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Considering what to do with my life

Mighty_Spoon

3 months ago

So... For about 5-6 years now, I've thought I was most certainly going to major in computer science and do something with that. However... I was never really sure where that would take me. I'm a junior in high school, so I feel like I'm running out of time to make a decision, and I want it to be the right one.

I started taking Psychology this year, and the neurological aspect of the class is so fascinating. I love learning about the way the brain works and interacts with the rest of the body. I'm not sure if this is a weird phase or if I should pursue it further. On one hand, majoring in computer science would take me 4 years. Depending on what I would do with neurology (i.e. neurologist, neuroscientist, neurosurgeon), I could be in secondary education for 8+ years, and I'm worried if I can truly commit to that. I know I make the grades to get into a good school, and I take mainly college classes already. So I'm not worried about the workload or grit of the education process, just worried if its really the right choice and if I should commit the rest of my life to it.

Anyway, I'm just curious if anyone has any advice or can offer up some opinions. Thanks.

Comments

  • 3 months ago
  • 5 points

I am also a junior in high school (technically, long story) so perhaps I can provide some insight from someone of a similar age.

I used to think I wanted to go CS. For several years. Simply due to my interest in computers. But over the past year and a half I realized that my interest was mainly on the hardware side, and as a hobby. Took me a while to figure out what I want to do. But I think my path is Law. And I will be starting college for Paralegal Studies later this year. I plan on going to law school. But due to the path I want to go job wise(Paralegal in the military) I likely won't end up with a law degree till I am in my late 20s.

Anyway the point I am trying to make is that you don't need to do all of college in a row. If you are unsure you can proceed cautiously. Things change. People change. My eventual goal is law school, but my plans could change over the next 10 years. I may find a different path and career I would rather do. But the worst thing that you can do is nothing. If you get into college and realize the major you chose is not the best path you can change your major.

But if you think the neuroscience field is your path go for it. You may end up hating it and changing your major. But that's better than doing nothing. You may also love it and find great success in that field.

Well that's my thoughts.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Yep, found the Nullarc comment; this human tank has been posting about military aspirations for years. I get the feeling that having a dedicated plan is what will push you into a good life.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Well I have grown up as a Marine's brat. So that definitely influenced me. Although my Dad has never pushed to go into the military in any way. I still have another 13 months minimum till I can however. Long way to go. But hey 25k a year with a top notch healthcare plan and allowance for food and housing, plus college tuition benefits sounds to me like a great job to have for an 18 or 19yo. Plus it opens the path for once I get a bachelors degree to go officer and make 50k a year plus the previously mentioned benefits. And once those benefits are factored in you would need to make in the civilian world, around 50k per year to equal the pay and benefits of an E2. And around 90k per year to equal the pay and benefits of an O-1E. And not to mention the Navy offers massive bonuses for Doctors, Nurses, Lawyers, Dentists and a lot of others. While the Navy probably won't be my path, IMO it is the branch to join if you are in the medical field, or are a Lawyer. And now I am rambling.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

“Well I have grown up as a Marine's brat. ”

Actually, my father is former marine corps, but I’ve only just recently become interested in joining the military. I wonder where we went different?

I wouldn’t want to be a navy guy though.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Well I do plan on going Marine Corps shortly after I turn 18. And possibly going Navy as a more long term thing since Navy lawyers get some good bonuses(20k every few years). But I am not certain if I want to be a Navy JAG. Right now my focus is Marine Corps enlisted legal services. Get a law degree, go Marine Corps officer as a Judge Advocate. But either way I would be working for the same JAG Corps as the Marines are under the Navy's JAG Corps. I just think that the Navy is the best option for the average person.

If you are considering joining and don't want to go Navy, I recommend Coast Guard. That was my plan, but I would need a height waiver and I would be limited as far as jobs. And my interests have changed since then(shifted to law). But the Marine Corps is a good path if you like challenge and PT.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

“Well I do plan on going Marine Corps shortly after I turn 18. And possibly going Navy as a more long term thing since Navy lawyers get some good bonuses(20k every few years).”

What I was considering was going to college, and then joining the army as an officer. Not entirely dedicated to this idea, but it’s one I could possibly get behind.

“I just think that the Navy is the best option for the average person.”

Man, there are boats in the navy. You know what boats do? They sink, especially when attacked. You know what boats are built for being attacked? Navy boats. I’m not about drowning!

“I recommend Coast Guard.”

I know of a few people who did that, but I feel like Coast Guard is sort of a discount military.

“But the Marine Corps is a good path if you like challenge and PT.”

I could kind of use it to be perfectly honest.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

imo?

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

In my opinion.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

I feel like I'm in the same boat as you when it comes to liking the hardware side of things as a hobby. Thanks for the advice!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

No problem. And if you really want to go the Neuroscience path or something similar, I recommend looking into the programs the US Navy has. In some cases if you go the medical side they will pay your tuition and commission you a Lieutenant. But they also have other programs for the research side of things. May not be for you, but I recommend seeing what they offer. Also the Air Force may have similar programs, probably more on the research side. Anyway good luck.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Wow. I also want to practice law, and it's crazy how different our paths will/might be

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

I used to think I wanted to go CS. For several years. Simply due to my interest in computers. But over the past year and a half I realized that my interest was mainly on the hardware side, and as a hobby.

