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Ok, I've read through the whole thing. 

I don't agree with some of the things said, but that's ok.
Not going into specifics about that.

My $0.02 (worth about that much):

You're being offered a full ride scholarship at a major college.
TAKE IT!!!!!

 

The offer includes the idea that you don't jump for a few years (That's the other Golden Rule - The one who has the gold makes the rules)
So what? The sky will be there.
You likely wouldn't be able to jump enough to stay super current and do well in school. 
Purdue is close enough to Chicago that you could go play in the tunnel from time to time.

Once you graduate and get a good job (with virtually no debt), you will be set. Billvon's post illustrates that well. 
 

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You're getting some great advice here. I'm rooting for you to take it (and the deal).

One thing I would add is, if you haven't already, have your parents read this thread. It might give them a kinder view of the community you've entered.

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(edited)

So I guess I'm DZs resident devil's advocate...so here we go.

What I haven't seen asked/mentioned is why engineering? Is this something you have a passion for, or at least did at some point? Or, is this your parents choosing your path (maybe your parents or grandparents were an engineer and they want you to follow the family legacy)?

If it's the latter, then maybe your allure to skydiving is because it's your choice, your path, and not what was decided for you.

I'm not telling you to skip college, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to take another path than what your parents have laid out for you, if that is the case. I have known many people who were "bribed" with things like a free education at a top school so that they could be just like dad/mom/gran dad/etc and fulfill the family legacy. I'm talking people who spent many years going to school to be things like a dentist, because mom and dad said, just to discover that they would rather do web design or something completely different. Some feel like they wasted years that they could have used for a degree in what they wanted. Others feel the experience was worth it, nonetheless.

My story echoes some of the above. I wanted to go to a specialized trade college that was not an accredited college. My parents refused to pay for it and since I was financially tied to them still, I had little to no way to pay for it myself without a student loan(which needed a co-signer). I ended up in a community college for the same type of program that would net me an actual degree. I got screwed because the college dropped the program for a few years after I was already in it. Short story, I never got to fully follow that dream...

A few years went by and I had discovered a very passionate hobby(not skydiving). I spent my free time taking training classes and enjoying the community. At some point I realized I could make a good career for myself in this field, so I started doing more and more courses and earning more and more certifications. I now have a good paying stable job in a field that I am still very passionate about. This career has afforded my ability to skydive, which is a more recent venture.

That all being said, I have a few regrets being that I let my parents more or less make some big life decisions for me through the years(college was only a single instance). I also have a less than stellar relationship with them somewhat stemming from that.

 

I guess my point is, if engineering is a path that was chosen for you, not by you, then you have every right to be apprehensive. Sometimes it's better to be happy doing something you love rather than doing something just to pay the bills...but paying bills and having money is pretty important as well. You need a healthy balance of both happiness and income. It can also be pretty hard to decide on a career path that you will remain happy with down the road when starting so young. It took some ageing/growing for me to find my path, as it does for many.

So, like many, I started jumping after having a career, insurance, house, car, and enough money to not work for a few months if I were injured. Whatever you choose, make sure you get most of those things crossed off the adulting list before getting back into skydiving.

You seem like a smart young man. Get your life "established" then come back to jumping. Doesn't matter how you do that, as long as you are happy and well.

Edited by Cocowheats
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On 7/1/2021 at 5:15 AM, Cocowheats said:

What I haven't seen asked/mentioned is why engineering? Is this something you have a passion for, or at least did at some point? Or, is this your parents choosing your path (maybe your parents or grandparents were an engineer and they want you to follow the family legacy)?

My grandfather was a mathematician. Both of my parents are not engineers. My mom chose the engineering major for me. I didn't choose it for myself because at that time I didn't know what I want to do in life. And right now I still don't. I'm glad I've found my passion - skydiving.  I only need to figure out what to do as a career. 

But in general I'm a science guy.(good at math, science, etc but bad at history, geography, biology, etc. Hope you know what I mean.) I do not know if I will like engineering, we will have to see how my freshman year goes. Every engineering student at Purdue goes through a program which is called "First Year Engineering (FYE)". It's a tough program, and if I successfully go through the program and figure that I love engineering I would declare my major in my sophomore year (mechanical, chemical, civil or aerospace engineering, etc) If I don't then I would change my major...

I'm a bit interested in aerospace engineering...I mean working at NASA or major aerospace companies would be pretty cool, right? lol. just a thought. 

We will have to see. 

Thanks for sharing your experience and advice. Those help. 

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I worked at NASA, for one of the contractors (space shuttle software). I can assure you it's way cool, and you're generally working with an exceedingly dedicated force of co-workers. We had lots of people who stayed working past retirement simply because they wanted to see the program through. While the specific job didn't always fit me personally, the environment more than made up for it. It's not a bad goal at all

And Houston and Florida both have excellent dropzones.

Also, frankly, a first year as a engineering major will suit you in whatever you end up in, because those classes are relevant to nearly any subsequent majors except for the history etc. But history etc. don't have as many classes that build on each other, so you can transfer from science/engineering to humanities without losing time -- generally you can't the other way, because you can't take Calc II before Calc I, etc.

