Saturday, May 29, 2010

College Work for the Summer

Lots of students live off their Fafsa money or grants/scholarships. Or like me, many live off their loans throughout the semester. But when Summer comes along, unless you're taking Summer school, those things no longer apply. For the students who work throughout the semester, money is no problem. They usually already have homes or apartments and don't need to pick up extra money over the summer. But for the rest of us, the Summer means financial hardships.

I, myself, live with my parents right now. Why? Because I simply decided that paying rent SUCKS! You work your butt off 20-40 sometimes 50 hours a week depending on how crazy you are and find that you simply don't ever have any money because $600-900/month is going to rent alone! Add simple things like internet, food, toiletries, et cetera, and you're gonna have to have a roommate. And even then, you probably don't have all that much to spend. Of all your money you make, you probably get to spend about ten percent of it, assuming you work enough hours and get paid a decent-for-not-having-a-degree-yet salary. And by the time you're done working your ass off all the time, you probably just want to waste that money on booze and cigarettes.

Well, I tried couch hopping before. Not so bad. I've tried living in my car... that sucks... at least during the Summer, and year-round if you have a tiny vehicle. And I tried living in an apartment, but the above problem kept making it horrible. So, I decided to go ahead and move back home with my folks, even though they are on the very outskirts of town. Even still, I need money, and I DON'T want another lame job.

What I do for money is... well... get creative. Right now, I'm cleaning my parents' horridly disastrous garage because I know that later it will be my ticket to getting gas money and other money off of them. Last Summer, I ended up helping my friends with their new house and renovating it a couple times which kept me financially sustained for a good while. I've also tried playing guitar at first fridays and even outside of gas stations. And I've donated plasma. If it came down to it, I would honestly stand on a street corner with a sign that says "need work." I don't really care. I will do just about any job so long as I don't have to work for another horribly wretched corporation.

Honestly, can't stand it! They suck! You end up working your ass off for a crappy wage that the government takes 1/6th of, and you get marched around all over the place doing jobs that are either boring or back-breaking, and you never get to do any of the easy or interesting jobs because your bosses take those jobs right away. On top of it, you'd be lucky if you ever got to work with anyone nice, chances are you'll never get promoted, you're annual pay raise is less than the annual increase for cost-of-living, and by the end of every day you're completely hating life because your job sucks so horribly and you don't have any money to show for it.

Seriously. You don't make any decisions. You get paid crap. And your job sucks!

For the Summer, I'm not working at some crappy company ever again! I'm a self-employed imagineer. I imagine ways to make money, and then I make them happen!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Things College Students Like part 3

College students love computer commons. Whether you're at a community college or whether you're at a university, you will undoubtedly find tons of students randomly clicking away. In fact, at peak hours, it can be hard to find a free computer. At ASU, there has been times when I had to go to several computer locations just to find a computer!

So what is it that college students do on these computers?

Well, sometimes, you'll actually see students doing legit work like essays or something to that effect, but a lot of time, you see them just wasting their lives away on facebook or myspace, for some reason, chatting with friends, commenting pictures and--oh god!--answering stupid surveys and lists. At least there isn't as much "myspace" drama as there was in high school... or I suppose these days its "facebook" drama because facebook seems to be the popular one now. Like my friend Thunder likes to ask if things are "facebook official" as to which I picked up on because it was funny.

Some people, though, like myself, like to visit facebook as seldom as possible. There is still plenty to do on the internet! In fact, in my page labeled "other sites" I have a site I made called Honorable Mention that has a lot of interesting things.

Some people like to watch youtube videos. Some like to play games. Some watch tv shows. (I myself like to watch the Colbert Report and Daily Show online.) The possibilities are endless, really.

