I did a quick stint testing video games after high-school. When I decided to go to college I got a job a restaurant and took as many bussing, waiting and bartending shifts as I could while going through SRJC (one of the best in the county) and SSU. I paid my tuition by working. No loans. No aid. Worked.
And this was before I heard of Ron Paul.
Take a gap year, take two, take five. My only advice is if and when you decide to go to school, don't take the 8 year plan. Just get it done in 4 (give or take a semester). If you are going to take more than 4 years to get a degree, you might as well just get an entry level position in the field you want to work in and move up.
I studied English and Political Science. After college I went back to video games as a Tester (entry level). In a few years I learned as much, if not more, than I would have going through a game design program.
Now I farm. I just got into that a couple years ago and have probably learned far more than if I would have gone through a two year program (in fact, I started by WWOOFing for 3 months in the South while volunteering on the Ron Paul campaign).
So, yeah, just don't blow all your money at the bars, and don't go into debt and you'll be golden.
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