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are you doing what you thought you were gonna be...(23 posts)

are you doing what you thought you were gonna be...dustin73
Jan 5, 2002 10:19 AM
doing at the age of 20?
No but I'm 36(nm)IAM
Jan 5, 2002 1:07 PM
re: are you doing what you thought you were gonna be...PaulCL
Jan 5, 2002 1:27 PM
Heck, at 20, I knew that I'd be in college and I was. Of course, I was hoping to be dating an SI swimsuit model, but that didn't work out. Yeah, yeah...I wanted to be a multi-millionaire too, but I found out that doesn't happen when you work part time after school. And no, I didn't win any Olympic medals either nor did I drive a Porsche.
Not what I thought I'd do, but what I WANTED tocory
Jan 5, 2002 2:26 PM
What I really THOUGHT at 20 that I'd wind up doing is something boring and stupid, installing telephones or working in a factory (easy, telephone guys; I did it for six years)...
If you'd asked me what I WANTED to be, though, (besides a civilian), I would've picked "Writer, living in a rural area, married to somebody smart and pretty." I might've added "writing about cars." Turns out that when I got out of the Army, I went back to school (mainly to collect the GI Bill money; I'd already flunked out twice), met the girl I eventually married (28 years this month), worked for some car magazines and wound up a columnist for a newspaper in a place I love. And I freelance as an automotive writer. Wish I could take credit for some of it, but I've mainly just stood around and watched it happen.
re: are you doing what you thought you were gonna be...DINOSAUR
Jan 5, 2002 2:36 PM
I had absolutely no idea of what I wanted to be. I stumbled on a career in law enforcement at the ripe old age of 29. It was fun for about the first eight years then it was just a job with lousy hours working weekends and holidays. After about 15 years I was burned out, but was stuck in it as I had a family to support. On the good side I had a good retirement system and was able to retire in my middle 50's. Like Forest Gump said, "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get". If I had to do it over again, I'd pick to same career. However I don't think I'd want to be a new cop, the world is a different place. My advice would be to hit the books and get good grades in school, you never know where it will lead you..
Being well read and being able to communicate well verbally and on paper is a big assest, no matter which path you choose to follow. Go to college and get educated...

"Life is not always what one wants it to be, but to make the best of it as it is, is the only way of being happy."
Jennie Churchill
English editor and playwright
Jan 5, 2002 3:19 PM
When I was 20, I figured I'd be a bitter drunk guy with a dead-end job by this time of my life (39). I turned things around at about 21-22, in large part because of cycling. Getting my body in shape helped to get me in shape mentally, and I exceeded my own expectations. People who knew me in high school are always surprised to hear that I've actually done something with my life. With a great wife, two beautiful kids, a nice house, and a stable job that leaves plenty of time for riding, I couldn't ask for much more at this point in my life.
re: are you doing what you thought you were gonna be...MJ
Jan 7, 2002 2:57 AM
I couldn't have imagined doing what I'm doing now at the age of 20 - lots of doors would have been shut if I had not kept the grades up - having said that don't wait to live your life when you arrive at some (arbitrary) point in the future - enjoy every day - life is what happens while you're waiting for your 'grand plan' to come together

for extra motivation my Dad always used to say that his career didn't even exist when he finished college - so just get on with it
re: are you doing what you thought you were gonna be...morey
Jan 7, 2002 5:10 AM
At 20 I was in graduate school working on my Ph.D. in Physiology. I thought I would be working in a medical lab somewhere. Well! I am a million miles from that idea. I owned a health club for over 20 years, and I am now the Superintendent for Public Works for a municipality. LIFE!!!
Had no clue what I wanted to be at 20...Kristin_CLS
Jan 7, 2002 7:44 AM
I've since narrowed my options down to about 5 possible careers and oscilate between those regularly. Then again, as an ENFP, I'm not entirely sure I'll ever "know" what we want to be. I want to grow and improve...thats all.

What I know is this. My job will not provide meaning for my life. For me, that'll be determined by how I carried myself through lifes interuptions and how well I served God and others. Life takes many turns; some sharp and abrupt, some long and casual. Its the sharp turns that define my character the most.
Had no clue what I wanted to be at 20...morey
Jan 7, 2002 8:20 AM
Being rather a poor Puerto-Rican kid, I was molded by my Mothers vicarious wants, and not having enough money. I went to medical school, got my Ph.D. because it is what my mother wanted. I got a real nice research position, climbed up rapidly. I was asked one day by a beer entrepreneur (Distributor), how much money I made? I told him, he said "is that all". I then became an entrepreneur.
I really did not know what I wanted to do till I was past 50.
What a shame!!
How did you afford to go to medical school?Kristin
Jan 7, 2002 1:34 PM
I grew up as a middle-class blue collar kid who's parents didn't plan for education. I could barely afford to attend a $15G school for 2 years. I racked up a ton of debt. I could never have gone to medical school! I'm still sorry that I dropped out, but at the time I didn't see the sense in racking up debt when I didn't know what to study. Now I understand why I should have stayed, but its too late. With full grown adult responsibilities and no one to bail me out of trouble, going back to school seems nearly impossible.

