Advice Thread

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The Jester
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Advice Thread

Postby The Jester » 10 May 2011, 09:13

This is a bold move for me; trying to make a thread that I actually hope will stick around..

I've been thinking for a while that although the forum has threads where you can ask advice on specific things (Sex, Relationships, coming out or otherwise related to a non-heterosexual sexuality), or where advice gets offered even when it's not wanted (Venting Thread, Mixed Emotion thread) these are all either very specific subjects, or places where being given advice isn't what a person is looking for.

Also, it's not easy for everyone to make new threads (re: My Problem With Forums That Get Too Big) so having a thread for esoteric advice, where one can ask things without making a new thread.. well, I figure some of us might like one.

In fact, related to both those points, I occasionally have questions that I can't fit into those subjects and can't think of anywhere to ask them...



SO, here is (or could be) a place to ask for or about anything and everything. Educational courses, travel, technical help with computers or programs or equipment, hobbies and activities, anything you need help with!


To start us off, I find myself in a quandary. I've been avoiding attending University for a number of years because the student culture I perceive around further education in this country is.. rather repellent to me. I know that not all students are unpleasant louts, but the further I can stay away from the ones that are the better.
Another problem is.. it would take three years to get a degree in anything. I'd be fucking 27 by the time I finished. I would probably then go on to a masters in Library Science or something, which could be another three years. This is really quite off-putting. The idea of starting my "adult" life at thirty is.. it seems odd. Unbalancing. Off. Unappealing. Etc..
Also; there are issues with funding, but I'm aware that as a "mature" student my age will likely mitigate some of them. They're a factor, but not as big a one as the others I have mentioned.

However, on the other side of this, and what is currently making attending further education more attractive is; I'm sick of feeling stuck in one place, both in terms of my life and goals, and also literally physically. I'm sick of this town and I want out.
I'm also tired of trying to find a basic wage job that I wouldn't hate and just give up after four or fewer months. I want to do something, and spending (possibly) six years to become a librarian is something I could do. It's something I could commit to, knowing I'd have prospects in a field I'm interested in.


It's a big deal, and I'd like advice from people I like and trust, people with lots of experiences and points of view of their own, so please; Advise! Weigh in! Ask questions of your own! Seek the knowledge and sagacity of our peers! ;)
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby theDreamer » 10 May 2011, 09:18

People are assholes everywhere.

Never let assholes prevent you from bettering yourself or doing something you enjoy.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Metcarfre » 10 May 2011, 09:20

I finished my degree at 27, technically. Not a problem. Some people bloom later. My wife's boss was a flight attendant for fifteen years before she went back to school and got her MSc and then PhD, graduating in her early forties. Now she's the premier mind in her field and is constantly being courted by several universities and governments.

And speaking from experience, it's very easy to avoid people you don't like at uni.

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Re: Advice Thread

Postby The Jester » 10 May 2011, 09:21

Well true, but if you can make a choice to either be further away from or possibly in daily contact with assholes.. well, there is some sense in choosing the former, isn't there? Some attraction, or logical support.

I can work on my own projects - the things I really want to advance and get out there - wherever, and I don't think I'm more likely to spend more time on them at Uni than I am right now.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby aeric90 » 10 May 2011, 09:22

It's popular knowledge that modern world living begins at 30 now in general. Seems that our overall longevity and lack of a desire to retire has shifted certain life events further. People are waiting to get married (if at all) and to have kids. Affording housing takes longer. Many factors contribute to this. I wouldn't worry too much about that.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Theremin » 10 May 2011, 09:24

Your perception of students is just that: your perception, and not necessarily representative of reality.

You say you're sick of the town you're in and want to get out. From your age, I'm guessing you've been out of school for almost 5 years.

What have you been doing? Unless you're planning to go into a non-traditional industry like stand-up, or being in a band, you're not going to get anywhere with no skills or qualifications. You WILL keep going from shit job to shit job, because you won't be able to get anything else in this situation.

If you want out of this, you have two options:

- Either get a basic wage job and stay for more than four months (you might actually have a chance of getting a promotion if you stick around), and save up enough to relocate, getting a slightly better job when you actually have something substantial to put on your CV.

