Life decisions


#1

I can’t really believe that i finally got the time to write my first thread in this wonderful forum! I have been willing to write it for days but i had exams and couldn’t really do anything in life except for studying. :grimacing: But yo, i just finished my mid-year exams and oh my lord it feels amazing! Fortnite all day, could it get any better? (Jk i’ll be working this time, i promise.)

Anywaaaay, back to the topic! Why i’m here today and why i’m creating this thread is to talk about life decisions. So as you already know by now, i got one term left and then i’ll be heading to my last year of high school & then off to uni. Since most of you aren’t familiar with the Egyptian learning system, the last year of high school is probably hell on Earth. 10 Months of doing nothing except for studying, doing homework and going to your sessions. It’s a complete disaster, you are unable to do any other activity as school is taking 99% of your time. Feeling always pressured, burnt out & tired is how i could describe how the year goes. And unfortunately, you really need this year. It’s the year which will decide your career, your social status & what’s around. It’s the year in which you’ll either be a doctor, engineer or perhaps a homeless guy if you really get low grades.

And for me, the pressure starts from now. In the second term, i will be asked to fill an application if i want to study the Scientific science section or the Scientific Mathematics section. And basically, why this application is so important is that it will limit the colleges you are applying for. For example, if you decide on the Scientific science, you can’t apply in a uni to be an engineer. But you have the choice to apply to be a doctor, a pharmacist…etc.

With that being said, I really need to plan and decide what i want to be in the future. When i asked my friends what they want to be when they grow up, they were actually so specific and confident about their choice. They know what they want to be and already are working for it. Me in the other hand, i got no clue. :frowning_face:

The main issue with me is that when i try to decide, i start off by looking at the available colleges for the Scientific Mathematics section as this is what i’m willing to apply for. (As i don’t wan’t to be a doctor or anything related to that section. I hate Biology. I do love to know facts about the human body but not to study the full photosynthesis process with all of it’s enzymes and definitions godammit.) Back to what i was saying, i guess i’ll be heading towards the Scientific Mathematics section not because i want to be an engineer, but because i don’t have other choices. I don’t want to be an engineer either, it’s not something i would like to do for the rest of my life.

I have a difficulty on figuring out what i want to be. Many of those who know me in person have recommended me to go for computer science cause they know i’m a tech/computer geek. But to be honest, i’m not interested in this either. I don’t know, it’s just that i don’t want to wake up every morning and go to work at 8am to solve some complex codes, build a bunch of websites/programs and go home. This is not at all what i’m willing to do for the rest of my 40+ years.

My apology if this was a really boring and long thread, but here comes the exciting and discussion part. How did you guys decide your own paths? Was it easy? hard? do you regret the decision you took? love it?

This is so frustrating for me to be honest. I’m not sure what i want to do in life. I think part of me is heading towards the fact that i just want to build like a business or something that i would be able to maintain myself and live the adventure with all it’s negatives and positives. Work with the skills i have and obtain new ones if i’m willing to. Learn new things on the go & adding it to my career.

See, this sounds much more fun, exciting and something i would be willing to do everyday for the rest of my life. But i know that it also sounds cliche and practically impossible as i still need to decide my career. :neutral_face:

Yeah as you can tell, i’ve been always supporting the idea of dropping out of high school and putting the same amount of time and effort in studying something i love. In our society tho, dropping out of high school means not getting this degree which is essential for EVERY SINGLE JOB you’re willing to apply to in Egypt.


#2

Oh yeah, one more thing, i’m not really interested anymore in hiding my ‘identity’, if this is how you name it lol, from the other F folks. It doesn’t really matter and i just want to be who i am in this forum and not a made up character since this is the only forum i’m currently in which discuss freelancing, business, you name it topics.


#3

That’s tough, in Macedonia we have only three state tests at the end of the last year of high school. In general, there are two mandatory tests - “Macedonian Language & Literature” and “English Language” (Although you can choose between English and mathematics if you do want to do it). After that, there is a third test, which is an elective one and you can pick between biology, geography, history, philosophy, and there was another subject which I can’t remember. Also, in the end, you need to choose one internal subject which is just a formality, and there is also a project which you must present which is also a formality.

However, if you are one of the “lazy kids” you can skip all those stuff, and just do the internal subjects. If you do just the internal subjects there is a high chance to get enrolled in a couple of universities with lower rankings.

