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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on College Major

    Hi guys. I've been wondering about something for awhile now, and I thought I might as well throw the question here and see what some of the thoughts are. I'm trying to determine what I'd like to major in in college, and if I even have the ability to major in certain fields.

    During my freshman year, I wanted to be a journalist. I was enthralled in journalism and knew that I'd be a writer someday... about a year ago, that aspiration fell away and I'm finding myself interested in a wide variety of topics from philosophy, biotechnology, liberal arts, and economics. Because of this, it's almost a given that I'll double major.

    But I'm concerned about one thing: My high school courses don't reflect any real interest in science. I've usually gotten in the B range, sometimes A range for in all of my science courses, but I've never taken any course outside of those required. That's because for the better half of my high school career I found science to be dull and boring. How much will this hinder my ability to major in something like biotechnology or another field of science?

    Thanks for any thoughts!
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchaffinOSX View Post
    Hi guys. I've been wondering about something for awhile now, and I thought I might as well throw the question here and see what some of the thoughts are. I'm trying to determine what I'd like to major in in college, and if I even have the ability to major in certain fields.

    During my freshman year, I wanted to be a journalist. I was enthralled in journalism and knew that I'd be a writer someday... about a year ago, that aspiration fell away and I'm finding myself interested in a wide variety of topics from philosophy, biotechnology, liberal arts, and economics. Because of this, it's almost a given that I'll double major.

    But I'm concerned about one thing: My high school courses don't reflect any real interest in science. I've usually gotten in the B range, sometimes A range for in all of my science courses, but I've never taken any course outside of those required. That's because for the better half of my high school career I found science to be dull and boring. How much will this hinder my ability to major in something like biotechnology or another field of science?

    Thanks for any thoughts!
    It isn't going to be much of an issue since you've taken basic biology and chemistry. If you want to be a bit better prepared you can pick up some AP biology and chemistry study books (like Barron's/Cliffs) (or your schools current AP textbooks if you can find them for cheap.

    I'm also fairly certain you will likely get some qualification tests (could be before or after orientation) over the summer before you enter college to see what classes you will start out in for math/science prereqs.

    Be aware though, the college classes won't be easy since they are designed to weed people out (and learning in a class lecture of 150+ isn't so easy).

    The higher the classes go, the harder the coursework will likely be.

    The math classes you've taken can determine how hard the major will be for you.

    You are going to have to take a basic calculus course, and perhaps several more advanced math courses for most science or engineering majors.

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    Don't EVER major in something that bores you. I tried Earth science and changed it because I found some things interesting but over all it was dull dull dull. I'm not really doing a major because I want a specific job, I'm going by what I enjoy. I'm a history major and enjoy that stuff a lot. There are a few classes on the Inca, Aztec and Maya that I really want to take.

    You can ALWAYS change you major. Take some intro classes and if you like it take more. If it turns out you don't like it then you simply don't have to take it. That's my advice. Take intro classes, get a feel for the subject and then you can decide.

    I'm doing History and maybe this Environmental science minor. I'm taking what I enjoy and I would say you should do the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MATRIX 2 View Post
    It isn't going to be much of an issue since you've taken basic biology and chemistry. If you want to be a bit better prepared you can pick up some AP biology and chemistry study books (like Barron's/Cliffs) (or your schools current AP textbooks if you can find them for cheap.

    I'm also fairly certain you will likely get some qualification tests (could be before or after orientation) over the summer before you enter college to see what classes you will start out in for math/science prereqs.

    Be aware though, the college classes won't be easy since they are designed to weed people out (and learning in a class lecture of 150+ isn't so easy).

    The higher the classes go, the harder the coursework will likely be.

    The math classes you've taken can determine how hard the major will be for you.

    You are going to have to take a basic calculus course, and perhaps several more advanced math courses for most science or engineering majors.
    I'm going to continue looking into biotech. I think that if I take a genuine interest in it, I'll be more than willing to put in the time and effort necessary to succeed in it. But it definitely will be an uphill battle for awhile, granted for the majority of my education I've completely disliked math and science and haven't been particularly brilliant in either field.

    But I think the biggest aspect of this for me is if I take a genuine interest into the major or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchaffinOSX View Post
    I'm going to continue looking into biotech. I think that if I take a genuine interest in it, I'll be more than willing to put in the time and effort necessary to succeed in it. But it definitely will be an uphill battle for awhile, granted for the majority of my education I've completely disliked math and science and haven't been particularly brilliant in either field.

