Sunday, October 25, 2009

         I asked my dad about the whole military academy thing (whether there are a bunch of them, or if it’s just one academy) and he told me that there are actually three military academies, an army academy, a naval academy, and an air force academy.  The army academy is referred to as “The United States Military Academy at West Point” and is the first academy I researched.  (Below is the website address I used to research The United States Military Academy at West Point).


         Because I had really only heard of “The Unites State Military Academy at West Point” today, I didn’t know what to expect as I researched the academy.  I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to learn anything from a website, or if it was just expected that everyone knows something about the academy.  As it turned out, I learned quite a bit about the academy, and how things work there.

         The website I used mentioned that “The United States Military Academy at West Point” is a competitive school.  This statement made me a little skeptical, but at the same time interested me.  I am, and have been for as long as I can remember, a very competitive person.  So when I read that this academy is competitive, in a sense, it made me want to apply, just so that I could try and beat out others (I am a fun person to play Monopoly with I assure you!).  After reading this statement too, however, I felt concerned that maybe I wouldn’t get accepted into the academy, and so maybe I shouldn’t even bother applying.  I looked into the matter further, and found that a competitive score on the ACT at “The United States Military at West Point” was a 23.  I scored higher than a 23 on the ACT so I feel as if I might be able to get accepted at the academy at an academic point of view.

         Setting aside the matter of whether or not I’d be able to get in, and looking more into what the academy is all about, I learned some very interesting things from this website.  For one thing, there technically isn’t an admissions fee, but an “initial deposit”. In fact, the government pays students to attend this academy.  Of course this money is then spent on necessities such as books, and uniforms. 

         Another thing I found interesting was that those who attend the academy are considered part of the United States army, and “you are obligated to serve five years on active duty in the U.S. Army, and three years in an inactive reserve status.”  After reading this last statement, I started doubting the likelihood that I am meant to attend a military academy.  I hate being required to do certain things.  I hate being in situations that require me to do certain things.  As of now, I really don’t think that I would be willing to sacrifice five years of my life to active service in the army.  I know I said that I would try to get past my fears, but this is truly terrifying to me.  I feel that if I attend the “United States Military Academy at West Point,” it is very possible that I might decide that life in the military isn’t for me, but as a requirement, I would have to serve five years of active duty.  That really isn’t something I’m willing to consider at this point in my life.

         The reason in the above paragraph being my biggest reason, I don’t think I will end up attending a military academy after high school, so I may or may not decide to look into the other two military academies, but for right now, I think I will stick with looking into colleges and universities that don’t require military service.

         Today my mom was talking about a senior student who has been apart of a family that we have been close friends with for many years.  My mom mentioned that he was looking into attending the military academy after high school, and asked me if I had given this academy any thought.  I didn’t even know there was a military academy, I’m not even sure how to refer to it, is its name “The Military Academy?” or are there many military academies across the nation, and is our friend just considering attending the nearest one?

         I mentioned in my last post that I had started to reconsider entering the military as an option after high school.  The reason I have started to reconsider this is because my mom asked me if I was considering attending the military academy/ “The Military Academy.”  So I have decided to research military academies/ “The Military Academy” for my next blog post.

         I have considered joining the military after high school, but I never really thought that I would actually follow through with enlisting.  Something about joining the military seems terrifying and interesting to me at the same time.  Joining the military has always sort of been something to think about, but to never actually consider

         Both of my parents were in the military, my dad was a Spanish translator in the army for two years before working as a doctor for the air force.  And my mom was a nurse in the air force.  My parents met each other while serving in the air force, and well, the rest is history.

         I told myself a while ago that I wouldn’t join the military, but my main reason for making this decision was because I was afraid.  Entering the military, in my mind, is beyond terrifying, but I don’t want to not do something merely because I am afraid.  With this thought, I have decided to reconsider the military as a post-high school plan, because I would hate to end up later in life wondering if I should have forgotten my fears and joined the military.



