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Hi all....this is something that has been bothering me for a very long time, and I'd like to share with you all to look for insights. 

background - I'm admitted to Purdue University in Indianapolis class of 2025. 

So my parents made me a deal before: they would help me pay for my college tuitions and I would stop skydiving for the next 5 years. I could get back to skydiving after 4-year college and 1 year of working. I refused. 5-year is simply too long. 

Then they decreased the time to 4 years. I refused again. 

And today they decreased the time again to 3 years. And it finally makes me think. They also agree that I could start a skydiving club at Purdue University starting from my freshman year. 

Their reasoning is that I need to train myself to be patient, because skydiving is a dangerous sport and rushing in this sport can be fatal. Their reasoning is based on the fact that I chose to jump again with an injured shoulder which directly caused my accident in 2020. So how should I train myself to be patient? They think that the best way is to force myself to wait for several years before getting back to jumping. In this case, several college years. 

I do NOT completely agree with their reasoning. I was told before that many people jump with "injuries they thought they could handle" and got lucky. I don't see anything wrong with wanting to get back in the sport ASAP after getting injured. I believe many people do.  It'd be a problem if I got back in the sport when I'm not physically or mentally ready. I'm sure I will avoid jumping with injuries "I thought I could handle" again. 

I have an alternate solution - I can attend a local university in CA and I wouldn't have too much financial pressures, and my parents wouldn't need to pay anything for me, and I could get back to jumping as soon as next year. 

What do you guys think?

PS: Why do I want to start a skydiving club? I want to introduce this amazing sport to as many people as possible even if I'm not actively jumping. 

Edited by David Wang

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1 hour ago, David Wang said:

Hi all....this is something that has been bothering me for a very long time, and I'd like to share with you all to look for insights. 

background - I'm admitted to Purdue University in Indianapolis class of 2025. 

So my parents made me a deal before: they would help me pay for my college tuitions and I would stop skydiving for the next 5 years. I could get back to skydiving after 4-year college and 1 year of working. I refused. 5-year is simply too long. 

Then they decreased the time to 4 years. I refused again. 

And today they decreased the time again to 3 years. And it finally makes me think. They also agree that I could start a skydiving club at Purdue University starting from my freshman year. 

Their reasoning is that I need to train myself to be patient, because skydiving is a dangerous sport and rushing in this sport can be fatal. Their reasoning is based on the fact that I chose to jump again with an injured shoulder which directly caused my accident in 2020. So how should I train myself to be patient? They think that the best way is to force myself to wait for several years before getting back to jumping. In this case, several college years. 

I do NOT completely agree with their reasoning. I was told before that many people jump with "injuries they thought they could handle" and got lucky. I don't see anything wrong with wanting to get back in the sport ASAP after getting injured. I believe many people do.  It'd be a problem if I got back in the sport when I'm not physically or mentally ready. I'm sure I will avoid jumping with injuries "I thought I could handle" again. 

I have an alternate solution - I can attend a local university in CA and I wouldn't have too much financial pressures, and my parents wouldn't need to pay anything for me, and I could get back to jumping as soon as next year. 

What do you guys think?

PS: Why do I want to start a skydiving club? I want to introduce this amazing sport to as many people as possible even if I'm not actively jumping. 

Be patient.

Go to Purdue and apply yourself towards an engineering, computer science, cyber security, etc. degree.

It's a tough university to be admitted to, so you must be smarter than the average bear.  

A Purdue degree will beat your local CA degree when interviewing. 

USPA stats show many jumpers have technical backgrounds (engineer and CS).

Get a good job that pays well.

Take up skydiving again.

The sky's not going anywhere but you have an opportunity to go somewhere unique: Purdue and beyond.

Be patient. 

 

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Your parents have seen the bad, and can imagine the worst (that's what parents do). They want to prevent it. And that "got lucky" part? Don't put yourself in a situation where you need luck. Really.

I started jumping in college, but ended up quitting my senior year to finish; I just didn't have the money and time to do both right. I have less than zero regrets about that. The sky isn't going anywhere, but college may not be as convenient, and not as paid for. Those are HUGE, really.

Wendy P.

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2 hours ago, TampaPete said:

Don't mine everyone's responses for what you want to hear. Wendy P. is giving you real-world experience. 

Although he was mining my comment, I agree with you. His parents are controlling, but that does not mean they are wrong.

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1 hour ago, gowlerk said:

Although he was mining my comment, I agree with you. His parents are controlling, but that does not mean they are wrong.

Why do you think they are controlling? I’m not mining comments just a genuine question. 
 

and thanks to Wendy P., Tampa Pete piisfish you guys’ responses help and I will definitely think about it

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Anyone can become a dropzone bum. It takes more work to get a decent job / career.  Which can then pay for lots of skydiving. (Like TampaPete said.)