In general, it doesn’t matter what you chose, you could have chosen subjects related to social sciences and enroll to med school. Also, we have specialized high schools which cover various subjects, but that doesn’t matter too, you could have been a student in a law high school, and get accepted at a mechanical engineering college.

What’s important in my country is having people which can help you with everything, as if you don’t you are going to be stuck. Yesterday, we had a news story about a kid that graduated with honors, he had the highest GPA in his field of study in the entire country, however, he got rejected for a couple of jobs, because he is from a small town - and doesn’t have any political or other connections to help him out.

It was quite easy for me, as my freelancing took off, and I needed to go to some university which is for “bad” students. Even though, that I study at the best school in my country, the department of agriculture is where the worst students go. Basically, I don’t study more than 40-50 pages for one test. In contrast, at some other faculties, the students have 500 pages minimum for a test.

I do regret it at some moments, as I could have studied for a business degree or marketing degree. However, at the end of the day, my studies are still connected to business (agricultural economics) so I am just happy to get done with uni - and start focusing on other things.

Why don’t you try to apply for a scholarship to study somewhere in Europe, perhaps Ljubljana, Belgrade, Zagreb. If I am correct there are tons of options for foreign students to get funding in Eastern Europe. Do a google search. :wink:

Oh, I study agricultural economics, but I had those things in three separate subjects - zoology, genetics, and biochemistry. That’s how our school system works, learn as much as you can, and remember nothing as you are bombarded with a lot of things.

Auch, grammarly found a lot of errors, but I am tired and don’t care to fix them. :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

Hello, Joe,

I went to a small rural high school. I graduated from one of the largest classes at the time. There were 25 of us. At that time, girls were not encouraged to go to school. My mother thought I should not go to college. However, my father encouraged me to further my education. He was a farmer, and neither he nor my mother had graduated from high school.

Our guidance counselor was supposed to help us become familiar with the available professions we could pursue, however, the only two he made we girls aware of was nursing or teaching. And being from a small rural community, those were the only professions I was mindful of also. Since I did not think I could handle the blood that a nurse had to, I became a teacher.

Now, because of the low pay and long work hours, I wish I had become a nurse. (Although I did enjoy having the summers off.) As a nurse, I would have been paid more, and possibly could pick the number of hours I wanted to work in a week.

I think I would have always done something that meant I could work with kids. Perhaps a school psychologist or speech therapist. Then I could still of had my summers off, and the homework load would have meant less night and weekend work than I did as a teacher.

Don’t drop out of high school. It may be a lot of work, but it is only a year out of your life and it will be useful for your future, believe it or not.


#5

Well done! Relinquish the fear!

You’ll have even more difficulty when you are 33! I don’t know how the Egyptian university system works, but can’t you go at any age? Also, is it free? If it’s free, go. If it’s not, I’d say forget it. The only thing that rises faster than the price of Bitcoin in any 10-year period is tuition fees.

Of course, I am a big higher education pessimist. I got put down when I quit university and I went to one of the top 3 in the UK. (Not boasting. I got in on a quota for being poor.) However, all but a few of the people in my peer group then are now doing what I call nonsense jobs which you don’t really need a degree for.

I’d basically say, don’t stress. When I was at school, the last year was all: "If you don’t take these courses and get these grades, you can’t go to college or you can but only learn hairstyling."

After school, the last year of college was all: "If you don’t get these grades and do these extra voluntary things, you won’t get to university and all you will amount to in life is a bin man."

At university, it was then all: "If you don’t finish university, you will spontaneously combust one day and diseased crows will peck at your remaining flesh for all eternity."

It’s all fearmongering.

That said, if in Egypt you really do need a degree to get a whitecollar job or do something you are interested in, go."

Personally, I’d just take it easy.

Regarding this bit, it’s basically nonsense. They think they do but haven’t hit reality yet. When I was at uni, I was surrounded by “I’m going to be an archeologist” and “I’m going to be a reproductive biologist,” and “I’m going to be a geologist.”

The archeologist now runs a charity which does nothing but pay her wages. The biologist got married and works in a factory and the geologist works as a train conductor who occasionally gets to push the refreshment cart.

You can get your degree in anything, but that doesn’t mean there will be a job waiting for you. :wink:

IDK. Basically, in my book, you only make a bad turn in life when you have that second meth pipe. You’re smart. As long as you don’t get into drugs you’ll be fine.


