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I'm interested in everything and good at everything, what direction should I go in?

I hate tooting my own horn but...I'm the nerd's geek. In school, and I went to a pretty tough school (for USA), I performed equally well in pretty much anything I put effort into. Not only that, but my interests are so varied. I could spend all day reading literature, or analyzing film, watching history documentaries, but I am also fascinated with science and things on that side. I excelled in my Naval JROTC program, I'm even one of the better athletes at my school without even trying. Even non-academic things like tinkering with woodworking, or figuring out how to put things together, I'm the guy for it. All of my teachers have complimented my work; even though I'm a "math and science" guy, I shine in literature classes. I feel overwhelmed with what to pursue...all of my classmates are dead-set on being a nurse, or an engineer, or this or that, and I have no clue what to focus my efforts on. I know I'm smarter than average, and my biggest fear is to reach below my potential, to under-achieve. #engineering #science #math #higher-education #academic-advising #literature


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Douglas’s Answer

HI,


As you probably know, no one can answer the question of "what you want to do" , but you. What do you like to do as a hobby? Read a book, build things, take things apart, study historical things, dissect animals, debate issues, politics, etc. Once you figure that out, that might give you and idea in which direction to head. Also, how much money would you like to make? Some professions pay a lot more than others. If you can determine a broad direction to head in, you can refine your direction while in college or even change majors.


But, if you really can NOT pick a general direction to go in. Postpone going to college for a year and go out and get a job. That may help you to focus.


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Lashay’s Answer

Great and extremely rare. Use it to your advantage. In interviews and cover letters you should too your horn. I have encouraged students in the past to explore as many as you possibly can. Possibly start by making money and saving enough to live on and even invest to keep from working into an old age. Next, rank your level of interest in each and either work or volunteer in those areas you love doing the most. Continue to explore and exchange opportunities every few years so that you can potentially fulfill most or all interests while being self sufficient: having your own place to live, food to eat, transportation, health and dental insurance and clothes to wear. Remember to save for unexpected emergencies and leisure activity. Enjoy the journey!


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Alexis’s Answer

One thing I was told that I think would be good for you to remember: "There will always be someone worse than you, but there will always be someone better."


I don't think deciding what you want to become is your biggest challenge. I think it's what you last wrote: "your biggest fear is to under-achieve." Write some responses to the following:


Do you believe you'll be less of a person if you don't achieve what you pursue?
Do you look at others who do not excel as well as you do as under-achieving and therefore less than you?
How would you feel if one day you failed at something?
What does under-achieving look like to you? How do you measure it? By whose standards?
How would you handle it if you found out you couldn't be the successful in the thing you loved most? Would you still pursue it?


Seriously answer those questions, because without a self-worth that comes from within, what you do is honestly not going to matter. If you will always value yourself based on how others value you, you could be the most successful neurosurgeon/astrophysicist/Academy Award winning President of the United States, but you will never be happy.


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Werner’s Answer

Why would you ask this question if you are good at everything? Everything includes determination of your future.


Hi Werner. At best, your answer could be read as a helpful reminder to question one's own beliefs to expand horizons. At worst, it's discouraging to the student. It looks to me like Brian is being sincere in his request for help. I'd like to invite you to edit your answer to expand your response more, in a way that will help Brian and other students who feel like the biggest barrier to their success is not having any idea what success looks like! Jared Chung BACKER

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