What on earth am I doing with my life...
Bit of a garbled vent as I put off my paper and mid term studying :shock:.
I thought I had it all figured out when I started college, I was in the Psychology progam and THAT is what I wanted to do, starting with a two year AA degree, that I could continue at a bigger school, but now that I look at the numbers, so many years of school at expensive University, to be stuck with mountains of student loans at the end (I've managed for two semesters with NO loans, and I really really hope to continue that way so it's either spend 8 - 10 more years in school with loans, or double that while working enough to pay my way, yuck) in a field that I love... but don't know that I want to spend the rest of my life in. I have no interest in Psychiatry, was thinking about counselling... but to work in schools you also need a teaching degree, hello more school. Not to mention a HORRIBLE prof really ruined psychology for me but that's a different rant entirely.
Okay, no big deal, I just need to sit down and think about it right? And as I was thinking and looking at programs something really stuck out to me. My school offers a Social Services Program, two years including work experience to be put into an entry level position in the Social Services, and continue education as you see fit. That DOES sound interesting, but how am I to know there will be a job for me at the other end? If it's something I really want to stick with?
I'm also wanting to take some business management classes... I intent to get my coaching certification (working on my instructor of beginners certification this year, actually) and thought 'well, business is handy either way, it'll definitely help me run a business of my own' but in bringing it up to my friends I get the eyeroll and the 'well you know that's a very competitive program'.
... Yes I do, and I'm sorry you don't think I can handle it?
But hey, their opinion doesn't matter, does it?
AND SO. I have determined that I need to take the summer off and decide what exactly I want to do, transfer into a general arts program for the time being so I don't have the clock ticking on this stupid Psychology thing and talk to a counsellor. But for now I'm just ranting a little bit because school is stressful. Remind me why I decided to go to college in the first place?
You know, I started as a psych major. Just like you. I wanted to do counseling. Just like you. And I looked at social services. Just like you. I was not interested in psychiatry either. After one year of psychology, I dropped it like a hot potato. I had professors ruin it for me, so I thought, but then I realized later this year that I didn't have a passion for it. It is one thing to want to counsel people, and it is another to have a degree in psychology. I tried to do a social work degree for a while, but that fizzled me out too.
If you have a genuine passion for counseling, then I say go over it. There are not a lot of counselors available these days and there is a need. However, the pay is rather poor for what you do, and it can be emotionally draining. You must have a tolerance for all kinds of people, even the ones that seem to be running their life stupidly. You cannot be judgmental towards your patient. You must be VERY patient. I'm sure you already know some of these things, but reading them also will help I think. I found out I'm not patient enough to help people in this way.
Is there something you enjoy or something you are good at that you like? I knew I loved to talk, and now I'm a journalism major and love it. You might have to step out a bit and take a chance. Do community college if you need some time to try stuff. It's much cheaper but gives you the taste you need.
You are going to college because you want to be more sellable as a possible employee. There will be more opportunities for you out there. And the college life itself immensely changes you. I encourage you to continue. I didn't like it at all my first year, but now I'm so excited for the future!
I say, just pick a job/career and then get the education to get that job.
Firstly, don't feel at all badly that you don't know what you want to do. The fact that you're questioning your own decisions is a good thing. You're using logic instead of trudging through your education like a sheep just to get the degree.
If you like psychology and counseling, but want to make actual money once you graduate, what about pursuing something like occupational therapist? Unlike social work where you'll probably be living in your parent's basement for the first 10 years, it is a rewarding job that actually pay's well.
I wish someone had given me this advice 25 years ago. You already know ballpark where you want to be. Now find people in the actual positions and bend their ear for a few hours. Sit with them for a day at their job if you can or just talk to them over a cup of coffee. You'll find out really quick who reqrets taking which path and why. If someone had told me, my chosen field would involve working shifts, weekends and holidays, I would have made a different choice.
Don't feel bad. I currently have 3 years under my belt with degree in Western Riding. Now senior year, I am changing my major to Business which adds another 2 years. Don't be scared to question your decisions, the fact that your questioning it says you're not where you're supposed to be.
