T Nation

What to Do with My Life?


Here I am: 19, in 2nd year university, and doing ok. I started out thinking I wanted to do law, but as I got more of a taste of what that actually involved, I realized I really didn’t want to spend my life studying or practicing it. For the last 3 semesters, knowing that my career aspirations are pretty fluid, I’ve mostly taken a broad selection of courses- choosing what interested me and running with it. I’ve been caught- at least for the moment- by environmental sciences and geography.

My frustration with law was born out of a contempt for the lack of logical planning that permeats society. I crave things that can be empirically demonstrated as being or not being- things that are real, and solid. Further, I am full of wonder at the marvels of the natural world, and this keeps me engaged in what I study.

I’m hobbled in a transition into sciences by the fact that as a lazy highschool student I only wanted to do things that were easy from the get-go (which for me were english and its associated subjects) and not things that required actual study, work, and learning (read: science and math).

I’m planning to go back and catch up on some of the math I missed this summer. I’m hoping to get a bsc, probably a double major in environmental sciences and geo, though we’ll see.

I wish I had enough interest and ability to master the nuts and bolts of the stuff I’m interested in, and not just the larger concepts- though unfortunately this seems to be the case, which is why I don’t plan to go all the way and go for med or dental school.

This post is starting to meander, and I apologize for that. What I’m trying to ask of you guys is whether this is a wise course, and if not, where I should try and steer my life. I’m a pretty smart guy- and I say that out of sure self-knowledge, not conceit (or so I’ve been led to believe)- but I have trouble keeping interested in a subject long enough to master it. I feel like I live in a world where specialization is the path to success- and I’m a generalist.

I’m studying stuff I like and am interested in so that I’ll get good marks and get into grad school (for what, I’m not yet sure), but I can’t see a career I’d like on this path- or almost any for that matter. I love to learn, but I don’t know how I’d want to apply it.

If any of you guys have advice, or thoughts on the matter, or anything, I’d really appreciate it. I apologize for the long post- here’s a good looking girl to compensate the dudes. But girls, your feedback is appreciated too!

I am a college professor, I am serious about this advice.

Under grad = geography, it lets you cover a broad range of topics and still get a degree. You will need a masters to do much anyways and geography will help with most disciplines, except perhaps medicine.
HOWEVER, this is KEY: take GIS, get a certificate/minor or even concentration in this. It is a skill that can get you a job before you leave school.

About yourself: this is the time in life when you should be focusing on the things you know you need to do to improve yourself, do those things.

Try not to pigeon hole yourself into creating a false dichotomy out of who or what you are with regard to the generalist vs. specialist statement, or anything else for that matter.

Most professions do require the convergence of multiple talents.

[quote]Tex Ag wrote:
I am a college professor, I am serious about this advice.

Under grad = geography, it lets you cover a broad range of topics and still get a degree. You will need a masters to do much anyways and geography will help with most disciplines, except perhaps medicine.
HOWEVER, this is KEY: take GIS, get a certificate/minor or even concentration in this. It is a skill that can get you a job before you leave school.

About yourself: this is the time in life when you should be focusing on the things you know you need to do to improve yourself, do those things.[/quote]

This is excellent advice (I am a physics professor by the way). Geography is a great field if you do not really know what you want to do, or don’t have the focus/mathematical ability/desire to do a more specialized/technical field. General Biology is also a good field that covers multiple disciplines. In addition to the GIS certificate/minor you should seriously consider taking a few computer programming classes or even two minors (assuming computer programming is not part of your school’s GIS curriculum some do and some don’t. Basic computer programming skills will serve you very well in almost any field you may choose.

Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

Iz you stupidz?

[quote]Swolegasm wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

Iz you stupidz?[/quote]

Momma said stupid is as stupid does.

So, yes.

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.

My theory was to earn as much money as possible so I could then do what I want, when I want. So far so good. Position yourself in the money correctly and the world is your playground.

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.
[/quote]

Most colleges and university’s will require that one has at least a GED and a minimum score on an entrance exam. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances (For instance, I skipped secondary school in Russia and went straight to the University of Moscow so I do not have a high school diploma. Carnegie Mellon University waived their requirement since I had an advanced degree.) There are some great programs at many community colleges here in America that help students get a GED, learn math, science, english and other topics they would have learned in High School and transfer to a university. I have several students in my classes and even one grad student who dropped out of high school.

