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  1. #1
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    Question Where to move after graduation.

    I'm graduating from college. I don't want to live in my parents' house any longer than I have to. I love my family, but it's hard to get any artwork done in the house because there is often too much going on. I have siblings ten years younger than I, and they are constantly making the grandest dramas. I've lived in Connecticut all my life so far. I'd like to open my horizons. Where is a good place to start? Is it a good place to start fresh out of school?

    or

    Should I bide my time, wait for my chance and strike like a cobra?
    (meaning, get a job around CT, save money, pay off my minimal school debts, then take off to a different corner of the USA)

    Any advice from those who have made it would be awesome. Feedback from peers is also awesome.

    Thanks,
    Jake.


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    Ideally? #2. You should ride that parental providin' train until you get a decent/career-type job. If it's an art job, then that's where you should move to.

    I advised my lil bro to stay in our parent's house for a year after he graduated, stepped into an extremely well-paid job right away, and had no debt to his name other than a small car loan. Why? Because he got to spend that year saving that fat paycheck and promptly bought his own house after the year was up.

    I had two younger siblings, and the smallest room in the house. I still made over half of it into my studio and did art constantly behind a closed door. I couldn't do as my bro did, but I would have. The idea of your own place is seductive, but the bills and responsibility sure suck! If you don't find an art job right away, then the full-time, low-wage-so-I-can-survive jobs suck more! Stay home, get that job lined up, and then get out. At the least, a want to leave home will motivate you to find the right job fast.

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    i moved out about 4 months after uni. landed a dead end job and then became unemployed and earned ends-meet to get by. if it was not for my raunchy love life i would have gone back to parents. My life has been chaos since i left. 2 years on and now I am working full time in a low paid call centre job, living on my own in the city. I get very little time to create. I have too much pride so i would not go home again.

  6. #4
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    Thanks, guys. Your answers certainly help. Seems like staying home is the best bet, at least until I get something good.

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    Yeah, it's not the cool, fun answer you want to hear, but in a couple yrs you'll be glad you waited.

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    You poor bastard. I grew up in CT, loathesome place. I'm so sorry that you're stuck there.

    I agree though - before you take off, you'll need to ground yourself financially. Get your debt in order (maybe not pay it off, but look into consolidation, payment plans, etc, and get in a position where you're both paying it down and saving cash) and use the fact that you're not paying rent to save up as much money as possible. After that, as the business people say, "go where the fire is": find the place that has what you're looking for and opportunities for you to forward yourself. (I'm moving from sleepy VT to Seattle for the commercial art community, video game industry, art schools, museums, and natural environment... and Vancouver's a stone's throw away with it's Canadianess, Film Industry, Livability, and Mountains).

    The equation I used for getting ready to move was to save up about 5-6 months of rent, food, and incidental costs (high balling the numbers, of course, using Craigslist housing listings as a guide). I've got that locked up in a separate savings account for just in case I can't find a job immediately. And if I do find a job immediately, I have a sweet pad of savings under my belt.

    Alternately, if you want to make some money, get out of the house, and you have a degree, go teach abroad for a little while. If it you do it right, you'll end up spending far less than what you're making. I went to China with about 500 bucks in my account after I graduated and returned with 5k after a year. Not a lot, but it was also a mind-blowing experience for me and you'll have enough money to just fly from wherever you're living abroad to where you want to move to.

    The company I worked for had me working 8 hours days on the weekends and a couple hours here and there during the week. I had so much free time I barely knew what to do with it. I made 900 bucks a month and spent maybe 100 a month (eating out three meals a day, going to bars with my friends, taking my Chinese friends on vacation with me) while paying off my loans back in the States. Crazy.

    Good luck, man.
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  10. #7
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    I heard the Chinese teaching abroad program was pretty sweet. I've heard they train you, so you don't have to know Chinese or anything else. If that's true, I wish I'd heard of it after I got out!

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    The concept of teaching a year abroad is pretty awesome. It's got me thinking, for sure.

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    Here's the deal - you're gonna get fucked with. It's the territory. These schools are money mills and as far as the administrators go, the teachers come and go and they'll be there for years in countries that have very little in the way of accountability for superior's actions. SO. If you do it, keep in mind that getting dicked around is part of the experience. Working for an American or British owned company is a way to mitigate this because you at least have someone from your own culture and who speaks your language to yell at. Chinese employment culture, at least, is still incredibly feudal. Your boss is your god (or so they like to think) and you have no rights whatsoever.

    I had fun with it. I incited my Chinese coworkers to small acts of resistance, had them do stuff and blame it on me as the "dumb foreigner" because they couldn't fire me and I wasn't afraid of the boss.

