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Old 07-26-2013, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
2 posts, read 6,411 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello all, pardon the ramblings.

I am a nineteen year old with a high school education and a few college classes taken during high school. I live in a town of roughly 8,000 people. The class I graduated with has all mostly disbanded, gone off to Universities while some have stayed here for the community college and will then move on next year to a Uni. I was going to go to college but while enrolling at a University I just felt a strange feeling of loneliness. I assume it was because I knew nobody around me, possibly other reasons. It seemed to turn out for the better though, because I found good paying job (that is part time) in one of my passions, while my other part time job is another passion. I am the youngest employees at both job places. One being a horticulture and landscape field, while the other is computers and networking. Both of which usually default to requiring a college education. I got the jobs somewhat because of my knowledge and experience, but also due to a reputation.

I have a few good friends from my class, but they are all venturing off in the next year or two. 90% of my family lives in this town too. I know at this age the norm is a college student, but after college I would (have been) 22 years old and out in the workforce, like I am already. So I don't see the gain there. However, I would have probably found a partner along the way to assumingly date and marry. That is the social norm, at least. It is somewhat depressing to talk with classmates who have their big dreams of getting a great job, and starting a family in the city. They ask why I don't want to leave this place. I give various reasons, but it just seems they are too ignorant to understand my reasoning. After all, I started looking at pros and cons of my future decisions at the age of 16, finding balance with college vs no college, small town vs big city, dating in high school vs having high standards, and so forth. I am not sure why I am writing here exactly, I am just looking for different views or maybe some assurance that what I am doing is not all that bad? Perhaps some more mature minds that have been around the block a few times could give some opinion here? Asking family just returns the answer of doing what feels right and makes you happy, but we all have regrets in life, I just don't know if I will regret staying local in a small town unlike what seems to be 95% of people my age?

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) : What are the drawbacks of taking a decent occupation instead of going to college, living in a small town instead of the city, and not finding love during the college years by not going?
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:27 AM
 
80 posts, read 195,110 times
Reputation: 76
The primary reason people want a university degree is to improve their earnings potential. It is usually harder to get a job in a desirable field without one, unless you prefer the kind of job that is more working with your hands. And even then, there is often some kind of formal education program. For example, my plumber told me he went to school for years to get his master plumber certification. But, you seem to have already found jobs that are satisfying to you. Do you foresee the opportunity for advancement without a college degree? If or when you start a family, do you believe your earning potential will keep pace with the rising costs associated with family life? Even without a family, you may someday want to purchase a home, go on vacations, etc. Will your career support that kind of thing?

If the answers to all these questions is favorable, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. You might even be able to take training along the way that will give you the vital skills without going for an entire degree. There is also more and more online courses available. Working for 4 years and getting a headstart in your chosen field is very valuable as well.

I don't really think of a town of 8,000 to be that small. Your chances of finding a mate aren't that low. It will depend more on how outgoing you are and how selective you are. If you are unable to find a mate by a reasonable age (defined by you), then you may possibly feel increasingly anxious. That would be the time you might regret where you live and the life you've chosen. But, if you have kept your skills sharp, taken additional classes along the way so you won't be left behind, you can choose to relocate at that time.

I personally did not marry or even have good prospects to marry until I was over 30. My relationships were rare and shortlived until I finally met the right person. And guess what? I didn't stay in the "small" town that I came from. I went off to college and got an education, made some friends, had some fun, but didn't find love. I moved to a major city within a year or so of getting my degree. I lived there for three years, made some friends, had some fun, but didn't find my love. Circumstances had me move to a different major city. I lived there for about five years, making some friends, having some fun, and still not finding my love. Until finally, I became anxious enough that I expanded my search via the internet. I found my love that way. Of course, that meant one of us had to move. She did.

So, just because someone chooses the standard approach to life by going off to college doesn't mean they will end up with storybook results. I am happy now, with a wife and children. I have a pretty good job. But one thing I often wish for is to be able to move back closer to my hometown. It's nearly a thousand miles away. It's hard to have it all for some of us.

Your family is right. You have to decide for yourself what is right for you. If you are a praying person, then do plenty of that.
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Here
2,671 posts, read 6,006,061 times
Reputation: 2704
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeviousNic View Post
Hello all, pardon the ramblings.

I am a nineteen year old with a high school education and a few college classes taken during high school. I live in a town of roughly 8,000 people. The class I graduated with has all mostly disbanded, gone off to Universities while some have stayed here for the community college and will then move on next year to a Uni. I was going to go to college but while enrolling at a University I just felt a strange feeling of loneliness. I assume it was because I knew nobody around me, possibly other reasons. It seemed to turn out for the better though, because I found good paying job (that is part time) in one of my passions, while my other part time job is another passion. I am the youngest employees at both job places. One being a horticulture and landscape field, while the other is computers and networking. Both of which usually default to requiring a college education. I got the jobs somewhat because of my knowledge and experience, but also due to a reputation.

