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Thread: School or Stripping?

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    Default School or Stripping?

    I know that May seem like a silly question and my decision to drop out of school might seem stupid to some people, but here's the deal: I was an all A student in college for two years. I had a high goal of getting into Ivy League school and get a finance degree. Original plan was to work on Wall Street after completion of that degree. My dreams came true: I got into Ivy League school and thought I'd pay for it with my stripping money. Turned out, to pay for super expensive school, I have to work 5 days a week, but with that work schedule, I couldn't function at school in the morning, forget having time to do homework.

    Also, working in NYC I realized I don't want to work on Wall Street because of all the assholes I met who work there. Long story short, I've decided to quit school and make as much money as I can stripping and preserve it for the future, so that when I'm thirty I can have a good amount in my bank account.

    Also, watching my friends getting into ton of debt, graduating and making soooo much less that I do right now, completely discouraged me from getting a degree. Because I thought, to get into $100,000 debt to make $60,000 a year versus no debt and $100,000+ a year just sounded like a better deal.
    (For those wondering, I do pay taxes--all of it!)
    any thoughts anybody?

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    Featured Member kaninchen's Avatar
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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    You should still get a degree, especially considering the time and money you've already invested. If you don't go into debt for it, education isn't going to hurt you. If you already have two years out of the way, look into transferring to a less prestigious and pricy university to finish up. Working two-three days a week should be pretty doable while being in school full time.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    It's good that you found out early in the game that your goals are not what you really want. Maybe take a year to regroup and figure out your next path forward. If stripping is working for you right now, then by all means, keep doing that. Be prepared for burn out, though. I took 6 years away from the industry because I go to the point where I just couldn't take it anymore. You will need a plan if/when that ever happens. Maybe saving up to start a business would suit you or, like in my case, I returned to school when stripping wasn't working for me any longer.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Take some time off to save. That's exactly what I'm doing now. Debt is bs. Just work hard save & Mb cut your hours at school. You just need to find that balance between work & school. Congrats on your acceptance to an ivy league uni.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    ivy league finance degree is always worth the debt. you'll be making 150-200k right after graduation and if you end up hating wall street then you can move on with that prestigious job on your resume and your debt paid off.

    ivy league finance is not the same as most other grads. you'll be set for life.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Versalia View Post

    I've decided to quit school and make as much money as I can stripping and preserve it for the future, so that when I'm thirty I can have a good amount in my bank account.
    ^This sounds ok in theory. But, realistically, if you quit at 30 with savings-what would you do then? Of course you could live off your savings. But, you would most likely invest in a home etc which would leave you without savings and with no career to fall back on. The saving could last for years, or not. It's not a safe option.

    It is hard to study and dance, I understand that. But, with the economy so unstable stripping may be a good career option now, but possibly not in the future. If it's an option and your school is too expensive look into getting an academic scholarship or a transfer to a less reputable , but less expensive school.

    You could always dance and find a trade or skills that require study but not a degree experience i.e. PA, Paralegal, PT, Beautician, Hairdresser or secretary etc).
    “Give a girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world” -Marilyn Monroe

    "True sexiness has many facets-confidence, strength, intelligence, and humor. It isn’t just about trying to look sexy; it’s an art and one becomes skillful in it when she realizes that there are all these conflicting elements that all come together to make something magical"-Dita Von Teese

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    One of my friends took her ivy league finance degree to Google. She is living the DREAM.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Quote Originally Posted by charlotte. View Post
    ivy league finance degree is always worth the debt. you'll be making 150-200k right after graduation and if you end up hating wall street then you can move on with that prestigious job on your resume and your debt paid off.

    ivy league finance is not the same as most other grads. you'll be set for life.
    I'm guessing I'm a complete fool for dropping out then. There's no way back for me to that school now......

