When I was 21, I graduated from college without really having any clue as to what I wanted to do with the next 60 years of my life.
Though I had no interest in it whatsoever, I found myself that Fall at the Dental School at Columbia University in the City of New York. I figured though I wasn't dying to be a dentist, it's good, steady work that pays fairly well. Further, dentists rarely work late, so I reckoned I could earn a good living and still have time leftover to pursue my true interests: to write my novel, to play basketball in the park with my friends and to take my long and solitary walks in and around New York.
Dental school was tough. I was never particularly adept at biology and my skills in chemistry ran to the more theoretical than experimental. Nevertheless, though I constantly mixed up incisors and bicuspids, I graduated from dental school--a newly minted dentist--in late Spring on 1983.
Suffice it to say, I quickly found that practicing dentistry wasn't for me. One patient of mine--he was the Executive Creative Director at Lowe and also needed a lot of dental work, took a liking to me. Without me even having to put a book together he offered me a junior copywriter job. I resisted for a while, but eventually hung up my drill and took the position.