Author Topic: What else could I do with these degrees?  (Read 15861 times)

mozar

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #50 on: March 02, 2016, 11:43:30 AM »
Small town in the rural South East if I'm not mistaken.

FLBiker

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #51 on: March 02, 2016, 12:52:04 PM »
I think you're getting a lot of good advice here.  The idea that the most of the rest of the world is more dangerous than the US is factually inaccurate.

I have basically the same degrees as you.  After getting my BA in English, I spent 5 years teaching in Taiwan.  Then I got an MA in ESL, and spent 1 year teaching in China.  I now work at a US university.  Taiwan and China were both WAY safer than America.  I also had some folks (mostly relatives who had never left the country) tell me how much people in China would hate Americans, but that was absolutely untrue.  The vast majority of people I met in China have very pro-America feelings (based largely on Hollywood mythology, granted) and are very welcoming and curious.

Taiwan is a great "first" place to go (in my opinion).  Finding a job there is easy, people are really nice, and the standard of living is very modern.  From 1999-2004, I had a nice 2 bedroom apartment w/ AC, high-speed internet, etc., for ~$275 per month.  I made ~$20 an hour, working ~25 hours a week.  Taiwan is also a great place from which to travel -- close to China, Japan, SE Asia, etc.

And I'm not familiar with Asbergers, but I have experience with addiction, depression and anxiety.  Getting a handle on that sort of stuff is absolutely the first step.

I used to think that the road to happiness was getting outside circumstances to line up the way that I wanted.  Now I believe that happiness is an inside job.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #52 on: March 02, 2016, 01:56:29 PM »
I have a few questions for you that may help clarify what you really want. There are no wrong answers. I think it's important to figure out what you're hoping to accomplish before you make any big decisions. Going back to school without a clear plan is almost always a mistake.

What would make you happy? Specifically:
- What do you love to do?
- What are your most marketable skills? In other words, what are you good at that makes money?
- What is most important to you? (Work environment? Ability to help people? Salary? Sense of accomplishment?)
- What kind of work environment would you enjoy?
- If you could do anything you wanted, what would that look like?

Second "assignment": do something that scares you every day. Yes, I believe you should step out of your comfort zone every single day. Make small talk with a stranger. Apply for a job you're interested in even if you don't think you're well-qualified. Ask for feedback from coworkers or friends. Try to imagine a situation from someone else's perspective and relate to that person based on their interests or feelings. 

Not knowing what to do with your life is scary. Most of us feel that way from time to time. Tackle little scary things and gradually big scary things will become a little less intimidating.

arebelspy

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #53 on: March 02, 2016, 02:30:18 PM »
Second "assignment": do something that scares you every day. Yes, I believe you should step out of your comfort zone every single day. Make small talk with a stranger. Apply for a job you're interested in even if you don't think you're well-qualified. Ask for feedback from coworkers or friends. Try to imagine a situation from someone else's perspective and relate to that person based on their interests or feelings. 

Related book:
http://fearbuster.com/book/
http://fearbuster.com/100-days-of-rejection-therapy/
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

kmb501

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #54 on: March 02, 2016, 02:57:33 PM »
I have a few questions for you that may help clarify what you really want. There are no wrong answers. I think it's important to figure out what you're hoping to accomplish before you make any big decisions. Going back to school without a clear plan is almost always a mistake.

What would make you happy? Specifically:
- What do you love to do?
- What are your most marketable skills? In other words, what are you good at that makes money?
- What is most important to you? (Work environment? Ability to help people? Salary? Sense of accomplishment?)
- What kind of work environment would you enjoy?
- If you could do anything you wanted, what would that look like?

Second "assignment": do something that scares you every day. Yes, I believe you should step out of your comfort zone every single day. Make small talk with a stranger. Apply for a job you're interested in even if you don't think you're well-qualified. Ask for feedback from coworkers or friends. Try to imagine a situation from someone else's perspective and relate to that person based on their interests or feelings. 

Not knowing what to do with your life is scary. Most of us feel that way from time to time. Tackle little scary things and gradually big scary things will become a little less intimidating.


