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Life After High School (Need Advice)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Alright I have a probelm and I need some advice about it. Well this year Im a senior in High School in Alabama, a state that Ive always lived in but that Im dying to get out of, and when I was a baby my parents bought some kind of thing to where my college is paid for if I go in the sate of Alabama. When I was younger for as long as I can remeber Ive always wanted to be an FBI Field Agent. Then a year or three ago I started taking carrer test online and they said I would be suited best as a Social Worker, and I had always been thinking about that too because I love to help people and Im a understanding a good listener. So lately Ive come to the conclusion that I want to be either a FBI Field Agent, Social Worker, or Undercover Detective. Anyways that was just alittle background info, once I get started I cant stop, lol. Alright well what I need help with is lately Ive been thinking about taking some time off from school and find myself, I just have some things I need to sort out. But Im not sure if this would be the best plan. I was thinking about moving to San Francisco and renting an apartment and getting a job, but Im not sure I would be able to afford it... And see if I go to college my parents will pay for everything except for gas and spending money, although I havent really asked what they would do if I took some time off. But my question is what do you think I should do... And like what jobs do you think I could get to support myself durning my time off? Im just really confused.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techno-Elf
Alright I have a probelm and I need some advice about it. Well this year Im a senior in High School in Alabama, a state that Ive always lived in but that Im dying to get out of, and when I was a baby my parents bought some kind of thing to where my college is paid for if I go in the sate of Alabama. When I was younger for as long as I can remeber Ive always wanted to be an FBI Field Agent. Then a year or three ago I started taking carrer test online and they said I would be suited best as a Social Worker, and I had always been thinking about that too because I love to help people and Im a understanding a good listener. So lately Ive come to the conclusion that I want to be either a FBI Field Agent, Social Worker, or Undercover Detective. Anyways that was just alittle background info, once I get started I cant stop, lol. Alright well what I need help with is lately Ive been thinking about taking some time off from school and find myself, I just have some things I need to sort out. But Im not sure if this would be the best plan. I was thinking about moving to San Francisco and renting an apartment and getting a job, but Im not sure I would be able to afford it... And see if I go to college my parents will pay for everything except for gas and spending money, although I havent really asked what they would do if I took some time off. But my question is what do you think I should do... And like what jobs do you think I could get to support myself durning my time off? Im just really confused.


Attending college and 'finding yourself' are not mutually exclusive. Unless you have a definite plan of something meaningful to pursue, taking time off to 'find yourself' can easily end up meaning 'wasting time partying, hanging out with similarly unfocused friends and/or working some meaningless McJob for living expenses'.

You have plenty of time to leave the State. You may develop a specific academic interest that will logically lead to an opportunity for study abroad. The security of paid tuition and your parents' financial support are not to be taken lightly. Debt is a bitch that you can easily waste a lot of time, effort and emotional energy extricating yourself from. The conventional wisdom is that academic debt is relatively 'good' debt, but to my mind, any debt taken on unnecessarily is simply foolish. If your tuition's paid for, I'd say you owe it to yourself to at least enroll for the first year and take advantage of as broad an academic experience as you can.

If you take advantage of the academic opportunity sitting in your lap and get your degree, you can then make your own choices about what you want to do with your life; with neither a degree nor a specific passionate focus, your options will be limited and you are likely to drift.
post #3 of 10
Unless you're absolutely convinced you can't handle it, I'd suggest you go on to college. If you wait, life has a way of making its own plans for you. It can be much harder to go back than you might think. Plus, college will let you pin down your interests and help you determine what career is right for you. You don't need to have all the answers now; most folks end up doing something entirely different than what they think they will when they're starting freshman year.

Right now your mom and dad are offering you a great opportunity. Take them up on it.
post #4 of 10
I find it hard to advise you on this, as every person is different. For some (probably most), college is the right choice just after high school. On the other hand, for some it's the military and for some it's civilian employment. I agree with the above posters that your parents are giving you an outstanding opportunity. Educational debt sucks - literally - it sucks a huge percentage of your wages away from you on a regular basis. If you can avoid it, you're already one step up. Also, remember that you can use your summer's to take internships or other jobs to get a better idea about your quite diverse interests. Ultimately, if you want to work as a social worker or an FBI agent, I believe a higher education is a must. Probably not for a police detective, but you still have to go through police training, which I imagine is quite rigorous.

