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Career: Alternative paths

Rook

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I am set to complete high school this year, with the hope of studying physics.
This road is now partially closed due to low marks brought on by cronic procrastination and mild insomnia.

So I come with a query: Has anyone encountered an institution, anywhere in the world, where school marks do not play the main part in selection policy, where they rather test one's aptitude for your chosen course?

Also, is it possible to enter the scientific community through alternative channels? As far as I know, one can hand in scientific papers without having a degree. Has anyone on the forum ever followed such a route?

If all else fails, what interesting jobs are there that one can take without qualification(or how can one make menial jobs interesting)?
 

EyeSeeCold

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I can't recall any scientific fields that don't require degrees but I'm sure they exist.

What I do know though is that universities will disregard SAT scores and highschool GPA if you transfer from a community college(which doesn't have such restrictions), however you still need good marks from the CC upon transfer.

Maybe your school has a career counselor you can talk to for more information?
 

WALKYRIA

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become philosopher or psychologist( it's easiest ) dude, it's our natural path...
 

Rook

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become philosopher or psychologist( it's easiest ) dude, it's our natural path...
What troubles me about studying philosophy is that one learns all the dogma and practices behind it, were philosophy can only be expressed towards other philosophers in a spesific way. I much rather prefer armchair philosophy, it does not bow to grandiose terms and a tailored mentality. The same goes for psychology, it interests me how humans function and interact, but to spend considerable time on the subject will be unbearable.

Perhaps I'll take a computer programming or a biological course, studying physics on my own, and taking a physics degree once I attain one of the above degrees (Surely having a degree in another respected field would enable one to study physics?)
 
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So I come with a query: Has anyone encountered an institution, anywhere in the world, where school marks do not play the main part in selection policy, where they rather test one's aptitude for your chosen course?

Also, is it possible to enter the scientific community through alternative channels? As far as I know, one can hand in scientific papers without having a degree. Has anyone on the forum ever followed such a route?
I'm not sure how it is in South Africa, but in the U.S. many universities rely on entrance exams to identify the courses you're able to take upon enrollment. Often, one can still enroll in a physics program with a sub-par high school GPA if they pass the exam, OR enroll in another closely related major, do well, and then switch majors or transfer.

It's also possible to complete a physics degree at a "lesser" institution, blow your professors away in the process, and go on to graduate school, which was my path.

Scientific papers are usually only accepted if you're associated with a reputable organization, which includes, depending on the field, the private and nonprofit sectors. Unaffiliated individuals can and do get published, but it's rare because of the prestige obstacle.
studying philosophy
Bad idea. :D Philosophy makes a good hobby, especially if you just skip over all that ethics stuff, but it won't put food on the table.
 

not

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You could just spend as much time in your bedroom on the internet, or in a library reading books for education. Then pick a problem that you see in the world and set on a course to solve that problem. Too much emphasis is placed on getting a job and becoming a 'functioning' member of society. The real problem solvers, the people that make a difference, don't wait for the approval of others. They just decide they want to do something and just do it.

As far as your second question, how to make something mundane interesting, don't focus on the act of the mundane task, but what the completing of the task will provide you. While doing the mundane task, focus as much energy that does not distract from completing the task on your education or solving the larger problem mentioned above. Or spend time thinking about ways to complete the mundane tasks more efficiently.

Final thoughts. Maintain as low of a financial overhead as possible. You are defined by the choices that you make in life. You can choose to buy expensive things, or choose to save for the tools that you will need to complete your chosen task.
 

TimeAsylums

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won't put food on the table.
food is overrated (non-culturally/religiously speaking)

Rearrange diet and consumption and you could be fine off of minimum wage


Maintain as low of a financial overhead as possible...You can choose to buy expensive things, or choose to save for the tools that you will need to complete your chosen task.
^
 

mu is mu

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Rook, you seem like the high school senior I was six years ago. If you're anything like I was, you'll disregard any advice that doesn't appeal to you and thus be forced to learn through time and experience that an INTP's imagination can be naively idealistic and selfish. Considering my experience, I strongly advise you to question your reluctance to pursue a degree and I recommend that you consider the possibility that complying with some of the procedures of an SJ society is not impossible for an INTP. The procrastination issue you mentioned can definitely be resolved.
 

not

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Yes, most INTP's are forced by their own arrogance to experience everything first hand. I am also guilty as charged. I graduated from high school 20 years ago so I have quite a lot of experience. Anyone can learn anything. You can choose to fit into the SJ society, but it is not the only way. If anything, experience teaches us that there are many paths to take to get to a destination. My example is only one example, but it is a tested, workable model. It comes down to personal choice, and desire. What motivates you? Sometimes the long road of experience is necessary for personal growth.

