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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
msfsteven Offline
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Career Crisis - October 30th 2014, 12:34 AM

I'm in some sort of college/career crisis. I'm sure a lot of people are around my age. Let me just start with some background info.

I don't have a major, but it looks like a major in English is the only thing I'd like. I've explored a lot of careers online, and I haven't found any that I would enjoy doing. Some might say that you have to try things even if they don't appeal to you, but I really think things through and I'm pretty confident that I know what I will and will not like. The only reason I went to college was because I didn't know what else I would do. I still don't. I considered not going, but my parents all (I have like 4) pressured me into going. I didn't (and don't) want to work at in fast food, retail or anything like that. I'm in my first semester.

But now that paying for college is becoming more complicated for me, it doesn't seem worth it anymore. I don't even know what I want to do. People keep telling me that I will "find something I like in college" but I just don't believe that crap. I have a general idea of what's out there. It doesn't appeal to me. All I know is that I like writing and graphic design. I've thought about freelancing in graphic design, but I can never put together a business plan or any plan to be able to make it work.

So, here's the situation I'm in: I don't want to stay in college but I don't know what I'd do if I'd dropout. I considered doing retail to gain some insight and experience, but I don't know where I'd go from there. I think it's time that I make my own decisions. I can't follow a path other people want me to take. But I don't know what to do. I just feel trapped.

It's not the grades, classwork, or academic difficulties I'm worried about. I'm actually enjoying my semester. It's the time, money, the fact that I don't have a degree/career I want to pursue.

Anyway, I'm hoping I can get some advice or insight on this. Hopefully it wasn't too long.
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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
Its.Just.Angie Offline
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Re: Career Crisis - October 30th 2014, 03:14 AM

Hey there, college may sound scary and stuff.. But I'm pretty sure you'll find one!! Idk what you like, but maybe narrow it down to like if you want to work in medical, law enforment, teachings, technology or some feild you may want to do in your future. Then you can look for a career (lthay may seem interesting. And trust me nothing is set in stone for you! You can always change career paths. I seen older people go back to school and try to get a career they enjoy. Just know you still have lots of time, even you don't feel like it. Just know it isnt a life long commitment to a career! It doesn't have to be! If I were you i would finish the major (if your close) and see what you want to do from there and it would give you more time to think about cause it is a really important choice! But you can do whatever you want
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Celyn Offline
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Re: Career Crisis - October 30th 2014, 12:08 PM

Hey Steven!

You are right that a lot of young people feel the same way as you. I think itís quite common that you go through school, studying what you have to, and then you suddenly have to make decisions about your career- that can be difficult!

Itís good that you have done research online (I always suggest that!) and that you trust your feelings well enough to know what you wouldnít be interested in doing. Would you be interested in doing volunteering work at all? That might give you more insight into other things thatís out there too, and may provide some inspiration.

I think majoring in English is a good idea, since you like writing. Also, a lot of careers require skills that you learn from majoring in English, such as communication and analytical skills. This can be helpful for a variety of jobs from admin, to journalism and other creative careers. You could be a freelance writer, and get your work published on things such as amazon. Are you studying graphic design too? If not, would it be possible? I donít know much about graphic design, but I do know that graphic design goes well with English and could help with different careers too. As for jobs, I think that anything that gives you insight and experience (even if itís not very relevant to what you want to do) can help you make decisions as well as being helpful for applying for other jobs that ask for past work history.

Since you are unsure of what to do, could you talk to your collegeís careers service? They may be able to help you to look at options, and you could talk to a financial advisor in your college about money issues. It can be hard feeling trapped, but it is very empowering making your own decisions. Perhaps you could write a list of reasons to stay in college vs reasons to drop out. Then you could start figuring out what you would do in either scenario. As Angie said, many people (both young and old) change their career paths during their lifetime so try not to feel pressured into choosing a career and sticking with it.

All the best!

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Re: Career Crisis - October 30th 2014, 07:35 PM

There are lot of people in the same situation , you just need a pause to analyse your life.ever tried to think of taking a gap year? i know a lot of people who did it and they figured out what they really wanted.
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Re: Career Crisis - October 31st 2014, 12:39 AM

Hey Steven

Simply put finish what you've started. This is a big mistake a lot of people make. I know and understand your position I was in it myself. At the end of the day college is never a waste unless you waste it by dropping out of a program you've paid for.

Personally I think making your own business is a great idea or freelancing as you mentioned but you have to make it happen and you can do that while in school! The leaders in life find ways around their issues they never give up they don't take weekends off. The one's with the most drive will always find themselves in a better position. Success is momentum the more you put out there the more you get back. Don't settle for less then what you dream of you can do it mate.
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Re: Career Crisis - October 31st 2014, 12:58 AM

Take a gap year. Or gap years.

I'm going through the same thing. The idea of deciding something so life-altering as a career path after I've only been out of school two years seems ludicrous to me. I stressed out over it for weeks and months. The only way I was able to console myself was this: I realized that, at eighteen, I have at least four or five decades left in me. More, if I keep myself healthy.

