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Thread: Heya, high school kid thinking bout the next few years

  1. #1
    New Member Nebulous's Avatar
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    Heya, high school kid thinking bout the next few years

    I was on INTP Forum for 2+ years and miss the thought provoking environment. Iím 17, a junior in high school.
    I have to start looking into colleges or some kind of path for my future, and I think this kinda community might be a good support in that.
    I love art, mostly pencil/ ink, and used to want to go to art school but every high school art class Iíve been in has crushed part of my soul. I never finish big assignments, let alone get anything in on time.
    Iím more recently interested in biology.
    I took an honors bio course in ninth grade and found the material really interesting, and science has always been my strongest grade. Iím going to take AP Bio senior year.

    I mean my ideal life would be spent out in some expansive forest, observing and sketching different parts of plants and trees. But since cameras and printers exist I donít think I could make a living off illustrating nature books.

    I love mycology- the study of mushrooms; itíd be really fun to take some college classes related to that, but again thatís out of personal curiosity and not necessarily a path to having a career that would support me financially. So I guess Iím wondering how to create a balance between exploring things Iím curious about and having financial stability.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    The fact you are thinking ahead is great, and the fact you are interested in several areas is better. Hell, you even said 'financial stability.'

    I guess I’m wondering how to create a balance between exploring things I’m curious about and having financial stability.
    Financial stability in the short run is based in specializing in being able to do things that are not easy for the general populace (either because of requirement of extensive training or innate skill or both) and in demand. This means the solution space is large - from plumber to cardiologist etc., but some things are much more difficult than others to make it. It's all a competition with other people and the fewer people you are competing against for a relatively larger number of slots, the better it is for you in this respect.

    Financial stability in the long run is based more on your own character and planning for the future and luck. You're thinking ahead already and that's key. Be nice to your future self by hiding a stash of resources (saving). Start saving part of the first money you earn - I'm serious - this will make more difference in the long run than anything else. Save for your near future self and your unimaginably distant you. Don't mess your future self up by getting a terrible reputation since life is a social game, even for those of us who aren't that social. And be resilient because there is always tomorrow to try again and sometimes we aren't lucky.

    Continuing to explore is a great trait, even if only for your own quality of life. You will probably shift gears a few times in your life and exploring is key for that. Expand your ability to grok. Many classes you take now and in college are really more about expanding your mental muscle than the subject itself - like math and history.

    So to be specific, I'd say be eclectic is what you learn now. Specialize slowly and don't give up all your interests. Do stuff outside of class, real stuff. I think biology/mycology logically would have rewards. There are a lot of options out there.

    Anyway, the reason I'm sounding earnest is my youngest is a senior in high school. If she told me what you posted then I'd just say... you are going to be okay (and then I'd blather on for a while as I've done here), because the attitude is half the battle.

  3. #3
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Welcome!

    ^The above is a lot of really good advice. I think that a lot will also depend on what resources you have available to you and how much they cost. I'm in the united states, and higher education is EXPENSIVE. If you are in a similar situation, I would advise you *not* to jump in to debt until you have a good idea of what you want - keeping in mind that what you major in in college does not have to be your lifelong career (usually not) but just has to be a good starting point. Or even if you have the opportunity to attend a state school on a scholarship, I would advise you not to squander the opportunity - at least have a game plan for graduating on time and finding an entry level job.

    There's nothing wrong with working and traveling for a year or two to develop professional skills (like, showing up on time, doing what you say, finishing projects) and get a better sense of what you want to do for the next several years before committing to a degree. I don't know if you can work this into the middle of a college education - maybe get your gen ed out of the way and take a few electives and then take some time to explore the world *outside* of academia, because that's where you'll really need to succeed. For the vast majority of people, academia is a means to an end, which is something that those inside of academia can easily forget.
    Too bad, Lady Une. You were far too lenient.
    As a soldier, yes. But as a civilian I lived an austere life.

  4. #4
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    Mycology sounds really interesting. Do you have any interest in becoming a botanist? Botany sounds like it would satisfy your love for biology and mycology. Also, if you don't intend on going to graduate school, you might want to think long and hard about earning a Bachelors in biology. Last, if you pursue any science-related degree, it will be more than worth it to consistently volunteer in a lab during your time in school. Good luck to you.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    I would advise you *not* to jump in to debt until you have a good idea of what you want
    To piggyback on what Teresa said, if you decide halfway through your schooling that you want to swap majors, it could become very costly as you might be charged excess credit hours.

  6. #6
    know nothing pensive_pilgrim's Avatar
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    Don't spend too much time in your head trying to figure out what you're going to do with your life, and don't commit yourself financially before you know what you want to get out of it. Get out in the world and work some jobs, take some cheap classes at a community college, talk to lots of people and explore. Your best option is probably out there among the things you just haven't experienced yet. You will also be better prepared to pursue it when you have some experience with plain old day to day living as an adult.

  7. #7
    New Member Nebulous's Avatar
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    Thank you all so much! Each response here has great advice and is pretty reassuring. Internalizing it.
    I donít have the best grades; Iím lying in bed instead of doing the assignments I need to have done for tomorrow, ugh. Iím bad at getting myself to do things I donít feel like doing, no matter how important I know they are. Such as getting out of bed in the morning. Iím late for school every day. :/

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sinny's Avatar
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    Hey Neb, good to see you

    I used to be late for school everyday too, and assignments were usually done on last minute all nighters. That's all part of of growing up as far as I'm concerned
    Those who begin coercive elimination of dissent soon find themselves exterminating dissenters. Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.

    ~ Robert Jackson, Statesman (1892-1954)


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