Confused 18 y/o girl needs advice

Anonymous Monkey's picture
Anonymous Monkey

I went to college & made an iPhone app when I was 16 years old. I do beauty pageants for fun & quote Confucius unironically. Do I have your attention now? I hope you're still with me (:

I was mindlessly ambitious in high school- I played JV basketball, took all the APs, & joined all the clubs. I only did this because I felt like no one would love me if I wasn't the prettiest, smartest, most athletic, most successful girl. Of course, also to seem "well-rounded" to elite universities(which doesn't work, I've read, they don't care how good you are at math if you are a star football player or have published three books). This accumulated in an existential crisis at 15 which got so bad my mom forbade me from reading Albert Camus. My dad had a french copy of L'Etranger but I didnt know french, so I went through the rabbit hole all by myself.

I am on WSO because for what it's worth- my older cousin works in high finance and I admired him with all my heart as a little girl. This led me to consider high finance as a career option... I came across this website after some web-browsing. It seems to me like most men in high finance are very smart.

I feel that I would be most compatible with being a stay-at-home wife and mother. It would make me so happy to serve my family. Call it slavery if you want, most employees are slaves to their bosses, except if I have to slave, then I want to slave away for a man who loves me and children who are my own flesh and blood.

The only issue is that society won't respect me unless I aspire to be an ambitious career woman. I've considered to be a preschool teacher, but people look so at me with contempt when they hear that! They want me to say lawyer, doctor, investor, entrepreneur. The shame I feel from my parents and their acquaintances is heartbreaking for me.

I feel like those careers would destroy my soul. Like I'm making a Faustian deal with my innocence, sweetness, kindness, youth, girlishness, childlikeness, and all the qualities that I value most in myself for some money, prestige, fame, power. No, I don't believe I can retain all those lovely qualities after having gone through cutthroat environments such as those.

Please help me. I am purposefully being vague in what specifically I am asking for- I would like to receive any thoughts you have for me.

I am leaving my Big Five/OCEAN personality traits here because they seem to be important in choosing careers:
Openness: 96
Conscientiousness: 98
Extroversion: 33
Agreeableness: 98
Neuroticism: 16

This is not trolling! Please offer me at least some helpful words ... my Instagram is & my twitter is if you really do think I'm trolling. Of course I'll remove the identifying info, but otherwise it's there for you to see.

Comments (51)

May 6, 2019

Is this supposed to be funny or

    • 3
May 6, 2019
The Best Guy:

Is this supposed to be funny or

No, I'm serious.

May 6, 2019

Not Albert Camus! Your mom really overstepped her boundaries there I mean damn what a sociopath

I'm a fun guy. Obviously I love the game of basketball. I mean there's more questions you have to ask me in order for me to tell you about myself

May 6, 2019
Kawhi Anthony Leonard:

Not Albert Camus! Your mom really overstepped her boundaries there I mean damn what a sociopath

Lol... well nihilism is not really normal for teenage girls to worry about ... my parents wanted me to focus on my career.

May 6, 2019

Are you going to a good school? That's kind of a factor in your potential for breaking in to finance. As someone who had a shitload of pressure put on them as well, I can tell you that a lot of it is in your head.

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May 6, 2019
Nightman Cometh:

Are you going to a good school? That's kind of a factor in your potential for breaking in to finance. As someone who had a shitload of pressure put on them as well, I can tell you that a lot of it is in your head.

...

May 6, 2019

This has to be a troll, but if not, if you really wanna break into "high" finance (I assume you mean IB, trading, and the other usual suspects), you'll most likely need to transfer to some sort of competitive school, ideally a target. Being the "prettiest, smartest, most athletic, most successful girl" won't help you if you're in community college. Sorry.

Funniest
May 6, 2019

It finally happened. I'm getting too old to figure out what's trolling and what's genuine.

May 6, 2019
Hugh Myron:

It finally happened. I'm getting too old to figure out what's trolling and what's genuine.

..

