WHAT THE HELL DID YOU/DO YOU WANNA BE?

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Thought I'd throw this out there because it's something I've always struggled with and still do. Knowing what I want to do with my life and making it happen.

I know a few people on here probably already have or are on their way to having the paid societal role they want. Hopefully there are others here too who aren't really sure or have struggled with it (so I don't feel alone haha).

Long rambling self-indulgence here:
I've always been very unsure of what I want to do with myself, in the last two years of high school (where we can choose what subjects we study, for the most part) I chose to study art, graphic products & design, English literature & English language, media studies, double science (like science but double the classes/qualification) maths (mandatory), statistics (elective, but guaranteed pass) and ICT (computer shit, also mandatory).

Later I went to college to study Art and then dropped out (college here isn't like college in the US or whatever. College here is post-16 (because we finish mandatory education at 16) education for pre-degree study or for job related training.) Eventually I ended up on the dole for a while and then got a minimum wage job. A year later I went back to study Music Technology (which I finished) whilst also working.

Have considered going to university but have no idea what I'd even want to study or specialize in. Also am poor.

I've wanted to be a musician, a singer/vocalist (have been in bands, even took some vocal training), wanted to be a writer, wanted to be a lot of things but never really believed I a) could actually do it b) would be interested in the subject beyond learning about it or c) actually be able to make a living out of it.

So yeah, a total change of course in education over the years. Still no idea what I want to do with myself, really.


Anyway, please feel free to respond with what you've wanted to be in the past, what you do want to be, what you've managed to do in perusing that field. Failed endeavors, how you came to know what you wanted to be and of course - if you achieved your goals.

I'd be especially interested in hearing from people who chose something off-the-grid, so to speak (just decided to take something up as a trade, like art or music) and actually ended up making progress in that field to the extent that they can call themselves "an artist" or "a musician".
I want to be a celebrity with hot babes around me.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
My answer to this is kind of bipolar, so to speak. On the one hand:

I am the only person I know whose 'what I want to be when I grow up'/'what I want to do for a living' has not changed to any meaningful degree from the age of 4 (the earliest time I can even vaguely remember) to the present. Okay, at some point it became less writer and more game designer (not the kind that involves pixels) but that's a pretty minor change. This is really anomalous; most people realign their objectives several times during this period, at least two or three.

I have always wanted to be a writer. And in spite of overwhelming failure and hardship, I still want to be a writer.

On the other hand:

I have absolutely no idea what I am going to do for a career or how I will support myself. Keep in mind, I'm 25, so it's not like I am still in that comfort zone where I can safely contemplate this stuff. I have many interests, but none of them are real career prospects. Even if I was guaranteed a decent chance of success, I'm not sure which sub-discipline I would pursue: prose writing, TTRPGs, finding a monetizable LARP model, and hell, occasionally I still have the odd pipe dream about anyone discovering the stuff I do around here and giving a shit (fat chance, I know).

Except for the lucky few of the lucky few, writing and game design are not real career paths. Even being a successful writer with multiple published novels is not actually enough money to support yourself, let alone a family. Outside of things I want to do, that leaves really things that I'm just unable to force myself to do and things I'm not qualified for, along with the things I've been warned against. (Although I want to avoid being the painful cliche of the 40 something English teacher who is still 'working on his novel', I did consider teaching as a source of steady income. Until a panel of professional writers told me A) I would need a 'day job' because even being a successful writer did not pay enough to live on and B) Teaching was the worst possible choice, because of how utterly soul-sucking and time-consuming it is. Just as well; I would prefer not to work with children if I can avoid it.)

If the question is 'how are you going to make enough money to not completely fail at real life' the answer is I have no fucking clue. It's not going well so far. Some people are rather ill suited to real life survival. Maybe they're lazy, or irresponsible, or obsessed with someone impossible dream that is simply never going to generate adequate income. (I think of myself as that last one, you know, more than the first two. If anything my chronic separation from full time employment has more to do with extreme anxiety than with actual laziness.) If you're born rich or middle class, it's really no problem. Unfortunately, I really wasn't, and got saddled with a horrible incurable disease and therefore crippling healthcare bills on top of everything else.

