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  5. What Should I Do With My Life?


What Should I Do With My Life?

I don't know if this really is a good place to ask this, if it's appropriate or whatever, but I have some interest in what the people of the language community have to say.

I gotta pick a major to pursue soon, however, I have no clue what I should pick. Common, right? I know. I know that it's okay to be unsure right now about my future. However, I can't help but wonder what my future could be with the talk about majors and stuff.

I know I love languages. I would love to teach them, but I don't want to do that so quickly. I feel like teaching is a job to settle down with. I want adventure, I feel young, I want to travel and live a little. How though? I've always wanted to pursue a YouTube Career, or a Travel Blogger/Vlogger, etc. But what if that doesn't start up well enough?

I'm open to learning code and just working for Microsoft or something (but this is a little sad to me), to learning linguistics and going out in the world to document languages, to being a company translator (like for Microsoft or other organizations/businesses), to working on some app like Duolingo or my own or someone's (mostly interested in an app for the Cebuano Language), etc.

I'm not so open to major interaction such as being a flight attendant (could happen though, I just need some help with confidence, hospitality, and speech, it's interesting but I'm a bit reluctant), being an ambassador (I no longer have the grades to be one anyway thank God hahaha jk), a United Nations translator (sorry, no thanks, not for me), etc.

I was born in Cebu City, Philippines, and I want to go to university either there or here in Washington State, but I really just wanna travel abroad. I guess I'm also up for teaching English in foreign countries for a while. But what do I major in, you know? Is anyone else having these problems, have had these problems, etc.? I know it's okay. If there's one thing I learned in 2017, it's that not everything will turn out the way things are planned, and yet everything will be okay. But I'm just wondering and hearing some opinions. :))

Thank you for reading, please write below and gimme some help with this. :))

December 31, 2017



I have a couple friends who taught English abroad in Korea--they each did it for a couple years after college. Both really enjoyed it. One traveled around Asia and Europe for a couple years after; the other one is actually still over there teaching.

My advice to you is to remember that whatever you do doesn't necessarily need to be what you do forever--you just need to find something interesting to do NEXT.

It really doesn't matter what your major is in college. Study something that interests you! A particular language, linguistics, etc. Look around at different colleges and see what types of programs they have.

Personally, my goal has always been to have an INTERESTING life. If you have a lot of things that you are thinking about doing, you can just do different things for a few years at a time! You don't need to tie yourself down to one thing for the rest of your life--that would be mind-numbingly dull.

Good luck and have fun!


Excellent advice. College is one data point only and not a determiner. What I studied in college is not what I ultimately did for work, although IS is related. I travel a TON, although that is not what I do for a living. Life is long, and we will all have many chances to change.


I completely agree with this. This is some very good advice! That is something a lot of people don't realize, what you major in in college doesn't have to be what you do for the rest of your life. Your major can just be what is NEXT. If you get tired of it after a few years then do something else, find what you want to do after that. I like this.


Thank you for your great advice!

I'm honestly very interested in teaching English for awhile around the world, but that requires year-long commitments in one place usually, but it's up for debate in my mind. I'd really love to travel all over Asia and Europe as well, that sounds super fun and exciting and I hope I have the privilege to do so someday. I also don't ever want to tie myself down to one thing forever, but it is a good reminder that nothing is permanent and sometimes temporary things won't even last a full year. Thank you for the luck and response!


You sound a lot like myself at that age. Speaking of age I would suggest you remove how old you are before a mod takes down your post.

In all honesty, if you want to work on YouTube or as a Travel Blogger you're just going to have to take the step and start it. You won't know if it won't do well unless you try. Those also take time to cultivate a following. You have to be persistent and work for it. It doesn't come with the snap of a finger. And I would highly suggest starting it now because then you have time before you get through college to cultivate a following.

I had that same sort of mind set as you, I am majoring in French and minoring in Entrepreneurship. The French major is because I plan to move to France once I finish with university. Entrepreneurship is so I have some business in my history so I know what I am doing when I start my own business and it teaches you how to use social media to your advantage. I have made it a goal of mine to not worry so much about the future and just get through today. I know an idea of what I want so I work toward that goal every day and I make it more specific with each day. I would highly suggest going to a community college because they are cheaper so then there you can figure out exactly where you want to go without having repercussions. And then transfer your credits to a big university. Plus it saves you a lot of money. Also if you can maybe take a year off from school and travel a bit. I helped me immensely to take a gap year, it gives you a lot more respect for your education.


