I am envious of all the people that know what career they want to go into when they are young. I struggled with what I wanted to do, how was I to really know what each job would entail? In high school I considered becoming a doctor, a medical technician, a lawyer, an accountant and a teacher. All very respectable professions. When the time came to look at colleges, you had to know what you want to do to be sure the school offered that program. When I looked at colleges, I made my decision on the feel I got from the campus. I fell in love with the grounds and the buildings. Then I looked to see what they offered and thought, OK those classes sound great.
During my first year of college I realized how much I loved science and math. I decided I wanted to go into forensic science (this was before CSI), and that was only offered at like 6 schools in the country at the time. I decided to transfer out to attend one of those colleges and began my studies. I struggled in calc 2 because I couldn't understand my professor and I struggled in physics. I loved biology and chemistry but spending all day in front of a microscope started to worry me. I didn't know what the everyday job responsibilities of a forensic scientist would be, but I worried I'd get bored. I started to wonder if I needed to change degrees. I did, I took the easy way out and finished up the following semester with a criminal justice degree knowing full well I would probably not use it. That is a decision I've regretted quite a bit over the years, I should have stuck it out and got the science degree.
A few years later I decided I needed to further my education because I was at a dead end. I constantly saw accounting jobs listed and figured there was a huge need for this, so I enrolled in a college that had an exceptional accounting program. I hated it. But I was already immersed in the program so I took a few other classes and changed my major to strategic management - a very broad degree, but one that I did very well in understanding the concepts.
When I graduated, I was not really sure what my options were. I fell into my job and they did not pay me a graduate degree salary, but one more of a recent undergrad with no experience - which was somewhat true. The college debt is massive and I've struggled to determine if it was really worth it. I obtained my second job based on my experience, not because of my degree. I am on the super slow extended plan to pay off the debt, which means I'll end up paying like 4 times what the original loan was...but who has that kind of extra money, especially when our salaries allow for us to barely pay rent/food/commuting costs?