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Hey guys. After high school I plan on attending college, but I am unsure where to go. I want to major in either video game programming or computer science. Some options I am considering right now are the University of Utah, Champlain University in Vermont, or the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. The University of Utah has a really good video game program (ranked #1 in the nation in some polls) and I would obviously be able to snowboard a lot and at awesome places. The only thing I'm unsure of would be being so far from home and the cost. Utah is an 18 hour drive and I've never been more than a couple hours from home. I would have to leave all of my friends and family and I wouldn't know anyone, but it's always been my dream to live there and snowboard. Champlain in Vermont also has a good video game program (I believe ranked #8) and there would also be pretty good snowboarding there, although not as good as Utah. It is about as expensive as the University of Utah. This would be nice though because Vermont is a lot closer to home than Utah (only 9 hour drive). I'm considering the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown because it has a decent computer science program and is only 1 hour from my house. I would also be able to go there at almost no cost between academic scholarships, cross country and track scholarships, and a big discount because my step mother works through the Pittsburgh Medical Center. I would be able to pretty much keep living how I am now and my friends and family would always be close by, but snowboarding isn't too good here. Seven Springs resort is kinda close, but other than that there isn't really anything. I'm really unsure what to do and I need to figure out soon. Basically it comes down to either following my dream or doing the more realistic thing. Thanks for any opinions and sorry for all the rambling! Cheers!
 

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Before I post my response, for people who couldn't read his block of text, here's his post with some spacing thrown into it:

Hey guys. After high school I plan on attending college, but I am unsure where to go. I want to major in either video game programming or computer science. Some options I am considering right now are the University of Utah, Champlain University in Vermont, or the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

The University of Utah has a really good video game program (ranked #1 in the nation in some polls) and I would obviously be able to snowboard a lot and at awesome places. The only thing I'm unsure of would be being so far from home and the cost. Utah is an 18 hour drive and I've never been more than a couple hours from home.

I would have to leave all of my friends and family and I wouldn't know anyone, but it's always been my dream to live there and snowboard. Champlain in Vermont also has a good video game program (I believe ranked #8) and there would also be pretty good snowboarding there, although not as good as Utah. It is about as expensive as the University of Utah. This would be nice though because Vermont is a lot closer to home than Utah (only 9 hour drive).

I'm considering the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown because it has a decent computer science program and is only 1 hour from my house. I would also be able to go there at almost no cost between academic scholarships, cross country and track scholarships, and a big discount because my step mother works through the Pittsburgh Medical Center.

I would be able to pretty much keep living how I am now and my friends and family would always be close by, but snowboarding isn't too good here. Seven Springs resort is kinda close, but other than that there isn't really anything.

I'm really unsure what to do and I need to figure out soon. Basically it comes down to either following my dream or doing the more realistic thing. Thanks for any opinions and sorry for all the rambling! Cheers!
 

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Firstly, I'd say throw out the whole 'far from home' part. I know it's uncomfortable and kind of scary that you'll have to make new friends again and live in a strange new place, but it's a good kind of scared.

It's a life experience and you don't want to go through life relying on being an hour away from family at all times. You have to experience the world without the safety net of family being next door and college is a good time to start. Making new friends in college is easy anyhow, since almost everyone is in the same boat of not knowing many people.

Travel and experiencing life outside of your home town bubble is good for you.

Honestly I think your decision comes down to 2 things:

1) How much do you want to have snowboarding as part of your weekly life.

2) How able are you to absorb the added cost if you do pick one of the snow friendly universities.

At the end of the day no one can answer that for you except you, especially when it comes to the financial side of things.
 

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The best thing I ever did was move more than a day's drive away from where I grew up. No regrets at all. If U of U has one of the best programs for what you are interested in doing, go for it. Time to get away from the next and see how you do on your own. You can always move home at anytime if it's not working. I suspect it will though.

Vermont wouldn't suck either. Not nearly the quality of snowboarding, but closer to the teet if you must. The most important thing is the quality of program you are entering.

If you do go out of state, plan on becoming a resident. Get your driver's license swapped over asap, and do whatever else is required for residency. Get your tuition costs down as soon as possible. I am sure U of U is cheaper for Utah residents. Not sure on Champlain.
 

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Be sure that's what you want to do as well. Some people do fine, but others have serious problems working on computers and video games all day. Wrists and hands turn sore and limp with carpal tunnel. One of my buddies in band is an IT guy and he's fine... but my cousin was making games for a while and did the modeling and some animation on a game that won game of the year from pretty much every publication a few years ago. Ended up having to quit 'cuz the money wasn't that good to do a stressful job that wrecks you.

Hm. Sounds kinda like my line of work too...
 

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Don't worry about not knowing anyone at college. Everyone else will be in the same situation, and it is soooo easy to make friends in college. Everyone is looking to make new friends because they don't know anyone else either. And there are a ton of groups, clubs, misc social situations that make it easy too.

And yes, there will be a lot of kids from that state there, but they won't know anyone either. Or they'll know a handful of people but might not be friends with them. Only one person from my high school went to my in-state college in my year. And I went to a big high school. And she was a . . . not friendly person . . . so I wasn't interested in hanging out with her.
 

