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Thread: What should I do with my life?

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    What should I do with my life?

    Second semester of my freshman year in college. Currently majoring in Journalism, which I don't plan to continue.
    I want to do something with cars, because I have quite an affinity for the automobile.
    I thought about going into mechanical engineering, but I've been told I should reconsider that, since much of the knowledge needed to do that is mathematical, and mathematics is my weakest subject.
    The college doesn't have an automotive program. I feel I made a big mistake going where I did.

    Anyway, I'm open to any and all suggestions. What do you guys think I should do?

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Hey amigo,

    You're smart to forget journalism - unless your desire to write is strong enough to overcome your need to eat! (Besides, you can write - or blog - and still do something else to earn a living.)

    Mechanical engineering: Yeah, if math isn't something you're pretty good at, this might not be right, either. But, if it's just a question of math being hard - then maybe don;t give up. Math is hard. But it can be learned, like many an acquired skill.

    What things do you like doing? This will help me give you some better, more specific advice....




    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    Second semester of my freshman year in college. Currently majoring in Journalism, which I don't plan to continue.
    I want to do something with cars, because I have quite an affinity for the automobile.
    I thought about going into mechanical engineering, but I've been told I should reconsider that, since much of the knowledge needed to do that is mathematical, and mathematics is my weakest subject.
    The college doesn't have an automotive program. I feel I made a big mistake going where I did.

    Anyway, I'm open to any and all suggestions. What do you guys think I should do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Hey amigo,

    You're smart to forget journalism - unless your desire to write is strong enough to overcome your need to eat! (Besides, you can write - or blog - and still do something else to earn a living.)

    Mechanical engineering: Yeah, if math isn't something you're pretty good at, this might not be right, either. But, if it's just a question of math being hard - then maybe don;t give up. Math is hard. But it can be learned, like many an acquired skill.

    What things do you like doing? This will help me give you some better, more specific advice....
    I like cars, alot, which is why I'm on this site. Being around them, driving them. I wouldn't mind driving to a dealership each day for work, though I don't really want to sell cars.
    I'd like your job, Eric.

    What else do I like... Reading, writing, as long as its a subject I'm interested in.
    I always wanted to be a professional driver.

    I wouldn't mind fixing cars for a living. But again, I made a huge mistake going where I did. Nothing in that area is offered. I feel like I'm going to waste the next three years getting a degree in nothing, and then I'm going to have to get education somewhere else to do things I want to do.

    I've also considered doing Management or Advertising...

    My top priority in a career is job-security.

    Guess I don't like alot. I know this doesn't really help, reguardless, thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    I like cars, alot, which is why I'm on this site. Being around them, driving them. I wouldn't mind driving to a dealership each day for work, though I don't really want to sell cars.
    I'd like your job, Eric.

    What else do I like... Reading, writing, as long as its a subject I'm interested in.
    I always wanted to be a professional driver.

    I wouldn't mind fixing cars for a living. But again, I made a huge mistake going where I did. Nothing in that area is offered. I feel like I'm going to waste the next three years getting a degree in nothing, and then I'm going to have to get education somewhere else to do things I want to do.

    I've also considered doing Management or Advertising...

    My top priority in a career is job-security.

    Guess I don't like alot. I know this doesn't really help, reguardless, thanks for the reply.


    I had a 2 year course in power mechanics but most of my mechanical training was at the knee of my grandfather and his friends. I ran a shop for 4 years and I'm always learning. I'm pushing 57 in a few weeks and still have a lot to learn. I used to have a pretty hot shoe but professional driving is mostly boring and if you race, it can be terrifying. I still like to race but against the clock, not against other people, it's more fun that way. I did some advertising work back in the 70's but while it paid really, really well, I decided I'd prefer to be able to live with myself.

    This will sound silly, but have you considered the military? Yes, you tend to get shot at, but Unlce is pretty good at finding what you're good at and train you to use that in the military. It's sometimes a challenge to use that skill in civilian life, but smart employers hire vets because of the training Unlce Sam can afford but private companies can't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grouch View Post
    I had a 2 year course in power mechanics but most of my mechanical training was at the knee of my grandfather and his friends. I ran a shop for 4 years and I'm always learning. I'm pushing 57 in a few weeks and still have a lot to learn. I used to have a pretty hot shoe but professional driving is mostly boring and if you race, it can be terrifying. I still like to race but against the clock, not against other people, it's more fun that way. I did some advertising work back in the 70's but while it paid really, really well, I decided I'd prefer to be able to live with myself.

