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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2007
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    100

    Default getting through the "quarter-life crisis"? in hard times

    This is kind of a vent, but mostly trying to get some ideas on how to get through and where to start. I am not trying to get sympathy, just need some ideas as I am sure I am not the first to go through this.

    Basically I am 20. I have one horse, trailer, an older but functional truck, and a couple of hundred dollars to my name. Last year I went to a major university and loved it, brought my horse... it was good. But to keep it short for financial reasons, I had to come home.

    So now I am completely financially independent, despite the free room in my parents house. worked 60+ hours a week all summer to make enough money to go to a local school. still working about 20 now, enough to pay the bills.

    The problem is I am just completed uninterested in school. Gen eds turn me into a zombie, but i have no idea what direction I want to go. I hate commuting, gassing up the f250 eats every extra dime I have. The horse drains the wallet, and I cant hardly ever ride because the weather has been horrendous. jobs are hard to find, especially with an erratic student class schedule. In my particular situation, accessing all federal aid still leaves me with $2k a semester I need to come up with.

    part of me just wants to sell the truck, the trailer, the horse and just try something else for a while... whether work, military, or trade school. I have been tied down for the last 10 years of my life, with the time and money it takes to support a horse. not to mention all the opportunities to travel/live in different places I have given up because the horse couldn't go.

    however, the other part of me just wants to hunker down, tough it out and hope things will get better. put my time and energy into the horse...work like crazy and maybe be able to do a couple shows, and finish school just because thats what your "supposed" to do.

    sorry... that was long and pathetic, but does anyone have any ideas or experiences to share?



  2. #2
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    Jan. 1, 2008
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    Default

    I'll keep it simple - do what every you have to do to stay in school.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2008
    Location
    Chicago-ish
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Go Fish View Post
    I'll keep it simple - do what every you have to do to stay in school.
    I agree. It's really hard to go back to school once you've left so hunker down and keep plowing forward until you finish a degree, you'll be happy you did later.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2009
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    1,281

    Default

    Hi there,
    I didn't have such a hard time through college as you did, but can relate to the way you are feeling. I ended up selling my super fancy, super talented horse for good money and used the funds for school and travelling; two things that i wouldn't trade now to be given the ride on the next Rox Dene
    Horses will be here forever. I have started riding again, as a financially independed newly wed with a real job in the real world, and I think I appreciate it more now than I did before because I had a break from it. Sell your truck, trailer and horse- do what you need to do to get your degree- having that degree will enable you to ride later without the financial strain. Like I said, horses will always be here, you can always come back to it!!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
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    5,868

    Default

    get rid of hrose, truck and trailer, you can always get those again later. GET A GOOD EDUCATION!!!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2007
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    405

    Default

    I agree with everyone else so far. I sold my horse before I came to college, and it killed me to do so. I call it my early life crisis, because I'm only 19. At the end of the day though, I'm happy I did. I'm happy not to have to worry about him if I left him home, or force myself to the barn every day to ride him when I should really be studying. It's easy to get overwhelmed and burnt out with school work, but its less easy to do so if you don't have 1000x other things going on. You might find that if you sell your horse, truck etc etc, and go back to school, its no where near as stressful as it used to be because you're not thinking about all those other things. Horses will always be there-Go to school so you can get a job to pay for a cushy job to support your horsie habit!
    Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. Explore. Dream. Discover.
    ~Mark Twain



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 12, 2001
    Location
    Center of the Universe
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    7,806

    Default

    put my time and energy into the horse..
    horses are a luxurious recreational activity. If you have no time, energy, or money to spare, putting them "into the horse" is a very poor life strategy. The reality is, if you don't get some kind of college degree now you're never going to be able to afford those horses. No one likes school (at least no one I've ever met). They do it cause they have to.
    Or I guess you could try to branch out into some horse related field that doesn't require college, say farrier? depends. But either case your horse is not important right now.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HuntersX3Heart View Post
    whether work, military, or trade school.
    Tough it out - for any of the above you will be MUCH better off if you have a degree before pursuing any of them.

    You could look into one of the following - part/full leasing your horse, parking your truck and trailer (storage), purchasing a super cheap super econimical used car (like $500-$1000 "beater") to save on gas.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 6, 2009
    Posts
    36

    Default

    Education is most important. Keep up your work in school.

    But to keep going through the rough patches, I really think it will help to have something to look forward to every week. My horse kept me from being too depressed during the rough points in college. Rather than selling him, I found a riding school that was willing to do a lease on him. I could still ride him one or two times a week, and the board and expenses were (mostly) taken care of. It was less expensive than therapy and more fun.

    I would sell the gas guzzling truck and trailer and get a smaller vehicle though.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Can you go to a community college? Get your gen-eds out of the way for cheap or pick up a skill that pays in 2 years.

    You need either a degree or a skill to make a living today. Period. Trade your truck for a car, sell your trailer.