The one piece of concrete advice I would offer is don't move to one of the most expensive places to live in the country (i.e. San Francisco) with no job prospects unless you really want to rough it. You will most likely end up with a low paying job and living in a bad neighborhood.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice guys. Especailly considering that after I brought up the subject it did go so well with my mom and lets just say alot of bad things were said. And aparently I wont get any help what so ever if I take any time off. So I guess I will go right after High School, I mean yall are right thats basically a free ride, except its by my parents. Well Thanks
post #6 of 10
Tech,
I think I have an idea of what you are feeling. I grew up in TN and in mid 2004 my family and I moved to MS when I was 19. Not too different from Alabama. I wanted to get out ever since my first day in MS. After a year it was time to decide what uni I would go to and my parents had always expected me to go somewhere in MS or Louisiana. They didnt want to hear that I wanted to move out, and it was the only time I can ever say I really butted heads with my parents. For 3 nights in a row I debated with my dad about moving to CA. I had done the research and had a lot of good arguments lined up and in the end they had decided to support me. The basic premise was that it was better for me in the long run, and I just wanted to be happy. Even though I did not know exactly how living in CA would be for it, I knew I hated MS and knew I wanted to get out.
If you want out and know that you are not going to be happy where you live then try to get out. As far as your parents, think of their decision on whether to support you or not as a process. Sell them on the idea of you moving out before you push them to give you an answer. If they stall on an answer then just take a short break from school and travel. Taking time of school and working isn't a bad idea either, because if you move away after that time you will only have more options since you have more money. Don't take too much time off though. A lot of people I knew who have done so will never go back to school and have convinced themselves that they can get on the fast track to success without it. Possible, yes. Likely, no.

If you are unsure about what to major in or do after school then just learn about other peoples majors, career ideas, and internships for the first year or so.
post #7 of 10
First thing that pops in my mind is "grass is always greener". I will grant you that some people are better suited to living different places. But life is going to throw you all different kinds of curve balls, from job transfers, relationships (that little hottie you fell in love with lives 1000 miles away, etc), so I'd advise you to learn now to just bloom where you're planted. There's something good to be found just about anywhere, if you look for it. And frankly, if you're working / studying, it won't much matter WHERE you're going to school.

As others have said, you will have plenty of time the next 5 or 6 years to "find yourself" and figure out what it is you want to do. Try to get part time jobs - or even summer internships in each of those fields to see which one flips your switch. I think most youngs guys dream of being an FBI or CIA field agent at some time in their youth (heck, I do everytime I read Brad Thor or Vince Flynn!). But I think you'll find that MOST end up pushing a pencil. Not to rain on your parade! If you really want to do it, then go for it. But from what I've been told, you'll be miles ahead of the (very stiff) competition if you bring a special skillset to the table, such as languages, technology, etc. Any of these things could be your undergraduate degree, as well as giving you a good foundation for other career options, if agency work doesn't come through for you. Many degree programs, such as psychology, that lead to a career in social work would also lend themselves to "agency" jobs of sorts. Just my two cents.

Most of all, please appreciate what your parents are offering you. you are truly blessed.

As an aside: Is the career choice the primary focus of the "self" you are trying to "find"? Or are there other issues? Is there any reason in particular you selected San Francisco? Have you lived there previously? Do you have friends who are trying to get you to move there? Or what? Because, as someone else said, that is probably the single most expensive place you could possibly choose to live, at this not-so-prosperous time of your life!

One of the 3 best reasons to go to college, in my opinion, is to have an expense paid (in your case) transition between living with Mom & Dad and the "real world". Very few people graduate with a degree in their originally declared major. And of the few who do (like myself), very few end up working in that field. So relax. This is the easiest time of your life. Enjoy it.
post #8 of 10
Take 'em up on it! Have fun! Study anything and everthing you can; i mean really use the learning institution for all it's worth. You'll be in and out in 4 years...then move far, far away from home.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by designprofessor
...then move far, far away from home.

You sir, are definitely American.

Jon.
post #10 of 10
also keep in mind that you could do semesters/summers abroad. stay in school.
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