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Old 02-06-2017, 12:13 PM
1 posts, read 2,371 times
Reputation: 10


Hi everybody, this is my first time posting on this forum. I'm in kind of a not so great situation. I absolutely hate where I live. I came here with an open mind, I really really tried, but I'm miserable here. I'm 19 and I've spent most of my childhood in Southern California (LA, San Diego). Despite all the bad things many people say about California, it has always been the place where I am truly happy to be. A few years ago, we moved to Europe which was a great adventure and a lot of fun, the only issue being that I was now considered out of state for California colleges (in state tuition is practically impossible to get for undergrads) and I can't afford any private colleges. So I went to the only university I could afford which is in the mountain west (think Idaho, Utah, Wyoming). The place I live has a nonexistant gay population, terrible winters, and has no diversity whatsoever. It's gotten to the point where I daydream of just packing all my things and moving to California, which, when I think about it isn't a very smart thing to do with the cost of living and job availability for non-college grads. My question is, any tips about what to do? I'm just trying to take things day by day but the thought of being here for another three years gives me crippling anxiety and depression. Have any of you been in a situation like this, being stuck somewhere you don't want to be? In terms of college I'm doing fine academically (have a 4.0), but I don't know how to go on here honestly. I mean I've lived in so many places in my life time, in different countries even and I have never felt this way before. Any advice or help?
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:53 PM
Location: Raccoon City
812 posts, read 1,070,560 times
Reputation: 1302
Southern California is tough competition. I've moved around a lot in these last couple of years, but I guess since I'm originally from rural Kansas, different can be good. However, in university I was in a somewhat similar position to you. Shortly after I arrived to my university to get my bachelors, I began to realize that they are other places I wanted to be, namely Chicago. I had always dreamed of living in the big city. Nevertheless, I knew I had to be practical. I couldn't just walk away from the opportunity to get an education, especially if I was going to waltz into a competitive city like Chicago. So I figured it was best to spend the next couple of years giving my education my all, and better yet, I now had legitimate time to prepare for a move to Chicago (which I would do by myself with no job lined up, yet I was successful because I prepared). You can do the same. Three years will fly by. Trust me.

The best advice I can give for now: try to learn to love where you are as best as you can. It is an important adaptation skill that will serve you well in the future. It is a bad idea to romanticize about other places to be. It will keep you from enjoying the opportunities and people right in front of you. Keep the idea of California in view and plan for it along the way when you can, but don't waste too much time day dreaming. It will create an idealized version that even a place as nice as SoCal can't live up to.
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:11 PM
1,290 posts, read 1,123,469 times
Reputation: 2152
Use the fact that you feel 'stuck' in a place you hate as motivation to continue being excellent in school and developing a resume, both academic and internships, which will allow you to be highly sought after by employers in areas you'd rather live in.

Or, if you have great grades, maybe you could transfer to another school somewhere you'd rather be?

Whatever you do, don't quit school and try to move now and find a job that can pay the bills. It might feel like a good move now but in 5 or 10 years you will most likely be kicking yourself that you took a short term happiness choice over the long term smart one.
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:54 PM
4,787 posts, read 9,290,646 times
Reputation: 12632
Life is not about instant gratification. You need to develop long term goals. I would stay where you are, continue to get great grades and plan for the future.

There is no point in trying to live in San Diego at 19 with no college degree and no work skills to get a job that would enable you afford San Diego. Living in San Diego for you would be a goal and it's a good idea to figure out how to do so for the future.

Hang in there, make good decisions as far as what courses to take for decent employment opportunities after college, look for internships and focus on planning.

Whatever you do, don't feel sorry for yourself. You're lucky that you have a college you can attend, you are in a decent place academically where you are succeeding . Make the best of what you have now.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:24 PM
Location: TOVCCA
8,452 posts, read 11,424,886 times
Reputation: 12307
Increase your college course load to the max allowed, which will leave no time for anything else, like daydreaming for California, and it will get you your degree that much faster.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:35 PM
Location: Minneapolis, MN
6,053 posts, read 3,377,056 times
Reputation: 7686
Grin and bear it and plan to move elsewhere for the future. Trust me, I was in a similar boat. I grew up in South Florida and I enjoyed it as a kid but as I grew older, I started to dislike it more. So many things I didn't like, the glorification of thug culture (usually by suburban poseurs), the language barriers, the never ending heat, the lizards... list goes on.

I now live in Texas and while it ain't my favourite place either, I like it a lot more and am very thankful and grateful I don't live in Florida. And when I get a little homesick well, its okay, I visit every year. Driving down in May for my brother's graduation. Some places can be fun to visit but if they're not your cup of tea then it can suck to live.

