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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been browsing this forum looking for some inspiration for my college career. Currently I am a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and I feel like a zombie going through my classes and homework. I have no inspiration here besides the fact that I'm paying to take these courses, so I'd better get it done. I suppose I choice Engineering for the hell of it, cause what else is there?

As an ISTP I feel I have a hard time keeping interest with something for 4 years, especially in an academic setting. I hate school and homework, I'd rather be doing actual work (in summers I worked at a resort fixing and maintaining things, and I loved it cause there's always always something different to put back together every day.) This is probably because of our indecisiveness.

I feel like two people on the forums already summed up my situation perfectly
Whatever you study in college, it's traditional for ISTPs to end up doing something completely unrelated.

Typical ISTP career path: try something for the hell of it, get bored after 1-2 years, quit. Repeat as required until you figure out what you'd rather be doing. Notice that you can make more money doing what you enjoy than you ever did by slaving away in a real job. Feel smug.
If you're an ISTP, you'll probably want to do EVERY career. You'll probably hate school, you'll want to work in a physical environment. You'll probably have everyone telling you how to be successful in life, and you'll always wonder why their advice just makes you feel worse when you follow it.

ISTP's are too awesome to live by everyone else's standards. We were born with the gift of enjoying the jobs that even bums can enjoy. Any kind of instructing job, teacher, etc. I think those are the easiest to think about. Any kind of crisis job: firefighter, paramedic, rescue diver, something like that.
Basically, there's so many things I want to try out that I end up bouncing back and forth between them, and I need help choosing a major to settle on for the next 3 years so I don't waste all my money on education loans, but I haven't been struck by inspiration by looking over all my major options, and could use some outside advice.

Some of my hobbies are video games (fantasy RPGs mostly), reading books (again, fantasy books mostly) working out, sailing, hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, shooting guns, archery, many of these I practice on and off. I'm also going to start rock climbing at school once I get certified. I also have a love of travel. I could drive all day alone with my music to get somewhere interesting if I wanted.

As far as academics go, in high school I was the student who never studied and got As. At least until I took calculus. For some reason my brain isn't wired to get calculus, so I would prefer a major that's not calc intensive (though I did already pass calc 2 in college) I have on/off interests in subjects. One week I will be all into chemistry (probably could blame Breaking Bad) the next world cultures and history.

Obviously, I have a love of the outdoors. I mentioned my job at a resort, and I've also been considering just dropping college and enlisting in the Coast Guard for an exciting outdoors job. I used to work in the water transport industry in the oil field. I loved being outdoors, but hated the hours. I really desire an adventurous job, or one that would allow me to go on my own adventures. I've thought about lots of various majors and jobs such as:
military, web design, graphic design, engineering, geology, archaeology, biochemistry, English, ESL, Pharmacy, etc.

tl;dr What are exciting, physical, outdoorsy, traveling majors/careers for ISTP personality who hates repetitiveness loves variety?
 

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You have just asked the million dollar question. If you find a answer to "what the hell am I doing with my life", let me know. Probably some of the older and more mature ISTPs will be able to give you more insight. My strategy is to find something I'm willing to work for and stick at it. When in doubt, I'll have my hobbies to fall back on. Yeah.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll let you know, if I ever do find an answer to that question. Decision making isn't something I'm good at. Maybe if I was born a couple hundred years ago. Or in Skyrim.
 

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Personally I chose my major (physics) based on experiencing the intellectual challenge it poses. I don't always enjoy it and have considered dropping it, but I like problem solving even if I don't like the abstraction. I make it a challenge to myself to follow through and finish my degree. I've ended up doing most all my outdoor adventures outside of class. Sometimes I compensate by taking a bunch of P.E. classes (on stuff I haven't done before) on top of academic classes.

I'd say major in something that 1) has the right amount of intellectual challenge that, in some aspect, will keep you going for the next three years, and 2) gives you versatility in transferable skills (more so technical skills). Engineering is pretty good at giving you technical skills, but definitely develop your interpersonal skills.

As far as a career, I don't bother thinking about that in concrete details, because if I've got the technical and transferable skills, I could get a good job that is tolerably interesting and will pay for my hobbies.

