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Old 12-22-2014   #31
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 78
Some good advice for sure.

I am going to probably play the other side of the card. The advice about putting your head down and focusing on school and then play later is probably really good advice, advice that I probably should have listened too but I didn't. Don't get me wrong I did fine at school and graduated with a BFA in Design with a triple minor. But I was an art student so well it was easy.

What I did do was have one heck of a great time. I will say that again a HECK OF A GREAT TIME. I understand all the advice about working hard now so you can play later but I guess for me that only holds true if I could know for sure I was going to live to an old age. Like they always say we could die tomorrow. If I do die tomorrow I am going to be very thankful I had the experiences and the friends from over the years. Sure not going to be thinking about what I did in school.

After school I did something even more stupid and started my own company. 11 years later it is going strong but I am still broke. Same situation on that one, I didn't really get set up financially to be in a great spot but I had some of the most amazing times over those years. Traveled the world and got to work with friends in 30 countries.

So point is really consider what you want out of life first. To some living a more reckless just see how it goes style sounds crazy but to others that is exactly what they need. At the end we all have the same outcome so really think about what you want to remember when the end is near.

I have a young son and I think about this stuff often because I wonder how I will deal with this topic. I am not going to let him be a bum or worthless person and hopefully teach him about hard work. But I am also going to try and inspire him to live his passions no matter what it takes. Maybe those are conflicting views but I think balance is important. I am also going to try and make sure that as he grows up through 1-12th grade that he really thinks about the experiences he is having. Try to help is actually figure out what he likes, what his passion is. I think that is lost in our current school system. Not saying every 12th grader should know what they want to do, just saying that we should do better to get kids to realize that what they are doing is sampling options for the future.

Finally, DO NOT spend a ton of money on your school unless you have a ton of it. Stay in state, get a degree and like what another poster said get to know people. The people you know is worth 10 times your degree.

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Old 12-22-2014   #32
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,031
A friend quit is job as a smokejumper.
It wasn't a good career job but it paid well with the overtime.

He used his degree to go to work for the State. Wildlife job.
He gets to do some of the neatest things.
Dropping fingerlings from a copter into wilderness lakes. Turkey stuff too.

May I suggest that for a river person a career that doesn't pay real well but puts you on rivers etc.
Making a difference in the wild should be considered?

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Old 12-26-2014   #33
2kanzam's Avatar
Charleston, West Virginny
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 461
College was freaking awesome....I may have missed out on some boating time but there were many other things I had lots of fun doing and wouldn't change it for anything. I had to pay for it myself, but it was worth coming out with no loan. Contrary to popular belief, one does not need to sell their first born to go to college.

Go to school now and it will pay off later. With the very few exceptions, the peope I know who did not get a degree are having a harder time now 10-15 years later and don't have much time to "play" anymore. Ok, the richest person I know is a multimillionaire and has only his GED...but he also has no time to play either.

Having a degree gives you a better chance of affording the time and $$ for such a hobby. After that it's up to you to keep the work/life balance in check. THAT is where most people fail regardless of their degree, job or financial situation.

Granted as T1112 said, you could die tomorrow...but sometimes you gotta take that risk to reap the rewards later. When you're young the risk to benefit ratio (in this situation) is heavily weighted in your favor. You can live life like there's no tomorrow after a few years and you have the time and $$ to do so properly.
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Old 12-26-2014   #34
Redmond, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1973
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,031
Most Western Universities and Colleges offer some sort of OUTDOOR PROGRAM.
No fee other than individual trip expenses. Share gas.
In the basement of a student union building.
Go sign up and get to do everything possible local. Plus big trips on occasion.

I'll venture that the bigger schools have safe quality leadership and that you can start with people that are natural teachers.

My experience was that one does not even need to be a student. While I had gone to OSU I found that later when I lived in Eugene the UofO's Outdoor Program was excellent.


There is the possibility that going to college will get you out even more.

Great way to sort out the crew you want to go with too.

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