Sakura needs serious advice c:

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Sakura, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. This is a really personal, complicated mess of the things on my mind right now.

    If you're not interested or honestly don't care, please just disregard it. I'm not asking for sympathy. I know that my situation is still better than others and I will be the first to admit, that despite all this, I'm still very very fortunate. And I'm honest enough to say that I'm happy, even though I have a lot on my mind, I've developed the kind of personality that finds hope in difficulty. So when someone doesn't care, I don't mind. I'm not ranting for attention. I'm ranting because I genuinely think your help will give me a better understanding. So if you take the time to read this and help me, I sincerely thank you.

    What I really need is a variety of advice. I've brought this up to the people around me, but I believe that Iwaku's community is more diverse and will have a better understanding on many of things that are bothering me. If I hear your experiences or your opinions, I might be able to make a better decision.


    I just finished my freshman year at NYU POLY. It's a tech-based university that's up and coming in terms of reputation because of it's recent merger with New York University (yes, the one). I'm studying computer engineering with a math minor. The curriculum is TOUGH and near torturous, so I'm not even sure I can survive, but I'm determined to try. The environment is great because everyone is working hard. The campus is nonexistent, but the professors and students all exude this "technology love" and talk about things like "entrepreneurship and innovation". In that way, it's great.

    I'm already on my first start-up attempt. A small idea I developed in my technology forum class that I'm working on with a partner to submit to NYU Stern's Business Venture competition as well as Poly's own 'Innovention' (a pun on Innovation & Invention) contest.

    I just got my tuition statement for sophomore year and the tuition went up a little. It's suffocating to begin with, but now I would be paying a total ~ $40,000 a year. The tuition is about $19,000. On campus residency is about $5,000 and added on university fees make it about $25,000. With scholarship and financial aid, I'm down to $18,000. I know, it's not much. I was admitted on a last minute, without an application basis. Never applied to the school. (Was basically forced here through my mom's desperation. I didn't like the school at all in the beginning, but I guess it grew on me.)

    +What the problem is

    My mother.
    Well, she's always been a kind of negative force in my life. People are orphans, they suffer from loss during their lives, or other kinds of grief, but I'm fortunate enough to not have anything like that. She used to be okay before, just the typical angry mother, but now it's just become unbearable.
    Physical, verbal and mental abuse to the point where I just start crying even if I can't hear her. I guess one of the reasons I agreed to go to this college was because I was living on campus. There's no way I could have studied in the environment we have at home. Even now, she just came from work, threw my books around, broke a small side table and started bitching like everything that ever went wrong in her life is my fault.

    I know it's not. For most of my life, I've used my mother's rants as a driving force to become better. I've used it to tell myself that I can be strong, that I can take her shit and rise above it. But it becomes more and more difficult. I'm torn between spiritually wanting to respect my aging parents and silencing myself when I have to sit here and listen to her continuously cursing and talking completely filthy nonsense to my face.

    One of the reasons why I have to keep silent is because she gave me money for my first year through that college savings program. I feel like she treats it like blood money. All her life, she's never bought me even as much as a birthday gift. Now that she's paid for my first year, and just recently given me a check from the savings for my first sophomore semester, she's begun to threaten me. She'll kick my dad out. She'll kick me out. She won't pay for another semester. I should go to a state school and get lost. (her words, not mine)

    +About Schools

    I love Poly, I really do.
    But I'm not stupid. I realize that the amount of money is a ridiculous for an undergrad university that isn't really up there with other names.
    Why won't I go to a perfectly fine state school? Because I don't want to.
    I worked so hard during my four years of high school. I worked like one of those asian kids with the mothers that bring them trays of food to their room and don't even make them do the dishes. But instead, I worked hard at my studies, worked at the housework, kept my father and my brother company and remained sane despite my mother's crazy rants. Why should I have to go to a state school and compromise my education because my mother doesn't think I'm worthy of being happy?

