Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
If you were 18 years old and...
Old 02-18-2014, 01:35 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
If you were 18 years old and...

...making the first big decision about your future...
and....
knowing what you know today... what would that choice be?

For the sake of argument... let's assume parents that could afford to pay half the expense of four years education.

College? Military? Trade school? On-line College? Apprenticeship? Other.

If continued education, what kind of major... what degree level?

This isn't just a hypothetical... I have a grandson who will be in this position in another year.

My own choice would still be a small school Liberal Arts education. Not for the money making potential, but for the broad base of knowledge, that has led to a great enjoyment of life.
__________________

__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 02-18-2014, 01:40 PM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Keim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Moscow
Posts: 1,128
I'd tell 18 y.o. me to go see the doc about that minor health concern before it gets any worse. Otherwise, pretty happy with my life choices.
__________________

__________________
You can't enlighten the unconscious.
But you can hit'em upside the head a few times to make sure they are really out...
Keim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 01:45 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Marita40's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: St. Paul
Posts: 1,117
Easy. I'd also choose a liberal arts degree at a small college--just what I did. I have not regretted my literature degree one bit; in fact, it has enormously enhanced my life. Of course I did go on to get a Ph.D. in it and have had a very satisfying career as a university professor.

I would tell young people (and I do tell young people) to follow the direction their heart is pointing. The hardest advising cases I have are young people with no real interests or drive. ..
__________________
Marita40 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 01:52 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,830
I'd go away to a 4 year technical BS program. Being away at school isn't the cheapest, but it lets you experience being without the close proximity guidance of a parent. I think that's hugely valuable. The technical thing is, of course, only if you have the aptitude. I thank my lucky stars that I dug into a niche that not just anybody could do (without training and experience). Some scoffed at my choice, but when the going got tough, me, in my 'detailed job' worked through every downturn, and got paid handsomly for something I thought was mostly sorta fun. I never was a big shot, never managed more than a handful of people (and bailed out of that gig as quick as I could), so I'd advise my younger self not to chase stuff that other people thought would be good for me.

After the BS was almost complete, I'd poke my head up and check the waters. Given I'd have done well in my technical degree :-) I'd have a choice of jobs. Or I could go to grad school. Or I could work a few years, THEN go to grad school (which is what I actually did).

So, not surprisingly, and to save myself from cognitive disonance, I pretty much told you what really happened to me; I wouldn't change a thing :-)
__________________
sengsational is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:05 PM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
Depends on the 18 year old. Today I would say, if he or she likes going to school, to minor in business and major in whatever floats his or her boat (this includes trade school--take the business classes at a community college if necessary). If on the shy side, go to a smaller college and live there because making lifelong friends is also important. If socially mature and uncertain about what floats said boat, go to a big school with lots of majors. The business minor will help in filling out those status reports one day and also people with some business knowledge have more doors open to them.

If the kid hates school and has no passion to learn about anything, go work for a few years.

If the kid needs direction, maybe Uncle Sam will take him or her in.

I would encourage a teenager with a talent or passion to pursue it.
__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:22 PM   #6
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
imoldernu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Peru
Posts: 4,616
Backing up a bit... not really advice to others, but, knowing what you know today, and being 18 again, what would you choose?
__________________
imoldernu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:31 PM   #7
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Midwest
Posts: 1,568
Knowing what I know now? Am I 18 in 1975 or 2014? That would affect the military option. Otherwise I'd go for whatever was the fastest way to a steady buck. That would likely be a trade school of some kind. Since there's no inherent necessity to earn a huge amount of money, college up-front would not be necessary.
__________________
razztazz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:32 PM   #8
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
...making the first big decision about your future...
and....
knowing what you know today... what would that choice be?

For the sake of argument... let's assume parents that could afford to pay half the expense of four years education.

College? Military? Trade school? On-line College? Apprenticeship? Other.

If continued education, what kind of major... what degree level?

This isn't just a hypothetical... I have a grandson who will be in this position in another year.

My own choice would still be a small school Liberal Arts education. Not for the money making potential, but for the broad base of knowledge, that has led to a great enjoyment of life.
We have one kid in college and one on the way. For Eldest it was a no brainer...he has wanted to study computer science since he was in middle school, and even after only his freshman year he had an internship paying him $25/hour full time for the summer. His passion will take care of him nicely from a financial POV.

Youngest is a different story. His current passion is music, and he originally wanted to major in it. He is good, but you need to be much more than good in this industry. We simply pointed out that his passion for spending probably would not be provided for with a degree in music. He has decided to minor in music and keep it a hobby, pursue a degree like engineering that will involve his talent and liking of science and math. We are picking up the costs of an undergraduate degree, but they know this is likely to be their only inheritance, and have been counseled to spend it wisely.

