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Student Ditches Campus Housing and Moves Into Van

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the down-by-the-river dept.

Idle 29

Duke graduate student Ken Ilgunas has come up with a plan to make it through school debt free. He plans on living in his 1994 Ford Econoline van. He showers and exercises in the campus gym, and knows where all the 24-hour buildings are so he can keep warm, and connected to the Internet. "I'm rarely in the van. Just to eat and sleep. Generally it's not the most convenient place. The closest bathroom is a quarter-mile away and there's no source of water nearby. But with that said, I live pretty comfortably. I bring a water jug to campus and fill it up," he said.

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Fill 'er up (2, Funny)

cam312 (1240696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403574)

"The closest bathroom is a quarter-mile away" and "I bring a water jug to campus and fill it up" pretty much says it all.

Re:Fill 'er up (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 4 years ago | (#30410554)

He should had moved his van down by the river [hulu.com] ! ;)

Location of van? (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30403630)

By any chance, is the van down by the river?

Re:Location of van? (1)

Cheefachi (970662) | more than 4 years ago | (#30405404)

Lol good one! I am assuming you are referring to this [youtube.com] .

Re:Location of van? (1)

kbmxpxfan (1251818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30409950)

And a steady diet of govt cheese?

This is something new? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30404464)

One of my best friends, who eventually became student government president, lived in his van when he first came to school in 1980. Heck, I lived in my van for a while in college too, but I was parked next to the frat house for showers and food (about the same as sleeping on the couch, but with more privacy.)

So (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30407430)

How does this guy pick up a girl and convinces her to go back to his van and not sounds like a rapist/serial killer.

Re:So (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30407834)

How does this guy pick up a girl and convince her to go back to his van? He offers her ice cream and candy. It helps a lot if the van has the phase "ice cream", along with phallic-looking graphics of popsicles, printed on the side. Picking up women, on the other hand, is much more difficult.

Re:So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30419186)

He said he wanted to graduate DEBT FREE.
I think that pretty much crosses out any females in his college years.

Re:So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30422292)

You're doing it wrong.

Re:So (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30430970)

    It sounds like a good plan. Not dating means he isn't paying for dates. No casual sex means no chance of knocking up some girl, and removes the possibility of having child support payments for the following 18 years.

    All in all, it's a good plan. :)

    I'd park the van closer to the bathroom though. :)

Re:So (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30433114)

No casual sex

I'm confused. I thought that was the point of going to college.

Re:So (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30433310)

    It depends on your perspective.

    Your parents send you to college so you can get a better job when you get out. (or to just get you out of their house)

    Your college wants you to attend, so they can make more money.

    And most people go to get a degree, get drunk, and get laid. Priorities there are not usually in that order.

    Living in his van, the only ladies he's going to see in there are the kind that charge by the act. :) But hey, with the money he's saving by not paying rent, he can afford them. Of course, they be the street walking drug addicted kind, since the class that we'd prefer to see won't even consider climbing in the back of a van.

   

Re:So (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30435536)

Your parents send you to college so you can get a better job when you get out. (or to just get you out of their house)

My parents did not send me to college. I am the only one of my siblings that have a degree. I think your parents might send you to college in hopes that you get laid.

Your college wants you to attend, so they can make more money.

They charge you regardless if you attend classes.

Living in his van, the only ladies he's going to see in there are the kind that charge by the act.

Don't be so pessimistic about college girls. There are multiple types of girls for multiple types of men. They usually overlap a lot. I guarantee on a lucky night if he plays his cards right he could still get a 7 or an 8 in the back of the van.

Re:So (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30439872)

    Well, my parents didn't, but I did attend a few schools. I got laid perfectly well on my own, and still do. :)

    By attending, I meant at least applying and enrolling. They can't charge you if you never register.

Re:So (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | more than 4 years ago | (#30433052)

See your thinking about it all wrong. Convince the girl to go back to her house, then sleep there a few days a week. Get 2 to 3 girls your all set. The house I rented my senior year was in the ghetto, and far from campus. I stay on campus sleeping at different places, went to my place only once a week.

There is a risk to this (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#30407864)

If you are currently living in a van, you are much more likely to move in with the first girl that offers than if you already have a nice apartment. Trust me on this, I speak from experience!

Excellent (1)

vvaduva (859950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30417148)

If I was as wise as I am now when I was in college, I would definitely do things differently and more along these lines. I love this.

Do what you need to to get through. (2, Interesting)

gone.fishing (213219) | more than 4 years ago | (#30417186)

Over the years I have owned and camped in numerous conversion vans. I've never lived in one though but I wouldn't think that it would be too uncomfortable as long as you lived a minimalist lifestyle. The big problem would be the facilities but my boat has an answer for that. It is a very small chemical toilet. It sits underneath a box that looks like it is a built-in footstool.