#6

I went to university to study something I was interested in (politics and the inner workings of diplomacy) with some mild intent to join the British diplomatic corps (so I could be a part of history or some nonsense like that) and left with a certain loathing of both - thanks, Blair! - so I didn’t end up on that little career plan.

Freelancing didn’t really exist online back then, so I came to Greece and worked in a bum job in a restaurant. I feel into freelancing because I needed more money, and everyone was always telling me I was a good writer. So, that’s how I ended up here - and likely would with any university course.

The only significant difference between me then and you now was that I was focused on what I wanted to do and learn, and not “a job/career”. Sure, I had an idea, but I dumped it as soon as I learned. You have great English skills, and you are successful at what you do.

Why not do what feels right for you, instead of what society wants you to do? You simply don’t know where life will take you, in the end. Make your mistakes, have fun, and always focus your decisions on what feels best for you. Sure, it gets rough from time to time, but that’s life. You shouldn’t let it stop you choosing what’s right for you, because a disastrous decision in the short term could become the start of your long-term success and a funny little story you tell other people when giving them the same advice some of us are giving you now.

With that said, I’d get the High School thing anyway. But bear in mind you’re the only person who truly knows the answer to this question, and you will second guess yourself, because our brains are fun like that.


#7

I always knew I wanted to be technical but at one point I was considering the medical field (very short period). I enjoyed tinkering with mechanical stuff so engineering was a logical choice - although, it wasn’t my first choice.

I went from high school to various jobs doing just about everything under the sun before I bucked down and did the college route. I decided I was working way to hard and making way too little money to support myself. School was then and still is very challenging but somehow I got through it.

The funny this is that I rarely do anything in my chosen field of study. I do okay, have pretty decent benefits, and make a steady income. If I could start all over again, I would have become a marine biologist or an animal behaviorist. I love working animals.

I don’t regret my choice and looking forward to the day I can spend more time volunteering at a local sanctuary or animal shelter.

The beauty of being so young is the opportunity to make mistakes and have time to rise from it. Whatever you decided, remember make sure it’s something you enjoy doing. Typically, we happen to be really good at the things we enjoy but sometimes people push us into things that we may not necessarily like but just happen to be good at it.

College life for me was hard but fun at the same time. Don’t forget to have some fun while you are studying. I remember that my friends and I used to have a blow out party at the end of each semester. Geesh, did I have fun! :slight_smile:

PS: I like your profile pic!


#8

I’m pretty sure that being a forum admin can be like being an animal behaviorist at times. :slight_smile:

I don’t think I’d change anything from my professional past. However, I am careful these days when it comes to living vicariously through blissful dreams of glorious futures.

I dreamed of one day being a freelancer writer and being able to travel the world with a small dog in tow. Now I’m sat here at blooming 2:30am like I am most evenings, trying to satisfy a ridiculous client who wants 500-words about "top carwash discounts Houston TX."

(There is no mention of what carwash or what discounts.)

The universe is just cruel.

You also tend to get invited to more parties. Which are at least, a perk of higher education. :slight_smile:

Regarding @TheFreaky’s comment, @JoeKamel might want to consider making a plan to study in Germany:

From what I can gather, it’s free and it could let you benefit from a less limited choice of courses.


#9

Well my career path was planned (of course by me) when I was in 7th grade. I always wanted to be a doctor because of many reasons. I was really really good at studies, always had A+ grades in almost all subjects so I knew I can do follow a tough field like medical. I graduated high school with really good grades ( I topped my high school). But couldnt get enough marks in medical entrance test. I was devastated. I got admission in another city. Dad wanted me to go and pursue my dreams. Mom said no as I have been a sick child since i was a baby (I am a hyper-allergic person) So yeah there goes my dream down the drain (I did apply next year too but got more or less, same results) So dad suggested to get admission in biotechnology due to same field and almost same subjects. I agreed ( I didnt have any option, it was like i was agreeing to whatever, if it cant be what I wanted, it doesnt matter… well Yeah I was severely depressed those days)

Anyways, graduated last year with 3.88 cgpa…

if you ask me if i regret this decision, then may be I do. cuz now I more interested in graphics and animations rather than biological science. I still do love it but I am not professionally going to pursue it so it kinda feels like I wasted those years. I do have plans of doing MS in health biotechnology but not right now…

anyways, thats my two cents about the career planning. All I can advise you, whatever you choose, DONT listen to anyone else, just choose WHAT YOU LOVE. That way you will never feel work pressure/load. You will always be in love with your job.

