Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Yahoo)   Duke sucks. This guy, who got a graduate degree from Duke while living in a $1500 van and showered at the gym to avoid student loan debt, does not   (finance.yahoo.com) divider line 104
    More: Cool, academic degrees, student loans, University of Buffalo, undergraduate studies, fields of study, gyms, loans, room and board  
•       •       •

9381 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jun 2013 at 5:13 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



104 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all
 
2013-06-15 03:10:52 PM  
That's all nice - but even he says he's lonely.

So...debt free, and alone. And still unemployed.

Yay?
 
2013-06-15 04:07:10 PM  
I dunno.  I don't live in a van, so to me his life kinda sucks.

/I'm reasonably sure he's a perfectly nice person
 
2013-06-15 04:25:24 PM  
I graduated college in 1997.  I had quite a bit of loan debt.  It took a lot of time to pay it off, but the rates were totally reasonable, and the payments were also totally reasonable.  Not sure what this dude's issue was?

Maybe if I had it to do over again I wouldn't have gone to college.  It didn't really help in what eventually became my career and then my business.

But, still, the payments were like a hundred something a month.  And the school was not cheap.
 
2013-06-15 04:31:23 PM  
And I'm sure he parked the van... down by the river!
 
2013-06-15 04:33:20 PM  
thumbnails.hulu.com
 
2013-06-15 05:17:28 PM  
I am curious how he avoided getting arrested for vagrancy or loitering, the way the legal system is
 
2013-06-15 05:19:37 PM  
You'll have plenty of time to graduate from Duke, when you're living in a van down by the river
 
2013-06-15 05:19:44 PM  
My God, is this what poeple are being reduced to to get ahead these days? This isn't a celebration, this is a wake up call.
 
2013-06-15 05:19:49 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: That's all nice - but even he says he's lonely.

So...debt free, and alone. And still unemployed.

Yay?


Better than unemployed and owing $100k.

I'm worried about my kids' future. When my wife and I went to college we could work part time and take classes and still afford tuition and living expenses. Forget that ...

Trying to find something funny so here's a broken link instead:
 
2013-06-15 05:21:32 PM  
Is his name Repeat?
 
2013-06-15 05:23:13 PM  
My daughter is 13 and wants to learn how to cut hair so when she is in college she can make money on the side.
 
2013-06-15 05:23:37 PM  
Um...at this point, I think it's incredibly obvious that something is very wrong with the way we are doing things.

Let's see....

Nowadays, you've got to get a degree in order to have any hope at all of a decent living standard. And, AT THE SAME TIME, you've got to go ridiculously into debt to have that degree in the first place.

The college degree is the new high school diploma. Of course, a high school diploma is quite free, whereas a degree is not.

MAYBE there's a problem here....

Oh, nevermind, Young people today are just whiny and lazy. Yeah. That's the ticket, and screw them.

This new economy is working out really well for everyone!
 
2013-06-15 05:24:58 PM  
Anyone ever heard of happy medium?
 
2013-06-15 05:25:09 PM  
Hope he had free candy
 
2013-06-15 05:26:03 PM  

SecretAgentWoman: That's all nice - but even he says he's lonely.

So...debt free, and alone. And still unemployed.

Yay?


Yeah pretty much this. I'll take the roughly 20K I have left in student loan debt along with my decent job and ability to interact people.
 
2013-06-15 05:27:23 PM  
Unsustainable student debt in the US aside, his aversion to debt sounds pathological. Debt has its uses as well as its pitfalls.

/just finished grad school
//they paid me
 
2013-06-15 05:27:26 PM  
Orrrrr... You could go to a school that doesn't quite cost so much.
 
2013-06-15 05:27:58 PM  
What an inspirational story.  Anyone can get an education in America without putting themselves in the poor house if they just live in a van.  As GWB would say: "Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that you're doing that."
 
2013-06-15 05:33:56 PM  

Skywolf the Scribbler: I am curious how he avoided getting arrested for vagrancy or loitering, the way the legal system is


Hmm, I suppose with a parking permit and blacked-out windows on the van, he could do it.  I'm guessing the parking lots are vast and not heavily patrolled, and in itself, he's got a legal right to be there any time of day.