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Also, I forgot to mention, that halfway through my first semester, I've changed my major from finance to French because I thought I hate finance and don't want to work in it anyways. So when I did change majors, I've decided that I can get a French degree anytime anywhere.
    Anyways, as you can see I pretty darn confused about life. I thought I'd strip for 10 years or so and retire and start a business with all the money I made in ten years, but now reading all the comments about burning out way before a 10 year deadline, I'm all confused. Any thoughts about that ladies?

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Not everyone gets burnt out from dancing. Sure, everyone may need a week off once in a while (as people do in ANY job) but that's not necessarily "burnt out".
    That is for you to decide personally though, since every girls relationship with their job is different.

    I've been dancing since '05 and love it to this day. Other girls get burnt out after a year. It's different for everyone. I wouldn't necessarily shy away from the thought you could save your dancing money for ten years and open a business, but if you decide to do that, be honest with yourself about your feelings about the possibility as working as a dancer for that long. Being a dancer 10+ years isn't for everyone.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Versalia View Post
    I thought I'd strip for 10 years or so and retire and start a business with all the money I made in ten years, but now reading all the comments about burning out way before a 10 year deadline, I'm all confused. Any thoughts about that ladies?
    Well, what would your business be in? It's all well and good to say you're going to start one down the road, but if you want it to be a viable exit plan, you need to start thinking about it before that 10 year mark hits so you can start laying the groundwork. Will you need other education? Networking? Business contacts? A lot goes in to starting a business. The main issue with having no idea about a business now is that it's so easy to keep pushing aside focusing on it since it's 10 years away, then 8 years, then 5, then still a year, and all of a sudden you've reached when you wanted to quit dancing and still don't know, so you're sort of stuck continuing to dance or try to start a vanilla career with a 10 year gap on your resume and an unfinished degree. Sit down and think long-term before committing to anything. Above all, invest your money wisely!

    And don't think that there's no way to go back to school. Schools want you to finish your degree since it makes their graduation rates better and gives them extra money from you for the last few years. You're halfway done. How about you go into a little bit of debt so you can dance 2-3 shifts a week and still focus on school and networking thanks to your Ivy connection? I understand the desire to not graduate with any debt, but a degree is very valuable, especially in a lucrative field like Finance, and you have already sunk a lot of money into it. Even if for some reason you try and this school won't let you back, a cheaper school is still an option. You may even be able to transfer back to the Ivy after a semester/year. There are so many options, so explore them before thinking you're unable to go back just for dropping out.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Also, watching my friends getting into ton of debt, graduating and making soooo much less that I do right now, completely discouraged me from getting a degree. Because I thought, to get into $100,000 debt to make $60,000 a year versus no debt and $100,000+ a year just sounded like a better deal.
    while many might disagree with my opinion on this topic ...

    - in terms of 'investment value', today's tuition costs versus probable expected higher earnings after graduation results in a 'losing' equation if the degree is not in a particular major that will be in high 'demand' at the time of graduation.

    - in terms of 'investment value' for an exotic dancer or camgirl ... who could be earning $100k per year via a 'full time' effort ... today's tuition costs plus 'lost opportunity' costs ( i.e. foregoing potential high dancing / camming earnings in order to study ) virtually guarantee a 'losing' equation even if a high 'demand' major is involved. If a non-high 'demand' major is involved, the 'losing' equation is now downright laughable. Put another way, investing just two years worth of effort into studying versus full time dancing or camming ( = 4 years worth of part-time dancing or camming while studying ) places the college graduate $200,000 'in the hole' in terms of 'lost opportunity' costs. Uufortunately, 'lost opportunity' cost is typically never mentioned or accounted for !

    - student loan debt is the 'kiss of death', since it cannot be discharged via bankruptcy. Thus student loan payments become the de-facto #1 priority for graduates ... and as such effectively subtract right off the top of their higher future earnings post graduation.

    - the overhang of unemployed / underemployed US college graduates ... in combination with rising numbers of 'foreign' college graduates being allowed to work in the US under H1-B visas ... essentially guarantees that pay rates for new US college graduates are not going to significantly increase any time soon.

