Gifted Bulletin Board

Welcome to the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

We invite you to share your experiences and to post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues on this free public discussion forum.
CLICK HERE to Log In. Click here for the Board Rules.


Learn about the Davidson Academyís online campus for profoundly gifted students living anywhere in the U.S.

The Davidson Institute is a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting profoundly gifted students through the following programs:

  • Fellows Scholarship
  • Young Scholars
  • Davidson Academy
  • THINK Summer Institute
  • DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube
    The Davidson Institute is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!

    How gifted-friendly is
    your state?

    Subscribe to the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update

    Who's Online
    0 registered (), 0 Guests and 82 Spiders online.
    Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
    Newest Members
    Ham23, no giftedd, moonpie, angelaw, Skrism
    11071 Registered Users
    Su M Tu W Th F Sa
    1 2 3 4
    5 6 7 8 9 10 11
    12 13 14 15 16 17 18
    19 20 21 22 23 24 25
    26 27 28 29 30 31
    Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >
    Topic Options
    #247444 - 08/06/20 09:54 AM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    raphael Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/23/20
    Posts: 27
    Hi everyone,
    and thanks a lot for the answers, a lot of interesting insights here.

    I am definitely moving forward, but still panicking a bit.
    I cry a lot and still feel rather desperate. I get stuck with the practical details of how to move on.

    1. I am still torn and undecisive concerning completing the ms in psychology. I was hoping to get inspired by a research scientist who is doing research on the applications of machine learning algorithms in psychological research. However he says he has no capacity (also because of covid). Other professors do not answer my emails.

    2. My plan for getting bionformatics, for now, would be to somehow start working as a data scientist (if I get to complete the psychology MS one day), make some money, then do a part-time MS while still working. However, I already have some student debt to pay back (7.000 Ä). A master in bionformatics (online) costs 44.000 Ä (at John Hopkins) - here in Berlin you need the BS in bioinformatics to get in, which I do not have. So I would need to work at least a few months before I would be able to start studying, and after that it would still take two years. All in all, probably 3 years until I am finished, which makes me 29 when I finish the masters, and 32 if I do the PhD (as for now I believe that I would like to get into research). Kind of a bummer for someone who finished school at 16.

    [And If I want to work as a data scientist, I need to study some math first, possibly do an internship before I get a job which could make the whole process even longer].

    I am not sure how to approach the whole situation. I have trouble prioritizing what I want to do first.

    What seems to be the most important thing to do to you outside observers?
    - find a thesis subject? but then how? do some ML project/coding on my own in order to get started and inspired? I definitely feel like self teaching the stuff, but it would take at least some weeks if not months before I get a grasp on algebra, calculus, coding...? settle with something that bores me, but just somehow getting the job done? (I have been pretty bad at this until now - I am very picky about wanting to do something "special" as you can imagine)

    - forget about bioinformatics? I do have my reasons for this field (as I am interested in ML/big data stuff, I think this is one the fields with most promising applications that I have decent chances of getting into) but thinking now about something that I could start only in a year or so makes me go nuts.

    Maybe you have some quick advice for me.



    #247445 - 08/08/20 04:30 AM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    Wren Offline

    Registered: 01/14/08
    Posts: 1680
    Can't you take a calculus, though I recommend applied calc, online? There should be a bunch of options. And there are plenty of certificates you can get in data science now and then you could start working in the field while you do graduate work? Though I think you should do as much math as you can. You will need to know math beyond first year calculus. Math will help you with data science. Kings college London does a 4 year B/M degree. It is neuroscience but I think you can choose bioinformatics I think. Maybe they have something for you. In the nearterm, you should be able to start on the math immediately online.

    #247446 - 08/08/20 08:33 AM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3906
    If you need the courses documented, then I would also suggest online college courses. If you just want the skills, then there are even more online resources, which you likely would be able to move through fairly quickly. Check out sites like EdX. They have many of the types of courses you are considering, and can provide varying levels of documentation, if you need certificates or even degrees in specific skills, with content provided by some substantive universities, like MIT and Harvard.
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #247447 - 08/08/20 03:49 PM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    Eagle Mum Offline

    Registered: 02/24/20
    Posts: 120
    Loc: Australia
    Hi Raphael,

    Itís good to hear that you are moving forward. I donít think you should worry about what age you will be when you reach your destination. The journey itself should be of main importance. If you can keep learning whilst working for a living, then several degrees in a broad range of fields by your early thirties would be a fantastic achievement.

