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Don Nguyen
10-31-2012, 11:02 AM
Most of the time I'm thinking about how bad this life of mine is. All I'm doing is miserably studying for a backup degree, all day every day.

But what I never think about, is how I'd rather be studying than hoping my house doesn't collapse, or sitting on the streets without food. I'm always in the mindset of entitlement; I forget about how fortunate I am to have a home to come to every night, have a family to talk to every day, and have a meal every time I sit at the table.

But all I ever think about is how much this college direction is sucking, how I'm using up my money and time for something that I might not even feel worthwhile for my intentions/goals. I've never thought about being in the situation where I wouldn't even have the opportunity to even think about intentions/goals.

Just thought I'd let go of some thoughts.

brainsausage
10-31-2012, 11:15 AM
Focus on the positive Don. All those things you mentioned are pretty vital aspects. Are you in good health? Do you have friends and family who care about you?

brainsausage
10-31-2012, 11:16 AM
I know many forum members here respect you for both your abilities, and your opinions. Myself included:D

-Josh

knyfeknerd
10-31-2012, 11:22 AM
Chin up Don!
I hear you. It's hard to carry on sometimes. It's good to be thankful for what you've got. You can lose a lot in the blink of an eye.

Carl
10-31-2012, 11:47 AM
+1

Carry on.

HHH Knives
10-31-2012, 11:55 AM
Don, Hang in there brother.

Lucretia
10-31-2012, 12:42 PM
Don, aren't you working on a Material Engineering degree? What you're feeling isn't uncommon among engineering students. The curriculum can be pretty overwhelming. Hubby's an EE, I'm an ME. Several years after we graduated we were with a friend from school, and he said, "After getting an engineering degree, NOTHING is ever hard again." And he was pretty much right--in many ways it's harder than the jobs are (well, the jobs are difficult because of people and politics, but as far as the technical stuff goes, you're drinking from a fire hose now.) A lot depends on where you are in your classes--if you're taking weedout classes, they can be killers. Only you can decide if school is right for you, but if you can hang in there it WILL get better!

Don Nguyen
10-31-2012, 06:30 PM
Thanks everyone, I really appreciate the support.

Lucretia, I am indeed working on a Material Engineering degree. This is only my first semester at the University though - I had spent 3 years at community college. Therein lies some of the problem, as I was indecisive for the full 3 years, and also didn't take many difficult classes. I jumped in the University program in the hardest semester rusty, lazy, and underestimating. Idiot move, and now that I've finally kicked myself in the butt it's made everything that much more troublesome. I know that I can do it. It's just that I'm set back so far credit wise, I'm looking at another 4 years at the University probably - a 7 year bachelor program. It's good to know that it gets better; I think I would die if it got any more difficult than this! :laugh:


I feel like I'm at a fork right now. Degree or not, I'm set on trying full-time knife making either way. Just, with the degree, I'll be set back by 4 or more years with a boatload of debt, but I'd have a possible backup.

Toughest decision so far in my life. I wonder how hard other choices will be down the road.

Burl Source
10-31-2012, 06:33 PM
Don,
Take my comments with a grain of salt. They are coming from someone who made a lot of bad decisions.

By making yourself go through what it takes to complete your schooling you are going to make your life a lot better in the years that follow.
With an education in a desirable field not only will you be able to earn a good income, but you will also have other things that are easy to take for granted unless you don't have them. Like medical, dental and the ability to retire one day. Some of us who made the wrong decisions when we were younger just have to hope we don't get sick and work as long as we are alive.

If it still gets too overwhelming with school maybe take a break and go work for a season on a crab boat in Alaska.
You can earn good money, but you will feel like you died and went to a frozen hell. School will look real good after that.

Not saying that you need the education to have a good life, but it sure helps to stack the deck in your favor.




I feel like I'm at a fork right now. Degree or not, I'm set on trying full-time knife making either way. Just, with the degree, I'll be set back by 4 or more years with a boatload of debt, but I'd have a possible backup.

Toughest decision so far in my life. I wonder how hard other choices will be down the road.

These comments are throwing up a Real Big Red Flag to me.
#1 I would not attempt working as a self employed knife maker until you have worked at least a couple years as an employee of a successful knife company. Making good knives is just a small part of what it will take to be successful. Learn on someone else's dime. That way you don't have to make all the same mistakes they went through.
#2 Finishing school and then not working in that field for several years would scare me as an employer. I would question your self discipline and your ability to implement what you went through at school. Working for several years in the field that you were educated for and then trying the knifemaking thing later makes more sense to me. Also makes you more desirable if you seek work again later.

