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Thread summary:

Seal Beach: full-time job, colleges research, contacts and connections, shared housing, reserves

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Old 10-28-2007, 11:35 AM
 
Location: Wichita, KS
10 posts, read 15,400 times
Reputation: 11

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I was born in California, but my family relocated to Kansas when I was still a toddler. As an inquisitive, independent, open-minded person who is deeply interested in culture and the arts, I have always been miserable here and have wanted to move back to California my whole life.

Relatives in Seal Beach have offered to put me up rent free for six months. During that time I want to find a full-time job (or two part-time jobs, whatever it takes) and save as much money as possible, while also continuing to research colleges in Southern California, get to know the area, and make contacts and connections.

With that said, I have several questions.

1) Without a college degree, will I be able to find employment?

2) Will I make enough doing entry level work (retail, waitressing, clerical, etc.) to be able to afford housing shared with 1 or more people?

3) What would be a good place to move after leaving my relatives? I'm looking for a less expensive area in Orange County or LA County ($1200/mo rent on a studio) that isn't too dangerous for me to walk alone in.

4) How hard is it to find roommates and shared housing opportunities? Where should I look? Any places I should avoid?

I plan to work and save money here for another year before relocating. How much do you think I should have in reserves for the move? Would $5000 be enough, considering the first six months in Seal Beach will be rent free?

Although I am young (20), I am very hard-working (50-60 hour weeks), responsible, and manage my money well. I am aware that the cost of housing in California is very high, and am prepared to pay over $1000/mo rent, although naturally I would prefer a slightly cheaper ($800-900/mo) shared housing option. I am open to different opportunities and possible living situations- that is, I don't care if I live by myself or with several others, in an apartment, rented room, shared house or other housing. Close quarters and sharing space don't bother me.

Although I haven't gone to college, I hope to eventually do two years of community college in CA and then transfer to a UC or CSU- preferably well after establishing myself as a California resident. I plan to live in CA on a long-term basis (until I get married and have children), not just for college.

What do you think?
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Old 10-28-2007, 01:33 PM
 
Location: right outside your window
605 posts, read 658,261 times
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All the best to you!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadPanda View Post
Relatives in Seal Beach have offered to put me up rent free for six months. During that time I want to find a full-time job (or two part-time jobs, whatever it takes) and save as much money as possible, while also continuing to research colleges in Southern California, get to know the area, and make contacts and connections.
Seal Beach is beautiful, imo. Next to CSULB too, and LBC College.

Of course you would be able to find employment w/o a college degree, Starbucks, Whole Foods, 2 part time jobs--whatever it takes, as you said.
You would save a lot of money if you rented a room from someone or found some roommates--possible future college students like yourself?
Brea is a nice little town, Fullerton, Westminister, places like Placentia have studio rentals for $1200+ furnished or unfurnished.
Why did you pose the question about what would be a good place to move after leaving your relatives? Do they play a factor in your decision?
Please avoid Santa Ana....$5000 is pretty good, imo, although more would be wiser...imo, going rent free sounds like a fantastic opportunity..
The rent here seems to be climbing for apartments, more like $1400+/mo.
Look on Craig's List---great info on this, I'm in the middle of making a move as well.
In all due respect, living out here is quite possibly more expensive than you might think.
Look forward to hearing about your progress!
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Old 10-28-2007, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Yorba Linda, CA
198 posts, read 841,693 times
Reputation: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SadPanda View Post
I was born in California, but my family relocated to Kansas when I was still a toddler. As an inquisitive, independent, open-minded person who is deeply interested in culture and the arts, I have always been miserable here and have wanted to move back to California my whole life.

Relatives in Seal Beach have offered to put me up rent free for six months. During that time I want to find a full-time job (or two part-time jobs, whatever it takes) and save as much money as possible, while also continuing to research colleges in Southern California, get to know the area, and make contacts and connections.

With that said, I have several questions.

1) Without a college degree, will I be able to find employment?

2) Will I make enough doing entry level work (retail, waitressing, clerical, etc.) to be able to afford housing shared with 1 or more people?

3) What would be a good place to move after leaving my relatives? I'm looking for a less expensive area in Orange County or LA County ($1200/mo rent on a studio) that isn't too dangerous for me to walk alone in.

4) How hard is it to find roommates and shared housing opportunities? Where should I look? Any places I should avoid?

I plan to work and save money here for another year before relocating. How much do you think I should have in reserves for the move? Would $5000 be enough, considering the first six months in Seal Beach will be rent free?