You can get WiFi over a great distance with a directional antenna.  So there's that.

I'll say right now, the difficult part would be air conditioning.  It takes too much power to run off batteries.  There's no place to plug in, and a generator would arouse suspicion right away.  But in North Carolina the weather makes few demands in this department.

Now the batteries in general are a thing.  The problem is, the alternator can manage a tremendous output, but the battery can't accept it quickly.  In general you'd need like about 2-3 hrs to charge deep-cycle batteries completely from "dead", if you were stingy, maybe 45 min.  I suppose you could manage this.  Solar has the benefit of better meeting the batteries' charging SPEED requirements.

But without a kitchen, there's a lot of food costs.  A camper van fridge IS a good thing, sure, but most are quite small.  Many camper vans have propane stoves built-in, which is great, but they require ventilation which would again arouse suspicion.  With a strong alternator, you CAN run a small microwave off a 12v inverter while running, though.

He doesn't seem to have an equipped camper van here.  There'd be ports for a propane system, vents, and a topper.
 
2013-06-15 05:34:23 PM  
 
2013-06-15 05:35:30 PM  
I rescinded from college, the loan debt would be crushing if I couldn't find work. I also would not relish a career in academia, as I prefer to keep my studies more private. I have reached the resolution that all this inculcated rubbish about 'getting ahead' and earning superfluous luxury is naught save foolhardy. If I could reach a point in life where I can simply live off the land, self-reliant on a small sustenance farm, crafting my own goods and mending my own clothes, buying few things from the store and spending most of my money on improving my agriculture, buying books, and paying for things like gasoline and internet service, I would be quite content. I've had the funny thought lately that such a lifestyle would make me a pseudo-hippy. My foremost goals in life being peace, happiness, doing no harm to anyone, respecting folks for who they are, seeking after God, relying on my ability to grow plants and raise animals for my carnal needs. Hell, I don't even need indoor plumbing so long as I put in a well. It's probably a silly thought to nurse, but I have been evaluating areas such as rural Wyoming where it may still be possible, even now in the Jetson's age we live in, to ride a horse into town for groceries if I can't afford fuel for my truck. Just to be in a place where money is unnecessary, but there to earn if I want it, and all my needs are met by my own work and the help of friends, and time is not a factor in my life, oh for the day that the sunrise and the sunset guide my actions and I am not required to abide by rigid routine mapped out on every minute!

Anyways, here's a dog flower, since old memes are still funny:

i1148.photobucket.com
 
2013-06-15 05:36:11 PM  
Good on him for doing it right the second time.

He shouldn't have gone into that much debt for a worthless degree in the first place however.
 
2013-06-15 05:36:51 PM  
So he couldn't find a decent job with an undergraduate degree in history and english and his plan to fix it is to get another degree in liberal arts?

I'm not quite sure he understands it wasn't the whole "having student loans" thing that was preventing him from getting a decent job as much as the "you have to study subjects that someone with pay you for having studied" thing.
 
2013-06-15 05:37:50 PM  

slayer199: [thumbnails.hulu.com image 512x288]


Thanks, what I came here to see...
 
2013-06-15 05:37:59 PM  

real_headhoncho: A repeat that was redlighted a week ago

Sorrry, subby.


More like "congratulations, subby?
 
2013-06-15 05:40:39 PM  

real_headhoncho: A repeat that was redlighted a week ago

Sorrry, subby.


For this to count as a repeat the thread you linked would have to have been greenlit.
 
2013-06-15 05:41:29 PM  

Oznog: Skywolf the Scribbler: I am curious how he avoided getting arrested for vagrancy or loitering, the way the legal system is

Hmm, I suppose with a parking permit and blacked-out windows on the van, he could do it.  I'm guessing the parking lots are vast and not heavily patrolled, and in itself, he's got a legal right to be there any time of day.

You can get WiFi over a great distance with a directional antenna.  So there's that.

I'll say right now, the difficult part would be air conditioning.  It takes too much power to run off batteries.  There's no place to plug in, and a generator would arouse suspicion right away.  But in North Carolina the weather makes few demands in this department.