To an extent, you've answered your own question with some of your speculative thoughts.
 

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I chose computer technology as I was already good at it and needed a degree in something.
 

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First take this information as a suggestion and not instruction.

I am INTP. However I do have information about your field and advice about your situation.

There is a field called "Mechatronics". It is a mixture of Mechanical Engineer, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. You make stuff that uses all of them - for example a computer controlled wind turbine to get maximum electricity production. In my university, the professor who started the Mechatronics Department started out as a Mechanical Engineer in Bachelor's, then he got a master's in Mechatronics so you are in the same track as him. Maybe there is a Mechatronics Bachelor's degree at your university.

Second, you are in this situation. You are good at fixing different things. So are lots of other people. You like doing it. So do lots of other people. It's a pretty common job to fix things. What gives you an advantage in getting hired is having an Engineering degree. Also you already have several years of college debt so you have to get a degree because just working as a degree-less repairman here and there is not going to pay off your college debt. The way to get out of college debt is to get a college degree , and then a good paying job so you can pay off college debt.

Also you should know that the youth unemployment rate is like 25%, so if you are just a high school graduate, then your chances decrease. Also know that Engineering is one of the top fields in terms of number of jobs and salary. You really need a college degree and are in the right subject to have a good life.

If you want to succeed in college, learn to fight procrastination. Even if you don't have interest for a subject, you can still study it. Spend 1 hour studying whatever subject. Relax - walk, look outside window, talk with someone, anything - for 15 minutes.
Study - Relax - Study - Relax. You HAVE to Relax because that reduces stress so that it is more easy to study.

I would LIKE to do a lot of things. I have a degree in Computer Science and work as a programmer. I have more interest in Investing however. But I HAVE to continue to work as a programmer. It is a well paying job and it is steady income compared to investing where you can even lose money. I can do what I want on the weekends or on 1 or 2 week nights when I feel like it in terms of whatever my interests are. But I HAVE to work as a programmer.

In high school, you get to study so many subjects in various fields. But when you study in college or start working, you are just doing work in ONE field. It's the same repetitive thing again and again. College/work life is different than high school. It is more "same" and "boring" but you also get to sleep and play for 15 hours a day. Yes it can be stressful to do the same work but you can play and explore any interest you want at home. That's just how college/work life is.

You can't have the same expectations of life as you had in high school. College is mostly studying one "same" subject for 4 years. Work life is mostly doing a few of the "same" work for your career.

You have to change your attitude and become an adult. After high school, it is the same subject to study or same work to do. That's how life is. If you have like 5-10 years of work experience (depending on your field), then you have more options of what you want to do for work in your career. But when you are just starting your life, you have fewer options. That's how it works.

Hope this helps
 

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I think most ISTPs wonder about what they're doing with they're lives. I went through several different trades; carpentry, cabinetry, and roofing. They were fun and active jobs - very typical ISTP jobs, but i always felt out of place, as if it wasn't meant for me. Carpentry was close, almost perfect, but i need something more.

I'm in school now on an impulse to try to find something more interesting. I looked into forensic pathology but it's such a long term commitment that i can't handle. I'm probably going to go into something technician-based. Perhaps an engineering technician. Or i can just say screw everything and become a race car driver, i'm 40% considering it
 

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You need to look to 'The Janitor' from scrubs as your inspiration, just sayin.

will definitely say, being out of school for 7 years then suddenly going back for a degree is a big "wtf did I do to my relaxation time" moment.
 

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Haha, I'm in virtually the same situation. I'm on my second semester as an undergrad, and my major is mechanical engineering. In high school I had a decent gpa, high sat/act, and got into a good university, but I'm not totally sure engineering is for me. I may be good at math, chemistry, etc. but eventually they bore me to tears.

That INTP up there covered the real talk, but I also struggle with procrastination. I find it impossible to work hard in academics if my life isn't well-balanced. When I try to accomplish big goals that I really don't want to do, I tend to isolate myself and compartmentalize my thoughts, rather than going out and doing things. That leads to anxiety and depression (Ti-Ni loops I guess, lol). I have to be fully involved in something or it just saps my energy. Eventually we all just have to pick something and devote ourselves to it.

