How do you know?

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by kargo, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. kargo

    kargo Songster

    May 8, 2009
    I really wish life had big, flashing neon signs with arrows and very clear directions. Sadly, those don't exist (for life decisions, anyway.) For several years now, I've been thinking about colleges. Where I want to go, what program I'd like to be in, the kind of grades I need to be making, what I want to do when I graduate.....the list goes on and on and on. Problem is, people keep telling me things like, "You've got a lot going for you." and "You've got to find your passion."

    I can give you lists of things I'm good at and things I like.

    Things I consider myself good at:
    Possibly working with animals

    Things I like to do:

    All a bunch of very different things.

    Lots of people, including many English teachers, have told me I'm a good writer. I love to write, and I've done that since I could.

    I've always loved animals, and always wanted to be a vet, but every couple of years, I get really unsure of that, then I come back to it.

    I would love, love, LOVE to do more singing, acting, and dancing type things. Not too much singing or dancing, because I'm not too confident with it. Acting, though, I feel like, if I really wanted to, I might be able to do professionally (not necessarily Hollywood, but perhaps on a smaller scale.)

    The thing is, I have trouble deciding what I'm TRULY good at. When I say truly good at, I mean, asking myself, "Could I measure up to professionals here?" I don't really have anyone to tell me, either. I mean, I've had people say I'm good at all of the things I've listed here (except for Dancing). I think the one that I listened to most, though, was my friend M saying that I was good at acting. I'm just having trouble figuring out how good is good. Good as in professional? Good as in talented? Or good as in, "Not lame." How do you really know what it is that you want to do, or that you're truly good at? And how do you get true constructive criticism?

    BTW, if anyone feels like it, here's a video of me singing. I know it's really quiet. I picked a really quiet song. I've got another, louder one, but I haven't been able to upload it.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
  2. TwistedSerpent

    TwistedSerpent Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    I was in the exact same position, there was such a strong push to go to college as soon as possible it was like we didn't have time to figure out what we wanted to do.

    The best thing I did was not do anything, I gave myself time to really think about what I want to do, get my feet wet in the working world and such. Few years later I'm hearing complaints from friends not happy with their classes and unable to get a job in the field they schooled for, along with financial problems. I still don't know what I want to do, and right now am actually much more content defining my life by my hobbies and not career. Working a simple stress free job and enjoying everything I get to do on my tlightly, and possibly make some money along the way.

    Of course everyone is different, but a lot of people fond their corner by diving in and trying things out. Remember too to not only look at the job itself but the lifestyle that follows UT. While the idea of traveling the world collecting reptiles sounds great in my mind the actual act of being stuck for months deep in jungles really isn't that attractive.

    Get as much hands on experience as possible in what youre interested in, dont let anyone make any decisions for you, don't lock yourself so tightly in a career you have no way to escape if it ends up not being right for you, and don't by any means rush to choose. This is not a decision to be taken lightly.
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2010
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    I tell my kids to get a basic set of skills or training to make a decent income while they *search* for their passion. I don't think jumping straight into college and figuring it out there is always such a good idea. I waited and still I ended up not interested in the field I got a degree in.Quite a waste of time and money for me.Dh has a degree and does not work in his degreed field. It happens.

    If you choose a field and end up not liking it IRL just move on.Don't feel like you MUST work in that field because you spent the time and money getting a degree in it.Lots of people get multiple degrees or come up with a business idea that is so opposite what that thought they would be doing.

    You can get a *professional* to critique you,but remember that is just their professional as they may be.Many in the public setting were told they would never make it,but they kept at it and did.

    Nice video.

    Get your feet wet in areas that interest you.Like with animals you can work at a vet clinic,educational farm, or shelters.City/community playhouses is an option for your singing and acting.