    It's not the money. Even if I take loans and go to poly, she says she'll throw all of my stuff out while I'm gone and kick me out. As if she can't stand it if anyone is happy. My dad bought this huge new TV to replace our old one and she freaked out and threatens to throw it out all the time. We got a large standing fan from a garage sale two days ago because it's hot in the living room with just one and she just broke it by shoving it to the ground. How dare we bring filth in? How dare we buy a fan without asking her?

    I feel like this apartment is more of a prison under her guard than a home.

    +About the family

    My dad's retired and doesn't really have a source of income. He has this silly hobby of selling cameras and collecting old computers from people to rearrange the parts and resell them. His success goes up and down, but the amount of storage boxes of stuff in our room doesn't change much. It makes my mom furious that there's so much stuff in my room. I share my room with my dad. My mom has her own room. My brother's bed's in the living room.

    Anyways. My dad's room is probably the most clean in the whole apartment. There's just a lot of stuff. My mom's the type of person that throws stuff behind sofas and on top of shelves to hide it from view. She likes the facade of clean. Nothing on top of the table, but the drawers are full of all kinds of random stuff, not even organized.

    My bro's on psychiatric medicine. My mom uses him like a butler, threatening him all the time like, "Come with me to xyz store or else you'll be crazy all your life." He'll never get over his fears the way she continuously berates him.

    My older sister is a surgeon with three kids. She's supposedly working a good life, but in debt? She doesn't call and doesn't care (logical reasoning..) so I'm basically the only "sane" one in the family.

    I'm trying to convince my father to get SOME kind of supportive job, leave this place and live with my brother in some cheap place in Flushing. My mother will always reign her frustration and anger, "you are all living off me" attitude, but she'll only drive my father crazy and make my brother's recovery slower. (in my opinion)

    +About my academia

    When I graduated from high school last year, I was ready with a plan. I was going to a religious institute to learn intensive Arabic and Quran and Islam for a year. It was a program in Texas. I was raising money in secret from my mother. My father was ready to let me go.

    My mother found out and threw the community into chaos. She argued with everyone and convinced them that I was "brainwashed" and "trying to runaway" and "didn't a mother have a right to stop her child from going away". To avoid everyone going crazy because of me, I gave up on that and even gave in to her demands to go to polytechnic. She paid the tuition and everything on the spot, sending to me to live on campus. I got accepted into the universities I applied, but delayed the acceptance for a year. I wanted to study law or journalism (originally), but I applied pharmacy to a couple of schools, too. My dream school was NYU. Since it was too late to go to one of the schools I had originally applied to, it was September and they didn't have seats left, I agreed.

    I ended up liking poly. Computer Engineering is really hard for me. I struggle through calculus II and complicated maths like linear algebra. I'm not gifted like some children. Every grade I get, I've earned through hours and hours of hard work. People have talent, but I think my talent is just my determination. I just keep trying until I get it. The only thing that comes with a natural gift is writing english and even that, it's not like I haven't worked on it.

    I accepted all that because I thought, I like technology. If there's something I have to do with the rest of my life, if it's engineering, it's interesting enough and exciting that I can bring myself to do it. Maybe after engineering undergrad, I can take the LSAT and apply to law in grad school. Something like that, you know? Always hopeful.

    +At the moment

    I don't even want to go to college come September, knowing I'll be paying with mom's money. I feel like she uses the fact that she's paying to make up for all these years of neglect and all the current abuse. Like just because she's paying, it's okay to throw my things, pull my hair, or threaten me. I hate that.

    At the same time, I know the amount of money is ridiculous. I'm looking into transfer options. My dad's willing to send me wherever I want to go. I'm fortunate that I have one parent at least, who supports me.

    I want to continue my education, but just something about a state school irks me. I'm willing to go out of my comfort zone to a school abroad or in another state, granted it's not a waste of time and is on par with the level of my current university. Maybe it's just my pride? But I worked hard. I don't want to go to a school that someone with a 2.0 high school gpa went to when I could have easily cruised through high school, but chose to put so much effort and graduate with honors.

