I am a rising sophomore at a small liberal arts college, and I've recently come to the realization that, before I move on to graduate school or some office job, I first want to work in some sector of law enforcement or the military. I have a strong desire for excitement and adventure that neither extensive travel nor high level athletic competition seem to fulfill. This lack of satisfaction seems to stem from my not particularly socially acceptable attraction to work of a more combative and dangerous nature. By this I simply mean to convey that the Peace Corps or some similar organization, while certainly exciting and worthwhile, won't really leave me satisfied.
I have a decent amount of time to figure out my path, but the fact that, though I do plan to fully commit myself for a number of years, I don't want to make whatever I choose my lifelong career complicates things.
Ideally I'd like this post-college job to be both physically and intellectually demanding. Unfortunately, what I've gleaned from the little research I've done is that the positions that seem to best fulfill both aspects have age and/or experience requirements. Now, I am certainly willing to pay my dues, but I'd like to minimize the time required to reach my desired position, so I don't begin whatever second line of work I choose too late to achieve much significant success in it.
With such a vast number of options available to me, each with its own specific set of requirements, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and lost. Since I absolutely will not return home upon graduation, I need to have work lined up before school is over. So, I respectfully request your help:
What positions should I look into, and, if I'll have to work my way up to them, where should I start?
I would like to again thank everybody who has shared their insight as I try to figure out what I want to do with my life.
At this point, I think I am most likely to pursue work in civilian law enforcement. I am still, however, a long way from figuring out what, exactly, I want to do and how best to go about it. I would like to do something more "interesting" (read: I don't want to be giving out tickets), but I don't know what organization would best allow me to do this. Am I better off pursing work in the FBI, NSA, a particular police precinct, or something else entirely? The matter is further complicated by the restrictions (e.g., age and experience) that many law enforcement agencies seem to have. Bearing in mind that I would ideally like to begin working immediately out of college (I would rather not have to work some other job for a couple of years beforehand), what should I look into?