    If you really are not academic, a well chosen trade might be a good path. I have a masters degree. My (experienced) mechanic makes more than I do. So do (experienced) plumbers. There are some well paying 2 year degrees in medical and scientific fields as well. The military isn't really something you can "try".... it's a pretty big commitment. And well, a lot of 4 year degrees are useless these days (in terms of earning), and unless you are passionate, not worth pursuing unless you want to go get an additional degree.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
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    5,392

    Default

    ditto either selling or leasing the horse and trading in the trailer and truck for a more economical vehicle. After all, if you do end up having to trailer somewhere (assuming you keep the horse) you can always hitch a ride with a friend or fellow boarder.

    An education is definitely important so stick with it. Look into fields that pay decently but have flexible schedules that would allow you to be in horses in the future. Some of these fields might be nursing, dental hygenist, radiology tech, etc. I know a lot of nurses and my sister is a radiology tech. Nursing is hard but it pays very well and often you get to work a 4-3 schedule (4-10 hr days, 3 off) so it leaves plenty of time to ride. My sister only spent 1 year after Gen-Ed to get her radiology cert and it pays well, in addition to have a similar schedule to the nurse. Just some things to think about!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2008
    Location
    Florida, USA
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    779

    Default Here is another point of view...

    I'm 22, graduating from college in... 2 weeks with a 3.7 GPA!!!
    I've been in your shoes... quite a few times really! Wasn't interested in college because I didn't know what I wanted to do and the basic classes were boring me to death... Rode as a working student for 7-8 months up north and then decided... hell this isn't what I want either, went back to school, working 40 hours/week and paid all the bills for my horse and I.
    There were times where I felt like the pressure was ridiculous... but I wouldn't have ever made it through college without having a horse... That's just what worked for me. Kept me motivated to work and push forward. She was my escape time from school and work as well as "my" time... she was therapy!
    You really need to see for yourself. It's easy to say sell the truck, horse and trailer and that horses will always be around (which btw is a speech I got more than a dozen times) but it didn't work for me...
    I ended up getting a degree in International Business, not knowing what the hell I was going to do with it... in my position it was the one that opened the most doors no matter what I decided to do
    Good luck and if you ever need to talk, feel free to pm
    Proudly living in my "let's save the world bubble"!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
    Location
    Michigan
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    11,214

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Donkey View Post
    Tough it out - for any of the above you will be MUCH better off if you have a degree before pursuing any of them.
    Point: the military will pay you to go to school. Down side, obviously, is if you're deployed. And especially if you have no idea what you want to do, they train for practical applications. It's a major comittment, even the Guard these days (as they are calling up Guard and Reserve units for overseas deployment--you might not end up in a combat zone, but that doesn't mean you won't end up in Germany or somewhere else we have bases.) But it does have a lot to offer someone who isn't gung-ho for a four-year degree in a specific subject.

    The truck and trailer at least sound like they are way more trouble than they're worth. HOWEVER...if you genuinely have no idea what you want to do education-wise, I do suggest a community college. Get the gen eds (English, lab science, math, etc) and use their career resources--there are counsellors who help you figure out what you want to do. Don't blow money on a big school if you haave no idea what you want to do.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2009
    Posts
    17

    Default

    I have been in your situation. I am 25. I put off school for a couple of years because of financial reasons/I was more interested in riding horses than going to class. That was the BIGGEST MISTAKE I have EVER made in my life.

    I am sitting here at 11 on a Wednesday reading COTH because I don't have a job. I lost my job in February 2009. Guess what. No one wants to hire you without a degree. It doesn't matter if you have experience in your field, with out a degree you are worthless. I have been on 10 interviews for administrative assistant jobs and they still are expecting you to have a BA degree. I have been told a couple of times, that is the reason someone else was hired over me.

    One more of the awesome things about not having a job is not having money or insurance. I finally went to my dentist after putting off care because of lack of insurance and guess what! I need a root canal and a crown. $2110 without insurance. Fortunately, my parents are helping me with that one.

    And one last thing to think about. At 25, all my friends are living and working in the big city out here with their significant others, where as I am at home, with my dad, single. I can't move out because no degree=no job. It is weird to be 25 and living at home. Everyone is moving on with their life and I am essentially still in high school. Meeting guys is a problem because saying, "oh yeah come pick me up from my dad's." is a turn off and a guarantee to never hear from the guy again.

    I know this post is super long but this is the reality of life without a degree. I was just accepted into a great school and will be finishing my bachelors in about 3 years but if I could, I would go back to when I was 18 and finish school straight away. I really want to impress upon you how important this is. If I can help you avoid the agony this last year has been for me then I have succeeded.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2008
    Location
    Chicago-ish
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    276

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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Don't blow money on a big school if you haave no idea what you want to do.
    I think this depends on the OPs personality. Perhaps the reason the Gen Eds are making her a "zombie" is because the school she is currently attending is not challenging her enough. I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up when I was in college either, but was very happy to be at a school that had lots of things for me to try. I think at a big school you at least end up with a good name on your resume and a great alumni network even if you don't end up working in the field of your degree. I'm not trying to contradict what you said Danceronice because I think you're completely right in a lot of situations. Just want to make sure the OP thinks this through from different perspectives.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2009
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    5,091

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    I think you should do whatever you need to do to finish school, but I don't necessarily think you have to sell the horse to do it. Honestly, I'd sell the trailer. I've had horses most of my life (boarded) and have never owned a trailer. Sure, it can be a problem at times, but if your horse loads and trailers well, you can usually bum a ride from someone for a price that is less than the cost of owning a trailer. If your horse is not boarded and you don't have access to another trailer on site, that's a different story.

