We’d all like to snowboard for a living, but for most of us the minimum wage snow carny jobs aren’t a viable option when it comes to sustaining a comfortable lifestyle. Even professional riders, whether they make the big bucks or not, know that their days are numbered when it comes to paying their way with snowboarding. The “smart” choice for most is to go to college and get educated.
Higher education is becoming increasingly valuable in today’s world, but equally valuable is youth. You don’t want to waste those precious younger years when your knees are healthy and your body can take the punishment stuck in a classroom hundreds or thousands of miles from the nearest resort. There are a few colleges close to big name resorts, such as the University of Colorado at Boulder that lies close to Summit County, but reality for most who attend there (if they are able to gain admission) is that the rigorous workload leaves very little time to make the trek to the slopes as short as it might be.
Cost is also an issue; Owing the government $120,000 for your education doesn’t always make sense. That’s why most cities have begun to invest more and more in affordable community college programs… cities like Mammoth Lakes, CA, home to the world famous Mammoth Mountain.
Cerro Coso Community College sits right at the entrance to Mammoth Lakes, and is one of the best options available to students looking to advance their education and their snowboarding all at the same time. California residents get the same $26 per unit rates they would get at any community college throughout the state, except you will also be three minutes away from the slopes at all times. Out of state residents can also attend at a higher cost, but still much more affordable than any university or private college.
Admittedly, the curriculum isn’t stellar. Course offerings are somewhat slim (and split between the Mammoth campus and Bishop campus, which is 30-some minutes away) and nowhere near difficult, but when you are trying to work in a few hours of snowboarding daily you don’t want to be buried in busy work anyway. Besides, in the end you still earn the same piece of paper (associates degree) you would at any other community college.
One things Cerro Coso has that you won’t find at maybe 95% of community college is student housing. The South Gateway Student Apartments are located right across the street from the college, and come fully furnished with utilities included. The apartments offer the opportunity to get the full college experience, since they are essentially dorms.
If you’ve lived the dorm life before and living with 20+ fresh-out-of-high-school kids isn’t your cup of tea, you may want to get together with some friends and rent your own place. The college is serviced by the local bus, and being that Mammoth is a town of only four square miles no matter where you live you will always be minutes from both the college and the slopes.
So whether you are a soon to be high school graduate addicted to snowboarding more than you are to school, or an “old dude” that shreds and wants to go back to school, now there’s an option that makes both a reality.
For more information on Cerro Coso Community College, check these links:
Cerro Coso College Website: http://www.cerrocoso.edu/
South Gateway Student Apartments: http://www.mammothstudentapartments.org/
College in Mammoth Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/Collegeinmammoth