Well, I finally worked up the nerve to ask this! Let's see how this goes..
Hrm, bit of a background to start. For a while now, I've wanted to work with language. It's one of those things that I like trying to figure out, and I have a thing for the flow / sounds of other languages. (just as an example, my current music playlist contains at least 12 languages, as I recall).
Now, seemed like a rather easy thing to get into working with - Go join the navy, work in translations! All done, I get to learn a new language or two, work with languages, and perhaps travel a bit. All of which are things I'd like to do.
To add another thing in, I have an issue with learning the languages. It isn't that I can't figure them out (I've picked up a decent amount of german purely from music. Not enough to converse in, but to figure out what the occasional line means? Sure.), it's that in trying to teach myself, I worry that, to put it one way, I'm learning it "Wrong". And that I'll look like/sound like an idiot should I ever try to use that. Or just be unable to learn it the "right" way when that comes along. So, that was another reason I liked the thought of learning within the military. Very strict/structured education works better for me than a laid back one.
Now, the issue with the military? Well, swimming right before a hearing test, compounded with having a hole in your eardrum you didn't know about, is a generally bad idea. Failing your hearing test 4 times? Yeah, they don't really like that. I got surgery to fix it, proved my hearing was perfectly fine, and they still denied me. So, that's out. And thus goes any real idea of what to do - I never really looked into what I could learn in a college. Thus, I am here.
So far, while trying to figure out things I could do, I've only come up with two ideas - to either learn a language or two and figure out who other than the military uses translators, or teach.
And to throw another curve at you, see the "Travel" part earlier. It's been a dream of mine for ages longer than I've wanted to learn a language to move out of the country. This is probably pointless, but ..It's just a quirk of mine. I have my reasons, which are my own, but that's another thing I'd like to figure out. Now, I have friends scattered around Europe, and in talking with a russian friend, I learned that most of her english teachers were pretty much "traveling" teachers. Though, I'd honestly be happy with just finding one place, that does sound interesting.
So, (I really like starting sentences with 'so' when I am sleepy, it seems) my question is simple! I came to the only real "Linguistics" forum I know of (which, to be honest, I just noticed was here a little while ago), to ask of you. "What the hell do I want my major to be?" To teach English (Guess it'd be English as a second language) somewhere ..else, or for translation services, or, hell, whatever is suggested.
I was considering just majoring in Russian (the one I'm most interested in learning at this time, followed shortly by German), but I'm unsure what that really lines me up for.
Generally I'm told "Go Engineering" or things to that point if I ask about college, but I'm not the biggest math person, so I never liked that idea.
There's the "Linguistics" degree, as well, but I'm also unsure what that entails as far as a career. Interesting to study, most likely, but what exactly would I do, if anything? Teaching seems like the "Safest" bet as far as getting a job, and I admit, it seems like an interesting proposition to teach English (or attempt to), in a different (non-english speaking) country. But, again, the issue is "I really have no clue what degree I want or need for that."
And to throw in a secondary question - If anyone has ever had the same "Fear" of learning a language "incorrectly" by trying to do it themselves. Any tips on how to get over that? I have bought books for learning, and I even taught myself cyrillic, but once it got into actual words, I tend to start making excuses to not pick it up, simply due to a fear I'm going to sound like an idiot if I teach myself. Considering I have an upcoming trip to russia in a couple of months, would be nice to not look like quite the stupid American tourist, and perhaps be able to at least introduce myself, or something to that point.
Anyone able to help with this? Would appreciate it greatly, as I'm quite lost at this time. Thanks!