I have a lot of time to decide what I want. As long as I have my writing, I'm fine. I could throw all my cards on the table and go through four years of college, then find that my degree was shit and won't help me get anywhere. I could build an off-grid cabin and live my life as a dirt-poor freelance writer (the current plan), with nothing to my name but the same clothes I've had for years, the books in my shelves, the notebooks on my desk, and a good pair of shoes for walking. In either case, Ill still have my writing, and as long as I have a way to feed, clothe, and shelter myself, I don't need to prosper much.

Point being? Find something stable. Find some hobby or talent that you love beyond all other things. And, if whatever career you chose doesn't work out, remind yourself that you still have that talent.

Your point as an intelligent human being isn't only to go through school, pick a college major, breed, and spend your life working for people you'd rather not be around. People with no better sense act as if that's the only way to live, but it's not even living. It's merely going through the same motions every day, simply to survive. Only idiots just survive.

Intelligent human beings have one duty: To find their talent, and use that talent to contribute something to the world around them. Whether it's writing, acting, singing (entertainers); whether it's studying, learning, and using your knowledge to learn more things to contribute to the expansion of the bank of human knowledge (scientists); whether it's lifting up the broken and healing their hearts (psychiatrists, psychologists, religious leaders); whether it's cataloging the endless amount of things our ancestors seem to have gotten themselves into (historians); whether it's learning the fallacies of modern government and doing your best to alter it (politicians); whether it's protecting people, at the risk of losing your own life (soldiers, police, and otherwise); whether it's defending justice (lawyers and judges); helping people to feel better when they're ill (doctors); exploring the world entirely on foot, taking pictures and making movies as you go (explorers); if it's working a good job to come home to an even better family in the evenings (family people); or even just living as a hermit under a rock, drawing cave paintings, because that's all you really want to do (unspecified)... You get the idea.

Your point as a human being isn't to choose a college major that might lead to a job that you might be reasonably happy with long enough to pay off your loans. Your point as a human being is to find something that you'd do anyway, regardless of whether you were paid or not, just because you can't imagine a life where you weren't doing it. After that, your only task is to figure out a way for you to do that something.

So, the next time you wonder which major you should engage yourself in, don't ask: "What job do I want?" Ask instead: "What life do I want?"

Because you're not looking for a job, really. You're looking for a life to aim for.

As for figuring what that life is going to be about, I've found that it's a good practice to imagine the house of your dreams. Explore it through writing, room by room. Explore the people that fill your house, explore the size of your house, the things that are in it, the pictures on the mantel (specifically the people and places in those pictures), the degree that's hanging on your hallway wall. If you can imagine being proud of the degree hanging on your wall, then you're on the right path. If, in your imaginary exploration, you wonder if it was good to go through with it after all, then it's time to start rethinking your journey.

And, when you find that thing you love with all your heart, take steps to pursue it. You may not even need a degree for the sort of thing you want your life to be about.

I know this was hideously long. Forgive me. I've been writing my book for weeks, and I'm kind of in the habit of writing as much as I can, to reach word counts I set for myself. I hope I helped in some way.
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Re: Career Crisis - November 1st 2014, 06:56 AM

I'm not going to be rosy and give cheerful advice.

First, you should really figure out what you want to do if you have zero clue. College is expensive and if you keep on changing your major, you may end up creating a huge debt that could potentially drown you after you graduate.

Second, unfortunately you should try to get a job now in order to be able to afford college. Most people need a college degree for basic jobs that people would not have needed a job 10-15 years ago.

Third, having a college degree in any level does not guarantee you a job unfortunately and you will need to pick your college degree carefully. I initially wanted to major in psych but then I realized that the actual job prospects in the field were limited so I switched to nursing. There are many people who graduate with degrees in the arts who end up working at a retail store or fast food. It is a scary thought. Some of my friends' boyfriends work as managers at Wal-mart and in today's society, you really need a bachelors degree to become one. They talk about going up in the ranks but that's not as common as it used to be.

Another scary thought is that with some of my friends, they never went to college or put it off after a year and have yet to come back. Some of them have started having children so they now have limited time and money.

It's tough. I don't know what to fully tell you. I would stay in college till you have a job that you can afford to live off of. Not comfortably but you can take some time off. I would focus on the basic classes like comp I, comp II, math, stats, basic biology, and a fine arts for a year. Nearly all degrees require those classes.

Will you find something that will really make you happy? Most people don't. They find a job that they are satisfied working.

If you have never had a job before, I would be open to taking anything. In today's market, you are competing against a lot of underemployed people. Holding out against fast food positions may mean you may not work for up to a year.

The job market sucks for the most part.
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Re: Career Crisis - November 2nd 2014, 01:16 AM

You should take a career interest survey. It will help you sum up your abilities and strengths. I hope you find what you are looking for.
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Re: Career Crisis - November 4th 2014, 05:57 AM

Thank you all for your insight. It's nice to get advice from others, especially when you linger over college vs dropping out all the time. I think... I'm going to finish Fall and Spring and see where it takes me. Apply for some part-time jobs and stuff. I'm not sure. But anyway, the advice is helpful and greatly appreciated.
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