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skam74
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27 Oct 2011, 8:48 am

Hey guys, so here's the gist of my situation:

I'm currently 18 years old. Science and math has piqued my interest for pretty much my whole life. However, I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was 7 years old, and with ever increasing bullying at school and frustration with myself, my attention gradually shifted from school to my social skills. I ended up going to an alternative high school that was something of a godsend, as I made some real friends and finally felt somewhat comfortable just being me.

Still, my self-confidence is very low. I'm taking a couple classes at community college, and it's left me with the belief that although I could probably do well as a physics major (with the ultimate goal of research, engineering, or programming of some kind), the pressure I put on myself to excel is far too great to ever end up really enjoying doing something in those fields. I'm trying to keep this somewhat short so I don't want to go into too much detail, but my problems with anxiety are at times debilitating and it seems rare that I ever actually feel good, or even just okay.

As I said, I'm taking classes at community college, and also working at McDonald's (which I actually like), originally with the intention of going to a 4 year next fall to pursue a dual math and physics major. Now I'm starting to realize that I would probably be miserable in academia and simply couldn't climb the social ladder. I'm thinking about going into accounting, which I have some experience with and like just fine. Mind you, I do feel confident enough socially to make it in such a field, the problem with academia is that I don't have enough confidence in my own intellect to feel like I could advance myself.

My plan is to just go into accounting. It seems like a very stable job market with modest benefits, and decent flexibility. I'm really not looking for prestige, I never was (maybe that's why I wouldn't survive in academia), and just want enough to make a decent living to live on my own. In my free time I could pursue math and physics on the side, or whatever hobbies I want to really, but without feeling the need to be the best in my field.

Anyone have any ideas besides accounting as well? I'm great with computers, but I've never done much programming, so I'm not sure if computer science or software engineering would be right for me. My psych teacher (and one of my old psychologists) said I would make a great psychologist, but I don't see many prospects in that field at the moment.

Thanks in advance for any advice!



mv
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27 Oct 2011, 9:22 am

Have you thought about being an actuary or studying actuarial science?



hyperlexian
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27 Oct 2011, 11:12 am

the first thing i wondered was... if you enjoy mcdonald's why do you want to do something else? is it due to money or career opportunities or something? you can make your way up through management and so on.

i'm asking this because it seems to me that if you genuinely enjoy a job, that is worth considering when planning your future. theer is nothing wrong with working at a job like that. also, you could continue your studies and possibly find an internal position at mcdonald's that suits your education, like accounts payable or such.

i spent a few years working for A&W and they offered to put me through school to become an accountant. i said NO WAY because i thought the job was not suitable for me... but the company itself was very good to work for. i made the choice to go to school but i took an unrelated course and left the company when i started on my new career path. 10 years later, after a lack of success at other jobs, i see the value in loving the work environment over and above whatever the job itself entails. being happy to go into work every day and being amongst people you get along with is invaluable.


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skam74
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27 Oct 2011, 10:29 pm

mv wrote:
Have you thought about being an actuary or studying actuarial science?


I've heard horror stories about the massive battery of examinations one has to take to get certified, but it does sound like interesting work.

hyperlexian wrote:
the first thing i wondered was... if you enjoy mcdonald's why do you want to do something else? is it due to money or career opportunities or something? you can make your way up through management and so on.


This is actually something I hadn't really considered! Also I can completely see why the work environment can be so important, and it is a nice atmosphere at the McDonald's I work at.

Seems like I have a bit of thinking to do.



sliqua-jcooter
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29 Oct 2011, 12:56 am

I completely agree with hyperlexian - money, status, etc. all take a back seat to whether you genuinely enjoy work. If you like what you do, and you like the people around you - you've got it made.

If you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock every morning, that's when you know you need to find another job.