How can I finally start doing something with my life?
September 19, 2006 6:13 AM Subscribe
What should I get an M.A. in?
posted by xanthippe to Work & Money (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I have a 2-year-old B.A. in Philosophy and have been wasting time since deciding not to go on to become a lifelong academic. I excelled at math and foreign languages in school, and probably should have studied engineering or computer science, though I feel it's too late at this point and I'm not certain enough to commit myself to any particular field. I also considered studying psychology, linguistics, and comparative literature at various points.
I've recently been trying to reassess my goals in life, and I think I'm leaning more towards the business world at this point, though I have little understanding of its mysteries. I want to acheive financial independence (though not necessarily wealth) and apply my intellect to something practical that yields visible results and allows me to take responsibility and credit for my actions and decisions - admittedly I also respond better to instant gratification and can be a bit impatient. I also want to feel that I am being productive or creative in some satisfying way whatever I end up doing, rather than simply working by the hour (or semester) at a task that constantly renews itself with no end in sight - though I am able to take pride in doing this sort of work with quality as well, as I currently am. I want to enter a field or industry that is dynamic, lucrative, and challenging that will reward good performance. I also insist on living abroad, if not travel internationally on a regular basis. I realize this is vague and ambitious, but I have no idea where to start.
More personality backgound: I am intelligent and extremely motivated but completely unskilled. I used to be an extreme introvert, but have been working on developing into more of a type-A personality and become depressed when I'm not immersed in something productive and satisfying, or at least perpetually busy. I'm clearly somewhere on the Asperger's-Autism-ADD spectrum, but I find myself able to thrive and excell in circumstances that require me to overcome the constraints of those traits provided I am sufficiently motivated, though I do sometimes find it exhausting. I'm not sure whether to let my personality type determine which path I take (and whether such a decision would be prudent or simply avoidant); for the first time, I feel optimistic and driven enough that I think I could make anything happen if I worked hard enough at it, and I don't want to lose that momentum for lack of something to apply it to.
I now have an opportunity to to go back to school (most likely in the USA, though studying in Germany may be an alternative) and am determined not to waste it, though I'm at a complete loss as to how to make use of it. Please advise!