    When I graduated from high school, my parents sold my horse. I had no say in it. My understanding is that he did not meet a very good end. I regret to this day that I was not able to keep him, and, now that I am an adult, I have vowed never to sell my current horse. I went to undergrad for a semester, hated it passionately, and then dropped out to became a horse show groom for a year. That was fun, but I realized quickly that I would never be able to feed myself on the money I was making, much less actually own a horse. I ended up going back to school and eventually law school. I hated school, especially gen eds in undergrad. Law school was awful in its own way, but by then I'd sort of given in and decided to just gut it out. Sometimes that's what you have to do - just gut it out. Especially with short-term commitments like school.

    Two things to keep in mind: (1) once the gen eds are done, they're done. You can focus on things that might actually interest you...or take a variety of classes in hopes of finding out what you might be interested in. (2) Whether or not you like school has little to do with whether or not you will like the job that school can open up to you. I love my job. And all that school I had to go through to get it really is a distant memory at this point.

    Learning to push through a situation like this will help you later in life. I promise you that you will encounter all kinds of difficult and unpleasant things in your life, most of which you can't just turn your back on. Every day, I have to deal with client situations that I don't particularly enjoy (though I do, on the whole, enjoy my job). I use the skills I learned in all those years of school to get myself through it. Remember, school is just a means to an end. And it will END. Just get through it...with or without your horse. I think that if you are committed to keeping your horse, you will find a way to make it work. If not, then perhaps you have your answer.

    I do agree with other posters that you won't get anywhere dropping out of school and keeping the horse. If you are going to keep the horse, you are going to need to figure out a long term plan for keeping the horse. That long term plan is going to have to involve some sort of career (i.e., education). You won't be able to make it happen with just a regular "job." Unless you marry a very wealthy spouse...but I would never take a gamble on something like that!



  17. #17
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    Oct. 10, 2006
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    Gotham City
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia73 View Post

    You need either a degree or a skill to make a living today. Period. Trade your truck for a car, sell your trailer.

    If you really are not academic, a well chosen trade might be a good path. I have a masters degree. My (experienced) mechanic makes more than I do. So do (experienced) plumbers.
    AMEN. As a liberal-arts grad who has found herself surrounded by fellow liberal-arts graduates on employment (in some cases for a year), I feel there is NOTHING wrong with being without a college degree, provided you find something else that you LIKE to do and ENJOY DOING. FTR, my father chose to work a so-called blue-collar industry and made more $$$ than he could have with his two (!) advanced degrees.
    "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."



  18. #18
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    Oct. 10, 2006
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    Gotham City
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arall View Post

    I am sitting here at 11 on a Wednesday reading COTH because I don't have a job. I lost my job in February 2009. Guess what. No one wants to hire you without a degree. It doesn't matter if you have experience in your field, with out a degree you are worthless. I have been on 10 interviews for administrative assistant jobs and they still are expecting you to have a BA degree. I have been told a couple of times, that is the reason someone else was hired over me.
    Arall, I know people with advanced degrees and decades of experience who cannot even get a single interview — the economy here in NY is that bad. Consider yourself lucky that you can get a meeting, let alone ten. SO, don't kick yourself about not having a degree, or a job. Take this time to think about you want to do, and whether or not what you want to do requires you attend college, trade school, or something else altogether.
    "Go on, Bill — this is no place for a pony."



  19. #19
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    Sep. 21, 2009
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    Ohio
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    I grew up always wanting a horse, but my parents were fine funding lessons and summer shows, but NOT going to buy a horse. I think not having the burden of a horse at times made me love it even more. So, agree with all of the above that say sell your horse stuff (just please find a good home in this tough economy!!) and you can still ride, when you have time. I rode at three barns in college, and still graduated with honors and two majors! I rode some really great horses with some really great people and learned a ton. Plus, if I was tired, or just not in the mood, the horses were FINE without me. Plus, you learn so much riding different horses. BTW, I joined the military after college (the Air Force is BEST!!!!) and loved it - found good barns everywhere by calling tack stores or vets to see if they knew of people with horses needing work. Plus, I got my masters - fully paid for, and I still have my GI Bill. Plus, the work is amazing - troops are NOT robots After reaching a point financially where I could finally got my first horse (after 19 years of riding!), I got one who is perfect for me in every way. So, get settled in life, and you can absolutely still learn a TON about riding and enjoy it, without being STUCK. And if you are already losing energy in the horse thing because life is too busy, I wouldn't recommend a horse profession - it takes a large fortune to make a small fortune in horses, and you'd have to work really hard to make your life comfortable. Good luck!



  20. #20
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    Jul. 30, 2005
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    England
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    Default

    Sell the trailer. Trade in your truck and get a smaller car. Lease your horse.

    Find a course that interests you- there's no point in sleeping through something that doesn't interest you, because you don't benefit from it.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



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