Your Questions About Financial Freedom University

Sandra asks…

How do I break free from someone controlling me mentally and breaking my spirit constantly?

I depend on this person financially for my university education and for everything else. I just don’t seem to stop fearing them. They take away all my personal freedom. I can’t take it anymore, but I don’t believe myself, because I keep saying that and keep taking it.

John answers:

It might help to know why the person is acting controlling, but in any case…
Communicate to that person how you feel about the present situation and what you’d like better. Let ’em know what makes you feel fear and self-doubt, what makes you want to leave and never be w/ ’em again. Show that you’re trying to improve your relationship and don’t want to be alienated from ’em. Tell ’em that he/she can’t alway be there to tell you what to, so you have to learn how to live on your own. You need more practice setting your own goals, making your own decisions, and taking responsibility for those decisions. Communicate that you appreciate the financial support but would like more personal support.

Be specific and emphasize shared goals, so the person will know how to improve and will want to improve. Use praise but not insults, which will make ’em defensive and stubborn. Also, be sincere, assertive and reasonable, or the person won’t take you seriously.

Practice what you’d like to say where the person won’t hear you. If you still have difficulty saying things in person, make a video or audio recording, or find another way to communicate your thoughts and feeling, like through short story. Maybe you could show them a movie about someone in your situation or a movie depicting the way you’d like your relationship to be.

Ken asks…

College Advice: How did you decide which colleges to apply to?

I don’t intend to attend college in the country I’m presently living in, or in my home country. And if I’m looking only at the academic and/or financial factor while considering colleges, I know what I want. But for me (and pretty much everyone else, I think), it’s more than that. Wayy more than that. The atrocious godforsaken curriculum I follow keep me on my toes constantly and leaves little time for anything else. These past two years I’ve had to forgo a lot of things I love to do just to keep my grades up and I can’t express how much I’m looking forward for this to just finally be over. I’m willing to put in the effort right now, and i don’t complain because everyone goes through this; but I’m looking at the first year of college as as I time I really live, besides focus on my career and blah blah. Read Milton. Finish my baking bucket list. Start a blog maybe. I don’t know, there’s just so much I want to do and right now, it’s one exam after the other and it’s like my life is on hold. What I want out of college more than anything is a an environment and student life full of opportunities and possibilities where I can grow and explore.
So what I actually want to ask is this—
In terms of student life and college environment, how did you short list the colleges you’d apply to? Did you intuitively know, or did you visit the campus? Did you talk to alumni? Did you ever feel like the college you eventually decided to attend was a wrong choice because you didn’t fit in, socially speaking?

John answers:

Hey, Smiles! :)

I’m currently a junior in college. But let’s rewind a bit. When I was in high school, I had the same mindset as you: I didn’t want to go to an American university. I’d researched universities throughout my sophomore and junior year and into the first semester of my senior year. Throughout all those years, I told myself I would apply to a ton of colleges out of state and country. My grades and ACT scores were decent enough. The second half of my senior year, I became lazy and only ended up applying to the university in my hometown. I was accepted, of course.

I lived on campus my freshman and sophomore years of college. It was great, because I had a freedom I’d never had when I was in high school. I lived in the same city my entire life, and college made me view said city in an entirely new light. I had freedom!

I just finished up my junior year, but I stayed with my mom this year and not in the dorms. Because the deeper you get into college the harder the work becomes. It’s actually distressing how different the freshman and sophomore years are from the junior and senior years.

It was never a matter of not fitting in socially speaking because the students are so diverse in activities and open to meeting new people and socializing. There’s some of everyone in college. People you never thought you’d have common and foreign interests with.

The really sad part of college is I haven’t seen many people make it out in four years. It usually takes five or six. And it’s not just my college but colleges everywhere. Loans stack up, people drop out then come back, switch majors, fail classes, lose scholarships.

Which is why I’m getting to my key advice: Don’t attend a college overseas just because it sounds exotic right now. Think of long term goals because you’ll end up wasting a LOT of money. You may switch majors your senior year (I’ve seen it happen). And also when selecting a major picking something you have a passion for is nice, but also consider your career options. How many positions are open in a year, how competitive it is, the hours, the pay.

Any more questions just let me know! 😀

Joseph asks…

I was accepted into both UC Berkeley and UCLA w/ a bio major. Which one should I choose?

I am interested in medicine, and may decide to pursue that as a career, and go to med school afterwards. But I may decide not to do that and pursue a career in biotech. All i know is that I will be doing something in the field of biology. I know they are both accredited universities, and so far I am leaning towards UCLA, but I want to hear the opinions of others

John answers:

Though i hate to be the one doing this, here goes.

Do you like games? Board games, video games? Well it doesn’t really matter.

The reason why i ask you this is not because i think you are an obtuse individual who is incapable of making your own decisions, much rather the exact opposite. Both schools are excellent. Congratulations.

I suggest you consider the people in the relevant fields of interest. Identify them either by status (e.g. Occupation title, member of an organization/s, board members, etc) or by personal interest (e.g. Research area, news, medical journals. This may speed up the memory process). Know where they came from. Where they’ve graduated. The steps they have taken to get there.

