On Saturday we went on our first college visit. There will be others, during the coming weeks. And probably a few in the fall, as well. Our oldest is now 17, so this stressful task cannot be ignored. Last week we toured East Stroudsburg University, in the Poconos. It was nice, a beautiful campus and friendly vibe. Here are some notes:
I’ll get the one negative out of the way, first… When you’re going to have a gang of parents with checkbooks touring the campus, shouldn’t you make sure someone empties the trash cans? I was amazed to see more than one overflowing with garbage. I know it’s not the end of the world, but it seemed a little sloppy to me. Especially under the circumstances. It triggered an involuntary squint of disapproval.
While walking with our group, several students(?) passed us on the sidewalk. And after they were a few yards away, one yelled for our benefit, “Whoooo ESU! Let’s get drunk!!” Our tour guide looked like the floor of her ass might fall out.
We were shown a model dorm room, set up to look like a couple of laughably-neat mega-nerds were staying there. It was inside an in-use dorm, on the girl’s floor. After staring at the tiny prison cell for a minute or two, we were walking back toward the stairs, when a girl popped out of one of the bathrooms. She was fresh from the shower, and had nothing but a tiny towel wrapped around her. The look on her face was fantastic, when she saw a gang of 40 crusty old adults staring back at her. She about shit, and I don’t blame her. She put her head down, power-walked to her room, and slammed the door. Heh.
The in-state price for attending this school is a little over $16,000 per year. It makes my sphincter wink. And it’s on the cheap side! Oh, man. When they were going over the numbers, I broke out in a hot/cold flop-sweat. We’ll make college happen for both boys, somehow. But I don’t really understand the path yet. It’s extremely stressful, and I had anxiety dreams about it on Saturday night. Oh well.
Have you been through this process? Do you have any words of encouragement? I’d be much obliged.
On Sunday morning I noticed this article, about Justin Bieber visiting the Anne Frank museum. He left a message in the guest book, which (are you sitting down?) made everything about him. Shocking, I know.
This triggered a Twitter “hashtag game” called #JustinBieberWW2Movies. You were supposed to come up with WW2 movies, featuring Biebs. I participated:
The Thin Red Stretchpants
Jazz Hands of Iwo Jima
The Moisturizer Has Landed
Mascara! Mascara! Mascara!
Care to continue with it? I lost interest after an hour, but it was fun while it lasted.
On Saturday night I decided to free-fall into a couch, and watch TV. It’s a rare occurrence, but I was in the mood. I went to Netflix and began scrolling through the old television shows offered there. I came very close to choosing The Rockford Files (what of it?), but at the last moment went with The Dead Zone. Starring Anthony Michael Hall…
And I ended up watching five episodes, one after the other. Crazy, I know. But it was enjoyable. I don’t watch much TV, and sometimes Big Dumb Entertainment is just what the doctor ordered.
I love Netflix Streaming. They don’t have new releases on there, and that causes you to dig a little deeper. It reminds me of the early days of HBO, when I discovered a bunch of previously-unknown gems. If they had all the big movies, I might not dig so deep. Ya know?
And it costs $7.99 per month. It’s the best deal ever. Unless you can convince me otherwise… I’d like to make that the Question of the Day. What do you think are the best deals? What provides the most bang for the buck, in your opinion? And don’t limit it to just TV and entertainment. Anything goes. Use the comments link below.
And I’ll see you guys again tomorrow.
Have a great day!
Now playing in the bunker
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Root 66 says
1st…Could it be?!?
Our daughter turned 17 and my advice is: get as many scholarships as you can!
Campus touring? That’s weird. Is that really just an excuse to go on day trips. Why are you touring the place? What do you expect to see and hope not to see? I think I might start touring campuses if barley legal babes are a common menu item.
Living in dorms is the dumbest fucking idea ever. You have to move in and out throughout the year, and they are usually just as expensive as seedy neighborhood apartments, or group rent houses.
My wife said she toured three campuses when she was picking a college. She also said she applied to 6 or 7 schools. My siblings also applied to all the state schools and a few out of state schools; they didn’t tour any though. They all said that it was to be sure they got in one.
I didn’t even formally apply to any school the first time. I walked up to the counter at LSU and said, “It’s time for me to go to college. How much should I make this check out for and who do I talk to about getting into classes I need?” They took my first term check, walked me right over to a counselor and we scheduled classes. I was done in an afternoon.
Roku is pretty cool. It was a onetime $30 purchase. It’s just a router for your TV that direct connects to the internet. So you can get your Netflix in a more normal dressing. It also connects to Hulu and about a million other strange internet tv channels. Most you have to pay for, but some are free. Netflix streaming is the best though.