I have a few good friends from my class, but they are all venturing off in the next year or two. 90% of my family lives in this town too. I know at this age the norm is a college student, but after college I would (have been) 22 years old and out in the workforce, like I am already. So I don't see the gain there. However, I would have probably found a partner along the way to assumingly date and marry. That is the social norm, at least. It is somewhat depressing to talk with classmates who have their big dreams of getting a great job, and starting a family in the city. They ask why I don't want to leave this place. I give various reasons, but it just seems they are too ignorant to understand my reasoning. After all, I started looking at pros and cons of my future decisions at the age of 16, finding balance with college vs no college, small town vs big city, dating in high school vs having high standards, and so forth. I am not sure why I am writing here exactly, I am just looking for different views or maybe some assurance that what I am doing is not all that bad? Perhaps some more mature minds that have been around the block a few times could give some opinion here? Asking family just returns the answer of doing what feels right and makes you happy, but we all have regrets in life, I just don't know if I will regret staying local in a small town unlike what seems to be 95% of people my age?

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read) : What are the drawbacks of taking a decent occupation instead of going to college, living in a small town instead of the city, and not finding love during the college years by not going?
Was the University you were going to in the same town? Were you living at home still or on campus?
Can you return to these decent occupations if college aspirations don't pan out? University life and city life aren't for everyone, but it may be worth a shot at least.
The right college degree or college program can definitely help you advance, and open up more doors to you than you ever thought or imagined. There are resources at the schools, networking, diverse ideas. Maybe try going away for school in a more college-town type atmosphere where you're away from family and are more focused on studying and socializing?


Quote:
Originally Posted by trythis View Post

So, just because someone chooses the standard approach to life by going off to college doesn't mean they will end up with storybook results.
Just like trythis says, you won't always end up with the results you hoped. It may be a disappointment, or it may turn out even better. It just depends on you.

As far as small town vs. city life. That is a personal preference. I myself am from a big city, but I've lived in smaller towns; not as small as 8000 but smaller than I'm used to. I love the big city life, but right now at 27, I am enjoying a different environment.

Obviously the pool of dating is larger and more diverse in a big city. I personally had better luck 'dating' while I was living in a small college town.
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Nebraska
2 posts, read 6,411 times
Reputation: 10
trythis; Thanks for the input. I think I agreed with all of what you said. I understand sometimes there is not always the storybook life of college, job, spouse, family, etc. But it sure is common! Some of my friends have met their love of life in college one year in, while others are still single so that does say something. (One is getting married this month actually)

One thing I am passing through my mind is that I am roughly the age of the high school seniors, and each year I will be going further and further from that age group. I know very few kids who were in the grades below me, and pretty soon I will know none of the current High Schoolers, haha. But it causes anxiety I think, 'missing my opportunity' but then again, I am not really forward unless with friends, and when not many friends are here I am not out much in general. My life feels like it is getting pushed back, I am successful with finances, but I am kissing away my free time. As I use to think work while I am young, while the midnight oil is burning.

My occupations both have room for advancement, and I was ironically offered better position near the same time. I turned down both. The computer and networking one is actually with a government owned service which I will not name, but it's more or less secure. They had one full time employee quit, and I was offered the job but I did not want to be doing that kind of job full time because I am a man who like change, and physical work (to a degree) where computers and networking is quite a bit of sitting. 4 to 5 hours a day in an office is enough of that for me. There is usually 3 active full time and one part time. One of the other full time fella's is probably retiring in the next 10 years, I figure perhaps then I will have a better idea of what I want to do. The other job has taught me many valulable skills being with horticulture and plants, landscape, gardening, etc. These are all services I could profit from - while the business is going to probably be sold in the next 15 years if not sooner, where I could have first dibs if I were that ambitious. Lastly I run my own business with computer services in any free time I have. So I do not see college as a necessity, at least for my current interests and skill set.

Narfalicious; The University was in a different town, less than 2 hours away. I enrolled but did not go further than that. (attend) The word lonely was a lack for better definition, but it did not feel right, the environment was okay but the whole student debt,career future, and the lack of maturity did not seem great.

I am not really WANTING to go to college just for the experience and atmosphere. I just question if I would REGRET it. (For example - I never went to Prom because I did not like what it has become, and had no serious relationship going on at the time. I was told I would regret it, but so do not seem to.) I am a methodical man when it comes to finances, money, common sense, and the idea of frugality vs carelessness. College, in general, when looking at the education aspect of it does not make a convincing argument to me, so far.

You said you are from the big city so you definitely grew up different, but what is the environment you are enjoying currently at 27? (what I consider to be nearing settle down age)

Overall, one thing that does not leave my mind is the idea of meeting someone. It does not seem that any woman with decent standards actually will stay local or in a rural town and instead go looking in the city.
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Old 07-27-2013, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Here
2,671 posts, read 6,006,061 times
Reputation: 2704
From my experience with friends and coworkers in a few places that I've lived, people who didn't expect to finish college never really regretted their decision. You have to ask yourself if it is what you really want. You seem to only want to for the sake of not missing out and you have a grasp of work and life without it. You may have your answer already. Unless something else changes your mind.

