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17 years old, need a voice of reason.

Goosebump012Goosebump012 1 replies2 threads New Member
So I'm making my transition from High school to college at this point. Graduation is around the corner and I should be off to a college soon enough. Some things about me before you read the following is that I love things that do with film/ media/ and creativity, I was never a sit down do the work for 8-9 hours type of guy. Anyways, moving on, I didn't do so good in school, but I am willing to work and stride for something if it seems worth it. So my question for the longest time was: what do I want to do in my life? I know for sure that something like computer science or high stress related jobs are out of the question. I realized early that I really do not want to be unhappy later in life in exchange for a high paying salary. I want to make enough to live off and have a little fun along the way and be able to enjoy my job, well more than the average cubicle worker. I grew up in an area/ city full of computer science people or computer engineers, and I don't think I want to go down that path. My choice for college next year is De Anza Community College, do a two year program, get into a TAG program and be off to some UC. Problem is, I don't know what major to study and work towards in the school I might transfer to. My other option is to remain in my hometown, San Jose, and go to SJSU and work towards a major like computer science or something un-enjoyable in a city I desperately want to leave. I'm scared if things don't work out at CC, life is over for me, or at least harder to come back from. SJSU is also impacted and has much competition for those computer science related majors also. Recently, I also considered the social aspect of a transfer if I were to get in. Most people at CC are in one year and out the next, etc. etc. I thought about this and I realized I wouldn't make many long term friends and when I really do transfer into a school, most people have built up this 1-2 year relationship with their friends and I'll just be a loner sticking out. A lot of these things that I mentioned, insecurity, uncertainty, fear of social development, all have taken their toll on me these last few weeks of deciding on what to do. I don't want to mess up and end up with some degree that I don't need and not get a job, and go down the bad path beyond return.
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Replies to: 17 years old, need a voice of reason.

  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN 3800 replies14 threads Senior Member
    Since you mentioned computer science 5 times as the subject you will not major it, I wonder why you are then considering SJSU for computer science. There are so many other majors out there. Have you ever looked at a college catalog for SJSU or elsewhere to see what is offered? I bet there will be a significant number of students who start at De Anza and then go to SJSU, so you won't be losing all your new friends.
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  • ProfessorDProfessorD 281 replies7 threads Junior Member
    Something I frequently tell my undergraduate advisees:

    Imagine you won the lottery. A hige one, hindreds of millions of dollars. You could buy a new house every day on the interest alone. You'll never have to work another day in your life.

    Two years later: how would you spend your time? After the initial shopping spree and the trip around the world and the crazy partying is out of your system, and you've bought cars for every friend you've ever had. Things have settled down. Now what? How would you fill your days? What would get you up excited, instead of bored, every morning?

    Find a way to get paid to do that.

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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils Forum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science 4237 replies34 threads Forum Champion
    @ProfessorD 's thought experiment is a great starting place.

    Try taking some career tests - as many as you can find online. Often, they aren't correct, but they will give you a bigger database / selection to work from - merely considering more fields will help you identify what you like/dislike.
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  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 43463 replies473 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2016
    DeAnza will give you time to figure things out. And, because it's relatively cheap, you can take a bit more time than the regular six quarters. No one makes the difference between a 19 year old transfer and a 20year old transfer :). Take classes in different subjects - psychology, environmental science, American studies, physics, statistics, philosophy, a foreign language... It'll fulfill your graduation requirements and will help you figure out what you like. In addition, tech companies need a lot of employees NOT in CS :) so, no need to major in CS to make a living.
    If you like the outdoors, you can major in Forestry, geology, earth and mineral science?
    edited May 2016
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  • PostmodernPostmodern 1160 replies91 threads Senior Member
    The fact that you are thinking about it -- and concerned -- shows you are on your way. Keep taking small steps forward and one day you will look back and wonder how you got so far.

    I know these are all platitudes, but I believe them to be true. Honestly, very few people who work reasonably hard and have good intent end up in bad places.

    I remember when my first son was potty-training (i'm sure he'd love knowing I am telling this story) and I was fretting about it. An experienced parent told me bluntly, "I wouldn't worry about it".

    "Why?" I asked.

    She replied, "Because I just dropped my oldest off at college, and I walked all over the campus, and not one kid was wearing diapers".

    She'll never know how good that lesson was she taught me that day. So take it from her, not from me. You will be fine.
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