- The same as step one, except you use the money from the job to put yourself through university.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Master Gunner » 10 May 2011, 09:35

There are several people I see every day that are in their 30's or later and going through for a bachelor's degree, some already with degrees in different fields, some for the first time, some in houses with families, others living in residence. For masters, my mother didn't finish hers until after 50. It's never too late to go back, and you'll likely always be able to find something you enjoy there.

Also, by and large students are not "unpleasant louts", and most of those that are, are first year students away from home for the first time, and you are well within your rights to slap them upside the head if they get too uppity. If you decide not to live in residence, then odds are you will never even notice them, and even if you do live in residence, you'll find the vast majority of people to be likable guys just trying to get through life as best they can, same as you. Some residences even cater to older and foreign students, such as the one I'm staying in right now (half off campus, kitchen facilities, nearby daycare for those with families, and a floor with 24/7 quiet hours).

If you want to get out and do something different, then do so. It is never too late.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Matt » 10 May 2011, 09:39

I am personally planning to go get my master's degree in the imminent future, and that will take me until I'm 30 to do.

'Adulthood' (so to speak) pretty commonly starts at 30 these days.

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Re: Advice Thread

Postby theDreamer » 10 May 2011, 09:44

I also fail to see how being in school prevents you from being an "adult."

I can vote, almost drink(end of July for that one), marry, own property, gamble, theoretically drive (I lack a license, however), have sex, and anything else an adult could.

I also have to work to pay my bills.

How does my being a student negate any of that?
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby The Jester » 10 May 2011, 10:15

It doesn't, but I see the time when you leave full time education, get a house and a mortgage and settle down into a field of work.. that's what really marks the change to me.

I know not a whole lot of students are useless fucks, it's just.. a negative confirmation bias with me. Every time I meet one I think "Oh yeah, another representative of a proportion of students" and meeting another also makes me think the percentage is higher.

Theremin, I did my GCSEs in 2003, did a year of sixth form and was "asked to leave" - I'm terrible at written work and had no idea what or who I wanted to be, went to college for two years doing Media but didn't pass - was similarly direction-less, worked for three years at a shitty customer service job I hated, was unemployed for a year (basically doing nothing besides failing to find a job), went back to college for a year and got a BTEC Distinction in Art and Design, aaaannd.. have been unemployed for nearly another year.

Ideally I want to make a living as an author and artist (creating my own comics); last I checked, there weren't any courses that lead directly to that being offered in the UK.

I know that still studying at 30 isn't a big deal, I know a lot of people are just starting their adult lives then, but.. I feel like - for me, personally - that's not ok. I feel like I should have started on my path already, and I've not really even taken the first step. I still don't know what direction I want to move my life in.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Theremin » 10 May 2011, 10:26

You keep saying you don't know, but you just said 'author and artist'.

Self-creating and publishing exclusively your own work is very unrealistic if you actually want to make a decnt living. You'd be better off trying to get a job at a comics or illustration company.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby The Jester » 10 May 2011, 10:39

Authoring's one option, and the other that I feel happy going for is becoming and being a librarian while I still try and make it comicing.

There's also basically only one comic publishing company in the UK (and I don't really think much of them, nor think my ideas would fit with their .. portfolio) and emigration costs FUCKING SHIT-TONNES of time and money.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Theremin » 10 May 2011, 11:00

By 'one' do you mean 'one large company'?
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Rikadyn » 10 May 2011, 11:09

I only figured out what I wanted to do with my life in the last say 2 years (i turn 27 this fall) and any degree I want, it's actually better to have the experience of working in the field first before approaching any of the schools.

Problem is, finding a damn job in the field that doesn't require me to move out of state.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Slack Mesa » 10 May 2011, 11:42

From my own experience, I can say that the student culture that matters most at any university is the subculture of one's immediate circle of friends and classmates. If you're at a university famous for sports and binge drinking, but you pursue, say, an art degree, you'll probably be spending a lot of your time surrounded by people who like the same things you like. Not 100%, of course, although sometimes that's one of the fun things about university life (and the world in general): you end up finding common ground with people whose interests and values once seemed at odds with your own.