There are decent women who want to stay in a small town. You just have to find them. If it's where you really want to stay, don't settle for another place that you don't want to go.


Im from Chicago. I was raised in a very busy place but when I went away for school for my final two years, I was 23. And it opened up new opportunities for not only work but relationships that I never had. A lot of people come out of college with a serious relationship simply because of immersion. Imagine if your whole town of 8000 was students your own age, better chance of meeting someone.

Right now I live in a town of 100,000 in TN and while it's in no way small, for me it is a simpler life. Less crime and rules to worry about. While I might move back to Chicago some day, this is where I'm happy because of my job, the outdoors that are a hop skip away, and like I said simpler. Hell if my gf was on board, I'd be living in the middle of nowhere. No luck though lol.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:06 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,984,436 times
Reputation: 29122
If you're happy and content where you are and with what you're doing, by all means stay and keep doing it. All the rest will likely fall into place in time. No need to worry or rush it.
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Old 09-01-2013, 11:38 AM
 
Location: USA
6,231 posts, read 5,521,015 times
Reputation: 10660
Having lived in a similarly populated town it's very difficult to date or meet new people unless you're already in the "in" crowd or frequent local bars. Small towns are also good for people (like me) with little ambition and prefer to relax rather than run the corporate rat race. I will never be rich or even middle class, but I am pretty comfortable.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:47 PM
 
8,619 posts, read 5,370,387 times
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My impression is that most people gravitate toward a lifestyle consistent with what they observe amongst their immediate relatives and closest friends. Being the first in one's family to graduate from college is rare because, well, it is rare to be first. For a person surrounded by college-graduates, after the limbo/care-free years of 18-24, it would become increasingly incommodious and awkward to have merely a high-school education. But for a person in a milieu where 4-year college is unusual and post-secondary education is typically tech-school or similar, the situation would be the reverse.

The social aspects of college are overrated. In today's harried and unstable world, meeting the love of one's life in college sounds more like an idle fantasy than a workable plan. On the other hand, college offers a context for maturation and self-discovery that's difficult to replicate through less formal means, such as self-education by frequenting the public library.

Would it not make sense to attend the local community college, taking general academic classes and maybe specialized classes towards computers etc.? That would be a useful springboard to eventually transferring to a 4-year institution, or perhaps even a terminal associates degree.
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Old 09-01-2013, 04:13 PM
 
1,472 posts, read 2,032,005 times
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I retired from following in my Dads foot steps working in a Union Bakery that is just what you did.

Once I retired I worked other Jobs did very well including a Job as a Seeds man, I did the Job of College Graduates, I supervised, equipment repair, had to know many chemicals, had to know many weed seeds and insects. I enjoyed the Job and position just didn't get the pay I should have because I didn't have my degree.

I have a Cousin that just moved to Kansas City to go to College. She is scared to death because where she lives it is like a war every night. She is just way out of her environment I just wish I could help her but all I can do is Pray.

Not sure if this helps. Anymore I would say get your education while your young. Think things through.

brushrunner
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:27 PM
 
9,054 posts, read 16,682,216 times
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I'm from a town of about the same size in a town that is dying on the vine ..... they are shuttering one of the factories and the other remaining one is down to a very small crew ..... over the past 30 years a lot of employment has dried up and the town has shifted to gov't and service industry

That said, there are people who have done well .... one of our neighbors took a while to grow up, but was working in a landscaping crew ... he built a really good reputation and then went on and started his own outfit - he does really well

There are people with computer expertise that can help out as rural computing has some of it's own challenges

Another neighbor keeps books for a local wholesaler

My classmates who stayed in the area either work for the bank or teach, plus one is a corrections officer - at least the ones I keep up with

We graduated about 140 and a good number of them went off to college and then onto better job prospects - with college being the escape

Another large group went military - again for the same reason, employment and location change

I knew at a young age that it wasn't for me so I worked on leaving .... I didn't want to get involved in relationships in HS or really put in ties to the town - I wanted out

I wouldn't worry about dating - I think it's the minor of people in college who meet their spouses there ..... it's very possible to find someone out of that context - I met my wife after graduation, half the country away from where I went to school

You will want to meet someone who is compatible with you - if they have city & career ambitions that limit where they can live and you really desire a small feel there will be conflict

So find what you want

There is absolutely nothing wrong with staying in a small town

There is absolutely nothing wrong in wanting to get out

Those two perspectives may not meet eye to eye when talking with your HS friends who have left and that's fine

What do you want to do?

It sounds like you have a couple things that you really enjoy for a career - which is awesome.

How can you advance there? Not just in the short term either? What is the future road, where do you want to be and how is the best way to get there.

Aside from that, if you are happy in your small town don't sweat the details - you have a job and potential career you love in a place your comfortable and enjoy - that's a heck of a foundation - look for ways to make it better and network socially with those who share your values ........ the numbers are a lot smaller, but since you'll have your stuff together you can move to the top of the heap
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