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Old 10-20-2011, 11:39 AM
 
454 posts, read 1,244,755 times
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I dropped out of college after I graduated with my AA degree in accounting which was when I was 20, now I am 25. So here is my story.

When I got out of high school I immediately applied for community college and took classes, I started like a month after I graduated by taking a summer class. During that summer I had a really good business idea and I started working on it part time. I decided to study accounting because accounting was the language of business. In the mean time I also had a real part time job making 9$/hr. I was living at home.

For the next year I worked on the business idea developing it and building the project. I was also working the job and going to school. By the next summer I had launched the product. It was mediocre success to say the least. Was making around 100$/month profit. Mind you, I had spent thousands of hours working on the project. So I kept on going and now was working on marketing the project as well as minor upgrades. Sales were slowly increasing.

By the second year of school I had finished all my classes early and graduated. I decided to take a month long vacation because I literally hadn't gone on vacation in like 5 years. So I went on a month long vacation just driving around, camping, hiking etc. When I got back from vacation I checked my e-mail box and had around 11,000 e-mails! I figured someone was spamming me or signed me up for e-mail lists. Turns out around 10,500 of those e-mails were the e-mails you get when you get a payment to your paypal account. Then I logged into my paypal account to check my balance. I damn near started crying when I saw the balance: ~$105,000.

After that point I knew I wasn't going to get my BA as planned and the rest is history to say the least. I've never looked back since.

So my advice to you is to finish your AA degree and start your business. These days to employers the whole BA degree thing is just a check mark on the interview paper. Means little, unless you are applying to one of those companies where its important to have a BA from a good school.

The whole idea that if you drop out of college you will be a failure is a complete lie. On the contrary the whole idea that if you go to college means you will be a success is also a lie. Success in life is entirely based on your work ethic, your motivation for the industry, and your ability to innovate/sell. Even in the working world those rules apply. You have to have a strong work ethic and motivated to work in the industry. Then you have to sell yourself to move up.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:42 AM
 
574 posts, read 1,067,221 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by a34dadsf View Post
I dropped out of college after I graduated with my AA degree in accounting which was when I was 20, now I am 25. So here is my story.

When I got out of high school I immediately applied for community college and took classes, I started like a month after I graduated by taking a summer class. During that summer I had a really good business idea and I started working on it part time. I decided to study accounting because accounting was the language of business. In the mean time I also had a real part time job making 9$/hr. I was living at home.

For the next year I worked on the business idea developing it and building the project. I was also working the job and going to school. By the next summer I had launched the product. It was mediocre success to say the least. Was making around 100$/month profit. Mind you, I had spent thousands of hours working on the project. So I kept on going and now was working on marketing the project as well as minor upgrades. Sales were slowly increasing.

By the second year of school I had finished all my classes early and graduated. I decided to take a month long vacation because I literally hadn't gone on vacation in like 5 years. So I went on a month long vacation just driving around, camping, hiking etc. When I got back from vacation I checked my e-mail box and had around 11,000 e-mails! I figured someone was spamming me or signed me up for e-mail lists. Turns out around 10,500 of those e-mails were the e-mails you get when you get a payment to your paypal account. Then I logged into my paypal account to check my balance. I damn near started crying when I saw the balance: ~$105,000.

After that point I knew I wasn't going to get my BA as planned and the rest is history to say the least. I've never looked back since.

So my advice to you is to finish your AA degree and start your business. These days to employers the whole BA degree thing is just a check mark on the interview paper. Means little, unless you are applying to one of those companies where its important to have a BA from a good school.

The whole idea that if you drop out of college you will be a failure is a complete lie. On the contrary the whole idea that if you go to college means you will be a success is also a lie. Success in life is entirely based on your work ethic, your motivation for the industry, and your ability to innovate/sell.
Very inspirational post.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:42 AM
 
52 posts, read 74,198 times
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Your son is reminding me more and more of myself haha. I knew a guy who I believe went to school and got a degree to do the whole DJ thing. He works at Wal-Mart, stocking the frozen grocery department. Good luck to the friend who is seeking to do that kind of work.

If your son likes partying (which is one thing he and I don't have in common), maybe he would do better at a four year school. Living in dorms, meeting a lot of friends, all that, would perhaps make him more competitive with others and see that despite partying, others are still attending class and working toward their degree. He might enjoy the social experience enough to keep at the schooling. However, it might just be a waste of money. It would be hard to get him to go for it if he already doesn't like school...and you'd be expected to pay for it I'm guessing. If you can get him to take out his own loans for it, then that would be good. I would just be careful about putting forth too much of your own money for any of that.

