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post #1 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

Don't post here so much anymore but figured this would be the place to ask this if anywhere. Sorry if it's a bit long.

Anyone ever just sorta lost their way? Set out to do something in life and then after a while realized they really don't want to do it? Yep, I'm in college. Not even through my first semester. Okay, some indepthness and stuff:

Grew up loving airplanes and wanted to fly soo bad. Got glasses in 7th grade so I couldn't fly in the military like I dreamed. Enlisted in the Marines after HS and ended up with a non-flying aviation job. Got out, still pretty sure I wanted to fly, but it wasn't as "fresh" of a passion as it once was. Came back to Michigan, got a job, kinda forgot about it for a while. Bounced around and ended up getting a job working at a FBO at the airport in Grand Rapids, MI. This sorta reawakened my desire to fly. Made me think about becoming a pilot again. Well, October of 02 I finally started learning to fly. Had a good time with my flight instructor. Probably too good because I didn't accomplish a whole lot. Got over 40 hours in 10 months and even solo'd, but didn't meet many of the requirements. Finally I decided late last summer that if I really wanted to do something I needed to go to a flight school for this, not just take lessons. Changed all my life plans, enrolled in college (if you had known me in HS 7-8 years ago that alone would have shocked you [img]images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img]), even talked my newly engaged fiance into moving further north in MI with me.

So in late December we moved up here to Traverse City. Mid Jan I started college at Northwestern Michigan College. Actually a lot better than I thought college would be. I get the GI Bill so I decided not to sweat getting a "serious" job and started washing cars for Enterprise-Rent-A-Car again. I like the area for the most part, the fiance and I are getting along great, apartment is great, money isn't that tight so we can live a little, things have been going good.

Problem is this. I stopped flying last September because I was either out of money or out of opportunities to fly whenever I had one or the other. Now I'm here with the chance to fly and the money to do it, but I can't seem to do it. The flying is going alright when we do get up, but the rest of it isn't. The more I learn about aviation and all the stuff you have to know and do, the less I find myself caring. Sometimes it feels like I'm just jerking away from the "hard stuff", but still I just can't seem to make myself care.

In retrospect it seems like I was just going this direction because it was what I had always wanted to do. Now here I am at 25, post Marine Corps, post having worked for a living for a while, in college and almost totally not caring about my major. Honestly, if I could right now, I'd turn my back and walk away from flying. The immediate problem is that I am past the point where I could drop out without it affecting my GPA and that along with just dropping out would affect my GI Bill and possibly even end my eligiablility.

I've already worked out that I will probably just take a class or two this summer on general ed stuff. Work some things through and figure a bit out. Still I don't even know what it is "I want to do with my life". Sometimes I feel bad because I know it worries my fiance. [img]images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] Still, I'd rather do this than get my pilot's ratings after so much struggle and not even care to maintain them. Not to mention all the money I've already blown on them and would just to complete this basic rating.

Anyone else been in this situation? Got any ideas, thoughts, whatever?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 06:12 PM
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Re: Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

Man, I know exactly how you feel. I am finishing up at the University of North Dakota. It is the best flight school in the country, outside of the military.

Learning to fly for a living is can be both fun and extremely frusterating. All the rules and regulations can take a lot of the fun out flying. Flying is always fun, but seeing how much time and money it takes is incredibly depressing. Most graduates have at least $60,000 in debt and many have more almost $100,000. To top it off, pilots don't make jack sh1t for money until you start to fly turbine aircraft. Hopefully, I will be an instructor here after I graduate this summer. $9.00/hr to start and you can't exactly work overtime or in bad weather.

If I had it to do all over again, I would probably do the same thing except I would get my degree in airport management. Most of the classes are the same. Just take a few more business courses while continuing to take all the flight courses. That way you have something to fall back on if the you can't find a pilot job. There are many opportunities for an airport manager all over the country.

