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Old 12-05-2008, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 13,678,808 times
Reputation: 2245

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Hello all! I am planning a trip to San Jose this February to look at SJSU with a friend that will be going to Santa Clara. I'm excited about going because I have never been to the Bay Area and I hear great things.

My question is: Can I make it in San Jose going to school and working part time while being totally self-sufficient? I won't be relying on my parents for hardly any money and I will be rooming with my friend too. We would like a nicer apartment but I am not sure what price range to look for. No bars on the windows please! I know that CA apts are much more expensive than what I am used to but I am also aware that wages are much higher too.

I would most likely wait tables or work as a manager in retail (experience) to get by until I graduate. What can I expect?
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Old 12-06-2008, 12:11 AM
hsw
 
2,144 posts, read 6,546,119 times
Reputation: 1530
SiliconValley, like any high-powered economic region, is costly and highly competitive, w/many talented people who come here from all over US and rest of world, but that's much of what makes the place so damn interesting...

Would argue colleges and jobs in region allow ambitious people to possibly enter more lucrative industries and develop own career more fully than in many regions which may seem "cheaper" or "easier" on first glance

Many of wealthiest guys in SV today arrived as penniless students from distant places, but are smart, industrious guys who figured out how to make a few bucks

Besides, QOL in SiliconValley is some of best in world....life is always a little bit better when weather is so rarely hot/humid or cold/slushy....and region has immense natural beauty as backdrop for the workaholic-filled suburban office parks that are the economic engines of the place
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:24 AM
 
Location: Northern California
3,700 posts, read 13,585,880 times
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Plan on spending about $1500 a month for a decent but not fancy 1 bedroom apt. I don't see how you can live here just by waiting on tables when you're not in school. CA unemployment rate is now 8.2% (and getting worse) and retail is one of the sectors hardest hit - people aren't buying stuff like they use to.
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:39 PM
 
Location: San Jose, CA
7,688 posts, read 26,595,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by humboldtrat View Post
Plan on spending about $1500 a month for a decent but not fancy 1 bedroom apt. I don't see how you can live here just by waiting on tables when you're not in school. CA unemployment rate is now 8.2% (and getting worse) and retail is one of the sectors hardest hit - people aren't buying stuff like they use to.
Rents have come down, if you filter out Craigslist by 1+ bedrooms under $1400 in the South Bay you'll get over 1000 results, most of them in privately owned multifamily buildings.
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 13,678,808 times
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Thanks for the replies! I am attracted to California because of the great climate and I really like San Jose because I can be close to San Francisco without actually being in San Francisco. Plus, San Jose seems like a very attractive city and SJSU looks nice too. My roommate would be going to Santa Clara and I am glad that the two schools are so close. It makes it easy to find a common apt.

One thing though, how do people get by in California if it is so expensive? You said that you don't see how anyone could get by just waiting tables and that's really scary to me because that is how I would put myself through school. I'm sure my parents would be alright helping me out a little bit here and there but I don't want to fully rely on them for support. Are there any suggestions for how a poor college kid could make it in San Jose?
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Northern California
3,700 posts, read 13,585,880 times
Reputation: 1881
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBanany View Post
One thing though, how do people get by in California if it is so expensive? You said that you don't see how anyone could get by just waiting tables and that's really scary to me because that is how I would put myself through school. I'm sure my parents would be alright helping me out a little bit here and there but I don't want to fully rely on them for support. Are there any suggestions for how a poor college kid could make it in San Jose?
If you were to pay for tuition, books, rent, food, utilities, gas for the car, etc., working part time waiting on tables when you're not attending college just wouldn't cut it.

Go to www.sfbay.craigslist.org/apa (broken link) check out a sample of rentals in the Bay Area. If you see anything that's "cheap", it's probably in a bad neighborhood.
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:37 PM
 
Location: yeah
5,716 posts, read 15,029,321 times
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You can get an apartment close to campus for cheaper than has been stated. The expensive places are up closer to the office parks.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:16 AM
 
2,652 posts, read 7,996,404 times
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It can be done with hard work and determination. If you listen to all the ney sayers in life you won't get anywhere. Here's a HOUSE in Mountain View with rooms for rent for $700: 3 rooms available in a big house in $750, $700,800/month... (http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/apa/946350210.html - broken link)

Good Luck.
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:34 PM
 
Location: West Coast
64 posts, read 295,703 times
Reputation: 48
Default It can be done

Having a roomate is the way most college students make it work. This is
a highly educated region. Many people that live here have been there and
done that. Do what you need to do to get where you want to be.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 13,678,808 times
Reputation: 2245
Thanks for the replies guys. My friend and I have been looking at places around $1800 for two bed, two baths. Of course, we'd split the rent so I'd pay $900 plus utilities. If I work 40 hours per week is it possible to make about $2000 per month in CA? I know wages are higher out there.
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