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Raqui
August 5th, 2009, 10:49 PM
This coming school year is my senior year of high school. That means there's a lot of talk about colleges. I don't want to go to a college, because that's not the lifestyle I want to live. I want to live with next to nothing, in the wilderness with my dog, surviving on roots and berries and trapped birds. I will have some money from odd jobs that I can use for toothpaste, soap, and a bag of rice now and then if/when I can't get enough food myself. Whenever I heard about applying for college, I felt pretty depressed because I knew I would have to go and live a life that's totally unfufilling to me. Todays society doesn't let you get by without a degree. This song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONEYGU_7EqU) really hits the nail on the head. Then the idea came to me, why not take a year off?

So next year about this time I'll turn 18, and after that I'm leaving for a year, then I plan to come back for college. Problem is, I'm a little nervous about such a big decision, and just as nervous about telling my parents They've always expected me to go straight to college after highschool, like my three brothers before me. If possible, I want to tell them without pulling the "I'm eighteen" card. I felt like I should talk to someone before telling them. Unfortunately, the person I would want to talk to is leaving for Washington DC tomarrow, and he's been too busy these past few days for me to get a moment alone. I saw sillydraco's topic about travelling cross-country, and it reminded me that I can at least talk to all of you.

Why do I want to go?

I want to go because I won't be tied down by a job, a house, or all the crap that comes with being in a city. I want to be able to choose any direction and go without having a load of people and responsibilities telling me to be back by such and such time. I want to live alone and free, with all the world open to me as my home. I don't want to be pandering to a boss or trying to convince other people to like me so they'll buy my shit. I think that modern society is built on mindless sheep-behavior, where people wander around their daily routine, living without life in cubicles in the way best described in office-space and dilbert cartoons. Millions of lives are spent creating and marketing a product, so that people will buy it and let it rot in the basement. A life spent in a cubicle is no life at all, says I. People live in a miserable cycle of "another day, another dollar", but they are told that freedom from this is impossible, so they act as good little citizens who don't question the ultimate authority. To me, college is part of this ugly cycle. Once again I point to the little boxes song. I'm not happy with this, so I'm leaving to find my own way.

I'm excited for the challenges, because they'll be real. Oh, real danger? Real hardship, for me? Why thank you, you shouldn't have! I'm sick of the only danger being that you would displease other people. I'm sick of being ruled like that. Let me be part of the world around me. Let me be part of a circle of life, not of money.

However, I realize I'm inexperienced. That's why I plan to come back after a year instead of leaving for good. That's why I'm not totally disconnecting from society.

Well, that was poetic. Meh, it just shows that I mean what I say. So, input?

Werewolf of Waldorf
August 5th, 2009, 11:45 PM
Ok, first I have to say that that song was pretty cute. Yes, that pretty much sums up how I feel currently. I see no reason, no purpose, for this "modern" lifestyle that we have conceived: it is absolutely pointless to an extent. The market concept, in particular. I admit to being a creature of comforts at least, but most of this lifestyle I find ridiculous. That said, here's my wisdom.

I'm 21, and sorta in the same boat as you, with teh college thing. I find modern society to be annoying, and invasive, extremely. I would have nothing more than to enjoy a frontier lifestyle, of course with some of teh modern amenities like the refrigerator. :) I didn't want to drive, because there is no particular reason that I should have to be there 5 minutes ago. I can walk or ride my bike. I work retail. I hate it. There is no particular reason taht people NEED more shoes, or clothing, or a treadmill (I work at a sporting goods store). They need a treadmill because of this fucking modern society. That said, the only way for change, is to change.

I'm going to school for environmental science and geography. I plan to get a job in horticulture, or agriculture, for example, make my life out of the land, like I want to. However, I still am part of the master system of Western Market. Get over it. Harsh, I'm sorry, but there is nothing YOU can do. HOWEVER!!! each generation makes a difference, and change is made gradually, not instantaneously. Instantaneous change, as proven in nature, is usually explosive and dangerous. Gradual change is what life desires. Continue through this modern warfare, and gradually wean yourself out of it's grip. Make your own little box by your own hands. That's what I intend to do with an eventual wife (serpentineZebra).

Your always going to have to report back to someone, as a form of control. You are always going to have to have some form of control over you, because of the feat called "society". All multi-cellular organism have it, and they all have a hierarchy of control within that society. Again, harsh, but get over it. Your being the expected rebellious 18 year-old. *pats on the back* Your growing up, it sucks. I just got past that stage. I've had the unfortunate family lifestyle that I had to do a lot alone, so I'm a bit more mature for my age, and paid attention to alot of things others don't usually.

