I'm...Stuck. Please Help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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I'm...Stuck. Please Help!

I've recently come to a really tough spot, and am in desperate need of advice. Since I was about 5 years old, the only career path I ever wanted to follow was to be a large animal veterinarian. My parents have always supported that, and done everything they could to encourage me to follow that "dream". Now, in my last couple years of high school, when the time is pivotal in making choices that will shape the rest of your life, I'm having second thoughts.

I HATE math. Hate it. And the only science that really interests me is biology. I do not want a career in math, and if you want a job in science, well...the two kind of go hand in hand. Unfortunately, math, science, law, engineering (all the subjects I have little interest in) are the jobs that make the money. Just as long as I've wanted to be a vet, I've always loved writing and English and language, and I'm thinking I'd probably enjoy a writing sort of career (author, editor, something along those lines) more than being a vet. I also was thinking of apprenticing to a trainer or something, and getting a job in horses. But horses and writing don't make money-math, science and technology do.

My parents never told me what I had to do for a living, but they were always firm about one thing: I was getting a job that makes money. I understand that they just want me to do well and be happy and have a good life, but...why does a good life have to be the product of something I don't enjoy doing?

My friends are telling me to "Just do what you like. It's better to like what you do than make a ton of money" and one friend in particular suggested: "Do what you like-don't choose one career yet. Just do a bit of everything, and eventually you'll find something you like." Which is a good idea-the only problem is that my dad isn't a judge; we don't have an infinite amount of money to spend and waste on university schooling, or to support me when I'm 25 without any real job. In my family, I'm more expected to go to choose what I want to do, go to school (and pay for at least half of it myself), and then get a job after. There's not a lot of money to throw around as I'm making up my mind-if I go to school, it's going to be the real deal.

So I'm getting advice from two different ends of the spectrum. There's my mom, telling me that I need to get a well-paying job (so basically a doctor, or vet, or something science-y), and then there's my friends, telling me to do what I enjoy (so a career in literature, or horses). I'm really confused, and stressed. What should I do?! Any advice will be much appreciated.


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post #2 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 07:50 PM
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Do you still want to be a large animal vet? If it weren't for the math and science would you still follow that path? Do you still like working with animals? Do you make good grades in math and science even though you don't like those classes? If you answered yes to these questions you should consider following your original dream. Look at it as making a sacrifice now in order to get to do what you want to do later. Maybe you could get a part time job or even volunteer at a vet's office to see if this is really for you.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 07:55 PM
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Look at it this way: If you're not good at math, you will have a very hard time at a science degree and have lower grades placing behind people where maths and sciences come easilly. The higher up in your class you are the better the jobs and the more money you will make. You wont make a very good doctor or vet if you can't do the math so you'd be wasting time on a money and degree for one of those careers (This assuming you're not good at math -- Not just don't like doing it but capable).

Take out student loans, get scholarships and grants and go for something you like. I will be spending many years to become a social worker but I will enjoy my work even though it doesn't make much.

If you want to write, remember that you don't necessarily need a degree. Write. Set deadlines for yourself. See if its something you like. I took a year off of college and went from going to school for english (teaching) to my current degree.

When it comes down to it, your parents will not be the one going to your job every day. Doctors and Veterinarians face stiff competition and if you're struggling with highschool math, you're going to have a harder time in college.

What about a vet technician or veterinary er nurse? Either you can do focused on large animals.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
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Hmm...I did do very well in math and science...up until this year. I'm getting a 90 in biology, probably something not very good in physics, and math I'm completely bombing this year. Every other year I finished math with an 88-89, and this year my teacher is COMPLETELY throwing me off. She doesn't explain any of the work-I totally failed the math test today. I wanted to scream, and just storm out of the class.. But ANYWAYS, that's a story for another time. To answer your question: under the right instruction, yes, I can do well at math.

As for do I want to be a vet anymore...I honestly don't know. It just seems like I have no other choice. It's all I've ever planned on being-it's pretty much impossible to say no. But I also can't truthfully say yes. I'm so....confused.


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post #5 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 07:57 PM
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Why not start as a vet assistant? I don't know the schooling end of it but its a foot in the door. I've always wanted to be a vet too but not sure I could handle sad situations. I'm a dietary aide in a nursing home and am very attached to some of the residents and it is very hard when someone dies or has to be moved to a secure area because they are forgetting the rules. I could only imagine having to put an animal down. But if you can, follow your passion and do what will make you happy.
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not squeamish, and I'm heartless (tehe) enough to be able to handle all the sad stuff, so I don't think I'll have much trouble there. If I was going to train as a vet assistant or vet tech, though, I might as well just go all the way and be a full vet so that I could make more.


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post #7 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 08:04 PM
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If you start as a vet tech (associates) at an accredited school, you can normally transfer the credits towards a DVM if you decide to persue that route
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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So then, basically I should keep studying to be a vet, even if it's not the job on the top of my "Ideal Jobs" list?


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post #9 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 08:06 AM
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Many years ago, son #1 majored in english while in college. He then went on to get his masters in linguistics. I was scared to death that his career choice would leave him wanting for a good living. He originally wanted to teach on the college level but that didn't work out so he went to work in the "publishing" dept of a large pharmaceutical company. Now, ~10 years latter, he is making a 6 figure income and looking to break into TV as a writer.

My point is that I never thought that writing could be as financially a successful field as it can be so if your concern is that you can't make a living and be able to support your passions, you can.

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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That makes me happy. I always knew writing was a tough business to do well in, but it's good to hear it is possible to make money. I want so badly to have a job in writing/language etc; it's one of the few subjects that interest me. I'm sorry for taking the "I'm only happy when I hear what I want to hear" mentality to this thread, but really, mostly I just wanted to know if it's possible to make a living in what I like.
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