My future, share your $0.02 please

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by xander8280, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. xander8280


    Dec 29, 2011
    I want to take an opportunity with a serious band and tour.
    Problem is I just graduated high school.

    I was planning to go to school in the fall and start electrical engineering undergrad classes.

    I feel that if I pass the chance up I'll regret it for forever. And I can invest a few years or more on the road before school.

    I am pondering the idea of online school. Have a laptop and a Verizon wifi, if I have signal I have Internet.....

    Electrical engineering guys, help me out.

    Online college people, help me out.

    Those with regrets, help me out.

    This is what I want, I want reassurance, and I want opinions/advice.
  2. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    Do it.
    You're young enjoy this chance while you can. You just finished twelve years of school. Take a break and experience life as a independent adult.

    Schools will always be there.

    That's my .02 coming from the father of three now adult children.
  3. Dale D Dilly

    Dale D Dilly Monster

    Jul 1, 2008
    You know how a college degree is super inflated and not worth very much now? An online degree is worth a lot less than that when it comes to landing a job or graduate program. Students in online programs are also much more likely to drop out. Plus the classes themselves are pretty lame compared to real life ones, giving a skewed perception of what higher ed can actually be.

    There's plenty of time for summer tours if you're going to school the rest of the year. If you live in a dorm, you don't even have to worry about paying rent on some place while you're out touring all summer.

    If you do put school off anyway, don't do it for too long, it's somewhat likely that the amount of federal aid available to students will get drastically reduced over the next few election cycles.
  4. theory028

    theory028 Really Loud Hamburger.

    Jul 4, 2007
    Cedar Falls, IA
    Why not? Find out if any local community colleges offer any online classes and make sure that credits will all transfer to the university that you plan on going to. You could get some of your liberal arts core stuff out of the way while doing something that you enjoy.

    I never went to strictly online classes but I have taken a bunch of online courses through my college as supplementary studies. Discipline is key. It is really easy to get behind when you don't have a lecture to meet with and keep you in line. Even then, it really isn't that bad.

    Colleges like University of Phoenix and DeVry are a different beast and I wouldn't mess around with those. It's best to do online education from an accredited school that will make transferring in to life on campus easy. I also wouldn't abandon the idea of attending classes on campus. You'd be missing out on a ton of life opportunities.

    If you are talking about a semester or two of online stuff, I'd say go for it. If you're talking about an entire four year degree earned online, I'd say don't. There is a lot to learn on the road but even more to learn on a campus full of other kids. There's a reason that people often say that the college years are the best of your life. It is really fun.

    That's my take on the issue.
  5. Epidrake


    May 24, 2011
    Engineering is one of the few degrees to be worth getting. My daughter's classmate just graduated with an engineering degree and is starting at $75,000 with benefits too.
    Go to school. A real school, and you will be set for life. You are never too old to do stuff and have fun.
  6. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    EE guy here.

    I took a year out between HS and university. Did a bunch of stuff, learned a bit about life, was more ready for uni when I got there.

    It isn't a bad idea, but put a time limit on it upfront. One year? Fine. "Until I feel like doing something else" ? Could be a problem.

    Personally, I wouldn't try to do the online thing. Just start real college a year later.
  7. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    +1. You don't HAVE to start college right at 18. Do the band thing, if it takes off and you become millionaire rock stars, great (will probably take more than 1 year, though). But don't drag it out on pipe dreams forever.

    The thing about online classes is that they usually don't lead to the kind of socialization and mentoring that are essential dimensions of a college experience. In a field like engineering, I suspect you could get some areas covered adequately online, like your math. But anyone will tell you that there's more to college than taking classes. Classes are supposed to be a springboard to other things - extracurriculars, mentoring from faculty, out-of-class conversations with other students.
  8. IPA

    IPA Supporting Member

    May 5, 2010
    College will be there, go, rock out.

    What you DON'T want to do is neither land the gig or college and end up sitting around taking up space. If one thing doesn't work out, move on to something else immediately. Stay busy while you're young and able to stay up late and not have any obligations.
  9. I spent over 6 years on a band with no chance, attempting to practically summon it up from the basement. Some of my best friends I became an ***-**** to (a passionate one at that, but still an ***-****), I looked like a fool to everyone around me, and reality hit when someone who auditioned said yea, we were talented, but lacked any hooks that he'd go and pay to see a real band pull off. It threw my GPA in university in the ****house (not heavily, but heavily enough to weigh in my department's heads as an opportunity to buck me off into a lower profession, which they did not pass up). I drank for two reasons; my friends didn't get me, and people at school did not get me either. I was a man without a place.

    I kept with that band so long in attempt to show up another band that kicked me out, but in reality I was just butt hurt and decided to keep kicking my butt cuz I didn't know how or when to quit. They were right to kick me out too. I was an over passionate, success hungry fool with an attitude.