This might be something you should look into before you sink more money into flying.
post #3 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 08:03 PM
 
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Re: Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

AJM,

I feel your pain too although not in the aviation sense. I too have lost my way in life and have since found it. I was enrolled in the University of Kansas and my major was Business Communicaions/ International Business with a minor in German. I figured that a major that you couldn't say in one breath couldn't be good. After spending too much money on beer and too much time at parties I realized that I was doing the wrong thing. I decided to move back home with the parents and go to a local community college. I decided that this time I was going to take classes that I wanted to take and not the ones that my I thought my parents wanted me to take. I decided to take a "First Responder" class ( it's the introduction into the Emergengy Medical field ). I found out that I loved it and I was actually pretty good at it. I decied to take more classes in the EMS field and began to take some Firefighting classes. For the first time in my short life, I was actually doing pretty good in school. It took me a long time to finish school and while I was waiting to get a job in firefighting ( 5 years ) I worked in corporate america and made a pretty good living. I had the opportunity to make over double that of what I was going to make as a firefigher. I turned every offer down. I wanted to follow my dreams and my heart. I wanted to be able to live my life and say at the end of my career that I made a difference. No offense to those of you that push a pencil at work ( God knows that we need people to do that too ) but I realized that it wasn't for me.

I started follwing my dreams to become a firefighter/paramedic 7 years ago now and I haven't looked back once. Sure, I could be making much more money and have a much bigger house, but I'm happy. Being happy is all that you have in your life.

My advice to you is this.... Follow your dreams!! You may not realize what that entails right now but step back, take a look and your fiance, your current living situation, your job and where you want to be. There are thousands of opportunies for you out there. I truly believe that you want to be a pilot and I bet that you would be a good one. Sure, there is some crap that you have to put up with that the FAA puts in your way. But just think, when you are up there flying and you seen the horizon and there isn't a care in the world.... Ask yourself this question--- Is this were I want to be?? I bet the answer is YES...

Sorry about the long "Dr. Phil" rant but I think you get my point.

Just my opinion....

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 09:16 PM
 
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Re: Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

I'll never forget that cop, like 15 years ago, telling me: "Son, if you live to be 25, you'll probably turn into an upstanding citizen".....He he he he,

AJM,
I can't really say as I've ever been truly lost, I spent a few years spinnin' my tires, but it seemed I was always making a little bit of progress.....
I've got a couple buddies that were lost for a long time, spent thousands of dollars and tried several different things, and still never figured it out til they were 30 years old, or older. I went right into Community College right out of highschool in '93, and as strange as it is, I stuck with my trade almost the whole time.....but I tried to swerve away from it a few times, and ended up staying. I tried management, thinking thats where it was at, but it wasn't for me.....I'm a follower, not a leader.
I think, and maybe this is just me, but you have to pick something, and stick with it......nothing ever seems like its much fun, or very interesting....but you have to pay your dues, put in your time, do the sh!t work at the bottom of the ladder, and it pays off, believe me.....but you have to have ambition, it's not where you're at, its where your going that you need to think about.
When I was 25, which wasn't that long ago by the way, I just turned 32, I was a fukken train wreck, bills, women troubles, smashed cars, trouble with johnny law, etc, etc....and quit a good job to move back home, started all over again, from scratch, and I do mean scratch, and by the time I was 27, I was that upstanding citizen the cop had told me I'd be many years before.

You're only 25, thats nothing....you've got lotsa time to figure sh!t out, but IMHO, start thinkin' bout what ya wanna do, pick it, and force yourself to stay with it, and it'll work out. You've only just begun. Even at 32, I still tell people that I didn't grow up til I was 25.

Cheers man,

Rem.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 03-21-2004, 11:47 PM
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Re: Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

I'm in my fourth year of college. I have another semester to go. I have a brand spanking Z06 Corvette worth of student loan debt.

I've decided that I don't like the idea of being an engineer. If these are the people that I'm going to have to work with the rest of my life I'd rather do something else. Furthermore, I suck at electrical engineering. My departmental GPA drags down my cumulative GPA.