If you come to WVU – let me know.
Not Oprah says
For the Biebs – no wonder all Canadians know how to do apologize. Where’s Celine still in the US we hope.
Holy crap – when did your oldest secret get so old? Time goes by WAY too fast now. I’m gonna be 51 in June and I was just 36 about 6 years ago. How in the fuck did that happen??
I need a drink.
Oh look. A self-answering question.
Bob in Morgantown says
Don’t take this campus visit shit so seriously. If you want to assess the tone, go to the library at about 7 pm and see who’s there. Then, go hit a couple of the bars and see what they look like. Talk to one or two of the adults working in some support category like secretary or janitor and gauge how happy they are. Go have a nice dinner somewhere.
Not Oprah says
‘is’ apologize. pardon my francais language errors.
Yup, doing the college visit thing here, too. Our kid-thing is being courted by all kinds of private colleges and the tuition is staggering. It’s like they just thought of an incredible figure and went with it, because it can’t be based on any reality I’m familiar with.
My best deal: shelling out for a whole cuts of beef and cutting my own steaks and trim.
Agreed on the meat. A pair of chickens at Costco costs around $10. From that I get eight main-dish entrees, an “order” of Buffalo wings, and part of a pot of stock. I’ll also but a whole pork loin and cut it into chops. One time I went halves on a side of beef, but I didn’t like the way the guy butchered it. DIY next time.
I bought an 11lb pork loin and almost 6 pounds of chicken tenderloins for about $32 this weekend. I thought that was a pretty good deal. Got two pretty big roasts and 17 decent-sized chops out of the pork loin.
Your boy seems responsible. Does he have any responsible buddies that are going to the same school? Even if not, I’d suggest ditching the dorm idea and renting him a studio apartment somewhere nearby. Then again, I have no idea where the hell East Stroudsburg University is so dorms may be the way to go. But, man, they are so friggin’ expensive and I’ve heard nothing but horror stories from people who’ve stayed in them. Maybe if a friend’s folks could chip in half the rent you guys could work out an apartment for them. Or a studio just for him, since they are cheap.
I always say Netflix Streaming is a great deal. My dad bitches about it because of content but every time I go on I have no shortage of shit to watch. Sure, it’s not up-to-date shows and I’m always a season behind, but the documentary section and TV sections are fantastic. And for only $8/mth I’m happy.
Oh, and I don’t like violence of any kind but whenever I see a picture of that Bieber ass clown roaming the streets hunched over like he just walked off the evolution chart with his pants around his ankles I have happy thoughts of him getting his ass beat by someone smaller than him. Because I’m sure a second grader could take him down. Ugh, I cannot stand that twat.
Send him to a local tech college to get the state
Mandated classes out if the way, it’s cheaper.
Then he can transfer to a school that you can afford.
My 2 bachelor of science degrees cost me $17k total
And I lived on campus for those 5 years.
It was $56/ credit hour 20 years ago.
This was at a U of Arkansas satellite campus
In lower arkansas.
Garrett - g1g3m says
Don’t gasp too hard. I have been encouraging my stepson to think about some tech schools as well as college. There are so many skilled labor jobs out there that no one is fit to do these days. The market is getting flooded with college graduates enough that a degree is starting to mean dick to employers. I’d give my left nut and college degree today if I just had some heating / AC experience. Those fuckers are making $130+ in my area. I have a friend who is a plumber and making twice my white-collar ass salary. And he has to turn down jobs.
Not Oprah says
so agree. ‘whitecollar’ is such bullshit. get a real job.
Not Oprah says
That being said I’m an accountant. would probably lose my arms if I touched a piece of machinery, But you have to give it a try.
Not Oprah says
MBA – what a joke.
I like the German notion of a master’s degree. When you get a Master’s in Brewing Science at Weihenstephan, you become qualified to mop the floors at a brewery, and then maybe learn the art from the *actual* masters.
Not Oprah says
watching the immigrants come into Canada, blah. I guess I am racist.
Not Oprah says
sold off one of our biggest oil companies to China. then HD mining tries to get only Chinese workers.
Buzz in Wheeling says
Yes!! Community college or tech school first. That’s the best idea I’ve heard in ages.
Also, have your spawn think long and hard about what they *really* like and don’t. I have 7 1/2 years of college and never got a degree because I was too busy changing majors.
I know. Pathetic.
$16k for a I-Never-Heard-of-it-School? Dang!
When I found out the family secret [that I was the son of a poor man], I went and got a job and a $2500.00 student loan, and that got me through a 5 yr BSEE at the local state school.