    I transferred high schools three times. 9th grade - one school, the second half of 9th until 10th - another, and finally, public school from 11-12. And despite being a transfer, I graduated in the top 30% of a class of 2000+ kids. Transferring doesn't scare me. I know I'll adapt to change. It's kind of sad, but I know that I can accept any environment. Currently "my room" consists of the east corner of my dad's bed room. My bed is a bunch of stuffings on the floor lined by suitcases and a window on one side and my dressing table + bookshelf arranged like an L.

    A picture of my corner (: As you can see, I can't even open my drawers fully >_< but you don't see me complaining. I'm happy.

    I've been raised by my dad and my surroundings very well. I will adapt and be happy with what little I have. That's just my personality ;~~~;

    +The Questions

    I don't know what I can do for my father or brother right now. I'm just a sophomore. I don't even know how to drive yet (Dad just never had time to teach me). When I'm at home for vacation, my dad acts like I'm a sheltered child and won't even let me take the trains or buses (>.<).

    I've researched colleges abroad. My backup right now is McGill. It's my father and sister's alumni and I'm basically guaranteed admission with my grades. I'm a Canadian citizen so the tuition costs are ~ 6,000. And if I choose McGill, my dad says he will move to Montreal with me. I just don't know if I'm ready for a complete change like that, you know?

    My other option is local, SUNY StonyBrook's computer science program.

    There are other schools with computer engineering, but very expensive. There's schools in UK that are cheaper, but because UK's schooling system is different, only some of my credits will transfer. I looked at schools in Asia, HKUST and KAIST for example are popular Asian technology schools. I'm not worried about living in Korea or Hong Kong. I can already write a bit of Mandarin and could easily learn Korean if I put my effort in it. (Linguistics, like I said, is fun and easy for me). College seems cheaper abroad, including the expenses of living and the estimated expenses of food, shopping, etc.

    But I don't know anything about the world. If I study abroad for the last two years and get a foreign degree, can I come back here and get a job at a place like Apple or Microsoft for programming or computer hardware design like I planned? Is it the same value of a degree, a NY state college, NYU-POLY, or KAIST (for example) ?

    I wish I had that kind of knowledge. If I go off to some foreign college, get my degree for cheaper, and return, would I have wasted two or three extra years?

    I'm so confused. Both the familial situation, the assumed responsibility of my brother and father and my mother's pressure really sticks in my mind. I didn't do so well in terms of grades freshman year, but second semester, I pulled everything up to As and Bs. I made some great friends who are like, for the first time ever, like family. I feel like I've matured, being able to live on my own, pick up after myself, watch my budget, and study on my own. I also had to handle my family issues at campus and they often called while fighting at home or brought the fights over to campus when they came to visit (almost once a week, it was insane).

    +For Advice

    Just any general confidence-boosting ideas would be great. Right now all of this is clouding my mind. I tried to land a summer job, but with my mothers "you will never be able to take a bus and go to work you're useless" rants and my dad's "I don't think you should work in Manhatten and take the train every day", I just gave up trying to fight back. I'm spending my summer studying over the material ahead for next semester, working on a novel I've left for a year, and brushing up on basic IT skills like video editing, programming, web design. I also have plans to set up my own website for resumes sake and am working on that business venture, club paperwork for a girltalk club at poly, and little things like scholarships searching.

    At the same time, I'm at a loss of what to do for transferring and/or financial aid. Here and there, I pick up bits and pieces of advice on the internet of how to become independent from your parents financially. I'm going to have a job on campus next semester as TA and possibly a writing consultant as well. (Things at campus are really looking up because I've been working so hard), but I don't want to rely on my mom's money. I also feel that taking 40,000 a year for two more years as loans will be suicidal by the time I graduate.

    According to stats, my school's graduate average salary is 60,000, so everyone's like "oh you can pay it off easy" but I don't want to be so naive to think I can pay off 100,000+ loans AND the interest that will pile up..

