Little advice here please


#1

OK. So here is my situation at this present time. Im 20, in college, living at home, and i have no idea what to do with myself. College is not working for me right now. The reason is that i dont have a major and i have absolutely no idea what i want to do with myself due to the fact that i dont even know what vocation i am called to. I often want to just run off and join seminary cause i think that God wants me to be a priest, but then the next day I wll think “There is no way i could be a priest. I need a wife and kids and all that good stuff” So right now im failing almost every class im in and i really do not want to go back to school next semester. Lets face it…school isnt for everyone. I have no motivation because since i dont have a major, i am working towards nothing in school. Anyways, my mother is freaking out that i am failing school (rightfully so because she is paying for it) and wants me to go back next semester and continue on toward a degree. I honestly dont think that i can do that. If i went back next semester i still wont have any idea what i want to do with my life so I would probably just blow it again. Oh yeah, and i refuse to just declare a major because its a “safe”, or “neutral” one like business cause if im gonna spend that much time and effort on getting a degree, i want it to be the most important thing in my life outside of the Church. So I could just not go to school and find a full-time job, but i have to find one that offers insurance because if i quit school i get the boot from my parents’ insurance. (As a skateboarder who gets hurt a lot I REALLY need to have insurance). I dont have any idea on what to do so please give me suggestions…


#2

Hey, your mom’s right. Just do it. Major in whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be “practical” like business. What classes have you taken in college that you have enjoyed? Just pick something, and know that you can always change your mind or go for a double major if you think of something better. What’s the worst that will happen, it will take you a little longer to graduate? Isn’t college great, really? You have so much more time to skateboard now than you will once you’re out in the “real world”. Honestly, I wish I was back in college. That is a place filled with limitless possibilities. I know, I started out as an art major, then switched to classics. If I ever went back I would either study theology or film or both. You are so lucky to have this time in life. Don’t rush through it. Enjoy it. If you ever do end up being a priest, you will need to be educated, so that’s no reason to drop out. If your vocation is to be a husband, college is really the ideal place to meet a future wife. I don’t really see the upside to dropping out.


#3

I don’t know you so I don’t know if your problems at school are due to lack of direction/vocation,tiredness due to other activities, a lack of ability, an act of rebellion, a fear of growing up, or some other reason(s). As a young man of 20 you probably feel a need to take charge of your own life but that can be scary. As you have realized you have to balance your wants (skateboarding) with reality (insurance.)

Right now your passion is skateboarding and there is nothing wrong with that but you do need to approach that passion from an adult perspective, not from a that of a dependent child. From your profile, I see you work in a skateboarding shop. Perhaps you need to look at school from the perspective of how it can help you in the world of skateboarding.

Do you see yourself running a skateboarding business yourself? Do you want to design skateboards? Do you need to know what muscles the human body uses while skateboarding? Do you want to promote or organize skateboarding exhibitions? Do you want to be a recreation leader or teacher? There are all kinds of classes that apply to those various aspects of the skateboarding world.


#4

[quote=SMHW]I don’t know you so I don’t know if your problems at school are due to lack of direction/vocation,tiredness due to other activities, a lack of ability, an act of rebellion, a fear of growing up, or some other reason(s). As a young man of 20 you probably feel a need to take charge of your own life but that can be scary. As you have realized you have to balance your wants (skateboarding) with reality (insurance.)

Right now your passion is skateboarding and there is nothing wrong with that but you do need to approach that passion from an adult perspective, not from a that of a dependent child. From your profile, I see you work in a skateboarding shop. Perhaps you need to look at school from the perspective of how it can help you in the world of skateboarding.

Do you see yourself running a skateboarding business yourself? Do you want to design skateboards? Do you need to know what muscles the human body uses while skateboarding? Do you want to promote or organize skateboarding exhibitions? Do you want to be a recreation leader or teacher? There are all kinds of classes that apply to those various aspects of the skateboarding world.
[/quote]

Just to build on this,

Homebrew, I dont know if you do know but if you dont already you could go to a community college which should be cheaper and smaller than most universities. Also flexible times.
If your into building/design you should take things like the hands on craftsmanship stuff like woods, welding, autobody, etc you would learn a lot of valuable stuff. Also you could take design classes (eg computer aided drafting) like AutoCAD, SolidWorks, etc

Or are you the book type, literature, social sciences, math, science, etc? You could take any of those and work your way throug the 200 level classes and be ready to take on any major.