            I think it is worth mentioning that my research on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has made me twenty-five cents richer.

         I was hanging out with some friends one night, and we were discussing college football, and I asked “UNL is part of the big twelve (conference), right?”  There was a pause in the conversation, and then I was informed that UNL stood for the University of Northern Louisiana, or at the very least, did not refer to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

         Now, this made me a little confused, because while blogging about the University of Nebraska, I had referred to the university as UNL.  “No, UNL refers to University of Nebraska-Lincoln” I persisted, but no one wanted to agree with me.  It eventually came down to a bet between myself, and a friend of mine, over who was correct, winner would get a quarter.

         The next day, I googled “UNL” and the first results that came up as a part of my search were in reference to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  Needless to say, whether my friend has realized it yet or not, I have won our bet, and will be (as soon as he fulfills his end of the bargain) twenty-five cents richer. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

         I could list on one hand everything that I know about Hillsdale College.

                  1) Liberal arts school

                  2) It’s located in Michigan

                  3) A conservative school


         I hadn’t even heard of Hillsdale until last year, when I received an introductory letter from them, amongst many others letters from many other colleges and universities.  I asked my mom if she had any background knowledge about Hillsdale, to see if opening the letter was worth my time, and she said that Hillsdale is a very conservative school, so yes, I opened the letter, and Hillsdale has been on my list of potential colleges ever since.

         But I think I need to know a little bit more about Hillsdale than I already do, to determine whether or not I want to go there.


         When I first started looking at the Hillsdale website, I had the opposite reaction than I did when I was looking at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln website- I got a positive vibe from the Hillsdale site. 

         I know this will probably sound like a stupid thing to notice, and to take into consideration, but the Hillsdale website was a lot easier to maneuver around and understand.

         As I started looking through the website however, I started to feel uncertain that I wanted to go to Hillsdale.  I found that the number of students at Hillsdale is around 1,300.  I know that I said I wanted to go to a smaller college, but I was thinking that somewhere around 5,000 students would be a good number, 1,300 seems like it would be a little small.

         Another thing that bothers me is their athletics program.  I have been playing varsity tennis since my freshman year, and I feel like if I don’t play in college, every hour of practice I have put into becoming the player I am today, would seem a little pointless.  Hillsdale has tennis courts, but no team. 

         One thing I did like about Hillsdale was that they seem to have a pretty extensive selection of majors for a school of that size.  Another thing I like about Hillsdale is that the faculty-to-student ratio is about 1:10, so this enables students to get to know their teachers better.


         After researching the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Hillsdale College, I still don’t know if either college would be a school that I’d want to attend.  The University of Nebraska is a little bigger than what I had in mind, but Hillsdale is a little bit smaller than what I want, so like my plans for what I want to major in, I have very little idea of what college I want to go to. 

         The only reason I am even considering attending the University of Nebraska, is that one of my best friend’s brother is planning on attending the University next year.  Our families have been close friends for many years, so his mom talked to my mom, and of course she talked to me, and now, the University of Nebraska is amongst my narrow list of potential colleges and universities. 


The first website I used to research UNL


         As I looked through the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s website, I started to feel frustrated.  I didn’t think the site had a good layout, because I couldn’t find much of what I wanted to learn about UNL.  I eventually had to look at another website.


The second website I used to research UNL.


From looking at the second website, I was able to see that UNL probably has a pretty good science program.  Now, I’m not sure that I want to major in science, because doing all of this research on biological professions has made me feel a little burnt out on the study of life, but if I do ever pick a major, and it is science-related, UNL would be a good school to consider attending.

         One of the main things I wanted to learn about UNL, was its faculty/staff to student ratio.  I was unsuccessful in finding this information, but did however, come across the approximate number of students in attendance at UNL.  The second website I used said that about 22,000 students attend UNL.  22,000 can be a very scary number. 