Now weird question, but what if you're also kinda realizing this but your a sophomore and don't know what you want to pursue besides CS or IT?

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Simple. Do research. See what colleges you want to go to and see what programs they offer. See if anything interests you. Take that. Look into it. And think about if you could make a career out of that and like it. You got plenty of time. The only reason I am focused on college as a junior is because I am graduating early and starting college right after. But you have time. Also consider going to a trade school.

  • 3 months ago
  • 4 points

You could very feasibly major in one while minoring in the other. If you plan your track accordingly, a switch between the two might be pretty reasonable as well. It can also be a major plus to have a strong computer science background while working in the psychology or neuroscience fields or when applying to grad school for either of those.

As others have mentioned, a lot of research into neuroscience is leveraging computer science these days.

  • 3 months ago
  • 3 points

I would say if you are not sure always do something that you can fall back on and will be popular. For example I know someone that went in/out of a career it was xray tech. People always get xrays right. In CS there is a lot of latitude, if you have the basics you can always get a position in something. Whatever you do or don't decide get something solid (degree/certifications) you can always do, typically something related but not always. As you go things usually get more clear.

  • 3 months ago
  • 3 points

“Considering what to do with my life”

Aren’t we all?

“I'm a junior in high school, so I feel like I'm running out of time”

Then I must be really behind. Truth be told, I’ve actually come up with three or four paths I could take, and I’m struggling between them.

From personal experience, a lot of the people who want to go into psychology just want to feed their ego and feel like the master-mind-reader god of any situation. Honestly, I feel that you’re already a step above all of them, because I didn’t get any of that from your post. I can’t really comment if you should go into psychology, but I can tell you one way you might tell if it’s not your thing: go out and purposefully expose yourself to the worst and most complicated aspects of the field. If you’re disgusted, maybe it’s not your field. For example, I used to think I wanted to be a chemist, then I found out about all the weird ways chemists perform math, and now I know I am definitely not doing that. Also, maybe just check online resources to find out what your prospective pay would be. That’s the reason why I’m most likely not going to be a mathematician.

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks, brother!

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

It is no problem!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

I will say that you are not running out of time. At my senior year I looked into good fields I would be interested in and Information Technology really interested me and I didn't have any computer knowledge. So after I graduated, I applied to a Junior College. Met with an academic adviser, a professor in your field of study, planned out the next two-three years and started taking classes the following fall semester. Right before I got my associates degree, I applied to a bunch of entry level IT positions. I got hired at a bank making great money. Currently working full time now and going for my bachelors degree part time. All this and I'm currently 21 years old.

My girlfriend was going for Psychology and took a lot of classes for it to learn she needs to get a masters degree to get a job. That's a lot of schooling and money. But she took so many courses already she doesn't want them to go to waste so I helped her look into something and the next best thing was human resourcing (HR). She did some research and really liked what she saw. She got her associates in business and now at a university to get her bachelors in HR.

I wouldn't worry about it. Do well in high school. If you want to work in IT, go for it. I went to a junior college, paid around $400 a class, in Illinois, and got a lot of experience I needed to get a job. But if you rather work in a different field, go for it. I would do a little research on it and see how much schooling you need and what is the hiring rate. See what the job is all about.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks a bunch for the advice!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Still have plenty of time. Figure out what you like. Maybe take a year or so off from school just to figure out what you like to do. Don't be pressured into society's accepted path of growth and adulthood as the only one (graduate HS, college for eight/four/two years, straight into work, etc.). It's a trap. People develop different. Parts of the brain take more than others to fully develop, and some of those parts help with decision making. The biggest thing is don't be afraid to make mistakes. Try things. Go places. Getting praise for good grades in school and doing all sorts of sports and extracurricular activities is all well and good, but it creates in youths a desire to always be successful and never fail, which isn't necessarily bad, but it results in a fear of taking risks.

Don't fall into that. Don't be afraid to just screw up, because it's never too late to try again. That has been and continues to be one of the hardest things for me to learn, but it's by far one of the most beneficial.

I'm almost 24 now, and just figured out what I wanted to major in recently. I already have a job that I love so I'm content with just seeing where things go.

Idk if that helped or not, but that's just my two cents.

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Anything helps. Thanks so much for your advice!

  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Then

PCPP -------> PCPARTPICKER

Now

PCPP-----------> PerfectCollegePathPicker

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Absolutely haha

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

Lol

  • 3 months ago
  • 1 point

The two fields are not entirely mutually exclusive. Some approaches to machine learning processes are based on our understanding of the human brain. (Others are more of a ground-up approach from the math.)

[comment deleted]
  • 3 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I'll try to keep my mind open.

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