Re: Big question, a bit off topic, though not completely...

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Posted by Kenzi on October 28, 2002 at 16:24:40:

In reply to: Big question, a bit off topic, though not completely... posted by Joan on October 28, 2002 at 02:07:27:

I wish I had had a forum like this when I was your would
have helped so much to see what was available out there, and
what adults were doing with their lives. We had one or two
career days at school, but apart from that almost NO career
guidance. You have a huge advantage just being here and
being open to hearing what others have done and are doing.

My opinion, as one who went to college and graduate school,
definitely do it. You may not ever work in the field in which you
major, but you will learn so much about yourself and the world
and other people by going to college, especially if you leave
home to do it. I learned how to study, how to work, how to
manage my time (tho I am still learning this!), how to interact with
people from all over the world and country, how to plan my life
out (still learning this too!), how to respond to challenges etc. etc.

As for what your major should be, I think you would benefit from
sitting down quietly and thinking about who you are, what
motivates you, what you are innately good at...make a resume of
your talents, not just "proficient in Microsoft Word" but "enjoys
detailed work" or "able to visualize complex concepts" or "good
balance" etc. Then start to think about certain requirements you
have for a happy and fulfilling life like "prefers long ongoing
projects"or "prefers to work in groups of 3-4 people" "or prefers
to work in small, separate space" or "prefer to move around alot"
etc. Perhaps this sounds silly, but it will help you to get to know
yourself, create a picture of who you are and where you excell.
Hopefull in the process you will start to identify jobs or fields
which seem to fit this profile of yourself.

I am not an expert in this but have gone through the process and
it has helped me create a new way of thinking about life and
career and work. There are quite a few books out there on this
subject, so look around and find one that speaks to you. Also,
know that the choices you make now are not written in stone and
you are likely to change your career 2-3 times in your lifetime.
Yes, this is an important decision-making time, but also know
that there are ways out of the decisions you make, and that
transformation is possible. If you create a good base this will
make you more flexible and more capable of making powerful
transformations. I personally believe that college will help you
create that base..i don't think it's the only way but it is one of the
main ways. Technical schools can also give you a good base
but they tend to be more focused on a particular sets of skills. If
you feel that creativity is important in your life, a liberal arts
college with a good art department might be good for you. You
will get all the base stuff like the social sciences, natural
sciences etc. in addition to your art classes. You can graduate
from college and find a career in almost any field, if art doesn't
work out. Or, you will have other skills to fall back on when art
can't pay the rent.

I hate that stereotype of the starving artist as it overly
romanticizes it, but it does tend to be true in many cases. My
next-door neighbors are three guys who just graduated from art
school a year ago...two of them majored in painting and the other
in printmaking. They all work hard at their art (before they got
curtains, every time I walked by at least one of them was painting
or working on their art), but they all have full time jobs to pay the
rent. They may have to work like this for a few more years before
they hook up with a gallery, and even then they won't be able to
quit the day job until paintings start selling.

Seek out people like this in various creative fields, at different
stages in their lives, and ask them about their lives...not so much
"what should I do?" but "what do you do?" That process might
be very important in your decision-making process.

I hope what we are all posting in response to your question is
helpful and that you feel empowered to make clear decisions in
your life. good luck!!


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  • P.S. Kenzi 16:31:38 10/28/2002 (5)

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