:four_leaf_clover:


#10

Morning Joe!

I would have been in your postition about 40 years ago, so my experience is no longer relevant. So many things didn’t exist then that we rely on now.

This might be useful:

Similarly, there were many jobs around at that time which aren’t around any more.

You may need to make decisions like this more than once during your working life. :wink:

All the best! :sun_with_face:


#11

I actually did think about this last year. Do you mean a scholarship for uni or high school? Unfortunately, when i did my search back then, i couldn’t find any scholarships for high school students to like have their last year in a foreign country. But for uni, i guess there’s tons of them from what i hear. I will definitely look into studying abroad as it’s something i have been looking up to for a couple of years now. :slight_smile:

That’s exactly how the educational system works in Egypt too. :joy:

I won’t drop out of high school, Vickie. At least, not for now. :joy: Dropping out of high school in Egypt means you’re totally screwed for the rest of your life. I guess in the US the situation is a little bit different? I hear a lot of stories of people who dropped out of high school or college to pursue what they want to do in life for the rest of their lifetime and they succeeded in doing so. Take Casey Neistat as an example and there’s actually many more who are not famous. So i guess in the US it’s not that risky like in Egypt where you really need that degree? I’m not sure tho if this is correct.

But i actually like the statement you mentioned above. After all, it’s just a year out of my life and it will certainly be useful for my future. But the fact that if i screwed up in this year, my whole career will be decided upon it is just, i can’t handle the pressure.

Well, you have to finish high school and get the degree that says you did complete high school to enroll into uni, no matter your age. The public unis in Egypt which is held by the government is kinda free. It’s like $17 bucks or even less for a term or a year, not really sure. However, private universities in Egypt are so heckin’ expensive.

Anyway, that was a really good talk, cy. I guess i’ll have to rethink about what you and other members in this discussion said before settling on something.

Can i just say that this is the best piece of advice i have got for years. Seriously, this made me calm a little bit.
You know, what i’m trying to do with my last year of high school is turn it from an ordeal to an adventure. But i’m not sure how to do so or if it’s even possible. When i get to ask some peeps about their last year of high school. (Like those who are currently in uni) they all mention the exact same negative adjectives that you could possible describe a high school year. Only few did say some positive things about it. I guess i’ll have a hard time trying to turn it to an adventure :sob:

You’re so right Regi. :sunny: The main issue with my last year of high school is that one mistake could cost me my career. A close family member who finished high school last year was willing to be a doctor because he love this field. The difference between hist grade and the grade he should have gotten to enroll into a medical college is just 3 marks. And he was studying so hard all year long. It just sound so stupid how the system works in Egypt.

So are you currently studying graphics and animations? or did you already take on this field and currently working with the skills you have?

I can’t even handle my first decision in life that i came across. :rofl: Jk, we got this! :muscle: (I guess)


#12

self learning, YouTube etc.

mine were 15 marks… :roll_eyes:


#13

That’s cool! I guess these are the services you’re offering as a freelancer then?


#14

Yep, for a University. :slight_smile: If not for graduate studies, you can easily find a scholarship for postgraduate studies. There is a website called mladiinfo where you can find a lot of opportunities in Europe. Also, your Secretary of Education might post all of the opportunities for Egyptian citizens. We have a similar government portal, which collects all of the information for scholarships aimed for Macedonians. :slight_smile:

I partially agree with this. Indeed, a lot of people that dropped out of college succeeded and turned into billionaires.

Casey turned out to be popular because of YouTube, however, before his fame, he worked with his brother. Which I assume had taught him everything that it is to know about filmmaking.

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg… All of them are college dropouts but from one of the best schools in the world. They had an enormous network of friends, they knew a lot of people, and similar. It is easier to drop out of Harvard, and use all of the connections, and chances that you have, then it would be for me to drop out of one of the lowest ranked unis in Europe. :frowning_face:

However, I agree, college isn’t all that matters. There are many ways in which you can develop skills and market them, heck, even you can have an awesome idea which you can develop into a great business. It’s just the thing that you should risk.