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Help me figure out my life!!!

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  • #21
    What to do ?

    OP - by all means, go overseas. You will learn a lot more about the world + get an education by going to get your degree in another country. tkhawk and
    4Martini have it right. Go out. Go learn. The Equine Studies programs here in the USA are, eh, blah. I know, I attended 2 of them, and looked at a lot more.

    I wish I had had the nerve to go overseas. I think I can guarantee that you WILL regret not taking the option in the future. In the end, you will more regret the roads not tried than you will the mistakes you made.


    • #22
      Why pigeonhole yourself during college? My advice is to keep your options as open as possible. I would suggest getting a degree that could allow you to go many directions....business, something science related, etc (maybe a media degree does the same???) while still giving you the ability to work with horses as a possibility.

      And really, who knows what the future will hold for you? I always caution kids against pursuing their passion as their job since most people don't have what it takes to live with the ups and downs of "real life" in relation to something they're passionate about as a sport. I've sure seen a lot of people go down that path only to discover that they wish they'd done something outside of the horse world to support the habit (i.e. pay more than horses "pay") and kept the horses as their escape.

      I have a biochemistry degree and after graduating felt like I could go anywhere (not sure the same could be said for an Equine-related degree). I started towards my PhD in molbio, changed my mind and moved into sales, got accepted into business school....have a job now where I get to work out of my house while making a good paycheck. As someone else mentioned, it wouldn't appeal to everyone....lots of travel, lots of working with new people. But I have my own farm, 6 horses, and show on the A circuit all summer. I break and train youngsters and greenies and then sell them as a side job of sorts (though my focus on that is almost gone now that I have 2 kids and have a tough time fitting in everything!).

      Anyhow, my point is that you could get a non-equine degree that would prepare you equally as well to work in the equine world while still giving you flexibility to do other things if you decided on a different path. I say wait as long as possible to close any doors for yourself.
      Flying F Sport Horses
      Horses in the NW


      • #23
        I entered college as a Communications Major, so a lot like you. I HATED it. I wanted to drop out and ride horses for a living. I was sure I could get a job, etc. etc. Well I took a required science class and really liked it. Ended up changing my major to biology.

        Fast forward to sophomore year of college. I love biology, I love my classes. They're challenging, they're interesting. I still love horses. But I don't know what I want to do with my degree. I know I don't want to go to medical school or vet school, and I don't want to go to research. I feel rushed, as people are getting ready to take MCAT prep and etc. I flip out, what am I going to do?!

        Flash forward another year. I have found peace in the decision of going to Nursing school, but I am unhappy that I will go straight from undergrad to my second bachelor's without ever having time off to "do horses". Well, by happy coincidence, I can graduate a semester early. Great! Oh, and nursing school doesn't really start for another . . . year. And lo, the sun did break through the clouds and all seemed clear.

        The key thing I did was stay focused on a goal (get a degree) but I did not lock myself into one track. If you're lost and unhappy, you need to try other things. Take classes you're unsure of (I was sure I was going to fail that Chem elective - but not so much!), explore options at your school. Keep riding, keep working, keep learning. Everything will fall into place eventually, just be persistent. Being decisive is a great quality, but in matters like the one you're up against, far better to follow one path and let it take you where it may than jump all around until you're so lost you don't know which way is up. Go abroad if you feel like you need to, take crazy classes, have fun, but stay focused on one thing. Everything else will fall into place.

        "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"


        • #24
          Id you don't want a desk job, don't get one, you'll be miserable. I have one, after years of working outdoors, and while it's a great job blahblahblah I hate the lifestyle and spend most of my time plotting my escape. But in my field it's either desk job or travel job. I wish I had gotten a degree that would allow me to earn a reasonable living in a small town or rural area, like dentistry or vet med.

          A lot of my friends have gone back to school to do nursing or radiology (we're talking people with grad degrees in the hard sciences here) because it allows them to live where they want and work as much as they want. Consider something like that if you want more freedom.

