What to do…
Hey everyone, I’m new to the forums, but I’ve watched all of the crash course (and I’ve told nearly everyone I get into a political discussion with about it).
I was just wondering, as an 18 year old, with an exceptional education so far, and one intended at a large university in the next fall… Is majoring in Civil Engineering (and possibly entrepeneurship) a good idea? I plan to develop new and retrofit old buildings with renewable energy and renewable materials. Is that a smart move?
Should I invest? Any general suggestions for college?
I once read that human capital is something that can never be taken away from us, and I intend to invest alot of time and money into expanding my human capital) …But Human capital isnt everything. Are there other things I should focus on?
You are great. Well done young man! I am not an old man (sometimes I feel old, but I am 42), but YOU are an example of hope for the future. Civil Engineering and in the future retrofitting old buildings with renewable energy and materials sounds like an excellent future. You will learn alot of human capital just by studying these subjects. Get your hands dirty and learn some carpentry and things that don’t necessarily require large amounts of oil or energy (sounds hard, I know). Spread the word to all that will listen to you. In school, at home, at church whatever. Get the big picture. My man, you are the key, and thinking about this at such a young and pivotal point in your life is truly refreshing.
As for investing, my god the opportunities right now, but also the dangers. This depends on how good an investor you are. The conditions in the market are moving into uncharted territory, so it’s hit or miss. I currently am investing, not shorting.
I don’t know how to answer your college question because I don’t know where you are.
Yep, engineers can always find work. I’ve had engineers on both sides of my family going back generations and they’ve always weathered economic storms well.
A comment for "tscribs": I understand, at 18, you have always been pretty much told what to do & consequently figure you have to get consensus from others to go forward. You are just on the brink of adulthood. If I, at the wise (?) old age of 61 can give you one bit of advice to always carry with you, it’s to look inside & determine what your heart is telling you to do. You MUST love what you do! Anything else promises to be just more drudgery that will give you a heart attack in the end. Listen to everyone, but filter the messages through your own unique perspective. There is no one formula for everyone….. Best of luck to you.
In reply to jewelbuddy, I came up with this idea, for the most part, on my own. I have been intersted in renewable energy ever since i did a highly awarded science project in 8th grade involving wind turbines. I did ALOT (and I MEAN ALOT by a College Prepatory High School’s standards) of research on the topic. And it REALLY intrigues me. That I think is why I loved the energy portion of the crash course so much.
Over time, with research and development of new technologies, Wind and solar, and Algae Solar (google "solix algae") will achieve higher ERoEI ratings. I want to contribute to the improvement of the human race, not be a bystander in a challenging future.
Oh, I plan on attending (my top choice) University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Illinois (if I get in), or Purdue University in Indiana. Basically big 10 engineering schools for me.
EDIT: Oh and in response to krogoth, my grandpa is a big carpenter type of person, I already am pretty handy myself (I’ve always been good with fixing and making things…yes, I had tons of legos). Maybe I could ask him to teach me a thing or two.
I would appreciate other comments on this…
Here is a video of a solar/hydrogen house, might interest you,
I’ll try to share some hindsite after being in the engineering profession 20 years. I’ve gone from electrical to mechanical to nuclear to civil/environmental. Civil engineering is a great field because this is often the disipline that can control an entire project not just one part of it. When I design something like a water treatment plant, I have electrical, structural, mechanical and geotechnical subconsultants but I get to shape it all together and work with the client to drive what I think is the best solution to their problem.
School and grades might help a little bit to get your first job, but experience is what counts most. As important as it seems now, later on no one will ask where you went to school. I wouldn’t go massively into debt just for a fancy school; I started my first job right next to people who paid 3 times as much to go to a private college as I did at the state school. Do pick a school that has the physical, social, etc. environment you like; e.g., for me staying far away from the city was a must.
Keep your experience range broad; you’ll get more projects assigned and make yourself a more valuable employee less likely to be laid off.
Investing for you now I say should be in your education, and avoid any debt that does not lead to a greater return (e.g. a car any fancier than one that just gets you to class).
One of my college projects was designing a wind turbine powered boat; it could sail directly into the wind, neat stuff!.
Wow, an 18 year old thinking about something other than chasing girls. I commend you sir! To add to what others have said – enjoy whatever it is that you do, no matter what else happens. Second – keep control of your own investments, and keep learning as you go. This is a very volatile time for money, so be weary of the conventional wisdom.
I personally appreciate your posting this thread. It’s a reminder that all is not lost, and there are those in this country that have what it takes to carry us into the future. Best of luck to you!
Will take a different tack to your question. Key is applying some basic principles to always keep in mind besides attitude, effort and following the 7 human virtues of life. These are eternal and will ultimately never fail in aiding you in your journey.
1.) Your never as good or bad as you think you are.
2.) Always treat people the way you’d like to be treated.
3.) No choice is also a choice…learn from each experience in life.
4.) Get with people who challenge you and make you a better person (tell you what you need to hear in the correct way and not what you nexessarily want to hear).
5.) Observe…listen, then try thinking out of the box occasionally.
6.) Success in business and life comes from meeting unique needs (internal individual and interpersonal business). That does not mean trying to "please" someone.
7.) Ask people you respect to pass on their wisdom…then digest accordingly.
8.) Never make any decision based on emotion. That does not mean not having emotion…its just telling you internally you haven’t processed how to deal with the issue(s).
9.) Always look for and keep the big picture (i.e. perspective) in all you do.
Good Luck! Only you can decide if that choice is best for you as no one can predict the future…but these will help you make timely and beneficial decisions..