Stuck between a rock and... I don't even know!
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Thread: Stuck between a rock and... I don't even know!

  1. #1
    meh. Array tread's Avatar
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    Aug 2003

    Stuck between a rock and... I don't even know!

    Alright. So it's not like me to ask everyone on a forum to help me make a huge decision, but it couldn't hurt to get multiple opinions. Sorry in advance for this getting too long...

    So here's my situation: I've just finished up my third year of working on a BA degree, with geography major. I was a full time student, and somehow managed to squeeze in a part-time job (whew). However, it was a really, really horrible year (due to happenings that I won't bring into this) and I am going to have to pretty much re-do the whole year (yep, it was that bad). Which means that a) I am really only half way through my degree, and b) my student loan situation is likely to go doooown the proverbial drain.
    Anyways, I'm at the point now where I feel like I've totally lost interest in what I'm doing at school. As my Dad said when I talked to him about it "my heart just isn't in it". I don't want to be in the classroom, I don't want to be reading and writing, I just want to get out there and DO something. I'm sick of classrooms and lectures about stuff that I don't give half a flying f*** about. This year I found myself skipping class, not doing assignments, etc. and it was horrible because not only did I waste a year's worth of student loan money, it's going on my record. But, I've taken responsibilty for my crappy, crappy academic performance. And that's fine.
    So now I'm thinking that I want to, NEED to, take a year off from school, and just work. I really think I need the break. But what I have to decide next is whether or not I'm going to continue working on the degree when I go back, or if I want to switch and do something else. I've seriously been thinking about starting in a trades program, as I've always been more of a hands-on person. I feel like I have a lot of skills that I could put to use if I could just find something that is better suited to me, and that I actually enjoy.

    So, for those of you who took the time to read my babble, thanks! And please (please, PLEASE, puh-lease!) give me some feedback, suggestions, opinions.

  2. #2
    School sucks the big veiny one.

    The way i see it is that it's better you found out that you're not into it now, rather than when you've finished school and working in that field. I myself work in a trade and i enjoy it for the most part. It doesn't matter where you work, you're going to have to deal with frustrations from time to time, but you just need to find something that you feel is worth the frustration. I started at an entry-level position, right off the street and have slowly been working my way up the ladder, so to speak. I have little-to-no formal training in my field, and have learned everything by getting my hands dirty, asking questions and usually acting like a complete ass when i get bored.

    You're young, smart and have a nice tight little body, i am sure the school will still exist next year. You may spend a year doing something you really like and feel no need to go back to school at all. Or, a year of blue-collar work without the "i'm paying my way through school" motivation might give you more incentive to kick ass and take names when you start your classes again.

    Good Luck! (and trust your own judgement)

  3. #3
    rain? whats that! Array REVELATIONS's Avatar
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    Nov 2002
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    First off.........what WERE your intentions with this degree, what did you think of doing once you graduated?

  4. #4
    meh. Array tread's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by revelation
    First off.........what WERE your intentions with this degree, what did you think of doing once you graduated?
    Initially I was hoping to get into city planning, or some sort of job working with GIS. My intentions, up until just recently, were to finsih this thing and head up north (like Fort St. John or Fort Nelson) and put my degree to use up there. But as I said before, I'm not so sure now.

  5. #5
    I'm back Array Quasi's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    2014 FZ-09
    I say kill two birds with one stone if you have doubt. Get a job working in a trade you think you'd enjoy. You'll get a chance to make some money well learning and see if thats something your interested in. If your serious about it and can project that to an employer I don't think you'll have any problems at all getting your foot in the door.

    Goodluck in whatever you decide.

    Church doors are always open to whoever wants to enter, but they're only open to those who are willing to be sheep. The service of God is really service to those self-proclaimed holy men who hold the franchise. Accumulating material grandeur is the goal, not the improvement of the people's lives. Independent thought is discouraged. Raising the individual up is not part of the plan; keeping the flock docile, distracted, and deluded is what it's all about.
    -Joshua Armstrong

  6. #6
    Lots of people take a year off school, it certainly isn't unheard of. This doesn't have to be a permanent decision if you don't want it to be.

  7. #7
    Registered User Array NapoleanInRags's Avatar
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    Mar 2003
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    How about being an international volunteer for a year? Just a suggestion.

    What ever you do, good luck with it.

  8. #8
    You gotta lean into it! Array InvisibleSoul's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    Hmm... I haven't had any motivation to do my Computer Science degree from UBC since second year... but hear I am, waiting for finals in the last term in my fifth and hopefully final year. After first year, I knew it wasn't what I wanted to do... but being the typical Chinese parent, my mom absolutely has to have me get an university degree. So... I've just been fighting through it the last four years... barely passing almost all my courses... not caring about assignments much, studying so little that people are amazed I actually go to school, and just aiming for the magical 50% mark, which I have been pretty good at, averaging 57% now in my university career and only failing one course. Whatever the case, I'm down to waiting for my final three final exams next week... just hope I can pass them and put university behind me.

