I'm in my penultimate year of high school and I'm beginning to think about post-secondary schools.
People of ATNW:
Did you go to a university or college?
What did you study?
What do you do now and was that choice impacted by what you studied after high school?
Any advice or response would be really cool.
-Small private college
-Joint program for bachelors and masters..I studied occupational therapy
-I am now a therapist working with kids. I wanted to do something to help people, look back on my life and feel like "wow I made a difference".
I wish I would have explored my interests and talents more and not just focused on finishing school and getting a job. Not everyone has that luxury, but if you do then study things that interest you rather than focusing on finishing school and enjoy every moment with your friends because time flies. Also, if there are topics that interest you don't let professors or other people discourage you. You know yourself best so don't let other people sway your decisions...
I graduated in 2009 and it seemed like college was really far off. I knew I was done with school a while but that I eventually wanted to get back into it. I didn't do any planning for higher education when I was in high school so I feel like I wasn't very prepared when I did go back. I didn't take the ACT or the SAT which kinda screwed me over. I thought about taking it this past year but I feel like I already forgot everything lol. So needless to say, start planning ahead (though it looks as though you already are)
Anyway, I am currently a freshman at Columbia College Chicago. I'm double majoring in American Sign Language and Art History. I love to do both though I really want to go on to get my masters degree in museum studies. I would just major in art history solely but I know that a BA in art history won't open up too many doors for me. I compromised with myself to double major so that I can make money as a sign language interpreter when I graduate from Columbia. I plan on saving up for a while then going to graduates school at NYU.
My only advice would be to apply for as many scholarships as you can, get a good paying summer job to save up for that crazy tuition bill, and buy your books used or rent! Also, if you're able to, stay in student housing. It's nice to be around other people who you can relate to plus you hear about campus happenings more when you live there I think,
I went to university, but not with a long range plan in place as much as it was the thing to do at the time, making it up as I went.
In my first year I entered as an undeclared major which was great- I got to see what I liked. I thought I was going to major in history (With the logic always being "do what I like,and figure out how to make it work as I need to")
That year, because I was undeclared I was able to take classes in psychology, classics (ie Roman and Greek History), geophysics, east asian history, bioarchaeology, and an english class.
That year helped me realize a few things:
A) I really liked archaeology (which I had known before, but somehow managed to forget with all the options I had)
B) I also really liked geophysics (which was a surprise to me!)
C) I didn't like history as much as I thought... (being very different in fundamental approach to understanding the past than archaeology...)
SO in second year I decided to declare my major: Anthropology- which is the large category archaeology falls under, at least for New World research.
I guess this is a long way of me saying I picked archaeology.
At my school they offer fieldcourses that allow you to work on archaeological sites in Peru, or biological anthro courses in Madagascar I believe, besides other institutions offering similar courses for credit that you can still take...
I didn't do any of those. Instead,because I needed to eat and pay rent among other trivialities, I was fortunate to get a part time job in archaeology- this allowed me to get relevant experience AND get paid for it at the same time.
Since graduating with my B.A. I have been working full time in archaeologist- first as a "field tech" (read: shovel monkey) and later as a field director (read: monkey wrangler).
My plan at the end of my B.A. was to see how long I could get without doing more school, because by then I was pretty sick of it.
In September I started my Master's program. Also in archaeology, now with the specific intent of moving up in in my field.
Another random insight:
I started at a small University college associated with a larger university. They still give out university degrees, and in many cases can be harder to get into are more prestigious. This gave me the opportunity to have very small classes (even during first year when classes are often very large) allowing me much higher levels of student to instructor ratios
(in my first year, all of my classes were taught by at least one person holding a PhD, sometimes multiple) and in most of my classes my prof knew the names of everyone in the class. Also, by being affiliated with a larger institution, I had access to huge libraries, student clubs, rec centre facilities, intramural sports, etc. A lot of smaller school might have these, but typically on a much smaller scale.
Options are good.
Please excuse the wall of text…but I hope this might be helpful to you Stefan.
When I was a high school student I loved the arts, especially visual arts and music. I was fortunate enough to have a family who were supportive of my creative endeavours.
My parents were at that time academics/ professors in the field of psychology and were keen for me to attend university. This was as much for the academic experience as well as the cultural experience.
On graduating from high school I studied at the College of Fine Arts, which is a part of the University of New South Wales. I completed an honours degree, majoring in painting and drawing.
At that time, we had a change of government. Many of the arts programs that had once existed were cut and the private sector was not actively supporting creative people. Though for anyone who already had advanced film production skills, there were opportunities to work on the Star Wars prequels at Fox Studios in Sydney.
I’ve worked a number of jobs within the arts, but it wasn’t always easy. The key I think is being flexible. This means a willingness to work any day of the week, often at odd hours of the day. Having a range of skills is valuable. Learning new skills is important too.
A few years after graduating from university I attended technical college to study library and information services. Initially this lead me to be working more ‘normal’ hours of the day, i.e. 9am- 5pm. Since then, libraries have extended their opening hours due to demand. Some public libraries don’t close until midnight. So I'm back to late shifts.
I now use my art and library skills in the work I do. I frequently work with young children which is loads of fun.
I think the key is to keep an open mind. Choose to study something you are interested in. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to figure out exactly what you want to do right now. Hear the advice of others (family, teachers, professionals), but trust your instinct.