But focus on education first. I wanna move out of Texas and head up north but I am not doing that until I have a bachelor's degree under my belt, come hell or high water.
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Old 02-06-2017, 03:53 PM
Location: The South
5,211 posts, read 3,627,108 times
Reputation: 7886
Sounds like you need to do a hitch in the US Army and find out how to live in places you don't like.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:01 PM
Location: Arvada, CO
13,237 posts, read 24,403,441 times
Reputation: 12999
Originally Posted by simon.heather View Post
Any advice or help?
I think this is a natural progression.

I grew up in So Cal. Hated it. Clawed my way out. 13 years after leaving, I love the darn place. I don't really want to live there again, but man I sure love going back.

I lived in a small desert town for 3 years (age 20-23). Hated it after a month. Clawed out to something better. I like visiting for nostalgia sake, but wouldn't care if I ever went back again.

I've been in Denver for 10 years (age 23 to present). Loved it for the first 2 years. Been ambivalent for the last 8.

Was in Spokane for 6 months (age 25) + this past weekend. I kick and scream every time I leave. Could be that I wasn't there long enough though, or it is indeed my unicorn.

My point is that nothing is permanent. The things that get to you now, will be incredibly minor down the road. I hated that desert town because there "was no diversity", and because racist epithets were thrown my way all day. I figured Spokane (also not diverse) would be the same. IT WAS NOT. Surprises can lurk around any corner.

There are still trails to walk down. I would yell at myself if I could see myself at 19. I was such a putz. But I've turned out ok. That crappy desert town gave me my wife and my child, and I owe it that every single day.

Finish school. Get out or stay for life. It's your choice, and you will pay or reap along the way.
Moderator for Los Angeles, The Inland Empire, and the Washington state forums.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:17 PM
9 posts, read 5,666 times
Reputation: 15
Yeah it sucks being in a place where you feel there is nobody to connect with. I've lived in northern Utah so I have an idea where you are coming from. I will say this, there usually are people you vibe with around, but you may have to try harder to find them than you are used to. Nice thing is though, once you find a few people you really connect with you will appreciate them that much more. I would suggest seeking out things and places where the type of people you want to be around might hang out. You are young and in college, surely there are other young college kids around that share your interests.
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:04 PM
8 posts, read 5,574 times
Reputation: 14
Default California Universities

One option you may have not considered is to enroll in a California community college for 2 years and claim residency after 1 year. California has great transfer programs for both the UCs (Transfer Admission Guarantee | UC Admissions) and Cal State. I don't know exactly how competitive it is today, but 5-10 years ago it was significantly easier to get into UCs as a transfer from a community college than to get admitted in-state as a freshmen. This form shows the data up to 2015: http://ucop.edu/institutional-resear...irs-table2.pdf. As you can see, the transfer admission rate to UC Irvine, a great school, is 50%! The transfer admission rate to Berkeley is 25%.

If you already have some college coursework and you take classes during the summer, you may even be able to transfer within one year. Alternatively, if you will need to work part-time to support yourself, you can take 3-4 years to earn enough credits to transfer and take fewer courses.

If you decide to go that route, I would suggest either living somewhere where you already have friends/extended family as a support network or in a cheaper part of California that has a good community college system. You can find information about community colleges that have good transfer rates online. Here is one link: https://www.admission.ucla.edu/prosp...rof09_CAcc.htm

One possibility that is both somewhat affordable and near anyone you still know in the Orange County/San Diego area would be Fullerton community college. It looks like you can rent rooms in Fullerton for ~$600. It also has a good student community because Cal State Fullerton is nearby.

All that said, if you just don't like the place you are in and aren't sure you actually want to go back to California (it is very expensive!), you could consider enrolling in a community college and transferring in a state with a lower cost of living. States where you may feel less isolated and that are better in terms of mild winters/ diversity / large gay populations are Virginia (specifically the Richmond, Roanoke Valley, or Hampton Roads areas; I would say even some part of Northern Virginia while expensive are much cheaper that most of California and offer better job opportunities), North Carolina (Raleigh-Durham or Charlotte areas). Both Virginia and North Carolina have excellent universities at a wide variety of selectivity levels and community college guaranteed transfer admission agreements.

For what's it worth I think you definitely shouldn't stay in a place you don't like unless you have family obligations or a job that keep you in the area. You're young and you made a mistake. Find somewhere you like. Also, if you need any other reason-- where you graduate college often determines where you get you get your first job because of network effects.
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