I offer you a short cut, an opportunity to utilize someone else's past experience to your benefit. You must continue to ask yourself questions and listen for your answers. Why do you think it is important to be published in a journal? Why do you think school or GPA is important? Why are their so many examples of college drop outs becoming hugely successful? What is important to you? Why?
 

Windbag

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I am set to complete high school this year, with the hope of studying physics.
This road is now partially closed due to low marks brought on by cronic procrastination and mild insomnia.

So I come with a query: Has anyone encountered an institution, anywhere in the world, where school marks do not play the main part in selection policy, where they rather test one's aptitude for your chosen course?
Sheepskins are a form of signalling, and signalling matters. A lot. That's why (for example) MBAs are so expensive: they only hand them out if you are effing serious about it.

Future employers, including scientific ones, are less interested in your aptitude and more interested in whether (for example) you can conquer procrastination and insomnia.

If all else fails, what interesting jobs are there that one can take without qualification(or how can one make menial jobs interesting)?
I think everyone should do a stint in construction as a laborer. I had serious, crippling procrastination issues until I worked in building and the experience beat it out of me.

And for god's sake don't so something stupid like work for a landscaper. No, I mean work for a carpenter or electrician or something. You get to envision the day's work, plan out strategies for how to get done on time, visualize a project in 3D space and so on. I got started running phone and cable wiring in cookie-cutter houses, and it was major fun trying to figure out how to wire three homes in a day (hard!). On Sundays, I found myself in social situations dreaming about how to wire the next home faster.

After you've trained your body and mind for a while, figure out what you need to get your academics back on track, if that's really what you need to do.
 

WALKYRIA

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Yes, most INTP's are forced by their own arrogance to experience everything first hand.
This is so true and reminds me of my own route... I went to a prestigious school just because I wanted to please my family and to keep my options open. And incidantally please my own ego.
Initially I wanted to learn as much languages, read as much books and learn as much music as a could... but my Ti told me it was too risky to waste all this time. So I'm thinking to do all that but with a bit of delay.

Life is a natural competition, and everything should be planned in order to have the best outcome . ( a job with much money and free time for least stress and time working)
 

Pyropyro

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Bad idea. :D Philosophy makes a good hobby, especially if you just skip over all that ethics stuff, but it won't put food on the table.
On it's own, Philosophy is quite limited. The best route for a pure Philo education would be teaching in University (good luck getting tenure :D)

However, it can be a good stepping stone for advanced studies such as Law. Provided that you or your family have the resources to get advanced studies.
 

Absurdity

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Don't look for shortcuts.

Earning credentials is a good idea for two reasons: it gives you a sort of floor in case your plans fall through and you need to get a less ideal job in order to eat, and it usually involves a lot of grinding menial work. It's a good thing to build endurance to that sort of work, because life is full of it.
 

redbaron

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This road is now partially closed due to low marks brought on by cronic procrastination and mild insomnia.
If you couldn't even meet high school standards because of procrastination, you won't do any better in university no matter how hard you try to justify that you will.

Get an entry level job and work for two years full time. Commit to being good at it, regardless of whether you hate it and think it's the worst job in the world or not. If you're at least halfway intelligent you'll learn:

- workplace politics are everywhere, even in academic institutions
- shit people make work shit, good people make work okay, irrespective of the job
- how to deal with stress, bullshit expectations, failure, success, stupidity of others, your own stupidity, avoid procrastination; all of which will factor into and affect your studies at university. If you want to succeed, you'll need to learn to navigate through all of this shit for 3-4 years, and assuming you want to complete a Ph.D, 4 more on top of that.
- you'll also save up some money that you can use to pay for education, food, accomodation etc. as opposed to going straight from high school and into debt

After that, go apply to university. You'll appreciate the importance of study that much more, and be more committed to succeeding in your chosen field of study. The drop out rate in hard sciences for people who come straight from high school is huge - if you think procrastination caused you problems on chump-level science in high school, you're going to be in for a rude awakening at university if you're not prepared. I don't mean intellectually either.
 

not

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Don't look for shortcuts.