The thing I hate is not when computers are unavailable because one usually opens up relatively quick, but when people needlessly use up computer space. Like people with laptops sitting at computers so they can be next to their friends. Or worse! People sitting at computers checking out what their friends are doing on the computer while taking up an available computer space. D=<

Well... whatever... there are still plenty of things to do on campus besides utilizing the internet. So it's not really that big of a deal.... (unless I need to do an essay. -.- )


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things That College Students Like part 2

College students really take to smoking. Not all. Probably not even most. But quite a few college students love smoking. Smoking in college really comes in three different varieties: cigarettes/cigars, weed, and hookah.

I have plenty of friends, myself, who smoke or have smoked in the past. I myself used to smoke. I've had friends that are pack-a-day smokers, and then some who just like to smoke weed. I've got some friends like my friend Jonathan Singh who is a casual smoker and enjoys the occasional hookah, as do I, myself.

Smoking is very appealing to young college students for several reasons. One important reason is that most people join college when they are just barely "of age." For the first time in their lives, they have the legal option to smoke or to not. Smoking is a hell of a lot more appealing when  you don't have to worry about getting busted for it.

The other thing is that, let's face it: it's college! College is the time of your life when you're SUPPOSE to try knew things. You're supposed to experience things and be crazy. Screw responsibility and being a goody-tu-shoes. This is freakin' college!

And finally, perhaps the most convincing reason of all is that once they've tried smoking a couple of times, they begin to quickly realize the social properties of smoking. Personally, I have had some great conversations just sitting around a table, relaxing, and enjoying the fruity taste of a very shag-a-delic hookah. I've struck up completely random conversations with people I would have never known if I didn't have a cigarette in my hand at the time. And I've even had some good memories passing back and forth a pipe before... on a rare occasion, though.

My point is, smoking is sort of a college bonding experience in a way that drinking never can be (mostly because drinking distorts your reality).

I do have to say though, cigarettes are not worth it. One day, you'll wake up and realize that you smoke every day and that you breath smells, your clothes smell, and that cigarette in your hand totally doesn't help when it comes to picking up ladies--let's face it, some girls don't mind dating smokers, but all girls don't mind dating a non-smoker!

If you're in college and you decide, "what the hey--!" then I say, go ahead and see what smoking is all about, but be a casual smoker and don't get hooked... cause being addicted to things just sucks.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Things College Students Like part 1

One of the things that college students tend to like is very long, drug out, opinionated discussions about things they will probably never do anything about. College students have a tendency to get very riled up about things, even things that they have no business getting riled up about due to a lack of understanding of the content of that topic.

I personally have been in the midst of very absurd conversations. One such conversation was with a man who was whole-heartedly against prop 100, which is a proposition to raise taxes by an overwhelming (*sarcasm*) 1 cent increase for a set 3 year span. This bill was designed to battle the horrible failure of the Arizona state government to iron out anything that resembled an organized budget plan which led to a complete failure of Arizona finances. Most importantly, the bill was designed to stabilize some of the most important state services like... oh... i don't know... how about funding to the f***ing schools!

But nope... this man just kept going on and recycling his argument that if the state's f***ed up, they should take responsibility and fix it! Well, Jack, I have news for you.... THATS WHAT PROP 100 WAS SUPPOSED TO DO! What? Can they just magically push a button and fix things? You expect them to cut medicare? Or perhaps you think they should just fire more of the police department than they were already planning to do?

The fact of the matter is, this bill, although tax increases are very unfavorable to everybody, was very necessary to insure that important services don't take a huge hit by the crisis. But somehow, this guy, despite being a college student himself, did not agree. Apparently, he didn't want the schools to get the $107 million the state owes them on top of the other money they've already cut?


This isn't every college student, but it sure seems to happen pretty easily on campus. It's not really all that difficult to find yourself in a ridiculous conversation with a know-it-all that doesn't know what they're actually talking about.

Another example would be that one time, sitting in class waiting for French to start, a guy in my class asked me what my major was, political science, which led to very mild political discussion. Then, I said, "I don't know why people are always so afraid of socialism. Vital services like police enforcement are socialized." At which point, a girl who had barely walked in class and sat down turned around and said, "Actually, it's not socialism; it's nationalism. There's a difference."