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May 6, 2019

Someday, in the far far future, next generation archaeologists are going to discover this network thing we used called the internet. I only hope they discover this post when they do. I for one have backed it up to a flash drive and will save it in a secure airtight safe deposit box. Perhaps I'll take it out someday to show my kids that back in my day, this is how we trolled the message boards.

    • 2
May 6, 2019

Flash media doesn't last long, might want to look into long term digital storage.

May 6, 2019

How about I buy you a notebook where you can write about your feelings

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May 6, 2019
etx:

How about I buy you a notebook where you can write about your feelings

no thank you ..:/

May 6, 2019

this girl needs a vision board

and a dream catcher...most def

just google it...you're welcome

May 6, 2019
faceslappingcompilation:

this girl needs a vision board

and a dream catcher...most def

-.-

May 6, 2019

she's not trolling, trust me - I'm an expert on this kind of thing. disappointed by the lack of serious comments on this thread. let's try and do better next time guys

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May 6, 2019

Thank you!!!

May 6, 2019

nice job guys, you got here to delete the post

May 6, 2019

i re-read your post...and i still don't understand what you are asking.

are you looking for an internship...a job...advice on which college to goto...its clear as mudd.

just google it...you're welcome

May 6, 2019

I'm sorry, I wrote this in the middle of the night when I should have been asleep. I wanted thoughts and advice on what career I should pursue that would make the best compromise between my naturally traditionally feminine disposition and society's expectation of being an ambitious career woman. I was purposefully vague but it seems like I should have been more clear.

May 6, 2019

you are mis-informed that finance will require you to lose your soft side. That stereotype should have died years ago.

just google it...you're welcome

May 6, 2019

I'm going to go ahead and assume this is legitimate. If not just for you, for anyone who happens to see this.

"between my naturally traditionally feminine disposition and society's expectation of being an ambitious career woman"

No one lives in society. Everyone lives in their head.

Figure out what YOU want to do. That might require some time. Talk to some moms. Talk to some legit career woman and then think on it for a while.

May 6, 2019

I'm going to play my usual Pollyanna role and assume this is legit and not a troll.

As a fellow female, PLEASE, I beg of you, get into the much healthier habit of not dwelling so much on what "society expects me to..." and that sort of thinking. The sooner you embrace that change in mindset, the better. I speak from experience.

Use your brains and skills as you see fit. If being a teacher is what you want and what you feel you are best suited for, then don't worry about what parents, friends, family or society will think. If going into finance or law or medicine or the circus or military is what you feel will fulfill you, then again, don't concern yourself with what others will say or think about your life choices. It's your life, not theirs. People are going to tell you any number of things because of their own life experiences or lackthereof - they will think they are helping you and saving you from "bad decisions" but often they may be speaking from a place of sour grapes/resentment/limited options/pick-your-drama, etc.

Other than the time that you're living under your parents' roof and being supported by them on some level, when you go out into the big bad world and start working... no one else will be paying your bills, so their opinions, while you might value them on some level... opinions can't be deposited into the bank to cover your car payment and utility bills.

Yes, your "innocence, sweetness, kindness, youth, girlishness, childlikeness" will be/is at risk, but not by the line of work you choose... all these things get effected and impacted as you go through more life experiences. It's neither a good or bad thing, it's simply life. Some of this characteristics will solidify and always be part of your character, while other elements of your persona will evolve.

Good luck to you, keep us posted on your choices.

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May 6, 2019

Thank you so much (:

May 8, 2019

@InfoDominatrix Idk why but I read all your posts in the voice of Wendy Rhoades

    • 1
May 8, 2019

I think you could do worse than imagining Miss Rhoades' speaking my posts, LOL, I suspect you're better off than my actual Nu Yawker tone. ;)

Maggie Siff is awesome, she was great on Sons of Anarchy.

Wendy Rhoades is one serious badass, I love the way they dress her on Billions - elegant, no-nonsense, business-like, yet feminine with a touch of tomboyish-ness too... an eclectic mix that I definitely can appreciate.

    • 1
May 19, 2019

.

May 6, 2019

what the fuck

    • 1
May 6, 2019

Thank goodness I've backed this thread up. Imagine the pandemonium had I not.

