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Laxplayer201092

how many of you are doing what you want to be?

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So as I sit here about to graduate high school, I see nearly every kid say that they are goingto college for whatever major... Now my question is...

As I approach the middle of my 20th year as an officer in the Marine Corps, I can honestly say I am doing what I love. There are times I wish I could choose where I live,,, actually CO would be high on that list,, but so far that desire has not taken precedence over my love of being a Marine, the love of leading Marines, and the love of serving my country.

I take if from your avatar you are considering joining the Marines after you graduate from HS? There are a ton of arguments on both sides of the "go to college and get commissioned" or "enlist and let the Marines pay for college then get commissioned" options. I chose to go to college first, then go to OCC and get a commission. For me that was by far the best option,,, maybe not for you.. I am torn on your avatar.. part of me wants to tell you to take it down until you have actually earned the right to claim the Eagle Globe and Anchor as your own... on the other hand if you use it as a sign of respect for Marines...OK... just be aware that a majority of Marines would probably want you to earn it before you use it. Certainly do not show up to boot camp or OCS with an Eagle Globe and Anchor tattoo.... HUGE mistake.

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For one, I wanted to go to college but the money just wasnt there. Other than that though, Id say I am doing what I set out to do. I always knew I wanted to work in some kind of manufacturing. Back in high school I wanted to be a welder and I actually did that job for the first 3 years that I was out of highschool, but then the company I was working for had a major slowdown in '00, work dried up and I ended up leaving that job and going to work for another company making generators.
All in all Im happy, but I want to get more into the design aspect and for that Im going to need to go to college to get a degree in mechanical engineering. Its something I fully intend to do someday when I can afford it, but it wont be anytime soon.

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I have had 2 careers in my life ... 20 years in broadcasting and now 13 years in the fishing industry (producing a fishing TV show and related website) ... It would sound pretty lame if I were to complain about my current choice of career path, but when you hear someone say "Once you turn your passion into a career, it eventually becomes a job." I'd have to say believe it. Don't get me wrong - it still beats having a "real" job, but it isn't what i had hoped it would be. I was in college for 2 years (mid-70's) working toward a teaching degree when I was told there were no teaching jobs to be had and I should choose another path. That's when I left college and went to Tech School to learn a trade ... Radio & TV Broadcasting.
Sometimes I still wish I had gone into teaching ... now I teach people how to fish (in a way at least) ...
What ever you decide to do, make sure you keep an open mind and follow your gut, even if others don't think it's what is best for you ...

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So as I sit here about to graduate high school, I see nearly every kid say that they are goingto college for whatever major... Now my question is...

I guess i am in the same boat as you. It's February and i have 3 months until high school is over, and i already have enough credits to graduate so, needless to say, i'm fighting senioritis. The problem is, i'm in 4 AP classes so i can't really quit. I have a very good GPA and i have applied to 8 colleges, my top 3 being Lehigh, Lafayette, and University of Delaware (i won't know where until April), and i am looking to study mechanical engineering. Do i know i am going to be a mechanical engineer when college is over? No, but i'm pretty certain i will have something to do with engineering. I want to go to college, to be unknown to everyone and not carry a reputation, and to learn new things. Plus, the winters are getting annoying. Life is alright, except i desperately need a job and i am watching the last year of my foreseeable future with an (nearly) unlimited golf budget (ie. my parents, haha) count down.

I knew exactly which school I wanted to attend and which major I wanted to study there.

May i ask where?

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I take if from your avatar you are considering joining the Marines after you graduate from HS? .. I am torn on your avatar.. part of me wants to tell you to take it down until you have actually earned the right to claim the Eagle Globe and Anchor as your own... on the other hand if you use it as a sign of respect for Marines...OK... just be aware that a majority of Marines would probably want you to earn it before you use it. Certainly do not show up to boot camp or OCS with an Eagle Globe and Anchor tattoo.... HUGE mistake.