At this point, I just kind of went "oh!" despite the fact that she clearly had no idea what she was talking about. Socialism is a system of economics. Nationalism is a word describing national pride and a sort of us vs. them mentality of a country. Nationalism is not an economic system.

I didn't correct her because I already knew how ridiculous it is to argue with someone who thinks they know what they're talking about who doesn't.

I also talked to an Anarchist. College is a breeding ground for these anti-government political nuts. I myself had believed in anarchy for at least a good half a year because it seemed as though no system of government could prevent corruption from destroying prosperity and happiness. However, now, after more political studies, I have come to realize that Anarchy can not work (though it had a good 3-year run in Spain) and that Federalism is actually an excellent system of government.

However, that wasn't even what this argument was about. He was convinced that he should be able to do whatever he wants.... that was it. There wasn't really much else to his argument, and he didn't have anything intelligent to say to my counter-points. He just simply believed that the government, restricting him from doing things like... idk.... driving drunk infringed upon his civil liberties.

I'm not even going to get into that. The argument against that point is so absurdly obvious and so basically essential to any social contract theory, that I don't think that it honestly needs to be explained.

My point is this: there are a lot of very intelligent people in college. There are a lot of great conversationalists who have very intelligent, well-thought-out things to say who can maintain a civil debate while avoiding ridiculous arguments like the ones above. But for every person like this, there are probably three of those above.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Surviving College

There are many ways to survive college. A lot of people stress out about college, and rightfully so. I, myself, tend to do this sometimes, and I'm almost always pretty laid back about things. College, despite how exciting it is, can be very difficult at times.

For some people, they have to work a full time job and go to school full time at the same time. This was the case for one of my friends Spencer. At Phoenix College, I got to know him because he and I were the only two in that class that didn't really need to be there. When I got into Phoenix College, I ended up only taking the intermediate math exam and never took the advanced math exam because I was uncertain how much I really remembered throughout all those years. So, consequentially, I ended up in a math class that didn't give much challenge. (Though honestly, math is one of my best subjects anyway.)

He and I used to sit in the back of the class and just joke around all period. There didn't seem to be any point in really paying attention because every concept he would teach, I would understand pretty automatically. I mean, after all, I am a conceptual learner. Then, the next several class periods would most likely be followed with everyone utterly confused and asking questions. At times, I would actually go up to the board personally and demonstrate the problem in my own way. That's how frustrating it would be!

But I'm getting off topic now. Spence used to work at Target. He was some kind of late-night manager person, and he eventually got me a job there, too. It was awful! The job didn't pay well, and I found myself doing not much else other than sleeping, going to work, and going to school. The going to school part was fine, but I hated the fact that I was always at work and that my job was lame as all hell.

Spence was much like this, too, except he eventually figured out how to throw video games in the mix. So I wasn't actually ever able to hang out with him again after classes ended because he was still always so busy. As for myself, I ended up quitting that job. I hated it with a passion.

I've also tried several alternative methods of living. I've done some couch-hopping in my days, using my parents' house a central storage facility that I would go back to sometimes as infrequently as once every two weeks. And then I would just stay at various friends' houses and party like a rock star.

I've also tried having my own apartment with a girlfriend... let's just say I've been single for a while. I kept the job for a half a year longer than I kept my girlfriend, but I loathed every damn minute of that place. I used to take an unhealthy amount of caffeine sometimes just to make the day go faster.

For a while, I tried living in my car. I showered at friends' houses and a gym I got a student rate for. But for the most part, I fell back into nomadic trends and eventually moved back with my parents. My friend Travis, on the other hand, until he finally gave in to staying with his girlfriend all the time ended staying in his car a lot more than I had. Though, in all fairness, his car is like 10x more comfortable to sleep in than mine is!

People find many different ways of making it through college. These days, I'm hoping to get a free ride on my student loans and get a dorm even. I don't know if its too late for next semester, but we'll see. Why do it that way? Because life is so much simpler when you let the government pay for everything.