    I feel like I grew up a lot over these last two months, being on my own and thinking about these things, but I'm not entirely grown up.
    I've talked to my dad and he's generally cordial with me about whatever decision I make. He wants me to research and make the decisions about college or finances, etc.

    The reason I'm writing all this here to get your advice is being I feel like I'm still too naive and don't understand much about the world. I would like to hear your opinions on what I should, what options I have, or what you think would be a good idea. If you know something about colleges abroad vs. US colleges, please do say!

    One thing I've learned over the years is that I never feel any shame asking for help, because I will admit, readily, that I'm incapable of so many things and it's only learning from others and picking up good habits, being determined, and putting effort that has got me so far.

    +happy tidbit so you don't feel bad+

    OHYEAH. I think I found someone I really really like. Usually my crushes only last about a month or so, but I've liked this guy since I met him. It's been like 6+ months ;~; We have arguments now and then. There was a point when he said that I was acting like his girlfriend and I should stop, around that time I was like FINE YOU JERK and totally ignored him for more than a week. He came back and started to talk to me and was all nice and sweet (it was funny!). He never apologized, but through his actions he did. At some point, everyone around us was like "Oh you make such a good couple" and neither of us seemed to mind. We were spending a lot of time together, haha, so it made me people think I guess. We're both opposites. He thinks with logic, I think with emotions, but we both are determined and competitive. At one point, he used to answer questions for me to people and make plans for me while I was right there, so I told him "dude, stop acting like my boyfriend." It was funny because it was the same thing I did, get too comfortable.

    Then once we were watching this movie where the girl gets married to another guy, but tells the guy that was her best friend all her life, "I'll miss you buddy." After that, he started calling me "buddy." which I shortened to "bud" and another friend made into "bro". So apparently, he's my bro. And in his definition, all of his friends that are my friends too (like our small circle of friends are my "bros") LOL.

    This one night I was upset and he was like what's wrong? I didn't really want to talk so he just hung around randomly (trying to cheer me up?). It got late and everyone wanted to watch a movie, but he wanted to sleep. I was like, don't go. And he was like "you've got other bros here, don't worry." It made me laugh.

    Now we're like super comfortable, like brother sister, I guess? We talk about life and stuff. Next semester, we'll be in all the same classes. He always tutors me in math, saying "You work so hard that I can't say no. Whenever you work hard and you only get a 70, I feel so bad." (LOL) And I tutor him in English (he's an international chinese student) and check his essays for him. We go out to eat with our friends and play basketball.

    He's really playful, but he really moody, too, so I don't understand him very well. I thought we weren't so close, but he introduced me to his friends from China and they were like, "Oh you're his NY best friend!" And I was like... I am? I think he just doesn't express emotions well... Hah~ And he keeps a lot to himself.

    A picture of us ! I was so chubby then T.T I swear, I lost weight! Haha c:

    Recently, he asked me, "how is it that you're so thankful for everything you have?"

    I thought that was really sweet. Because it made me realize that he, like the few of my college friends (roommates included), really understand me well. (: I think I finally made friends worth for life~

    ANYWAYS. I wanted you to know that, too! Because not everything is going badly for me ^^


    If you read ALL THAT and you still love me~ THANK YOU ;~;
  2. First off, Kudos to you for being able to tolerate the mess at home for so long. I know if it was me, I would have probably broke under pressure. Seriously, it takes a lot to live under such circumstances.

    Secondly: regarding everything else, I would say do what makes YOU feel good, and what makes YOU happy. What is managable for you, and what can you budget in? If you don't want to be in the Uni you're in now, maybe cut your losses and finish the semester or what you need to do, and perhaps transfer. Get to a school who can deliver its needs to you in a way that you like, rather than it simply being forced on you and "growing" on you as well. There are so many options out there in terms of what you can get in financial aid, it's crazeh.