Just my 2 cents.

Don Nguyen
10-31-2012, 06:57 PM
These comments are throwing up a Real Big Red Flag to me.
#1 I would not attempt working as a self employed knife maker until you have worked at least a couple years as an employee of a successful knife company. Making good knives is just a small part of what it will take to be successful. Learn on someone else's dime. That way you don't have to make all the same mistakes they went through.
#2 Finishing school and then not working in that field for several years would scare me as an employer. I would question your self discipline and your ability to implement what you went through at school. Working for several years in the field that you were educated for and then trying the knifemaking thing later makes more sense to me. Also makes you more desirable if you seek work again later.

Just my 2 cents.

Man, I hadn't even thought about those before. Really puts things into perspective.

Thanks Mark. I have a lot to think about, but it seems that going through with the degree is really the sensible decision.

bluntcut
10-31-2012, 07:57 PM
Higher education = best investment you ever make. You certainly will take it - and maybe a few detempered knives - with you at the end.

tk59
11-01-2012, 09:58 AM
You're in a tough place and one faced by a lot of students I see. I will add that if you're going to do something, do it well or don't do it at all. You don't want to be dragging around a poor reputation the rest of your life. Good luck with your decision.

Carl
11-01-2012, 11:40 AM
I'm 43, took me 20 years to finish my A.A. I've started on my B.S. now and hopefully it'll take less time than my A.A to finish. Even at 8 years, you're doing fine. Grind on. It's a grind. Don't be too distracted. There is never a better time than right now to handle this. Later is only worse. Do you think having a life, wife, kids, and a full time job makes it easier or harder to stay in school? Yeah, it's totally worth staying in school, working hard and doing what you have to get get it done now. When my kids (14, 12 and 10) start slacking off in school I point at myself as what not to do. They know the games, recitals and plays I've missed (sometimes) because of either work or school or both, and they know that we don't DO all the things we could be doing IF I had more time and possible more income. My middle son says he wants to be like me, a good father and good husband (quite a compliment). I tell him step one of that is to finish his degree and find a job he loves (not necessarily one that pays the best). If he does those two things then he'll likely be prepared to be the kind of husband and father he wants to be. I would saythe same to my daighter (14) but she's already pretty driven. My youngest just wants to be a boxer and photographer, so I'm pretty sure he's a lost cause (KIDDING!).

Anyway, you're in. stay in. see it though. finish what you start.

chinacats
11-01-2012, 12:28 PM
I say make a strong run through the rest of the semester and then if need be you can re-evaluate things during your break. My degree is something that I do not use, but nonetheless would feel incomplete without having achieved. Stand strong!

Cheers!

JMJones
11-01-2012, 02:40 PM
I highly recommend obtaining the degree as well as not taking time off. It is just too hard to go back later in life. The degree tells potential employers that you have the ability to meet standards and persevere through the exact things that are giving you troubles now. Even if you never use it, it cannot be taken away.

Also I once thought that I would like to make knives full time. Then I went to a 40 hour class over 5 consecutive days and realized that knife making for me, as a hobby, stress reliever, creative outlet, ect is great but doing it day in and day out to pay the bills would be a whole other ball game.

wenus2
11-01-2012, 04:01 PM
As Lucretia said, you're taking weeder classes. My University employed this technique for my major as well.They are making things overly difficult on purpose to try and get rid of the students who aren't super serious about the degree. It will get better after another semester and your class is down to 1/3 of its original size, don't be one of the ones to give up. The classes get more intersting and more focused, which makes them easier. Also dont forget, employers love engineering degrees, these days it is the most employable piece of paper you can get.

Crothcipt
11-01-2012, 05:12 PM
Something that hasn't been brought up yet is that right now the lowest % of unemployment is people that have degrees. also many times you don't necessarily need a degree in certain fields, just having one will open the door to be considered.

Don Nguyen
11-02-2012, 12:55 AM
You guys are awesome. I have to thank all of you for your thoughts and support.

I'm sticking with the degree. I find that every time I doubt myself, it's only when it gets rough. Time to man up and improve. I know I'll regret it if I never finish college.