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How do you know something is for you?

  1. Aug 9, 2008 #1


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    They all say you should do something that interests you and you find enjoyable but how to find that something?

    What are the signs to watch out for? Maybe thinking about it during rest times is a good indication?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2008 #2
    Among other things, yes.

    It's complicated since there's no one thing that's "for" you...there are many things most people can do if they want to do it badly enough to put in enough effort.
  4. Aug 9, 2008 #3
    My experience was that I found my direction while I was doing something else. I was in grad school in physics, and found that I really enjoyed the TA aspect (at least, when I got to interact with students). I then did some substitute teaching in the local district, and decided to go into teaching full-time.

    It isn't what I planned, but it was a good decision.
  5. Aug 10, 2008 #4
    For me personally I know I love to do something when I can easily read up on the subject and forget about everything. Whenever I am studying, and there are usually courses that I don't like or I get bored from, so what I do is I take either Biology or some Chemistry textbook and do some work from there. For some odd reason I just get enough willpower to do the rest of my work. So I just know that I would love Biochemistry.
  6. Aug 10, 2008 #5
    Try lots of things. Volunteer. Read a lot.
  7. Aug 11, 2008 #6
    I agree to this statement 100%. Without experiencing different things you will not be sure as to what you exactly like to do.
  8. Aug 11, 2008 #7
    Before reading across the board, experimenting (net makes this way easier)... I did not want to do anything but doss, play and girls really. :tongue:
    Only after did the want to do and learn in a subject really appear inside me. I guess it's a period of self discovery required.
  9. Aug 11, 2008 #8
    This question is like asking how you know if your girlfriend is "the one."

    By that, i mean it's a question formed on incorrect assumptions.

    If you've found not a single thing in the world that interests you and that you find enjoyable, then I just feel sorry for you. If you have found something that meets those criteria, then why ask?
  10. Aug 11, 2008 #9


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    Staff: Mentor

    Do you mean academically/professionally, or leisure activities?

    For academics, I still remember going to the campus bookstore and looking through the books I would be using for the rest of the year in my subjects. The books on physics and advanced EE used to give me goosebumps when I skimmed them -- realizing that in just a few months time, I would understand all the stuff there on those pages, and be able to use it to solve practical problems. If you look through an advanced math or physics (or other) book and get goosebumps, that's a pretty good indication that you're on the right track.
  11. Aug 11, 2008 #10
    Wow I thought I was the only one who does this. I have actually gone to my bookstore during the year just to look at books even in further years, like in second or third year! Interestingly I don't get goosebumps but i do get really excited to learn the stuff.
  12. Aug 11, 2008 #11


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    During my first year as an undergrad I would look at books from classes that I might take my second or third year (whether at the bookstore or library). For some things my attitude after reading was a "it would be cool to understand this" excitement, but when I got to complex analysis it was a sort of indescribable excitement for the subject. Nothing else I looked into interested me.

    Because of this the first upper division class (first quarter of my second year) was complex analysis. The first graduate class was complex analysis. I am going to start my first year as a PhD student this year and I will be studying Several Complex Variables. (multivariable complex analysis). Seriously the excitement I get from learning SCV is indescribable. Because of this I can be sure that SCV "is for me". There are many things that interest me but nothing comes close.

    To OP:
    If there is already a subject that you think about during rest time, delve into it some more and see whether it continues to be interesting to you.

    Also, sure there will be something that interest you, but not to the point where you can spend the rest of your life on. Look carefully. Good luck.
  13. Aug 11, 2008 #12
    Wow, it looks like I'm not the only one who reads advanced textbooks just to see what's on the textbook. I remember looking through linear algebra textbook once, and it looked very exciting ("advanced math w/o calculus?! what is THAT!"), so I decided to take it even it wasn't required for my major at that time (biochemistry).

    Right now, I'm a math major. And I'm glad I picked up that linear algebra textbook.

    So yeah, look at the textbooks of the subjects that you think that are interesting. Discover a further more, and you might find out what your thing is! It's not guaranteed that it works, but I guess this is one of the methods.
  14. Aug 12, 2008 #13
    For me, it's going through novels and philosophy books.

    Maybe I should become a writer. The imagination and lucidity of a writer is just something to admire.

    Sometimes, I dream of being a philosopher/astronomer. However, at my school, they do not offer philosophy nor astronomy as a major.

    As far as physics goes, I am still just learning from it. I'm a beginner basically.

    Right now, I have just taken the jump from Newton's idea of Space and Time (single entities) to Einstein's idea of Space and Time (intertwined).

    The idea's of Einstein are amazing. I am still coming to terms with his ideas.

    I also have a taste for History. I am basically 22, still in school, and majoring in Physical Education. How lame is that?

    This past summer has probably been the most productive for me intellectually. I have read so many books and from each one of them, I came away with an awe inspiring glare.

    Ever since I took Biology II two years ago, I have been knee keep in philosophy. This past summer, some part of me said that philosophy is good but another part of me said that I need to get into something more concrete (laws, theories, hypothesis, etc). This is where Physics, Astronomy, and Hard Sci - Fi come in.

    Do any of you ever dream of being locked into a library and wanting to read all the books you can get your hands on? I do.

    As for my major, I may change it. :smile:

    I have talked to my Academic Adviser about dual majoring in History/PE.

    Anyway, enough of my life.
  15. Aug 12, 2008 #14
    You know if something is for you when you know you HAVE to do it and you can't see yourself doing anything else. It's as simple as that.
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