With regard to post-university career, it's partly a matter of finding the overlap between "things you want to do" and "things employers need done." E.g., if you're an artist, but you can't find a company in your area that needs someone to create graphic novels, you might find that there are web companies and/or marketing consultancies that need artists.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby The Jester » 10 May 2011, 12:06

Yeah, but I'm figuring that any small companies in the area, or hell even in the UK, who make comics probably aren't going to have the resources or desire to take on a new hire right now.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby theDreamer » 10 May 2011, 13:02

The Jester wrote:Yeah, but I'm figuring that any small companies in the area, or hell even in the UK, who make comics probably aren't going to have the resources or desire to take on a new hire right now.


And that kind of thinking gets you nowhere.

Wanna how you'll find out? Look for places, send in a portfolio and resume.

Let _them_ tell you they don't want to hire you. Never tell yourself that.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby iamafish » 10 May 2011, 14:51

Jester, you're killing me here! Stop making excuses. you say you have all these ideas and plans and thing you want to do, but keep finding excuses for why you can't do them. Becoming a professional artist is hard enough without you telling yourself you can't do it.

There is nothing wrong with going to uni as a mature student. Given that nearly 50% of people go to uni these days, saying the majority of people at uni are drunken louts is ludicrous. There is a massive cross-section of people at uni, including mature students who generally have a reputation for knuckling down and working, as opposed to the students fresh out of school who tend to want to have a good time as well as getting a degree, but most of them get that out of their system after a year or two.

If you really want to make something of your life then you need to get out there and actually make something of your life. Guess what, it's hard. you're not going to get everything in a silver plater, not everything is going to go your way and you might not like it sometimes, but trying to get somewhere is much better than sitting on your arse making excuses for why you can't do what you want to do.

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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Jillers » 10 May 2011, 15:14

I went back to college after 5 years off. I'm 26 now, and typically the oldest person in any of my classes at any given time. With any lick, I'll be finished with school by 28/29.
Is it odd that I'm going to start my "adult" life at 30?


And, there will always be people who go to school to party.
I don't see why that would have any effect on you in any way shape or form. Really? Why does it matter?
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby The Jester » 10 May 2011, 15:31

No, I'm not saying it's odd that other people do, just that I wish I'd sorted out what I wanted to do with my life earlier, and can't help but feel I should be further along a path of my choosing than I will end up being by the time I hit 30. It's entirely personal.

Yeah, I know I'm generalising really egregiously, but I .. I dunno, I guess I can't really defend that. The Unis I visited last year to have a look at, all the art departments were full of indie hipsters. And I find most 18 year olds I've met in person to be rather immature. I 'unno. I'm just building a picture with the pieces I've got.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Theremin » 10 May 2011, 15:39

Shoulda, woulda, coulda. It doesn't matter that you could/should have sorted your shit out earlier, what matters is that you do it now. And moping about the fact that time is passing you by does not help that.

The Jester wrote:Yeah, I know I'm generalising really egregiously, but I .. I dunno, I guess I can't really defend that.


Good! You're making progress. You're recognising a problem.

The Jester wrote:The Unis I visited last year to have a look at, all the art departments were full of indie hipsters. And I find most 18 year olds I've met in person to be rather immature. I 'unno. I'm just building a picture with the pieces I've got.


And now you're making up excuses based on very limited anecdotal experience so that you can continue to have that problem.
Last edited by Theremin on 10 May 2011, 15:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby theDreamer » 10 May 2011, 15:43

...I'm 18.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Theremin » 10 May 2011, 15:45

Yeah, but if you add those two numbers together you're only 9.
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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Matt » 10 May 2011, 15:47

OH NO! NOT HIPSTERS!

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Re: Advice Thread

Postby Metcarfre » 10 May 2011, 15:48

Let me get this straight; you're using theoretical people who may or may not exist to blame for past, present, and future failures.

...


Brilliant!
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