          And keep in mind that people who say "all degrees are the same , it doesn't matter what you study!" are dead wrong. If you want to be a marine biologist, vet or a civil engineer then media studies ain't gonna cut it. Pick a general area of interest that correlates to the way you see the world, like hard science, engineering or liberal arts, and always assume you'll be working in the area you study. You'll get a lot more out of school that way.


          • #25
            Well having done MANY careers in my lifetime without a degree I would stay stick with the education. You may not see the benefit right now at this moment BUT...it does pay off when applying for jobs.


            My co-worker has been in the industy as long as I have. He makes 20K less than I do because he just has an assocaties degree. I have a BS degree and make more. He doesn't know what I make but I know what he does because he talks endlessly about how much it stinks. SO I told him to finish his BS degree. He told me to eff off in not so nice way.

            I am in the IT industry and there is a certain point that you hit that without a degree it is a glass ceiling paywise. I also work for the Federal government and they are MUST have a degree mindset. My degree is in Business, not IT but they just wanted that piece of paper. I am working on my MS in Information Systems and will be done in this century. It is for the future, not the right now.

            I also would have loved to make a living riding horses. Actually wanted to be a trainer. I taught lessons for 5 months and hated it. I hated dealing with the parents, and all the drama. I am better off at my desk where I pay the board for my horses living accomdations. I can compete on the A circuit when I am ready but that day hasn't come yet.
            Insignia MC - Spanish PRE mare
            Tuggy - RIP at the bridge (9/12/2016)
            Theodore the Boxer - RIP at the the bridge (10/5/2017)


            • #26
              You can always travel AFTER you get your degree. Through the weirdness that is life, I'm now living in Manchester, England. I LOVE it. But, I wouldn't give up the years I spent in MN (Carleton College) or CA (Berkeley) for anything. Don't feel like you're "stuck" if you stick around for college.


              • #27
                Picture yourself broke with no financial support available from family...
                Then figure out what you could do to make your own life work...
                Then do it...
                * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
                Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
                NO! What was the question?


                • #28
                  I say follow your heart. You don't know what doors it will open for you and you can go back to school at anytime. I had a similar situation after high school, everyone was in my ears telling me "I'll be a stall cleaner for the rest of my life" so I listened, went to school, and got my media degree. It was easy for me, I was a good student, but I didn't really care about it. I had a good job, I liked the pay check, but the overtime dragged on me. I felt time wasting away Where am I now? Wishing I had taken the chance back then and currently in school studying something else anyway.. The truth is I didn't know what I wanted to study at 18, I wanted to follow my passion. What's getting me through school now? The same passion...


                  • #29

                    Originally posted by seeuatx View Post
                    At least you are only a college freshman, I'm 24 with a BA in Equine Studies, and NO clue what to do with my life. For me life was so much easier when I was 18 and thought I knew everything, lol.
                    I think you and I are really the same person. I got a fancy BS in a ridiculously specialized Equine program, based on my 18 yr old self's plans, and now I have no idea what I want to do. I mean, I'd love to still go live abroad and raise horses...but with a SO who gets the heebie jeebies when thinking about moving and you know, the economy and all...not so much.

                    Now I have a somewhat horse related job where I earn slightly less than your average bag lady and let me say that a job where I'd make a lot of money and have no passion for is sounding really good.

                    Just my thoughts, as I look at my petite checking account and severely shrunken savings


                    • #30
                      You said you are living at home so your parents can afford to send you to shows.....that comment gets to me. I think you need to "grow up". Your parents are obviously sacrificing financially for you - which is fine to a point - but they need to start saving for their own future.

                      You are young, and have a lot of future ahead. Start by figuring out how to support yourself. That is probably not in a horse related field. As many have said, it is a difficult place to work, without much of a future. And you don't need a degree to be successful in the horse industry - in fact many trainers scoff at the idea of a degree. What counts is talent, talent, and a good head, and experience.

                      I suggest, if you go to school, to get a degree in a field that you can then be employed in. Broaden your horizens, open your eyes a bit, you can always go back to the horse industry as a fall back if things don't work out in school. But you most likely won't go back to school once you start working in the horse business.


