T Nation

What To Do With My Life?

I am a 19 year old, who oesn’t know what to do with his life. I am currently in college and also am working and live with my parents. I have no clue what I want to do. I don’t like college. I don’t even know what degree I want to pursue. I am open to anything, but I am terribly wishy-washy, in terms of making a decision and sticking with it. I like to lift weights. I like to travel. I want to travel and see the world, but have little money. I want to find my niche, my passion, whatever you want to call it. I don’t know what else to say? I would greatly appreciate some advice from people who have walked the walk and have some experience and wisdom that they would be willing to share. Thank you.

Most 19 year olds don’t know what to do with their life. Just stick with college, pick a useful major where you can actually get a job when you graduate (not history or psychology). Move out of your parents house and live on campus if possible and enjoy college as much as possible. When you graduate then worry about what to do.

[quote]latenight_lifter wrote:
I am a 19 year old, who oesn’t know what to do with his life. I am currently in college and also am working and live with my parents. I have no clue what I want to do. I don’t like college. I don’t even know what degree I want to pursue. I am open to anything, but I am terribly wishy-washy, in terms of making a decision and sticking with it. I like to lift weights. I like to travel. I want to travel and see the world, but have little money. I want to find my niche, my passion, whatever you want to call it. I don’t know what else to say? I would greatly appreciate some advice from people who have walked the walk and have some experience and wisdom that they would be willing to share. Thank you.[/quote]

If I were you, I would find one of those hot females you see on campus and have sex with one of them. The answers you seek should then become clear.

Dustin

It seems that the younger generation can’t decide what career to follow until later. There are some tests you can take (online I think) to find your strengths. Look for some career counselors.

I knew I wanted to be an artist since age 2. And I’m a busy and successful artist today (at 45).

Join the Army or Marines. You will see the world for free and you’ll be able to train, a lot.

Write down a list of goals.

Achieve them.

This may take college or whatever, but see them through.

I’ve got kids your age.

First. Don’t panic. What ever you do now that does not lead to grievious bodily harm or imprisonment can be fixed later. It is OK to wait a little or to change your mind.

Second. A university education is worth the effort, but it should be focused on what you want or have as an interest. If you feel you are only goofing around, talk to your parents, see if you can agree on a gap year. I assume thay are financing you now.

Third. If you go for a gap year make it worthwhile, for yourself, the world around you and the college you want to go back to. This is the time to put in the effort to show some maturity. All universities want your fees, but above all they want the right students.

Good luck
TQB

Hell, I didn’t know what I wanted to do after I graduated from college and and left active duty.
I ended up with a management training job in a Fortune 100 company that cycled me through a program that entailed working in each department for a few months at a time.

You could make like an American doctor: if you don’t know the answer, start eliminating possible answers.

Join the Peace Corps or military. Do some gay porn. Leave college and go work for a temp agency. Learn the guitar and write some music. Do some manual labor. I know that 2 summers of being a mason’s laborer cemented (excuse the pun) my desire to finish college.

It’s not a problem to not know what you want to do as long as you continue to “do” something. Some people never actually find their true path. Do some introspective thinking and let your unique talents guide you. Find something you really enjoy doing and give it your all and don’t let people dissuade you. Parents can be good at filling that role with comments like “you’ll never be able to make a living doing that” or “the odds of succeeding in that profession are 1 in 100,000 (or so)”. Find what you want and go after it. If it’s the right path, the doors will open for you.

DB

I’m 43 and I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.

Sometimes I think schools do a diservice in that they make us believe we have ‘something’ we should be doing with our lives like some sort of calling. Some people have that. I think most people don’t.

Don’t wait for a big epiphany to start living your life. You’ll be waiting forever. Study something in school you enjoy or at least is tolerable and practical. Then find a job that you enjoy. If it isn’t your thing. Do something else.

Just be energetic and optimistic. Don’t wait for someone or something to make it interesting.

I have my degree in history and political science. I’ve worked in advertising, owned my own sports business and now work in roofing. I’ve enjoyed all of it.

The point is, start on a path. If you don’t like it, change the path.

O

im in the same boat as you and im 20. i just go out and try different things that i think i would be interested in. know your strengths and weakness and what you enjoy and what you dont, use those to figure out some things you think youd be good at and would enjoy and just sample different things and use it almost as a process of elimination. later on you could always go back to something again to give it another shot. but yea just explore things, you shouldnt ever have to say “what if i did this, i think i would have been good at that” etc etc. even when you get older you can always try something out again, theres plenty of people in their 30s and 40s getting on board of new things too.

[quote]latenight_lifter wrote:
I am a 19 year old, who oesn’t know what to do with his life.[/quote]

If you want to travel, depending on where you are you can get some kind of (reasonably quick) certificate to teach English abroad. You could go do that for a couple of years while trying to figure out what you want to do.
I also think that you might want to take a few of those aptitude tests. If there is a university/college near you, call the counselling center there. They usually administer such tests.

Whatever you do, don’t get stuck, frozen. Not knowing what you want is NORMAL for somebody your age and, unfortunately, there is no easy solution but you’ve got to keep moving, exposing yourself to new things. Sitting in your room, trying to think through it probably isn’t going to work and you will just stagnate, get depressed. I would say one important thing is to get the hell out of your parents house ASAP. Do whatever you have to do to get out of the nest…at your age, it is the worst place to be.

Thank you all for your advice and insights. This spring and summer I plan on working and saving money. So this fall I can take the plunge and travel somewhere, not sure where yet. Once again thank you all for your advice. I guess the take home message is to not sit around and think, but get out and be active.

[quote]latenight_lifter wrote:
I guess the take home message is to not sit around and think, but get out and be active. [/quote]

That’s pretty much it. Try to continually build skill sets that will open new doors and, if possible, that are complimentary with those you’ve built before. Above all try not to eliminate options; when you’re young it’s all about keeping as many doors open as possible. Eventually you’ll find something that catches your interest and, if you’re very lucky, it will lead you off in new and interesting directions and open the next set of doors for you.

I distinctly recall a lunch I had with a much older and very successful business partner when I was about 30. I jokingly said that I still didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up and he answered quite seriously, “Never decide.” Point being that when you focus exclusively on one avenue you’re closing off or bypassing many other potentially interesting and lucrative options. Keep your antennae up and never be afraid to dabble in something new. Life will often take you to interesting places if you’ll allow it.

You could always jump off a bridge like the rest of your friends.

some good, good advice here.

[quote]wakiki wrote:

some good, good advice here.[/quote]

that was a great commencement speech. Thank you. Thank you all for your advice it has given me a lot to think about.

[quote]latenight_lifter wrote:
wakiki wrote:

some good, good advice here.

that was a great commencement speech. Thank you. Thank you all for your advice it has given me a lot to think about. [/quote]

No problem. My advice was clearly the best.

One way to find out what you don’t want to do in life is join the Army or Marines.

I would have never considered teaching after graduating college. Now that I’m in Iraq, teaching doesn’t sound so bad.

Dustin

Read Atomic Dog. Seriously.

Sucks to be you

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fgYsP_VjvTs

I don’t know what to do with my life and I’m 30, I’ll end up being someone like Dupree from the movie you,me and Dupree