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Can I study mathematics?

  1. Feb 22, 2015 #1

    This might be an unusual question, but I'm 20 years old and I really want to study mathematics ; however, I currently am studying for a baccalaureate in law, and I am currently in my second year. Problem is : I absolutely hate law, and wish I had never entered the program in the first place, although it wasn't purely my choice (my parents pushed me towards it). I simply dislike it, and my GPA is very bad (3.0), it is barely above the average (2.7), and all my grades are all currently around C+ and B-, because I can't study anything. Every time I try to get my head around reading the material, I feel like I am wasting my time, and I end up instead reading math books.

    I know my GPA is pretty poor, but is it still possible for me to apply for a baccalaureate in mathematics? If I drop out, will they simply see me as a ''failure'' and can the GPA I currently have in law affect any future studies I might do? Also, am I too old to start studying mathematics, is it too late?

    Moreover, I am uncertain to have the correct requirements. I studied in Québec (and wish to study in Ontario), and there we have a system called Cégep - a thing between high school and university -, where we do the basic university courses (Politics 101, chemistry of solutions, introduction to Philosophy, etc.), but because of the program I was in I was unable to complete two mathematical courses needed to enter university in Québec in mathematics (integral calculus and linear algebra), although I did learn about them on my own. However, these courses aren't listed as requirements in universities in the rest of Canada or the UK, and instead have them as courses ; does this mean that I have the requirements to apply there? Also, if I can, since most universities only offer majors, does anyone know if I can get any courses I had in Cégep credited?

    Thanks for any information that might be helpful.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 22, 2015 #2
    I don't know what your university's system is or the rest of Canada or UK, but normally, at most universities in the US, it would be no problem to change your major to math.

    I don't know why you would think you are too old. I am one of the people who advocates getting an early start, but I think that has more to do with spreading things out and not having to learn and do as much in a short time period, more than it has to do with age, at least as far as my own philosophy is concerned (and my own philosophy may be biased towards combating my particular difficulties that I had in studying math in hindsight). I think starting at a later age might even be an advantage if allows you to get a head start on some of the material before you are moved along officially in the career track.
  4. Feb 24, 2015 #3


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    At 20 years old, you are certainly young enough to get off that train and get into an honorable profession. I also suggest you take a career aptitude exam (not sure of its actual name, they are even available via the web) which can help guide you to selecting a career that you will more likely enjoy.

    Law is often portrayed on TV as glamorous and certainly can pay well (for the successfully employed lawyer), but here in the USA, lawyers are often unemployed or underemployed. They often have to work from the bottom and have long hours of boring research (and not fun research, but legal research).

    You are actually in a crossroads where you may need a bit more time to decide which career to chase after. Take some math and science classes, but look inward at yourself before you jump into another deep pond that you may not like either. Talk to a counselor about yourself and what your likes and dislikes are. You can get excellent advice from a disinterested person who isn't biased by what you or especially your family thinks is best.
  5. Mar 7, 2015 #4
    You can, definitely. Remember, It is never too late to do something. No matter how old you are, you can do anything by simply just following your heart. What you need to do is to be clear your mind and know what you like. I have a friend who found out that math is very interesting at when he is 40 years old just because one of his friends brought him to a math seminar. He is now almost finish his master and at the process of applying his PHD program. Trust yourself you can do it.
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