         When I picture myself as a college student, I have had a few basic expectations (for lack of a better word) that I want that college to meet.  I have tended to picture myself going to a smaller college.  I don’t like to be in large crowds of people; so finding out that UNL has about 22,000 students is a little scary.  I think I could get over the large amount of people at the University though, if I really felt that I am called to go there.

         I didn’t however, get a positive feeling about UNL when I was researching their website.  It could have just been that researching UNL makes the thought of me leaving high school in another year more realistic, or it could be that UNL is not the right school for me.  They say that when a bride tries on her wedding dress, that she’ll know it’s the right one.  Not to make a dorky comparison, but that’s how I want to feel about the college I choose, I want to Know that it’s the right school for me.   

         I’m going to put UNL on a shelf for awhile, or at least until I have looked into a couple more colleges, to see if I get the same feeling about them as I did when researching UNL.


P.S. I think it’s worth mentioning that my grandpa went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and became an engineer.

         As I think more about various occupations I have started to feel a little bit panicked about the fact that I don’t have a good idea of what college I wish to attend.  I have a couple of colleges in mind, The University of Nebraska, Hillsdale College, College of the Ozarks or maybe the University of Dallas, but these colleges are nothing more than ideas, I am no where close to deciding on a college to attend after high school.

         So, rather than writing about different job opportunities, I’ve decided to do a little research on the colleges that I am interested in.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Above is the link I used to research a physical trainer’s occupation.

            Physical trainers work for their clients, which are either a group of people or individuals.  They are responsible for looking out for the physical well being of their client or clients, and should be able to assess several different things about their clients.  Physical trainers must be versatile, and capable of successfully completing tasks.  This article has a good list of job requirements of a physical trainer, the list is as follows,

“A few things personal fitness trainers do include:

      Motivating clients and team members

      Assisting clients in breathing exercises

      Identifying specific training needs

      Applying first aid procedures

      Constructing instructional programs

      Leading various recreational activities

      Monitoring and communicating client progress

Demonstrating each physical activity”

“Motivating clients and team members”                                                           When I want to be, I can be a really positive person, but I know that it is just as easy to have a negative attitude when it comes to sports.  The years of experience I have had with sports have taught me how important confidence is to the success of the athlete.  I am by no means a master of confidence.  I can get really down on myself very easily when I play tennis.  I do recognize the importance of being motivated to play well though, and think that I could do a good job at motivating others to do their best.

“Identifying specific training needs”                                                      I am, and have been for as long as I can remember, a very analytical person.  I am constantly over thinking situations that require far less thought than I tend to give them.  I think that I could be good at “identifying specific training needs” because I could put my analytical mind to work at discovering special needs a client, or clients might have.

“Applying first aid procedures”                                                               This is where some science would come into the job.  Now I know that the first aid knowledge required by a trainer probably varies from job to job, and that in many cases, first aid knowledge requirements is probably minimal.  But it does incorporate some science into the job, and probably wouldn’t require me to be able to do a whole lot more than basic first aid procedures, which would be good, because I am not very interested in being a doctor because I am a squeamish person.

“Constructing instructional programs”                                                      This aspect of the job would let me, again, use my analytical nature to be successful.  I think that I would like making personal instructional programs for others because I would feel good about helping people make and achieve goals that could be reached through personalized training programs that I would make.  I also think that making personal programs would be interesting for me because I like being organized, and if I had a different program for each client, being organized would be an absolute necessity that I could feel good about maintaining.

“Leading various recreational activities”                                                      In many cases I like taking leadership roles.  I don’t foresee a problem with this aspect of the job, because I am able to take charge of certain situations, and set things in motion.

“Monitoring and communicating client progress”                                             I think that this relates to the “constructing instructional programs” part of being a physical trainer.  This part of the job would allow me to be organized and feel good about the goals I am helping clients reach.

“Demonstrating each physical activity”                                                       I don’t think that I would have a problem with this part of the job, because I like physical activity.