#5

Homebrew, I totally understand. I’m 21 and still working on a degree that I have no idea what to do with. Theres a running joke in the philosophy department…what can you do with a BA in philosophy? Ask your customers, “would you like to super size your order?” Thats what I feel like is going to happen. People keep asking me what I want to do, and all I say is that I will probably still be a waiter at my current job. All I know is that with a degree I at least have the opportunity to do something other than stay a waiter. Just keep going, keep getting up for class. Keep looking for an interesting degree. Don’t be afraid of liberal arts. Liberal arts degrees don’t teach you a specific task but they do teach you how to think! I mean, philosophy isn’t very practical but I would like to teach one day. Remember you don’t have to make a lot of money to be happy. Just find something you like and try hard to find a job in that area that will pay the bills.


#6

When I first started college I had the same lack of direction. I didn’t like school and also had no goal for my studies. LIke you I had no idea what I wanted to do. At the same time, I no longer wanted to be a burden on my parents.

There are some people who are just not ready for college. I was one of them.

I ended up making one of the smartest decisions of my life. I was able be self-sufficient and responsible for myself. I worked and gained valuable job experience. I was also able to get some time to mature so that I would be ready for school later.

You might guess what I did from my screen name - I joined the Marine Corps. The experiences I had during my four years of active duty were invaluable. It really contributed to me being the man I am today. It even made me more attractive to my wife. I met her after I was discharged but still in the reserves. She thought the uniform was hot. :D.

Now one consideration today is the War on Terror. I also served during war time, (the first Gufl War) but never went to the middle east.

You parents, especially your mother, will probably be horrified at the idea of the you joinging the military. There are still options that reduce the danger. No car bombs are blowing up Navy ships. Even in the other services there are jobs that don’t put you in the infantry positions of patrolling streets in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The military provides great life experience that you won’t find by sitting in a university class room. And there are great benefits that will pay for college later when you are ready to go. I used my G.I. bill to get my degree. I started back to college about three years after I was discharged.

An idea for you to consider.


#7

The first two years of college is not about direction…it’s the foundation, the key to your future.

My son doesn’t know what he wants either but he **does **know he doesn’t want to work at high-school-diploma-only level work for the next 5 years.

He can spend the next 5years in a university learning something, building that foundation of a good GPA or

He can spend the next 5 years at McDonalds, or bussing, or entry level clerical work, etc. He sees financially that would be a struggle…the income would not be enough to pay for an apartment, health insurance, car insurance, etc…he sees this. And if he chose that path … then what???

What I explained to him is that a college education opens doors for him **whenever **it is he finally gets a clue as to what to do with his life. It’s basically making the best use of your time at the time.

Down the line when he gets the idea that he wants to be a film director, or psychologist, or teacher, or whatever…the first thing he’ll notice is all the minimum educational requirements to apply for any jobs in those fields will require some sort of college degree. You just won’t find the ideal job asking for a high school diploma only. They don’t exist.

So, let’s say he’s 30 when he finally gets that “aha!” moment…he finally knows what to work toward…but he’ll have to quit whatever work he’s been doing the past 10 years in order to go back to school to get the education he needs to be the best ‘whatever’ he can be…at least to be able to compete for the jobs out there, right?

What if he has a family? It’ll be all the more difficult at that time to make that decision to go back to college for 4-6 years.

IF he already had a liberal arts bachelor degree he would only be looking at a 2 year graduate degree commitment of money and time - and there might even be graduate programs in that field he’s interested in that can be done part time so he wouldn’t have to quit work all together.

That’s why a ‘general’ degree with a high GPA 3.7 - 4.0 is the key to your future. It will open the doors you need opened when you finally realize which rooms you want to enter.

Since you aren’t motivated because you don’t have an end goal, what you need to do is make that GPA your end goal…make it your mission to secure a solid open-ended degree with the highest possible GPA you can get. Tackle each semester one at a time. Go see the college counselor and tell him - this is what you know - you want a major which will allow flexibility for your career choice down the line - and he’ll carve a path for you. You, then, only have to make it your goal to complete the path the best you can.