I'm 95% sure I'm switching to geology, and I saw that on your list of plausible careers. Besides the fact that it rocks, geology can definitely be "out-doorsey" and is fairly employable. I think ISTP's may have more difficulty finding a career than some other types. It may have something to do with tertiary Ni... I have to get my hands dirty before I know what I enjoy. If you're like me you know what you want, so just do that and quit all the contingency planning.

If you can tolerate/enjoy engineering and see it being useful later in life, go for it. If not, change your major and don't look back. ISTP's aren't good at all this long-term-planning-introspective-bullshit like friggin INFJ's are, just gotta do something and see where it gets you.
 

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If you're definitely Ti dom, make sure you pick something that is stimulating to Ti most of the time. If you were to ask me what I wanted to do while I was in school (even in my last year), I would have said something similar to you: something exciting, that involved traveling. After my first day at my first full time job (as a programmer) however, the 8-5, 5x a week was exhausting, and took a lot of getting used to (Granted, I didn't have all that much work experience before that). When I started to notice I felt more energized when I had less interaction with people and could just program/analyze all day, I felt so much more satisfied with my job. I think if you threw travel in the mix, I would be totally worn out and miserable. Travel (for me at least) is meant to be recreational only.

If you're not sure if you're Ti dom, or possibly Se dom, then yeah, I'd keep looking down the exciting/a lot of variation track. I can't picture any of my ESTP friends at a desk all day, though I have seen a few that are fine with it... they are just a little more active and people-oriented to make it work for them.
 

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It took me ages to pick a degree I wanted to study. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew i had an interest in business but wasn't sure I wanted a full business course and i had everyone telling me I was good at computers , I should study computers there's loads of jobs etc. . I applied for business information systems never got into that course then I got into IT Management. I did that for a year failed two modules and I decided that the course wasn't for me and it was going to get tougher the next year with programming and I really didn't want to repeat a year with just two modules when I wasn't that happy on the course. So now I've switched to business I'm much more happier with the course and feel I've made the right decision. It took me so long to figure it out now the only thing i need to think about is what area in business I want to be in. Thats the hard part.
 

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I am probably not the one to say based on experience, at least not from deciding which major to choose because I wound up going to a cc and got a two year degree in drafting & design. 17 years later, I am trying to decide myself whether or not I should go back to school. I've worked behind a desk all day and it got boring as hell. Hard to stay focused because looking at the same four walls all the time is tiring.

I still have a desk job, but I get to get outside of the office every once in a while. However, the prospects of getting regular raises where I am at are not very likely. I have been there for four years and haven't had one yet. I have 17 years of experience in my field and the prospects of finding a better paying job are even worse, so it's a catch-22.

I had to laugh when you said calculus stumped you, I was exactly like that! I even went to a tutor to get help and he might as well have been speaking a foreign language. I barely passed calc. What was funny was that the instructor said I could do the harder stuff, I had trouble with the simpler stuff. Hell, I couldn't tell the damned difference, lol!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the great responses. My first post may have rambled on for a bit, but mostly I want to know how all of you went about figuring out what to stick with for college. I'm leaning towards Geology, at least trying out a few courses next semester, if anyone wants to know. Just gotta stick it out for a few months before I get to.
 

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Thanks for all the great responses. My first post may have rambled on for a bit, but mostly I want to know how all of you went about figuring out what to stick with for college. I'm leaning towards Geology, at least trying out a few courses next semester, if anyone wants to know. Just gotta stick it out for a few months before I get to.
Fuck yeah geology o/
 

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you sound like a park ranger to me. if you can handle being a cop, go for it! you could be outside all day, tracking invasive insects, checking hunting permits, and just getting lost in the woods.
 

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Funny.