    - on the flip side, dancers and camgirls typically have ~10-15 years worth of 'peak earnings' potential ( versus 40+ years worth of 'straight' job earnings potential, with earnings typically continually rising )... meaning that a full time earnings effort made at age 21 is going to provide much a higher actual dancing or camming earnings level than a similar full time earnings effort made at age 41. In contrast, returning to college at age 41 vs 21 will make little difference to potential future 'straight' job employers.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Melonie View Post
    In contrast, returning to college at age 41 vs 21 will make little difference to potential future 'straight' job employers.
    Well, that's just not true if all you've been doing before returning to college at 41 is dancing. Sure, you could say you were a stay at home mom or ran your own business or whatever other excuse that isn't work experience, but when you're competing against recent graduates who have been doing internships and networking and other entry level candidates moving laterally, plus the fact that there is definitely a bias against hiring older workers for entry level work, it's not quite as easy to get hired and start a straight career at 41 as at 21. Now, if you're staying relevant in the field while dancing, even just part-time, sporadically, or with some networking, that's a different story. But if the endgame is to get back into straight employment, you've gotta stay current in those 10 years.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    ^^^ that's an arguable position based on circumstances. For example, a 41 year old new graduate is likely to be preferred over a 41 year old applicant who obtained their degree 20 years ago but has not been able to work in a highly 'relevant' straight job for most of those 20 years. And that will especially be the case for 'high demand' majors where technology, laws, markets etc. change rapidly.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    OP, I only want to add if you do decide to go back to school & are still in NYC you should consider transferring to a SUNY school, particularly Hunter. Basically the Ivy League of public education.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    ^Certainly, in comparing OP finishing school now, dancing, and then looking for a straight job vs. OP dancing, then finishing school, and then looking for a straight job, option B is undoubtedly much more likely to result in straight employment. But the reality is that OP in option B will be competing with far more 21 year old applicants with recent degrees than 41 year old applicants who obtained their degrees 20 years ago, so it will still be an uphill battle. If she follows in your footsteps during those 10 years and makes wise investments, she may not even have to return to school and look for straight employment though -- and that right there is a good endgame to have in mind, but only she can assess if it could be a reality for her based on her current dancing market.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Stay in school... I'm sorry but you're gonna regret it. I went to a very expensive school and I lived on loans and a shitty work job for those years, luckily a lot of it was paid in scholarships but still it was not cheap. I graduated with 35k in debt, but I know I can easily pay that off in the next few years while dancing part time and working a vanilla job. Once I've paid off my debt and are more settled in my vanilla work I can make the decision of whether I want to keep dancing or quit and I will actually have a choice. Why would you want to limit the options you're going to have in life, especially if you've already invested 2 years of work/money into university? Just because you have a degree in finance doesn't mean you need to work in finance. That's a very valuable degree to have and a million places would be happy to have you. Honestly unless you're doing something super specialized it really doesn't matter what you major in.

    Do you want to be a stripper forever? There's nothing wrong with that and if that's what you want to do, go for it. But without a degree and a resume you can actually show an employer, good luck finding a lucrative job at the age of 30... no matter how much money you have in your savings.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    it really depends on what kind of business you want to start when you retire. i'm of the school of thought that if you can do something without getting into mounds of irreversible debt then go for it!!

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Also consider this...what are the odds that you will actually return to school when you're 35-40? You will literally never have more neurons (brain cells) than you do right now (neurons are constantly dying off as we age), and you will never be closer to your solid base of education than you are now (it's amazing how quickly we forget the basics from highschool when we aren't using them). Sure, some people decide to start new careers when they're 50+ years old and do so successfully. But that is a hard, hard thing to do. And even if you do go down that path, as shanna dior pointed out, you'll be behind all of these younger candidates who have been in the business longer, have no resume gaps, and have been networking and interning since they started school. What will your resume look like when you quit dancing? What employer will choose to hire you over someone with more recent schooling and a more relevant work history?

