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radicalfeminist

how did you figure out what you want to do with your life?

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I always thought I should know what I want to do with my life but finally realized I was doing it all along.  Going forward, one step at a time, making the best decisions I can, doing the best I am able. And for the first time ever in my longish life I have the time and income to spend a few days a week just painting. That is wonderful.

 

edit: I figured out that doing what I love to do is ok.

Edited by water

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It just came to me. After experiencing depression and crippling anxiety during my first years of college and finally finding doctors and therapists that helped me get better, I decided that I wanted to be a therapist to help people who were in similar situations. I think I want to be a counselor at a university and work with college students... or at least young people because that is such a pivotal time in life.

 

I am typically kind of quiet and like to listen to people, too. :) 

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I knew what I wanted to study since elementary school because of people whom I respected and admired so much.

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It fell together in bits and pieces over time.  I started out studying social work, then changed tracks (for a stupid, juvenile reason) and wound up with two bachelor's degrees in clinical psychology, organisational psychology and philosophy.  During that period I earned money as a tutor and teaching assistant (when I discovered a love for teaching at that level).  

 

I took a break from studying to work and travel overseas (my very manic and unhealthy twenties), and along the way got sidetracked into assisting on some higher education policy research projects. I turned out to have a talent for the work, and wound up doing my master's in higher education planning and social policy. Right now I'm working in academic planning at a university, and pursuing my PhD in higher education policy so that I can fulfil my dream of lecturing full time.  

 

All that happened over many years (I'm now 41), in between and around all my MI chaos.  I can say with confidence that though I don't regret the early educational path I took, I am a radically different person now with greater self understanding because of the lessons I learned along the way.  I wish I could say that there was a magical one-size-fits-all solution to the question "what should I do with my life?", but it's such an individual thing, and (without meaning to sound trite) everyone's journey is unique.

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As a kid, I thought about writing, architecture, teaching.  In college, I started out as a communication major, got bored and added business my junior year on a whim.  I did marketing for an engineering firm for a while, thought about going back to school to be a child psychologist, even took a few classes.  Then moved.  Got married, had children and stayed home a while.  

The child psychology courses came in handy.  Went back to work in marketing but for a financial services firm.  Moved into sales as a commission based financial advisor.  This was horrible.  I am now a fee-based financial planner and advisor, and I love it - I get to help people one on one, but no performance pressure to make a sale.  

 

I sort of fell into each part of my career, really, and took a mirandering (SP?) path.  Never in a million years would I have predicted in high school that I'd be doing what I'm doing now.

 

I still want to write, and have a few stories in my head that I just can't seem to get on paper.  When I have some free time, in between working, taking care of husband and kids, volunteering, etc. 

Edited by Odetta

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I kinda always knew from being a young child and watching court drama. So that was all I wanted to do. This is the carer path which I have chosen.

Some people just know others take a little longer. I would say do what you love

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It took me several years - and several college major changes - to define what I wanted to pursue.

 

I have always loved the arts since I was a child, but as I got older other interests seemed to make a significant change in the kinds of art I wished to dedicate my career to; e.g. electronics (lighting & sound design), music (production, writing). After changing my college major 4 times, I finally decided to listen to the other half of my calling and work with people (predominantly children) who are suffering from anxiety & developmental disorders as an Art Therapist,

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I had a psychosis.....Than a revelation that I was called to preach......I'm going to get my GED and get the ball rolling when I get out of here.....Growing up I never really had a desire or drive to be anything.....And girlfriends always kept my mind distracted so I dropped out of school. Today I just focus on trying to be a better person everyday.....I'm no where near perfect but I do love.....

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I first went to college thinking I knew what field I wanted to focus my studies on, but then I found I didn't really enjoy it like I thought I would. So I just started taking 100-levels of any subject that interested me, and eventually I took one that left me wanting to take more and more. I switched my major and finally felt like I was in the right department for me. I suppose I lucked out. 

 

What I want to do with my education and with my life though? Still no fucking clue. Not sure I will ever know that, at least probably not before it's too late. 