    Have fun!
  4. muddyhorse

    muddyhorse Songster

    Aug 11, 2009
    Bloomsdale, MO
    First if you like working with animals there are careers other than vet. I have a BS in agriculture with a minor in equine science. Some of my class mates are now vets, Some work for purina developing feeds, I even have a friend at Fort Dodge working on vaccines. At college you are encouraged to find what you are good at. lots of unemployed grads make them look bad. you can get a minor in theater along with another degree. have you done any plays in school ?
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Your guidance counselor should have aptitude tests that show the fields that would be a good matched based upon your skills & interests. Take one or more of those to get some ideas to explore.

    Much of the first two years of college is filled with courses considered necessary for any well-rounded degree. You will have some choice in the specifics of many of these. For example, you will need one or two 100-level science courses, but you will be able to choose from a wide range of sciences. You will need one or two social sciences courses (psychology, sociology, etc.) one or two history courses, etc.... Look through the lists of all the courses offered that meet the criteria, then select the ones that you are most interested in. Some of them you will learn that upon closer examination do not really interest you, and others will intrigue you--luring you to the next course. Since you already have some areas that interest you, be sure to explore them particularly. Try to get a part-time or summer job in one of the fields that you are considering. Volunteer work in a field of interest is also useful in evaluating your interests. Try out for a part in a community theatre, or the school play. If you get leading roles, it probably says a lot for your talent. If you don't, it doesn't mean you don't have talent--it means you don't have experience--you need to keep practicing.
  6. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Believe it or not, but you CAN get a job with an English degree. People with English degrees are often used to write textbooks, information pamphlets, instruction manuals and many other things. Because of "textese" people are getting poorer and poorer at standard English writing and if you have a talent for it, look into it.

    Working with animals always sounds lovely, but many times includes picking up manure and working long/weird hours, weekends and holidays. Do you want animals to be your job or your hobby? A friend of mine who runs the stable I board my horse at takes vacations to GET AWAY from the horses. A few of us boarders mentioned maybe taking a riding vacation and the stable owner/trainer said that she wouldn't be interested. "Riding on my vacation isn't a vacation," she said. Now because I work away from horses, I can enjoy them as a hobby.

    I originally started off a journalism major, then swicthed to history education, then got a job as a librarian. Ultimately, I'll be teaching Spanish in the fall. DH has AA in criminal justice and social work but when I met him, he had been driving truck and then became a welder. Your life may take some weird twists to it.

    That being said, perhaps try job shadowing while asking yourself, "Can I do this everyday and still look forward to it?" If you want to take some classes, start off with basic English, Government, Math, History, Economics, etc ... but don't get too excited about anything.

    If you like rocks and cold places, check into Michigan Tech for geological engineering. They ship those grads up to northern Alaska to work on oil fields making $90,000 a year.
  7. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    My best advice is not to look so much at what you need to major in for such and such job, but rather to just major in something you like. Unless you need some specialized degree (such as biology for premed) then focus more on doing well in whatever major you choose rather than the specifics. For example, if you enjoy english and writing, then consider majoring in that, but partake in varied extra curricular activities and volunteer opportunities. Also, consider minoring in something completely unrelated to your major.

    I'll use myself as a good example. I will be majoring in Biology, but I'm a senior in college and have no idea what I want to do. I majored in biology because I enjoy the subject and thought (well still think) that I may enjoy a career that is science related. However, I could get a job in many many areas. Just because I majored in bio doesn't mean I can't get a job in law enforcement, business, art, etc. I decided to minor in business because it was different, and will set me apart from other science majors. *Most* science majors will major AND minor in a science related field. Don't forget that college is only the first step (or tier) in the career decision. It is only a small part of building a resume. Employers also look at past work experience and other activities, as well as references and what not. Also, take part in internships throughout college. That may help point you in a direction of interest. I had no idea microbio would be an interest of mine until I participated in a research project in microbio.

    Good luck, and it's not easy. I do suggest making a final decision about your major no later than second semester of freshmen year if you would like to graduate in four years. Also, stay away from the liberal arts major. That doesn't help you with anything other than spending money on classes you don't need. A lot of my friends either switched majors late or took too many general classes and they will have to stay more than four years to finish their degree.

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