P.S. The military is a good option too. It would be another way of making the best use of your time at any given time.

The other option would be to get jobs where you can to support living on your own and all the expenses that go with it and look into technical/trade schools. Culinary Arts, for instance, is a field you can get into and make a good living at later, by getting into reputable schools specializing in that field. You don’t need an undergraduate degree for several solid professsions (plumbing, electrical, etc.) …they’d help, but you don’t need them.


#8

You are gettting some good advice here. I just wanted to add that I think the majority of people in college have no idea what they want to do with their life. And the ones who do will probably change their mind eventually along the way.

I was one of the majority–I had no clue. Well, I knew I wanted to be a stay-at-home wife and mother (which I am now) but in the meantime, since there was not husband-prospect, I knew a liberal arts college education was a good foundation. I went for the “practical” business degree and have regretted that decision since then! It was the wrong decision for me–my lowest grades were in my business classes, and highest grades were in psychology and english classes. I wish I had had an advisor who had pointed me in the right direction (why I was too dumb to figure it out on my own, i don’t know!).

When my husband was in college, he wandered aimlessly as well, but graduated also with a business degree. After a year out of college, working as a bank teller, then collections officer, he decided to go to law school. It is the perfect job for him, but he was 24 before he figured it out. At that time, he had a bachelor’s degree and it was simple to move on.

Be thankful your parents are footing the bill for a college education. At 32 years old, my husband and I are both still paying on our student loans! Find the are you are most interested in and apply yourself. Make it your goal for now to graduate with a high GPA. It really doesn’t matter what the degree is in! Just enjoy this time! Trust me, college can be an awesome time in your life!


#9

Even if you do become a priest, you will still have to go to school.

There is no reason not to continue in school just beause you do not know what you want to do. Stay in school! Make yourself do well. Perhaps moving out, or getting a job in addition to school would help you. Get involved at campus. Just because you don’t know what you want to do is not an excuse to do nothing.


#10

To present another side – I dropped out of college (with a full ride scholarship). My DH graduated college (also a full ride scholarship student).

We married about a year after his college graduation – he and I were both working, I as an office manager and he as an assistant visual marketing manager – we made exactly the same amount $4 per hour (this was more than 15 years ago…) and one of us had insurance.

After the birth of DS, I quit working to stay at home. DH moved to a fortune 500 company – entry level job, $5 per hour. Long story short, I had to go back to work when DS was 9 months old when DH was laid off, and could not find another job for awhile (he applied at factories where they would not hire him because of the degree).

I took an entry level job with a small phone company, $5 per hour. 2 ½ years later, the company I worked for sold, and the purchasing company offered me a much better job at double the pay with full benefits. DH continued to work. I moved into middle management, was sought after by other companies – moved into upper management, even held a Director title at one start up. Needless to say, a few years into this, DH was a stay-at-home-dad, doing freelance work.

My point here – a college degree does not guarantee you will walk into a well paying job with an office and a 401K. In most cases, you will walk into a cubicle or behind a counter (that is why the call them entry level jobs). The covered parking spot and office come with experience. Do I wish I’d gone back to finish my degree, sometimes I do – and I may do it someday. I would not trade the experience of knowing my industry from the ground up for that diploma, no way.

(Side note -As someone who has hired many people, Military service provides the opportunity to combine experience with education. My son plans some service after high school, and we support that decision 100 %.)


#11

I’m going to dissent a little and say there’s no shame in putting college off if you’re not ready for it and don’t know what to do. There is no reason to waste your parents’ money on a degree you don’t want.

On the flipside of that, I feel very strongly that someone who chooses not to go to college must not continue to live at home. If you’re adult enough to decide that you do not want or are not ready for higher education, you are adult enough to get a full-time job doing something else to be self-sufficient on your own.

In other words, don’t let your decision to wait on college tempt you to be a freeloader at Mommy motel.

On a side note, my fiance waited until he was almost 21 to start college. I respect him a lot for making that decision.


#12

[quote=nucatholic]Theres a running joke in the philosophy department…what can you do with a BA in philosophy?
[/quote]

My husband is a philosopher, phenomenologist, and does quite well, actually. He is a professionl adjunct, does speaking tours, writes, and is one of the few free-market capitalist philosophers out there.