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.
[/quote]

Most colleges and university’s will require that one has at least a GED and a minimum score on an entrance exam. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances (For instance, I skipped secondary school in Russia and went straight to the University of Moscow so I do not have a high school diploma. Carnegie Mellon University waived their requirement since I had an advanced degree.) There are some great programs at many community colleges here in America that help students get a GED, learn math, science, english and other topics they would have learned in High School and transfer to a university. I have several students in my classes and even one grad student who dropped out of high school.
[/quote]

GED and 2070 SAT.

i can B dokter now??

[quote]Vicomte wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.
[/quote]

Most colleges and university’s will require that one has at least a GED and a minimum score on an entrance exam. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances (For instance, I skipped secondary school in Russia and went straight to the University of Moscow so I do not have a high school diploma. Carnegie Mellon University waived their requirement since I had an advanced degree.) There are some great programs at many community colleges here in America that help students get a GED, learn math, science, english and other topics they would have learned in High School and transfer to a university. I have several students in my classes and even one grad student who dropped out of high school.
[/quote]

GED and 2070 SAT.

i can B dokter now??[/quote]

2070 is a pretty good score, you certainly would not have a problem getting into a good school if that is what you want.

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.
[/quote]

Most colleges and university’s will require that one has at least a GED and a minimum score on an entrance exam. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances (For instance, I skipped secondary school in Russia and went straight to the University of Moscow so I do not have a high school diploma. Carnegie Mellon University waived their requirement since I had an advanced degree.) There are some great programs at many community colleges here in America that help students get a GED, learn math, science, english and other topics they would have learned in High School and transfer to a university. I have several students in my classes and even one grad student who dropped out of high school.
[/quote]

GED and 2070 SAT.

i can B dokter now??[/quote]

2070 is a pretty good score, you certainly would not have a problem getting into a good school if that is what you want. [/quote]

If I can be serious for a moment: Is it possible for someone with an ‘alternative diploma’ (I actually have an Adult Education Diploma with nearly four years of High School) to get into a four-year university, rather than a Community College?

I do want to go to school, but the idea of CC for two years fills me with an emotion I can only describe as ‘existential bloodlust’.

[quote]Vicomte wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.
[/quote]

Most colleges and university’s will require that one has at least a GED and a minimum score on an entrance exam. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances (For instance, I skipped secondary school in Russia and went straight to the University of Moscow so I do not have a high school diploma. Carnegie Mellon University waived their requirement since I had an advanced degree.) There are some great programs at many community colleges here in America that help students get a GED, learn math, science, english and other topics they would have learned in High School and transfer to a university. I have several students in my classes and even one grad student who dropped out of high school.
[/quote]

GED and 2070 SAT.

i can B dokter now??[/quote]

2070 is a pretty good score, you certainly would not have a problem getting into a good school if that is what you want. [/quote]

If I can be serious for a moment: Is it possible for someone with an ‘alternative diploma’ (I actually have an Adult Education Diploma with nearly four years of High School) to get into a four-year university, rather than a Community College?

I do want to go to school, but the idea of CC for two years fills me with an emotion I can only describe as ‘existential bloodlust’.

[/quote]

Yes, most university’s will accept an Adult Education Diploma as the equivalent of a high school diploma. That coupled with your good SAT score should be sufficient to get you into most schools. That being said, you may want to rethink the whole CC idea. Most community colleges have articulation agreements with state run universities that guarantee acceptance and credit transfer for up to 60 credits and coordinate their course plans with those universities to make sure students learn what they need to.

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.
[/quote]

Most colleges and university’s will require that one has at least a GED and a minimum score on an entrance exam. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances (For instance, I skipped secondary school in Russia and went straight to the University of Moscow so I do not have a high school diploma. Carnegie Mellon University waived their requirement since I had an advanced degree.) There are some great programs at many community colleges here in America that help students get a GED, learn math, science, english and other topics they would have learned in High School and transfer to a university. I have several students in my classes and even one grad student who dropped out of high school.
[/quote]

Some of the bigger Universities (like UBC) require that you have a HS diploma if you are coming right from HS but if you are transfering credits over 24(I think???) from another university you don’t need to show that you graduated HS, so you can get around it at the big universities if you wanted.

