Sebastian Moody

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What do you think a teenager should do when he is interested in so many things that he cannot settle for any option for his future?

What do you think a teenager should do when he is interested in so many things that he cannot settle for any option for his future?

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    May 26 2011: SURF! :D
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      May 27 2011: ahah i have been meaning to try it,but the opportunity hasn't come up yet =)
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    May 26 2011: I've changed majors... let me count... 6 times. And I will be a junior in college this coming fall. That doesn't include my "plans" I had in high school either.

    Here are my suggestions based on your expenses for higher education. (college is an expensive endeavor)

    1) No money:
    -Go to community college. Here you'll be able to take a variety of general education courses to see which fields interest you the most. This will also introduce you to the subjects at the college level. You may have loved chemistry or physics in high school, but when you realize you have to take multi-variable calculus... you may change your mind.

    2) Broke to $10,000
    option 1: same as above
    option 2: Live at home and commute to a state school. Depending on your location, you may be able to find a school that is close enough and cheap. My TOTAL tuition cost is only ~$3,000 this coming fall. I opted to live at home and commute to save the 10k it costs to live at school. I also go to a SUNY school which is a big money saver already. You can declare a major that interests you if you'd like, or just remain undeclared.

    3) $10,000 +
    If you really have no idea what you want to do, save your money and try the smaller options. If your parents are filthy rich and you really feel the need to go to Harvard, be my guest. Just be weary as you may find out the school isn't right for you.

    In general, I would choose a school that fits a variety of your interests so you have the option to try different subjects out. Also, try finding graduate students at your potential colleges. Many schools will post their graduate student emails somewhere, as they usually do some sort of stipend work (usually teaching or some sort of desk-type job). I'm willing to bet most grad students would be open to discussing this sort of stuff with you, especially if it pertains to their graduate work.

    Good luck!
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      May 26 2011: Thanks a lot for your answer!
      there is one thing i can't do here in Portugal ,that you mentioned,I can't not declare myself in any major,if I go to a faculty or university I have to sign up for a specific major,i can't wander around untill i find something that suits me...this quite unfortunate though
  • May 28 2011: I can say I've been there a decade ago (and I don't mean Cascais :p). I believe four main aspects are at stake here.

    First, as life expectancy stretches (and so does education) it seems that people are young for a longer period of time. In other words, I don't think an 18 year old today - generally speaking, of course - has the same kind of maturity that an 18 year old would have, say, 50 years ago. Of course teenagers are better prepared in terms of technological abilities and other aspects that play a central role in modern society, but the weight of responsibility is being pushed further into the future. Getting a job, moving out or raising a family (basically the three main moves most of us make in life that involve a lot of responsibility) are being delayed. And that's not necessarily bad. But to force people who are unprepared to choose their profession and stick to it is just not wise.

    Second, shouldn't we try before we buy? I mean, before choosing a career, teenagers should have the opportunity to see how things really work in their favourite professions, by visiting companies, interviewing professionals, watching documentaries, doing internships, reading books with realistic accounts and critiques of different fields of expertise, etc.

    Third, technological advances have made it a lot easier for us to specialise. For instance, the skills a graphic designer needed a couple of decades ago, and the skills he needs now are quite different. They both require sensibility, but the process of designing was made a lot easier and accessible, even for people who can't hand-draw that well (but still have great ideas flourishing in their minds). On the other hand, these advances also mean the new professionals need to update their knowledge and skills (a lot) more frequently. When we say 'there's no job for life anymore', it not only means people will change workplaces, it also means their professions will change throughout their lives.

    (to be continued... below)
  • May 28 2011: And yes, they might change professions more often.

    Fourth, sometimes it doesn't really matter how old you are, because you'll always feel attracted toward different interests. In different times it would have been harder to pursue those interests, so someone would enforce a path upon you and you would do whatever your parents wanted you to, or whatever your social condition allowed you to aspire to, etc. Today you are presented with the gift of choice. And choosing is hard.

    So, finally, my advice (mostly derived from experience): if there's something you really, really, love, choose it, even if it's slightly unrealistic (better to pursue your one true dream - even if for a limited period of time, because money really is necessary in life - than to spend the rest of your time trying to convince yourself of how rational and sensible your decision was). But since you seem to be divided, well, what about choosing one of your interests as a career and the others as hobbies, or side-jobs? And might you couple some of your interests into the same career (multi-disciplinary approaches are valued in certain fields).

    And since we're in a time of crisis and there's a shortage of jobs (and new types of jobs coming to life while others face extinction), I would add this: if one of your interests presents itself as a safer choice in terms of future employment opportunities and / or earning prospects, it might work as the decisive factor.