I'm an honors fine arts student doing my second year of my bachelor's, and I sometimes wonder what I'm doing with my life. I abhor some of my program requirements (like art history), am not fond of my faculty (humanities), and as much as I like most of my classmates who I'm with the next couple years as well as my upper year peers, It's not always easy being in a program made mostly of feelers with all the feels. And then there's a lot of my art. I've had people (including my own classmates) even ask me why I'm in art rather than in engineering or architecture or something. I like some aspects of engineering and the grass looks greener there, but the full-blown thing doesn't entirely appeal to me. I don't want to quit art because among other things, I think I'm in too deep and I don't like admitting defeat. So I'll just swim against the current where I'm at.

I do take solace in the fact though that I have alternate plans b, c, and d for me to continue my education for a couple years in industrial design, and I'm taking engineering and random science courses this year onwards as electives. I'm not keen on being in school for around 6 years, and I feel sorta trapped right now. But I know I'll get over it once I'm able to mentally check out of art for a bit and that I won't end up backed into a corner for real. Unless the unlikely event where I decide upon some kind of drastic career change happens, that is. I could be wrong OP, but like me, it may not entirely be what you're in school for that you're not happy with. School can put a damper on things, and depending on what you're studying and your perspective on it, it's probably that you're not getting enough time to mentally check out of it. That has a way of making the experience appear more negative than it may be in reality.
 

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I'm studying nursing and I know as soon as I'm done (next year) I'll want to do anything but stay in the field. Just can't see my life in a hospital, same old stuff everyday... I don't know what I'm gonna be doing but I thought about going to Australia for a year and work on a ranch. Totally different but... whatever. I miss physical work, thinking jobs are almost more exhausting... Or working in other countries as a nurse would be something that i'm interested in. Like Africa or something like that... I just know that I'll NEVER be able to have a job, the same job for 10 years, go there every day, live to work kinda deal... gaahhhhh help.
 

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When I graduated from HS I basically said "enough of that" and worked in auto service for a few years. It became very boring and repetitive so I got a job as a driver which seemed more engaging, and it was...but left me feeling like I could do better, which I could.
First thought was to take accounting. During my prep for accounting I got so bored and decided that science was the way to go, specifically medical laboratory science offered through the dept of pathology. This seemed like the best idea, though that could have had something to do with my love of forensic type tv shows, lol. The material was so boring, I just could not see myself doing that for 4 years.
I decided that I'll never be content with any major I pick, so I picked math. Math is challenging enough that I won't find it boring. Frustrating yes, but never boring.




 

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This kinda thing is why I lean toward P instead of J.

I wanted to be a pilot as a kid. I didn't know what to do in middle and high school, so I just went to college because that seemed like the thing to do. I was this close to going to a vocational college for aeronautics and airplane maintenance (just before 9/11). I had a full ride at a 4-year and got through my first year. An english class in which I had to write a short story was the best experience there.

After the year was up I decided graphic and web design was more interesting, so I took out a loan and attended a 2-year college. Completed my courses and graduated with an AA. I became more interested in video games toward the end of college and decided to apply to video game companies. I got in as a game tester and did that for a year, then applied for a online marketing internship in the same game company because, hey, completely relevant to my education and degree. That's hard to find. I kicked ass and rose in the ranks but, ultimately, marketing was too far removed for the game development process. I quit and moved to a new city because I was also tired of having lived in the same place for 24 years.

I got a job at another game company as a tester again. This was very satisfying, as I got to work on a game series which I'd wanted to work on since college. I rose through the ranks again. By this time I'd started writing short stories as well, and I was taking writing classes. I love it. It's pure expression, unhindered by anyone else's presence. Money became a priority for a while so, after three years or so, I found a new job in another state. I moved, got better pay. I was kind of depressed around this time after a couple of rough relationships and my personal life wasn't well. This and my yearning to work at a particular company prompted me to move again. I was living on a boat then. That was cool. I worked on contract for six months until the dream company called and I went to work here. It's another satisfying experience.

Naturally, I've been thinking about where to go next. If I manage to get a well-paying position here, I'll stick around. Pay down some debt so I can resume my travels and get my pilot's license. (I traveled a lot for a while there). Seattle or Vancouver also call to me, and working as a professional pilot. Getting my stories published. Just a matter of time by my estimation.
 
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