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College Student Seeking Advice for the Future  RSS feed

 
Angelica Harris
Posts: 49
Location: Statesboro, GA
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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First off, hello to everyone! I'm new to the forum, but I'm so glad that I found it this afternoon while looking up deconstruction! This place blew my mind! I felt like I had finally found a community of like-minded individuals that I could build a relationship with. With that being said, I'm hoping you all could give a newbie some advice. I'm 21, in college studying chemistry, and hoping to go to Physician's Assistant school after achieving my bachelor of science.

However, I feel a calling toward the land... I always have from an earlier point in my life, but as that wasn't my familial background, I sort of squashed it hoping to maintain some type of "normalcy" amongst my peers. So while, I really love my studies; I really want to start looking seriously at becoming a part of a permaculture community/ start up a homestead of my own. However, I lean much more toward a community environment because thinking that something I work hard on can be used to help someone else just makes my heart glad!

In any case, what would you all suggest I do in the ways of finance? I know it is important to handle my student loans and such before even considering anything else. And I definitely want to, because I literally hate debt. But aside from that I could really use some type of solid planning advice to follow, and with all the information I have been loading myself with, I feel much too overwhelmed to come up with one by myself and trust it.

I hope to hear from you all!
 
Mike Feddersen
Posts: 357
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Miss Harris,
A big permacultural welcome to you!
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Your current road to a career with good income amounts seems sound enough to me. There are communities nationwide that need well trained individuals. The fact that you want to put down roots in a sustainable way makes you all the more valuable to a community.
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Before your next step in education, you may want to consider choices of the area of the country you would like to end up in. Maybe you already live in the perfect community. I am sort of an armchair permaculturist, meaning I love the ideas, methods, sustainableness of living this lifestyle, but as an over the road truckdriver I am in the accumulate knowledge phase.
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I do see the country, so I know a bit about the weather in the four seasons. I grew up in northwest Iowa, gardening a bit, knowing the richness of the soil there. Also knowing it's a cold blankety blank for a good part of the year.
I also lived in Phoenix. Arizona for nearly 20 years as an adult. Where it was too cold in Iowa in the winter, AZ gets pretty toasty in the summer, the other 8 months are awesome though. I had a backyard hodge podge of plants there, growing citrus, tangelo, limes, grapevines, peaches, apple's, clives, mints, lemon balm, echinacea, lettuce, tomatoes, watermelon.
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I think a nice list of the pros and cons of your potential choices might help you, careers, home territory, friends, maybe even building restrictions for your potential future home area. I currently live in the boonies of West Virginia, restrictions are few and far between.
The soil is pretty good for growing, lots of trees for building and burning. The people are friendly too.
 
Angelica Harris
Posts: 49
Location: Statesboro, GA
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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Thanks so much for your input, Mike!

I think that you make a lot of good points. I was never really good at putting together pro and con lists, but now is certainly a big enough decision to start. I really like making friends, so I think that it will be nice to move outside of Georgia one day even if I really like it here. I definitely prefer temperate climates to cold ones, but I have always wanted to live in a place that actually got to experience the four seasons instead of going from torturously hot to comfortably warm heh.

I will definitely start looking into what I might like in a home one day! It should be a really fun search to undertake.
 
Mike Feddersen
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Miss Harris,
Thank you.
I found this discussion link you may want to read through, parents and students talking about how to pay for PA school with and without incurring debt. http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/368299-physicians-assistant-school-debt-free/
 
Angelica Harris
Posts: 49
Location: Statesboro, GA
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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Thanks so much, Mike! I spent a little time reading on that forum and will definitely continue. I'm actually super excited for PA school, and while I really really hate debt, I have finally accepted it as a bit of a necessary evil since as a college student my moniker is pretty much "perpetually broke". Although, as you mentioned, the career that I'm going toward has a very good salary, so I'm excited to go at my debt with a hammer as soon as I get hired into a position after school is done. My goal is to be debt free and beginning a significant savings by the time that I'm 27. I just have to build of some resolve and discipline, but I'm sure God will definitely help me in those types of virtues.

The forum is really awesome though and they have a lot of good information. Right now my most important goal is getting all those gosh-darned hours. PA criteria are a bit intense. However, I really hope that if I build a plan now, I should definitely be able to get my homestead going before I'm 30~!
 
Alder Burns
pollinator
Posts: 1379
Location: northern California
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You might seriously consider community living, at least for a while. go to www. ic.org and check it out. It's searchable by area and by keyword (like "permaculture"!) It is often a good lifestyle for open-minded people who have good drama shields up and can get along with all sorts. In many of them you can get some land access in exchange for some hours on community projects, and some even have a business where you can contribute hours and so don't have to pay rent! There are even a few, in urban and suburban settings, where some, or most, of the people commute out to jobs in the wider community....this might be a good fit for you until you get those annoying debts paid off!
On another vein of thinking, have you looked into herbal medicine? It's a topic near and dear to most permies, and as you most likely know, a large fraction of even modern pharmaceuticals derive from plants and fungi. With a strong background in biochemistry you might have a lot to contribute to this field!
 
Angelica Harris
Posts: 49
Location: Statesboro, GA
food preservation forest garden hugelkultur
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I will check out that website for sure. It's amazing what's on the internet. Just today I've found or been introduced to so many places that I didn't even know existed. And I love herbal medicine. I desperately want to be a PA in an holistic or alternative medicine practice. That would be a dream and there are quite a good number of them in Georgia although many are in and around Atlanta, which is daunting to me. I'm really not much of a city girl, so I don't think that I would like working/living in one. I would take a regular practice in a more rural area than a holistic or naturopathic practice in the city, I think. But as for studying the many wonderful uses of plants, I do that all the time and even have some courses under my belt. I occasionally use some of the knowledge on myself too, but thankfully I don't get sick often, so I don't have a lot of use for medicines. Although I like herbal tea on occasion.

I think one of my most favorite moments in life was when a coworker of mine that I had given advice to on some different types of herbs came back to me a while later and told me that she had gotten off of all of her medication since she had incorporated them into her diet to help her body heal naturally. It was really gratifying and I was so happy for her when she told me.
 
Corey Schmidt
Posts: 155
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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follow your heart.
recognize your deepest desire and know that it will happen.
Don't wait to do permaculture later.  If its a burning desire, do what you can now.  collect rainwater where you live now, grow as many plants as you can where you live now, make a solar cooker, guerrilla garden, etc, whatever really excites you.
Pay off your debts and find a way to work the amount of hours you want to work so that your life is YOUR very own creation born out of YOUR deepest desire.
Always do today what needs to be done today.  Accept life as it is now rather than daydreaming excessively, but do dream and visualize the future you desire. Giving up a career to pursue permaculture can go either way.  Some people make a leap of faith like that and become 'permaculture greats'.  there are probably also a fair amount of people who 'give it all up for the permaculture dream' and later realize they are simply broke.  You can have a career and live in a permaculture way and work to tip your field toward a more wholistic view of life. Recognize when life is holding a door open to you. Don't worry about making wrong choices, just continually readjust your focus to work for the highest good of yourself and all life.
 
His brain is the size of a cherry pit! About the size of this ad:
FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
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