I would call in sick a lot when I worked at Wal-Mart the second time around...I really hated it. A lot. I knew it wasn't a good thing to do, but I don't have much respect for the company as an employer anyway so I did it anyway. Of course, they know that if you call in once a week or whatever, that you're not sick. I wouldn't have called in like that if I intended to keep working there.

As for the friend who was staying with family in Brazil...they may not be able to get loans because of credit scores and such. I had a friend who is very intelligent, book smart, great in school, all that, who was the first in her family to go and get a college education. She went to get her first loan and found out her credit score was destroyed. She found out that her mother got a credit card in her name, probably to gamble with, and ruined her credit. She couldn't get loans. Now she has to pay for the college out of her own pocket but her parents are also helping. It was very sad, she really deserved those loans. I know she'd make good use out if it. I have no doubt that she will get out of college with a degree, assuming she has the money to get through it.

If your son owes you money, then I would take something from him to make him pay up. I personally hate borrowing money so I don't do it, and I don't loan it either. Do you own his car? Maybe you could take the keys to get him to pay up. Tell him he needs to start working full time, paying his insurance, paying rent, buying his own food, etc or he is gone, and maybe you'll keep his car (if you own it). I'm mean, I know. I wouldn't be a nice parent haha. But I'd say it's entirely fair of you to ask those things, even if he were staying with you and going to school (especially if you're paying for it). I argue with my father a lot as well and he once told me that I should be a lawyer...funny.

But really. I would make sure that he really starts seriously thinking about what he wants to do and start up that plan. He's an adult now, right?

EDIT: Sorry, I was writing my post while a34dadsf posted! Thank you so much for sharing your story. It makes me feel more confident in the idea of starting my own business. I would REALLY love to do that more than anything, but I don't really have an idea to use like you did. That is just incredible. I hope that I can be that successful with something in my life. Just wow. Wow. Just thank you very much for sharing your story. It is truly inspirational.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:20 PM
 
11,413 posts, read 7,853,363 times
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Originally Posted by bbekity View Post
I swear I thought my own child wrote this post. Word for word, even the interest in writing and taking Psych classes. My kid feels the same way and has been asking if you can get rich and not have gone to college. His issue is the same as far as disliking school and doing the necessary work to pass. He is very lazy and immature in his thinking for an 18 year old. He has only been in Jr. College since the beginning of school in Sept and is already thinking of dropping out. He thinks he wants to own a plumbing company. How he came up with this I have no idea. He has no idea on how to handle finances or what things cost. He works part time at a local market.
Our dilemma is if he intends to drop out, things need to change around here and prepare him more for the real world and the cost of living by charging him rent, have him pay entirely for his car insurance and anything else he wants or needs. He doesn't pay for the necessities, we do including his portion of car insurance. Maybe you could give me advice about what you think is fair for a parent to do in this situation so we don't end up with a lazy, partying part time working kid sitting on the couch most of the day? We feel school is important for more than just an education. It's something that shows employers you can be taught new things and catch on fairly quickly and that you followed through with something. An 18 year old thinks they know everything and doesn't want advice from their parents because we know nothing, right? If he won't listen to us, who then? His other friends that dropped out? Sorry to take over...just such a coincidence that this should be posted today.
Tell him you understand how he feels about school. But, also tell him that if he's not in school, then things have to change.

He will need to get a job (probably fulltime) to pay his expenses. Make him a spreadsheet detailing those expenses. If it was me, I'd include ALL the expenses he'd be responsible for if he was living with you as a roommate and not a parent. If there are 3 of you in the house, 1/3 of the cable bill is his. Same for electricity etc. I wouldn't expect him pay 1/3 of your mortgage, but I'm sure you could do some research to see what a 3 bedroom apartment in your area costs and charge him 1/3 of that price. I know that sounds harsh, but reality is harsh and if he wants be out on his own someday he needs to understand what it really takes to survive.

I'd also have a conversation about the Plumbing company idea. You said your son is a bit immature so this is sorta like a 10 year old saying he's going to be a professional Baseball player. Ok... great. Now tell me how you plan to get there. IN DETAIL. Just saying it doesn't make it happen. If you have a goal, what do you think you need to accomplish to reach it? Let him tell you his plan. Smile and nod and try not to give advice. He'll either realize that he has no clue what he's talking about or will begin to really work out a viable plan. Like maybe going to trade school to learn plumbing?

