That is the problem with the immaturity of kids these days. Instead of hiding behind this as an excuse, they should learn what they want. The epidemic of clueless college kids is also really a uniquely American thing. You're not going to college to party or enjoy, you're doing it for a competitive advantage, and one of the few opportunities to get it if you weren't born from an advantageous background. This kind of aimless party nonsense is also facilitated by the US college system, which allows people to "bum around" for the first 2 years. I have taught introductory courses and the level of incompetence of freshmen kids (top public college, so top 20-50 nationwide) can be appalling... I had some kids who can't even work with SI units. It's multiples of 10s... how hard can it be? I don't want to know what the standards are like today. Not something that you want to be aspiring towards.Arabesque wrote: ↑Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:42 am I have been following this thread, trying not to get sucked in, but I do think it’s getting a little unrealistic and dogmatic.
TechFI writes: "
And one should always align the college you are going to and the degree your are pursuing to the job you want after graduation. A degree from Harvard is useless if it doesn't get you a good job/career. I will go even further and say, if your college degree has not led you to the job you want, you have basically failed. Focus on the end goal and work backwards."
Working backwards may work for you if you are planning to be an RN or an engineer for the rest of your life, but it presumes that 18 y.o. know who they are and what they want to do, that 1% interest in your work makes for a happy life, and that the purpose of a college degree is a finite job/work/money.
Before I joined college I already knew what I wanted out in my life in the next decade or so. Mid-way in college I started executing my 10-20 year plan. After about 15 years I successfully completed the main objective. Mission accomplished. Has things changed along the way? Yes, I have become less naive and more practical. I focused too much on 'passion' when I was younger and not enough on the money. That's my kryptonite, where I will go along and do stuff for 4 years without really asking myself why I wanted this. This made me a poor overachiever and I got bitter. Luckily I realized in time and did a massive course correction. I do not wish this to happen to anyone else, that's why I say, always work backwards.
So in short, yes you can and you should know at the high level what you want out of life. The details and implementation may change over time. The primary objective will not. My additional advice is do a review every year of your life goals, and ask yourself if that has changed. While my main objective has not changed over time, various sub-goals have changed (and those change more frequently), so make sure to update your sub-goals *every year*.
Hindsight is 20/20, but working backwards from where I am today, not only would I have planned out my primary objective, I would have put more thoughts into my sub-goals even earlier, and I would have started thinking about it even earlier, during high school. If I had did that, history would have been very different.
There's nothing wrong with pursuing great opportunities... especially if it's a good one. While you have a goal in mine, you also need to be flexible enough to incorporate new developments in the world. In my old career I had to work until 55+ before I could be financially independent (FI). I saw opening/opportunities in tech, pivoted and moved, and now that it is cut down to working until 45-50(?). The key sub-goal still hasn't changed though... earn more money so that I can FI and have more options earlier in life.Arabesque wrote: ↑Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:42 am Anecdotally, one of my kids graduated from Harvard a couple of years ago. Some of her friends had clear career goals, but two years out they are pursuing great opportunities and going in surprising directions. Some had "worthless" majors (English, classics), but managed to do just fine (one started at 6 figures). Others were a few years into a major, grew disinterested, and switch their paths. They struggled to find a job because of the switch, but guess what. They are doing amazing creative things as they remake themselves. I doubt Zucherberg started with a clear goal.
I don't encourage students to be art history majors (though I have a persistent niece, an art history major, who has a fabulous job). I have on occasion encouraged students to be English or gender studies majors. Some did very well.
Again I go back to numbers. How many of Harvard students with worthless majors end up fine? What percentage? What about 10-20 years down the road?