Everyone likes the "right" to do whatever they choose in life. But young adults often can use a boost / support from parents to get an advantage, and that financial power does give them some leeway to impose conditions. One can argue about those conditions, but one can't always avoid them...

 

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5 hours ago, David Wang said:

Why do you think they are controlling? I’m not mining comments just a genuine question. 
 

and thanks to Wendy P., Tampa Pete piisfish you guys’ responses help and I will definitely think about it

I agree with gowlerk to a degree (no offense just my opinion) and I respect his opinion. As a parent we are trying to teach you/ control you to keep you headed in what we feel is the right direction. Bribes do work and when applied judiciously can have the desired effect. That's all I read into their "we'll pay if you stop jumping" move. You have an opportunity to go to Purdue.

Purdue is 9th for best undergrad engineering degrees. So its in the top 10 with the likes of MIT, Cal Tech, Georgia Tech, UC Berkley (tops in my degree), Stanford and is just in front of U of Texas (another great school in my degree). All good company to be around.

Cal Tech, Carnegie-Mellon and Purdue tie for fourth best engineering schools in the U.S for graduate degrees. That's behind MIT (OK - #1) and ahead of Georgia Tech (WOW). 

As an engineer I understand the magnitude of this opportunity. Go to Purdue. Go with a positive attitude. I promise it will be hard, especially at first, but it will be very rewarding. Personally rewarding, professionally rewarding and financially rewarding. While you're there you will find friends and time to enjoy their company.

I know people with engineering degrees that went on to other professions (lawyers and dentists - go figure). So you can do anything with an engineering degree. 

I think this adds up to my 4 cents worth and you were very brave to ask this in an open forum. 

Go Boiler Makers!

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9 minutes ago, pchapman said:

Anyone can become a dropzone bum. It takes more work to get a decent job / career.  Which can then pay for lots of skydiving. (Like TampaPete said.)

Everyone likes the "right" to do whatever they choose in life. But young adults often can use a boost / support from parents to get an advantage, and that financial power does give them some leeway to impose conditions. One can argue about those conditions, but one can't always avoid them...

 

David - I think you're seeing the true body of skydivers. They take genuine interest in each other. When you go to the DZ I bet everyone is helping you become better. Everyone has a tip or encouragement. Same thing here. Everyone is truly interested in helping you be better. 

Remember, it's going to be hard, but you will find productive ways to enjoy it also. 

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Remember, David, the sky is going to be there regardless. I took 13 years off skydiving while I was raising a son; I have zero regrets about that, too. And I've made more jumps, and more years, since I quit than I had before I did -- AND I was quite an experienced skydiver when I quit. But I always knew I was probably coming back -- and I did.

Wendy P.

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1 hour ago, SethInMI said:

I thought Purdue already had a skydiving club. 

https://www.boilerlink.purdue.edu/organization/sportparachuteclub

Looks like the makings of a win-win situation. 

David - You should discuss this with your parents. Skydiving in the finite is an all-day commitment that could interfere with studying. Having a club there can give you a place to hang out for a while if you are unable to jump. You'll figure it out as you go. Learn to pack. 

 

image.png.bcf14e4b2ff93c13baa8bc5067b7befc.png

Seth - You have a technical degree, true?

 

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5 minutes ago, TampaPete said:

Seth - You have a technical degree, true?

I do. 

For my .02, I will share my experience, I had the opportunity to start jumping in college, but didn't have the money. I waited until I was 30, when I was in a good financial situation. I have been jumping for 18 years now. I don't regret waiting at all. Skydiving is a huge time and money suck, and usually at Uni you don't have the luxury of a lot of either.

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(edited)
5 hours ago, SethInMI said:

I thought Purdue already had a skydiving club. 

https://www.boilerlink.purdue.edu/organization/sportparachuteclub

I asked around before and they said the club was no longer active. 

I'm admitted to college of engineering, but it's a tough major and I honestly don't think I can succeed lol. But I will definitely try. I will probably study my ass off. 

I will probably accept their offer. I can make my body more healthy and fit in these 3 years and I will be in better physical condition to skydive in the future. (exercise my shoulder and whole body) 3 years are not too long and it's better than 4 or 5 years. 

I will sign a legal document with my parents just in case if they come up something new after I wait 3 years. (because the only thing that is not good in this offer is that I still keep the financial tie with my parents) I will return to skydiving immediately after I wait 3 years. I will start doing on campus jobs and saving money beginning my freshman year. (At Purdue University, $3000/year work study is guaranteed.)

I will start a new club and will try to work something out with the local DZ. (learn to pack, etc)

learning to pack sounds like a good idea. 

 

 

Edited by David Wang
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49 minutes ago, David Wang said:

I asked around before and they said the club was no longer active. 