Earning credentials is a good idea for two reasons: it gives you a sort of floor in case your plans fall through and you need to get a less ideal job in order to eat, and it usually involves a lot of grinding menial work. It's a good thing to build endurance to that sort of work, because life is full of it.
I think there is value in learning from the past. Many problems in the world occur because people fail to learn from the mistakes of the past. Taking a short cut does not equate to cheating. It is all a matter of perspective. Sure there is value in earning credentials, I'm not arguing against it. The OP stated that he had a problem with procrastination. Building endurance, learning to work through it, is one viable option for overcoming procrastination. Another option is to explore why he procrastinates. Maybe asking questions from those who have already lived through similar situations would help him understand himself better, or at the very least help him view his situation from a fresh perspective. What is school really anyway, if not a collection of past experiences organized in a way to facilitate growth? - There are historical examples, even contemporary ones, where people forwent tradition to knock out on their own, and have been quite successful. Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell... All dropped out to find billion dollar corporations. Steven Spielberg never finished film school. Neither did Paul Thomas Anderson.

Don't limit yourself. There are many ways to achieve your goals, explore them all.
 

Rook

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There is quite a lot of posts, so I will start of by quoting a few, stating my statements and asking my questions.

I offer you a short cut, an opportunity to utilize someone else's past experience to your benefit. You must continue to ask yourself questions and listen for your answers. Why do you think it is important to be published in a journal? Why do you think school or GPA is important? Why are their so many examples of college drop outs becoming hugely successful? What is important to you? Why?
The answers are as follow: I attach no importance to school or gpa's, I despise the system and it's effect on society, holding the opinion that it can be improved by a massive extent. The only importance that school holds for me is the ability to go to an university, wich is the traditional way to further one's knowledge. I don't want to be published in a journal per se, it is rather some or other idealistic notion flitting about within my head, where I aim to show my worth as a physicist by discovering some or other new theory and thus securing a position at an institution(Way too idealistic for my current proficiency in physics.)
College dropouts have attained succes for many reasons, but the one that they all have in common is motivation.
What is important to me? I can only answer this in a philosophical manner: It is of utter importance that I savour the improbalistic gift of life, enjoying it to the best of my abilities, and studying the framework in wich it takes place.

You state that I can learn from your experience, so I now ask: What has transpired in the 20 years after you left high school? (Career-wise, income-wise, etc)

If you couldn't even meet high school standards because of procrastination, you won't do any better in university no matter how hard you try to justify that you will.

Get an entry level job and work for two years full time. Commit to being good at it, regardless of whether you hate it and think it's the worst job in the world or not. If you're at least halfway intelligent you'll learn:

- workplace politics are everywhere, even in academic institutions
- shit people make work shit, good people make work okay, irrespective of the job
- how to deal with stress, bullshit expectations, failure, success, stupidity of others, your own stupidity, avoid procrastination; all of which will factor into and affect your studies at university. If you want to succeed, you'll need to learn to navigate through all of this shit for 3-4 years, and assuming you want to complete a Ph.D, 4 more on top of that.
- you'll also save up some money that you can use to pay for education, food, accomodation etc. as opposed to going straight from high school and into debt

After that, go apply to university. You'll appreciate the importance of study that much more, and be more committed to succeeding in your chosen field of study. The drop out rate in hard sciences for people who come straight from high school is huge - if you think procrastination caused you problems on chump-level science in high school, you're going to be in for a rude awakening at university if you're not prepared. I don't mean intellectually either.
Makes sense. I do think procrastination is the main deterrent at the moment, and two years of working is bound to tame it to some extent. I had the idealistic notion that once I enter university I will engage physics with gusto, but if am not doing it now, how the hell will I do it next year? Perhaps then doing something for two years will give me some work-ethic, wich I can transfer to self study.

The OP stated that he had a problem with procrastination. Building endurance, learning to work through it, is one viable option for overcoming procrastination. Another option is to explore why he procrastinates. Maybe asking questions from those who have already lived through similar situations would help him understand himself better, or at the very least help him view his situation from a fresh perspective.
Don't limit yourself. There are many ways to achieve your goals, explore them all.
Good advice, thank you. As stated above, doing real work may lessen my procrastination. I have not yet arrived at the true reason for my it, but there is a confluence of possible cuases. By arriving at the main cause of it all, I may overcome it, or simply motivate myself on the way.