No matter, I think its rare that a person actually steers there own course anyway. So much happens that we don't plan for. The impact of circumstances or the pressure from others. One day, I'll retire (I hope) and have time to play at what I love.
Same old same oldmr_spin
Jan 7, 2002 2:01 PM
That is becoming a very common story. My first two years of college were basically wasted. Luckily it was a community college, so it was $50 a semester. (Funny thing was a lot of people protested that $50 fee, and we actually had a financial aid office!). I actually got thrown out at one point, but their records were so bad, they didn't realize it until halfway through the next semester. By then I had cleaned up my act and made Dean's list! Then it was 21-24 unit semesters to catch up and get the hell out of college.

Anyway, I wish more people had the option of NOT going to college immediately after high school. It's not the politically correct "stay in school" mantra, but how many people do you know (including maybe yourself) who blew off that first year? Why are so many on the five-year plan? I wish I had just taken a year off between high school and college. Work, play, whatever. At least I'd have something to show for it.

If I had kids, I would make them this offer when they became high school seniors. You can go to college next year, or...on graduation day, I'll give you a backpack, a one-way ticket to anywhere, and $1000 in cash. Go off and see the world for year. Fend for yourself, send postcards, call home at least every month, and don't ask for money unless it is an emergency. Plus, wherever you go, you have to figure out how to get home.

I'll bet I end up with a much more well-rounded, interesting, tolerant, wiser adult. I wish I had had that choice. I probably did--I was just too stupid to ask for it.
Sage advice . . .morrison
Jan 7, 2002 2:27 PM
I lived that life after college, and it changed me permanently. Actually, I think it was the chance (and unfortunate) encounter with the local constabulary in Zagreb that scared me straight. 3 weeks in the clink will do that when you're 21.
Same old same oldMJ
Jan 8, 2002 1:16 AM
good argument for national service

great advice - see the world before responsibilities creep in

a sort of Zen and the Art... a la Pullig - you get the education you need when you need it - university is wasted on the young
How did you afford to go to medical school?morey
Jan 8, 2002 3:59 AM
I borrowed the money and signed my life away. Actually, I signed to work for two years with Pfizer for them paying my final two years of school. They sent me to the Amazon valley to collect medicinal plants. The worst and the best times I ever had.
How did you afford to go to medical school?MJ
Jan 8, 2002 4:28 AM
excellent stuff - most people would never be that fortunate or would have to pay lots of money for that kind of opportunity/experience - indentured servitude doesn't sound that bad?!?
How did you afford to go to medical school?morey
Jan 8, 2002 6:31 AM
I learned more from the trip to the amazon than I ever did from books, in fact I could write a book. I found out that even though I was educated in a University, I was really ignorant about the forest, the people and the ways. It really toppled me from the Ivory Tower.
still not sure...mr_spin
Jan 7, 2002 9:03 AM
I'm 37 and I still am not sure what I want to do. I slipped into my career through the back door 12 years ago. I have absolutely no schooling in it, but it turns out I am a natural. I am already burned out on it, though. If I could find something that paid as well, I would do it.

I do know one thing. I figured I would be like my Electrial Engineer dad who worked for the same defense contractor for 30 years. He wore a suit to work every day.

I, on the other hand, have never worn a suit to work. In fact, I didn't even wear suits to any of the interviews I've been on in the last 5-10 years, and got offers from every one. And, I haven't stayed at a job for more than 3 years. One job I walked out after six weeks. But that's the nature of the software development world.
Me eitherMcAndrus
Jan 7, 2002 9:53 AM
At 49 (50 in two months :-0) I'm still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. If I can help it I don't intend to grow up.

At 20 I thought I'd be an historian. At 23 I was going to be a technical writer, at 25 a mathematician, at 28 an electrical engineer, at 29 a computer programmer, at 39 a financial analyst. Oh, and did I mention the gigs as a short-order cook, a sailor in the Coast Guard, and as a newspaper reporter?

Now I'm an Information Technologies Director at a manufacturing company. I wouldn't choose this career again. The pay is good but the stress can be fearsome. If you think I exaggerate, pretend it's 3 a.m. and you're trying to bring back to life a crashed system: the system your $200 million company will need fully functional at 8 a.m. No pressure ;-).

But you know you're only young once but you can be immature forever.
still not sure...morey
Jan 7, 2002 10:32 AM
Actually, I always wanted to be a cowboy when I grew up. The trouble is, I never grew up!
It's interesting..........Len J
Jan 7, 2002 12:47 PM
I'm 46 and I've been working at the same basic career for 25 years (although in several different jobs & Companies). I figure that my last child is out of college when I'm 52, if I can figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life I still have 20+ years to do it (Life expectancy being what it is). I believe that the first career was for my family, my responsibilities, the next career is for me. I intend to spend the next few years exploring & figuring out something that I can invest my passion in for me (It's actually kind of exciting).

The days of sticking with one thing for life are over. The days of retiring at 65 and waiting to die are over too. If I'm gonna live past 80 I sure as hell want to be doing something that engages both my mind & my heart.

Wanted to be John Wayne ended up PeeWee HermanMB1
Jan 7, 2002 2:18 PM
without that nasty arrest.

20 is sooooo young. Except of course if you are 20.
re: Who Cares What Age You Are...jrm
Jan 7, 2002 4:26 PM
It's society that puts time, success, and age stamps on individuals. Do your own thing.

PS: yeah after investing in myself for some 6 years of higher education im doing what i want to do.