Funny, I took a logic class last semester :lol: it was honestly one of my favourite courses, but way too hard and too much like math.
But that's beside the point.
I want to coach, I had a brief stint over the summer when a young girl was leasing my pony and it was SO rewarding, I really enjoyed it. Fortunately she was insured, pony was insured, and her mom was a 'horse person' so that was fine, but now she's moved up onto a bigger horse and I don't dare take on anybody else until I have the insurance. Plus I'd like to compete in the am division for another year at least.
I'd also love to work in one of the women's centers down town as a counsellor there, but like MyBoyPuck said... they don't pay very well. In an ideal world I could finish my degree at the college I'm at (it's significantly cheaper than the large Universities in my area), work at a center part time and coach on the side... -sigh-
I might take your advice, Puck, sit down with some different people. I believe one of my Profs worked at a center before 'semi-retiring' and teaching Women's Studies. I'll talk to her. I'm also slowly becoming a part of different discussion groups, and will hopefully network a little bit. It's just all very difficult to sort out.
You're not alone. After graduating upper secondary school something around 5 years ago, I've seen many of my USS classmates changing their path and school.
If you're really interested in psychology and counselling, I'd suggest you to listen your gut feeling and go for that. As to social field (I'm university of applied sciences student in social field myself), this field seems to be quite wide and open many job oppoturnities. But I don't know if it's similar in US.
Sometimes it takes a lot of patient to reach your goal but is finally worth of it. I don't either know how this works over there, but at least over here it isn't all unusual to study something else later in your life and many people seem to do that. May psychology can also offer you something else than counselling if you choose that path but decide later in your life that you don't like counselling anymore.
Sounds that you've a good head on your shoulders, sometimes taking some time off for thinking will help you to think outside of the box and opens new ideas. Try still not to stress too much, I'm sure that you'll find your way as many, many young people before and after you. For me it took 2 years after USS to decide what I really want to do and study.
I dated a Physiologist master degree holder, banged her head against the wall trying to help people too stupid or to lazy to help themselves with the majority of her clients forced to see her by court order. So youcan tell how that would go. And couldnt understand a world why the kid with the Highschool auto tech certificate made more than she did fixing her 150,000 plus mile Kia. Until you get a Doctorate, doesnt really pay to well. You really do need to look at jobs that fit you and are in demand then see what kinda education is required then get it. Seems most people do it backwards. They go to school for something they like then tr to find a job that fits the degree and realize there arnt any.
I graduated from an expensive private college with a plan all laid out and then life got in the way. Half the time I haven't even been in positions to use my degree and the other half I still feel like I'm trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up!
But seriously - while I am in a position right now that does utilize my degree some - its not where I envisioned myself. A lot of people change their minds after college about their career choice but since they do have the schooling find other positions are open to theme they never even considered. My uncle got his degree in PE of somesort and he is now a big honcho computer/tech guy that travels all over for a a big corporation. Brings in the big money. And I know someone else who got an engineering degree and currently works in a shipping warehouse. You just never know. Get a degree in something that interests you now, and then go from there.
You might check out a career with a "Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling Services". They give monetary aid to H.S. kids going to college. Those H.S. kids must qualify by having health problems, or some other kind of difficulty which might hold them back (horrible family life, poverty, etc.). It's a great program, and you get to go one-on-one with kids, and actually help them. It's not just a "my parents brought me here to talk, but I hate you" type of deal. The kids usually come alone, and you can chat about grades, school, life, etc. Then they just sign some forms, and they receive federal grants. I utilize it for my allergies (they're life-threatening; not just dust or pollen, lol!).
A master's degree is recommended, but the pay is much higher, and it's a federal position, so it's a federal pay scale. My counselor always talks about how she loves her work. I really get the impression that there aren't a lot of people that go into it though. She has to drive quite a bit to see all of her clients.
But whatever you do- keep on with college. The best thing you can do is to obtain a college degree. It IS worth something. Don't ever let anyone make you think otherwise!
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