 After reviewing the job requirements of being a physical trainer, I find myself still genuinely interested in pursuing something of this nature.  One thing about being a physical trainer that appeals to me is the fact that this job would allow and even require me to be active.  I think this job could be really good job for me, and as of now, being a physical trainer is close to the top of my list of potential occupations.

            When I was younger, I was really involved in several different sports.  I competed competitively in volleyball, basketball, swimming and tennis.  When it came to sports, basketball was always my first love, though I really liked tennis too.  After reaching high school though, I decided to limit myself to one sport, and I decided to focus on tennis, rather than basketball.  My main reason for quitting basketball was because I felt too pressured when I played on a team where four other girls are depending on me to constantly perform to the best of my ability, whereas tennis is more of an independent sport, so if I don’t play my best, in many cases, I only let myself down. 

            My experiences with both basketball and tennis have left an impact on my life in many ways.  I remember my mom telling me once that she thought I would make a good coach someday, I am fairly sure that she thought this because of my sports background, and my interest in athletics.  I can see myself as being some sort of coach someday, however, being a coach doesn’t really sound all that interesting to me.  Something along the same lines as a coaching job that does interest me is being a physical trainer.  I think that being a physical trainer sounds interesting because it would encompass my interests in both science and sports into the same job.  It may or may not have been my mom’s comment on me being a coach someday that has sparked my interest in becoming a physical trainer, but whatever the reason for my interest in this job area, I have decided to research being a physical trainer for my next potential job.

As I have mentioned many many times before, science is one of my biggest interests, specifically biology. Because my biggest interest is in biology, it seems kind of stupid that I didn’t research being a biologist sooner than this, but better late then never I guess!                                                    (the website I used to research being a biologist)


            Biology is the study of life, and the relationship of living organisms with the environment.  In many cases, biologists specialize in a specific area of research, such as zoo biology, microbiology, or marine biology. Some biologists work on improving medicinal treatments, making new drugs, or modifying crops.  But the work that a biologist does is largely affected by what type of biologist they are.  I don’t feel that I can do an efficient job analysis about biology as a profession, simply because biology is too broad a category to write about, so eventually I may get around to researching more specific biology majors, but for now I’m going to take a break from biology, and write about something I have been thinking more about lately.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

         As a way of helping myself stay organized, and also as a way of re-gathering my thoughts, I am going to do a recap on the jobs I have already researched, and also make a list of more jobs I might want to check out.


Been there done that:

         (List of the jobs I have already researched, and evaluated)


-Computer Software Engineer

         -I don’t want to be sitting in front of a computer all day


-Medical Lab Technician

         -I thought that this occupation sounded like it could get a little repetitive, and I wanted to work as a more specialized scientist


-Medical Lab Technologist

         -I thought the procedures could get boring, but still haven’t entirely ruled this occupation out of my options


-Forensic Scientist

         -This job sounded interesting, but I thought this job could get too emotionally draining, or that it wouldn’t be as exciting as it appears to be on shows like CSI


-Interior Designer

         -I didn’t think that this job would be very reliable, and I think that it would cause too much stress



Looking to the future

         (List of the jobs and majors I still want to look into)





-Doctor (I don’t know what kind yet, TBA)



         I am a little disappointed in how short that last list is.  I guess I have an idea of what type of job I want, I just don’t know what jobs fit that job description.


My job description:

         An occupation that will keep me interested, keep me involved, allows/requires me to do some moving around, but not necessarily all the time, a job that makes me feel unique.


Now, I just have to find the job that fits that description, and I’ll be good.



         After completing the online job survey, and receiving my ACT results in the mail, I feel as though I have reached a dead end.  I was hoping that the online survey would give me a brilliant job suggestion, and I would find myself saying, “Of course! that is the perfect job for me! I can’t believe I didn’t come up with it myself!”  But after looking through my results, no such thought came to mind.  And even though I said I wouldn’t let my ACT scores effect what I majored in, I can’t help but wonder whether or not I should do something with science. 

