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    spot456's Avatar
    spot456 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 23, 2017, 04:07 PM
    What do I do after high school?
    I'm currently in the twelfth grade. I've been extremely stressed out lately over what I'm going to do after I graduate. I'm not too sure what I want to do with my life yet, but I do know that I want to get an education in something like biology/horticulture/botany/environmental science. The thing is, I don't think I'll be able to afford college and I'm not sure if I even want to go. Some people tell me that a bachelor's degree is worth nothing and that most people never use it anyway. I don't know if I want to go to college, waste my youth, and go into debt wishing I had done something else.
    I haven't done anything extraordinary and I'm an average student. I don't have perfect grades, I don't do athletics, and I'm not in the student government at our school. I am in band though, and I've done extremely well at the flute (I've made the all state band). I'm not sure if that is enough for me to receive any scholarships, especially since I don't want to major in music or anything. My parents make a good living as well, but they've made it clear to me that I'm going to be on my own for college and that they won't help me out if I ever need it.
    I've received an A+ scholarship where I do 50 hours of community service in order to get 2 free years at community college. This seems like a good idea, but the problem is that my dad doesn't want me to live at home. He thinks that I need to leave in order to heal my relationship with my mom (I agree with this). I'm not sure if I could stomach living in my house for two more years. I've thought about getting an apartment, but I'm not too sure if I'll be able to afford it while only making $9.50 an hour. I also don't even know how I'd find a roommate.
    I'm aware that I'm only 17, but the stress has been giving me quite the existential crisis. I feel like my life is going by too fast, and the decision I make now will affect my future forever. I've always dreamed of living/travelling somewhere like Utah or Nevada, or possibly by the coast. But I just don't know if I'll be able to do that if I make the wrong decision now.
    Anyway, I wanted to see if anyone had any other possible ideas of what I could do to help me make a decision? If there are other options besides college
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,910, Reputation: 5430
    Jobs & Parenting Expert

    Oct 23, 2017, 04:43 PM
    I got stuck when I got to your comment, "He thinks that I need to leave in order to heal my relationship with my mom (I agree with this)."

    How will leaving home heal the relationship? What's the problem?

    Two free years at community college sounds fantastic! I'd figure out a way to do that. Is there another family you could live with? (since you say you have to leave -- or better yet, work on the relationship with your mother and live at home)
    spot456's Avatar
    spot456 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 23, 2017, 05:15 PM
    My mother has been on edge the past 7-8 years. I honestly think she's struggling with anxiety or depression, but I know she'd never get checked for it. Every time I talk to her, it turns into an argument or heated lecture because she's constantly worrying about unnecessary things. Some arguments get so bad that she tells she wishes I was never born, tells me to kill/cut myself, etc. I have two older brothers who went through similar experiences, but it got much better once they left for college. I think the distance allowed my mom to breathe a bit and helped her realize that they were okay living on their own. I care about her and I know she cares about me (even if her comments say otherwise), so I just think that staying at home wouldn't give us the chance to heal
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert

    Oct 23, 2017, 05:19 PM
    I had to get away from my mother (in 1964!) and in fact had to leave the summer before college. I can't say I ever healed anything, but it was vital for both of us.

    I think your father could sit down with you and be helpful! Perhaps if you pencil a list of expenses as a student and as a renter with a roommate or two, he will appreciate that you need his advice. Do you know what food costs? A survey of HS seniors showed that they have no clue.
    Actually, finding a roommate was always pretty easy for me. Ask for a tour of the community college - usually there is a roommate board, drive share board, all sorts of ways to connect with other students. Do NOT advertise online, such as craigslist - one scam after another.
    It still won't be easy to live on your own. The more roommates you share with, the better. I lived for years with 4 others, and it was CHEAP.
    Good luck, even if you strike out on your own. I dropped out of college.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
    Uber Member

    Oct 23, 2017, 05:49 PM
    1. Some people tell me that a bachelor's degree is worth nothing and that most people never use it anyway.

    Well I'll tell you my story. BS Chemistry in 1963, Temple University. Bench Chemist for next 9 years. Saw a want ad in the paper that an insurance company wanted a Chemist-HUH? Inquired and hired. What a great next 40 years! Ran the claims test lab, got into pollution studies, that evolved into pollution damage claims mitigation, then working with contractors to repair pollution damage then solely into Construction Risk Management for the last 20 years of Employment. So, a BS in Chem. was beneficial but it is the APPLIED KNOWLEDGE you learn. I would never have guessed I'd retire from a Construction job when I started lab work in 1963. You never know where the future will lead you, make your own path.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692

    Oct 23, 2017, 06:33 PM
    No one really knows what they want to do at grade 12, if you want, go to a 2 year school, get some grants, get a job and go to school. Anyone can afford to go, even if part time. That (money) should not be an excuse.