                      • #31
                        Being employable does not necessarily mean having a job you hate. There ARE things to do that are interesting and that actually involve a paycheck .

                        I have a friend who works as a media specialist for the shuttle program. He films all the shuttle flights and puts together packages for education and government programs.

                        I am an instructor (not horse related), and love both my job and the hours.

                        Some of the happiest horse people I know are in the medical field. They are probably going to get to keep their jobs through the recession, and they have wonderful benefits. I would recommend doing some job shadowing through your college's career services. They can set you up with people in a few fields (trust me, they're used to dealing with this situation as MOST 18 year olds don't know what they want to do!) and you can see what their day to day lives are like.

                        Seriously, you are not in an unusual position, and there are some resources out there that can help you decide where you want to go and what you want to do.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by bf1 View Post
                          You said you are living at home so your parents can afford to send you to shows.....that comment gets to me. I think you need to "grow up". Your parents are obviously sacrificing financially for you - which is fine to a point - but they need to start saving for their own future.
                          In the situation I'm in right now I work two practically minimum wage jobs at around 25 hours a week so that I can pay for my lifestyle (the occasional dinner and the few clothes that I buy out of necessity) and also so I can pay for all my personal expenses when I travel the circuit. I also have classes every day. Sometimes I have a social life lol. My parents love me a lot and think I have a lot of talent as a rider so they choose to put a small chunk of their disposable income towards helping me further my goals. Right now those goals are on the A circuit. I live in Canada where we have health care and they have government pensions.

                          Fixerupper, you're so right! After a lot of deliberation, I think that I will stay in university, at least for the next three years, then see what I would like to do for a master's degree. I know I will regret going in some ways but I still have loads of time to go later in life if this doesn't work out.


                          • #33
                            Wow! Baby just grew up.
                            * <-- RR Certified Gold Star {) <-- RR Golden Croissant Award
                            Training Tip of the Day: If you can’t beat your best competitor, buy his horse.
                            NO! What was the question?


                            • #34

                              Sam1979 said and I want to reiterate: "Do you want to own the barn, or work in someone else's barn"

                              I went to Lake Erie College and I was going to be an equestrian major. In my sophomore year, I started to see the light about the potential jobs available and I took two years off. I wasn't actually going to go back to college but my father said: "You're going back to college, I don't care where you go but you're going!"

                              I got accepted to Rhode Island School of Design and have never looked back. While I own a horse business, it's something a little different than training and mucking. You can look at my web site: www.horsehollowpress.com

                              I'm 47 years old and let me tell you, you don't need a degree to be an "equestrian major". Please find a major that you're interested in and stick to that. I liked the one poster that talked about working behind the scenes at a TV station or making television shows. HOW MUCH FUN WOULD THAT BE?

                              You just need to find something you're interested in, graduate with that behind you, make some dough and then buy your dream farm and own your own horses...

                              Good luck!!!
                              Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                              One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
                              Add Very Funny Horse Bumper Stickers on facebook


                              • #35
                                We had an American girl on our Animal Science course last year as part of an exchange program. She completed her second year with us. It sounded like hard work though, she had to do a lot of credits. But maybe your University does one? Combine travel with study.

                                Also, I am taking Animal Science, but doing the equine pathway. It gives a broader base and should provide more job opportunities, but keeps things horse related. However, as a general rule I enjoyed the modules related to farm animals far more than the equine modules, I suppose because it was something new. I have to agree that Equine Science degrees doesn't provide many opportunities, not here anyway.


                                • #36
                                  Oh, and, FWIW, I LOVED graduate school madly! I loved it so much that I'm STILL in school and they're going to have to pry my cold fingers off the door in the faculty lounge! It just seemed so much more satisfying than undergrad - I got to choose what I wanted to study, and the discussions were much more in-depth. The reading load was pretty massive, but fortunately I like to read.