Although I am young (20), I am very hard-working (50-60 hour weeks), responsible, and manage my money well. I am aware that the cost of housing in California is very high, and am prepared to pay over $1000/mo rent, although naturally I would prefer a slightly cheaper ($800-900/mo) shared housing option. I am open to different opportunities and possible living situations- that is, I don't care if I live by myself or with several others, in an apartment, rented room, shared house or other housing. Close quarters and sharing space don't bother me.

Although I haven't gone to college, I hope to eventually do two years of community college in CA and then transfer to a UC or CSU- preferably well after establishing myself as a California resident. I plan to live in CA on a long-term basis (until I get married and have children), not just for college.

What do you think?
Why don't you apply to a university first and see if you can qualify for any sort of scholarship or anything? As for work, if you're planning on going to school and excelling in your studies, I wouldn't recommend working full-time except for summers--unless you are extraordinarily driven. It's a special person that can excel in school full-time while also working full-time. Working part-time while going to school will allow you some financial independence if you're frugal, but also offer more free time for you to join clubs and get involved in extra-curriculars (not just to make friends, but to network to find a great job after graduating).

I used to work as an hourly at an Adult school for $10/hour... banks also pay fairly well as long as your okay with some sales. BofA and WaMu pay much less than Downey Saving or other smaller banks, but my recommendation would actually be to try and work for OCTFCU (or other credit unions)--I believe their folks are paid pretty well, and it seems like a much more relaxed and friendly atmosphere than regular banks.

If you're okay with food service and are willing to work your butt off, In'N'Out actually pays okay... their managers make something like 60-100K, too, I think--but you definitely work for it.

Another option might be a paid internship depending on your major--and those can pay decently,too, if you look hard enough.

Other places: Costco (pays at least $10/hr and from mine and my brother's experience is a great place to work), Best Buy (I think is also in the $10/hr range--I've got a friend who really likes it there, too), Staples/Office Max (I think they're in the $9 or $10/hr range, too).

One place to avoid--Disneyland. They're are not nice to their employees... according to every friend I've ever known that worked, or still works there, it's like working for the gestapo/KGB. They all pretty much say it was a truly horrible experience.
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Wichita, KS
10 posts, read 15,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YLresident View Post
Why don't you apply to a university first and see if you can qualify for any sort of scholarship or anything? As for work, if you're planning on going to school and excelling in your studies, I wouldn't recommend working full-time except for summers--unless you are extraordinarily driven. It's a special person that can excel in school full-time while also working full-time. Working part-time while going to school will allow you some financial independence if you're frugal, but also offer more free time for you to join clubs and get involved in extra-curriculars (not just to make friends, but to network to find a great job after graduating).
If my parents were rich, we never would have left California in the first place. I can't afford out-of-state tuition and I assure you that I am not going to qualify for much- if any- free money. I can take out loans, but I'd rather take out loans on in-state tuition, so I want to move to California more than a year before I start school. From what I've read, I might need to stay for two years before a UC will allow me to pay in-state tuition.

So, in the mean time I just plan on doing whatever work I can get and saving as much money as I can- and I will work full-time even while in school, because I don't really have any other options. I know plenty of people who do it, and I'm pretty sure I can keep up with them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by YLresident View Post
One place to avoid--Disneyland. They're are not nice to their employees... according to every friend I've ever known that worked, or still works there, it's like working for the gestapo/KGB. They all pretty much say it was a truly horrible experience.
Oh God I would never work there.
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Old 10-28-2007, 09:25 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas
538 posts, read 1,660,043 times
Reputation: 354
I think you could find something with room mates for $600-$1000 a month depending on where you go. Seal Beach is expensive but I live in Los Alamitos which is about 4 miles from there and it will be less expensive and still safe for you as a single female. There are a lot of great restaurants around the area and that is a great job while going to school. You have your pick of schools, Long Beach State, UCI and a few community colleges such as Orange Coast College, Golden West College and Cypress COllege. I would personally stay away from Long Beach City College, kinda a rough crowd there these days. You will get a true beach experience living in Seal Beach for 6 months but on your budget you may not be able to afford it after the free rent runs out.
Don't forget So. Cal is not a commuter friendly place. You should have a car. And it is pretty competitive in the looks department as well. People out here are very into the way they look-sometimes that's good ,sometimes bad. Just the way you look at it I guess. I just know what my daughter's and all their friends go through living in the OC. I have one in college, one in high school, and one in middle school. It is a very competitive environment.
Being young you will love the experience and hey if you don't like it you can always go home! Good luck to you!
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:12 AM
 
Location: Yorba Linda, CA
198 posts, read 841,693 times
Reputation: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by SadPanda View Post
If my parents were rich, we never would have left California in the first place. I can't afford out-of-state tuition and I assure you that I am not going to qualify for much- if any- free money. I can take out loans, but I'd rather take out loans on in-state tuition, so I want to move to California more than a year before I start school. From what I've read, I might need to stay for two years before a UC will allow me to pay in-state tuition.