    I only finished studying and my last postgrad exam at the age of 33. That was without any real setbacks (there were a couple of unexpected detours which brought me to a slightly different destination, but I certainly have no complaints). Some of my friends failed and had to repeat undergrad &/or postgrad years a number of times, so they were in their mid-late thirties before they finished their studies. They all have successful careers & lives now. We did start our families before we completed studying, so life was hectic, but we certainly donít have any regrets in hindsight.

    Enrolling in a bioinformatics masters without a bachelors degree in the same area is quite a significant undertaking, especially with that price tag, so it would be appropriate to ensure that all the prerequisite knowledge is covered before enrolling and taking on the hefty fees, but as per my preamble, instead of seeing this as a delay, look upon the maths studies (formally enrolled or otherwise) as a journey through interesting territory where only a very small minority of the population will ever venture and enjoy the experience.

    Best wishes.

    Edited by Eagle Mum (08/08/20 04:11 PM)

    #247468 - 08/19/20 09:35 AM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    raphael Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/23/20
    Posts: 27
    Thanks a lot for the support again. I feel very welcome in this community smile

    @ Wren: after a quick search, I haven't found the program at King's College yet. I might after a longer search smile

    @ AEH: thanks for the advice. I actually have started learning Linear Algebra with the MIT Lectures by Gilbert Strang but didn't follow through at the time because I was unsure of whether I needed the courses documented or not, and also not clear on which my goal was.

    @ Eagle Mum: Thanks for pointing out the necessity of acquiring the prerequisite knowledge. I have been quite bad at planning out things so far, also in my studies. Partly also, as I believe, as a side effect of giftedness and of my history of procrastination and being stuck in my room becoming insane and losing touch with reality. Am still stumbling a bit sometimes there, so I definitely enjoy getting the feedback from all of you.

    It is incredible to realise that I might actually be capable of following through with all of this. It might sound overly dramatic, but I am currently tying ends which have (arguably) been lose for the last 10 years, and getting to the root of a suffering that has been going on since my childhood. Still a bit overwhelmed, but getting more happy and less bitter day by day.

    I need to do a lot of planning now. I might get back to you for some questions and will update on the success of the operation.



    #247469 - 08/20/20 05:35 PM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3906
    Originally Posted By: raphael
    Still a bit overwhelmed, but getting more happy and less bitter day by day.

    I am so happy to see this for you. Life -- as you know better than many -- is full of bumps along the road, but as long as the balance is moving forward bit by bit you can look down that road with hope for a brighter future.

    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

    #247489 - 08/24/20 09:15 AM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    raphael Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/23/20
    Posts: 27
    Thank you! :-)
    I have one more thing that has been going through my mind a lot: my dad is also quite obviously gifted, and I suppose that he has had issues at school and with his own path. I know that he was very difficult to motivate to go to school as an early teenager (maybe even before) and barely got his high school diploma. He studied French and pedagogy and went on to become a teacher. He definitely has some passion for his job, puts some love and creativity into projects for his pupils and sometimes talks about theoretical concepts in pedagogy. However, I have alwa ys felt some kind of unease in him, and he definitely does not look very happy when I ask him about how he chose this path. Perhaps even more importantly, I sense a lot of cynicism that I know from myself in him - retracting into yourself when you feel like you don't belong anywhere, shutting up and keeping your ideas and opinions to yourself, being somehow awkward when you communicate. A lot of things that, as I feel, go away or become less when you start embracing who you are, and have enough opportunities/environments for satisfying your endless curiosity and need for stimulation.
    However, I do not know how to approach the subject with him. I wish I could share more about some insights I have had in my life so far, but I am afraid of hurting him by confrontation with things that - most likely unwillfuly - he kept buried to himself for a very long time.
    If any of you has experience with this kind of situation, I'll happily listen to stories or advice.
    [Of course, I might also be a fool for trying to judge the book by its cover, and he might feel very fulfilled.]

    #247490 - 08/24/20 12:56 PM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4714
    raphael, I'm impressed by the great empathy, awareness, and sensitivity you are expressing toward your father. Might he enjoy joining this forum...? He may find great affirmation and validation in perusing the various topics and threads in this Gifted Adult forum and elsewhere... even if he chooses to remain a private person and not post.

    My thought on approaching a delicate topic is that conversation is often well-received if one is sharing something of their own experience... in little easy-to-digest bite-size increments... rather than having a big talk. Whether choosing to share a resource one has come across, a snippet of conversation that resonated, an insight that recently occurred, or even a second-hand story of a friend-of-a-friend... anything that made a difference. If you have an interest in common... history, or music, or fishing, or airplanes, or cooking, or being Mr-Fixit around the house... any small-talk can be a conversation opener and springboard to segue into the planned sharing. If you share something, he may share something.