Also, I would let him know that while you are agreeable to having him at home while he figures out his plans, that there are some strings attached. He will need to live by your house rules. I'd hand him a list of what they are pertaining to the chores you expect him to do, the hours you expect him to keep, your rules about friends in your house, drinking under your roof, etc.

I would ask him if he agreed to the terms (money/rules) in order to continue to live at home. Assuming he does, I would be absolutely FIRM about him abiding by them. People seem to get into the "sitting on the couch all day long" trouble when they waver on the rules and the kid knows they're not going to enforce them.
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Old 10-20-2011, 01:27 PM
 
574 posts, read 1,067,221 times
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Originally Posted by UNC4Me View Post
Tell him you understand how he feels about school. But, also tell him that if he's not in school, then things have to change.

He will need to get a job (probably fulltime) to pay his expenses. Make him a spreadsheet detailing those expenses. If it was me, I'd include ALL the expenses he'd be responsible for if he was living with you as a roommate and not a parent. If there are 3 of you in the house, 1/3 of the cable bill is his. Same for electricity etc. I wouldn't expect him pay 1/3 of your mortgage, but I'm sure you could do some research to see what a 3 bedroom apartment in your area costs and charge him 1/3 of that price. I know that sounds harsh, but reality is harsh and if he wants be out on his own someday he needs to understand what it really takes to survive.

I'd also have a conversation about the Plumbing company idea. You said your son is a bit immature so this is sorta like a 10 year old saying he's going to be a professional Baseball player. Ok... great. Now tell me how you plan to get there. IN DETAIL. Just saying it doesn't make it happen. If you have a goal, what do you think you need to accomplish to reach it? Let him tell you his plan. Smile and nod and try not to give advice. He'll either realize that he has no clue what he's talking about or will begin to really work out a viable plan. Like maybe going to trade school to learn plumbing?

Also, I would let him know that while you are agreeable to having him at home while he figures out his plans, that there are some strings attached. He will need to live by your house rules. I'd hand him a list of what they are pertaining to the chores you expect him to do, the hours you expect him to keep, your rules about friends in your house, drinking under your roof, etc.

I would ask him if he agreed to the terms (money/rules) in order to continue to live at home. Assuming he does, I would be absolutely FIRM about him abiding by them. People seem to get into the "sitting on the couch all day long" trouble when they waver on the rules and the kid knows they're not going to enforce them.
I admit I get worn down and out and have wavered at times. I told him today in a calm manner that I want him to give serious thought about stay in school vs. leaving and after he has done the research on both, we will all sit down calmly and he can tell us his ideas but so will we. I just get a sick feeling in my gut when it comes to my son's choices and what his future will be like.
@the unstable, I own both cars that he drives. One was purchased by me for him and had him sign a contract of what is expected of him if he ever wants to drive that car again. He has been driving my car and I'm tired of it. I have been waiting for him to get his car inspected so he legally can put it on the road but he hasn't yet. He's been slowly paying back my husband for expenses that my husband fronted for him. My husband is sometimes the reason my son doesn't take rules seriously. He can't stand to see my son suffer so he thinks he is doing a kind thing by helping him out. Just this morning he said if my son decides to drop out, he will help my son buy a business. OMG!!! I have two kids in reality. That is why I am having a hard time. I usually am the bad guy because I care enough to try and get him to stand on his own. He usually screws up though. I know my son won't really "get it" until he is out on his own and has to struggle to get by. There is no bus service where we live, so he needs a car to get to school which is about a half hour away. Work is less than a mile. He doesn't have the grades for any college which is why Community College. He didn't graduate with his senior class this year. Had to attend summer school which cost $600 to get his diploma which he did. See where I'm going with this?
When I went to hs I wanted to be a model. My parent's were kind enough to point out my flaws and tell me I didn't have a chance against the models my Dad saw down in the Fashion District, so I did some modeling for a department store instead. I hated school too, but was very creative, which my son is too, and became a hairdresser. Life took many twists and turns but I always had my license to fall back on. I wish I had gone to college though. Just never felt as good about myself when in the company of those that did go. Sorry for the rant.
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Old 10-20-2011, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Glen Rock, NJ
667 posts, read 1,748,754 times
Reputation: 387
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbekity View Post
I admit I get worn down and out and have wavered at times. I told him today in a calm manner that I want him to give serious thought about stay in school vs. leaving and after he has done the research on both, we will all sit down calmly and he can tell us his ideas but so will we. I just get a sick feeling in my gut when it comes to my son's choices and what his future will be like.
@the unstable, I own both cars that he drives. One was purchased by me for him and had him sign a contract of what is expected of him if he ever wants to drive that car again. He has been driving my car and I'm tired of it. I have been waiting for him to get his car inspected so he legally can put it on the road but he hasn't yet. He's been slowly paying back my husband for expenses that my husband fronted for him. My husband is sometimes the reason my son doesn't take rules seriously. He can't stand to see my son suffer so he thinks he is doing a kind thing by helping him out. Just this morning he said if my son decides to drop out, he will help my son buy a business. OMG!!! I have two kids in reality. That is why I am having a hard time. I usually am the bad guy because I care enough to try and get him to stand on his own. He usually screws up though. I know my son won't really "get it" until he is out on his own and has to struggle to get by. There is no bus service where we live, so he needs a car to get to school which is about a half hour away. Work is less than a mile. He doesn't have the grades for any college which is why Community College. He didn't graduate with his senior class this year. Had to attend summer school which cost $600 to get his diploma which he did. See where I'm going with this?
When I went to hs I wanted to be a model. My parent's were kind enough to point out my flaws and tell me I didn't have a chance against the models my Dad saw down in the Fashion District, so I did some modeling for a department store instead. I hated school too, but was very creative, which my son is too, and became a hairdresser. Life took many twists and turns but I always had my license to fall back on. I wish I had gone to college though. Just never felt as good about myself when in the company of those that did go. Sorry for the rant.
The first thing to clear up is the 2nd "child" in the room, aka your husband. What he is doing is providing a false sense of security for a young man and enabling really poor behaviour. This can really set his confidence back quite a bit as he doesn't seem to be stimulated. It's important for your son to know that you will always be there to lend a helping hand but that he needs to figure this out. Help him get excited about the prospect of accomplishing some goal, however small.