    Anyway, don't worry too much. If you're anything like me, in a decade you'll still be figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life. Just make sure the next decade is filled with experiences that allow you to grow and work in something that's meaningful to you.
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      May 30 2011: Ahah thanks a lot for your advice,I quite agree with your point of view.I do not know why i am writing in english since you and i are Portuguese.
      O meu maior problema neste momento e ter ido para a area errada,e agora nao tenho as disciplinas necessarias para ingressar em cursos que me tem interessado mais...vou talvez ficar um ano apos o decimo segundo para fazer as discipinas especificas de ciencias,para que possa entrar na faculdade de farmacia,porque ultimamente tem me cativado imenso,a investigacao viral,e tudo o que esta associado.
      • May 31 2011: Bem, pelo que vejo já tens um plano. Se o problema é "perderes" um ano, mais vale agora, do que começares um curso que não te cativa realmente e depois acabares na mesma por trocar, com mais tempo e dinheiro investidos. Acho que as pessoas não têm todas de fazer o mesmo percurso em linha recta nem terminar o curso com a mesma idade.

        Dito isto, boa sorte!

        PS: daqui a uns tempos provavelmente irás perceber que teres ido para a "área errada" te dá uma vantagem em relação aos teus futuros colegas. Não terás muita dificuldade em recuperar a formação de base e por outro lado vais ter um ponto de vista diferente dos teus colegas que te pode vir a ser bastante útil.
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          Jun 1 2011: Muito obrigado!espero que sim,em relacao a vantagem.
          por mais que nao seja,tive experiencias boas nesta are errada =)
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    Jun 1 2011: Choose! :-)

    Really it's the only option he's got. Choices will have to be made either way, to not choose is simply impossible considering that there are choices. To choose randomly is not wise because one may regret the choice later, choosing based on knowledge is less likely to be the choice one regrets but that's still uncertain. One can acquire knowledge by talking to people in different fields and understanding what they do.
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    Jun 1 2011: Be in the moment.
    Do what you like - if you like yourself and who you are then you will never fail.
    Living is very different to what it what was 20 years ago and 20 years before that - culture has changed and you have the ability to shape your future and the future culture.
    One important thing is to appreciate the support of others (so have some good people around you, family and friends) and to support others around you in a positive manner. Oh and talk to as many people about it as possible - you never know where inspiration can come from.
    All the best and wishing you have a great story to tell.
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    May 30 2011: Live, learn, and enjoy. No matter what you choose to pursue those three things one can always do.
  • May 27 2011: I know this isn't very concrete, or anything, but what I did was to consider what I enjoy doing, and by that I don't mean a subject. What I do mean is what skills you enjoy employing, and how you enjoy using them. For me, it was analysis, and coupled with the fact that I like (close to, anyway) definite answers, I chose physics.My point is, the subject is only a manifestation of the skills that you use in the course of studying it, so choose based on what you actually enjoy doing everywhere, and pick a subject based on that.
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    jag .

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      May 27 2011: this guy has a very good point of view,thanks a lot for sharing!
  • May 26 2011: I think it is actually depended on how much he knows about himself. Later deciding his abilities, hobbies, likes and so on we can talk about the settle. It is also such as writing an essay. Writers have to follow the essay structure; otherwise, it might confuse the reader. Same as this life we live in, if we go for a lot of different interests then we might be ended up with nothing or obviously confuse ourselves. It is very good to have varieties in life, but for the fundamental needs such like a job or a marriage we ought to be constant on our decisions. Lastly, doing what we like will never makes us aimless; therefore, instead of just earning tons of money with loosing some hair and getting bored everyday, we should consider both our enjoy and money together. In brief, setting up goals onto what we like and being constant on it will settle the teen and assist him.
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      May 26 2011: Yes,I intend to do everything,but i cannot do them all as a career,and being at the end of migh high school year,i need to find out what college to aply to..

      thanks a lot!=)
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    May 26 2011: One option would be to travel if you have the means. A 'gap year' where you see how big this amazing world is could help you find out what is really out there.
    You could spend some time volunteeriing around the issues or kinds of jobs that are potenital candidates.
    I hope you find something wonderful, Sebastian!
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      May 26 2011: thanks a lot =) unfortunately i don't have that kind of means ,but volunteering is a very good idea!
  • May 26 2011: I have the same problem. My mum said just do something in the meantime, I think that its especially hard in the current world because there is so many choices for a person in our position, for me i have saved enough money in several months to travel all over the place and i have a few contacts in thailand and egypt which means i can stay there for a pretty long time basically free accomodation and in 3 months i earned more than thier average yearly wage. I dont think this is helpfull at all but im in the same position and im starting to think helping the poor like this guy is something decent to do...
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      May 26 2011: Wow!that is a great cause,certainly! i shall keep investigating to see if i can find something that calls to me.
      You do those travels,they will be definitely good for yoy!
      thank you for your answer!
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      May 26 2011: that is exactly how i feel,i don't want to be stuck somewhere for the rest of my life if i am not enjoying it,but it has been hard to find just a few things to focus on,beacuse i am always wanting to learn more and more about a series of things.
      thanks a lot!
  • May 25 2011: Pick just three things of interest. No more. No less. A construction stands most stable on three legs. ....Take the tripod....
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      May 25 2011: very philosophical answer. i shall bear that in mind,thanks a lot!