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Knowing what you want to study and actually working in the field are two different things. As I mentioned above, I knew what I wanted to do at a young age ("felt it in my bones"), but so far turning it into a lucrative career has evaded me. Add in my MI and all I have is frustration.

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I don't think that there is a definite. I had a job that I really liked, and I've applied to go back to school to change into a completely different career. But there was no hallelujah moment of "I want that!" It's more of a "what can I live with? What can I see myself doing?"

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I can't be anything but a painter. I've always known that on some level. I denied it, but I ended up at art school after 5 years of floundering in other areas. My mother, who was also an artist, said "HA! I knew it!" when I told her I was enrolled for fine arts. Rub it in willya...

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I'd always wanted to study hardcore biology but when I finally got to the good stuff, I kind of fell apart and I have no desire to go back to what I originally wanted to do with my life. Goodbye, noble prize (jk).

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hum, a BA in English, MFA in Creative Writing, PhD in English, and an MS in Computer Science and I still don't know what I want to do when I grow up  :unsure: It's having spent most of my life in school that has allowed me to make it this far in life in terms of my MI, so I guess it did serve some purpose :P

Edited by IsabelleStPierre

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For University i just picked something i enjoyed at School and i did ok at, which was Sociology.

 

It's ok at 18 not to know what you want to do with your life and very common. I didn't think practically in terms of a job in the future, i should have picked Social Work. But i enjoyed my subject and it go me through the 3 year degree course (it's 3 not 4 years in the UK and we don't have to do anything other than our chosen subject). even when my MI got bad, i loved my subject.

 

I still don't 100% know what i want to do at 26, all i know is that i have worked in retail and it's not for me.

 

I wanted to do a Masters in politics and a PHD in some kind of sociological research project, but i

just don't have the money.

 

My aim at the moment is to be stable and happy and get the relevant experience to do an MA in Social Work,

if i get employed in that field i want to to a PHD.

 

I also tried work experience in a school and it wasn't for me, i think it's trial and error, try something you

might be interested in and see if it's for you.

Edited by neptunesky

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I'm still in the last year of my BA but I have a PhD lined up for next year. I've always been a big science nerd and I got into reading popular science books when I was about 10. The only question was which science I'd choose.

 

I've loved studying biology as an undergrad. I can get paid to keep on doing it, so why not? I don't know if I'll go in to research after the PhD but the time I spend doing it will be fun. Or at least, what I consider to be fun. ;)

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I am 19 years old and am nowhere near knowing what I want to exactly do with my life. Perhaps teach? I want to inspire youth. I want to teach people and then by doing that, have them teach me. I never want to stop learning because I feel like you stop living when you stop learning. What better place to learn than in a school? I laugh because although I say that, I didn't learn much, content wise, in elementary to high school. What I remember most is how I was treated by students and teachers and what, because of such treatment, I learned from that. I want to continue in the legacy of every teacher I've ever had. I got lucky. I want to pay it forward.

 

I used to want to be a theatrical designer before learning that people in the business are generally masochistic - they, we, me - loved pain! Everyone is treated like shit, but - they, we, me - continue because that is what we love to do. Right? Did I love it? Did I really? After being a part of almost forty productions, I realized that I couldn't do what I was doing anymore because life is too short for others to facilitate the hate I had for myself. What others called abuse, I called my life. And I was talented. I had drive. I was the "best", but I still wasn't good enough. It's a good thing I realized what I am saying before I was too far into the B.A. Theatre Design track. 

I still love theatre. I love to teach. Maybe I'll teach theatre. Maybe that'll be a thing. Maybe I'll change my mind because that is also a thing nineteen year olds do. I don't have my life figured out right now and maybe I never will, but that is perfectly okay because in the meantime, I am trying to help myself by helping others.

Edited by Cadenza

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Trial and error, and self-work.

 

At the end of high school I decided I wanted to be a social worker/psychologist. I went to school, got my associates degree, and did my self-work (therapy). It was during that work that I realized I couldn't take on helping other people like that-I wasn't mentally healthy myself. So I took some time off, raised my kids (still raising) and decided that I could be a nurse. It's a way I can help people and I've always loved the medical field. So that's what I'm going to school for now.

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