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Greetings, fellow ISTP citizens. So recently, after taking the MBTI test several times, it is apparent that I am one of you guys, so howdy howdy :perc2: First post btw!

So, to cut to the chase, I'm in my fourth year of college, with one year left to graduate. I was originally in the business school at my university, but then, towards the end of my junior year, I experienced a total existential crisis where I questioned my belonging there after realizing I had no interest in any of the majors offered there, so I rather abruptly decided to switch to Chinese studies because of my background and my interest in the language and culture. Because why keep on doing something that you hate if you can just get really good at something you like and get paid for it, right? Following that decision, I figured my gameplan would be to try to get into a graduate program after finishing undergrad, where I would either train to be a translator or teach Chinese/history, and then I'd see where that would take me.

Unfortunately, I'm now having another existential crisis about my future. Woohoo.

You see, because the Chinese studies program is considered a liberal arts major at my school, as a liberal arts student, I'm required to take another major, minor, or write a senior thesis in order to graduate. Since switching to Chinese from business, I thought I would choose history as my second major in order to fulfill my graduation requirements. But now, I'm completely second-guessing how much of a fit I'd be as a grad student doing Chinese/translating/history/whatever-the-hell-it-is-but-i'll-figure-it-out-by-the-time-I-graduate.

I love Chinese. I love learning about the grammar, the writing system, the whole linguistic aspect about it... but I discovered that my interest in it might be limited to the enjoyment that I get from learning it, and not any desire to put my learning of the language to practical, real-world, use. Same with history. Love reading the hell about whether Rome really fell blahblah but I hate the thought of potentially writing a 80 page dissertation over that topic in grad school because then I'd have to do RESEARCH and that sounds like a chore. My mom has suggested that I should go into teaching the subjects I love, but uh.... I hate the thought of having to teach random strangers ('cause, social anxiety... whole different topic).

So now I'm questioning whether going into grad school for a liberal arts type concentration is even a good idea. Also, as I'm writing this post, I've got another tab open on my window for the purpose of reading all about welding programs in my area. Hey, it sounds really hands on, not much theorizing involved, good pay mmmmmm. Plus there's the satisfaction of doing things will tangible, right-in-front-of-you results. I like how it sounds. I was actually kind of artistic as a kid, but then when I took art classes in high school, it sucked whatever passion I had from art because of my having to deal with requirements and deadlines. (Sorry for the tangent, it happens. Don't know if I'll sign up to a local welding program... but it sounds so attractive right now haha....)

But yeah. You can probably sense that my propensity to think the hell out of potential career paths is really getting in the way of my decision-making with regards to what to do with myself. Oh, my mom heard about my recent skipping class for this Chinese history course I'm taking for my degree because of my episodes of not giving a shit, and gave me a talking-to telling me how I need to figure out what to do future wise, that I should stop thinking too much about possibilities that haven't happened yet and commit to something and see it through, and that she's tired of me hopping around jobs/college majors/future career plans because of my chronic loss of interest. I live at home, thus the aforementioned interaction with parents is more than I would like at my age, but it's not culturally frowned upon based on the way I was raised (I'd love to move out, but that means getting a job, but I don't know what I want, hence this post). Yep, I got issues heh... heh...

I apologize for the TLDR.

Sparknote version: I don't know what to do after I graduate because what I thought I wanted to do isn't as attractive as I initially thought upon further introspection and now I'm freaking out and considering becoming a honest, working-class welder as a career path despite my liberal arts education background. Have any of you all ever had problems when it came to deciding what to do career-wise? I'm looking forward to my future with this site :perc2: (not so much my FUTURE FUTURE though, ugh)
 

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Looks like you are about the right age too.
Because ISTPs usually get into what we call "WTF years" at around that age. It is a "Ti-Ni loop".

ISTP's are usually quite resilient, quite like Chinese culture.

I dunno, go do something you like and get a job that you can tolerate and pays you well enough. You will figure it out in time.
 

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I dont think this is an ISTP thing dude, its just where youre at.

Id say just experiment around with your interests and dont get tunnel vision. Itll work itself out.
 

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Splash Shin:17111474 said:
Yes, this is a very ISTP thing. I think we all suffer from this at times.
ti-ni will be the end of us if we let it.

Im saying, this sounds more like a 20 somethings, "what do I want to do with my life" phase. Ive seen this happen to plenty of people my age. Im pretty sure it happens to most.