    • 1
May 7, 2019

Agreeableness at 98 will get you nowhere in life and everyone will take advantage of you.
Openness at 98 means you are a ticking time bomb.

May 7, 2019

My quick advice: Give much less of a shit about what other people think

May 7, 2019

This is a wild post. It seems like you have a lot going through your mind at this transitional period in your life. Don't rule out talking to a therapist or something just to streamline your thoughts and get some help working out exactly what you see yourself doing.

May 8, 2019
tjsimpson:

This is a wild post. It seems like you have a lot going through your mind at this transitional period in your life. Don't rule out talking to a therapist or something just to streamline your thoughts and get some help working out exactly what you see yourself doing.

This. OP, go see a therapist and stay away from drugs.

May 8, 2019

dude if this is real don't do finance. you're too smart for that do something cooler.

    • 1
May 10, 2019

From the gist of your winding, solopsistic post, let me offer direction:

Find a business who will buy your prozac for you

Most Helpful
May 11, 2019

I have met a fair number of conflicted, angst-riddled women in my life, and you, madam, are in good company. I'm glad sites like this didn't exist when I was 18 precisely because my competitiveness would have driven me to be just as petty and awkward as a lot of the undergrads who currently frequent these pages seeking advice.

A lot of them see investment banking, trading, venture, PE or MBB consulting as their path to some promised land. I think the same is true for corporate lawyers. This, though, is a bit myopic. While professional services careers generally provide more optionality than most other paths out of college, they still require you to work for someone else. Anyone whose ultimate goal is to work for someone else has--almost by definition--a servile mentality. No matter how clever or how Type-A or how alpha male they might ostensibly be, in truth, they work for a paycheck. If your loftiest goal is to be the highest paid W2 employee of a company, I think you've set your sights too low.

That thought process never occurs to some people. To others, they're fine with middling ambition, so the consequences of that realization aren't onerous. These two groups of people do perfectly well in finance and consulting because they're not dogged by doubt or neuroses. But for people who realize that's not what they want from the outset, I think it's rather difficult to trade their youth and vitality for a decade or more to finally make sufficient money to feel comfortable leaving the workforce for a couple years to start a family.

The truth is that if you leave too early to start a family, you will have a nearly impossible time returning. If you exit finance as a final year associate after two years of analyst work and an MBA, you'll be in your late 20s. If you were out for just two years (assuming you can find cost-effective extended-day childcare), you would be coming back to work at 30 with atrophied technical skills and a weakened network. You'd be hard-pressed to re-enter even as an associate.

That is why there are a lot of women around NY who used to have careers and are now stay-at-home moms. If you or your husband make enough money to afford a live-in nanny, you have a lot more options than most people. But for the majority of everyone who ever reads these words, that won't be the case. If you choose to have a family you and/or your partner are going to have to make some career sacrifices you probably wouldn't have made otherwise.

If you already know you want to have a family and that your main draw to finance is the perceived prestige attached to the field, you might be comforted to know that a lot of your female friends (or perhaps some of the guys you're attempting to impress) will flame out of the industry before they turn 30. Some of them will leave of their own accord, but many women will leave to have kids. Some of those who leave to procreate will adjust their career ambitions and live happier lives. Some will not, and their resentment over a lost career will be taken out on their children, their spouse or society, essentially railing against the wind that they couldn't have everything and that life is unfair.

Your youthful neuroses seem to have saved you from that path. On the far side of your current thought process, I think you'll find that valuing yourself based on what you imagine society thinks of you is weak and unfulfilling. It will also never make you happy. If you believe you see a path to happiness for yourself, you should walk that path. If that path is being a mother, a wife, and an educator, that's plenty.

I think the 'lean in' mentality meant well in trying to persuade women that they could have it all--a great home, a wonderful family and a meaningful career--without recognizing the fact that for some women a great home and a wonderful family was all they wanted. It's not illiberal to want to have kids and raise them yourself. I think that raising even a single useful member of society is more than most people achieve in their lifetimes. After all, most people are useless. Most people's careers are useless. Even in my own career, of all the thousands of hours spent on PowerPoint and Excel, perhaps 10-20% had even the slightest hint of value. But that value was fleeting and has since dissipated, and I've worked on significantly more important projects than most people ever touch in their entire careers.