    This will sound silly, but have you considered the military? Yes, you tend to get shot at, but Unlce is pretty good at finding what you're good at and train you to use that in the military. It's sometimes a challenge to use that skill in civilian life, but smart employers hire vets because of the training Unlce Sam can afford but private companies can't.
    I firmly believe that I could not pass basic training of any military branch. I am so, weak (physically and mentally), that the military would have no use for me other than bait I guess.
    Still, I found your comment about Uncle Sam knowing what I'm good at, refreshing. Because that is so true. Always have that.

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    Lewis Caroll:
    One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know,” Alice answered. “Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”
    I would suggest you take two tests:

    #1 Strong Interest Inventory test. It will test your likes/dislikes against people in similiar professions.

    #2 Myer's Briggs personality inventory. It will show you where people with your personality, have jobs in what career.

    I bet you can get the tests for free from your school's guidance department, or for a small cost, from an independent career consultant.

    Too many young people spend valuable time and money on wasted, mismatched educations. When jobs were plentiful, you could get away with majoring in Basket Weaving, and then getting a job in Marketing because you had a 'degree'. That day is over.

    You will be ahead if you can come up with atleast 1 ( better 2 or 3 ) scenarios - plans - of what it will take to get where you want to go. I know it's difficult, but sit down an project for each year 1, 2, 3... 10 yrs into the future, for each job or career path.

    For instance:
    I am going to prepare for a career in ABC.

    It will take x years.

    I will pay for it by working? + borrowing? etc

    I have researched the jobs in this field and I believe I can get a job in xyz city, for $$$ a year. This is the most important - find out if there are really jobs available.
    After you have the basic plan - expand upon it.

    Keep tracking your progress. As time goes on you may have to change the plan. The main idea is to keep you aware, and not stray off the path.

    There is an experience to education, more than going to class, or reading a book. I would stay away from 'for profit' and 'online' colleges.
    Last edited by dBrong; 02-27-2012 at 05:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    I would suggest you take two tests:

    #1 Strong Interest Inventory test. It will test your likes/dislikes against people in similiar professions.

    #2 Myer's Briggs personality inventory. It will show you where people with your personality, have jobs in what career.

    I bet you can get the tests for free from your school's guidance department, or for a small cost, from an independent career consultant.

    Too many young people spend valuable time and money on wasted, mismatch educations.

    There is an experience to education, more than going to class, or reading a book. I would stay away from 'for profit' and 'online' colleges.
    I just looked those up, to get them from the university, I have to take a certain class next semester. I will at some point though take those. I have to decide if I should wait and get it for free or pay up. Hmm.

    Unfortunetly most other online tests give me the test but want me to sign up or pay before they give me the results -.-
    Thanks for the advice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    I will at some point though take those. I have to decide if I should wait and get it for free or pay up. Hmm.
    What school do you attend?

    If you're already enrolled, and you can get them at the end of semester then I'd wait.

    If you can't get them for free by the end of the school year (May/June) - I'd pay someone to administer them, and review the results with you.

    You will be ahead if you can come up with atleast 1 ( better 2 or 3 ) scenarios - plans - of what it will take to get where you want to go. I know it's difficult, but sit down an project for each year 1, 2, 3... 10 yrs into the future, for each job or career path.

    For instance:
    I am going to prepare for a career in ABC.

    It will take x years.

    I will pay for it by working? + borrowing? etc

    I have researched the jobs in this field and I believe I can get a job in xyz city, for $$$ a year. This is the most important - find out if there are really jobs available.

    I believe I can repay the cost of this education by paying $$ for xxx months.
    After you have the basic plan - expand upon it.

    Keep tracking your progress. As time goes on you may have to change the plan. The main idea is to keep you aware, and not stray off the path.
    Last edited by dBrong; 02-27-2012 at 05:58 PM.

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    http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2010/01/15...ajor-that-fits
    ^That^ is all my school said reguarding the two tests you mentioned. They just said they offer it. I will be doing more follow-up on that in the next few weeks.

    That all does seem like alot of necessary work. Necessary and genuinely helpful. Looking for a job before you're "looking" for a job, good idea! Never even thought about the city/location thing.
    As I said before, job security is one of my top priorities. I'm well aware of the unemployment out there... I don't want to be going here for nothing, or be part of the problem.
    (And I've already accepted that I won't be in a career I'll "enjoy" like they all tell you to do. Oh well that's what weekends are for I suppose, if I get those )

  10. #10
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    I firmly believe that I could not pass basic training of any military branch. I am so, weak (physically and mentally), that the military would have no use for me other than bait I guess.
    Still, I found your comment about Uncle Sam knowing what I'm good at, refreshing. Because that is so true. Always have that.