I'm a lot better at just about anything than EE. Or so it seems. I can do a lot more practical stuff than all my EE peers. I mean, I can build a circuit, design a PCB, et cetera whereas they understand emag. I decided when I was in single digits of age that I was going to be an electrical engineer.

I've decided that I'm going to get a minor in Science and Technical Communication and hope that I can get a job outside of the field of my major. Maybe writing technical manuals or something. I mean, I think like a redneck engineer and yet can write relatively well. Or at least I can write better than 85% of all engineers.

But anyway, what I'm saying is that it may be too late for you to veer off course too much like it is for me. I pretty much have to stay it out and pay off my student loans. I figure I'll have five years of agony before I have my student loans paid off. I can survive that. It won't be that bad if I can manage to make work a small part of my life.

I mean, really, if you think about the future the present doesn't seem too bad. I've always got a rolling 5 year and 7 year plan. I'm pretty much on track except I thought I'd have done better in school.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 03-22-2004, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

Thanks guys. Kinda helps to see I'm not the only one who's gone through this.

I could get out of this right now without too much trouble. Going to attempt to call the VA counsellor tomorrow and talk to him about it. See what the reprocussions would be. Depending on what it does to my GI Bill I might just pull right out of the flying part. I'd probably lose most if not all of the tuition for it, but luckily it hasn't been student loan time yet. I'm still in the green as far as money goes. I'd actually be able to pay for more school with the balance of what's in my flight fee account.

I'm trying to figure out what I want to do.
I liked working on trucks and helping people lift their trucks and build them, but I'm not that great of a hands on mechanic and there aren't any good <nobr>4x4</nobr> retailers big enough to take serious within a few states. That and the lack of any sort of good wheeling in my life in the past couple years has made my interest in it sorta atrophy.
Guns are coming back hard core, I think taking the place that trucks used to be with me. However I don't really know where to go with this interest, if anything.
I'm really enjoying my writing class (which surprises me) and have always had a flare for it, but again, no clue where to take that. Never written anything longer than a 10 page essay years ago.
Love history, but do I really want to be some kind of teacher/professor?
Thought about becoming a rental agent for Enterprise. ERAC has been very good to me and it's a good company to work for once you've been there a while. I dunno though, again it's something that I like the idea of but kinda have a hard time picturing myself doing.

I dunno, lots to work out.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 03:37 AM
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Re: Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
I'm a lot better at just about anything than EE. Or so it seems. I can do a lot more practical stuff than all my EE peers. I mean, I can build a circuit, design a PCB, et cetera whereas they understand emag.

[/ QUOTE ]
This is exactly what I've been thinking since I started school. I'm on year 4 of 5 in my EE studies and there are definitely those students that pull down A's in most everything but can't think outside the box when needed, and those like me that get C's in most everything but can get the job done without needing a book and mathematical proofs to figure out how to do something practical. The bookworms really piss me off, they seem to be bred to do well in school but I really don't see how they can survive in a real job.

I work on our <a href=http://www.ee.uark.edu/students/organizations/solar/solar2003/index.html>solar boat</a> project and we're a little short-handed on the EE side this year (plenty of ME's, though), so we had a couple of these bookworm types come on the team last semester and they didn't stay long because they sucked at doing things for themselves without me showing them every little detail. It's fairly depressing how easily these fawkers seem to get nice grades, and if employers use GPA as the primary evaluation of a potential engineer then I'm going to be in trouble after graduation. I've always assumed that I'd make a better engineer than them, but maybe booksmarts without common sense is more beneficial? I don't let them get me down mainly because jobs are very specialized and most of these classes won't even apply to what I'll be doing. I've got enough broad knowledge to guide me in the right direction on most things, but will an interviewer realize this?

I've been tempted to jump off the EE boat for a long time since I'm not such a great student, knowing that I could have a 4-point in the business college, but my life would be cut short by suicide if I had to sit around doing tax audits all day. Mechanical engineering would undoubtedly be easier and more interesting to me, but they graduate a lot more students each year than the EE dept so when it comes to finding a job I might be better off in EE, seeing how I usually have 7-10 students in my classes at a university with 15000 students overall. Hopefully this will allow me to stay in Ark since local employers won't have a very big group from which to pick.