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a year off to figure out what you'd like to pursue. But audrey_k nailed the crux of the issue here:

    Quote Originally Posted by audrey_k View Post
    ...I can make the decision of whether I want to keep dancing or quit and I will actually have a choice.
    For many, stripping is all fun and games until they have no choice but to stay in the industry indefinitely. Stripping while in college, or stripping with a degree post-college, is a very different mental experience than stripping with no other options. Sure, some women have the capacity to stay in this industry for 10+ years while remaining reasonably happy (remember, that's ten years of days / nights spent in dark clubs with grabby customers having the same conversations over and over with no health insurance, no paid-time off, unstable earnings, etc.). But those women are the exception to the rule. And unless you know for a fact that you can do that, it's best to have even a mediocre backup plan just in case you burn out, or in case you injure yourself and can't work for three months, or whatever.

    Seriously, if school isn't banging your gong right now, take some time off from it. Really think through what it is you enjoy and where your natural talents lie. Spend your time off doing some soul-searching between work shifts. Don't finish your year off with nothing but a pile of cash to show for it!

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Blueroo's post from the Camming vs. Dancing thread might be relevant here (https://www.stripperweb.com/forum/sh...=1#post2389495). Less because it's pro-camming - you can substitute 'camming' for any vanilla job - more because it accurately describes how money really isn't everything. How do you want to spend the next ten years? Cash doesn't justify ten years of wasted time (youth!) spent unhappy. Though who knows...maybe you're one of the ones who won't burn out. It's a bit of a gamble.


    "Then camming. I don't make neeeeeaaaaar as much. But I'm not miserable. I don't drink. I don't feel my psyche damaged. I can leave when I need to, I don't have crying fits in the dressing room because some piece of shit stuck his finger where it didn't belong and the bouncers yelled at me for dislocating his elbow.... the bouncers I paid A LOT to protect me....

    BUT I can cam longer years-wise, I can work regularly without burn out, I can do offline content/clips/etc when I am burned out.

    I also realize money is NOT EVERYTHING. It's fucking awesome and I still have a hustler's mindset but you know, I was on the path of destruction. I'd much rather earn a nice, healthy middle class income with my partner's middle class income and have a nice little Dual Income No Kids family for now.

    I miss the stage. My 'theme songs.' My yoga on stage. The pole. The counting cash after work. The afterparties. The haze of booze and pills and stupid amounts of income. I miss my hot pink lights that I paid the DJs to reserve for me ONLY. I miss a lot of it. But then I remember all the shit that accompanied dancing. It WAS NOT glamorous. At all."

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    you're going to really regret not having a solid education in finance when it comes time to start your own small business or live off of investments.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Quote Originally Posted by lynn2009 View Post
    you should consider transferring to a SUNY school, particularly Hunter
    Hunter is a good school and well known in NYC. It's super cheap too, I think a semester full time is 2-4k.

    Also for finance/business/accounting, Baruch College is your best bet. Also a very good reputation and cheap like Hunter.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    But the reality is that OP in option B will be competing with far more 21 year old applicants with recent degrees than 41 year old applicants who obtained their degrees 20 years ago, so it will still be an uphill battle
    Again, I'll make the point that this fails to account for 'lost opportunity' cost, as well as changes in the global market for college educated professionals. Consider the following example inspired by the OP's early posts ...

    A college has an opening for an 'adjunct professor' to, say, teach French. Due to recent changes in the 'costs of doing business' for colleges, rather than offering a 'full time' job that would carry extra costs to the college for mandatory 'full time' employee benefits, the college chooses to limit this new 'adjunct professor' position to a maximum of 28 hours per week. In turn, this allows the college to offer a salary of, say, $28,000 per year. This is a significant change from the 'old paradigm' of 40 hour full time jobs with 40 hour pay rates plus benefits ... but is undeniably occurring at a rapid pace.