Laxplayer... I too noticed your Eagle, Globe and Anchor - specifically the version work by officers. And, I had the same reaction as MRT. I graduated from HS in 1969, went to college and ran out of $$. I enlisted in the Marine Corps, hoping to get GI bill for rest of college. I really liked the Corps, and after finishing college, I went back in as a officer. Transferred to reserves in 1978, and I retired from reserves as a major. I got a PhD in Management, and see recent HS grads show up for college all the time. Some are there to learn, others so mom and dad won't throw them out of the basement. My advice to you is this. After HS, do something purposeful that you want to do. A tour in the Marine Corps could be a good way to start. If you become a Marine or anything else, you have to mesh your personal goals with those of your organization and take responsibility for your own actions. As for success in life, get some post HS training. Two brothers are firefighters, one runs a very successful hairdressing salon, one is a retired state employee, and one drives a truck for UPS and runs a personal business on the side. Three of us have college degrees, three of us do not - but all of us got specialized training after HS and support our families quite nicely. We don't belong to the big country club, but we are thankful to all be employed in this recession. Lots of craft positions are out there which pay good money. My nephew went to an 18-month aircraft mechanics down in Tulsa and now makes $40K a year with no student loan debt. The building trades pay well - it's hard work often outdoors, but you have something to show for your work. Veteran plumbers can make $90K a year with a fair amount of work schedule flexibility.
Posted by Jamo Do i know i am going to be a mechanical engineer when college is over? No, but i'm pretty certain i will have something to do with engineering.

Club designer Ralph Maltby is going to retire eventually. Possibly you could parlay the ME knowledge of stresses and materials and move into GolfWorks. Just a thought.

========================== Special to MRT10X: Semper fi! Are you going to stay past 20?

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Wow, where to start.....

As I approach my 36th birthday, it's nice to kind of reflect back on the decisions we've made and see how they've affected us throughout the years.

When I was 17, I had no idea what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was smart enough to see that I had to do something different than most do that were from the same small town I was from, but I just didn't know what. I wasn't ready for college at the time. While I was smart enough, I wasn't disciplined enough to stick with it, and I knew that. Then something life changing happened to me:

Desert Storm in 1990-1991..... Sitting at home watching this on TV, I finally realized what I wanted to do, at least for a while until I was ready to make a real decision. I enlisted in the Army as a Fire Support/ Fire Direction Specialist. I wanted a mixture of something that would be exciting, and something that required some brain power, and that job offered both. Believe it or not, figuring out how far the earth spins under a 98lb projectile while it's in the air takes some pretty good math skills, along with figuring out how much the spin of the round will throw it off course. It was a perfect mixture for me. 13 years later, I had a free bachelor's degree, and I still joked that I was in the Army because I hadn't figured out what I wanted to do when I grow up yet. Truth is, I just loved it. In 2003, I was wounded in Iraq, and in 2005 I was medically retired from service.

That's when things got crazy. I had no clue what I wanted to do. I had always known one thing, and that was putting rounds downrange. I was offered a low paying job teaching new soldiers how to throw projectiles downrange here in NC, so I packed up and moved here not even knowing if I could teach, or would ever like it. It ended up being a passion, which led to a much higher paying job from the experience I got. So now I'm still teaching Soldiers, and I absolutely enjoy getting up to go to work everyday. To be honest with you, if I didn't, I probably would be on Social Security and Disability and my retirement solely, because I have a lot of pain everyday, all day. I just enjoy what I do enough that the pain doesn't matter, I want to get up and go to work everyday.

My point to this entire rant is that sometimes you don't know what you want to do for a living until you get there. Some of the most miserable people I know are working in their degree field. The same degree field that they chose because they were interested in it at the time. While I had no clue, got a degree in Marketing, but I'm working totally outside of my field, and loving every minute of it. I think I read an article that 90% or some crazy number like that of people do not get jobs in their degree field, and that their degrees are just like a license to get a job. It just shows you are trainable. But the best thing I ever did was go in the Army to put life into perspective before I got my degree. It made everything I learned in class mean more to me, somehow.