It's encouraging that you fell like this at my age. I took down my age now, I don't know why the moderators would take this down but oh well haha. But yeah, it's nice to know I'm never alone.

Luckily, I just got a whiteboard for Christmas (not the only thing I got but one of the more exciting ones) because I've always wanted one to film videos with, so I'm trying to build up the confidence to start filming some. Also, I do go to a community college already. I plan on getting my AA degree, taking a gap year maybe and then go on to some university to travel abroad and get my BA degree. So I've got plenty of time to think about a major and what I want to do and what life has in store for me. Ce que je voulais savoir, c'est si vous avez réussi avec voyager en France et/ou vous apprenez encore ou vous avez déjà un lieu à que vous travaillez. Merci pour ton réponse! Joyeux Réveillon du Jour de l'An! Et un petit peu en retard - joyeux temps de fêtes! Bonne Chance Avec Tout!


That is just part of the forum guidelines, they're there for our own protection. And no one is ever really alone ^^

I highly suggest Lynda.com they have a bunch of tutorials for video making as well as other useful things. You do have to pay but there is a 30 day free trial, I would say do it over summer break or whenever you have time and utilize that to it's fullest, then you may not even need to pay for the full version. However the full version isn't very expensive, the premium membership is only $30 per month. And since you don't need it for long you can pay for what you need then stop your subscription at any time. But my best advice, just do it. Do a goofy video. Don't try to make it perfect. Make it your trial video to give yourself confidence that you can do it. It can be hard to get in front of that camera but once you do it, you will get past it.

Oh yes, that is a good plan. Have fun at the community college and utilize their resources to the fullest, check our your career center, study abroad center, etc. The people there can be very helpful. Study abroad with community colleges can be harder and more expensive but they may be able to give you help or ideas of what you can do.

I will be studying abroad in Pau, France for this coming summer. I will also be taking the fluency test for French as I have to pass the highest level in order to become a translator/interpreter there. I am focusing on French for now but I will also be working on other languages so that I will have the ability to travel. Translating and interpreting jobs have the highest growth rate and there are many things you can do with it, you can start your own business, work from home, work for the government as well as help teach languages if that pleases you. Languages are one of the most useful things you can learn right now and while there are benefits to learning certain languages, it's amazing how much people are moving around so languages are spreading, learn the languages YOU want to learn. I have a few ideas of jobs in France that I have been looking at but I will be looking a lot more while I am there as I will be visiting some friends who live there.

Merci beaucoup, bonne année! Bonne chance avec tes études et tout ça!


you should also go to college for something you like.


Wow! I am the same age. I want to travel. I want to code. I want to teach. I loved languages. And don't know what I should do. Are we the same?? lol.

But I think I know what I will do. I am still young, so I will try everything what I want. If I don't like one, I'll try another, and so on... Sometimes I think I want to do everything, but I know I can't. Hope someone could help us. Do you feel the same?


I do feel the same and that's crazy!

Like the others have said, do remember that our choices are ours and they will never be able to make the decision for us. But influence us they shall! And also as they have said, our jobs will not be permanent, and we shouldn't let them be, so good job for pursuing what you want! Best of luck!



If you have the resources, I encourage you to pair a Human Communications major or minor with whatever degree you end up pursuing.

If you want to travel abroad and do some good in the world, with an eye to teaching in the future, have you considered working with organizations that lets you teach in a non-traditional setting?

I know the co-founder of Meal Flour, Gabrielle. Her organization teaches people in impoverished Guatemalan communities how to increase the nutrition in their diets by farming meal worms and making flour out of it. Once you're ready, I could ask her if they have any open positions. You'd get lots of practice using Spanish.

If Meal Flour is not of interest to you, there is an amazing program called Paper Airplanes. (It's how I met Gabrielle.) The program trains volunteers to teach English to Syrian refugees via skype. You would be working one on one, so, not in front of a big classroom. I believe each term lasts 3 months and requires only a couple of hours per week. So, if your application is accepted, you could gain valuable teaching experience with a defined start and end date. And, you could do it from almost anywhere in the world, so long as you have internet access and Skype. And, if you found you really loved it, you could keep applying. You don't have to speak Arabic to apply.