If you will, life is one big game full of numbers (statistics) and rules (be it ethics we set for ourselves to the laws that govern the commons) where us humans, mere pawn pieces. As a whole, we are both strong and weak because of our emotions. For example, even an educated individual would find a sense of camaraderie if both of you were to have graduated from the same school. On average the possibility of a favorable situation increases (be it in getting hired, to having future relationships other than previously mentioned) while a college drop out may pursue alternative means to be successful in life (fame and personal finance brought about by determination, discipline and good fortune, going to the public library, reading, self educate. Many great leaders were not officially educated). [key words and concepts; connections, alumni numbers/members, established alumni board]

then again there is the more practical approach to your answer. With the premise of integrating one self into society by pursuing an educational career hoping for financial freedom, elements of immediate finance (how much does the relevant school, your local and/or federal government is willing to offer as financial aid or scholarship is one example. Something as simple as course fees another.) [key words; gratuities scholarship, private/company/organizational sponsorship/scholarship] and relevant job markets (both future and present job pools should be taken into account. Day by day, the concept of saving a portion of ones income for retirement being sufficient for our modern day capitalistic society and resulting lifestyle is an illusion that slowly but surely is becoming , a distant memory and henious crime. If you would like to lead a relatively comfortable life, immediate capital is in need for investment, especially if you are living in the developed world such as the US taking into consideration of student loans, lack of funding, and politics as a whole. Assuming that the joining of academia is not one of your options) should be taken in to account.[key words and concepts; financial burden on self/parents/spouse, property market, job market(part-time, future), price range, gas prices (whether you drive or not), connections]

there are also quintessential areas to consider such as student life. Life is stressful. There are other things that we would like to pursue at a more leisurely, if not different, pace/level both within the college and around the college’s local community. [key concepts and ideas; if you are really into pursuing the medical field volunteering at a hospital should be considered along with senior citizen facilities. “they” say that connections you make during this period of time at college, no matter what the age, are the most memorable and meaningful. On the other hand i think every new encounter should be cherish. I am not sure how the saying goes in english but something along the lines of ‘everybody needs friends. When a moment in need arises good friends spring out of somewhere.’ – was it ‘a friend in need is a friend indeed’ i fail to remember.]

on a more personal note i say Berkley (what can i say? The inner modern day counter culture hippie inside of me? I was informed that there are a lot of communes there, and yes i am now finally a simple life vegetarian) but from the looks of things both by relevant department rankings and more importantly your personal leanings, LA seems to be a good bet, considering they have a medical school/hospital. (although my understanding is that UCSF’s medical school is higher in annual ranking.)

Hope i was helpful and i wish you good luck

direction without vision is a nightmare

vision with out direction is a day dream

Linda asks…

Have I wasted my life on a useless degree?

I did a degree in illustration at university and graduated with a 2:1.
I’m now 27, and it’s been 4 years since then, and I haven’t been able to find any work. Any work. I still live with my parents and am now suffering from extreme depression and anxiety. I don’t have any other skills apart from my drawing abilities, so even graphic design jobs have been out of my reach due to all the programs I need to be fluent in.
If I could turn back the clock, I would desperately like to study another, safer course in education to learn skills that would give me a chance at making a living and giving me my independence, but the fees are too high.

I feel lost and alone, and that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I have never felt so terrified in my life.

John answers:

Most people with your degree hold a “day job” to support themselves while they try to establish themselves as an illustrator on their own time. That day job is often working in a shop, restaurant, being a nanny, etc. So that’s one option.

Another option is to retrain. Get the computer skills needed for graphic design, or train for an entirely different field that’s actually in demand. But it’s been years, now, since you graduated from uni. It’s time to SSSS or get off the pot. Yes, the fees for this may be high, but you could consider working some cr*p job during the day, and going to school part-time at night.

I’d actually suggest you get any job you can right now – you’ll probably start part-time – and work your way up from there. This job won’t have anything to do with your degree. You’ll find it by walking from business to business, and also by using your network (friends, family) to try to find something. Start small, do well, and work your way up the ladder. Gain confidence and independence as you begin to build financial security. Save your art for your non-working hours. If you’re able to do some freelance illustration work, and build a practice there, great. If you’re able to pay for some classes so you can learn the programs needed for design, great. And if not – then you still have a job, and some measure of financial freedom.

If your depression and anxiety are holding you back, get therapy.

But now is the time to begin to make choices in your life. Get started on the path to whatever comes next.

Richard asks…

Am I ready to pursue a B.E in Mech. Engineering?

I’m 19 years old, currently at a crossroads. I need to know whether or not I’m ready to pursue a degree in engineering. I’m planning on attending a community college this fall, after I attain my GED. I’m particularly interested in mechanical engineering. I want to know the freshman prerequisites. My mathematical skill-set is relatively poor; the most I know is Algebra I. I know nothing about physics. I’ve been outside of school for two years now. I have the will to become the best autodidact I can and learn everything I need to know before actually going for it.

I’d like some honesty. Not this blue pill ‘as long as you like what you’re doing’ sham. If you have any career suggestions, I’d be open to considering them. Anything that would heighten my chances of achieving financial freedom would cease. Thank you.
Thank you, Herman

John answers:

If you know Algebra I then, assuming you don’t repeat classes or they get full before you enroll, there is a path you must take up to Calculus III, usually before you transfer out of comm college.

Algebra I -> Geometry -> Trigonometry -> Precalculus -> Calculus I -> Calculus II -> Calculus III

You also must take linear algebra and differential equations after calculus II. So assuming it takes you 6 months for each class, that is 3 years in community college (2 if you take summer classes)

You can usually take physics once you have taken Calculus I, and there are likely 2 courses, mechanics and electricity. Very concept and math oriented.

Engineering is VERY math oriented. You have to know how to calculate everything without a magic computer to do your work for you. That might be the case when you get a job, but while studying they make sure you know exactly what is going on. Its dedication, anyone can really do it if they truly want to. All the time wasted watching TV, browsing the web, and long showers could easily be sacrificed for 3 years for a bright future.

Once you transfer it takes 2 years at a university to finish your degree, though many are there for a lot of years due to poor grades, financial difficulties (summer university classes are insanely high), and misinformation about what classes to take. So get informed and have a plan!

Also, having a job makes it hard to take the necessary classes, so try to apply for grants and federal financial aid (FAFSA) so you don’t have to work as many hours and can take more classes

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