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College and careers?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm at that time of my life where college is right around the corner. I'm very confused.

My mom= a pharmacist, so naturally, she wants me to pursue pharmacy.

I am no math expert by any means (in fact, math is my low point compared to every other subject), and I have a tendency to skip over details, so I think pharmacy would not be my best option. However, I can memorize all kinds of medications and their uses very quickly. It's a bit awkward.

I love writing and art. However, my parents don't see an art career as financially stable, and with the economy always all over the place, financial security is a must. I've been considering psychology for awhile because I love hearing people talk about their problems and life experiences. My dad thinks I should do something with teaching or become a vet. I don't think I'd be the best teaching candidate because I'm quite impatient and a bit of a child myself half the time. While working with animals would be fun and rewarding, I don't think I could stomach putting an animal to sleep or the surgery. I do like biology, but the math related sections of science(physics, chemistry) I don't care for. I really don't consider myself responsible enough yet, and I'm nearly an adult.

It is in my personality to constantly second guess my actions, constantly leave things unfinished, constantly be unable to make a concrete decision. I would love to write for a career, but once again, money would be ridiculously tight. In terms of art, I was thinking of graphic design. I am the daydreamer and the idealist, and sometimes I just wish I had a logical, perfectly rational head on my shoulders so that I could get things done and think things through properly. Sometimes I just want my head out of the clouds and into a realist point of view.

Sorry if I'm ranting here. I'm merely looking for opinions. How did you guys figure out what career was right for you?
post #2 of 13
I was majoring in Biology at the time and I had NO clue what I would do afterwards. A good friend of mine pointed out how I always excelled the biological science lab portion of any class (esp the hard ones) and suggested I get into Clinical Laboratory Science. I am now a Med Tech.

I would try to find what your strengths and interests are and go from there. It may take some time before you figure out what you want to do.
post #3 of 13
That's always a though question.

But keep in mind that you do not have to decide right now what the rest of your life will be like. It's ok, and perfectly normal, to change your mind along the way.

At first, I went to university in Biology, hoping to do research in animal behavior. Then I switched to psychology, then to political science... and now I am on my way to becoming a historian.

Also, studying can be a lot of work, especially at the university level. In my experience, at that level, going with what you are good at isn't as important as going with what you love. No matter how good you are with a subject, you will have to put a lot of work into it and if you don't like it, it's not gonna work.

If you love writing, you can probably find some ways of making it into a stable career. Writing novels isn't the only writing job out there. You could work as a journalist, an editor or something along those lines.
graphic design could be a good option too.

Is there any way you can get a volunteer or part time job in one of the domain you're interested in? Maybe work for a school newspaper, do graphics for a non-profit organization, etc. That's probably the best way of deciding if you really like it or not. (and it will look great on your resume later )
post #4 of 13
It took me 4 years after high school to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I'm almost 23 years old and I'm just now starting college. Sorry this probably isn't an answer you're looking for...but it's hard to figure out what you want to do with the rest of your life. I read somewhere that the average college student changes their major three times. Sometimes after you start going to class you find out that major isn't anything what you expected it to be. I finally decided to go to school to become a dental hygienist. For me, it's hard to keep going to college because I know I DON'T have to go. It isn't required like grade school. I just have to push myself because I know I need to go to have a better future for myself and eventually my family.
post #5 of 13
I personally learned that if I had to do everything all over again I would start off taking core studies first and not declaring my major for another year.

Many of the people I went to college with changed their major 2nd or 3rd year. My own story included. I was pegged as being a music teacher when I left. I was heavily involved in the arts and totally loved it. By my 2nd year I was done. I had switched from education to music therapy to music general. Plus the thing that REALLY DID NOT help was that the friends I had made that graduated were still working retail a year later. So I took a year off to do the core studies and decided to switch into computers.