Also, have you considered a mentor/life coach of sorts? Someone outside of mom and dad that can help him focus a bit better. Someone he looks up to --(heck, maybe it's a local plumber friend that you may know). What you can then do is speak to that 3rd party person about your situation and let them communicate your message in a non threatening way.

Last but not least, both to your son and the OP, If you feel 'stuck', then you do need to figure out a way to get "unstuck". OP, if you like to write I presume you like to read. You're not the 1st teenager, nor will you be the last to have such doubts. But there are likely some great reads about folks that have found their way out. Read about guys like Mark Zuckerberg who dropped out of Harvard to build what we know today as Facebook. Plenty of these type of stories. Better yet, IF YOU CAN DO IT, Take the year off, load up your backpack AND TRAVEL. You will be so surprised at the landscape of this world when you travel. Better yet, travel and WRITE about your experiences. After some time doing so, you may be a point of your life where you'll have a bit more clarity as to what you want to pursue. You'll meet plenty of people along the way, both good and bad, that will also give you excellent perspective on how they view the world. If you do a bit of planning you can find a local gig here and there good enough to support your travel.

While companies/job opportunities don't require that you have a college degree, you are starting at a point of disadvantage for many reasons. BUT what they would care more about is what DID you do with all that time that you didn't attend College?

Good luck!
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:40 PM
 
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bbekity - Hm. I see now. I don't know how things will turn out but I think it seems like right now, your son needs a taste of reality. I would follow UNC4Me's suggestions, that way he can realize what it will be like on the outside without actually being there. You will be there to watch and make sure nothing goes seriously wrong. If that isn't enough, get him out and make him learn. It will be hard, but he should be okay. If this doesn't make him want to come back for your support so he can go to school, then maybe that's just not for him. But it sounds to me like trade school would be good for him.

lfsr1544 - Stuck is a good way to describe it. I'm working on the unstuck part. I do like to read, though I don't do much of it. I have heard of Mark Zuckerberg but I didn't know why he was famous until I read your post. And I can take the year off, but travel wouldn't work for me in the situation I've got myself in. I've got strings attached to myself, tying me to where I live, and I made that choice. I have to be here for my pets, some of which I could not reasonably find someone to take care of for me, especially not for a long period of time. There is only one person who can handle my raccoon and I would want him to join me in travel. I admit, though, it does sound exciting and promising. Maybe someday I guess. But it would be nice to just have some sort of new change. I feel like I really need that really badly. All this time that I have not been in college, I haven't really done anything productive at all, and I hate that. I'm ready to just get on with life and I feel like college would just suspend me...in time, in something. I don't know. Thanks for your response!
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