    Pshaw! (I've wanted a reason to say that for some time.) You just THINK you're weak. You'd be surprised at what they can build you into. Try talking to a recruiter before you think you can't hack it. I was looking at the draft for the Vietnam war and some older friends did get drafted. The military prefers people with little experience. That way you can learn without having to unlearn bad habits. Shooting especially, drill instructors prefer someone who has never shot.

    My draft number was 7 but the involuntary enlistment ended 10 weeks before I turned 18. So if I had gone in and gone to Vietnam, I would have turned out the lights as we left. I've often regretted not pushing the Army to take me when they were reducing manpower. Even if you go back to school later, the G.I. Bill will really help you with your tuition.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    Second semester of my freshman year in college. Currently majoring in Journalism, which I don't plan to continue.
    I want to do something with cars, because I have quite an affinity for the automobile.
    I thought about going into mechanical engineering, but I've been told I should reconsider that, since much of the knowledge needed to do that is mathematical, and mathematics is my weakest subject.
    The college doesn't have an automotive program. I feel I made a big mistake going where I did.

    Anyway, I'm open to any and all suggestions. What do you guys think I should do?
    Keep your ass in college! You like cars, play with cars as a hobby. There is a fucking huge difference between having fun tinkering with cars and having to work on every assholes' shitbox. Trust me I know! I got a vocational degree in automotive tech, got some ASEs, wrenched professionally for a few years, and even ran a few shops. Keep your ass in school and get a technical degree focused in IT shit. Something like cyber security, programming, networking, or even fucking hardware shit. While you might not like it that much you'll make a good amount of money for very little work. You'll be able to spend that money on your car hobby. It's what I do!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    I just looked those up, to get them from the university, I have to take a certain class next semester. I will at some point though take those. I have to decide if I should wait and get it for free or pay up. Hmm.
    Is your university a teaching school ("Normal school")?

    If so, there are students who are practicing to give those tests. And they need test subjects...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    As I said before, job security is one of my top priorities. I'm well aware of the unemployment out there... I don't want to be going here for nothing, or be part of the problem.
    (And I've already accepted that I won't be in a career I'll "enjoy" like they all tell you to do. Oh well that's what weekends are for I suppose, if I get those )
    Don't get obsessed with job security at the expense of more important criteria. You spend a lot of time working; what would you rather be doing - something which you enjoy & from which you get a lot of satisfaction, or something you hate doing which is so "secure" you know you'll be spending the rest of your working life doing it? There's a thin line between being secure & being trapped!

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Does your school offer a marketing program? If yes, that could be an option - and a way to get you in the (car) business. Each car company has a pretty big in-house PR/marketing arm, including the people I deal with who organize "ride and drives" (events staged by the automakers for journalists to test-drive the latest stuff). Good jobs are available; and having a degree in marketing would be the thing you'd need to get an interview. It's also something that translates to a number of other fields.

    If you really want to write - and earn a living - there is copywriting. But you've got to be a naturally good writer to make it. The college degree is a formality here. (Because most places won't even talk to you if you lack that BA or BS. It's silly, but it's reality.) And if you make it as a copywriter, you can shift to a number of other things, including the kind of stuff I do.


    Meanwhile, buff up your driving CVs. Get an SCCA license; even if you don't want to race, qualifying for one will do at least two things: First, you will be a much better driver. Second, you will have some standing to comment on driving! And third, you will have a lot of fun! I also recommend learning to ride a motorcycle, for the same reasons. All of this you can do in your spare time while working on your degree.

    Also, learn to work on cars. It's fun, it's practical and - again - if you really want to write about cars or work in that area, being a decent wrench is almost as good (and maybe even better) than having a BS in mechanical engineering. At the very least, you will be able to talk intelligently with engineers - and you'll be able to fix your own vehicles (and girls' vehicles, too - and trust me, this is a major asset for a guy to have!)







    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    I like cars, alot, which is why I'm on this site. Being around them, driving them. I wouldn't mind driving to a dealership each day for work, though I don't really want to sell cars.
    I'd like your job, Eric.

    What else do I like... Reading, writing, as long as its a subject I'm interested in.
    I always wanted to be a professional driver.

    I wouldn't mind fixing cars for a living. But again, I made a huge mistake going where I did. Nothing in that area is offered. I feel like I'm going to waste the next three years getting a degree in nothing, and then I'm going to have to get education somewhere else to do things I want to do.

    I've also considered doing Management or Advertising...

    My top priority in a career is job-security.

    Guess I don't like alot. I know this doesn't really help, reguardless, thanks for the reply.

