Hi, I'm new to these forums, and sorry if I just jumped into this board without much reputation and asking demanding questions... but this thread is really the reason I made an account, since this is the easiest way I can ask for a large number of PhDs' honest opinions. First some background. I'm an upcoming senior, and I plan to apply to top-tier schools and I think that I have the SAT's and other stats to get into at least some of them. My plan then was to possibly double major in physics and mathematics at that university and try to get into a good grad school. However, last night, on one of my stumbleupon excursions, I unfortunately came to this page: http://wuphys.wustl.edu/~katz/scientist.html [Broken] After reading that page, I was extremely discouraged. It was the analogy of someone dreaming to be in the NBA seeing how impossible it is. However, is this image accurate, exaggerated, or outdated? The reason I ask this is that over the past few years I've spent a lot of time learning mathematical and physical theory on my own, and I couldn't really see a future in which I'm happy without constantly learning more about the universe or mathematics. I believe I have the skill and determination to make a good scientist (many may thinks it's too early to tell on this board or see this as arrogance, but I honestly believe that I have what is needed.) Is this article accurate in that, no matter how hard I try, no matter how skillful I am, I will eventually end up 200k in debt with no job and no life? Thanks, and I really want honest answers... Not the "follow your dreams" answer my guidance counselor may give me.