univeristy, what to study and where to go etc

Alright - well this is a completely loaded question but I`m looking to draw on the past experience of all the people here on the forum. I consider the group of people who reside here to be some of the most intelligent and level headed people that I “know”, so I would appreciate your input.

First of all I know that questions like this have been asked before and I have read through many old posts but I feel my situation is somewhat unique (or at least I could not find the same question doing a search). My problem is that my areas of intrest are extremely broad. I really like biology and chemisty, but I also enjoy the arts and language. On top of that I have a major interest in business although I have never received any formal education in the area. Ive always had good grades in all subject areas and this is where my “problem” starts. On top of all that I have played on competative soccer, football basketball and volleyball teams as well as being involved with strength training for the last 4 or so years. How can I combine all of my intrests (bio/chem, arts, language [currently learning french], business, sports, being outside, strength training…) into a viable, fulfilling and lucrative career?

Im definetly looking to please myself before getting too worried about money but I dont want to be hurting for cash. I have completed one year of university with a focus on bio and chem with some math, englsih, computers and physics thrown in for good messure. Im currently on my second year "off". Year one was spent volunteering across the country, and year two is in the process of being spent teaching english in a french high school and learning french through immersion. Any ideas would really be great as Im looking to go back to univerity sooner than later.

That brings up the next thing. What university would you recommend for a Canadian like myself. Thanks to anyone who is brave enough to try an answer such a long question. Oh I`m 20 if that helps at all.

Study whatever you’re interested in, but decide what that is immediately. Please. If you do something you might not like, but can make lots of money in, doing assignment & studying will be like pulling teeth (take it from me). Whatever subject you decide on, do the absolute minimum, meaning don’t take any more units/credits than what’s required. Even if you really like school, you’ll just end up doing a lot of work & spending more money than you need to with nothing to show for it. Get out into the real world as quickly as possible so you can get a real job & make real money. That’s what one of my uncles told me & it makes too much sense to ignore. I decided that after I realized that a lot ot the time schools make you jump through hoops just to see you jump. You mentioned math, bi, com sci & phys. I’d go to U of T or Waterloo for math & com sci, UBC or UVic for biology/biochem, UVic for physics. Not sure about english though.

I would suggest accounting. Most universities I know of (Carleton and Ottawa U) will provide courses that you can take towards a professional accounting designation (CGA,CMA,CA). I know this sounds boring and I would have said the same thing a few years ago BUT the best thing about accounting is there is always work for you and even in jobs where it is not directly applicable (eg police work) it will give a big edge. As for universities go where you feel most comfortable. If you want to have fun and learn I would go to Carleton or York.

Sounds like teaching could be the career for you, if you like kids that is. Although it isn’t very lucrative (teachers are not paid very high), you can combine all of your interests. Take a double teaching certificate–science and business would be best because they really need teachers in those areas. When you get hired you can volunteer to teach English as well because they’ll let just about anybody do that! You can keep up your interest in sports by coaching a myriad of teams and start a bodybuilding club at your school for all those skinny teenagers who want to get buff! Or, if business studies isn’t up your alley for teaching, try french. Your way will be paved with gold. Nobody teaches french anymore! You will have your pick of schools. Oh, and I recommend the high school panel–lots more opportunity to use your talents and interests there than in elementary.
If you decide to just pursue studies in English, University of Toronto is the best place to go because so many of Canadas leading writers are affiliated with that university.

Well if you’re going to go into teaching go get your PhD in business. Business professors are paid a ridiculous amount compared to the other professors because they can make money in the real world too.

hey GM - are you a teacher? would you start all over and do it again if you thought about it now? (assuming that you are a teacher). im currently working in a french high school in quebec as an english assistant and i have got to say that after 5 months of watching the teachers, it seems like one hell of a stressful job. the pay sucks, the hours are long and all it takes is one kid to ruin your day. but at the same time i really like the kids and when i have a good day it is so much fun, but the kids view me as a friend rather than a teacher because im not a teacher and therefore i`m not an authority figure to them. i also like the idea that i could help and influnce many young people in a positive manner.

i agree with everything you said, but i`m not sure if teaching would allow me to explore my business intrests? any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated.