    Thirdly, I am in no way a school counsellor, so I would suggest finding one in your Uni or elsewhere and getting their proffessional advice. They've likely been there, done that, and also have the tools to be able to get you on your way and rid yourself of doubt. They can give you options as to what college road you can take, how to maybe change things at home, and generally swing your life around. When I was in high school, my counsellor did so much for me in terms of my home life and school planning.

    Lastly, keep your chin up! Nothing worth fighting for is easy, nor will it be so devastatingly hard, either. Look at it like a mathamatical problem, or a way to make something. There's usually more than one way to get the right answer.
  3. You've got guts to put up with all the things happening right now. Your dad sounds like a wonderful person from the things you've said about him here. :)

    Get those loose ends tied up at the place you're at now and get going. Don't let yourself be stuck in a box that's constantly pushing in on you. Take some stress off and look for some pro-help/advice from people like counsellors, as Curoise suggested. There are people know this stuff well, and they're willing to help you. I know when the time comes for me up ahead I'll want to get whatever help I can find. I'm pretty scared just thinking about getting out of high school with grades that'll seal my future.

    Aw. Its always nice to meet someone that really knows how to make you smile, even if you're a bit different. With people like that, you'll surely pull through this madness.
  4. Diana had this life with her mother too, Sakubeans. >:[ It was not a happy life. Except I got the opposite spectrum, where I didn't have opportunities to go to college, or jobs and ended up dropping out of high school and being a totally crazy and turbo dysfunctional person. It was quite unpleasant. ._.;

    I survived, though. 8D I got through it by finding my passion and working hard on it (administrating communities like this!), using friends for support and taking a BIG RISK when everything finally hit the do-or-die point. In present day, life is good. And where I still have a few residual problems, I am very happy now and living in a good place with people I love and treat me well.

    So, I can't really give you advice on what to do about school... >> I would personally go for cheaper options in locations that would let you transfer all your credits, and give you a really awesome new experience. If you're getting the same quality education, there's no sense in spending so much more for it. Tuition and fees can haunt you FOREVER and sometimes it's -really- hard to get settled in a good job post-college. Being an adult and having to pay a dozen bills adds up, so you don't want extra college debt on top of that. ><

    I would also take you mom's money and use it. She can't give you the love and affection that you deserve, but at least she can give you money for an education so you can take care of yourself and your future family. >< She might be able to use it as a weapon -now-, but LATER once you are living on your own, you don't ever have to talk to or deal with her again. It's not being ungrateful to do that. You can still be grateful for the opportunities she gave you, without having to torture yourself with the company of a vicious person.

    You'll be giving back to her when she is old and no longer able to work or take care of herself. I've already told MY mom that I intend to put her and my grandmother in the most horrible, ill-rated old folks home that abuses old people that I can find if they give me any more shit. >> Abusive parents tend to forget that one day those children they abuse will one day be the ones in charge of their safety and well-being...
  5. Like Diana, I'll give you experience rather than advice to get advice.

    This is my choice:

    The combination of erratic mother and medicated brother makes for a polluting family environment that can mess you up in all kinds of ways. And I mean no disrespect to them. I had the greatest parents in the world, but I still had to get away from their enclosure. As you've probably heard me say, the "jumping to the other side of the world" thing was the best chance I ever took. It turned me into an adult and gave me all the tools I needed to find my current happiness with Tegan.

    You won't be short of friends there, given your nature and the fact that you're studying. Plus your dad will be with you (and will possibly be a lot less cloying and commanding since he, too, is in a strange new place). The two of you being out of the house will change the dynamics between your mother and brother, hopefully for the better since she may think he is "all she has left". And if your mother relaxes then that may alleviate things for your brother.

    Someone with your intelligence will land on their feet wherever they go. And the distance will heal the powerlessness you feel in your mother-dominated community.

    Of course, this means a big step and leaving people behind. That's always painful. The question is whether you can burn that bridge.

    And as a faggy addendum, showing my rarely-publicized nice side, I was reading Yahoo News the other day and all the comments were by various racists going on about how Muslims want to enslave the world and foreigners should be exterminated and gays and blacks are a plague on the civilised nations and we should nuke the Middle East and so forth...

