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Old 25-02-2019, 19:40   #121
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Re: What to do for college...

There is some great advice here - you were wise to post the question!

You may be interested in reading Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi. She was your age when her father offered her a challenge - he would pay for her college education or a 26' sloop in which she would have to sail around the world alone.

My decision to leave everything to go sailing came from reading Walden by Thoreau. Whatever your decision, it should come from what is meaningful to you.

FWIW I'm a college professor.
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Old 25-02-2019, 20:15   #122
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Re: What to do for college...

Hi Jake,
Phew, lots to think about in the posts but a few stand out for me, especially those that focus on following your interests, academic, travel, sailing. But, to me the best advice to a 16 year old is to not be too instrumental in your choices yet; If you are fascinated by literature, study literature, and so on. If you are not really an academic person at this age, don't go to college yet, go later. Most of our best students were inevitably in their 20s and 30s, not 18.

For sailing, especially sailing the world you'll need a lot of knowledge from navigation and boat handling to mechanical and electrical. You don't necessarily need qualifications in all of these but study them you must to be safe and competent. You'll probably need some kind of sailing qualification/ticket but other things are about knowledge not tickets.

Each of the people posting above have had their own path to where they are now and my guess is that most of them wouldn't have known at 16 where they would be, who they would be, at 30, or 40. At 16 I wouldn't have imagined that I would become an academic. During my first degree in Commerce (at UBC, Vancouver) I wouldn't have guessed that I would get a PhD in Sociology (in Australia) and that my whole career would be as a university teacher and researcher. I still do research and I sail offshore as much as I can. There is no one path and any number of paths will open up to you.

I should add that you have made a great start because you are thinking and questioning and searching for ideas and ways to move forward. Keep it up.

Jim
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Old 26-02-2019, 00:05   #123
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Re: What to do for college...

Hi Jack

Your sixteen.
I don’t know you.
Reading through the answers to your question, it is clear people want to help. Their answers are mostly based on their own or someone close to them experiences. I have 57 years behind me, mostly working and playing on the sea.
The only person who can answer your question is you, because we are all different. Different values, different beliefs, different goals.

What follows, will I hope, fill in some gaps I see in the answers and at the end give you an option that, so far I haven’t seen suggested. So here goes.

Time is your most valuable possession! Try not to waste it.

The choices and commitments you make will erode time. Be vary careful what you commit to if it will take a large piece of your life. You never get time back once it is gone.

The choices available to you will be dictated by the amount of money, knowledge and skill you have control of. Learn how to control money, knowledge and skill. Never stop learning and perfecting control of these, as they will help you leverage your time through others, maximizing your choices.

We all want to be happy most of the time. The easiest way to be happy is helping others. Be generous with your money, knowledge and skills. Do the math first, only give what you can without diminishing your ability to grow, helping more and more people as you go through life.

Learn how to create more than you consume. Create new ideas, problem solve. The best place I know of to do this is alone on watch, on the ocean. This is where big ideas are born. Make those ideas a reality through the people you have around you. People with the skills you don’t have.

Be adventurous. An adventure is a journey with an uncertain outcome. You already have this desire with your goal to sail around the world. When we set off on our adventures, the outcomes are often different to the plan and that is OK. That is life.

Be courageous. Without courage to do the things most people are not prepared to do, we never know what we are capable of. Avoid staying in your comfort zone for too long. Remember what I said about time.

Be committed. Commitment will help you focus. Focus will give you an outcome without wasting time.

Practice comradeship/friendship. This is a valuable skill. We are social animals. Being alone, while sometimes beneficial, should not equate to feeling alone.

Be vary aware of your thoughts. Don’t underestimate the power your mind has over who you are. Learn how to control your thoughts. What you think and believe is who you are. Thoughts and beliefs manifest themselves in visible actions or words. People will judge you by your actions, what you have done, said and written.

Communicate often with people you admire, they may choose to mentor you. Ask good questions often and listen hard to the answers without judgment. If you are lucky enough to have a mentor, show them they are valued through your actions.

There are multiple ways of learning and the options are growing. Now and in the future you do not/will not have to commit to one place for several years of your life to gain the knowledge you need to get what you want. We live in the information age. The knowledge is out there and mostly available through the internet. Even colleges/universities are going online.

Learn how to Learn in different ways. You may still need to pay someone for that knowledge, only pay for what you need to know now. Use that knowledge as soon as you have it. Using knowledge is part of learning. Some knowledge has an expiry date.

Academic institutions tend to use measuring systems that imply success and failure. There is a thing called failure, but even death may not be a fail if you have had enough time to leave your legacy. Failing, or not succeeding is OK if you learn from the things that didn’t work for you. Getting something wrong is one of the fastest ways of learning I know of. Always have a fall-back position, a platform to try again using your new-found knowledge.

Your values and gut feelings will guide you. If you must deviate from your values, get back on track as soon as possible. The longer you stray from your values the harder it is to get back on track.

Trading your time for money in a job, is not an efficient use of your time, unless it is the quickest way to develop a skill you need.