                                  • #37
                                    Just remember: degrees, including advanced degrees from very expensive, selective, incerdibly competitive schools and programs can still mean you end up scraping through hourly jobs. Ask Me How I Know. Right now, I'm hoping one of those applications for a position beginning "GS" comes through (because once you've got a rating federal jobs get much easier to get and harder to lose.) God knows when I'll be able to afford a horse--probably only if I get lucky and marry rich.
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                                    • #38
                                      Good, finish your degree, but don't give up on travel. Once you have a career in mind, you can begin looking for positions that may take you overseas. My parents lived and worked all over the world before I was born, and when my husband's company bought out a smaller company in Switzerland last year, we agreed that if an opportunity arose, the farm and horses would be sold and we'd be on a plane ASAP. I'm still holding out hope that that will happen, but for now, it looks like I'll have to be happy with the sticks of East Texas, and I won't let go of my (no-fun-at-all-drives-me-crazy-makes-me-bash-my-head-into-the-wall) teaching position because a job is a precious thing these days, even if it drives you a bit crazy. That's why there's horses and dogs waiting for me at home.


                                      • #39
                                        A college degree is always good. Unless you want to do something specific, like being a doctor or a nuclear scientist, the rest are ok with any degrees. I work in a very big corporation and my top management have a wide range of degrees from liberal arts to English. As long as you have a degree it is fine. College is a neat experience. I came to the US from India to do my graduate. You could go to Europe or any palce you feel like -combine education and travel.

                                        But figuring out what you want to do with your life is the fun part. It changes. Think about dating choices. I look back now at the people I found attractive at 18 and have to laugh. Can't imagine how I would feel if I had choosen to share my life with them. Same thing with careers-you grow, circumstances change, you change. You may choose a career for financial stability and due to market forces-the stability is gone. You may choose a job because it is your passion and after ten years the industry has matured and it is now very corporate.

                                        Stuff happens and you evolve and change. Right now though I think the horse business is very tough to break into if you are just starting out. Horses are a luxury and it will be a while before things reach their eqilibrium again.

                                        The thing with life is for every rule, general belief/circumstance, there is always an exception. So everything is relative to you, the place you are, your surroundings , so really hard to tell this is the best way. I think it is good that you are exploring, figuring out things for yourself. That is part of the fun in life! It also is a bit tough. When you go off the beaten track, you have to learn to rely on yourself. You have no context , framework. You are not choosing a career beacuse your Dad did it and his dad did it. So you will encounter stuff and will have doubts and fears and no framework to referance to. But you learn to trust yourself and be more accepting of your shortcomings, challenge your beliefs. Keep looking and in today's world the "hot" career of today may be "stale" in just a decade-it is a very fast moving world.


                                        • #40
                                          BA- biology
                                          That took me to a law degree.
                                          Law took me to 10 hour works days, which sucked big time.
                                          But it helped me to build a nest egg to allow me to quit.
                                          Nest egg took me to the Former Soviet Union.
                                          FSU took me to journalism for ten years.
                                          Journalism took me to running a legal aid program for journalists.
                                          In the meantime, I wrote and published a book and bought my first horse.
                                          End of program brought me back to the US with an even huger nest egg.
                                          Legal aid program experience took me to consulting, which brought me to East Timor, where I am right now for three weeks.
                                          East Timor gave me a chance to see Timor ponies and really exotic Timor saddles (see my "check out this saddle thread")
                                          East Timor will also pay for a goodly portion of horsie activities, as well as living expenses.

                                          Having spent a good deal of energy on the "rape" victim's story, I'm a little disinclined to waste more energy on what appears to be a lazy, spoiled college student's angst.

                                          Get a degree. Thank your god for parents who support you. And shut up. You're a ridiculous child who evidently has no idea of what is happening in the world around you. Learn to make french fries, too. It may help in the future if you are unwilling to apply yourself to things that may seem boring, but may prove to be useful.

                                          But if you really want to appreciate what you have, maybe try the Peace Corp for a summer or a season.

                                          Rant done.