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Old 10-31-2017, 11:31 PM
 
24 posts, read 3,166 times
Reputation: 23

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Hello all,
Firstly I want to clarify I'm using a throwaway account as I'm too ashamed of my situation. I lose sleep every night trying to figure out where my life is heading.
Back in 2014 I graduated high school with an excellent GPA but entered college with no clue what to major in. As sad as it may sound, I've switched majors three times since then. It's as if I enter temporary phases of interest in certain areas and then later I think to myself "wait..what am I trying to do with this degree?".

I'm 22 now. I have about 55 college credits and, here's part of my shame, I have about a 2.6 GPA. Simply put, I don't put the effort in classes and roam the college feeling like I'm wasting time. Also want to point out that money for classes is not an issue. I'm in a CC working on an associates for Environmental Science. For a bachelor's I'd probably be here for another year and a half and then transfer for the rest.

I also have multiple friends who've learned that they dislike their majors but are in too deep to switch..I understand this may be normal but it just makes me more against continuing my education for now. Today I also dropped my second class of my college career and it feels awful. I didn't want to finish the semester having a class that was going to further damage my GPA. Im still finishing up two other classes where i am doing well, however.

If it matters, I have a part time job where I get paid very well and I also dont have college debt. But lately this month I've been thinking about joining the military. Particularly the Air Force. In my senior year of HS I was also considerIng this but I was stupid (clearly still am) and prioritized a relationship that ended last year. Also was only a permanet resident at that time so I would have had limited enlisted jobs.

Now, I'm an immigrant with citizenship and, thus, unfortunately don't have family in the military or know anyone that is in any branch. I'm naturally pretty disciplined and very different from people my age, actually to the point where the military seems, from my little knowledge, like somewhere I'd fit in better.

The idea I've been most leaning towards is to stop college after this semester. Begin studying hard for the ASVAB and take it next year at some point. Essentially replacing my spring semester of college with focusing on the ASVAB. Speak to a recruiter if needed but I'm not even sure if I should, would he/she say what's looking open other than security? I get they have numbers to reach. I wouldn't mind waiting in DEP if it means one of my choices are to be offered. I'd also use the free time to get in shape (which college ruined for me) and take care of my health which I haven't been doing since in college. Perhaps new possibilities would open up if I'm away from college and I'll find myself. Then part of me worries that this option could be a waste of another year.

Essentially, what do you think? Am I likely to be making a mistake? What would you do in my shoes and why? My apologies for this essay. Just had to let all of this out. Thank you for reading, hope everyone has a great day
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Old 11-01-2017, 06:24 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,100 posts, read 3,690,994 times
Reputation: 4828
Don't be ashamed. Lots of kids go through that. My nephew for example graduated HS with good grades and even got accepted at a good university. 5 years later he has no degree and had just kind of milled about through college like you described.

Me being a family member and a serviceman he came to me for my opinion on exactly what you are describing. I gave him my take of all the services and suggested air force and navy first. After going to the recruiting office where all the services are kept and finding no one in either of those he stopped by the army recruiter. He was offered a few options and took the ASFAB and scored very high. He talked to air force and navy recruiters and they were not as enthusiastic. Maybe that is the mentality or maybe they just don't feel the need to fill slots. The army recruiter though offered up some very nice job specialties and he chose one. This one came with a very nice signing bonus. Initially it was 20k for a 4 year commitment but there was a 40k signing bonus for a 6 year commitment. He took the 6 years and graduated basic training in March of this year and is scheduled to graduate his advanced training in December. He loves the service so far. Of course he has only been in a training environment but life in the army isn't much different once out of school with the exception of actual combat.

So the point here is not which service you should choose. The point I am making is if you feel you might need direction anyone of the services could fit the bill. I personally think we push kids too often towards college too soon. I think we as a people would be better served having some sort of interim period especially for kids that are not quite ready for college. Maybe the peace corps or an internship program. This designed to show kids real world issues away from mommy's apron strings.