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.
[/quote]

Most colleges and university’s will require that one has at least a GED and a minimum score on an entrance exam. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances (For instance, I skipped secondary school in Russia and went straight to the University of Moscow so I do not have a high school diploma. Carnegie Mellon University waived their requirement since I had an advanced degree.) There are some great programs at many community colleges here in America that help students get a GED, learn math, science, english and other topics they would have learned in High School and transfer to a university. I have several students in my classes and even one grad student who dropped out of high school.
[/quote]

GED and 2070 SAT.

i can B dokter now??[/quote]

2070 is a pretty good score, you certainly would not have a problem getting into a good school if that is what you want. [/quote]

If I can be serious for a moment: Is it possible for someone with an ‘alternative diploma’ (I actually have an Adult Education Diploma with nearly four years of High School) to get into a four-year university, rather than a Community College?

I do want to go to school, but the idea of CC for two years fills me with an emotion I can only describe as ‘existential bloodlust’.

[/quote]

Yes, most university’s will accept an Adult Education Diploma as the equivalent of a high school diploma. That coupled with your good SAT score should be sufficient to get you into most schools. That being said, you may want to rethink the whole CC idea. Most community colleges have articulation agreements with state run universities that guarantee acceptance and credit transfer for up to 60 credits and coordinate their course plans with those universities to make sure students learn what they need to.
[/quote]

I’m just not sure I could take a CC seriously, based solely on reports from people I know who attend (as well as the people themselves).

Good to know, though.

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.
[/quote]

Most colleges and university’s will require that one has at least a GED and a minimum score on an entrance exam. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances (For instance, I skipped secondary school in Russia and went straight to the University of Moscow so I do not have a high school diploma. Carnegie Mellon University waived their requirement since I had an advanced degree.) There are some great programs at many community colleges here in America that help students get a GED, learn math, science, english and other topics they would have learned in High School and transfer to a university. I have several students in my classes and even one grad student who dropped out of high school.
[/quote]

Some of the bigger Universities (like UBC) require that you have a HS diploma if you are coming right from HS but if you are transfering credits over 24(I think???) from another university you don’t need to show that you graduated HS, so you can get around it at the big universities if you wanted.

[/quote]

I was actually at the Vancouver campus last November giving a series of lectures. UBC actually has a great policy about “mature students.” After 4 years of leaving school, with or without a degree, they don’t care because you now have life experience. One may have to take some prereq courses to get into their program of choice. I am a big fan of this policy. I am one of a growing number of professors that are coming to realize that a High School diploma is highly overrated. Many of my best students have been people who dropped out of high school for various reasons and later came back to school.

Hey “TheCanadian” - if you’re interested in GIS and want some industry advice, drop me a PM. I’ve been involved with “GIS” from every aspect for almost 20 years now.

I’ll be in Toronto off and on for the next 18 months doing technical management (and some database work) for a multimillion dollar GIS project in the energy sector.

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Dr.Matt581 wrote:

[quote]Charlie Horse wrote:

[quote]Vicomte wrote:
Become a petroleum engineer so you can laugh at high school dropouts like me.

sadface[/quote]

I was listening to a radio program about how useful a HS education really is.

Both the man with the PHD doing the education study and the radio program host, did not have HS diplomas.

You don’t need a diploma to go to University in Canada, not sure about the US.

Just saying.
[/quote]

Most colleges and university’s will require that one has at least a GED and a minimum score on an entrance exam. Exceptions can be made for extenuating circumstances (For instance, I skipped secondary school in Russia and went straight to the University of Moscow so I do not have a high school diploma. Carnegie Mellon University waived their requirement since I had an advanced degree.) There are some great programs at many community colleges here in America that help students get a GED, learn math, science, english and other topics they would have learned in High School and transfer to a university. I have several students in my classes and even one grad student who dropped out of high school.
[/quote]

Some of the bigger Universities (like UBC) require that you have a HS diploma if you are coming right from HS but if you are transfering credits over 24(I think???) from another university you don’t need to show that you graduated HS, so you can get around it at the big universities if you wanted.

[/quote]

I was actually at the Vancouver campus last November giving a series of lectures. UBC actually has a great policy about “mature students.” After 4 years of leaving school, with or without a degree, they don’t care because you now have life experience. One may have to take some prereq courses to get into their program of choice. I am a big fan of this policy. I am one of a growing number of professors that are coming to realize that a High School diploma is highly overrated. Many of my best students have been people who dropped out of high school for various reasons and later came back to school.[/quote]

I think the mature student status at the colleges and small universities is 19 and x amount of months off school and working ft. Some courses can be challenged(especially tech stuff) with proper work/life experience.

Personally I’d recommend young people look into the trades first. I know some trades people who will be retiring in their 50s. There’s good money there and the chance to be your own boss.

OP. Your thinking about things too much. Just have fun, and do whatever feels right at the time.

Uncle Bird.

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