I wouldn't say that I slacked. More like I was into a variety of other things, including Band and my hobby of Electronics at the time. I did wait until the last few days for many of my papers and projects, but still turned in a decent product. I NEVER skipped school. School was fun, and besides, Julie was there. A lot of my respect came from being one of the smarter kids.
I was accepted into a top-tier school, possibly with the help of affirmative action, but hopefully my record had something to do with it. College was hard work.
There was a recession when I graduated, so on a relative basis, there were fewer job offers. I got a lot of interviews, and 6 job offers. I took the one with the lowest salary, and best environment. I'm still working at the same place. It's changed in all those years, but it beats unemployment.
I married late - I was 31. My income was sufficient to allow for my wife to stay home and take care of the kids, although she does work today.
We basically have no debts at this time, except credit cards which we pay off completely on each bill.
We get a lot of stuff used. For example, we have never owned a new car - we always have saved up in advance, then gotten a used one. Computers and stuff we've gotten from craigslist.
While we're not so rich that we can just travel on whim, we manage to do an interesting trip every 5 years or so. This summer, my son and I will be bicycling from North Dakota to Maine.