I'd be especially interested in hearing from people who chose something off-the-grid, so to speak (just decided to take something up as a trade, like art or music) and actually ended up making progress in that field to the extent that they can call themselves "an artist" or "a musician".

In as much as I will be receiving a four figure income for creating content for an RPG this year, I do feel that I can consider myself "a professional game designer". (Yes I know that's not *really* a lot of money but my pay rate is industry standard or on the favorable side of it also SHUT UP.) Various types of photographic proofs of this forthcomingish. From my own experience and the experience of anyone else I know who has earnestly pursued a creative profession, this is my advice: I don't recommend it. :P
Ark
Wario's-a number one!
1770
I still want to be a Fire Truck.
kentona
Your mom is a hero
20844
I had a crazy dream about designing video games.
My entire life I wanted to make videogames. Literally since I was in first grade. I started using rpgmaker 2000 in 2002 when i was 12 to get a lot of my ideas out, and to make them a reality. It was exhilarating. But nearing the end of highschool I dated this one girl who didnt think that it would be a "real" job. And because I was a sap I went along with her... for 4 YEARS!!! That relationship ended about 8 months ago, but I was stupid and went straight into another one that did the same thing, except only for 6 months.

But during that time I went to college for game programming. It was horrible. My teachers were terrible, the corriculum was pathetic, I hated everything about it. So I gave up the dream.

Now that Im alone again,(not such a bad thing) I have had time to think and realize that making games is what i love. But not what my college was teaching me. I hate the coding, or at least with c++ and flash, I dont mind RGSS2 so much, but its still not my thing. What i love to do is design. I love making where everything is, how long it takes to get from point a to b, why things are happening, what things are happening. Thats what I love. But im terrified to go back to college, I feel like I will just find myself in another shitty college filled with bad teachers and a bad corriculum.

Back in 5th grade we had a science fair. I made a hangman game in QBasic... and won! It was awesome, but I hated coding it. And literally never touched coding again until college.

I still want to make games, but Im not sure if it can be my career any longer. I think it will have to stay a hobby in my life. I want it to be a career though.

Ive been thinking of becoming a math teacher. Im good at math, and am a good teacher already so it would be something. But teaching seems like its everyones fall back job, and I dont want to subjugate myself to a fall back. I want to do what I love in life, not just what will get me by.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
author=MaxMcGee
From my own experience and the experience of anyone else I know who has earnestly pursued a creative profession, this is my advice: I don't recommend it. :P/
They all say that, and it has never stopped any one!
I wanted to play guitar in a rock band since I was three, and wanted to be a video game designer since I was in first grade, and I've been working on schooling for Radiography Tech since I was a junior. Two down (ok it's a ska band, close enough) one to go, although I didn't think the video game one was going to be freelance.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
@clydearrowny : I know people who REALLY enjoy being a teacher and find it very rewarding!
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
@clydearrowny: I feel your pain.
Yellow Magic
Could I BE any more Chandler Bing from Friends (TM)?
3154
Aw hell I could write essays about this sort of shit. Where do I begin?

I had an interest in typical geeky stuff (e.g. computers, video games) from a very young age, although when I moved to the UK five years ago that interest died down a bit (thanks to the company I kept, unfortunately). When I turned 16 and I had to seriously think about what I was going to do later on, I was pretty much clueless. All I knew was that, being an Asian from a middle-class family (is it PC to call myself middle-class? I don't believe in this class nonsense myself but it helps put things into perspective), university was the only option, so I'd have to choose A Levels (last two years of high school - non-compulsory, though) that would help facilitate entry into as many different uni courses as possible.

I ended up taking Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Computing. Half a year into my first A Level year was when I had to start thinking about uni courses. At first I was torn between Computer Science (revisiting a past passion), Pharmacy (because I liked Chemistry and the sound of the job) and Medicine (because let's face it, I'm Asian. Didn't help that my mum's a doctor!). In the end I decided on Chemical Engineering as a sort of compromise between the three.

