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SKATEBOARDING => SHIT TALK => Topic started by: paul on September 25, 2012, 12:03:23 PM

Title: RE: what skaters went to college?
Post by: paul on September 25, 2012, 12:03:23 PM
I made a forum name just to respond to "what skaters went to college?" by tariqu, but decided that since it had not been posted in for a long time I would just start a new thread in response.

The aforementioned thread: (

I just wanted to share my experience, and perhaps it will influence at least one person to stay in school.  I have learned over the years that nothing gets in between myself and my fondness, appreciation and respect for skateboarding.  I have also come to understand that there is no reason why somebody who loves to skate cannot fill a much needed role in the social sphere.  I am never going to be a professional skater, but my education and nerdy line of work will afford me a home that I can build ramps in and have friends over to.  Old quote from a skate video: "skateboarding is my life, but it is not the only thing in my life."  <<< Truth.

Ahh middle school... just stick with it tariqu!  It never seemed like my group of friends was very academically inclined, though there were certainly some sharp minds in the lot.

In highschool I hated going to class.  I sometimes skipped the day and took the train into Hoboken, Manhattan or Brooklyn to go skate with my friends.  I didn't become any more inclined to enjoy structured learning for a few years after highschool either - I took classes at a few colleges but never took them too seriously.  Then it happened... A couple of years ago I smacked my head into the ground and lost my senses of smell and taste (not even while skateboarding, I simply tripped over a low couch while drunk - the lesson for the kids here is enjoy a fine craft beer after a day's work, but don't get wasted drunk or you'll do stupid things and remove 40% of your conscious experience of knowing the world.  This sucks, don't do it.)  It was good for me though, because I started geeking out on brains.

I began to absorb theories of consciousness and read texts about sensation and perception.  This helped to pull myself from the depths of an existential crisis, where life was literally bland and flavorless.  I was content just buying the books and reading at home, school still seemed like a waste of time.  Then it occurred to me that it was in universities where the most exciting conversations about the nature of reality are being had.  I now had something cool to talk to teachers about.  Coming to appreciate how little we know about reality made going to class just as exciting as having a stoney conversation with some buddies, professors being akin to somebody who is psyched about something mind-blowing and who also happens to really know their stuff well.  It turns out that if you are genuinely excited about something and if you learn lots on your own, schools can look past a crappy or average academic record.

I don't look like the stereotypical private university scholar on my campus in the northeast.  I have adorned myself with large holes in my ear lobes and am colored with tattoos, one down my entire side reading skate and destroy and another taking up my arm from the elbow to the shoulder reading thrasher (I am down-for-life-x2).  I am studying to be a research scientist, hopefully in behavioral or cognitive neuroscience.  I have completed the last two years of my formal education in three semesters, and will be done in this coming February.  My gpa in my major is a 3.8xx, and I will be graduating with honors.  Worth noting: I am not particularly smart, I just worked hard and managed my time well - this is how I know you can do the same (if you want to). 

Money was a hugely limiting factor in my hesitating to go to school full time, but if you look around you can find all sorts of grants and scholarships that aren't very competitive.  Talk to people at a school if you want to go, but cannot afford it - if you make a good impression they will find a way to make room for you.

School isn't for everybody, but it is a great place to gain new skills and useable knowledge, and (for the active student) college is networking that can land one a comfy salary or a free ride through graduate school.  As an aside: I do have a couple of skateboard buddies who never went to college (both actually didn't finish high school) that are making close to 100k/yr, one in television and one in making art with metal.  It is worth noting that this is not the norm for most people, as these guys have unrivaled work ethic and their cognitive prowess blasts most of their peers out of the water.  They have both said they wish they had college degrees, because it could have helped make getting where they are easier than it was (in their situations).

The point of all this is to communicate how those of us who will benefit from college don't always know what we want from a formal education at the "right times" in life, and need to experience more things before we find something that suits us best.  I am a simple skateboard kid, living for the moment that I am in, but in my spare time I want to do brain science to support loungin' and shreddin' on the weekends.

Cheers to you all, may whatever path you choose take you to greener pastures!

Title: Re: RE: what skaters went to college?
Post by: outsider716 on September 26, 2012, 06:17:14 AM
I've skated at a lot of colleges, does that count?

Title: Re: RE: what skaters went to college?
Post by: jizanthapus on December 24, 2013, 08:10:53 PM
Rattray, i think hes a physics major or something

Title: Re: RE: what skaters went to college?
Post by: Rotimi Ajayi on March 29, 2014, 05:37:44 PM
Much respect for posting this and your path. There are a lot of skaters who went to college. I have read of a few in Thrashers pages. I read of one skater who graduated college then became sponsored, can't remember the name. Also, Phil Shao went to Berkeley or so I read. I used to skate with a crew from North SF Bay. They all went to college and graduated. They were into street mostly and we filmed a few videos. It was around that time I dislocated my knee (also drunk) and was diagnosed bi-polar. Double whammy. I had dropped out of college a few years before that to just work, skate and kick it with my girl. I recently decided to enroll and finish my degree, so far I have seen more people skating to class in a day here in so-cal than I have seen skating the streets in my hometown in a whole year. Granted some might be labeled posers but that's beyond the point and two steps back to high school mentality. In fact, there is a skateboarding club here at school who skate the quad all day. There was also a televised contest for only college students that skate a few years back.

Title: Re: RE: what skaters went to college?
Post by: Rev J on March 29, 2014, 06:07:57 PM
I'm getting ready to try and go back to college for Kineseology. Eventually I want to be a physical therapist and help skaters, BMX bikers etc. revocer from injuries.

Title: Re: RE: what skaters went to college?
Post by: londonparis on April 04, 2014, 08:28:35 PM
College is ok. I went through grad school. You can get legitimately interested in things there and that's often not true of high school where memorizing is dead knowledge is a chore.

In the end though you can still confuse yourself with too much analysis. The intellect is finite - as is factual knowledge. Intuition is a higher faculty and understanding trumps knowledge. A person can read 50 books on psychology and still not know who they are. Sigmund Freud was an addict. Understanding is when you get that "aha!" experience where intuition kicks in and you realize something inwardly. You can get that sitting under a tree or doing dishes.

The main thing is learn how to leave your mind a bit empty so that intuition can enter. If a person analyzes too much they get confused because they cant sort through all the conflicting information. Emotions cloud judgement and block objective perception. When people get upset they fall inside and negative thoughts rise and swirl. Most of them are lies. You never want to analyze things when upset.

If people "observe" their upsets and don't struggle with them or analyze too much the upsets pass and thats the place where realizations take place. You can intuitively know exactly what to do about a situation  without having struggled to realize the solution. Its kind of like "wondering" what to do and waiting. If a person is upset and impatient they think too hard and force themselves to act - often making problems worse.

That doesn't mean learning and knowledge and analysis are bad. People just have to know the limits of each so they don't fall into their own machinery. Getting upset causes too much thinking and too much thinking leads back to being upset. You can really get lost like that.

Title: Re: RE: what skaters went to college?
Post by: dtotherob on April 04, 2014, 09:56:14 PM
i'm a skilled tradesman/journeyman.  trade school is where it's at.  less student loan money and better pay, IMO.  i'm also in canada, where we value a citizens education, be it university or trades.