As far as the Ti-Ni loop goes, I used to buy it and it sounds good on paper(Ive even thought I was in one), but when I try to apply my knowledge of it, it starts to fall apart. But regardless of my opinion, this still doesnt sound like a loop. Assuming he is an ISTP, he wouldnt be pursuing his Ti if he were in a loop. Hed basically be stuck in a rut of, "this is a good idea....nah. that would work, nah." Ti does its job, skips over application(Se) and goes straight to Ni which shoots it down, so nothing gets done. Also, Ti loses Se's information gathering, so it loses touch with reality and starts coming up with unrealistic conclusions.
 

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It sounds like I went through virtually exactly what you are going through, except, after taking a "Career Management" class in my first semester of junior year, where I took a MBTI test for the very first time and found out I was ISTP, long story short, I forced myself through the torture and stayed in my university's business school through the rest of junior year and senior year.

Let's just say that prior to 2012, my school and work/career history/experience was a train wreck. However, in that year, I left my job, because my position was eliminated, and decided to do a gap year/time off after graduating school/leaving work kind of thing, and do a couple of Earth circumnavigations, that involved extensive travel in both coasts of Australia and in Tahiti. After completing those things, I knew I needed to and was going to completely change my career, essentially start my life and career over from scratch.

So eventually, I ended up taking a course in software QA testing in 2014 to change my career into the IT field, and I finished the course, got an ISTQB CTFL certification earlier this year, and now I'm currently in Bangalore, India, doing an IT apprenticeship/internship with a company there. But yeah, I totally see what you're saying and get where you're coming from and definitely relate to it; this career/work and school shit involving picking a career path/direction and finding a way to "make a living" is just, well, I just don't know the words to put to it in order to describe it.
 

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I wouldn't say "chronically indecisive" has ever described me, but indecisiveness has been problematic in certain areas and at certain times in my life. The older I get (I'm in my 40's), the easier it is to make the BIG decisions, but the little ones that don't carry much impact anywhere are still as tough for me as they ever were. (Probably a lame example, but you should see me try to pick a font for a word document that I'm preparing for presentation--it's ridiculous how many times I change my mind--I drive myself nuts and speak out loud to myself about how ridiculous I'm being...And when I was a little kid my mom said I'd drive her nuts waiting for me to pick out which candy I wanted.)

From what I've gathered from various ISTP descriptions, I got the impression that ISTPs might lean slightly more towards being decisive than indecisive overall, but probably fall somewhere in the middle. It probably depends on the context and level of impact, but it seems one consensus is that PLENTY OF RESEARCH IS REQUIRED. So keep researching and questioning--you'll eventually nail it down.

I love Chinese. I love learning about the grammar, the writing system, the whole linguistic aspect about it... but I discovered that my interest in it might be limited to the enjoyment that I get from learning it, and not any desire to put my learning of the language to practical, real-world, use. Same with history. Love reading the hell about whether Rome really fell blahblah but I hate the thought of potentially writing a 80 page dissertation over that topic in grad school because then I'd have to do RESEARCH and that sounds like a chore. My mom has suggested that I should go into teaching the subjects I love, but uh.... I hate the thought of having to teach random strangers ('cause, social anxiety... whole different topic).
I agree with you that just because you like a subject doesn't necessarily mean you'll like teaching it. There are a lot of teachers out there in schools and colleges that don't like teaching, they just like their subjects. I myself am really good at and somewhat enjoy math, but I dislike trying to teach it to someone--I get impatient because they don't see it the way I do, and I have no idea how to see it like they do to help them learn it. On the other hand, if you can deal with and overcome the social anxiety bit, maybe you'd be really good at teaching Chinese or History. Is it easy for you to explain things to people so they truly "get it"?

On another note, maybe thinking backwards from the job to what education/training is needed to be doing that job may be helpful to you. I know someone that didn't particularly enjoy medical school, but it was just a hurdle to have to get over so she could get the good stuff--actually being a doctor, which she seems to love. Meaning maybe you should view the 80 page dissertation as just a hurdle to the good stuff--if teaching History is "the good stuff".

Also, you'll have to decide how important having "tangible, right-in-front-of-you results" is. That could very well be a determining factor. I can see how completing a welding task would be more tangible results, but teaching can probably entail a fair amount of "right-in-front-of-you results" too.

Hope this helps.
 

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I was going to be a smartass and give a sarcastic reply, but @angeleyes beat me to it, so I suppose I can agree with what @KayBee said.

Now that I'm older (40-mumble years old), it's easier to make big decisions, probably because I'm more willing to be assertive now that I realize most people don't have a clue what they're doing. (That's not an ego thing, just observation.) I still kick the can too much with small decisions, or drive myself crazy by trying variations of a process until I'm forced to settle on something, because I've run out of time (the font thing KayBee mentioned).
 
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