Now the batteries in general are a thing.  The problem is, the alternator can manage a tremendous output, but the battery can't accept it quickly.  In general you'd need like about 2-3 hrs to charge deep-cycle batteries completely from "dead", if you were stingy, maybe 45 min.  I suppose you could manage this.  Solar has the benefit of better meeting the batteries' charging SPEED requirements.

But without a kitchen, there's a lot of food costs.  A camper van fridge IS a good thing, sure, but most are quite small.  Many camper vans have propane stoves built-in, which is great, but they require ventilation which would again arouse suspicion.  With a strong alternator, you CAN run a small microwave off a 12v inverter while running, though.

He doesn't seem to have an equipped camper van here.  There'd be ports for a propane system, vents, and a topper.


Oh yeah and "gray water".  Generally you're gonna need to wash things.  The clothes are done at the laundromat, sure.  But if you're cooking on an outdoor camp stove depicted (no idea where he did that without getting noticed), you have to wash the pots and pans even if you use paper plates.  If you wash dishes in a sink, you get noticed.  I mean you'd be parking in front of a gym and walking up the sidewalk and through the halls carrying pots and pans.

Camper vans do have a gray water tank, but it must be dumped regularly.  Some RV parks do allow drive-ins to dump there, for a fee.  A state park might allow it for free, with admission fee.

"They wanted me to sign a contract saying I wouldn't sue them if anything happened to me, but they also created a law that more or less banned future van dwellers from campus," he said.

So apparently there's rules against this now.  Why the fark would he have to sign a contract not to sue them if anything happened??  He's probably in their PARKING LOT more hours than typically occupied.  How is that even a thing?
 
2013-06-15 05:41:49 PM  

Bathia_Mapes: real_headhoncho: A repeat that was redlighted a week ago

Sorrry, subby.

For this to count as a repeat the thread you linked would have to have been greenlit.


Yeah... if you are a lighter.  We're TotalFarkers!
 
2013-06-15 05:41:49 PM  
that guy just might be THE sexiest man
 
2013-06-15 05:42:05 PM  

Wall_of_Doodoo: So he couldn't find a decent job with an undergraduate degree in history and english and his plan to fix it is to get another degree in liberal arts?

I'm not quite sure he understands it wasn't the whole "having student loans" thing that was preventing him from getting a decent job as much as the "you have to study subjects that someone with pay you for having studied" thing.


It sounds like his problem was "wow, I have a ton of debt *and* I can't get a decent job." Avoiding debt the second time around was so he wouldn't have to worry nearly as much about a job when he was done.
 
2013-06-15 05:43:36 PM  
Ah the boostrappers wet dream. All us dirty poors should do things this way until we've suffered enough to be given some table scraps at our master's feet... yanno, if they don't decide to just toss them in the trash and kick us for a laugh.
 
2013-06-15 05:44:35 PM  
I'm personally sick of hearing all the whining about student loan debt.  Do these people ever check into what careers are marketable?
 
2013-06-15 05:44:43 PM  
By his final semester, Ken had nearly made it. But he had just over $300 left to his name and still needed enough to last him a few months. So he turned himself into a lab rat for hire, volunteering in at least two dozen medical studies that paid $10 to $20 an hour for him to undergo cognitive tests, take experimental pills, and have his brains scanned in MRI machines.

Isn't the cognitive test of Mr. Van-Down-By-The-River gonna run the risk of being non-neurotypical?  When he fills out the application as Address: #1 VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER.
 
2013-06-15 05:46:10 PM  
Some of the advice I gave my cousin when he was a senior in HS and interested in engineering: 1) You are smart but not rich. Go to the state university, instead of private, 2) Do not buy a car. You can't afford it. Take the bus, 3) Get work in a restaurant where they give you meals.

He came from a very poor side of our family, yet he graduated a few weeks ago with no debt and landed a $75K job right out of school. You can do it, but you have to be smart, frugal, and plan.

//he also got married. In one months time, he went from a poor, single, college student to a college grad, married, pulling down a nice starter salary. Life totally changed in one month! Dusty in here.
 
2013-06-15 05:46:58 PM  
So you have to have an address to find work but you have to have work to find an address?
 