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Didn't really want to go to college, but I did anyways. Probably more because my parents pressured me to than anything else. Got degrees in Biochem and Molecular Bio, now doing completely unrelated work making good money.

I have to say that going to college has definitely opened doors and made things far easier on me. I'm not doing what I want to do, but I now have the financial freedom to pursue such things so that hopefully, in 5-10 years, I will be doing what I want to!

I don't regret going to college for a minute. Some times I hated it so much that I wanted to quit, but I learned a lot about myself and what I am really capable of when I set my mind to something, and that is something that one can carry with them forever.

So yeah, I think that college is a very worthwhile investment, both personally and financially, for someone who has no idea what they want to do in life. You will have MANY more opportunities than if you hadn't gone. DO IT!

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In response to:

I knew exactly which school I wanted to attend and which major I wanted to study there.

May i ask where?

Sorry for the delay; I didn't see this at first. I went to UC (University of California) Irvine for Information & Computer Science. I've been programming since I was 10, although I was not very good at it until I was in my early teens (and actually took a programming course of sorts at UCLA for a few weeks in the summer after 8th grade). I knew early on that I wanted to do something with computer science; getting a 5 on the AP exam in 10th grade (no thanks to my useless high school) only made my decision more certain. I surprised many by choosing UCI over UCLA (accepted to both for undergrad) due to their computer science being an independent department (now school) instead of a subdivision of engineering. Even though I'm at UCLA now (graduate school), of the two cities, I still prefer Irvine, by a large measure, even though I didn't know that I'd have that big a city preference even five years ago when moving to Los Angeles. And this leads a bit back to the original topic; when you're selecting what you want to do, where and why are very important. Simply getting a CS degree wasn't the goal; I wanted one from a good school where I'd learn plenty of computer science.

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I could not wait until I got to the universities and once there thought it was the best life possible -- study and research, always something new and difficult. The physical sciences and mathematics were my areas, and that served me well as a professor, researcher, and business person. I never knew what I would ultimately do but I knew what I liked. Jumping in the deep end of the pool and learning to swim turned out to be a good choice. It was never easy, but I sort of took the position that if it was challenging it would be worth it. No regrets all these years later -- I still study just for the fun of it.

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I wanted to go to college. I spend 2 years in the Army myself to help pay for it. I have a degree in Illustration from Mason Gross (Rutgers) and im a graphic desiger today. College is what you make of it. If you use what you learn there instead of lean on it you will find sucess.

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Just as a slight heads up;

I am personally going the .mil route myself to help my self pay for college, and cuz damnit i want to. But i must say its intresting to see all of your answers, so keep em comin!

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I wanted to go into law enforcement when I was in school. Well, I ended up going the backup route and becoming a studio musician. Turns out good musical skills and education are fairly rare.

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Interesting story on this topic, just last night at the gym I overheard two older gentleman talking to a 20 year old kid and generally asking him what he's been up to and if he was attending college locally. He mentioned that he was taking classes at IUPUI (the local college) and living at home in order to save money. Both older gentleman lauded him for his decision saying something to the effect of, "See, I wish more people would understand that they're missing out on a huge opportunity to get an education and save some money. They all feel like they've got to go somewhere."

I wholeheartedly disagree with their point of view. Sure, I could've saved some money by staying at home with my parents but my first two years on campus at Ball State were when I truly began to grow up. I learned the meaning of independence, managing money, etc.

Anyway, I am a practicing architect and I love every minute of it (I was hooked by my high school drafting class). Now, that's not to say I don't sometimes fantasize about being a golf pro somewhere when I'm overwhelmed at work, but really, who doesn't do that?

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In High School I actually wanted to be an architect. I was accepted into the University of Nebraska but to get into their architecture program I would have had to take a full year of math to meet the requirements. That plus their program being a competitive one meaning I might not even have the chance to finish my degree as an architect made me rethink what I wanted to do. For lack of anything better to do I decide to join the Army since it was what my father was in and that’s what I know. Turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. Became a computer analyst and used that training and knowledge that I got in the Army to get a job working in the defense industry as a contractor. I have since worked my way up to an IT project management position and while I would rather be playing some sport for a living I do enjoy what I do.