Granted, college isn't for all. My dad didn't go to college: if trade school doesn't' count as college... Nowadays, unfortunately, college is almost mandatory for any kind of lifestyle, because of this idiotic concept called "money". Money is of no value to me. Yes, I'm paying my own tuition (which is a great feat, without having to take out any loans) But I still take my girlfriend out to lunch, go to New York City for a howl, go to the beach, enjoy life. Money will not last forever, even if I hoard every dime. So the fuck what. But I'm still responsible enough to respect it's value in my life that it does in fact have a say in what I can do, how I get a job (stupid concept, Credit) and will be responsible in that aspect. I hope that you can be that responsible enough, with such a menial thing such as money.

Yeah, modern society sucks, but like I said, you don't have to go to college immediately, or at all, but it does help in the long run if you can afford it. I'm following the cycle to break teh cycle (getting a degree in LIFE!!!) It's the same dillema art students seem to have: They have a pursuit, but it is deemed tedious and pointless: but those who throw the stones don't even have a life, so how can say they say that the LIFE of art is tedious? It's your life, enjoy it, responsibly. Like drinking: Drink responsibly, too!

Kaye Sweetbriar
August 5th, 2009, 11:55 PM
This is a lot like the stuff I think about, actually. I mean, I wouldn't mind getting a job and stuff but I'd like to work when I want and be able to do the other stuff I like to do, too.

But taking a year off is risky, just so you know. You risk unlearning a lot of stuff and you have a higher risk of dropping or flunking out, too. So weigh the pros and cons of both sides and do your research for both sides, too. If you go to your parents properly prepared, they should be okay with it, or at least more okay with it than they would be if you just up and left.

Also, make sure you know how you'll fund basic things when you start out. You will need some starting cash at least and you'll need to know where you'll sleep 'cause some places won't allow it. So just figure out the basics and then go from there and have a visual for your parents.

GestaltZe
August 6th, 2009, 01:55 AM
I would love to do that.
Basically, my boyfriend won't let me 'take a year off' because of the reasons Kaye listed. Statistically, you're less likely to go back to college if you take a year off prior.
But man, I know how you feel. Honestly, my dream is to walk across the country in my year off. (Okay, maybe more than a year) It really appeals to the nomadic wolf in me: walking across long distances with only what I can carry.
Unrealistic? Yes. But what a nice thing it would be....

Nomad
August 6th, 2009, 07:36 AM
The other day I met this guy from Chile who travels around the world, camps at any beautiful natural place, and spends some days there painting it on glasses. Then he sells the glasses and earns his living that way. He had absolute freedom, going and staying wherever he liked, whenever he wanted, doing what he loved the most. Funny thing is, he didn't seem that happy.

I listened to the song, but I don't believe it to be true, just another stereotype. Just because someone lives in a house identical to yours, or follows the same career you do, doesn't make him equal to you. Some of the most interesting and unique people I have ever known, I met them at the university. And I had many memorable moments with them while in there, that I wouldn't change for anything.

I believe if you are taking a year off, it's better to do it after university, having less risk of not going back, unlearning things you will need and such. But of course that's your decision, so have fun whatever you do.

DragonicWolf
August 6th, 2009, 08:13 AM
I really dislike the thought of being restraint and controlled by the 'puppet strings of society'.

But I know of some people who have dreamed of living free, but have found that the novelty of it quickly vanishes because it is not as remarkable as people think it is. And it is difficult

Raqui
August 6th, 2009, 01:31 PM
This is all really helpful. What do you mean by "unlearning" things? I go three months each summer with no school and never forget anything. What would be different with a year?

Janus
August 6th, 2009, 01:59 PM
I totally sympathize with you. I'm going to be a senior this year as well, and naturally college is being shoved into my face.

I think society and humanity in general has become materialistic- and drifted away from instincts and nature- and will continue to move away at this rate.

I think if so many are uhappy with the status quo, instead of just abandoning society or just caving and conforming (being depressed all the while), why not work to change it? And the best place to change something such as society is from within it. Educate people, teach them, let them know there is another way to live that's not materialistic and is better for them and the planet. It wouldn't be a quick change, of course, but in the end we'd feel better if we knew we tried or perhaps paved the road for change and future generations.