CL: You’re in Trois Rivieres right? I think that despite the lagging ratings in the McLean’s poll, McGill is a very good school for everything that you’re interested in, with maybe the exception of business. I think Concordia has a much better program. Also, living in Montreal as a student is an experience I won’t trade for anything. Queen’s, U of T, Waterloo, Dalhousie and UBC are all good thoughts as well, although if you went to Queen’s you’d have to live in Kingston, which would suck.

As far as your career ambitions go, I don't think it matters at this point. Myself, an English Lit student at McGill, I'm not concerned with having "a plan" as of yet, and I firmly believe if you love what your learning you will be able to make a career out of it.

Yes, I am a teacher–in high school. I am currently teaching ESL, but I have taught a variety of other subjects. And yes, despite the stresses and low pay I would do it again. There are those students who will ruin your day, but then there are those that are such great kids. I love being with teenagers! They are funny, intelligent, interesting, and they make me feel young again! I don’t really know how you would incorporate your business interests, unless you actually taught those courses, but with the background and interests you describe, I think you would have your pick of schools to work in. It is an incredibly demanding job, but very gratifying at the same time. And just because you become “a real teacher”, it doesn’t mean that the students will stop thinking of you as a friend. If you get involved with their extra-curriculars they will see you both as an authority figure and a friend. If you are fair they will not resent you.
Good luck!

yah - Im in Trois-Rivieres, but Im originally from Alberta. I`m just here to teach english in a high school (english assistant) and improve my french. I have considered university in Quebec and its something that interests me more and more. I agree with you that I should stop worrying about making some decisive plan for the rest of my life as it will change anyways. I just want to have some idea where to start.

I’m going to go against the grain somewhat here, and I may be railed for it, but I gotta say this any way. Don’t go into ANYTHING because you love to do it, do what you do because it works financially. When looking at ANY career or business, look at the people who are doing that, and have been for 10-15 years. How do they live? Look at their family life, their free time, their financial statements (are the cars leased? do they have at least 6 months of living expenses saved?). Do you want to live that life? If not, then move on to the next career or business. I got into business for myself because, after 10 years as an engineer in commercial aerospace, I realized engineers don’t live the way I want to live. And I’ve yet to see ANY career (job) that supplies the life I want. If you read the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey, rule #2 is “Begin with the end in mind.” What you do for money (job or business) just supplies you with the life you’re going to have – the type of house you can live in, the type of car you can buy, what type of vacation you can take, etc. Every one keeps asking “What do you want to do?” My opinion is (and Stephen Covey apparently agrees) that the question should be “How do you want to live?” Find the people who live like you want to live, study them, and do what they do.

Do something you love to do!!! Thats my motto. To many people get into that postion that they hate the jobs and are all stress out because of it. I was a Business, and Econ major and work for Goldman sachs for a year and I hated it!!! with a passion. I was making great money but I had no time to train, be with someone I love, go out with my friends ect.

So I reajusted myself I said hey what do you like to do… We I played sports all through out high school and college from swimming, wrestling, soccer, tennis, and diving. So I decided to research on jobs in sports…

So I became a personal trainer. I did take a pay cut how ever… Personal Trainers do not make as much as you think and the lifestyle is glorfied more then it really is. Just like Bodybuilding. Also I go back to school to study excrise science so that I had so scientific knowledge and not just the practical…

Now a pay cut doesn’t mean the poor house either its that going from making $120,000 a year - $50-60,000 a year is a pay cut to me… But it less stress and I love doing it…

So Money isn’t everything you got to love what you do

I think both of the last posts are right–to a degree. While it’s true that lifestyle is so important to everyone and you should decide how you want to live and how you will support that lifestyle, it is also very important to be happy in your job. Now, if making sufficient money to support your chosen lifestyle is what will make you happy–then great. However, studies have shown that people in jobs that they dislike tend to be less productive, more prone to depression, more prone to take time off, etc. etc. There is nothing worse than dreading going to work every day. So, you need to find a balance. Ideally, you want to work in a field that interests you and that supports your chosen lifestyle. Then you must ask yourself what you are willing to sacrifice if you cannot reach your ideal. Is it some of your creature comforts, the holidays, the big screen TV, or is it time spent with other people. There is always compromise involved. If you make a lot of money, but hate what you do, then that impacts on everything else in your life–your family, your friends, your other interests, and even your health.
So, although maintaining a desired lifestyle is very important, you must decide how to achieve it without compromising everything else in your life. If you can’t, then make adjustments and consider what you are willing to live without. Make a priority list and see what happens.