasons are just because it's a very well-spoken of school that is focused solely on music, which is my passion, and also has a main focus on contemporary music, rather than classical training, which is important to me. :)
     

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