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  1. Welcome to the class of 2017. It recently occurred to me that the graduating class of 2017 is currently in its freshman year. During our freshman (2013), sophmore (2014), junior (2015), and senior (2016) years we will have new members join, transfer in, transfer out, and drop out. Those starting fulltiming in January 2017 have less than four years; those starting in December 2017 have slightly more than four years. If you look back to your high school or college years you will remember how fast they passed. That will also be the case for our preparation for fulltiming. As we get closer to 2017 the more urgent and intense will be our preparation activity. Although we will not be blazing new ground as there have been many fulltimers before us (and we will learn from their wisdom and experience), it will be new to us. We in the class of 2017 will be having similar experiences within the same general time frame. Thus the class of 2017 can have a camaraderie through our shared experiences. (This does not take away from also being part of the classless class.) I have been reading fulltimer forums and blogs for the last twelve years. Book knowledge is good and essential but cannot compare to actually having the experience. I compare it to using Google Earth for researching an area and then physically driving through the area. The reserch is good but I don't get a real feel for the area until I am physically there. My wife and I have chosen 2017 because it is the point in time that works best for us from a financial standpoint. I realize that a regret of many fulltimers is that they didn't start earlier; but it also has to work financially. Each persons situation is different. We are Escapee Lifetime members and have attended the 2007 and 2009 Escapades as well as boot camp twice. Since we live in norhtern Illinois we are planning on attending the 2014 Escapade in Goshen Indiana next May. We are attending this Escapade to be surrounded by fulltimers and absorb more information about fulltiming from fulltimers. I will share more about ourselves as new member join this class and as time goes on. Again, welcome to the class of 2017 Dave
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