  15. #15
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    I firmly believe that I could not pass basic training of any military branch. I am so, weak (physically and mentally), that the military would have no use for me other than bait I guess.
    Still, I found your comment about Uncle Sam knowing what I'm good at, refreshing. Because that is so true. Always have that.
    I don't think you're either - at least, not permanently.

    Both require effort. You build your brain by using it - just like you build the strength of your body by using it.

    Read, think - then go for a run, maybe try to learn about basic strength training. You're what, 20 or so? You may not be able to do everything or anything, but there is so much you can do - you just don't realize it. Five years from now, you could be in incredible shape, physically. Double or triple your strength. Able to run miles, effortlessly.

    You could also master a number of skills in that time, too.

    All you need is focus. And then the will to try.

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    My response to all of you.

    @grouch
    If I was to join up with that kind of thing, I would want to be an asset, like Bourne was. I'm probably too old for that now, but I wouldn't want to be a regular in the army, I'd want to be able to kick ass as a secret agent for the CIA, or whatever/

    @dom
    "There is a fucking huge difference between having fun tinkering with cars and having to work on every assholes' shitbox." Never really thought about it that way either! I'd still like to be able to do that kind of stuff though. For my own benefits.
    I've always been told to go into technology, with computers and whatnot. I'm not particularly good with that stuff now either, but I can see the usefulness of it.

    Anyone know what "the computer side of cars" would be? What would that be officially called? Car's are becoming increasingly electronic so that might be something good to go into.

    @chiph
    I do believe it is a normal school, an institution. :P
    I'm working on those tests.

    @Dave Brand
    Unfortunetly the chances of me getting a job in something I enjoy are very slim. You need to know somebody, need to get lucky. How do you apply for a test-driver position at motortrend?
    ...
    They're very secretive about that. Automotive Journalism is a tough call, but I'm leaving Journalism now for something more realistic. People tell me I made the right choice. I'm still trying to find something revolving around cars, which I like, I've just given up on the dream job.

    @Eric
    My school does offer marketing and it's something I've really considered. My only reservation would be competition. What sets me apart from other potential marketers? Also, is marketing much different from advertising?

    The SCCA license is an extremely tempting idea. One I may just pursue once this college thing is done.

    I really want to learn to work on cars, but I can't. The college doesnt teach it, I don't have time to go to a tech school while here at the university, and all mechanic positions in the area are "Experience needed".
    I don't even know the basics so they'd have to teach me alot, which is why they don't hire me I think.

    I'm a young 18. I planned on changing my life this summer. Want a new job, want new friends, I'm going to start working out... Always wanted to learn how to fight, might do that too. Basic strength training.

  17. #17
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    On learning to work on cars: You can learn a lot by just diving in. Start simple, as in learning how to do an oil change. You do not need experience, just patience, some common sense and a few basic tools such as a jack, simple socket set, some wrenches, etc. - plus a service manual (Hayes, Chilton - about $20 at any auto parts store) for the car you're going to be working on.

    If you haven't got a car of your own to work on, as your parents/friends whether you can work on theirs. I promise an oil change is within your reach. You can then proceed to slightly more challenging things like basic tune-up work, cooling system service, brakes. Seriously. You do not need to go to school to become proficient at this stuff. Maybe you have a friends who works on cars? Ask whether you can hang out/help.

    I'm mostly self-taught. I started like you (though a little younger when I started) and now I am comfortable doing complete engine teardowns. Don't be intimidated. But you have to start at the beginning...

    Same with fitness. Dom did not become a martial arts expert in a month. I wasn't able to run 7 miles the first time I went for a run.

    Again, don't be intimidated. You have access to a gym at your school; you should use it. Find a bud who knows what he's doing and get some advice. Ask Dom about martial arts if you want some direction on that. I'm sure he'd be happy to give you some good suggestions.

    On car-related careers:

    In three or so years, if you've finished your marketing degree and really want to try to get into auto biz, I'd be happy to give you some contacts. Meanwhile, do what you need to do to stand out. Get good grades; apply for internships. Ask people who are already working in the industry you're interested in for advice; most will be happy to help a young person trying to make their way.

    Go for it!











    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    @grouch
    If I was to join up with that kind of thing, I would want to be an asset, like Bourne was. I'm probably too old for that now, but I wouldn't want to be a regular in the army, I'd want to be able to kick ass as a secret agent for the CIA, or whatever/

    @dom
    "There is a fucking huge difference between having fun tinkering with cars and having to work on every assholes' shitbox." Never really thought about it that way either! I'd still like to be able to do that kind of stuff though. For my own benefits.
    I've always been told to go into technology, with computers and whatnot. I'm not particularly good with that stuff now either, but I can see the usefulness of it.