One possibility that I am strongly considering is working for a while, saving up, and going overseas to work there, while exploring the new environment. Has anyone on the forum ever attempted such an endeavour, and if so, what was the general experience?
 

walfin

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Work at a Starbucks to fund your research paper. Some mathematician did that (it's somewhere on INTPf).
 

Minuend

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Self control wont necessarily appear by itself even if you postpone studies. Like my college teacher said; Self-discipline is something that needs to be exercised.

It's a mindstate. There are different ways to achieve it, I suppose. When I studied, I decided to use the uni study rooms every day from 08- 15.30. There can't be room for any "I don't feel like going" or "I'll take this day off". Every time you think about studying, the determination must be there. You are mentally preparing. Visualize the actions: going to uni/ college, picking up your books, taking notes, reading.

It can be applied to exercising, housework or any other crap you have to do. But it's not something that, in my experience, will last without work. It does get easier, though.
 

not

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You state that I can learn from your experience, so I now ask: What has transpired in the 20 years after you left high school? (Career-wise, income-wise, etc)


Good advice, thank you. As stated above, doing real work may lessen my procrastination. I have not yet arrived at the true reason for my it, but there is a confluence of possible cuases. By arriving at the main cause of it all, I may overcome it, or simply motivate myself on the way.


One possibility that I am strongly considering is working for a while, saving up, and going overseas to work there, while exploring the new environment. Has anyone on the forum ever attempted such an endeavor, and if so, what was the general experience?

A few things... You must understand that the world we live in is multifaceted. Finding the solutions to complex physics problems may not have the consequences that you think it will have. To be blunt, many of these complex physics questions already have a solution, but the solution might upset the status quo. Create a machine that converts energy from the Earth's magnetic field and you have just taken money out of a powerful person's pocket. The university system is in place to hammer the importance of subjugation into your brain. Hiring companies don't want real solutions, they want convoluted partial solutions that give them a way to earn income. They need to be able to slap a meter on it and charge the population a fee. Stray away from that paradigm and you find yourself on the outside looking in. You will find it difficult to get funding. You will make powerful enemies. - It is a question of lifestyle. What is more important to you? Living a comfortable celebrated life where you have the admiration of others, or solving complex problems to the betterment of mankind against its will, like forcing medication down a child's throat?

As far as my life, I am a filmmaker. I have worked in prominent places, and at times made quite a lot of money. I'm nearly 40 now and I live close to the poverty line because my values have changed. I have shed a lot of the gear, cars and gadgets to live a more simple life. My last film has won many awards but has yet to find an audience. It is not commercially available and may never be. If I still owned the rights I'd just put it on the internet for free, but a mega corporation owns the rights and may never release it.

Metaphorically speaking, we live in the Matrix. If you accept the programming you can be rewarded with material things, admiration, and fame. If you expose the Matrix you will simultaneously draw the attention of agents and upset the sleeping majority. It's an either or situation. But once you understand the nature of it, you can use it to your advantage, but be prepared to eat protein goop through a straw because the waking life is not an easy path.
 

Rook

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@Minuend: Yes, this thought has passed my mind. Taking a job will not be the solution to my procrastination, the only solution will be to stop procrastinating. If I do not do it, I may very well end up sponging on my parents, with no definite goals being reached. It is a mindset as you say, and perhaps beginning with something simple, like an exercise regime, and extrapolating from there will work.

@not:
I find your argument agreeable. Universities have become less of the intellectual powerhouses of times past, and more of moulding schools for society's labour demand. Not all universities though, many still hold research and intellect in the highest regard. In the end it may be a subjective choice, where you choose to follow the linearity of an institution, or diverge from the system, while still in the institution. But working from outside will be a break from the normal and it may motivate you to excel where others may stagnate.
Both Newton and Einstein formulated their intuitive advances outside of institutions, though they had studied at universities beforehand.
I like your matrix parable, it makes the choice simple: Red, or blue?
 

not

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I am careful not to tell you what to do, but to offer a point of view. There are pros and cons for all choices, and only you can define your path. I cannot tell you one choice is better than the other because it really depends on your personal values. (Plus I cannot speak to experience that I have not obtained)

Motivation comes quickly once you find a purpose. A motivated INTP is a force to recon with. Your procrastination, in my opinion, is due to not yet finding your purpose.