It's not even garunteed that it would work- if people would even be willing to change- but it's worth a try. "Failure is the only option of those who accept the status quo." I don't remember who said that quote, but I think it is fitting. =)

Anway, it is possible to live in society and still be one with nature (and not have to take others' bull crap), it's like juggling. Though what's right for one person may not be right for another- maybe you really would fare better living apart from society. Either way I hope you find a place in the world that suites you. Good luck! =)

Nomad
August 6th, 2009, 02:59 PM
This is all really helpful. What do you mean by "unlearning" things? I go three months each summer with no school and never forget anything. What would be different with a year?

People tend to forget quite fast about things they don't need to use often, and a year it's more time than three months :D

I'm not sure about education there, so this can be different from my own experience. But here, the step between university and the school years before it can be quite high, meaning when you start your first year at university you are assumed to be familiar with some advanced concepts that you might have only touched briefly while in school.

That's hard enough as it is, and having spent a year without school means you are likely to forget many of those things and have a harder time when you start university. Of course, that can be different there, and it also depends on your career.


I think society and humanity in general has become materialistic- and drifted away from instincts and nature- and will continue to move away at this rate.

I believe many people's disaffection with society it's because of taking a materialistic approach. It's easy to become depressed if, like many people do, you see your job as a pain you have to endure to get money to buy things you can only enjoy during the weekends (if at all). Life becomes a routine and a torture if you take it that way.

At least in my case I like to think I'm not that way. I do have a job I enjoy, and I'd be doing it regardless of being paid or not (I already did it as a hobby years before it became a job), so my motivation to wake up every morning is not getting money, but getting fun.

The fact I'm paid for it is great, but secondary. As I already have fun at job, I don't need to hoard more money to "buy fun", so to speak. Just having enough for the usual expenses, some whim here and there, and some travelling around, I'm pretty much satisfied. More money is always welcomed, but not actively seeked.

So, my suggestion is to work and find some way to live within society, and still have the freedom to do what you most like, and being able to enjoy it everyday. There's no purpose on going into a cubicle if you feel it's a torture. We only have (as far as we know) this life, so it's a crime to yourself wasting it in depression.

Raqui
August 6th, 2009, 10:03 PM
Thanks everyone, this is all a much more understanding reaction than I got when I posted about this on draconity.org. I guess a bunch of animals can sympathize better with my desire. I'm still going to go, but I am going to come back after a year and, as you suggested try to change society from within. I hope my story will help with that. I don't think this world is a lost cause. I'm not the only one who sees a problem with the ways the world works, or the first person to try to live differently. Take, for example, my role model and inspiration for this venture, Chris McCandless (the guy who starved to death in Alaska, yeah, him). Maybe I can show people that things can be different, same as his story showed me.
Thanks, everyone.

Janus
August 6th, 2009, 10:12 PM
Thanks everyone, this is all a much more understanding reaction than I got when I posted about this on draconity.org. I guess a bunch of animals can sympathize better with my desire. I'm still going to go, but I am going to come back after a year and, as you suggested try to change society from within. I hope my story will help with that. I don't think this world is a lost cause. I'm not the only one who sees a problem with the ways the world works, or the first person to try to live differently. Take, for example, my role model and inspiration for this venture, Chris McCandless (the guy who starved to death in Alaska, yeah, him). Maybe I can show people that things can be different, same as his story showed me.
Thanks, everyone.


You won't be alone; there are many of us who will be working alongside you. =)

Have you ever heard of a 'naturist'? I don't necesarily mean 'nudists'- though some do practice that- but I mean the people who live in society yet remain close to nature. They eat all natural/raw food and such. I don't really know too much about them- just a very broad description. (There was a show on MTV, I believe, called Mad Mad House- on it there was a Naturist guy- that's where I first heard about it.) Maybe something like that can help you coexist with society while still leading a life you'll enjoy?

Werewolf of Waldorf
August 6th, 2009, 10:21 PM
Yeah,I've heard of them. There are also communities called "earthships", instead of townships. They are pretty much your all natural lifestyle of a neighborhood. The only one's that are coming to mind at the moment are in the west, like in Arizona and New Mexico, but research them: That is a place and a lifestyle worth living, if you ask me (but in a different climate zone, preferably...I'm what you call a "northern breed").

I would like to take time and go travel abroad, personally. If you intend to do so, at least make it worth-while, AND LEARN SOMETHING!! Nothing beats experience, so make use of that experience. I would go on a massive photography tour, since I'm a serious photo-buff/nerd, so bring along what makes you YOU. If you like music, make it a point to learn about the local musical culture, for example. If you ever come along to Maryland, make yourself known, PLEASE!!! I would be more than happy to meat...meet you:) and share with you the stuffs about Maryland!