Let me know if either of these things interests you. I can't guarantee placement, but, I can at least get more information for you. :)

PS I'm about to send you a message. Please make sure you've registered a real email address with your Duolingo account or it won't reach you. (But please, do not post your email address to the forum here.)


That's super interesting, thank you so much! I'll definitely look into those!

Yes, my email is real, so you don't have to worry, haha. It'd be very cool to perhaps do the skype thing while abroad, I love trying to help people, even if it's just learning a new language. Guatemala is a place I'd love to visit but only for a short time, I guess it's always up for debate though. My Spanish is rusty atm, so this would be a great experience for me someday. Connections like these are always good to have anyway. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to at least try to get placement into these organizations someday! This definitely helps and I'll let you know whenever I feel ready. :))


I have to agree with a lot of what's already been said - but one comment especially is striking me personally right now, that being don't worry about the rest of your life, just take the next step. It doesn't matter what it is, just keep on walkin'.

Over my lifetime, I've had at least three jobs that no longer exist. The world we're in right now is changing quickly, so very quickly. Often times it might seem like you need to be a specialist in something just to get your foot in the door for a "good" job somewhere - but the flip side of that is, once I got in (into a job that I didn't think I'd like, but which wound up being wonderful), it was my strength as a generalist that got me promoted faster than my peers. And I had fun at work - you should look to have fun with what you do in such a large chunk of your life, right?

There are skazillions of job types around that most people don't know about - they only know what people talk about, which is such a small fraction of the really fun jobs there are out there. So in addition to just keep on walkin', let me add two more pat phrases: Look Around! and Listen Up! What you might see, or hear, just might open a door to your future that you'd otherwise miss.

Here's one parting thought for you: If you see somebody smiling in a business setting, walk up to them and ask them what they do for a living. You'll probably get a lot of different answers - but if you strive to be like these people, you might find something that you'll really like too!


You can teach English in foreign countries with any degree, one in education/teaching is not needed. I spent 6 months in Japan teaching english as a break when my EE degree was complete.

Coding can be remotely done anyplace in the world many top tier folks traveling the world while slinging code for U.S. firms. Its something you need to have a real passion for to be good at. Same with Engineering fields.

No one wants to be an electrician or welder a skilled trade anymore lol. Whats funny is for that reason those skilled tradesmen are now making more then many college grads without the debt and the stress.

Don't get me started on engineering, do they even teach it anymore? The demand is so high for electrical engineers, my income has went up 40% the last 2 years. Getting cold calls from head hunters on a 10 year old resume....

Not saying do any of that just strange how fields that used to be what many young men wanted to get into are starving for talent.


Yeah, teaching English sounds kind of easy to get into to me, I'm grateful that I have the privilege to know English since birth and be able to teach it because it opens so many opportunities for people.

I know I gotta get more into coding soon if I really want to pursue that, but you're right, it's something doable all over the world. I could even perhaps clash those two together, teaching English and doing coding on the side. But time will tell. :))

I was definitely thinking about this ths other day! Engineering and other more-physical-STEM fields are of high demand and I really respect those who can do it. I've also thought about jobs like being a janitor or volunteer crisis helper, or etc. I think those are of high demand as well and they have somewhat flexible hours and help others ultimately.

Anyway, thank you for your response! These are great ideas!


I don't know if this really is a good place to ask this

About as good as any, I think.

gimme some help with this.

Impossible. Even if/when you get whatever replies you get, none of them will be the answer. And if you think them through well enough, you're likely to discover you had known all that before you posted your question.

However, I don't think it was a bad idea to write about your concerns, not at all. It was perhaps the best you could do at the moment. See, when you write about what brings you down, you structure your thoughts, and that's the best you can do to help yourself figure out the solution. But nobody can do that for you, no matter how hard we try.


Thank you for your insight.

I agree that it is impossible to find an answer here. So that's why I asked for help and support, not for answers exactly. It's probably true that if I sit down and think about it hard enough, it may work itself out. I agree that writing this all down definitely helps me sturcture everything and I really just wanted others to share their stories of how they have pursued life after college being interested in languages and/or how they plan to pursue life after college. I'm not asking you guys to decide for me, but rather to influence me. :))


Have you thought about a Nursing degree? There are traveling Nurse agencies that go abroad. The pay is always good no matter where you go.

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