It was insanely expensive, as I was living in SF at the time. Also one of my professors, whom I respected, once told us, "One of these days you're going to have to ask yourself, can you see yourself doing this for the next 30 to 40 years?". I went home and asked myself that question and the answer was no. But definitely had a great time since I learned a lot and met some awesome friends while there.
That sounds like an awesome path. I didn't use being in the Bay Area to my advantage. It's an exciting place to be in cause of the resources as you pointed out. Take advantage of it :)
Have you ever read Creativity Inc? It's more about the business of Pixar and it's backstory, but I really enjoyed reading about Ed Catmull's journey as a person who created graphics tools to becoming President of Pixar and Disney Animation. He goes into detail about his early career and how it eventually lead to where he is now. Also was cool to read that he came up with Z-buffering.
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