StarRhythm
August 6th, 2009, 10:28 PM
I'll just say personally that it's been very hard for me to get back into the groove of school after taking time off, so I can vouch for that. Also, it is very easy to forget a lot of the (few, IMO) things learned in high school. At least, it was for me. But I didn't have a huge interest in them in the first place.

However, education is necessary even for a lot of crap jobs these days, so I would also say that maybe a safer bet would be to take the year off after college. But it's up to you, and not everyone is the same. You might benefit greatly from a break now. Just be safe and take pictures! XD

GestaltZe
August 7th, 2009, 12:20 AM
Yeah,I've heard of them. There are also communities called "earthships", instead of townships. They are pretty much your all natural lifestyle of a neighborhood. The only one's that are coming to mind at the moment are in the west, like in Arizona and New Mexico, but research them: That is a place and a lifestyle worth living, if you ask me (but in a different climate zone, preferably...I'm what you call a "northern breed").


I attended a lecture on earthships, and understood the term to refer to the actual structure rather than the community.
That is, an earthship is a structure for housing that is essentially, a recycled building. The ones we were shown were made from packed tires, such as at this site: http://www.earthships.com/
I'm not trying to prove you wrong, I'm just curious to know if there's another meaning to the word.

Werewolf of Waldorf
August 7th, 2009, 10:24 AM
I attended a lecture on earthships, and understood the term to refer to the actual structure rather than the community.
That is, an earthship is a structure for housing that is essentially, a recycled building. The ones we were shown were made from packed tires, such as at this site: http://www.earthships.com/
I'm not trying to prove you wrong, I'm just curious to know if there's another meaning to the word.

Oh, is that what it really is? The definition I gave was from my impression after watching this thing on the Travel Channel; There was an "earthship" in New Mexico that was virtually a big garden he lived in (literally: It was his house) and the entire community (a good 15-20 people) all had houses like this and were all self-sustaining, and were even putting power ONTO the grid. So that was just my impression, of a lifestyle, not a style of house.

DarkRain
August 7th, 2009, 11:21 AM
The college thing didn't really pan out for me in the first place. Four years later I ended up with a major that I found out that I can't hardly do shit with, a minor that I just did for fun, and a mate. Of the three of those my mate is the only really good part from that. I was forced into going into the major I have because my parents told me that I had to do something that would earn good money. So, 2 years post college I'm still doing the odd jobs and just recently found out that my degree ain't worth shit. Plus, I lack the basic social foundations for getting along with others. I'll openly admit it, I am not a people person. For most people I'd rather beat them about the head with a baseball bat than talk to them. (I have yet to do so, it's just the way I feel.) Which means that I don't do well in typical workplace situations.

Eventually, what my mate and I are planning is that we'll be able to puchase land and house enough to have a small farm to sustain ourselves. It'll be interesting to see how it will play out since we're in the porcess of moving to West Virginia which is not well known for it's agriculture. We've decieded that if his job provides enough that I can just stay home and manage the farm once things play out, which is fine. He also acknowledges that I'm not a people person.

Raqui
August 7th, 2009, 01:26 PM
I attended a lecture on earthships, and understood the term to refer to the actual structure rather than the community.
That is, an earthship is a structure for housing that is essentially, a recycled building. The ones we were shown were made from packed tires, such as at this site: http://www.earthships.com/
I'm not trying to prove you wrong, I'm just curious to know if there's another meaning to the word.

*Stares* I think I've seen that place. School trip, fourth or fifth grade, haven't heard of it since. One of the few things I've learned in school that I actually cared enough about to remember for this long :)

Arawn
August 7th, 2009, 02:06 PM
I can understand the urge to travel--I've been traveling my whole life and plan on doing the same, once I'm done getting my B.A.--once I get, I should be heading to Alaska. I have many of the same views on college and society as several people have voiced on here, but it didn't stop from heading to college. I enjoy it immensely and some of the people I've met there turned out to be therians, which was a blast. My major is History and my minor is Religion, which I still get picked on for because people seem to view the major and minor I chose as worthless. It's also a good major if you're not a people-person [like me--like Darkrain, I'd rather hit most people with a bat than talk to them :P ]. Also, with my major, you can travel the world with a degree in it.

And you can forget quite a bit even during the span of just a year--after 6 months of taking a math class, I forgot a lot of the basics and had to study hard to do good in the College Algebra class I was taking [and I wasn't very good with math to begin with].