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What should I major in/should I even go to college?

I’m 16 and a senior in high school. I want to do something with animals but not necessarily become a vet. I could volunteer at shelters but I’m not sure what I want my main career to be. I was thinking maybe real estate or architecture or maybe even run my own animal sanctuary but I’m not sure I need to go to college for any of those things. I’m not sure what I want to do or be after high school. Any advice? veterinarian college college-major real-estate architecture senior 16 animals volunteer career animal-sanctuary

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Elizabeth’s Answer

It is completely normal at 16 to have no idea what you want to major in or do as a career. Many people do not decide their major until after they have been in college for a year or two, so you definitely have time!

If you have the opportunity, I would recommend that you go to college. Even if the careers you are thinking about right now may not technically require a college degree, college will provide you with many experiences (both academic and social/personal) that are well worth it. Also, while at college you may discover interests/potential career ideas that you previously had never considered or maybe didn't even know existed.
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Cali’s Answer

Its never too early to be thinking about these kinds of questions in my opinion, minding your passions now and trying volunteering opportunities in high school helps make college/major decisions easier once you reach that step. I find taking a gap year, if possible, has been the most beneficial for me and others, it gives you a chance to really explore some things in relation to what you like, and depending on if you get a job, a chance to save up money if you do decide to further your education. I'd check out local zoo's and see what positions they offer for entry level people AND higher up positions to see what requirements they have listed to start setting up your path. Although Real Estate doesn't often need a college degree, Architecture would and running an animal sanctuary might be easier with a degree in animal science or even business if you're starting from scratch.

Cali recommends the following next steps:

Look up positions at local zoos or animal hospitals
See if they take volunteers
If you like it, look up their positions and see what they require school wise
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Rani’s Answer

Hi K.S,
it is natural to not know what you want to do in college but I suggest you keep asking until you get the answer that feels - YES! - this is what I want to do. But definitely go to college as it will open up your mind to options that you may not have thought before or didn't know existed. If 4 year degree doesn't work for you you can choose for associate degree and extend it if you choose to - but explore your options in college. Best wishes !
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Bernard’s Answer

I am glad that you are questioning whether you should go to college or not. Of late the costs of college education in some instances is more than the benefit and many have found them selves in debt. In addition to the advice given to you by others on this inquiry, I would advocate that make your decision of whether or not to go to college based on giving yourself the most options. If you choose a major you like as well as one that offers a path to well paying jobs, then you have more options at the end of the college life. Alternatively, if you chose not to go to college, yes, you saved money and time, however, you also closed quite a bit of potential options. Between now and the time you complete a college degree, many things could change personally and around you. You are better off having more options. You indicated your potential desire to Real Estate, Architecture or running an animal sanctuary. All three of those could benefit from an education in running a business; a suggestion to consider.
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi K.S.,
I have to agree with others who have said that it is a bit early for you to decide if you want to go to college. It is hard to know what you want to do without real world experience. I would challenge you to keep exploring what you want to do with your life. This exploration can be done through volunteering at places like animal sanctuaries to see what it is really like. And when you are working alongside those individuals, you can ask about what education they needed to be able to do their job. While a college degree might not be necessary, there might be certain types of certificates or other training that you may need to get the job that you want.

Gloria
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Jalal’s Answer

A lot of people, especially teenagers are expected to have already decided what they want to do with their lives by their late high-school years. That really shouldn't be the case, and you're not alone. It's ok that you don't know what you want to major in because in reality no one really does know at such a young age. That's why even most college students keep changing their majors throughout their years at college!

I think if you want to get at least some sort of idea into what you'd want to major in, research about yourself, take personality tests, find your strengths and weaknesses. It seems like you already know your interests so I recommend taking a few different "What should I major in?" quizzes. They should help you to get some idea of what you would be good at with your natural skills.

Pertaining to your other question if you should even go to college, that is something you should discuss with your parents, but if you're asking if it's worth it for your future job/ career path, I say keep looking into careers in this field that you enjoy and then you'll know if college will be worth it or not.
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Pro’s Answer

If you do decide you need a degree, you could try an interdisciplinary, general studies, or liberal studies degree, and include all of your interests in one major
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