By some insane stroke of luck I found myself studying in one of the world's top universities last year. Things were looking good at first, being the short-sighted idiot I am: I had a decent social life, there wasn't TOO much work, I was basically en-route to success, and (oh my God I hate myself for this) there was a girl I had a crush on and couldn't imagine studying without. "Thank GOD I chose Chemical Engineering!", I thought.

Then..2011 happened. Work piled-up tenfold, I started drifting apart from my friends, and I had to look for a place to stay next year. Slowly and gradually I was beginning to get fed-up with my course; it was boring and way too much effort for way too little reward. It was then that I decided I'd do a postgraduate CompSci "conversion" MSc after my degree, but it got to the point where I pretty much refused to wake up for lectures because I just hated the way my life had turned out. As a result I reapplied to other universities for Computer Science, and I actually managed a couple offers. None of them came close to the place I was at then, but as I didn't really have any choice I accepted the offer for another university located in the same place I was currently at (London).

When I came back home for summer last month, I got my result for 1st year (a lousy 57.6%) and that pretty much decided it. Here's hoping I don't end up having any more regrets...



EDIT: The final nail in the coffin was the realisation that there was absolutely no guarantee that I'd live to a ripe old age. I couldn't bear the thought of dying studying something I hated, so I had to make a decision against the wishes of those around me. This Steve Jobs quote puts it pretty well:

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
We love you Steve, overpriced hardware and all.

I wanted to be a writer when I was 4, but my parents said no. Then I said I want to be a teacher when I was 6. My parents said no. Then I discovered art at the age of 7 and I said I wanted to be an artist+game developer (but I didn't tell them I also wanted to be a linguist). They freaked out. Afterwards I said screw that I'm going to be an artist and they are still trying hard to kick that aspect out of me.

But I'm still here dreaming to be a game developer and a game artist XD
At one point in my life, as a child, I wanted to be a journalist. Then I watched too much CSI as a teenager and decided I wanted to do forensics. It turns out that synthetic chemistry is much more fun than analytical chemistry, so I went into that instead. My PhD started out in synthetic chemistry, but I'm slowly moving over to synthetic biology/chemical biology because enzymes are better at doing chemistry than humans are.

Erm, that about covers it.
I want to be a Veritech fighter pilot when I grow up.
I wanted to be a butcher. We used to go to this steakhouse in town all the time when I was a kid, and I think I just did not make the distinction between butcher and cook!

These days I'm studying to go into psych; counseling psychology, specifically. Considering that I started this post with "I wanted to be a butcher", this might sound like a worrisome career choice.
I decided, I don't want to be a barber anymore. I want to be lumberjack!
"I cut down trees, I eat my lunch...
Adon237
if i had an allowance, i would give it to rmn
1743
author=clydearrowny
. I hate the coding, or at least with c++ and flash, I dont mind RGSS2 so much, but its still not my thing.
Yeah, don't plan on making any commercial games if you don't want the coding.
LockeZ
I'd really like to get rid of LockeZ. His play style is way too unpredictable. He's always like this too. If he ran a country, he'd just kill and imprison people at random until crime stopped.
6003
Lava lamp appreciator
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
wait, why is this in welp?

kind of defeats the purpose of the topic imho, seems like ind of a serious topic

When I came back home for summer last month, I got my result for 1st year (a lousy 57.6%) and that pretty much decided it. Here's hoping I don't end up having any more regrets...

You're young yet, you will. : )

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

This "first and foremost follow your dream and do what you love" sentiment and everything like it is such complete unmitigated bullshit, and one of my biggest problems with American (western?) culture and society. But....being on the verge of a very lengthy and angry diatribe, I'll check it. I (really) don't want to go off on a rant here.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
author=PentagonBuddy
I wanted to be a butcher. We used to go to this steakhouse in town all the time when I was a kid, and I think I just did not make the distinction between butcher and cook!

These days I'm studying to go into psych; counseling psychology, specifically. Considering that I started this post with "I wanted to be a butcher", this might sound like a worrisome career choice.

Not that opposed (I say that because I also wanted to be a butcher a short while!) : curious of what's in the body, to curious of what's in the mind!
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