I tend to think that we have enough freedom to express our spirit, but not enough to go against the plan of God. That is, He may have fixed certain details of our lives – gender, innate ability, country, culture, etc. – but what we do with these things is up to us. We all have to die at some point, but the real question is: how will we live?
Fate explains to me why certain people are excellent at some things, and others aren’t. There are musicians, for example, who can work magic with their instruments. By studying, I’m sure I could become pretty good, but those people just seem to have a natural “talent” which puts them much further ahead than I will ever reach.
I would say that such people are “fated” with their talent. The question now is: how will they use it? Each person has a different fate, but the task put to all is the same. How we train our heart, and express it within our fate, is the key.
This would mean that there is always enough choice to reveal our true spirit, but not enough to alter God’s plan. It’s a bit like your school situation: You can only choose from a limited number of courses, majors, and degrees. Your heart’s desire is to serve humanity. So it falls upon your freedom of will to choose how you will fulfill that desire given your constraints.
Isn’t all artistic expression the result of the artist going beyond the limitations of his medium? Perhaps fate is the soul’s medium, so that it too can express the beauty of its nature.