Good luck.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:15 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,869 posts, read 8,287,687 times
Reputation: 3917
Only around 30% of people who start college finish, because often they're too young to pick a career and aren't ready. Do not be ashamed. I'm miffed and the pressure society puts on 18 year old kids to go to college!

Take a practice ASVAB, it's not that hard and you might do well without studying.

We (I am an Air Force Recruiting supervisor) REALLY need aircraft mechanics and other such jobs, more than security.

What's awesome about the Air Force is that you can change jobs throughout your career (every 3-ish years) so it's a great way to explore your interests when you don't know. You can still finish college. You gain a "family" of support from other members.

Joining was the best decision I ever made.
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:39 AM
 
24 posts, read 3,166 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
Don't be ashamed. Lots of kids go through that. My nephew for example graduated HS with good grades and even got accepted at a good university. 5 years later he has no degree and had just kind of milled about through college like you described.

Me being a family member and a serviceman he came to me for my opinion on exactly what you are describing. I gave him my take of all the services and suggested air force and navy first. After going to the recruiting office where all the services are kept and finding no one in either of those he stopped by the army recruiter. He was offered a few options and took the ASFAB and scored very high. He talked to air force and navy recruiters and they were not as enthusiastic. Maybe that is the mentality or maybe they just don't feel the need to fill slots. The army recruiter though offered up some very nice job specialties and he chose one. This one came with a very nice signing bonus. Initially it was 20k for a 4 year commitment but there was a 40k signing bonus for a 6 year commitment. He took the 6 years and graduated basic training in March of this year and is scheduled to graduate his advanced training in December. He loves the service so far. Of course he has only been in a training environment but life in the army isn't much different once out of school with the exception of actual combat.

So the point here is not which service you should choose. The point I am making is if you feel you might need direction anyone of the services could fit the bill. I personally think we push kids too often towards college too soon. I think we as a people would be better served having some sort of interim period especially for kids that are not quite ready for college. Maybe the peace corps or an internship program. This designed to show kids real world issues away from mommy's apron strings.

Good luck.
Firstly thank you for your service and for taking the time to reply. Which branch did you serve?

I think most of my shame is due to just having high expectations for myself. Or maybe falling for the idea that people are in a way expected to know what they want the rest of their lives to be like. In addition, I have always felt that I've been a lucky person so far, such as finding my current job. In other words, I haven't ever really had to work or try for something, never had obstacles or important decisions made wrong. So I think that I'm stressing a lot over this because I'm scared of failing, if that's the right word.

Interesting how your nephew had the same experience I did with recruiters back in HS. The Army recruiter was the only one that had engaged with me positively. If I may ask, what in particular made you recommend the Air Force and Navy to him? And that's a nice signing bonus!

College is definitely not for everyone, I've learned that. Like you said, college was basically the only option pushed on to us in high school. It was just the next thing you're supposed to do. And we were told not to worry if we weren't sure what we wanted to study since we could go in as undecided. But personally I think that's an error. College classes are not going to show what I want to do, if I enjoy a class it means I simply have interest in the topic and don't mind sitting there listening to someone talk about it haha
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:57 AM
 
24 posts, read 3,166 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
Only around 30% of people who start college finish, because often they're too young to pick a career and aren't ready. Do not be ashamed. I'm miffed and the pressure society puts on 18 year old kids to go to college!

Take a practice ASVAB, it's not that hard and you might do well without studying.

We (I am an Air Force Recruiting supervisor) REALLY need aircraft mechanics and other such jobs, more than security.

What's awesome about the Air Force is that you can change jobs throughout your career (every 3-ish years) so it's a great way to explore your interests when you don't know. You can still finish college. You gain a "family" of support from other members.

Joining was the best decision I ever made.
Wow interesting statistic, did not know that. Yes, it's completely absurd. I have a friend who has over 100k in college debt with a year left of school but regrets his major and also has the same GPA I do.

I've yet to even look at an ASVAB question but I expect to soon. Mechanical work doesn't sound too bad..how come no one is doing it then? Hours?