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You'll make friends that will become as important as family in college. Live in dorms and meet people. Your family will always be there. Opportunities come and go. If you have the opportunity to go to the best school and live in Utah, do it if you can manage it. School loans are a part of life, it's not a bad thing to have some debt after finishing school. In my opinion, powder is worth it!
 

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I've got two points to add on this:

1) I didn't cut the umbilical cord until I was 30 and moved 3500 km from home (prior to that I lived within 100 km of where I was born). Since moving I've made more friends and had more fun than probably the 10 years before moving. Also, having something you love close by (like snowboarding) is a good stress reliever when exams, work, life, family, etc. stress you out. It's a better outlet than many other options.

2) Whatever you do, do the university/college thing young. I didn't go back until I was 25 and by then I had missed all the *ahem* experiences I wish I had when I was younger. Probably explains my fascination with cheerleaders to this day. :blink:

Good luck man! I wish more people actually planned for the future a bit. :thumbsup:
 

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I almost went to Champlain. It's a beautiful campus, small class sizes so the education is decent, but it ain't cheap. It's literally a stone's throw away from the University of Vermont and downtown Burlington. It's a great atmosphere and you'd probably have a lot of fun. I know that they have rail jams on campus and the campus is set up on a massive hill leading downtown that's fun to fuck around on and it overlooks the lake.

But with that being said, I would say education comes first before snowboarding. So be realistic about your decision when it comes to finances. You'll get a good education at all of those schools, but it's going to be hard for this generation to find jobs after college; so how much debt do you really want to rack up? I ended up at a state school instead of MIT for that reason, and I only sort of regret it. Just my two cents.
 

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these days the 'teat' is global, you can still get all the benefits ($$$) without seeing them every day, lol

once you leave PA (i'm from pittsburgh) you find out what a cultural backwater it is...go West young man, spead your wings
 

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... I ended up at a state school instead of MIT for that reason, and I only sort of regret it. Just my two cents.
You passed up MIT for a state school?!!! are we talking about THE MIT? whoa.. I would have gone to MIT in a heart beat.

what made you do that? :icon_scratch:
 

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Leave home and go away for school. I don't know how much snowboarding you will do in college because I was just out getting drunk and studying.
 

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If you have the money go for it but school is very expensive when you're not at home. Snowboarding is an expense you might not be able to spare as much as you might like. Just remember gear/lift ticket cost on top of rent, tuition, vehicle costs, phone, and food may be put on the back burner. I know it is for me but I'm coasting and saving till I make the big bucks out of university, then I'm going to get a brand new full setup
 

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If you like programming, enter computer engineering instead of computer science. You're a lot more valuable with a computer engineering degree than computer science. I believe most school with four-year program computer engineering shares similar curriculum as electrical engineering.
 

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Yup, moving away really makes you grow as a person. I moved from Maine to Tacoma, Washington for almost 5 years after college. Saw my family and friends maybe 2 to 4 days every year. No thanksgiving, just a few days at winter break (and the rest snowboarding...). It can be rough at first, but as long as you don't sit in your dorm room and play video games all day... you will make new friends and have a good time.

FWIW I went snowboarding about 4 days a month in college during the winter. I had a hectic schedule as a molecular bio major. If I had been an economics or business major, I would have only had class on tusedays and thursdays...
 

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Move...
do whatever...
just know....
snowboarding = being a happy dirtbag...
like 90% of most of us...
doing a thing that less than 1% of the population gets to do...
at least until it all melts...

then switch to surfing, sailing, diving
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey thanks for all the great responses guys. It seems like the general consensus is that it will be fine to move far away from home, which was my main concern. University of Utah would be $40,000 a year for out of state, so if I could get in state tuition after the first year I could drop that to about half. I really want to follow my dream and snowboarding is a huge part of it. Feel free to continue posting your opinions though! Thanks!
 

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Hey thanks for all the great responses guys. It seems like the general consensus is that it will be fine to move far away from home, which was my main concern. University of Utah would be $40,000 a year for out of state, so if I could get in state tuition after the first year I could drop that to about half. I really want to follow my dream and snowboarding is a huge part of it. Feel free to continue posting your opinions though! Thanks!

Don't want to be a rain on your parade but being a student at the state university does not equal being a resident of that state. If your primary place of residence is out of state you won't get in-state tuition either after one year or ten. If you're declared as dependent on your parents' tax forms and have no income it's not happening. In other words - get job, move off campus, file your own tax forms and then, after you lived a full year in the state you will have a chance.

Also noticed your enthusiasm about scholarships. Have you already been offered said scholarships or you're just hoping you'll get them? The scholarship well has pretty much dried up in the past years of economic turmoil. Unless you're a valedictorian star athlete with an average 4.0 GPA and working on cure for cancer in your spare time the scholarships are few and far between.

My kid graduated with 3.9 GPA, got accepted to Cornell. Right now she's doing her freshman year at our state U because she got no scholarship to speak of (she was sure she would, so big disappointment there) and wants to do a couple of years at state to save as much as possible before she transfers out. So, consider your financial options carefully.
 
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