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Need some guidance as I'm the first of my ancestors to go to college

  1. Mar 5, 2009 #1
    Need some guidance as I'm the first of my ancestors to go to college :)

    Well my parents came into the USA in hope of a better future and for a better education, but they could not afford it. Both of my parents are high school dropouts from a 3rd world country, so asking them for guidance is out of the question. I'm having trouble deciding on what career path to take (business or medical).

    I've done day trading and forex trading and I loved it but I also love the study of the human body and the thought one day being a surgeon never ceases to amaze me :). Now I've looked at the requirements for these jobs and medical requires A LOT of money and time and I've got 4 other siblings who will be going to college with funds paid by my dad who makes around 30-40k a year.

    Now logically speaking what is the more suitable career choice for me? Also, I'm only 16 so I still have some time to make my decisions. I wanted to know how would I go about getting some information on what the REAL day to day activities of these jobs are? Lastly, I have other hobbies such as music ( I study classical guitar and metal ) so if I pursue a medical career will I ever have the opportunity to have FREE TIME?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2009 #2
    Re: Need some guidance as I'm the first of my ancestors to go to college :)

    I understand your position, but my personal feeling is to urge you not to let money (or lack of) dictate your educational path. Work hard to earn scholarships, use student loans effectively, and work as much as you can while staying on top of your studies.

    It's unfortunate that so many students graduate with huge student loan payments (my parents weren't able to help much with college), but education is more valuable than the cost of earning it.

    Choose a path you enjoy. I don't like money to be an issue, but it often is...and there are many paths with the proverbial "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow.

    If I were you, I'd choose medical....but only because I've enjoyed science my whole life and earned my degree in kinesiology.

    Good luck in your studies and I hope you make your parents proud in a few years with a nice degree to show them your appreciation for their move to the USA.
  4. Mar 5, 2009 #3

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: Need some guidance as I'm the first of my ancestors to go to college :)

    If you're 16, it's too soon to worry about a career - the only decision you have to make now that will affect your career choices is how hard to work in high school. Working too hard never closed any doors.

    PS Funny thread title!
  5. Mar 6, 2009 #4
    Re: Need some guidance as I'm the first of my ancestors to go to college :)

    you're getting a lot of good advice from all these posters.

    I will add this, just in case you aren't familiar with MD/PhD programs: while the cost of med school is high, you COULD get it paid for if you do a GREAT job in undergrad and are competitive for MD/PhD programs (note, since in the middle of med school you actually take graduate classes in another field, like biomedical engineering, biology, or the like... and complete the research needed for a PhD degree, and it does take a lot longer to get through med school). My sister was in the MD/PhD program at University of Michigan, and her PhD was in medical biophysics (her thesis was something about e. coli.). She has now completed her program, and in the course of her residency/internships, she choose to specialize in pathology... and she's a pathologist at a hospital (which usually has good set hours for her family).

    Furthermore, I think well-paid jobs in the medical industry are more guaranteed that in the financial (unless if you just want to be an personal accountant or something, and help people with wills and taxes, etc.). At this present time, all my friends in the medical industry HAVE paid off their loans, usually within five years of graduating from their final degree program (most of these friends are nurses, nurse-practitioners, or pharmacists). I'm not sure how employment in the financial field is going with regards to the present economic crisis... but people will always need doctors.

    Of course it does remain to be seen if our country gets nationalized heath-care, and if so, how that will adjust medical salaries (which is a concern if you need loans to get through med. school). This goes to the statement that you have to ultimately do what's right for you... something you'll find fulfilling.
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