Your primary goal should be to get the knowledge and develop the skills to generate multiple portable income streams. Create systems around these income streams that you can teach to others. Get together a small team and teach them each a part of your system (google “Upwork”). Reward them for helping you. Reward yourself for creating something that is helping solve problems for others, go sailing.

Learn marketing. You cannot go through life without having to sell something. It may be an idea you need others to buy into, it may be skills you have that you want fair reward for, or maybe just something you have added value to and want to make a profit on. Marketing is an extremely valuable skill.

If you have done these things right, you will have time to go sailing and there should be more money/choices available to you when you finish your latest sailing adventure than there was when you left. Start the process again creating the idea you got when out sailing.

People will see you as lucky. You will have worked smarter than most creating the choices you have.

If you do these things you will become an ethical entrepreneur, and you can have your cake and eat it too, right throughout your life.
This is what I would say to a sixteen-year-old version of myself, knowing what I know now.

Once you are in the job trap, the money can become addictive and finding an escape can be difficult if you have not made the money you earn work for you, the job will steal your time and the amount or type of sailing you get to do will be restricted.

Remember courage, commitment and choose your friends wisely. If your friends are not helping you become the best you can be then they may be holding you back.

All the best. Hope to meet you out there one day.
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Old 26-02-2019, 04:04   #124
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Re: What to do for college...

Very briefly....
I was a pro crew sailing big schooners at 20. College came later and the delay reduced my earnings. I did love the sailing. Moving ashore was hard. Something to consider if you skip training/college.

One of our sons went to the Landing School in Maine. He can work anywhere he wants and make an honorable salary. So proud of him. As a professional getting ready for retirement, my view is that well trained pros in this industry are in high demand.

My wife and I love to visit Lewes. I think it is a place we'd live if we quit Capee Cod.

Keep well.
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Old 26-02-2019, 12:50   #125
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Re: What to do for college...

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Originally Posted by thomm225 View Post
There are so many other ways to go about getting a boat to go cruising for a few years rather than spending most of your life saving to do it

One way is move to the Gulf Coast and cruise the area on a beach cat sleeping on the tramp.

Another way, is to buy a low priced, small, cruising boat and take off for a few years.

This young lady did it at a very low cost and has had a total adventure and met lots of new friends while working her way South

https://www.dinghydreams.com/
When I said "saving our whole lives", I only meant 50 yoa, that's when we did it.

But, yes, I think there is a great case for going earlier and doing it frugally.
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Old 26-02-2019, 14:29   #126
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Re: What to do for college...

Welcome Jake!


i applaud you for your question. what maturity!

lots of folks are responding to you, each with a personal truth. i'd like to share mine with you as well. if it can help in any way, then all the better---


when we are young, we have ideas and dreams. these are your true guides in life.

so, definitely write your dreams down in a notebook and keep the notebook safe and look at it, review it regularly. draw the life (lives) you wish to live. add as more dreams enter your mind and check off things as you do and/or accomplish. it is a major challenge, but if you can, keep updating the notebook for years and years.. a long time.


when folks push you into taking a route or if fear takes over, or maybe it is the "voice of reason" that turns you away from your goal, then write these down and let them set a bit before looking back at them. as you overcome these fears and can ignore those folks and hushed the voices of reason, cross them out. see your successes in overcoming them.


ask lots of questions and read.

plan and plot and move toward your dreams with focus and determination.


when attempting to determine which path to take, imagine that it is five years or ten years later and tune in with how good or not so good it feels. does the imagined outcome resemble your vision of your future?


university can be wonderful. it is a place where we learn about the world etc., but it is also a place where we can learn about ourselves. for example, you can learn that you are really good in math and/or languages.

many go to university to find out what they want to do, but you are way ahead of the game if you already know what you want to learn to do, what education you are seeking.

and yes, university is limited in the training it can provide. if you go to university not knowing you are mechanical, you may not find out for a long time. so, if you can, try new things, different things before signing up.


list all of your strong points, skills and interests in the same notebook, add as you can. the trades are useful: working with electricity, with wood, with fabric... welding... there are so many things that you can learn that may prove valuable later on.

why many? it could well be that the future will require you to re-invent your profession many times.

improve on the skills you have. sometimes you will find a purpose, a way to help others



getting to know oneself is a lifelong process for most, however if you know that this is the point (already at your age), then you are ahead of the game.


also, always be ready to adapt to new situations. being able to adapt easily, without stress and fatigue or resistance will carry you over the rough parts


and lastly, build community. keep friends. help others. share. think in terms of cooperation, building trust and getting results from combined efforts. even if we cannot realise our dreams (and have regrets), ultimately happiness comes from the relationships we nurture and keep.



very good luck to you, young Jake. and yes, by all means, follow your dreams.



wolfgal


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Old 27-02-2019, 10:05   #127
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Re: What to do for college...

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What if he is more of an artist than a tech type person?

He would be absolutely miserable having a career in any of those areas.
I'm definitely a tech person, and i have no plans of doing more work in the arts after high school
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Old 27-02-2019, 10:33   #128
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Re: What to do for college...

