What should I do with the next few years of my life?
January 14, 2006 8:37 AM Subscribe
I'm a high school senior trying to plan the next few years of my life. I'll definitely take a year off before college, but everything else is still up in the air.
posted by jbb7 to work & money (30 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was deferred from Harvard (early action), and I'll hear back from my other colleges on April 1. All of the schools let me defer matriculation for a year. But if I don't get into Harvard, Stanford, or Columbia (which is very likely), I'll probably just reapply again next year without choosing any of my safety schools.
So, either way, I have 15 free months ahead of me. I have absolutely no obligations from June 12, 2006, to August 2007.
My brother (who just graduated from college) and I will go backpacking for at least 2 months. It's unlikely that our travel will be much longer, so I have 12 consecutive months available to fill as I choose.
Some background about me: I live in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. I have $20,000 that I've earned during high school (I sold my in-home computer teaching business), and I'd be willing to spend most of it (if I need to) to have a great experience. I'm interested in computers, and I have good work experience (thousand-plus hours, able to get good reference letters) programming Web applications and teaching computers. I'd be perfectly satisfied doing something non-computer-related, too.
Here are my current ideas, roughly ranked in order of desirability.
1. Try to get a technology job/internship around Silicon Valley or in New York City. (This is a longshot! How feasible is this?)
2. Try to get a technology job/internship in Beijing or Shanghai. I speak English well, and I've taken 3 years of Mandarin. (This is also a huge longshot!)
3. Try to get a technology job/internship in Chicago. Ideally, live away from my parents in my own apartment.
4. Teach English in China. I have taken Mandarin for 3 years at school.
5. Start my own Web company with some of my decent ideas. I'd have to live with my parents if I did this, since I'd run through my $20k far too quickly living alone with no income stream.
Has anyone else had any good experiences doing stuff in the year after high school? Any other ideas?
Is it feasible for me to get a technology job in San Jose or NYC? How would I frame it to the companies I'd be applying to?