         Recently, I have been thinking about becoming an engineer.  I hadn’t decided what kind of engineer; I just thought that maybe being an engineer would be interesting.  The Online survey I took even gave me a few specific suggestions on different types of engineers I might be interested in becoming.  I thought about looking up an article about engineering for a new post, (and I probably will, eventually) but I was talking to someone about the engineering field, and they told me that engineering can be risky occupation, because you are at the hands of the company you work for, so being laid off as an engineer, they made it sound, is not entirely uncommon.  I haven’t completely decided against becoming an engineer; I just don’t feel too optimistic about this particular work field at the moment.

         I kind of think, that as I eliminate more careers from my mental list of job options, I don’t seem to be adding any more jobs to that same list.  Wow.  I cant believe how undecided I am about what I want to do with my life.



         I took the ACT test on September 12 of this year.  They said that I could expect my results to come anywhere from five-eight weeks, so when they arrived two days ago, I really wasn’t expecting it.  After looking at my overall score, and then looking at the breakdown of my score into different subject areas, I was a little surprised about which subjects I scored highest on.  The subject areas I scored highest on were Reading, and the combined score of English/Writing.  I have a good foundation in reading, I have my mom and “Hooked-on-Phonics” to thank for that, but I guess that in the past couple of years, I’ve felt more interest in, and have done better on science portions of most standardized tests that I have taken, so having a higher score in reading and writing came as a bit of a surprise to me.

         Even though I scored the highest on English related subjects, I still think that I will probably go into some sort of science or math occupation; because those are the areas of study that I have more interest in.  I also figure that just because my highest score on the ACT wasn’t in science, that I shouldn’t use this to help indicate whether or not I pursue with a science-related career, because after all, my science interests lie mainly in biology, whereas the ACT tests you over several fields of science such as physics and chemistry. 

         Obviously, taking the ACT has forced me to think a little more about a college to attend.  My mom and I had my ACT score sent to five colleges: University of Nebraska, Benedictine College, Hillsdale College, Franciscan University, and the University of Dallas (where my sister is currently attending).  Though I am also thinking about College of the Ozarks, because I have heard some interesting, and good things about it from a friend that is going through the acceptance process there.  In my mind though, as of now, my top two college choices are Hillsdale, and the University of Nebraska.  I don’t know much about either of these two colleges, the only reason I hold these two schools in a positive point of view is because I have heard good things about each of them.  I have also heard that the University of Nebraska has a pretty broad science program, so If I do decide to major in something science-related, I could very well end up going to the University of Nebraska.  But for now, I am still undecided on, and still open to checking out more colleges and universities.



         Sometime over the 2009 summer vacation, which ended a little more than a month ago, my mom registered me to take an online survey, which asks a lot of different questions with the purpose of making a list of jobs that are compatible with the answers expressed on the survey.  Well, I started the survey about a month ago, but found it very boring and tedious, so I didn’t end up finishing all of the questions until today.  I am glad that I have the survey out of the way, but find myself disappointed in the jobs that the survey suggested for me.  The survey took a list of a lot of different jobs and put a “job fit” percentage next to each job, indicating how compatible I was with that particular job.  The following is a list of some of the jobs I scored the highest on, though my highest “job fit” percentage was an 84%.


         Chemical Engineer

         Civil Engineer

         Graphics Designer


         Purchasing Manager

         Systems Administrator

         Database Developer         



         Business Manager


         Some of these job recommendations came as a surprise to me, others seem to fit some of my current interests, and as for some of the other suggestions on this list, I have no idea what some of them even are!  Biologist for example doesn’t really come as a surprising suggestion, because biology is on of my favorite subjects.  Podiatrist came as a little bit of a surprise because I really really really dislike feet! And a systems administrator? What IS that?

         I don’t really feel led in any particular direction after taking this survey, so I am not convinced that it has helped me much if at all in narrowing down my interests, but I’m glad I finished the survey, because otherwise, I would always be wondering if taking the survey would have pointed out the perfect job for me.