Author Topic: Graduating High School In 8 Months But Dont Know What to Do??  (Read 1519 times)


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Graduating High School In 8 Months But Dont Know What to Do??
« on: October 12, 2017, 02:45:01 PM »
Hi fellow Mustachians!
I feel so lucky to have stumbled across this site before making any major life decisions and at such a young age, I'm absorbing all the advice like a sponge. But I need help!! In 8 short months I will be graduating high school and I don't really know what I'm going to do. I don't like the idea of committing time and money to a 4 year university without a good idea of where I am headed. I am interested in business, specifically in entrepreneurship, and not opposed to going into the trades. I dont like the idea of a desk job behind a computer all day and I enjoy working with my hands. I know there are numerous advantages and disadvantage in going to college or any of its alternatives but I still can't decide. Oh and I am an Eagle Scout, have good work ethic , get good grades, practical and optimistic, basically what Im trying to say is while I dont know much, I do understand some of what it takes to be successful and fulfilled.
So I ask if you would please answer a few questions to give me more things to consider :)
What did you do at this point in your life? What would you do the same and what would you do differently?
What would you recommend I do so as to not waste time and money? Any other advice is appreciated!
Thanks much , Zach


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Re: Graduating High School In 8 Months But Dont Know What to Do??
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2017, 02:02:50 AM »
Removing and reposting on other thread
« Last Edit: October 13, 2017, 02:05:25 AM by marty998 »


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Re: Graduating High School In 8 Months But Dont Know What to Do??
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2017, 12:00:51 PM »
Welcome.  No one on this site has a the potential to get off to an earlier start that you do!

What did I do  I went to college for 5 years and became a math teacher at a public school.  I'm now 12 years in. 

What I did well:  I always lived below my means.  I married the right person for me (can't overstate the importance of this).  I graduated with under 10k in loans, which I payed off before the end of my first year teaching.  I chose a career that I like and feel like I am good at. 

What I did poorly:  Although I like my profession, financially it doesn't set up ideally for reaching FI quickly.  My starting salary in year one was 33k pretax.  Giving up 5 years of earning and paying for a half decade of college to make 33k isn't the smartest IMO.  The teaching profession pays just fine once finish your career, but because of the pension.  The problem with that for an MMM minded person is that I have to teach 25 years to get this.  Another bummer is that I found MMM at 32 years old, and not as a teenager like you.  Despite this, we will both be FI and retired in our late 40's, so nothing to complain about. 

I should add that teaching provides far better benefits to teachers like me who are 10 years in than those just entering the profession.  Pensions have been slashed for newer teachers, wages are lowest for young teachers, and protections proved to teachers are being reduced all the time.  While I will be just fine, it's not something I'd recommend someone get into 

What would I do if I were at your spot in life: 
I'd place a high value in things that let you get a medium to high earning potential at an early age.  So, for example, I'd prefer an engineer to a doctor.  Engineer lets you start earning solid money at 23-24.  Doctor would be higher money, but you are 30 before you are making it...An engineer with the MMM mindset can be close to FI by that time.  The basic equation I think of is fewer years of education = less college costs + more years of it's a double benefit to get earning quickly.  An even more extreme example of this would be something like a truck driver.  Once you turn 18 you can get your CDL and start driving locally and earning debt incurred.  For three years you can improve your trucking skills and build a solid net worth.  When you are 21 you can cross state lines on your truck and make even more legit money.  If you did that till you were 30 you could likely FIRE without ever incurring any debt.  It wouldn't be my inclination to do that because of my personality, but it's an example of the power of an early start, a solid wage, and no debt.  I'm not using these examples to advocate those specific professions, but just to give you a framework for how I analyze careers now that I've been at it for a while. 

Other advice: 
Don't do a job you hate, but don't place all your weight on how fun a job is.  Other factors can often provide more happiness than the job itself.  For example, a flexible work schedule, a high wage, and a positive work environment doing a task I kinda like would make me much happier than having an inflexible work schedule, a low wage, and bad coworkers doing a task I'd otherwise really love.  An example of this for me is being a tennis instructor.  I could work right now as a tennis pro and teach at a club.  This would be fun, maybe more fun that teaching math:)  But I'd be working nights and weekends, missing out on time with my wife and kids.  I'd make a lower wage, increasing the number of years I'd have to work those nights and weekends.  And I'd be an injury away from not being able to work, whereas teaching math doesn't have that issue.  And over time, I've learned to find a lot of fun in teaching math.  You can make many things fun if you are in a good position with everything else. 

Good luck!


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