Originally Posted by Arethusa
This is what I'm talking about, though. I have no doubt that I can survive here. But I want to do more than survive, and right now, it seems like it might actually suck more than going back. Determination is one thing; pressing on in the face of Pyrrhic odds is quite another. My dilemma, as it is, is figuring out which is which.
Are you still in the Palo Alto area? Part of the problem is the expense of living there, which is high even for CA--too damn many software engineers--except for east Palo Alto, which is less expensive but not a place you want to be at all. If you can stay with a friend in that area, though, for a few months at no or low rent, I'd say do it and save your pennies. Get that coffee shop job that Johnapril described (Starbucks actually pays pretty well and has good HR policies), enroll in a community college in Palo Alto, San Jose, or in San Francisco proper (even in SF, you can CalTrain up there and MUNI within the City--no need for a car--but I can't remember whether SF has a CC within the City), get that 3.5 GPA and complete the IGETC (IIRC) requirements, and transfer to a UC school.
Oakland is less expensive but also much less hospitable, though if you get a place near a BART or bus line you needn't spend much non-sleep time there. Places like Dublin, Pleasanton, or Martinez would also have slightly lower rents, but could give you proximity to BART, which keeps your options open even w/o a car, and proximity to East-Bay CCs with decent transfer rates to the UC.