Hello everyone! I am a 20 year old student from a country in Latin America. Right now I am studying pure mathematics, you could say, and I am finishing my third year. Let me start by stating that I am really dissatisfied by the path my major has been steering towards during this last year. Groups and rings, analysis, functional analysis (I took this course on advance)... I don't know what to say. These topics have pure beauty within them, and solving problems and really understanding the theory and implications behind them is just thrilling for me. But at the end of the day, I am left with many personal questions, such as: "what the hell is this actually good for?" "Will I ever find this useful in my future professional life?" "I fear I am wasting my time"... and so on. Pure mathematicians don't have much going on for them apart from academia. I don't really know when did I fall in this place. But I know how, let me explain. My background is actually more from physics. I took some university courses in high school: physics I to III, calculus I, chemistry I to II. I was really really good at physics, and I enjoyed it deeply. I even managed to participate and win in international competitions. Then I got into college. I have been dealing with some psychological issues during this time, but before that my low self esteem made me think I had to be good in everything in order to suceed. In order to be a good physicist, I thought I needed to also be a mathematician and an engineer! So I tried to triple major. I finished the first two years of physics and only took a couple of courses from EE. Inertia made me follow the mathematical path, since I was really good at it and the first courses are WAY more challenging and entertaining than the physics ones. But that eventually comes to an end. You need to think in your future career, and also the maths get unboundedly harder and harder. I could go on as a mathematician with lots of effort and a conscious commitment to study and growth in this area. But I don't see the point anymore in a career with so much effort investment yet so marginal options. My head is now in a place to take a better decision. I will probably switch to applied mathematics in order to take advantage of what I have done so far and finish a degree. I will dearly miss the mathematical beauty, I must admit. But it is a really, really unhealthy relationship, haha. I find myself dreading it more for all the reasons exposed than loving it and feeling secure in it. It is a little bit frustrating that when I think of leaving it, I get this feeling of remorse, but I need to think of what is best to me. But that is not what I really want. What I want is to get back into the physical sciences and exploit the biggest talent I have. This could be done in either physics or engineering. My real dream is to study applied physics and work researching and developing something really cool, that has a measurable impact over the world. A career that may benefit from the upcoming technological revolution (nanotechnology, quantum computing, artificial intelligence...), but that may also benefit humanity. In all of this, I feel huge anxiety and fear. Fear that I get stuck in a PhD without a job I love and without a good income. Fear that I will never be able to develop something good. Fear that I waste so much time studying this and that the market for physics majors becomes SO bad (as many people seem to point). Fear that my only option will be to struggle in academia to get a poorly paid job. As an engineer, I would fear not having the education needed to understand some of the complex phenomenons that will govern our future life (such as quantum mechanics), and that I will be stuck in a monotone job, even if good paying. I fear I will regret not going into a more theoretical field, with all of its "beauty". I fear I could be selling myself out to a more common and secure career path... all because of fear! I needed to vent a little bit, but this doesn't seem to stop the confusion, actually. I think I need some advice. Do you think as a physics major (who later goes on to grad school) it is plausible to go into applied physics and have a social mobility similar to an engineer, yet the capability to work in more interesting problems, even more theoretical in the future? I am feeling really confused right now. Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!