Agree with some of the other thoughts here. I'll also add this. If you are a presentable young man with reason communication skills(important whatever route you choose) then you might find someone who will let you live on their boat and go to college at either a reduced or free costs. I suspect if you are inclined to do basic boat maintenance, and certainly if you have the skills and patience to varnish, you could subsidize you costs of living extremely well! Additionally all of this allows you to be around boats a ton and see if any of the luster you now have for it starts wearing off. Polite, dependable, and doing thorough work would have you more good contacts and opportunity than you can imagine!
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Old 27-02-2019, 22:23   #129
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Re: What to do for college...

There are 5 State maritime academies - Castine, ME - Buzzards Bay, MA - SUNY Maritime Bronx, NY (my school) - Galveston, TX (TEXAS A&M) - Vallejo, CA. They charge tuition, but they do summer cruises around the world with their own ship. The Federal Maritime Academy (Kings Point, NY on Long Island) is free but you need a Congressional appointment.

It sounds like you really want to get on the water - the State Schools are better.

Go for a Deck license - 3rd Mate. Get a job on ships and do the sailboat on your extended vacations.
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Old 04-03-2019, 21:57   #130
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Re: What to do for college...

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Old 05-03-2019, 00:03   #131
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Re: What to do for college...

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I also firmly believe that a college degree for an "ivory tower" degree (aka studio art, theater, or english lit) is useless. I can say this because I have an AA in English Lit and a BA in Studio Art. That piece of paper means next to nothing with regards to finding a job that pays for our boating hobby.
Getting a degree to say you got a degree is foolish (unless you are independently wealthy). Nothing about a liberal arts degree will do anything to make you more valuable as an employee vs any other degree and it doesn't have a natural career path...of course getting a mechanical engineering degree if you have zero interest in engineering is also silly. Just as bad is to get a random "marine" degree that doesn't translate into a job as you will be forced to slave away paying off the huge loans likely doing something you hate.

Also be very careful of "gap years". Lots of people use it as an excuse to take a year off but having sat on the other side of the interview, you better have a darn good explanation of why you have nothing to show a year or two after college or I'm going to assume it's because there is something wrong when I have a dozen qualified applicants without a gap in their resume. I have several nieces & nephews with this issue...no job in their field 2-3yrs out and the degree is no longer worth much in an interview.

Big question: WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO WITH YOUR LIFE?

Its fun to say you want to sail the world but in the end that means:
- You work a career until you have enough wealth to pay for it.
- You scrimp and scrape by as cheap as possible (gets old pretty quick)
- You are independently wealthy (if you are, this whole discussion if fun but doesn't matter much)

Ideally if you have an interest and aptitude for something related like engine repair, that would be great as marine diesel mechanics are both needed and can be well paid and relatively easy to find jobs in many places.

The only other final thought is what you dream of doing at 16 may be wildly different from what you want to do even 5-10 years later, let alone 20-30 years down the road, be careful about trapping yourself by focusing so much on what sounds like a fun hobby...this isn't to say you shouldn't pursue your dream but have a backup plan if it turns out to not be as much fun as it sounds like now.
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Old 27-04-2020, 13:56   #132
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Re: What to do for college...

I'm not sure if people can still see this but after a little over a year since I posted this thread, I've just submitted my deposit for SUNY Maritime college. I'm majoring in Marine Operations and getting a USCG 3rd mate unlimited tonnage license.

If I'm being completely honest, If I hadn't posted this discussion I may not have every looked into the maritime academies.

I applied to the USMMA but unfortunately got denied because of a medical condition. Maybe it was a blessing not getting in based on what's happening now. Im writing a scholarship essay about how this thread put me in the position I am in now.

Thank you to all the respondents and sharing your wisdom, you've definitely had a big impact on me and my future in sailing.
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Old 27-04-2020, 14:19   #133
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Re: What to do for college...

Hey: Thanks for the update.
My dad is a graduate, around '44. It was called Ft Schuyler then.
I bet you'll never look back with regret.
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Old 27-04-2020, 21:06   #134
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Re: What to do for college...

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First of all I'd like to thank you all for the advice and support you've shown. I've been looking at Texas A&M Galvaston and Florida Tech. .
Another school to consider:
https://www.csum.edu/web/mycampus/home
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Old 27-04-2020, 23:26   #135
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Re: What to do for college...

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I'm not sure if people can still see this but after a little over a year since I posted this thread, I've just submitted my deposit for SUNY Maritime college. I'm majoring in Marine Operations and getting a USCG 3rd mate unlimited tonnage license.

If I'm being completely honest, If I hadn't posted this discussion I may not have every looked into the maritime academies.

I applied to the USMMA but unfortunately got denied because of a medical condition. Maybe it was a blessing not getting in based on what's happening now. Im writing a scholarship essay about how this thread put me in the position I am in now.

Thank you to all the respondents and sharing your wisdom, you've definitely had a big impact on me and my future in sailing.
Congratulations!

Looks like a good choice for you! Good luck.
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