I attended University. The pros for me was: Making friends. Being exposed to different ideas. Building confidence. The cons: Rigid structures. Bucking authority. Globs of Debt that must be repaid, and oddly difficult to repay. (You can defer student loans but you can never file bankruptcy - If you are not careful you will be subjugated to the system for life by this never ending need to pay back this debt)

What I got most out of college was meeting like minded individuals and growing with that group after graduation. Some of my peers reached success far sooner than me, and being among that peer group helped me to succeed. I think this was invaluable, but not necessarily unique to the college experience. Meaning it can be replicated by other means. Such as making friends on this forum. Finding Physics groups and joining. Entering competitions and otherwise creating that peer group.

What I hated most about college was going into debt. It created a situation where I always had to work even if I wanted to take time off to study, or experiment. You have to be careful when it comes to debt. Approached the wrong way it becomes enslavement.
 

Rook

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@not:
My procrastination is tied to purpose in some manner. I have ambled through life up to now, merely following the routine of school and everyday life. I had quite a bit of interesting experiences, dabbled in many hobbies and met interesting people. But after a while all these things have become part of the routine, happenings in a linear life. So far I have not thrown myself at something in full, though I am on my way, this forum being part of the motivation.

The debt factor is a worry, but it may be circumvented by working at something less grandiose and saving up.

My mind is not yet made up, but it is clear that my options are limitless and in the end everything hinges on not only what I wish to do, but what I actually do.
 

not

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Someone else mentioned community college before. It is a cheaper alternative. Just pick classes that you are interested in, that the credits will transfer, and that you know you will both learn something of value and be able to excel in. Build up your GPA, while saving tons of money, and then transfer to one of those universities that still care about education. I love to learn, so I am not here to shit on schools. I am merely pointing out alternatives.
 

redbaron

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Rook said:
where I aim to show my worth as a physicist by discovering some or other new theory and thus securing a position at an institution
While I'm not here to discourage your passion for physics, I'd caution against pursuing science for the sake of prestige or any reason not related to the simple love of the pursuit of systemic knowledge.

That isn't to say you shouldn't pursue that in any way. Perhaps the more your understanding grows, the more you'll understand what I'm talking about.
 

not

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I do find the ability to wave a piece of paper valuable if only to move about The Matrix more freely without drawing attention to myself.
 

Rook

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While I'm not here to discourage your passion for physics, I'd caution against pursuing science for the sake of prestige or any reason not related to the simple love of the pursuit of systemic knowledge.

That isn't to say you shouldn't pursue that in any way. Perhaps the more your understanding grows, the more you'll understand what I'm talking about.
My passion for physics is centered on it's abstract beauty and relevance to the universe.

The stated qoute (not stated in my best manner, admittedly) gives a false representation of my motivation to study physics. As stated, it is highly idealistic and quite misguided. It is not coherent with the purpose I find in physics, rather an example of the idealistic ignorance I have held on to for quite a while.
Prestige is not such a big deal for me, though subconsciously I may have the habit of trying to prove my intellect adequate or even superior, wich may explain this idealistic notion of mine. Thus far, my study of physics has been quite informal, so such errenous idealisms are thrown around within my mind from time to time.
 

Vrecknidj

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Alternative paths in education in the US aren't all that hard. A high school student who has had some problems with grades or test scores shouldn't have any trouble getting into a community college. While there, keep your wits about you, get a 4.0 GPA, and then apply to universities after a year or so. The GPA that the university will consider will be your college GPA and not your high school GPA.

Problem solved.
 

inhibitions

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Alternative paths in education in the US aren't all that hard. A high school student who has had some problems with grades or test scores shouldn't have any trouble getting into a community college. While there, keep your wits about you, get a 4.0 GPA, and then apply to universities after a year or so. The GPA that the university will consider will be your college GPA and not your high school GPA.

Problem solved.
Yeah, and some community colleges have direct transfers to some pretty nice schools ;) . I have a 3.8 and I'm planning on going to community college due to the fact I haven't cured malaria and I don't play a sport and I don't belong to seven different clubs. And not having all of that = no scholarship.
 
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Alternative paths in education in the US aren't all that hard. A high school student who has had some problems with grades or test scores shouldn't have any trouble getting into a community college. While there, keep your wits about you, get a 4.0 GPA, and then apply to universities after a year or so. The GPA that the university will consider will be your college GPA and not your high school GPA.

Problem solved.
This is a really clever idea. Plus, will save a lot of money/ debt.
 
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