2013-06-15 05:47:39 PM  

LockeOak: Unsustainable student debt in the US aside, his aversion to debt sounds pathological. Debt has its uses as well as its pitfalls.


Yeah, to a limit. But college tuition is out of control. If you go into debt on a home loan you at least get a place to live out of the deal. Go into debt on a new car you at least get reliable transportation for the next 10 years or so. All college debt is getting people these days is a giant financial burden over their head and diminishing hope of landing the job that debt was supposed to ensure.

That said, IF he was so averse to debt, why did he decide to go to Duke? If he wanted a postgraduate education armed with an English and History degree, a state college would've done just as well with the added benefit of not being, well, Duke.

Also, how does a student get turned down for "no fewer than 25" internships? Paid or not, companies are tripping all over themselves to higher college kids for next to nothing. It doesn't take a lot of digging to turn this tale of bootstrappiness into a portait of unnecessary slackerism. Thanks, TFA, for raising more questions than answers.
 
2013-06-15 05:50:42 PM  

Shirley Ujest: My daughter is 13 and wants to learn how to cut hair so when she is in college she can make money on the side.


Tell her to go to North Dakota to cut hair. Lots of $$ in North Dakota. And a University.

/north dakota
 
2013-06-15 05:53:50 PM  

Bigdogdaddy: I'm personally sick of hearing all the whining about student loan debt.  Do these people ever check into what careers are marketable?


All schools should immediately stop offering History and English degrees because there will never be a use for them again in the US.  Why are high schools even teaching these subjects any more?  After all they are completely worthless.  You can get everything you need to know from watching TV.
 
2013-06-15 05:54:44 PM  
content8.flixster.com

This guy sounds like a real genius.
 
2013-06-15 05:54:46 PM  

iheartscotch: Orrrrr... You could go to a school that doesn't quite cost so much.


This.

As a student who went to a junior college for 2 years, then transferred to a state university, who worked every year (full time in summer), who did take out student loans, and paid them back, I'm getting a very low reading on the giveafarkmeter...

/van guy ruined it for future students by attention-whoring
//offering own kid full ride if he keeps grades up, so I'm sort of hypocritical about it all
 
2013-06-15 05:55:32 PM  

Oznog: Oznog: Skywolf the Scribbler: I am curious how he avoided getting arrested for vagrancy or loitering, the way the legal system is

Hmm, I suppose with a parking permit and blacked-out windows on the van, he could do it.  I'm guessing the parking lots are vast and not heavily patrolled, and in itself, he's got a legal right to be there any time of day.

You can get WiFi over a great distance with a directional antenna.  So there's that.

I'll say right now, the difficult part would be air conditioning.  It takes too much power to run off batteries.  There's no place to plug in, and a generator would arouse suspicion right away.  But in North Carolina the weather makes few demands in this department.

Now the batteries in general are a thing.  The problem is, the alternator can manage a tremendous output, but the battery can't accept it quickly.  In general you'd need like about 2-3 hrs to charge deep-cycle batteries completely from "dead", if you were stingy, maybe 45 min.  I suppose you could manage this.  Solar has the benefit of better meeting the batteries' charging SPEED requirements.

But without a kitchen, there's a lot of food costs.  A camper van fridge IS a good thing, sure, but most are quite small.  Many camper vans have propane stoves built-in, which is great, but they require ventilation which would again arouse suspicion.  With a strong alternator, you CAN run a small microwave off a 12v inverter while running, though.

He doesn't seem to have an equipped camper van here.  There'd be ports for a propane system, vents, and a topper.

Oh yeah and "gray water".  Generally you're gonna need to wash things.  The clothes are done at the laundromat, sure.  But if you're cooking on an outdoor camp stove depicted (no idea where he did that without getting noticed), you have to wash the pots and pans even if you use paper plates.  If you wash dishes in a sink, you get noticed.  I mean you'd be parking in front of a gym and walking up the sidewalk and through the ...


He had a little propane stove.  Plenty of one pot/pan meals you can make with that.  And, honestly, depending on his department, he may not have even needed that much.  My department had a break room type area with a kitchenette and anybody could have kept a set of pots, pans, and plates there, cooked pretty much everyday, and left their leftovers in the fridge and I doubt anybody would have noticed.
 