    The college's traditional option would be to attempt to hire a recent US graduate. However, if that recent US graduate is carrying $50,000+ worth of student loan debt, thus facing a $5,000+ per year student loan payment obligation, $28,000 per year will not constitute a 'living wage' for that recent US graduate. Thus if a job offer is extended, the recent US graduate will either a - decline the offer based on insufficient pay rate, or b - accept the job ( unhappily ) while continuing to research higher paying opportunities that might allow them to quit this ( least of the evils ) job just as soon as a better paying opportunity arises. This situation is 'bad' for the college due to the high probability that the college will wind up having to do the same advertising, interviewing etc. to hire yet another 'adjunct' professor as soon as this one receives a better paying job offer and resigns.

    If the college wishes for a bit more 'stability' regarding a recent graduate, it's likely that they'll seek a 'foreign' educated recent graduate ... in this example perhaps a Vietnamese educated French teacher. While 'growing up' in Vietnam most likely meant a very low standard of living by US standards, it also provided the Vietnamese educated graduate with a debt-free college degree as well as reduced expectations in regard to future standard of living. As such, a recent Vietnamese graduate might very well be willing to accept the college's $28,000 per year offer since it would also come with a H1-B visa allowing the recent Vietnamese graduate 'adjunct professor' to legally reside in the USA indefinitely. This situation is 'bad' for the college, though, since the college will have to 'jump through hoops' in regard to the H1-B visa, both initially and on an ongoing basis ... as well as the fact that hiring H1-B 'foreign' employees can often draw bad press or community reaction.

    In contrast, thanks to 10+ years worth of serious, professional dancing or camming effort, the 41 year old recent US graduate is also in a position of having accumulated perhaps $500,000 worth of investments yielding say $25,000 per year in 'passive' investment income. Also, thanks to those saved earnings, the 41 year old recent college graduate will be free of student loan debt. Thus accepting a $28,000 per year job offer would not pose a financial hardship or reduced standard of living for the 41 year old recent US graduate in the same way that it definitely would for a 21 year old US graduate. Also, hiring a 41 year old recent US graduate would carry none of the potential 'bad' aspects for the college of the above options.

    Welcome to the 'new normal'.
    Last edited by Melonie; 04-13-2014 at 11:53 AM.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    Quote Originally Posted by audrey_k View Post
    Just because you have a degree in finance doesn't mean you need to work in finance.
    That's the thing-- I don't see a point in spending 200,000k to finish the degree I won't use and then keep on doing what I already did before--dancing to pay off that debt. It will take me 2 years to finish school and three years to pay off the debt, so total 5 years dancing. And in those 5 years, I won't earn a penny as it will all go to school and living expenses(NYC isn't cheap) vs me actually earning 400-500k in those years if I didn't go to school. And then when I pay off my debt, I'll once again have no job experience to show for, as the years were spent dancing. As far as working vanilla job and dancing 2-3 times a week, it seems kind of impossible. I'll probably work 9-5, meaning I'll have to wake up every day at least at 8 am, so finishing work at 2-3 am just won't cut it for me. That's where I'll get burnt out for sure. Do I make sense?
    Also, if I think I might hate finance already now, what will happen after graduation and when I work in the field. I know myself that I'll probably end up quitting and keep dancing, because dancing is what I love. And when I do that, I'll have a ton of debt on my shoulders to pay off, instead of compounding savings and investment returns.

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    Default Re: School or Stripping?

    It's clear that your head isn't in school right now. I'd say take a year off, continue dancing, and do some soul-searching. Just keep mulling over all of the issues raised in this thread and do what's best for yourself, both in the short term and in the long run. There's no right or wrong answer here...your life is your journey. It's all about what's most important to you and what will optimize your happiness over time. We're all speaking from our own experiences of what has and hasn't worked for us, which may or may not be relevant for your situation.

    What would "future you" want you to do right now?

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