    So if you're determined, go ahead. Just don't be surprised when you look like wily coyote after a couple years.

    And for the love of god don't major in music, that's like taking a broom stick, sharpening it, and shoving it somewhere particularly gory.

    So there.
  10. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I don't think touring with a serious band and taking online courses at the same time will be a successful combo.

  11. If you have any scholarships you need to go. If not, take a year off and have fun.

    Do you already have a tour lined up or is it wishful thinking?
  12. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Central Texas
    I decided to work in my then-profession for a few years before starting college. Worst decision I ever made, once you are working it is very hard to go back and do school right. But... we didn't have distance learning back then.

    How about this - do the band thing and on-line school, and work on your non-EE coursework for now? English composition is the same whether you are sleeping in a class or pounding on a keyboard in Denny's at 2am.
  13. My 2 cents: Music-related, belongs in *miscelleneous*
    Eat waffles
  14. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    your only young once and school will be there when you decide your ready. I went out on the road the first time at 19, never regretted that decision. Get out and experience life for awhile before you settle into the rigors of academia.
  15. mrpackerguy

    mrpackerguy Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2004
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Go to school. You will never regret getting an education. You might, however, regret touring. Get in or form a band at college - best of both worlds. My 2 oldest kids took a "year" off before going to college. My oldest son now regrets it, and he's starting as a freshman at NMU this fall at 25. His best friend is now a lawyer at a large Chicago firm and his other best friend trades on Wall Street in New York. My daughter is 22 and also regrets taking time off seeing all her friends in nice good jobs while she's earning $10/hr as a certified nursing assistant. She starts at a local college this fall. Just one perspective.
  16. Do some soul searching and do what will make you happiest and bring the most joy to your life, long-term. Could be either one, school or touring, only you know the answer to that one. We can only tell you about our own experiences.

    Take it from a 40 year old who always did what was "expected" of him, and took the recommended/responsible road, always. And now wonders why.
  17. You may be able to do both.

    As a background for my comments, I have a BS & an MS in Chemical Engineering. The BS was a traditional 4 year, on-campus program. The MS was completely online.

    Your math skills are the first to go. I took 4 years off between undergrad & grad school - my math was REALLY rusty when I went back. I had to spend 3 months re-learning my undergrad math at before my first class started.

    IF YOU CAN - take some math courses while on tour. Calculus, differential equations, etc. You can probably do these with community colleges & have it count in engineering (particularly the lower order maths). A community college may offer the courses online, and at a significantly lower rate than a university. Most universities accept the credits also. This way, you keep your math skills sharp, bang out some credits, and go on tour also.

    Doing engineering online is VERY challenging, and you must be VERY dedicated. You don't have the support system of sitting around with others, but it doesn't make it impossible. Watch the lectures, do the practice problems (and more, if you can), and ask if you have questions.

    With an online course, you have the ability to do the work whenever it is convenient to you. You aren't tied to the computer at a specific time (depends on the class of course), but there is no reason for it. Your degree will not say "ONLINE DEGREE", it will say BSEE.

    When the rest of the band is off partying their heads off, sit somewhere quiet & do some school work. In a few years, you'll have an engineering degree (at a high starting salary...).

    If you do take off completely - take a calculus book along with you and work your way through the exercises. I recommend Thomas & Finney's Calculus - a REALLY solid book.

    Lastly - How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
  18. +1

    Waiting a year or two before starting college won't derail your career. In fact, you may find that you're more mature, more disciplined, and have a better idea what you want to study if you're a little older when you start. That may lead to a more rewarding experience in college.

    And, once you graduate, you may have some of those "real life" things like a spouse, a mortgage, student loans, etc. that will make it very difficult to go on tour. If you want to have some good stories to tell you grandkids, do the tour.

    my $.02
  19. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    If you take the band job and decide to go the online route, make sure any credits you earn will transfer.

    Other than that, School will be always be there, but IME, really good music jobs are an elusive thing best grabbed when the opportunity presents.

    Oh and BTW, even if it's well done, a tour is still hours and hours of pure boredom interspersed with moments of hard work. But at least the pay sucks so there's always that. J/K...not really ;)

    Was at a friends place yesterday and they had Jason Isbell doing an interview on the radio. He was talking about how he named his current band which was an interesting story, but what caught my attention was him talking about stopping for lunch and everyone piling out of the van half loaded unwashed and smelling like the road, and him giving them their $10 daily per diem.

    Gotta love that rock & roll lifestyle.
  20. ProgRocker


    Mar 25, 2011
    School will always be there, opportunities like this won't. Go on tour, have fun. If things don't work out, there's always school. If they do.....