All of this is to say that you shouldn't worry about what you think society is thinking about you. That's not a useful endeavor. Instead, find a way to derive your own sense of meaning from the choices you make. And make those choices deliberately. I'm sure there are loads of smart, attractive, successful guys quite happy to marry a woman who deliberately wants to stay home to raise their children. Of course, she'd have to stop 'non-ironically' quoting Confucius. After all, that's not possible anyway. But with that and a bottle of Xanax, I'm sure you and Beau Dreamboat will live happily ever after.

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May 16, 2019

wow this is a great comment

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May 17, 2019

Thanks

May 17, 2019

This is (very) likely the greatest post this site has ever seen. Well done sir

    • 1
May 17, 2019

Thanks

May 11, 2019

Let me tell you something. Life is meaningless and your are dying. Working 90 hours a week drafting pitchbooks is as meaningless as life, but a good entertainment until you are dead.

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May 11, 2019

This sounds like it's written by a 15 year old portly, pimple-faced, bespectacled pupil who has developed his first crush on an older girl.

    • 1
May 12, 2019

I am not sure why you are giving her such a hard time.
I think it's great that she is able to identify these internal conflicts at such a young age where all options are still open for her, not at 35 when she is bitter and it's too late.
I wish more girls had such foresight instead of just jumping on the latest bandwagon.
Despite all the feminist kool-aid, it takes a big mental toll on a lot of women to deal with the "asseholeness" and lack of empathy of large corporate snake-pits.
Especially if you are very agreeable.
This is not to suggest that women shouldn't go for these careers if that's their wish, but it has to be theirs, after a thought process, not just new-age BS propaganda.

Don't be ashamed of what you want or what feels right for you.
There are lots of guys who would love to find a woman who is not fighting constantly against her feminine side just to prove some point to strangers/society.

    • 3
May 12, 2019

I will assume that this post is real.

Good on you for thinking forward. Many people don't.

One of the most effective things you can do is talk to career women who have kids. Also talk to career women who don't.

Is your family really going to ostracize you for not chasing power and prestige?

May 17, 2019

Hey,

Honestly, I can really say that I completely understand your situation. I feel that we're actually really similar - my parents really want me to be a high-powered career woman and I definitely feel the pressure from my friends and society to be like that as well. However, as cheesy as this sounds, all of that stuff is so empty. I find the more I try to win the approval of other people, the more anxious and unfulfilled I become. If you know that being a stay-at-home mom is the right thing for you and your family, then do it. Being a housewife can honestly be one of the most fulfilling and rewarding experiences for a woman who wants to stay more in touch with her feminine side.

I guess I'll share my plan with you in the hopes that it might help you decide on what to do in the future. Personally, I am planning on working in banking for 2-3 years after college, getting married, and then leaving work to be a full-time mother. That way, I feel that I can build up some financial security for my family, especially since it might be tougher because the family will be living off of one income instead of two. Also, even though I try not to care about my parents' approval so much, it would also fulfill their dream for me to achieve material success - even if it is just for a little bit.

Then again, I do know some of my friends who aren't putting themselves through two years of stress and have decided to be elementary school teachers and stay-at-home wives. Again, it might be really really tough to go against your parents, and I get that, but I think you really have to think about what is best for you as well as your future children and husband. Maybe if enough women go against the grain of "you can only be respected as a career woman", then maybe society will eventually become more accepting of full-time mothers again :) But in the meantime, I feel that you would be very unhappy if you gave into that societal pressure and went into a competitive and stressful job.

This is just my perspective on things, but I hope it was useful to you! Best of luck with your situation and let me know if you want to talk more about this topic sometime :) It's so encouraging to know that there are other girls out there who also want to be stay-at-home wives :)

May 19, 2019
Comment
May 27, 2019