My niece wanted to go to Boston University and my siste rtold her not unless she got a full scholarship. She didn’t. She’s going somewhere in MA but not sure where.
I always think a happy hour that runs to 7:00 PM is a grand bargain.
The Third Diekhead
Judgement at Numbnutsburg
Maybe the younger Secret can help with the tuition if he lands one of these jobs:
Booger P and the DTs says
Bridge over the river Doucheberg
The Longest Song
Saving Private Justin’s horrible musical taste.
Booger P and the DTs says
WTF happened in Boston????
Holy shit is right. My sister in law is an RN at Brigham and Women’s – they are on lockdown.
Our youngest is 17 so we’ve been thru the college gauntlet 2 times already.
I never did a campus visit when I was applying so I don’t see the need really, but hey, the Hubs wants to haul a glum teen around, be my guest.
Get this book–Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents…by Zac Bissonnette
And share it with your kid.
My 1st kid went to one of the public 14 PA colleges(not ESU tho). My 2nd kid went to another of the 14 PA colleges and left after 1 year. She changed majors about 5 times in that year. She went to the local comm. college this year and lived at home. She is moving out of state to go to a different comm. college for Nursing next academic year.
My best advice? Have your kid go to comm. college the first year and get all those general mandatory courses out of the way…..maybe go 2 years. Then transfer to a 4 year school. Or stay home and attend the local Penn State and transfer to the main campus for the last 2 years.
And read that book! And apply for any scholarship and grant money you can. And make the teen get a job and save it all for school.
Just wait, you get to file a FAFSA next year….woohoo!!!
Phil Jett says
Scholarships. There are so many goofy little ones out there people have set up for dead family members it is ridiculous. Many are degree specific but some it doesn’t matter what you study.
My daughter (an A-B student) starts in the fall at a local state college. She has the first year covered with 4 different scholarships, and each one is renewable if she maintains at least a B average.
The best deal by far is spotify. Its a music app that lets you download everything to your phone (up to 3000 songs) for $10 a month. For the first time in15 years, I’m looking forward to tuesdays, when new releases come out. I’m just waitng for the lawyers to shut this thing down…its that fantastic.
My daughter is a freshman at UNCW. $31k/yr. She’s on the halfsies program. We pay half, she pays(loans) half. its called skin in the game. And you know what? Shes making DAMN sure she gets her moneys worth. Classes closed? Not for my little lady. They WILL make room. Dorms full? Make room for my girl. And make it single room, while youre at it.
No kids, so no college tours. When I was the sullen teen, I visited a college or three. It was helpful in getting a feel for the place.
A couple I know have two kids in college now. A year or two ago when the first one was looking, we were talking about the whole experience. The mom knew right off the top of her head what the costs were. I think it went “$20k in-state, $30k out-of-state, $50k private”. Something like that.
Wisey in TTown says
The Big Red Douche
Wisey in TTown says
Best Deal ever?
Getting paid while I take a dump at work.
Sadly Jeff will never experience the pleasure.
Lucie in Tampa says
Wow I just discovered “The Dead Zone” last year & DVR’ed them all & I loved it!!
Everybody that I know who didn’t live in a dorm ended up hating school or going somewhere else. I’m so glad I lived in the dorms because of how many people I met that are still some of my best friends. Yeah, it’s more expensive, but it makes the experience 10x better.
Miss Q! says
Holy shit, college??? I remember when the Secrets were … well … secret.
Me too — turned around and my kid’s turning 18 on Friday, prom the next day, then WVU in the fall. Amount of the college fund we started for her when she was little has the great big amount of $2000 — thinking of “not telling” and when she goes off to school for her fall semester, we’ll sneak off somewhere for our 20th anniversary……sneaky but wtf.
matt K says
I did the university thing in northern ontario, got my law degree, 4 years of drunken “higher learning”.
i’m now 31, and i’ve still got a few more years to pay it off.
oh by the way, i’m not even using my degree. i really hope your young-uns have chosen an applicable field
WV Bumblebee says
Yea Yea, I know I’m late but I’m catching up on the last few posts, I’ve been busy!
Funny you mentioned school loans. My daughter will be graduating in December with a phd in Organic chemistry. Smart right? Mr. Woods would be proud! Anyway, Yes she received scholarships, grants, etc but I am a single parent and it takes most of what I make to make 2 car payments, health ins, day to day expenses for us both, so student loans are a necessity.
The good part? She has had a couple of interviews and it looks like she will have a job when she graduates starting around $100K.
So get ready for the college expenses!
WV Bumblebee says
A sentenced got erased. Should have said…
Anyway, she has $165K in student loans…..