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Doing what you love vs what makes money?

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Replies to: Doing what you love vs what makes money?

  • scout59scout59 3470 replies67 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,537 Senior Member
    You may not know what you love just yet.

    I say that because I double-majored in English and chemistry a long time ago. I actually loved English (and writing) more but I thought chemistry was more practical.

    I still enjoy creative writing - luckily, you can keep on writing and honing your craft even if you're not a writer by profession. As it turned out, though, I really love the practice of chemistry. I'm so glad I stuck with it.

    Keep you mind clear and your options open. You don't have to declare a major or a choose a career yet.
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  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP 16183 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    You can do whatever you wish in college, but make sure to follow your plan to become financially independent on the first day after graduating from college. Making money yourself or marrying somebody or winning the lottery or winning in Las Vegas or whatever, you need to follow your plan that you did not state in your post.
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  • warbrainwarbrain 693 replies23 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 716 Member
    Fortunately for you, Princeton does not have a business major. Not only that, but Princeton is a school where one could major in English and still realistically claim to want to go into ibanking, for example. So at least when it comes to satisfying your parents, you should be fine, I think.
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  • toowonderfultoowonderful 4077 replies68 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,145 Senior Member
    Follow your heart and keep an open mind. You are lucky enough to be going to a world class school. Try things out. Find what speaks to you, and the rest will flow from there.
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  • whatthewhatwhatthewhat 143 replies19 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 162 Junior Member
    Read Elizabeth Gilberts book Big Magic. She has great advice on career vs the creative life. In a nutshell she says don't expect to make money from your creative endeavors. They are their own reward.
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  • sensation723sensation723 554 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 555 Member
    I agree with @Sportsman88 You could major in creative writing and get your teaching credentials. You can use the time you have off in the summer to write.
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  • rayrickrayrick 828 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 855 Member
    Here's another book rec for you: "So Good They Can't Ignore You", by Cal Newport. His main thesis is whatever you choose to do, be prepared to put in a lot of effort to really hone your craft. If you get good enough, though, you can usually leverage that expertise into a satisfying, and hopefully even lucrative career.

    That being said, it is certainly true that some creative endeavors are so competitive that you need to be prepared to have a training-for-the-Olympics level of focus to succeed at a high level. I'd put most forms of professional performing arts in that category. I wouldn't expect creative writing to be quite that bad -- there's a need for good writers in a lot of different industries.
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  • NeoDymiumNeoDymium 2301 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,304 Senior Member
    Personally I support getting a degree that is explicitly useful, even though it is very possible to get a job with a less marketable one by playing your cards right. You don't specifically need a writing degree to be a writer, but you certainly do need a science degree to do science, or a law degree to be a lawyer, etc. It should be something you specifically like, but also useful enough on its own to give you a nontrivial base of knowledge that you can build upon in the future.
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  • brantlybrantly 3731 replies66 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,797 Senior Member
    Yes, of course, there are some professions that require a defined-skills degree or a license (engineering, law, medicine, dentistry, speech pathology, lab technician). But I would argue that MOST careers do not require a a defined-skills degree.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20432 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,641 Senior Member
    edited April 2016
    Some of us don't consider humanities and social science majors trivial, though. I've worked with plenty of business majors who can barely write a coherent email so I've come to appreciate strong writing skills as a nontrivial base of knowledge. Otherwise, you'll find yourself, like many of my coworkers, always coming to me with your grammar, proofreading, and writing questions. ;)
    edited April 2016
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  • ClassicRockerDadClassicRockerDad 6202 replies163 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 6,365 Senior Member
    It would be interesting to read the biography of Michael Lewis who wrote Liar's Poker (autobiographical and hysterical), Money Ball and most recently the Big Short.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Lewis

    He was an Art History major at Princeton who ended up at the Salomon Brothers bond desk.

    Study what interests you, but also develop skills.
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  • NeoDymiumNeoDymium 2301 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,304 Senior Member
    Writing is far from trivial, and I have always respected good artists, writers, musicians, etc., in the same way that it's common to respect the hard sciences. The only issue is, with the unstandardized nature of these disciplines, where a degree gives you some degree of competence but not one that can be easily understood, it's easy to get a degree that isn't useful. A lot of people who aren't good students, who arguably don't even belong in university, get the degrees without an explicit base of knowledge and aren't able to do anything with them. And that does, in a way, weaken your opportunities if you don't really have any "defined skills" to speak of.

    And incidentally, it does upset me how bad some engineers are at writing. Disdain for the other side (technical vs nontechnical) goes both ways.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20432 replies209 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 20,641 Senior Member
    As long as it's not "equities in Dallas", @ClassicRockerDad! (inside joke for those who have read Liar's Poker) :D
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