Well, one of my biggest fears is upsetting other people through miscommunication. I remember I used to do that A LOT as a child. I couldn't keep friends because of it. I felt like everyone was bullying me. I found out later that I was at least partially at fault, but it certainly didn't seem like that back then. Even though, rationally, I should be over it, because I've proven to myself that I can be a reasonably successful communicator (and adults don't care as much as children do), I still have that knee-jerk reaction to run from an unfamiliar social situation. It sometimes takes a bit of effort to say "hi" to a stranger at the grocery store, and I still don't know what to do with new people who want to "hang out." I'm afraid my awkwardness will make them decide it was a bad decision. The awkwardness that comes with this disorder would be comical if it wasn't my everyday reality, and I feel like, to outsiders, it may look like I'm faking it, so I feel like I have to pretend not to care about my relationships, private or professional.

Take that "don't care" attitude and move it to another country, and I think you understand why I worry about having problems. With limited verbal communication, my bosses may misinterpret my laid back attitude and unconventional behavior as any number of negative things. 

Oddly, though. working with foreigners is part of what helped me come out of my shell in college. I found college in general, but especially ESL students, to be strangely non-judgmental and welcoming.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 03:05:38 PM by kmb501 »

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #55 on: March 02, 2016, 03:33:24 PM »
Firstly, schoolchildren tend to be a lot more conservative and judgemental than adults: they have changing bodies and brains, limited experience and little or no control over their lives.  They are told what to do every minute of the day, they don't get to choose the school they go to, many of the subjects they study, the teachers they have or the other children they spend time with.  It's remarkably similar to being in prison.  Failing to thrive in that stressfilled hothouse is no indication that you will fail as an adult.

Secondly, you are probably overthinking what other adults are thinking of you.  They care much less about your "awkwardness" than you think.  Many of them either won't be perceptive enough to notice, and many others are nice enough not to care if they do notice.  Don't be the first to push them away. 

Thirdly, living abroad can give you a free pass on some of the niceties of society.  You are a stranger: that gives you an excuse for not picking up on all the small cues of local culture and any of your own idiosyncracies become a matter of detached and intellectual interest in someone from a different culture.

kmb501

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #56 on: March 02, 2016, 04:14:33 PM »
Firstly, schoolchildren tend to be a lot more conservative and judgemental than adults: they have changing bodies and brains, limited experience and little or no control over their lives.  They are told what to do every minute of the day, they don't get to choose the school they go to, many of the subjects they study, the teachers they have or the other children they spend time with.  It's remarkably similar to being in prison.  Failing to thrive in that stressfilled hothouse is no indication that you will fail as an adult.

Secondly, you are probably overthinking what other adults are thinking of you.  They care much less about your "awkwardness" than you think.  Many of them either won't be perceptive enough to notice, and many others are nice enough not to care if they do notice.  Don't be the first to push them away. 

Thirdly, living abroad can give you a free pass on some of the niceties of society.  You are a stranger: that gives you an excuse for not picking up on all the small cues of local culture and any of your own idiosyncracies become a matter of detached and intellectual interest in someone from a different culture.

I agree with you. Really, it seems like the only time I have trouble in "adult world" is when I retreat. I've ended countless potential friendships just because I didn't trust them and couldn't imagine them being able to tolerate me.

ohana

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #57 on: March 03, 2016, 03:04:06 AM »
I guess it doesn't make sense if you are actually overseas and know what to do, but most of the people who have expressed this opinion are retired and have either had friends and family in the military, have worked there themselves, or have had bad experiences overseas. They've given me the impression that it's very dangerous, and the news media hasn't helped, either. I would feel safer if I could go with a friend.   

Literally everywhere in the world?

What about London?  Is London too foreign to travel to?

What about places where the crime statistics are documented and lower than most places in the U.S.?

(Still trying to wrap my head around this, as you can see.  :) )


Europe has had terrorist attacks--remember what happened in London and Paris?
China is communist and wary of Western influence, even though they appear welcoming on the surface. 
Saudi Arabia is Muslim
Mexico has loose law enforcement

This is all a joke, right?