2013-06-15 05:56:39 PM  
I used to have a friend that graduated from college debt free. The cheapskate was a complete weasel when it came to money and would disappear whenever it was his turn to buy.

I worked with a guy like that, too. He stripped the table of all the condiments and crackers at a company lunch function then stuffed them in a bag he'd brought with. He was single and made good money so he was just another cheap freak.

Ick.
 
2013-06-15 05:58:00 PM  
I work with a guy that did that. In Canada. He still has the van.
 
2013-06-15 05:58:41 PM  
I did the student loan thing for my first degree.

For my second, I managed to write a check each semester to cover the in state tuition for the state school. It wasnt always easy and it wasnt always on time. I gave up a lot of things but I got through it without any more debt.

After graduation, I visited the registrar to get transcripts ordered. The biatch told me to my face she was going to report on my transcript all the times I was late paying my tuition. I almost went over the counter at her.
 
2013-06-15 06:06:38 PM  

Pincy: Bigdogdaddy: I'm personally sick of hearing all the whining about student loan debt.  Do these people ever check into what careers are marketable?

All schools should immediately stop offering History and English degrees because there will never be a use for them again in the US.  Why are high schools even teaching these subjects any more?  After all they are completely worthless.  You can get everything you need to know from watching TV.


Don't worry about that. In Farkistan the entire employed universe is consists of nothing but STEM majors. STEM majors as far as the eye can see. Writers, decorators, beauticians, professors, gardeners, small business owners, lawyers, psychologists, etc. don't exist. It is a world filled with nothing but data centers and cubicle drones.

But seriously, I don't want to knock the guy for getting a degree in liberal arts. But every such student has to learn (as I did) that to get a job with it you need two things: a plan and a shiatload of perseverance. Judging by TFA, this guy had neither. The only way you get turned down for 25 internships is if you steadfastly refuse to learn and grow as a job seeker. This guy's only ambition seems to be the pursuit of education. That's fine--but don't be surprised if that ambition leads you to living in a van and hitchhiking your way around the country.

I think this guy took the path of least resistance, hard as it is to believe. Manual labor for $9/hour seems a lot easier when the alternative is developing actual career goals and evolving to the point where you can make your degrees valuable.
 
2013-06-15 06:07:49 PM  
When I was in school in 1995, a friend of mine lived in an ancient 30 foot travel trailer he bought for $1000, RV Park lot rent was $150 a month and included water and electricity.  Not as cheap as living in van down by the river, but I think preferable.

/we worked together for Campus Parking Enforcement writing tickets to our fellow students, we both graduated with 0 debt.
 
2013-06-15 06:10:19 PM  
nice of him to TELL EVERYONE, prompting Duke to change the rules so nobody else can do it
 
2013-06-15 06:12:22 PM  

Zeb Hesselgresser: nice of him to TELL EVERYONE, prompting Duke to change the rules so nobody else can do it


You can't be smug if no one else knows.
 
2013-06-15 06:23:45 PM  

The Great EZE: Don't worry about that. In Farkistan the entire employed universe is consists of nothing but STEM majors. STEM majors as far as the eye can see. Writers, decorators, beauticians, professors, gardeners, small business owners, lawyers, psychologists, etc. don't exist. It is a world filled with nothing but data centers and cubicle drones.


Well a few of those professions have high proportions of STEM majors (profs, psychology) and lots of cubicle drones are liberal arts grads too. But otherwise your point still stands.

The real problem is HR bullshiat has got out of hand when it comes to hiring. You shouldn't need a University degree for tons of jobs that ask for one, and you definitely shouldn't need specific degrees for tons more. Learning for its own sake should also be valued. And most STEM degrees aren't really directly marketable either. I would have had a pretty hard time finding a decent job right out of my Biochemistry undergrad.
 
2013-06-15 06:24:01 PM  

Tom_Slick: When I was in school in 1995, a friend of mine lived in an ancient 30 foot travel trailer he bought for $1000, RV Park lot rent was $150 a month


Knew a dude who did exactly the same thing. Smart. He also pounded out a fair number of undergrads in that RV who thought he was all free-spirit and cool.
 
Displayed 50 of 104 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report