    Anyways. It was a load of fun, in the end, and an incredible experience. They are very different countries with very different cultures whose values will seem completely cockeyed to you - just go with the flow or go insane You'll see crazy things, meet asshole foreigners who have been there too long, and end up doing stuff you never thought you would - just shrug and accept it and you'll have a good time

    I can refer you to the company I worked for in China - pretty standard stuff save for that they also have 7.5 month contracts if you want more flexibility (that's what I did, and then just lived there for another 4 months and paid all my rent and expenses for that span of time by working for about 4 hours one weekend under the table). Korea is far more westernized with probably more home comforts, moreso with Japan, though Japan is a little harder to get into to teach, from what I understand. I think there's a new industry forming in Vietnam as well.
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    I'm not going to make any moves yet. I actually just landed something to pad my wallet until my very minimal student loans are all paid. But the idea is certainly enticing. Thanks for the info.

  14. #11
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    What Mirana said is true. Stay with your parents, tough through the teenage dramas, and get a job near by. It would be great for you to have a situation where you can not have to worry about housing or food (IE living with your parents) but still have the opportunity to make and save money. You'll be much better off this way because you'll gain experience which will make you more worth hiring, and you'll have that money saved for buying a nice apartment, paying for food, etc.

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    although life experiences are invaluable. Its usually through the tough times that our characters grow. Employers want to hire a strong character and a person babysat by their parents are not strong characters.

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  17. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rist View Post
    although life experiences are invaluable. Its usually through the tough times that our characters grow. Employers want to hire a strong character and a person babysat by their parents are not strong characters.
    Employers should know that in today's economic climate being pragmatic is the intelligent thing to do.

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  19. #14
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    @Rist: Yeah, I don't think "did you live at home past college" is a question employers ask or care about. It's also not in any way a judge of someone's character.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post
    @Rist: Yeah, I don't think "did you live at home past college" is a question employers ask or care about. It's also not in any way a judge of someone's character.
    Sure it is. It means you are too lazy or incapapble of acting like an adult and assuming adult responsibilities. You know like taking care of yourself and paying your own way.

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    I see where you're coming from: I'm still living with my parents because I have no real alternative. It was either that or spend two-to-eight years and tens of thousands of dollars at some overrated institution that wouldn't have made much of an impact in my life.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirana View Post
    @Rist: Yeah, I don't think "did you live at home past college" is a question employers ask or care about. It's also not in any way a judge of someone's character.
    They might as well ask "did your parents pay for your quarter-million dollar Harvard degree, or did you buy that yourself?"

    Federally backed student loans!?! Goddam lazy Welfare Recipients! Why weren't you humpin' a ruck and a rifle through Afghanistan?

    [See how that works. . .]

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  24. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Sure it is. It means you are too lazy or incapapble of acting like an adult and assuming adult responsibilities. You know like taking care of yourself and paying your own way.
    I like to point out that there is a difference between being a leech, and helping out one's family.
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  25. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Sure it is. It means you are too lazy or incapapble of acting like an adult and assuming adult responsibilities. You know like taking care of yourself and paying your own way.
    Wooooow. That is some extra level of crazy bitter and incorrect thinking that I just don't even...what the who, now?

    Some people will be lazy. Some people will be immature. Living with or without your parents does not define that in a person. There are so many combinations of living situations and dedication to one's work or responsibilities that it is impossible to make blanket statements like that.

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  27. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flashback View Post
    I like to point out that there is a difference between being a leech, and helping out one's family.
    I agree, so let me clarify. Helping out your parents either monetarily or if they are invalid or diminished is indeed a noble thing. That would never include sitting around drawing pictures for a crappy DA account cause you refuse to work at something not art related until you are a competitent artist.

  28. #21
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    Hey, this post was never intended to become an all out flame war. Relax.

    @dpaint: it seems you have a beef against people who may not have enough money, or a job just out of college. You're dooming them to insignificance. Why?

    This went from being an advice thread to a flame thread in the space of a couple days. I asked for advice, and I got and appreciate the advice given. However, the responses outside of advice just seem unnecessary.

  29. #22
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    @jacobanderson: Eh, not so much "flame war" going on here. It's been a while since I've been around, but from what I remember, CA peeps are blunt and tell it like it is. Not much sugar-coating for feelings, ha. We're big kids. It's cool.

  30. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobanderson View Post
    Hey, this post was never intended to become an all out flame war. Relax.

    @dpaint: it seems you have a beef against people who may not have enough money, or a job just out of college. You're dooming them to insignificance. Why?