  9. #9
    Moderator Array R6 Jono's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    smart ass blonde had some very good points..

    to be honest, im not even sure what i am going to say.. but here it goes.

    people change, you've changed.. i've changed, you know .. you never know what the next day is going to hold, NEVER.

    you need to do some soul searching.. find yourself, this doesnt mean sleep in till noon.. goto work, take it easy.. this means finding yourself, explore whats out their. talk to people, volunteer for things your interested in

    sometimes its all about sacrifice, giving it all up now.. for a better tomorrow.

    all i know is, personally i have been beat down with a bat mentally, physically, emotionally.. you name it, i've been through all that.. more than i care to explain.. and i still dont walk with a limp.

    im 19 years old have gone through and experianced more shit than most people i know, but that doesnt matter. everyone see's the world in a different way.

    i honestly think.. your average person, that doesnt goto school will make crap for a living. yeah sure, money isnt everything.. tell me your happy because you love your job, but you live pay cheque to pay cheque.. life isnt ment to be lived like that.

    you obviously need to set some goals for yourself, realistic goals. figure out what you want from life, what you want to give back and go for it.

    i've seen to many people quit or give up.. just because they've had a bad day or something.. "meh, it's only worth 2% of my grade.. i'll do the next one"..

    if your going to take a year off school.. do yourself a favour and get a different job and work your tail off and save up some money.. no need to blow it on la senza crap :P

    have you ever seen whats out there.. what the world has to offer? i think i've seen the sun rise and set more times than both my parents combined. sometimes the things you love most in life are right before your eyes.. most people fail to see it.. for me, thats life and everything around me.

    my career.. i want to make a difference in this world, i've been with the army for two years.. that was a start, but not the end? doctor? who knows

    imagine me.. a doctor, lol
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  10. #10
    Why me? Array slipknot's Avatar
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    I have my Barely Able in Psyc and a minor in Geog from SFU and I'm self employed in construction. Does it help? Who knows and who cares. The MRS. took almost 8 years to complete the degree because of work. It's a like a job... no one hates their job, only the peope they work for/with. If you do not like getting up in the morning to go to school/work then it's time to go. Simple as that. But, b4 you go remember that without your degree you're options can be quite limited. That is especially true of Geography. If you're going to take a year off just reregister for the upcoming year. That way you are more committed. DO you want to live to work or work to live. Confuscious out.

  11. #11
    Registered User Array Commuter Boy's Avatar
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    May 2003
    Suzuki Bandit
    Finish the degree. Not now, necessarily, not necessarily in Geography either.

    Someone with a Bachelor's degree tells me only one a few things about them:
    They learned how to deal with a system of expectations and authority
    They have the ability to finish something they start.
    They've figured out how to get stuff done without mommy and daddy pushing them.

    Aside from that, it's only a beginning to something else. You'll get out, and
    want to go somewhere like BCIT or grad school to become a true
    "professional" in an area. And there'll be tons of people out there with that,
    but not all of them will have the bachelors degree to go with it.

    I took six years to get two undergrads from two universities. I hit the wall
    after a disastrous 2nd year in engineering, when I found out that a lot of
    engineers aren't actually doing cool stuff all day long but sitting at a desk
    being salesmen or middle managers. Bleah. "Gotta be something better to
    life than that...."

    So I floated. Took courses I was interested in, here, there, and everywhere.
    Finally finished my BA's and headed out to.....BCIT, to be an aircraft mechanic.

    But the job opportunities I got were always way cooler than the other techs
    because employers saw the potential I had from my education.

    I was working my ass of the whole time, part time jobs, two jobs in the summers,
    put myself and my little sister through college, so for me I don't think taking
    a year or two off to find out how hard the "real" world was the right solution.
    For someone else, it might be. I learned those lessons early.

    The student loans were a real bitch to pay off though, but I did it. Now,
    10 years later (as in next month) I don't owe anybody anything, have an
    incredibly cool job doing fun stuff and getting paid damn well for it and have
    enough of a downpayment to look at buying a house.

    Figure out what YOU want to do. Sometimes that means looking around a lot.
    That takes time, and $$ these days. But when you find what you want, don't
    piss around with it, do it with everything you've got. It's a heck of a lot
    easier than trying to do something you're not sure of.

    Something else people don't think of is to get tested for job aptitude.
    I did a two day series of tests at HRD Canada and it really opened my
    eyes as to what I was potentially good at. It helped a lot.

    Good luck!

  12. #12
    Milo'd Array Choco's Avatar
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    Apr 2003
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    The only advice I can give is from pure experience and seeing what my friends around me have done... my one piece of advice to you is take your time and find something that you enjoy doing... as others have said school may not be right for you or is just not right at the present time...

    I have a friend that was pretty much in the same situation took some time off ending up taking an LSAT on a whim... scoring huge and turned into a Lawyer with a blink of an eye, I asked him how he did it and basically it came down to this he loved law and believe me when I say this guy was hurting in college, we nick named "bubble boy", because he was always on academic probation.

    I have other friends that knew what they wanted to do from the start and are now doctors and others that got into the trades and are doing equally as well. But the key ingredient is that they love what they do and I think that is the hardest thing to find.