However, his undergrad is in Math and Computer Science. He got that degree because he had **nobody **paying his way for college, and that’s what he felt was necessary at the time to get ahead in this world- a degree with some sort of cash value. He always loved Philosophy, but didn’t pursue it until middle age. He was afraid to try to live on Philosophy because of all the jokes. And it’s partially true- Without passion and imagination, Philosophy is a hard career choice.

So, Homebrew, if you feel the real need to go out there and explore the world and wait on the degree, do so. Just don’t expect your mother to hold that degree money in perpetual trust for you while you pursue and peruse your other activities. For that matter, you should really consider how you are going to support yourself when you leave college.


#13

major in womyn’s studies.


#14

Some people just like to throw their money away…

There is no requirement that one has to go to college in their twenties.

If you have no direction then do not do it. All you will do is waste your time and it will show.

Couple of stories:

My younger brother went to college for 1 year and dropped out. He got a job with the phone company as a repairman. Fifteen years later he is still a repairman earning in the 80’s (with OT) happily married with three kids.

A friend did not go to college, got married, had two kids and divorced by age 32. She has a full-time job in the corporate world and was told that to advance she needs a degree. She goes to school at night. She will be graduating with a BS degree next fall.

One can always go to college or not depending upon circumstance.


#15

Money spent on education is never a waste of money. An education is something you will always have. I’m not just talking about a DEGREE, which of course also may and probably will come in handy. I’m talking about EDUCATION. If the OP has someone willing to pay for their college education, that is a gift, and should be treated as such.


#16

Hello Homebrew :slight_smile:

You sound exactly like myself many years ago...

First off, God calls us to serve Him, we do not just feel like we will maybe try the seminary, trust that He knows you better than you know yourself, He knows what you are capable of, even if you cannot now see that in yourself. I am the last person I ever thought God would want to serve Him, my calling started out pretty much like yours, and I dismissed it. However, it never went away, sometimes it was harder to feel, but over time it kept coming back… until in my 30’s I finally had to at least test it and see where it would lead. Religious life is full of many different and rewarding paths, and they require many different types of people…
You have already taken the first step by acknowledging the stirrings within you, now pray… ask God to guide you, He will.
Seek out a GOOD Spiritual Director, ask your parish priest, or campus chaplain to refer you to one, and most importantly ask the questions you need to ask. God doesn’t always work like we think He should, but He certainly does work!


#17

you don’t belong in college, especially on somebody else’s money, if you don’t have a clear idea of why you are there, or are not motivated by the sheer love of learning and aquiring a liberal education, coming in contact with the great minds of history, and entering into civilized discourse with the world. Or at least have a goal in mind.

Join the military.
Get a job
above all move out and be an adult, that will give you motivation right quick, and maybe firm up your ideas about how you want to spend the rest of your life
seminary is not an escape for people who do not know themselves well enough to choose a college major.


#18

I’m a little surprised no one has mentioned trades training. If you enjoy physical work, there is a looming trades shortage from welders to millwrights to mechanincs to plumbers to electricians…

Serving an apprenticeship allows you to earn and learn, gives you in demand skills that are highly portable and are generally well paid for. A lot of trades workers make more than a lot of people with masters degrees and have more job security as well.


#19

I’ll try to keep this short, so excuse me if I sound abrupt.

ANYONE can do well in school. You decide.

The seminary is probably not for you right now. If it was, you’d know it.

The military would be an excellent choice for you. Finish whatever classes you are in so you get the credits. Take the ASVAB test to see what schools you could get into. Personally, I joined the Corps because that’s what I really wanted to do. For someone like you, I would suggest the Navy or Air Force. They tend to have the better technical schools and usually have better duty stations. Also, they’re better if combat is not your desire, but you would like to have the experience of serving your country. They can help pay for schooling and give you real world training (like a trade school), and give you life experience that the top employers are looking for. If your not sure, just go check them out. Don’t let the recuiter pressure you into signing anything until you are sure. I would also highly recommend that you look into the Reserves. One thing to remember, is that if you decide to join, you have an obligation for a certain number of years. It’s not just an easy way to get education, training, and experience. Don’t do it, if you absolutely could not handle being deployed overseas. However, I’ve never met someone who said that they totally regreted their decision to join.


#20

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