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  1. #1
    Senior Member Purplemoon's Avatar
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    Default I have no idea what major or career I should pursue.

    I'm 22 years old, and it's been nearly four years since I graduated from highschool. In those four years, I have never had a job, and I'm not even close to finishing a degree. The reasons for this are: 1. nothing really interests me, 2. I constantly doubt myself and my intellectual/academic capabilities, and 3. I was given no guidance whatsoever from my parents and school "career/college" counsellors. I've always just kind of drifted through life, with no real passion or interest in anything.

    I have no clue what college major I should choose. I've thought about majoring in English, but I hate writing and I'm not very good at it. I've thought about majoring in art or music history, but that's only because they're the only topics I actually like learning and reading about. I've considered majoring in accounting, but that's only because my parents think I would be a good accountant, not because I actually have an interest in the subject.

    In terms of careers/jobs, I have considered becoming a librarian, an art teacher, a private tutor, a bookkeeper, an art historian, a music teacher, a technical writer, a graphic designer, a curator, and a paralegal. I've seriously considered becoming a paralegal, but I hear conflicting information on the level of education required, plus I constantly horror stories about the field.

    I struggle with concentration, and I'm starting to realize how much I hate dealing with details. I get frustrated and give up on myself easily, and I hate "small talk". I have no desire to build "deep" relationships with people I find irritating and could care less about. I've been this way for as long as I can remember. As a child and adolescent, I did not care about having a large group of friends, and I paid no attention to social hierarchies or cliques. My only goal was to get decent grades and get out of the hell-hole known as the public school system. I have always had good manners, so it's not that I'm an exceptionally cruel person, I'm just a very private and reserved person.

    I just don't know what path to follow, and I need help. I'd like to do something I enjoy, but I also don't want to be perpetually broke.

  2. #2
    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    Get a job, but in a purposeful fashion. It seems as if ye have no self direction, which is a much worse state to be in than simply being uneducated. If ye don't want to do anything in particular, throwing money at the problem like it's the hottest stripper on the east coast (i.e., going to university) may not be the best approach. I say this because from what ye have said it sounds as if taking college level coursework has gotten ye no where mentally or economically.

    However, it's possible to explore some of these fields without going to school via work. Even if one can't get a job as a paralegal or a librarian - ye can get a job at a law office or volunteer at a library or art museum. The point of this is to learn while making money and/or garnering real experience. For some it can be about things other than what one is technically doing for their job - do ye hate working in an office? Enjoy being on foot and talking to people? Want to see the sun, or are ye a night owl? It might be that your lifestyle or work environment is more important than what ye are actually doing for a living.

    So get a job that will advance yourself in some way - whether it be in terms of knowledge, experience, or simply finding out what you hate. Don't think that it's up to your parents, administrators, or teachers to guide ye through this process. From all that ye've written, I can see what the attraction is to the aforementioned fields of study - they all are less about socializing and more about technical knowledge which is highly esoteric.

    This is coming from someone who loves learning and considers university to be a lovely place, but also thinks racking up a heinous amount of student debt with no discernible outcome or goal in mind is a terrible idea.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Purplemoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoom View Post
    Get a job, but in a purposeful fashion. It seems as if ye have no self direction, which is a much worse state to be in than simply being uneducated. If ye don't want to do anything in particular, throwing money at the problem like it's the hottest stripper on the east coast (i.e., going to university) may not be the best approach. I say this because from what ye have said it sounds as if taking college level coursework has gotten ye no where mentally or economically.

    However, it's possible to explore some of these fields without going to school via work. Even if one can't get a job as a paralegal or a librarian - ye can get a job at a law office or volunteer at a library or art museum. The point of this is to learn while making money and/or garnering real experience. For some it can be about things other than what one is technically doing for their job - do ye hate working in an office? Enjoy being on foot and talking to people? Want to see the sun, or are ye a night owl? It might be that your lifestyle or work environment is more important than what ye are actually doing for a living.

    So get a job that will advance yourself in some way - whether it be in terms of knowledge, experience, or simply finding out what you hate. Don't think that it's up to your parents, administrators, or teachers to guide ye through this process. From all that ye've written, I can see what the attraction is to the aforementioned fields of study - they all are less about socializing and more about technical knowledge which is highly esoteric.

    This is coming from someone who loves learning and considers university to be a lovely place, but also thinks racking up a heinous amount of student debt with no discernible outcome or goal in mind is a terrible idea.

    I have thought about volunteering at my local library, and there is also a cultural center in my town that I've thought about volunteering at. The law field in my area is small, so I'm not sure if there are any legal secretary or even court clerk positions open in my area. I've also considered just working as a bank teller or even as a store stocker just to get my foot in the "working world", so to speak.

    (I have social anxiety, mild depression, but I plan on seeing a counsellor in the near future. The depression is due to the fact that I haven't really done anything with my life in four years, and I have IBS and ovarian cyst that never go away, so I feel sick a couple of days a week. I've always had some form of social anxiety, but I feel as though the older I get, the more crippling it becomes. Sorry if this is too much information. I thought it would help give an idea of why I'm in the state I'm in.)

    Anyways, I guess I do have an idea of what I'd like to do, but I'm just worried about the job prospects in such fields. When I was younger, I wanted to get an art or music history bachelor's degree, and the get a Master's degree in library science, but there are pretty much no jobs in the library field, so I figured I should just become a paralegal. However, a few months ago I realized that the desire to work in the library and information science field never left me, and I'm beating myself up inside for not following my intended plan immediately after high school. The only reason why I've thought about being a paralegal is because I like reading and researching things, and I'm ok at research writing, but after reading about how so many people in the law only care about power and prestige, I'm starting to think it may not be the right field for me.

  4. #4
    Self sustaining supernova Zoom's Avatar
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    Stop worrying, (over)thinking, etc., and just take a small step. Look up the jobs in your area (or volunteer positions) and apply to one.

    I do understand health problems. Those issues are not going to go away, so find something part time that y'can do as you work your way toward working at your full capacity. Or treat calling a counseling center as the first step.

    It is entirely doable, the difficulty is in getting the momentum going in the first place.

  5. #5
    Now with less salt. Methylene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purplemoon View Post

    I have no clue what college major I should choose. I've thought about majoring in English, but I hate writing and I'm not very good at it. I've thought about majoring in art or music history, but that's only because they're the only topics I actually like learning and reading about. I've considered majoring in accounting, but that's only because my parents think I would be a good accountant, not because I actually have an interest in the subject.

    In terms of careers/jobs, I have considered becoming a librarian, an art teacher, a private tutor, a bookkeeper, an art historian, a music teacher, a technical writer, a graphic designer, a curator, and a paralegal. I've seriously considered becoming a paralegal, but I hear conflicting information on the level of education required, plus I constantly horror stories about the field.
    I think those are actually clues. If you'd like to learn about art and music and have considered careers related to them, what's refraining you from pursuing those majors?

    Quick piece of advice. Try taking the sokanu career test. Maybe you can get some ideas from there.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Also's Avatar
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    First, get a job. You'll learn much more about what you like and dislike in the workplace plus you'll make money to help fund your education. I suggest that you get two jobs but if that's too much, try to volunteer somewhere that will offer a different experience.

    While society dictates that 18-25 is the appropriate age range to get a degree, that simply does not work for all or maybe even most. School is very expensive, I recommend that you consider taking a step back until you gain clarity instead of pouring your funds into a process that isn't working for you. You also may want to consider Tech or Science fields if you prefer solitary work. If you prefer a shorter route, you can invest in a career that requires AA or certification, like Library Tech.

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