    Before broaching the subject of a parent's path in life, be aware that for many parents embracing who they are may be delayed or deferred indefinitely once a child is in the picture. Indeed, who they are may be forever changed. The sense of duty and obligation to provide for the physical needs of children, and contribute to their spiritual, social, emotional, and mental health may be an overwhelming responsibility... taken on at a relatively young age. Prioritizing family may spur one on to demonstrate a strong work ethic and dedication to a job or career which is noticeably less than ideal and far removed from developing one's potential in other areas. Exploring various careers, or pursuing self-actualization may wait until one is an empty-nester... and may wait even longer if time/energy/health do not permit attention to concurrent projects and/or if funds do not permit early retirement. Sometimes dreams may provide important benefits of diversion and mental exercise even if they are not actively pursued. That said, being a parent can provide a sense of fulfillment, of doing meaningful work, of having an important role, of belonging... without which there can be a void which some may strive to fill by seeking meaningful work in a job or career.

    I may have belabored my point, but it was not without intention: Prepare yourself to consider that your dad may have had (or still has) great hopes and dreams but these may have been set aside or put on hold for love of you (and siblings, if this applies). Don't be surprised if you learn he weighed his options and prioritized his resources toward meeting your needs to the best of his ability, rather than focusing on his own. Understand that it can take a lifetime to master one's feelings about the road not taken, even though one is sure they made the best decision, given the circumstances. Put another way, one may still experience bouts of negative thoughts/emotions such as defensiveness, regret, loss, inferiority, or failure, if perceived as being critiqued for not having developed certain neglected aspects of potential. Especially if pointed out by a child for whom the sacrifice was made, as it may sound as though the child is judging the parent as less-than for not being able to do it all, or is ungrateful... either of which may suggest the parent made the wrong choice, thereby adding insult to injury.

    Neither of you ought to feel badly about deferred dreams; from his vantage point of years he can relish his dreams and yet feel proud for having prioritized family to the best of his ability, you can appreciate the sacrifice often made by parents. Even in having different life paths, goals, financial budgets, and timing, you can both affirm and validate each other.

    Some old sayings:
    1) Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.
    2) Happiness is a choice.
    3) Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

    #247494 - 08/25/20 04:01 AM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    Platypus101 Offline

    Registered: 10/01/14
    Posts: 675
    Loc: Canada
    You might find the Rainforest Mind blog of interest. Perhaps there is a post in here that speaks to you, that you could share with your father as something *you* could relate too? Talking about your own experiences might be an easier starting place than directly asking about his.

    #247519 - 09/02/20 12:50 PM Re: Career/taking control of my life at 26 [Re: raphael]
    raphael Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 06/23/20
    Posts: 27
    @Indigo: wonderful answer, thanks a lot!

    Btw, I am impressed and thankful for the depth of vocabulary I am being confronted with here wink.

    "Especially if pointed out by a child for whom the sacrifice was made, as it may sound as though the child is judging the parent as less-than for not being able to do it all, or is ungrateful... either of which may suggest the parent made the wrong choice, thereby adding insult to injury."

    Thanks for this very valid point.

    I also tend to have thoughts like "he would have been a better father if he had felt more fulfilled as a person". Your comments help me to understand that, even if I might be right, it is absolutely not something that I should expose to him, directly or subliminally. He did the best he could with what he had, I am quite certain of that.

    For the rest:

    My dad was indeed rather young (25) - for today's standards, when he had his first child.
    I have had and still have more opportunities for self-actualization and self-development than he has had - also thanks to him.
    In a way, I sense some unfairness or inequity in him providing me with opportunities that he didn't get.
    But that probably is how life works, and one of the main purposes we have - providing future generations with better means of living, or prevent deterioriation.
    I can make him proud if I manage to turn all that he gave to me into a good life, and I will have plenty of opportunities and ways to give back.

    @Platypus: thanks for sharing the blog with me, it is very interesting smile

    Edited by raphael (09/03/20 03:38 AM)

    Page 2 of 5 < 1 2 3 4 5 >

    Moderator:  M-Moderator 
    Recent Posts
    False positives in giftedness identification
    by MumOfThree
    Today at 07:50 PM
    Study of Exceptional Talent suspends new members
    by MumOfThree
    Today at 07:28 PM
    A potential new approach to college debt...?
    by timeout
    Today at 05:10 PM
    Min time gap required between the WPPSI and WISC?
    by aeh
    Yesterday at 10:20 AM
    science & engineering toys for young kids
    by aeh
    Yesterday at 08:59 AM
    Davidson Institute Twitter