    ...and as I was raging and trying to troll as many of them as I could, it occurrred to me that the nicest, most kind-hearted, optimistic, forgiving and encouraging person I have ever known in my life is a Muslim girl who I met on Iwaku.


    So there's that.
  6. I agree with Asmo here, And it won't be a COMPLETE change, since you'll still have your dad with you. Plus there are some other Iwaku natives in that region if I'm correct so you'll already have a few friends there.
  7. Everyone.... Thank you very much!

    I'm incredibly lucky to have you to support me when I really need help! At the moment, I'm still emotionally stressed so I'm going to give myself some time before considering my options again. I will definitely take your advice to heart and do my best to make a good decision! I'm afraid that I might make an irrational decision because I'm still feeling pressured emotionally. For now, I just want to take time to think it through.

    Come September, I will make time to meet one of the school counselors. I met her last semester on my father's insistence, so she probably remembers my face. It won't hurt to try and see what she has to say as well.

    Danana-chan, thank you for sharing your experience ;~~;. That's the first time I thought of my mother's money as an opportunity that she couldn't give me through love or affection.. I feel that's going to leave a thought in mind for a while.. It's something to think about, definitely!

    &Asmo, you made me cry! I understand what you're saying though. One of the reasons why I call it "backup" is because I'm probably afraid to make that change to the family, more than for myself. It's because my dad has lived/worked in Canada before. It's the only college option that involves "Dad is coming with you". I don't know if I want to separate my dad from my brother, but I don't know if leaving my mother alone is the right thing to do either. Powerlessness is exactly what I feel right now! It's powerlessness and frustration because it seems as if my dad and my brother don't want to change the way things are and only I'm the one suffocating...
    You understand me so well ;~~; and your words make me feel a lot stronger! Thank you so much! I'm so grateful!

    When I posted this I was desperately confused and the last few days I've been moping around the house lifelessly, but I feel like I'm a little less anguished now..

    Thank you very much everyone!

    I think... just having people to depend on makes it easier for me to pull myself together (:

  8. I must say that I agree that you should find happiness away from the stifling environment that you're used to living in. Of the options you listed, it seems like you have little problem with going to Canada, other than it being a strange and new place. However, it won't be any more unusual than the other foreign places you're looking into studying and as a citizen, you will have a variety of benefits there that might be a good resource for you. I wouldn't push in one direction or another, but I do think that this sounds promising, especially with someone willing to go to support you.

    Overall, I'm glad that you know that you can count on us, Saki. No matter what you choose, I know that you'll get through it because despite your cuddly exterior, you're a very strong and marvelous woman with a good sense of self and a wonderful outlook on life. <3
    I hope things get better for you and I wish you both strength, to do what you need, and a dose of luck to make it a little easier.
  9. Sakura, if money is a problem then you need to give serious thought to employability of various degrees you could potentially earn. Its a daunting task and requires lots of research plus a little gambling. In my opinion, you have picked a solid combination. If you want to go the academia route (and I recommend against for pragmatic reasons) the school where you get your phd is more important than where you did undergrad. Undergrad's "real" goal is teaching you how to learn. If employability is a concern, job hunt after a bachelors or go for a masters. Anything you need more clarification on, let me know.

    Abroad is always more expensive. Canada is great (I came from there to the states) but for example at uoft they will gut international students.
  10. *sighs*
    I'm AmAZED at how strong in spirit you are. Me, in your shoes, would probably wait for mom to return home to kill myself in front of her. I'm not as sane as you are, nor as determined, and I give you my kudos- honestly. You're a spiritual master of some sort.

    As usual, I agree with most of what Dianers and Asmo say. I think they gave you two pretty good replies.

    I have my tiny little bit to add to your pile, too. I belong to a different culture than yours, and I am not as intelligent or as organized as you are- and this shows in the way you write, girl, you are skilled- so sadly I don't understand all that roll about schools and names and degrees and I can't recommend you a down-to-earth, no-nonsense way out.