    Your first two years at any university is just basic courses, math, english, science and so on. You would be surprised at how many people change majors, they start wanting this degree and change. Later they change majors and then often do something else, that they did not major in.

    So stop worrying about what you will do in the future, enjoy today, and just think about the first year of college in general studeis
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
    current pert

    Oct 24, 2017, 09:31 AM
    mao641, good story! Just watched a news segment on high cancer rates in firemen. I'm one of those people who can smell a new building a mile away and get mildly sick and very fatigued from them, mostly formaldehyde, which also bothers me in clothing and book stores. I also enjoy watching episodes of Forensic Files. (Hated my 1 chemistry class though.)
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,234, Reputation: 10853

    Oct 24, 2017, 09:57 AM
    I get your confusion, I think all seniors face the same thing trying to figure out what to do after graduation. I say get a job immediately and try to learn to earn and manage your life while you decide what to do next fall. Pay your dad some rent while you get adjusted and leave your mom and her issues alone, maybe go out of your way to shut up and let your dad deal with her issues, and you focus on your own.

    It's not unusual for parents to kick kids from the nest so they learn to fend for themselves and stand on their own, it's been done before by your brothers so now it's your turn so get ready for the inevitable and that starts with a JOB! Strange you aren't working part time now to prepare yourself. That's what I did as a sophomore in high school, then full time in the summers, so senior year was an easy transition after a few summers of full time working.

    I think you would be under less stress if you were actively getting busy and actually learning to feed YOURSELF. So explain why a senior doesn't have a job after school or weekends?
    spot456's Avatar
    spot456 Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Oct 24, 2017, 11:48 AM
    Talaniman, you clearly did not read thoroughly. I mentioned that I currently make $9.50 an hour. I've had a job for almost two years now at a grocery store. I work about 25 hours a week, which is very stressful. Also letting my dad "deal" with my mom is easier said than done. Telling me to shut up doesn't fix my relationship with my mom, but thanks for the advice anyway
    talaniman's Avatar
    talaniman Posts: 54,234, Reputation: 10853

    Oct 24, 2017, 01:18 PM
    You are right, I did miss that point of you working already, my bad! Let me be clear though my young friend, you can let your issues and fears define you, or build on what you have done. Good you have a job now, and while you look for a better one, I fully think a full time transition next summer is beneficial. All the posters have been where you are at that crossroad between High school graduation and the unknown. Many of us weren't ready to stand on our own, and struggled to do so. Scary? Hell yes, but the struggle is what makes you into who you will be so dive in and have at it.

    You have NO CHOICE but to accept your mom, and the relationship between you, as it is, because trust me, she won't change, so you must change the way you deal with it, even if leaving is the answer, and that's the whole point of my post. Stop fretting over that and focus on you learning how to work hard and MANAGE whatever your life and money struggles turns out to be. You simply won't fix it with one argument, in one day, or one year. Don't let it distract you from doing your thing fella, as hard as that may be.

    That's what I meant by just shut up around her, and go about your own business, form your own plan, and that's what it's really about, and despite what you have written, and your fears, confusion, or frustrations you feel now, I think you do have a PLAN! It's probably as good as any of us had at your age LOL, even your parents, but how can you know that? You don't.

    I've had a job for almost two years now at a grocery store. I work about 25 hours a week, which is very stressful.
    Explain please. Thank you for adding your clarity and feedback.
    Alty's Avatar
    Alty Posts: 28,318, Reputation: 5972
    Pets Expert

    Oct 24, 2017, 04:08 PM
    It's so much harder today to move out on your own, than it was for us Gen Xers. I have two teenagers, a 15 year old daughter and a 19 year old son. My son has been looking for a job for almost 2 years now, to no avail. He's sent in so many applications, and never even gets an interview.

    Nowadays a college degree doesn't guarantee you anything. In fact, I think that now, depending on where you live, apprenticing in a trade is a far better option than college. My husband is a machinist, and they pay for their apprentices to go to college. It's 2 months every year for 4 years until you get your certificate, and the pay once you're certified is very good. It's not a dream job, it's messy and hard work, but it pays for things like a house, and a car, and food. A $9.50/hr job is great when you're living at home and not paying any expenses, but it's not enough to live off. Where I live the minimum wage is quickly approaching $15/hr. Sounds like a lot of money, doesn't it? But the cheapest rental you can find is a crap basement apartment for $1000/month and that doesn't include utilities. Who can afford that on $15/hr.

    So my advice is to definitely train in something. If you want to go to college, research what kinds of jobs you'll be able to get with a degree. Make a few appointments with the companies in the field you're interested in, talk to them about job potential once you're done college, and what you can expect to earn, then determine if it's worth it. Also check out apprenticeships in labor related fields.

    Good luck.

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