Wendy P.

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Although I haven't been in the aerospace industry a long time,  I would think that aero engineering isn't the only way to get into the aerospace businees. Not everyone at the companies are doing computational fluid dynamics of air flows or calculating shear stresses in carbon fiber D-cell spars. There's plenty of mechanical & electrical engineering and software coding to be done. So there's a range of engineering fields to study which can be useful both in aerospace and elsewhere.

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23 hours ago, David Wang said:

My grandfather was a mathematician. Both of my parents are not engineers. My mom chose the engineering major for me. I didn't choose it for myself because at that time I didn't know what I want to do in life. And right now I still don't. I'm glad I've found my passion - skydiving.  I only need to figure out what to do as a career. 

But in general I'm a science guy.(good at math, science, etc but bad at history, geography, biology, etc. Hope you know what I mean.) I do not know if I will like engineering, we will have to see how my freshman year goes. Every engineering student at Purdue goes through a program which is called "First Year Engineering (FYE)". It's a tough program, and if I successfully go through the program and figure that I love engineering I would declare my major in my sophomore year (mechanical, chemical, civil or aerospace engineering, etc) If I don't then I would change my major...

I'm a bit interested in aerospace engineering...I mean working at NASA or major aerospace companies would be pretty cool, right? lol. just a thought. 

We will have to see. 

Thanks for sharing your experience and advice. Those help. 

David - I believe FYE will be a tough year. However, you will do well. You didn't get there for no reason. 

image.png.1b9083eb6e8d85b347b4ebc70456752e.png

Your discussions with your parents I interpret as guidance. I had similar discussions many moons ago and have had those discussions here recently. A friend of ours left the aero business to become a successful investment broker. You can do most anything with a tech degree. You're learning more than EE or CS your learning how to organize and solve problems; an ability that is always in demand. 

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My father got an engineering degree; he ended up teaching business after WW2. He did a study of the graduates of his class (admittedly not the usual one -- he graduated in 1941, immediately before the war), and found that 15% (I think that was the number) were still engineers in whatever they graduated in. Everyone else ended up in something else -- but they had the tools for it.

Wendy P.

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36 minutes ago, wmw999 said:

My father got an engineering degree; he ended up teaching business after WW2. He did a study of the graduates of his class (admittedly not the usual one -- he graduated in 1941, immediately before the war), and found that 15% (I think that was the number) were still engineers in whatever they graduated in. Everyone else ended up in something else -- but they had the tools for it.

Wendy P.

Hi Wendy,

Re:  he ended up teaching business 

J. Scott Hamilton, for Pres of USPA, had a doctorate in law; he ended his career teaching business at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona campus.

It's a long and winding road.

The Beatles - Long and Winding Road (Plus Lyrics) (1970) [HIGH QUALITY COVER VERSION] - YouTube

Jerry Baumchen

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Meanwhile,  99.9% of the worlds population would eat their young to have an opportunity half as good as this.

I'm glad you accepted their incredibly generous offer, and hopefully, you'll come to appreciate the magnitude of it, because right now, you're acting like a spoiled brat.

 

On a positive note, just fly some tunnel while you're studying. 

 

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Naw, he's just considering his options out loud rather than alone with his buds. The thing is, that his buds and contemporaries would be giving him different advice than the older people here are -- so he's actually going out for more information. Doesn't necessarily like the answer, but then I don't like some of the answers I get, either ;)

Wendy P.

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(edited)

Yeah, I posted this on drop zone.com to look for opinions and advice because I couldn't decide what I should do myself. Thank you guys so much for all the opinions and advice. Those really helped me make my decision to accept their deal, even though it was a really tough decision to make. So, my sincere thank you, really. 

A side thought - I'm sure that there are a lot of people who have had more severe injuries than me and still jump.  Even paralyzed people can skydive. Dan BC was in a coma for months, and his doctors told him he could never skydive again, but he got back in the sky and won several skydiving championships. And I also know that there are a lot people who have had shoulder dislocations and still jump. 

I'm lucky that I'm still here, and also lucky that no doctors have told me I couldn't jump again and I still have the chance to get back to doing what I love. 

I refuse to let my injuries prevent me from doing things I love. Yeah maybe some people would just quit the sport if they went through what I did, but quitting is not how I deal with my accident. You fall of the horse, and you get back on and try again, right? Overcoming injuries, getting back up when life knocks me down and flying again. This is my way. I will use these 3 years off to make my body strong and healthy to prepare for my future skydiving career. I'm young so I heal faster than most people, and I'm grateful for that. 

Blue Skies. 

Edited by David Wang

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1 hour ago, David Wang said:

I refuse to let my injuries prevent me from doing things I love.

100% support for this, just actively add a layer of focus towards how your specific situation might affect your jumps (for yourself and others involved). Take it easy, take the time needed to adjust, hope for the best but plan for the worst.

P. S. I'm often teased for sounding pessimistic, but it's a sport which can easily kill you and it's most often poor planning and "it will probably be okay" attitude that does most of the work (not saying that's you, just overcommunicating).

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