    But, like Asmo and Dianers, I have my own experience to share. I lived in Argentina almost all my life, and almost five years ago I moved to Australia. It was a shocking move, and it made me grow up like you wouldn't imagine- well, like I would have never imagined. I know how you feel about not having enough money to pay school. It took me a lot of effort to pay for my own studies here. I know how you feel about not knowing where to go. I was once right there where you are, not knowing which place was best and what would the future bring me. It sucks, and I know that giving you an answer like ''go look for scholarships or fee help because there is heaps out there!'' is probably not going to be useful. I got that answer from others many times, and I know finding such help is not as easy. I also believe you're smart enough and that if you are not applying for those, it is probably because you already sought for it without much success.

    I gather from what you say that you are trying to choose a proper place to study. I can't tell you whether or not to accept your mother's offer and keep going down that path or not. If you're looking for cheap, cheap as education and you fear not a change in culture and language, then go to South America. Honestly things are bad in Argentina now, but you can look up on Brazil and Chile if you want. I wouldn't.

    One thing that always proved true to me was following my heart.

    Do what you love to do.
    It does not matter where. Don't mind the school's reputation. If you love what you do and you do it passionately, you don't even need talent for it. Doing, simply doing counts a lot more than anything else. My family had a friend who was an astronomer. The guy discovered a planetoid kind of thing some years ago. (I apologize for my lame vocabulary). He always stressed the fact that he went to the worst school in his neighborhood. He simply did what he loved, and things followed. My own dad, also left well paid jobs to work on projects that were not as reliable, and he also succeeded, because he was passionate about what he did. That is why my whole family moved here. :)

    Me, however, I've been through a different highschool. It's a technician's highschool, where kids not only get to learn the usual subjects but also they get training in a career of their choice. It's like a mix between highschool and university; you finish with a diploma that allows you to work as a professional. Me and my friend decided to go there, at age 12, and since we both liked drawing we applied for Cinema and Advertisement. She got the place, and I did not. I went to Silversmithing instead, as a second option.

    I loved it, not just liked it. It happened to be much more artistic than the other career, and much more attuned with me. I didn't change it for anything in the world. I finished, got my diploma, and thanks to those skills I am now paying my own career as an Illustrator here in Australia. It was damn tough finding my place here, but, as I said, I do what I love.

    Teachers always helped me. I was lucky to come across people that felt like family more than anything; I'm fond of teachers. They always set me on the right track. If I was you, I would find someone working in something you would like to do. Ask to every openminded teacher in your career that you know about different pathways to succeed out there. How to get a job, where to, what to study and what is considered more important in your trade scene. How to get started, what do they think of studying overseas, their opinion about losing a year or two in a career, and what would they do in your situation. Perhaps school reputation is important, but many times I've been shocked to find out otherwise. I always did this with teachers, I shared with them my concerns and fears and asked how to get there. Each one shared with me their own experiences, as silversmiths, artists, and teachers, and even though I am not following any of their steps, knowing how-to and asking around always opens my mind up. It broadens my horizons. I dream of something first, then I get it. (Not instantly, but I get it).

    I hope you can get something useful out of there, even though I did not a great job explaining things well. I tried...
    I feel I could give you better advice if I was not as tired as I am now... feel free to ask anything if you want!
    And I feel happy for you... That guy looks hot! :D
  11. Wiser and more experienced folks than I have offered up better advice for this situation than I could ever hope to muster, so I'll just add this.

    Asmo-man pretty much nails it. You're an extremely intelligent person who's ability to stay positive, optimistic and hopeful in the face of any and all opposition puts a curmudgeonly fuck such as myself to shame. This decision won't be an easy one (thus it's good you're putting a lot of thought into it), but whichever option you settle on will be the right one for you.

    And wherever you wind up you're going to do great.

    Best of luck to you, Sakura.