I've also read about "bs" in the Air Force, what's that about? Do Airmen tend to get screwed over or something?

I'm aware of cross training and glad that's an option. Does one need permission and acceptance for that? I'm not too worried of joining and getting a job I don't love. I've learned I'm a hard worker and really aim to get things done.

Regarding enlisted pay, is it true that I'd join as an E-3 due to having over 45 college credits?

Thanks for your service!
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Old 11-01-2017, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Abilene, Tx
39 posts, read 10,411 times
Reputation: 38
I was an Air Force aircraft mechanic. My advice if you do go into the Air Force is to not do anything related to Aircraft unless you love it. I love working on stuff but the hours and TDY's sucked it seemed that everyone who had a job unrelated to the aircraft was having a much better experience.

I also spun my wheels right out of high school and decided to go in the military it was probably the best thing I did even though I didn't really enjoy my time. It straightened me out and I ended up going back to college after my enlistment and graduated with a 3.7.

If I had the choice to do it over again I would with out a doubt.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:06 AM
 
Location: South Florida
155 posts, read 53,091 times
Reputation: 811
When my son graduated HS he didn't have a clear-cut plan for college so he joined the USAF. He scored a 98 on the ASVAB and chose Intelligence Analysis as his preferred job. Upon actually going in he was told there was no opening and he needed to pick something else. The guy filling out the paperwork told him to pick Crew Chief, so he did. So, my computer geek son wound up as a mechanic on F-15s. It was not a good match.

The moral of the story is... pick more than one job you would be interested in just in case the one you want isn't available. The Air Force is a terrific branch to be in and they are good to their people but, like anything else in life, if you get stuck in the wrong job it can make you very unhappy.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:13 AM
 
24 posts, read 3,166 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiapo View Post
I was an Air Force aircraft mechanic. My advice if you do go into the Air Force is to not do anything related to Aircraft unless you love it. I love working on stuff but the hours and TDY's sucked it seemed that everyone who had a job unrelated to the aircraft was having a much better experience.

I also spun my wheels right out of high school and decided to go in the military it was probably the best thing I did even though I didn't really enjoy my time. It straightened me out and I ended up going back to college after my enlistment and graduated with a 3.7.

If I had the choice to do it over again I would with out a doubt.
Honestly I think I like aircraft and mechanics but not as a career. Also, from the post above I'm assuming its undermanned too and I wouldn't want the risk of not being allowed to cross train, which I would probably want if hours suck. That is assuming I'd want to serve 20 years..

I guess ultimately this is a problem to deal with later on after taking the ASVAB. For now I'm debating myself if this is the way to go. I'm leaning towards it as I'm tired of college but a bit fearful. Glad to hear it helped you, I've read some people mention it helped them and others are somehow back in a position like me.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:18 AM
 
24 posts, read 3,166 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrilbyandDixie View Post
When my son graduated HS he didn't have a clear-cut plan for college so he joined the USAF. He scored a 98 on the ASVAB and chose Intelligence Analysis as his preferred job. Upon actually going in he was told there was no opening and he needed to pick something else. The guy filling out the paperwork told him to pick Crew Chief, so he did. So, my computer geek son wound up as a mechanic on F-15s. It was not a good match.

The moral of the story is... pick more than one job you would be interested in just in case the one you want isn't available. The Air Force is a terrific branch to be in and they are good to their people but, like anything else in life, if you get stuck in the wrong job it can make you very unhappy.
Wow, nice score. Was IA the only job he listed? I was under the impression that one is in DEP until one of your selections becomes available.
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
4,608 posts, read 3,464,267 times
Reputation: 5367
You are getting good responses to your query. I went an alternative plan, serving as a USAFReserve Loadmaster while in college. Basic training then one weekend a month with two weeks in the summer. It is probably not a deal you could get anymore, this was 1966.
The discipline from the USAF training was essential in completing my engineering degree and for the rest of my life. Go for it!
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