So, in the mean time I just plan on doing whatever work I can get and saving as much money as I can- and I will work full-time even while in school, because I don't really have any other options. I know plenty of people who do it, and I'm pretty sure I can keep up with them.

Oh God I would never work there.
Starting with a community college is much cheaper route--and I believe it is actually easier to transfer to a UC if you keep your grades high enough... at least that's what my manager told me (I work at UCI). You'll also be able to work more easily at the community college b/c class times are availble both day and night. If you go to UCI, working full time will be more difficult as they tend to offer far fewer night classes than CSUF (the business majors at CSUF offer TONS of night courses), but it's a really great school.

That's cool with the work and school full time--my friends who were more driven to get to the real world did it... I had the luxury of my parents paying for my college education so I took advantage of only working part time so I could connect with more students on campus in clubs. At the university level, though, you really can maximize your networking by at least getting involved with major-related clubs as much as you have time for--a post-graduation job might come out of it.

You would probably find a number of places in and around Fullerton that would suit your needs as far as your price range and being pretty safe--I would say the closer to school, the safer the complex. My friend lived in the Nutwood East while attending CSUF and seemed okay with it--they stayed there about 3 to 5 years, I think, so it wasn't so bad they felt it necessary to move. I think they paid about $1225/mo for a 2-bdrm/2bthrm apt. Renting a room would probably bee just about the cheapest you can go, though. A couple of my friends found roommates and places on craigslist, others have called the ads on the bulletin boards posted at school...

There are plenty of places to work in OC... you could also sign up at a temp agency and make up your own schedule and try out several different companies. One of my friends was placed as a temp at one place that ended up hiring her on full time.

If you'd prefer a little more hustle and bustle, you should hit up the LA or Long Beach areas, definitely. Renting a room in a house in a safer neighborhood might be better than a cheap a apartment in a not-so-nice one there. If you're going to be here 6 months before moving out on your own, I think visiting your prospective schools and surround neighborhoods will be your best bet.

The $5000 can go toward your deposit, tuition (which is MUCH cheaper at a CSU than at a UC, but depending on your major, a UC may be the better choice), a down pmt on a car (if you don't already have one--life sucks here w/o one), and/or furniture.


Here's a student budget from Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa:

http://www.orangecoastcollege.edu/NR/rdonlyres/BCB5E45E-1E1C-4A14-82B7-3B57FEB51960/0/StudentBudgets0708.pdf (broken link)
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:33 AM
 
188 posts, read 899,921 times
Reputation: 63
If you're deeply interested in the arts and culture- maybe OC isn't the best choice for you.There's the new Segerstrom Center, but OC is more about business and investors than arts. LA is generally the place that artsy people like.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Denver
9,224 posts, read 15,937,627 times
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I know a couple of young kids who work TEMP jobs at clean office environments doing data entry, collating papers..etc, they just moved to CA from Michigan and they are doing the same thing as the OP.

It sounds like you have 6 months for free, so what is there to lose? You come out for 6, try to get setup working for a TEMP, Borders, Malls, Starbucks, Restaurants. If after 6 months, you got a handle on it and can move in with roommates then you are GOLD. If not, well back to Kansas I am afraid.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:50 AM
 
Location: Wichita, KS
10 posts, read 15,400 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by wealthtrader View Post
If you're deeply interested in the arts and culture- maybe OC isn't the best choice for you.There's the new Segerstrom Center, but OC is more about business and investors than arts. LA is generally the place that artsy people like.
I'm thinking about transferring to UCLA after some community college, so I actually do want to move to LA eventually, but not necessarily right after my six rent free months in Seal Beach are up. If there is a better opportunity for me in OC (job, rent, community college), I'm open to staying there until I transfer. So, I'm researching both areas right now, trying to get a feel for what the different opportunities and cost of living are.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:53 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 83,000,765 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadPanda View Post
I'm thinking about transferring to UCLA after some community college, so I actually do want to move to LA eventually, but not necessarily right after my six rent free months in Seal Beach are up. If there is a better opportunity for me in OC (job, rent, community college), I'm open to staying there until I transfer. So, I'm researching both areas right now, trying to get a feel for what the different opportunities and cost of living are.
I read somewhere on another CD post that if you go to Santa Monica Community College (I think) you are guaranteed admission to UCLA. I found that hard to believe when I read it and I didn't research it. But you might want to check it out, find out what the catch is....If it is true, I'd jump on it.
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