I consider learning to be a self-process. People can give you the tools to help you learn, but you have to do it yourself. So if I were 18 again, I would skip the liberal arts degree and go for something that I enjoy and pay me enough that I could learn the rest later. Having been exposed to mostly liberal arts growing up, it was automatically the thing I focused on initially for my degree. Fortunately for me I had a fabulous Chemistry 101 teacher sophomore year who helped me discover the beauty of that science. My older brother gave me a hard time for being a "sell out," switching to a more practical degree than one in liberal arts. 30 years later he finally admitted he wished he too had been more practical. Two of my sisters who got their BA in liberal arts later got their nursing degree so they could support themselves. There is nothing noble about not being able to provide for one's needs.

Sure, one can make it in life with a liberal arts degree, but the chances of doing so, particularly these days, is slim. Be well rounded, be a person of the world, but be able to support yourself.
__________________
InParadise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:34 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
target2019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,705
4 year software or hardware engineering degree. That is how I steered son, and it worked well.

If I had gone into engineering instead of liberal arts, I am sure my own position would be improved.
__________________
target2019 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:42 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,017
If I could be 18 again, I would pursue a degree in Engineering, with a minor in Management.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:43 PM   #11
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
Like I listened to anyone when I was 18
__________________
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:52 PM   #12
Moderator
Walt34's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 16,511
Occupation-wise, even with the advantage of hindsight I wouldn't change much. I would suggest to my 18-year-old self to finish the B.S. degree when I had the chance to have the government pay for it (Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Nixon era) instead of playing with my airplane. Later I did it on my own.

Oh, and don't marry who turned out to be the ex. Most expensive mistake I ever made.
__________________
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
Walt34 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:53 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
steelyman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Triangle
Posts: 3,218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Like I listened to anyone when I was 18
I got arrested when I was 18. No joke.

It'll probably happen again if I don't mind my manners
__________________

steelyman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 02:54 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Katsmeow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 3,395
If I was 18 and know what I know now, I would have majored in Psychology going on to a PhD.

Of course, that doesn't mean that would have been right for anyone other than me. It is very easy to say as many do that a child (or grandchild or whoever) should major in science or math or some technical field. For those who have those talents and enjoy those subjects it is great (I have a son who is a computer science major). But, it isn't enjoyable for everyone and it doesn't fit the talents of everyone.
__________________
Katsmeow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 03:01 PM   #15
Moderator
rodi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Diego
Posts: 8,804
At 18 I made the choice not to go to UC Berkeley as an undeclared major. (I was accepted, but had no clue what I wanted to be when I grew up.) Instead I took an entry level clerical job for a car insurance company.

On the surface it looks like a terrible decision. But in reality it was one of my better choices.
- I learned the importance of a college education (having seen what crap jobs there were for a bright 18 year old without one.)
- I learned independence and how to live cheap since I'd moved out and was paying rent on what was basically a minimum wage salary.
- I eventually learned I DID want to go to college - with the purpose of having a degree that would get me a good job. Ended up at San Diego State in engineering. (Not the same cache as Berkeley - but it served it's purpose)
__________________
rodi is offline   Reply With Quote
If you were 18 years old and...
Old 02-18-2014, 03:02 PM   #16
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Rural
Posts: 120
If you were 18 years old and...

I am an RN with a four year BS degree. I have been lucky to find jobs that are family-friendly, however most RNs end up working many weekends, evenings, and nights. Even though I always did exceptionally well in school, I always knew my priority was wanting to be a wife and mommy. If I was starting over today I would make sure my career choice matched my future family wants/needs.
__________________
dontworry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 03:37 PM   #17
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 420
Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Backing up a bit... not really advice to others, but, knowing what you know today, and being 18 again, what would you choose?
Computers -(I actually was a programmer in my other life) Great to have a skill,
the money was great, and as far as having to earn a living for me was better than anything else I could think of.

Any skill is great.
__________________
SJ1_ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 03:40 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 5,569
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelyman View Post
I got arrested when I was 18. No joke.

It'll probably happen again if I don't mind my manners
Yea so did I, minor in possession of alcohol. I was married, not living at home. Four of us got caught with a 12 pack.

DF found out about it in the local paper. Even though I was not living at home and supporting myself, he failed to see the humor.

I'd go into healthcare. Goal would be to get good education and whatever it took to get PT certification.

MRG
__________________
MRG is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 03:41 PM   #19
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 158
Any skill may be great, but the ones that are valued and people are willing to pay for are better.
__________________
InParadise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2014, 03:44 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
timo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Rio Rancho
Posts: 1,438
I'm thinking the advice from Roger Angell and Bob Bingham was good “More venery”. I was always timid in that sense, being an introvert.
__________________

__________________
"We live the lives we lead because of the thoughts we think" Michael O’Neill
timo2 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago? tapper FIRE Related Public Policy 14 09-08-2012 03:14 PM
Eyesight =( How old were you when..... Aiming_4_55 Other topics 45 12-15-2011 05:58 PM
How old were you when your retired early? roscaroo Life after FIRE 77 07-25-2006 11:42 PM
Are you better of than you were 4 years ago? GTM FIRE and Money 8 01-08-2005 07:30 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:08 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.