You are at way more danger arranging a craigslist sale in a city than you are traveling internationally.

And being muslim doesn't make you dangerous.

Props to you Bracken Joy. 

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #58 on: March 03, 2016, 07:36:41 AM »
Firstly, schoolchildren tend to be a lot more conservative and judgemental than adults:

My experience is extremely different. I've found schoolchildren incredibly accepting and open to new experiences and ideas.

mozar

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #59 on: March 03, 2016, 11:45:45 AM »
I'm not a doctor but from everything you've said here, it doesn't sound like you're on the autistic spectrum. It sounds to me like you have a combination of depression, social anxiety, lack of social skills, low self-esteem and living in a place with a very narrow idea of what a woman's behavior should look like. I also have trouble making friends and don't know what to do when people say they want to hang out, but I'm not on the spectrum. OP, can you read facial expressions?   There are tests you can take online on emotional intelligence. I've also been socially awkward but I scored really high on the ability to read facial expressions.
Your experiences don't sound similar to friends I've had on the spectrum. Actually what is more common for autistic women is that they learn to hide it early on and nobody knows they're suffering.
I think you should look into cognitive behavioral therapy. It wasn't until I tried CBT that I was able to get in control of my OCD.
 I think I'm going to save this post and copy and paste it into your next "career advice " thread, :-)

kmb501

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #60 on: March 03, 2016, 03:32:21 PM »
I'm not a doctor but from everything you've said here, it doesn't sound like you're on the autistic spectrum. It sounds to me like you have a combination of depression, social anxiety, lack of social skills, low self-esteem and living in a place with a very narrow idea of what a woman's behavior should look like. I also have trouble making friends and don't know what to do when people say they want to hang out, but I'm not on the spectrum. OP, can you read facial expressions?   There are tests you can take online on emotional intelligence. I've also been socially awkward but I scored really high on the ability to read facial expressions.
Your experiences don't sound similar to friends I've had on the spectrum. Actually what is more common for autistic women is that they learn to hide it early on and nobody knows they're suffering.
I think you should look into cognitive behavioral therapy. It wasn't until I tried CBT that I was able to get in control of my OCD.
 I think I'm going to save this post and copy and paste it into your next "career advice " thread, :-)



See, I'm not a doctor, either, and I'm not suffering much from ASD if I do have it. I can read simple facial expressions, but there are subtle differences in the way I communicate with other people, which lead to misunderstandings. I've gotten the idea that I do it more often than other people. In fact, before college, I was afraid to talk to people, especially peers and teachers. Being able to send emails and write my feelings to people helped my self esteem a lot. As a child, I really suffered. I often put myself in awkward and embarrassing situations without even realizing that was what I was doing. I couldn't make friends easily because I often ignored social conventions that were understood by the other children. I was also extremely sensitive, and it was very easy to embarrass me; some of the other kids took advantage of that. To me, it's like people operate using some kind of hidden code, and I don't know the code.

I was tested for ASD by students and received a positive diagnosis. My doctor also agrees with that diagnosis, so I don't know about it being all in my head.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2016, 03:52:32 PM by kmb501 »

Ynari

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #61 on: March 03, 2016, 06:56:27 PM »
My immediate thought: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS7GcO6AsqE (Jenna Marbles video) :p

My advice: take the warnings people give you with a huuuuge grain of salt! I grew up in a military family and got the same warnings in the US as I did in Asia, the same for going to the grocery store as I did going on a week long hike. There is no Safe Enough for people who feel they have a right to control your life.

I'm all for stepping outside your comfort zone. I've made it a point recently (i.e. past year or two) to do things I think I'm bad at, things I'm scared of. It started with an experience a friend encouraged me to do that turned out to not only not be awful, but enjoyable! So, I can't say I started this journey all by myself, but I've done what I can to continue it.  (That said, there are still a lot of things I'm seriously uncomfortable with! Talking to strangers will always be difficult, but TBH I've tried and that's okay.)

mozar

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #62 on: March 03, 2016, 08:22:49 PM »
Quote
My doctor also agrees with that diagnosis, so I don't know about it being all in my head

I'm not saying it's all in your head. Although what's in your head and how you feel is really important!