One word of advice though is to make sure you take care of your degree while you’re young. I screwed around and partied when I was in the Army stationed in Germany and Florida. When the time came to get out I didn’t have a degree even started. I will actually finish my degree this year but it would have been a lot easier and probably not have taken so long if I had taken care of it while I was younger and didn’t have to ‘refresh’ my memory on certain subjects.

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This is an interesting thread:

Here is my story as a 26 year old pastor with a masters in biblical counseling


After High School I had to make a tough choice. I had worked all through high school to earn a soccer scholarship and play soccer while in college. I had every intention of playing at Michigan State University, the scholarship offer was in hand. Then I began to feel this pull to go to a Christian school and study biblical counseling. I had worked so hard(8-10 hours a day) to earn the soccer scholarship that I didn't know how I could turn it down. So 2 choices loomed in front of me

1. Attend MSU, play soccer, get a marketing degree, and play semi pro soccer with the mid-michigan bucks and see if that could become a professional soccer career. If it didn't I had the business marketing degree to fall back on

2. Go to Christian school, give up soccer, and study biblical counseling unsure of where it would lead.

I choose route 2, and I am very satisfied with where I am in life. I have been married for 5 years, my baby girl is 17 months old, and I am a part of a church plant in my hometown. I have been able to help counsel and keep together the marriages of 2 of my best friends in high school and am in the process of beginning a counseling practice that will coincide with my pastoral ministry. I also have been able to have a few writing opportunities in different magazines and will begin coaching High School soccer next Monday at a local school. So all of my passions have come full circle and are being enjoyed in my life.

With all that said there are times when I wonder "what if". My backup(I played goalie) from high school is now playing professionally in Greece and I sometimes allow my mind to wonder what life would be like if I had pursued soccer. However that what if never overtakes the love and joy that I have for how my life has played out to this point

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I am not doing what I planned, do or what I would prefer to do, but college is what gave me the skills to take advantage of other options until I can pursue a new opprotunity. The average person changes professions 3 tiimes over the course of their life. When you consider many people don't change at all, some are changing or being forced to change careers multiple times. Education gives you options. Look at all those individuals who made good money in various manufacturing jobs. They had few options when those jobs went away. In addition college exposes you to areas and ways of thinking about things which enrich your life in many non financial ways. If you dislike formal academic study, don't overlook skills based schools, their not as sexy but if it is in a field you enjoy you would be well served. Check out what a BMW mechanic makes! Way more than most teachers, accountants, or social workers.

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I have always wanted to work for myself,I am a Electrician by trade but always worked for someone else,I suppose I got lazy and the money was great so I never made that step into being self employed.
That was until the day I went back to work after the Christmas holidays in 2007,I was informed I was being let go as they had lost some big contracts and hadn't the work for me.

It was then I decided to finally give it a go working for myself....3 years and 3 months later I am pleased to say I am still self employed and have never been happier,sure it hasn't been easy and at times when I had no money coming in and when I spent days on end chasing money from guys that owed it to be I often thought maybe it would be easier working for someone else and just earn a weekly wage...As it is now though I could never imagine myself working for someone else,I love what I do and I love the freedom of working for myself,especially when I can take a morning off to play Golf and not have to ask anyone for time off!!

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For me, not going to college was not even a consideration. That being said I changed majors several times. I majored in Forestry and now work in finance. So not exactly what I expected to be doing. Am I doing what I want? I'm not playing guitar for a living or golf. That being said, I love what I do and am pretty good at. So I do believe I'm doing what God meant for me to do.

There's always a little "grass is greener on the other sider". I'd love to play guitar for a living but then you talk to musicians and it's not an easy life for most. Ultimately the trick is to find something you enjoy and don't dread getting up for every morning.

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Note: This thread is 3490 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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