    But I think the biggest aspect of this for me is if I take a genuine interest into the major or not.
    You'll do fine in your major. I hated math and sciences as a high school student. Mainly because I was a high school student, I didn't care much about school at all, I just wanted to have fun. I was more or less a B-/C+ student in both Math and Sciences. Currently I'm doing electrical engineering, something which I thought I wouldn't even be capable of, and I'm definitely enjoying it. Higher level math courses are actually really easy in my opinion. I'm enjoying calculus, something which I never thought would be possible back when I was in high school. You should have to take up to calculus 1 at the very least in that major I would assume, which is actually an easy class.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xelios View Post
    You'll do fine in your major. I hated math and sciences as a high school student. Mainly because I was a high school student, I didn't care much about school at all, I just wanted to have fun. I was more or less a B-/C+ student in both Math and Sciences. Currently I'm doing electrical engineering, something which I thought I wouldn't even be capable of, and I'm definitely enjoying it. Higher level math courses are actually really easy in my opinion. I'm enjoying calculus, something which I never thought would be possible back when I was in high school. You should have to take up to calculus 1 at the very least in that major I would assume, which is actually an easy class.
    Appreciate the input man. Definitely encouraging.
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    To be honest, I wouldn't major in something I'm not good in or I don't enjoy. If you're not good at science and biology classes and you don't even like them, it's best not to major in a science field.

    If I were you, I would look at what I like and what I am good at and the pay and outlook of that field.

    Here's a big tip: Use your financial aid wisely. Federal aid, if you qualify, only pays for so many hours and then you have to pay out of pocket.

    If you want to major in journalism, go for it. However, I would do some research about it and look at the cons and pros of it. You don't want to jump in and change your major after a year or a semester.

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    And another thing, if you have trouble deciding on a major, do not hesitate to see a counselor or shadow someone to see what it's like.

    Just do some research and ask around. You'll find something good.

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    Personally, go into something you think you will enjoy as a career after you get done with school. Try not to picture the grand scenario that isn't likely, but the average scenario of what you will be doing in each job before you move up. If you don't like the job that fits your major, your probably aren't very likely to be in the same field as your major. Then consider what type of demand the private sector will have for that career moving forward, what type of compensation it has, etc.

    Honestly, I wouldn't just consider how good you are at something RIGHT NOW, if you can see yourself being satisfied with the actual career field for decades after you are done with school and making the kind of compensation that you expect/need to make to support the lifestyle you want, go for it. Me personally, I would not enjoy a journalism job, but I could see myself being all wrapped up in biotech even though the college degree path for biotech would be much more difficult, the demand is MUCH higher (I assume) and it would be very rewarding to me personally.

    I did a business management degree because I plan on running a business, it gave me a good solid foundation. At the time I wasn't sure which business I wanted to run, so the BA was a good path forward. Now, if I wanted to run a biotech company, it might be best to start out with a biotech degree and follow that up with an MBA.... there's more than one way to do it. Just do what you see yourself being satisfied with on multiple levels and you will be good to go.
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    Doesnt matter what you do as long as you complete it because at the end of the day alot of grad students with degrees and honours etcend up stackings shelves at walmart for a few years.

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    I'm a liberal arts man through and through. Two weeks away from dual degrees in poly sci and history. I can tell you from my experiences...you will write papers in liberal arts classes. Usually 12-15 pagers for 300 lvl classes and 20-25 for 400 lvls. My thesis is 80. If you want to write it's a good major choice. My only advice is stay away from journalism...they teach you how to write news stories which are basically at a 5th grade lvl or for public consumption. Real majors write for academics so you actually improve your skills, not dumb them down for a mass public.

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    Need to see how the institution ribs the degree you want as well. I do history and all my modules are chosen by me, but at some institutions there are more compulsory modules or the entire course is set

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    drop out and be an "artist" that basically liberal arts


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    Quote Originally Posted by Funeralfog View Post
    drop out and be an "artist" that basically liberal arts
    You have no idea what liberal arts are do you. Artist is fine arts. Liberal arts are the social sciences and humanities...history, pyschology, poly sci, international relations etc.

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    So glad to see some discussion in here. I can't tell you how much this advice helps me.

    I think I miscommunicated some things, though. Throughout my high school career, I haven't enjoyed science, this is true. But I think that's something I'm beginning to outgrow and something that was only true because, at the time, I saw no practical reason to care about science and because it's just a high school course that ultimately had nothing to do with where (I thought) I'd go. I think that I could really get enthralled in biotech and it could become a great passion of mine. Biotech is a field that is only going to grow, and the things that can be done with biotech could lead to some of the most profound discoveries in human history if you ask me. I really think it's something I'd enjoy and I think I'd have a hand in pushing forth a field that could change the world. As technology improves, so does biotech.

    As for journalism, that was my old dream. After having taken newspaper, I agree, it doesn't really help me improve my writing and I'm not finding it to be very enjoyable. Like I said in the OP, I'm considering a double major. Might go with Biotech and Philosophy or Liberal Arts.

    Difficult decisions!
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    I don't advise double majoring, Biotech is a HARD BUTT major. But hey, it's all in what you want to do. If you think you handle Biotech AND something else, go for it.

    Whatever you do, we support you. We wish you luck and success.

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    If biotech is where it's at for you, no matter how hard it is, do it. You are going to spend at least 4 years of your life doing this, it's not something you can just go back and change easily, so try to get it right the first time and think about what you will have a long term passion for and what will support you and your family. If you can get the monetary returns and do something you are passionate about, it's a win win!
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    I really advise a double major. If you dont have a minor, you can easily ge two degrees. You college will require a number of credits anyway and cor curriculum stuff will apply to both. Its very achievable and you wont have to take more than 18 credits a semester.

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