    As for you John at 19 you have the world in the palm of your hand, I took two years off after highschool and started my BA when I was 20 (started out as premed) and when all was said and done in 4 years (ended up as a geologist). I took another year off and went back to school for another 2 years (chemical engineering)... fell as backwards into my current job... which I basically use to finance monthly adventures and hobbies, which is what I truly love.

    Hear is something that I live by and absolutely believe in... Don't leave any stones unturned... and try never to say "What if". You never know what life has instore for you around the corner.
    Rip shit!

  13. #13
    Rogue sock monkey Array aviate's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
    CBR 929rr
    Take the year off and go work overseas or something else similarily exciting and good for your own development. We all like to feel as if we're constantly growing but there are lots of ways to improve yourself other than schooling. I'm not anti-school (in addition to having two degrees I'm a teacher and a commercial pilot -- I know, major $$$$ spent) I just understand your need to do something hands-on (hence my current career change). Remember, all roads lead to Mecca. Go out and find your Mecca.

    Hope that helps.

    My blood hurts.

  14. #14
    The good days... Array Deputy's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
    A ---> B
    As a self-described person who lacks significant motivation (read: lazy), I know how hard it can be to keep pushing through school once you've decided you just don't feel like being there. The thing is - if you don't feel like being there - you shouldn't be. The difference with me was that I knew I didn't want to be there "for now" - I knew I wanted to go back because I know what I want to do (law).

    I took six years to do my degree and went to three different schools in the process. I'll be starting at a fourth (and hopefully final) school in September for 3 more years. I did a year at OUC for first year general arts, moved to New West and did first and second year Criminology at Douglas College and then started at SFU - not realizing I had to apply for the Crim faculty right away, as my first semester was electives anyhow. This REALLY screwed me good, because once I was at SFU and had taken any SFU courses, previous GPA's mattered for squat. They only looked at my SFU GPA for admission to the Crim faculty. Well, my first semester at SFU was a disaster, I took stupid electives that I thought would be easy (which probably would have been had I put any effort in) and came out with like a 2.33 GPA. I proceeded to screw it up even worse in the spring semester and got a killer 2.0 - to give me a cumulative 2.19 at SFU - definitely not good enough for the faculty. Sooo, I took the summer and fall off, repeated one course the following spring to lift my GPA, got it just high enough to squeek into the faculty, and my grades shot up to finish off my last semester at 4.0 2 years later.

    My problem in that middle area there was that I was taking courses that didn't mean anything to me, held no interest for me, weren't relevant to what my goals were, and made me feel like I was wasting my time. This was compounded by the fact that I had very little money to live off of and was working a lot and was losing all drive to do anything of value. Once I was in a course of interest, I excelled and found things very easy (although I was still lazy and still didn't study like I should).

    Due to the difficulties I had struggling through those last couple of years of school, I decided that, sure, I'll apply to law school at UBC, but if I don't get in, no big deal, so I took a great job to fill my time before I go back. The next year (last year), I did the same, only applying to UBC, U of A, and U of C, knowing full well that those early marks were really going to hurt me in law school applications, but not particularly caring if I didn't get in, because I had this job and was still decompressing from school. I also squeezed in a special immigration practitioner certificate program (needed to work as an immigration consultant - basically the work I'm doing now for a well-established criminal/immigration lawyer).

    This year was different though, I knew I was ready to go back to school, the real world has been fun, but what I'm doing isn't what I want to do in the long run, so I have to finish my schooling. I applied to schools across Canada and have firm responses from four schools so far - one refusal and 3 acceptances. I'm waitlisted at several other schools and am confident about getting into the one that I want. Because now I'm ready.

    The point of all this babbling is that you will make choices you'll regret, you'll do things that you wish you hadn't, you'll need time off to make choices you won't regret (which is where you seem to be at now), and ultimately, what you want to do will fall into your lap. You'll land on your feet and you'll follow through with it - when you're ready.

    The difference with me was that I've always sort of known that this is what I wanted to do, it was just how I went about getting there that was the issue.
    Bike's sold - still have some gear left!

  15. #15
    Registered User Array
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    Jan 2004
    Surrey, BC
    2003 Honda VFR 800A
    Wow I can't believe all the good advice you are getting here.

    A university degree is highly over rated in relation to your success in this world. If university isn't where you want/need to be then it is time to move on, you can always go back at a later date if you change your mind. My wife took 3 courses at university night school while she worked full time, took care of our home, was involved with our 2 daughters and put up with a husband that worked long hours in his own business. It is possible but it is all about desire. Can you see an end point or goal in what you are doing?

    People forget that we still need the basic blue collar workers that keep this country running, bricklayers, plumbers, hairdressers, carpenters, pilots, etc., etc., etc. No doors (or very few) are closed to women in the workforce today. Yes get some education/training but find something that gives you something back.

    I'll be 55 this month and still don't know what I want to be when I grow up! But at least I'm having fun getting there.

    Good luck in your quest.


    [I]PS It really is quite amazing how willing people are to dispense advice, isn't it?

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