I've been studying linguistics for over a decade now. I've never taken a class, because there are no local colleges that offer a degree in linguistics. I didn't really care though, because I was able to find all I wanted online anyway. I could even talk to other people interested in linguistics.
However, the internet as of late has become increasingly useless. Boards are overrun with trolls which prevents any kind of sensible discussion, the web is filled with fake news and false information, and the number of sites seems to be decreasing. I keep coming up with things I want to research, but have no way to find the answer. If I ask anywhere, my thread just gets overrun with trolls that completely derail the discussion (and that includes this site, I regularly delete my profiles shortly after making them because I simply lose faith that I can ever get anything on having an account on this site).
I've tried to look up actual books, but linguistic books are quite expensive it turns out. And despite having over a dozen libraries in my home town, there's hardly any books in them that talk about linguistics.
I also had a problem doing any kind of research in a research class I just took. I only had a handful of websites I could really find reliable information on (one of them being pew research, which ended up being the one I went to 90% of the time). Its just impossible it seems to find anything that isn't overloaded with fake information, especially when it comes to anything even remotely political.
What I hate about this, is that I liked that I could be a linguist without spending thousands of dollars on a degree. Now it seems, that doing that simply isn't possible. And worse yet, I have no other way to learn about linguistics. I can't afford the books (and I'm not even 100% sure what I should be looking for, the only linguistic book I've ever really heard about was 'The World's Writing Systems by Peter T. Daniels and William Bright'), and there's no college anywhere near me that teaches it. If I can't find information on linguistics online, I just can't go anywhere else. And yes, I've looked on Project Gutenberg, but it only has two books, one of which was published in the 1880s, and the other in the 30s, by a guy that I know isn't 100% reliable (Edward Sapir, if you care).
It feels like I can't be an intellectual anymore. Without the internet, I would just be yet another back-woods hick that didn't know anything about anything. Its solely thanks to the internet that I know anything at all. Without out, I'm lost. I don't know where else I can turn to continue my studies. It seems that I'm destined to become what I would've been without the internet, just another uneducated local living in a pathetic back-water where there really isn't anything of significance. I don't know what I can do to avoid this...
edit: Just because I seem to having people telling me about European Universities: I don't live in Europe, I live in the US.