Living in a climate where the temp drops to -20 below there are times where you would need some sort of heating. A small catalytic heater could help but would be dangerous unless you also have a CO detector. Perhaps a small furnace from a travel trailer would be a better solution (keep the CO detector to be safe).

What besides space would you be missing? Today you have cell phones, LCD televisions, wireless internet. Almost anything that plugs in can be had for 12V and inverters are available for those things that can't be.

I went to school and emerged debit free. I lived in my parent's old house that hadn't sold yet and only paid utilities (that was a big help) and relied on a part time job for income. I got the GI bill and was lucky enough to win a grants for my text books and other school related expenses and even got some money for tuition. While many of my fellow students emerged with huge bills for student loans, I graduated with zero debit!

Was it worth it? Hell yeah. I only had to concentrate on the future and was not haunted by the ghosts of the past; all those ghosts named "Bill".

I can say if I had to do it again and if I had to live in a van to emerge debit free; I would not think twice.

Re:Do what you need to to get through. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30417474)

It's too bad you didn't learn the difference between debt and debit.

Re:Do what you need to to get through. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30430164)

It's a good way to live. It's good to learn that lesson in school and not take on debt afterwards. In IT I see lots and lots of co-workers that live way beyond their means. Their mortgage payments eat up half their monthly salary, leaving the rest to pay for car, food, utilities, etc.. Sometimes it's enough, sometimes not. It's tough though. Sometimes when I visit my friends or co-workers in their half-million dollar homes and see their $80K cars I get the envy and this urge to one-up them. But it never ends. Eve something as simple as a vacation becomes a competition: Where did you stay? Was the concierge service excellent or just good? It's these little comments too... "Oh you stayed there? You should go to the place I stayed. It's a little more but the cheesecake there is just wonderful."

I didn't take on any debt in college. Got into a little trouble with one American Express card some years after school and it took a year of living sanely to pay it off. Since then, my mortgage is sane (my house is old, small, but it's comfortable). Comfort is so relative anyway. I'm wonderfully comfortable in my home knowing that I can pay the mortgage with half a week's salary.

Re:Do what you need to to get through. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30433680)

I went to school and emerged debit free. I lived in my parent's old house that hadn't sold yet and only paid utilities ... I graduated with zero debit!

Yes, it's easy to be debt free when mommy and daddy pay your rent....

Re:Do what you need to to get through. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30436112)

What besides space would you be missing? How about getting laid? I mean, besides by meth addicted waffle house waitresses.

Is it me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30418326)

Or does he look like Adam Sandler?

Liberal studies? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30423808)

As dumb as he is for getting such a worthless Masters, at least he has the forethought to not saddle the rest of us with defaulted student loans!

The whole point (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 4 years ago | (#30424826)

such a worthless Masters

The student admits himself that, given today's economical situation, he won't easily land a big-money job.

The whole experiment stemmed from that fact and trying to avoid accumulating a loan he wouldn't be able to pay.

On the other hand, that's pretty much extreme. Given all the hoops he has jumped through, it would have been much more simple to do his studies abroad, like in any of the European countries where studies are still affordable (don't need to sell a few organs on the black market just to pay tuition). He also would have avoided accumulating a crazy loan, while at the same time affording better hygiene, and some health insurance plan in case he became sick. Plus, studying abroad provides valuable experience and enhances the resumes.

(Though, being sufficiently self-relying and able to find solutions to live what's he's been through could certainly also give some useful experience for some type of jobs).

Solution to the Water and Bathroom Issues (2, Interesting)

Firefishe (1635335) | more than 4 years ago | (#30428774)

Here's the solution for the bathroom issue: http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/thetford-porta-potti-465-electric/35773 [campingworld.com] . I live in an RV year 'round, so I know what I'm talking about here. I live in central Missouri, and sometimes my regular commode freezes up in super cold weather. I use the above item in the winter. You'll be happy you made the investment, and all you have to do is drive that van to the local dump station when it's full. As for water, why not get a cylindrical igloo cooler, similar to the kind they use on golf courses, and wrap it in a wool blanket (available from army surplus stores) in the colder weather to keep the water from freezing? Just a couple of ideas. /.-on, Firefishe

Why is he so special? (1)

n00btastic (1489741) | more than 4 years ago | (#30447092)

What makes this kid so special? I know several kids who go to school and live in the woods or in their cars. Not only is it cheap, but it is green and teaches valuable life lessons on perspective...
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