I'm admitted to college of engineering, but it's a tough major and I honestly don't think I can succeed lol. But I will definitely try. I will probably study my ass off. 

I will probably accept their offer. I can make my body more healthy and fit in these 3 years and I will be in better physical condition to skydive in the future. (exercise my shoulder and whole body) 3 years are not too long and it's better than 4 or 5 years. 

I will sign a legal document with my parents just in case if they come up something new after I wait 3 years. (because the only thing that is not good in this offer is that I still keep the financial tie with my parents) I will return to skydiving immediately after I wait 3 years. I will start doing on campus jobs and saving money beginning my freshman year. (At Purdue University, $3000/year work study is guaranteed.)

I will start a new club and will try to work something out with the local DZ. (learn to pack, etc)

learning to pack sounds like a good idea. 

 

 

David - Don't sell yourself short. I believe you can succeed. I've said a couple of times, it's going to be tough, but not impossible. Stay focused on school and enjoying school. Don't skip enjoying school but do study your buns off. If Purdue has offered you incentives then you are smarter than the average bear. Don't worry about the sky it's not going away. When the time is right it will avail itself to you. 

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11 minutes ago, TampaPete said:

David - Don't sell yourself short. I believe you can succeed. I've said a couple of times, it's going to be tough, but not impossible. Stay focused on school and enjoying school. Don't skip enjoying school but do study your buns off. If Purdue has offered you incentives then you are smarter than the average bear. Don't worry about the sky it's not going away. When the time is right it will avail itself to you. 

thank you!

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(edited)
1 hour ago, David Wang said:

I asked around before and they said the club was no longer active. 

I'm admitted to college of engineering, but it's a tough major and I honestly don't think I can succeed lol. But I will definitely try. I will probably study my ass off. 

I will probably accept their offer. I can make my body more healthy and fit in these 3 years and I will be in better physical condition to skydive in the future. (exercise my shoulder and whole body) 3 years are not too long and it's better than 4 or 5 years. 

I will sign a legal document with my parents just in case if they come up something new after I wait 3 years. (because the only thing that is not good in this offer is that I still keep the financial tie with my parents) I will return to skydiving immediately after I wait 3 years. I will start doing on campus jobs and saving money beginning my freshman year. (At Purdue University, $3000/year work study is guaranteed.)

I will start a new club and will try to work something out with the local DZ. (learn to pack, etc)

learning to pack sounds like a good idea. 

 

 

Hi David,

Re:  it's a tough major and I honestly don't think I can succeed

I am a Mech Engr.  I started college when I was 24 yrs old & a veteran.  It is a tough major. I also did not know whether I would make it.  I only really knew that I could finish when I started my very last semester.

I saw too many younger people, who were much smarter than, I fail.  Primarily, because they wanted to party, chase girls, anything but keep their nose(s) to the grindstone.  

Re:  But I will definitely try.

IMO this is the secret to success.  I went on have a quite successful 30-yr career as an engineer.  I'm nicely retired now; but I am very grateful that I never gave up.

As other have said, the sky will wait for you; it is not going away.

Jerry Baumchen

Edited by JerryBaumchen
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Might as well tell my story.

I went to an engineering school.  THEN I discovered skydiving, four years after graduating.  I started doing it obsessively.  Even moved to California to be closer to good skydiving.  At one point I tallied up the year and realized I had made $26,000 skydiving - and that was just weekends and some Fridays.  I could quit my job!  Live the dream!  Skydive every day and get paid for it!

I didn't do it.  And I am very glad I didn't.  I know a lot of friends who went that route, and very few are happy today.  The ones who are happy were the best of the best - you've heard a few of their names.  The others eventually burned out, or their bodies would wear out, or they'd get themselves injured and be unable to work.  And at that point they would try to re-enter the workforce, missing years or decades of schooling/experience.  (Or they'd die, which happened all too often.)

Instead I kept my job and remained a weekend skydiver.  And during that time I did a half dozen four way teams, eight eight way teams, and did video for ~20 teams at local competitions and Nationals.  I set three world records.  And when one of those world records involved traveling to Thailand for two and a half weeks I could afford it, because I was still working a full time job.

Now I am mostly doing tunnel because of family, but I am doing it as often as I want to with no worries about how I will pay for it.  And when I skydive, again I don't have to worry about money.

That's not for everyone.  You may be one of those amazing natural skydivers who can get ten years of experience and then make a decent living coaching, or instruction/video, or stunt work, or even running a gear store or a DZ.  But if you're not sure, it's a LOT better (IMO) to have the education/experience to choose your job (a well paying one that gives you plenty of time off) and then make skydiving your weekend obsession than try to make skydiving an occupation.  If you try that angle and fail/burn out at skydiving (and it happens) you are still in good shape.

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