    This went from being an advice thread to a flame thread in the space of a couple days. I asked for advice, and I got and appreciate the advice given. However, the responses outside of advice just seem unnecessary.
    You are misreading me. I am giving you advice based on my own life. I didn't go to school but went to work at 18, it got me away from my parents house and five siblings and allowed me to focus on art in the evenings. Responsibilities make you stronger, not weaker, self suficiency is a good thing. So is life experience, when you have to earn a living and make decisions on your own to prioritize your goals it helps you to achieve them.
    In my 20's I saw many people ride the parent train to nowhere because it was easier. They got lazy and complacent and ended up married with kids in a job they could care less about because they never became independant in their thinking or decisions. They didn't have the ability to chase their dreams any longer and life kept getting in the way and piling on more distractions.
    I attribute my success as an artist to my ability to not have people take care of me because everything has a price attached to it.

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    This isn't the 90's anymore. Jobs aren't nearly as easy to get as they were in the 90's, there's fewer of them, and everything costs several times as much, especially rent. So living with your parents for a bit is not as pathetic as it once was.

    My sister spent a summer crashing with the 'rents specifically so she could devote eight hours a day exclusively to job-hunting (which is pretty much the only way to get jobs these days if you don't have any connections in your chosen field...) Yes, she got a job and moved out by the end of summer. So no, not everyone crashing with their parents is "lazy". It depends on the person and how motivated they are.

    More specifically @ the OP: If you're in a part of Connecticut that allows you to commute easily to New York, you could use the opportunity to milk the New York job market for all it's worth. Then maybe move to somewhere comparatively cheap nearby as soon as you've saved enough for about a year's worth of rent, food, phone, internet, and utilities. (Brooklyn is nice, but getting expensive. Queens may still have affordable areas. New Jersey is an okay compromise. Manhattan... forget it.)

    If the commute allows it, maybe even rent an office/studio space in the NY/New Jersey area? Then you'd have someplace to work outside of home - some of those spaces might fit your budget better than a full-on residential apartment. Could be a sanity-saving compromise, anyway (plus, you'd have your own business address.)

    If you're looking for full-time jobs, I'd hold off on moving until you know where your job is - moving long-distance is expensive with today's gas prices, you don't want to have to do it too many times in a row.

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    @QueenGwenevere
    I unfortunately live closer to Rhode Island than New York. Daily commute is out of the question >_<.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jacobanderson View Post
    @QueenGwenevere
    I unfortunately live closer to Rhode Island than New York. Daily commute is out of the question >_<.
    Dang. So much for the one potentially good thing about living in Connecticut...

    I suppose Boston isn't very close either, huh?

  34. #27
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    Think of that Bob Dylan song playing during the torture scene in Reservoir Dogs. "Stuck in the Middle" I think it was? Its the theme song whenever I think of my location in Connecticut in relation to the only two nearby metropolitan areas.
    *facepalm*

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    What Mirana said is true. Stay with your parents, tough through the teenage dramas, and get a job near by. It would be great for you to have a situation where you can not have to worry about housing or food (IE living with your parents) but still have the opportunity to make and save money. You'll be much better off this way because you'll gain experience which will make you more worth hiring, and you'll have that money saved for buying a nice apartment, paying for food, etc.
    IMO this is the best way for the average college student to go with. Providing you don't live with an abusive family, and you live in an area where getting out of there ASAP isn't a life or death concern. It's what I plan to do until every drop of my dept is paid off. And I have a ways to go before that's done.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    You are misreading me. I am giving you advice based on my own life. I didn't go to school but went to work at 18, it got me away from my parents house and five siblings and allowed me to focus on art in the evenings. Responsibilities make you stronger, not weaker, self suficiency is a good thing. So is life experience, when you have to earn a living and make decisions on your own to prioritize your goals it helps you to achieve them.
    In my 20's I saw many people ride the parent train to nowhere because it was easier. They got lazy and complacent and ended up married with kids in a job they could care less about because they never became independant in their thinking or decisions. They didn't have the ability to chase their dreams any longer and life kept getting in the way and piling on more distractions.
    I attribute my success as an artist to my ability to not have people take care of me because everything has a price attached to it.
    The funny thing about this is that I personally know more kids my age that don't live with their parents and are pissing their lives away as it is. Remind me again why your situation should apply to the lives of everyone else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FourTonMantis View Post
    The funny thing about this is that I personally know more kids my age that don't live with their parents and are pissing their lives away as it is. Remind me again why your situation should apply to the lives of everyone else?
    Not my situation, my experience, which is quite substantial. While I know people like to believe the things happening to them are unique in the history of the world, it really isn't so. And while this economy is bad it is only marginally worse than other economic situations in the last thirty years. Plenty of people pissing their lives away when I was starting out too, there is a certain amount of attrition that takes place in your twenties as people try to figure things out and succumb to peer pressure and finding the easy way out.
    I have a very successful art career, I have ideas why that is; so when asking for advice you need to consider if the person giving the advice has actually succeeded in surmounting the problems or not. Otherwise it turns into a pity party of people who are all in the same situation and the same myopic view.

    Hey, but I'm sure your advice is so much better since you are rocking the money train with your art.

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