    Anyone know what "the computer side of cars" would be? What would that be officially called? Car's are becoming increasingly electronic so that might be something good to go into.

    @chiph
    I do believe it is a normal school, an institution. :P
    I'm working on those tests.

    @Dave Brand
    Unfortunetly the chances of me getting a job in something I enjoy are very slim. You need to know somebody, need to get lucky. How do you apply for a test-driver position at motortrend?
    ...
    They're very secretive about that. Automotive Journalism is a tough call, but I'm leaving Journalism now for something more realistic. People tell me I made the right choice. I'm still trying to find something revolving around cars, which I like, I've just given up on the dream job.

    @Eric
    My school does offer marketing and it's something I've really considered. My only reservation would be competition. What sets me apart from other potential marketers? Also, is marketing much different from advertising?

    The SCCA license is an extremely tempting idea. One I may just pursue once this college thing is done.

    I really want to learn to work on cars, but I can't. The college doesnt teach it, I don't have time to go to a tech school while here at the university, and all mechanic positions in the area are "Experience needed".
    I don't even know the basics so they'd have to teach me alot, which is why they don't hire me I think.

    I'm a young 18. I planned on changing my life this summer. Want a new job, want new friends, I'm going to start working out... Always wanted to learn how to fight, might do that too. Basic strength training.

  18. #18
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandonjin View Post
    @grouch
    If I was to join up with that kind of thing, I would want to be an asset, like Bourne was. I'm probably too old for that now, but I wouldn't want to be a regular in the army, I'd want to be able to kick ass as a secret agent for the CIA, or whatever/

    I'm a young 18. I planned on changing my life this summer. Want a new job, want new friends, I'm going to start working out... Always wanted to learn how to fight, might do that too. Basic strength training.


    I'll tell you right now, there is no such person as Bourne. That is a comic book character in a movie. A real person with that attitude would be handed their butt really quick. I've known some real hard cases through my life. Nearly everyone of them are some of the nicest, most calm people you could ever meet. When the poop hits the fan, they have a ball bat to knock it back. There are the kind of guys who take a knife to a gun fight and win. I've never seen one of them swagger. One is former Airborne with a tattoo that says "Kill a Commie for Mommie" that he got in Vietnam. Aside from that, he looks like a mild mannered preacher. I like to think I can take care of myself but if the trouble really rolled in, I want him at my back.

    The only way to do that is military training. It is definitely life changing. Talk to a recruiter (then walk away and think about it) if you want to be able to handle yourself. Being a veteran will open a lot of doors that you may not even know about. The G.I. Bill will also help you pay for College when you decide what you really want to do. Technical training? You'll be on the cutting edge. My father was as unmechanically inclined as it is possible to be. He could still make a radio set out of junk and used parts from his training as a radio/telephone repairman. He spent WW2 sitting on a mountain in Hawaii.
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    Thank you for the replies.
    Eric, I talked to my dad and he's going to teach me how to do an oil change this spring. He's not very inclined either but I'll at least have that.
    I will work on teaching myself, I'm always a bit nervous I'll screw something up though. As for working out, I'll stop being lazy this summer, and start then. (Going to read your "A new reason to get in shape" article in a sec too.)

    Grouch, I know it's all a movie,
    But just somethin' about the techniques and stuff, makes me want to learn. (The movie "Taken" also comes to mind here.)

    I appreciate all the advice and suggestions, though I'm not entirely sold on the military thing. I understand the benefits of going, but I myself just aren't ready. (And I don't want to leave college 'cause I got a scholarship here.) I'm sure once the next war/draft comes along I won't have a choice. Until then I'm trying to make wvu worth it. I have until oct./nov. of 2012 to decide what I'm going to do.

    Sorry for the 50/50 response I'm tired -.-

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    1,429
    BE careful:

    According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, approximately 167,000 Americans have more than $200,000 of student loan debt. The cost of a college education has increased much more rapidly than the rate of inflation over the past several decades, and most students enter the "real world" today with a debt burden that will stay with them for most of their working lives. In an economy where there are so few good jobs for college graduates, it can be incredibly difficult to get married, buy a house or afford to have children when you are drowning in student loan debt. It would be hard to overstate the financial pain that student loans are causing many young adults in America today. The student loan debt problem is a national crisis and it is not going away any time soon.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York says that the total amount of student loan debt in America now exceeds the total of all credit card debt in the country. It also exceeds the total of all auto loans.

    The New York Fed says that there is a total of $870 billion owed on student loans in the United States right now. Other sources claim that the total amount of student loan debt in the United States will soon exceed one trillion dollars
    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/a...dent-loan-debt

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