Hello there, users of Physics Forums! My name's Keyan, and I'm a graduated 18-year-old. I only have my GED, unfortunately, but I plan to explain that happenstance in what may be a rather long post. I'm hopeful that the community here can help me make some decisions about my future and how to go about making my dreams a reality. Thanks in advance for all of your help. I also apologize if this is in the wrong section. If anything here should violate the rules, please let me know and I will edit it accordingly. Nothing should, but I never know. On to the infodumping! (and questions) Circumstances and Excuses Spoiler Something to note is that I left school after completing grade 10 to obtain my GED at a local college. This ended up becoming a requirement because my high school had poor staff and an even worse mass of students. This might sound like an excuse for a lack of effort, but I did try hard. In 9th grade, I did not properly learn how to do algebra. My teacher was fired at the end of the year when almost all of her 100+ students failed the class, and if they passed like I did, it's because they had a D. Geometry the next year wasn't as bad, but distractions and interruptions still took their toll on my learning experience. Once it was bad enough, my family allowed me to skip the rest of it by obtaining my GED. (Everything I did for it was review, but I'm pretty sure basic algebra and arithmetic won't get me far if I choose a more math-oriented field.) On the other hand, I did well in the rest of my classes. I'm a quick learner and many of my friends, teachers, and parent's friends have told me that I'm intelligent and a good worker. TL;DR I have a GED because of poor circumstances at high school. Did not do grades 11/12. Teacher got fired because she couldn't teach algebra. I'm not good at beyond basic algebra. I am a quick learner and I'm willing to remedy this problem if someone can point me in the right direction. (This isn't the focus of the post, however.) Planning for now Spoiler Something to note beforehand is that I don't want to stop learning after I get into my first field. I have plans to go back to school after I establishment myself with a decent job. There are a lot of things that I really want to learn, but they're just not good for starting out when it comes to money. Psychology, Botany, Spagyrics, Biology, Writing, and English are some examples. The problem that I recognize with this is that learning all of these things costs money and takes time. So, to start out, I thought it important to utilize my existing skills. I'm very good with computers, and the two years I did spend in high school, I worked with the school's tech team to repair computers, replace parts, and do various tasks around the school. One of the options for this is getting an A+ Certification, and as I'm getting funds after that, get an A.S. degree. The thing is, I'm not entirely sure what area of computer technology is good for this. From the little research I've done, salaries can go either way with hardware vs programming. It depends on where you work and how good you are at it. But that may not be entirely true, so feel free to correct me on this statement. What I'd like help with here is determining the right path to take when it comes to computer technology and the things that go with getting certified/a degree for/in it. Are there online options for it? Or is it better to go to an institution? Costs and whatnot are also appreciated, through links or descriptions. Any other info you think would be helpful is also appreciated. TL;DR I want to start with a decent job so I can go back to school to learn about fields that don't pay as much/aren't good for starting out (as I've heard/seen). I'm good with computers. A+ Certification/Associated Science degrees are the options I'm considering, but I don't know where to go. Hardware or programming? Where can I be more successful? Things I'd like to learn in the future Spoiler I'm really interested in exploring the world. Seeing places, learning things about cultures, cuisines, and places. I'm also particularly interested in the wild part of it - and I don't mean crazy parties in Amsterdam. For a few years, I've been interested in Botany and the more arcane Spagyrics. I don't really know how I would go about learning these things. When I study alone, I'm prone to procrastination and a huge lack of motivation. It makes it difficult to get things done if I'm not being pushed by a teacher. Most people I've spoken to don't even know what Botany is, much less Spagyrics. It feels uncommon. Are there specific classes I could take about these things? Are there degrees that cover it specifically? When I viewed the choices at the college I attended for my GED class, I didn't immediately see botany or anything similar to it. It's been a while since I reviewed those choices, so I think I'll research it again after I post this. The point stands, what can I look at to become more invested in these subjects? I originally planned to cover additional subjects in this section, but I'll leave it at this for now. There's already a lot to talk about, and I'm going to think hard on other things that I want to learn. TL;DR I'm interested in botany and spagyrics. I currently don't have the option to learn about these things at an institution. How can I begin learning about these subjects in a productive way? (Reading random books without a real idea of what I'm looking at or where to start usually hurts my motivation. Simply having an idea helps.) ___ Closing Notes I understand that a lot of the questions I've asked here can be answered by doing some research on google and contacting places in my area should I find them. I admit that I haven't done this yet, but I plan to start doing it after I post this. I've always believed that it's good to get answers from other people who know in addition to doing your own research. Someone might just help you find the answer much faster than what you could do scouring the interwebs for whatever morsel of information you can get. Thanks again for any replies that I get, and to anyone who endured my walls of text in order to help me out. If you need any more information, ask and I'll try to deliver it in a timely manner. - Keyan P.S. - If the section about botany/spagyrics isn't appropriate for this section, since it's more or less asking how to get started in it rather than making a career out of it, I can edit this topic and move it to the 'Botany' section of the forum instead. If a moderator wants this, let me know. EDIT: After doing a little bit of research on my own, I came to the realization that I'd been living under a rock this whole time. Any replies are still great, though. The more information, the better.