I don't know if this is helping or not Andy, but I know lots of folks in school and nobody seems to get through it like they originally planned. I doubt I'll love my job, whatever that may be, but as long as I can stand it and they give me a paycheck, I think it'll be ok in the end. Hopefully I can start a business of my own or with a couple folks and do something that I do love, after I've served my time in the workforce to get things rolling. I can actually see light at the end of the tunnel now and school doesn't suck nearly as bad as it did 2 years ago when I almost gave up. Keep it rolling and hope for the best [img]images/graemlins/burnout.gif[/img]
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 09:39 AM
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Re: Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

Wow, you sound like me.

I was into Mini-Baja and a couple other things here on campus. They're called "Enterprises" here. They operate like a small independent business. I got tired of doing everything, especially when I was doing ME, EE, writing (STC), and business stuff. It wasn't so bad but there were so many kids that never learned... ask the same [bleep] over and over... people that didn't learn from other people's doings.

The waste of money everywhere. Like they spent thousands on machined front spindles when the ones on a LT250 would've worked perfect. Or the $250/each on specially machined rotors when the ones off a KX80 bigwheel dirtbike for $80 would've worked.

Senior <lack of> Design blows. I'm doing the ME's job. All they've done is told me I'm stupid, then realize I was right, poke fun at me, and make the drawings for the company.

I'm also afraid I won't be able to find a job. My GPA sucks at 2.7something.

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 11:41 AM
 
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Re: Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

Sounds like neither of you guys really need to worry. I wen't through a lot of what you're talking about a couple years ago when I went through college. After high school I knew I wanted to be an engineer but I couldn't decide between EE and ME. I had taken drafting, metals, woodworking, and electronics courses in high school and liked them all. Finally after looking at the job market and average starting salary I decided to go EE. They're tends to be less of them and they start off with higher salaries.

I started off as an EE and stayed with that for the first year and a half. I did well in all of my courses until I got to C++ programming. The teacher I had really sucked, and I just didn't enjoy what we were doing, so when he said that 90% of the EE jobs were going to be in programming I baled and switched to ME.

I liked all my ME courses and did well in those also, until Second semester of my Junior year. Then the love of my life, or so I thought cheated on my and we broke up. Needless to say after that school became less important, and drinking took over 90% of my life instead of the 75% before. It ended up taking me 3 more years to graduate, but I had a lot of fun during that time. My GPA dropped from about a 3.5 to a 2.8 by the time I graduated but I didn't care. I've found a decent job without any problem even though the job market sucked. It pays the bills and allows me to buy most of the toys I want, and I still have a lot of fun.

Overall what I learned in college is that some people take life way to seriously. Have fun, don't worry about school so much. You'll graduate, and then look for a job you like. You won't use a lot of what they teach you in school, but you will use what you've learned, if that makes any sense. The kids who sat around reading books are going to end up sitting around reading books for they're job. They guys who understand how things work are going to be the ones that are actually doing something.

Also, I've found that a lot of people who graduate with an EE degree end up doing more ME work or v.v. just depends on what area you focus on.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 03-25-2004, 10:23 PM
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Re: Anyone else ever \"lost their way\" in life?

Beerstalker, that really is good to hear. I often doubt myself even though I know that I have what it takes to get something done. I've met several professors that loathe the A-F grading system and say they'd much rather have a pass-fail system because they spend so much time dealing with students squabbling over their grades. One prof in particular said not to ask him about grades until the end of the semester because he simply hated dealing with such a trivial issue. I can see why they hate it so much... often the only difference between getting an A in a class rather than a C is memorizing a couple examples from the book before an exam (or getting ahold of an old exam) and getting homework done on Thursday night, which I find rather difficult due to my friend in the bottle [img]images/graemlins/smirk.gif[/img] I know several guys like me here at the UofA and we all agree that merely getting an engineering degree is success, but keeping a 3.8 gpa while doing it is most definitely excess [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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