Quote
In fact, before college, I was afraid to talk to people, especially peers and teachers. Being able to send emails and write my feelings to people helped my self esteem a lot. As a child, I really suffered. I often put myself in awkward and embarrassing situations without even realizing that was what I was doing. I couldn't make friends easily because I often ignored social conventions that were understood by the other children. I was also extremely sensitive, and it was very easy to embarrass me; some of the other kids took advantage of that. To me, it's like people operate using some kind of hidden code, and I don't know the code.

That describes me exactly, but I don't have ASD. I just think that doctors are too quick to diagnose ASD in women if they don't act a particular way. And my understanding of most people who are on the autistic spectrum, is that they can't read facial expressions at all.

Whatever your diagnosis I think you will really really benefit from CBT. "Feeling Good, the new mood therapy," helped me a lot.

Goldielocks

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #63 on: March 04, 2016, 02:59:12 PM »
I guess it doesn't make sense if you are actually overseas and know what to do, but most of the people who have expressed this opinion are retired and have either had friends and family in the military, have worked there themselves, or have had bad experiences overseas. They've given me the impression that it's very dangerous, and the news media hasn't helped, either. I would feel safer if I could go with a friend.   

Literally everywhere in the world?

What about London?  Is London too foreign to travel to?

What about places where the crime statistics are documented and lower than most places in the U.S.?

(Still trying to wrap my head around this, as you can see.  :) )


Europe has had terrorist attacks--remember what happened in London and Paris?
China is communist and wary of Western influence, even though they appear welcoming on the surface. 
Saudi Arabia is Muslim
Mexico has loose law enforcement

Whoa, 
I guess I should rule out travelling to New York, Oklahoma, Atlanta, Springfield, Colorado, Fort Hood, Boston .
.. Not to mention anywhere there have been riots against police shootings...
... or anywhere with documented widespread homicides...

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/terrorism/wrjp255a.html


Kris

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Re: What else could I do with these degrees?
« Reply #64 on: March 04, 2016, 04:42:42 PM »
I guess it doesn't make sense if you are actually overseas and know what to do, but most of the people who have expressed this opinion are retired and have either had friends and family in the military, have worked there themselves, or have had bad experiences overseas. They've given me the impression that it's very dangerous, and the news media hasn't helped, either. I would feel safer if I could go with a friend.   

Literally everywhere in the world?

What about London?  Is London too foreign to travel to?

What about places where the crime statistics are documented and lower than most places in the U.S.?

(Still trying to wrap my head around this, as you can see.  :) )


Europe has had terrorist attacks--remember what happened in London and Paris?
China is communist and wary of Western influence, even though they appear welcoming on the surface. 
Saudi Arabia is Muslim
Mexico has loose law enforcement

Kmb501, I've been holding off on commenting on this thread -- and I have read most (all?) of the other ones you have posted, as well -- because I haven't been able to honestly articulate what I have been thinking, but I'll respond now:

I think that part of your problem is that your thinking patterns/processes are not very rational.

This particular quote is a good example.

If you truly want to make changes in your life -- and judging from all of your posts, you do -- you are going to need to start thinking more rationally and clearly. Feelings are not right or wrong -- they are just feelings -- but without rational thought to temper them, feelings will lead you in wild, skittering trajectories with no real path or plan. What you have posted about entire continents being unsafe are feelings, not reality. It is hard to think of how to help you or offer you advice when you say such unreflected things.

I find that you swing wildly back and forth betwen being irrationally afraid of things that should not scare you -- such as traveling anywhere within the entire continent of Europe -- and being not nearly afraid enough of things that should -- such as going back to school to add to even more of your considerable debt with only the vaguest notions of what you might do with that education and if that is even feasible.

I don't know exactly how to help you with this.  If nothing else, I suggest that inmatters of your future, you try to get into the habit of waiting to form any conclusions about whether a particular idea is sound, and talking to experts who actually know something about that thing.  And then listening to those experts to help you form an opinion that may differ considerably from what your first reaction to the idea might have been.

Good luck. I mean it.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 04:49:21 PM by Kris »