The one thing I will say though, don't worry about the math. If you're in a major that you like the math will come more easily since you can apply the concept. Plus there are plenty of [cute] male tutors.
post #6 of 13
the thing about a career, is that you are in no place to even try to decide. Until you go to college or university or enter the workplace you don't even know what is out there. Like people say, go with what you love to start off with and that will mould and change with what you learn at school. I am currently doing graduate work in genetics, working on finding drug targets to cure genetic neurodegenerative diseases, and as far as I'm concerned at this point it is a dream job. I look forward to going to work every morning and isn't that what people strive for? But it took me 4 years of university to even realize that such a career existed!! You don't even know half of what is out there!! So don't put too much pressure on yourself, if you keep your grades up and get into post-secondary school you'll find a whole new world! then you can worry about a career!
GOOD LUCK! you sound like you have a good head on your shoulders
post #7 of 13
I went for dietician and found out my four yrs need a fifth and there were only a 100 openings a yr, ave wait 5 yrs post graduation to get anywhere ... the goal was to have a good job while going for pharmacology ( ie designing drugs)... changed to Nutritional science and biology have two yrs toward it ... then mom got sick and I choose to help her .. I am now 30 and REFUSE to go back till I know what I want to be ... Right now I think I am likely going for animal science hopefully naturpathic
post #8 of 13
I finished grad school not too long ago. This is what I have learned during my semi "growing" up and years spent in college.

Don't listen to what others tell you would be a good career. You will most likely regret it. If you need to work to live (and most do) you will be working for the next 35 years plus, you need to really love your job and career. Most people spend a large chunk of their life at work, preparing for work before going to work, driving to work, and recovering from work. Sometimes overtime is required for various reasons.

Basically, work will be many of your waking hours, it is important to at least like it if at all possible. Even if you choose a career with less money, it will even out in the long run. Seriously, money is important but please don't make it a deciding factor. That is not a good way to pick a career and it sounds like you will be burned out or just overlook details since you aren't really into it anyway.
If you are good at what you do, and love it, many things will fall into place.
It will help you with stress, it will help you with life. Long term and short term.

But you don't have to declare a major for awhile. So don't worry about it. Don't get stressed just yet. You have time. If you know your general college that you want to attend, that is good for now. Also, some people with college degrees don't go into that field, so don't feel too boxed in in your decisions.

I also am with the camp that says don't stress - don't worry about the math, really. I am horrible at math in real life but did just fine. You will too! Just attending class and doing your work counts for a lot, one class is usually only 3 hours a week, you can do it.
post #9 of 13
Our local schools give the kids some sort of career path testing in middle school or early high school. Based on how you answer questions, it gives you an idea of your academic strengths, personal likes and careers that may interest you. They also offer the testing at most colleges.

The university I graduated from used to put (and still does) all freshmen in what they called University College or a non-major college. Students stay there, taking whatever classes they need until they declare a major. BTW, it is ranked the top university for the freshman experience! (Do I sound like the commercial they run during the football games - we have a pretty good football team too)

Don't stress over it too much. Talk to your school counselor for ideas.
post #10 of 13
I just looked through the college catalogue, and chose something that stuck out at me..something I thought I would enjoy.

It turned out that wasn't for me and now I am working in a completely different field That happens sometimes though.

Good luck with your decision, it is a tricky one.
post #11 of 13
I took a geology course as part of one major. I like the course so much that I changed my major. I will graduate in Geology in dec of next year. Some people have no idea what they want to do until they take a class and like the subject.
post #12 of 13
Pick a major you think you will enjoy. I have my degree in History plus my certification in education. Teaching is awesome a lot of hard work but very rewarding. Honestly you don't have to pick a future right this second. Talk to your school councilor, grab a few career books, do some research. You have plenty of time to figure it out.
post #13 of 13
I second getting some work experience in the fields you might be interested in, I took sciences as my A-Levels (the courses you took in the UK in Year 12-13 to get into university) and after a few weeks doing work experience in a law firm and at Parliament, I changed my courses to sociology, politics and history.

I then majored in Political Science, specialising in Parliamentary Democracy and minored in sociology. I worked in Parliament in the UK for a bit and work for the provincial legislature here.
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