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Dropping My Math Major

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  • Thread starter TruthSeeker
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  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

Should I take a proof based linear algebra course this summer? I'm afraid if I take it and don't do well in it, then my already low GPA(failed geology) will get lower. If I don't take it then I will have to drop the math major, as I will not be able to graduate on time. Also if I don't take it, I can take other classes that will increase my GPA. High GPA means law school(no other choice). I don't even know if I want to be a lawyer. I'm lost, please help me make a decision.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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It seems you are worried about your GPA. Be aware that Math proofs can get very abstract and that you probably aren't prepared for them from things you learned in highschool in say Geometry. Before Linear Algebra you should have taken a set theory course and learned the beginnings of how to prove things.

@fresh_42 can probably give you a better understanding of this.

My suggestion is to take the courses that will improve your GPA and I think other opportunities will open up. As you take more courses, you will get a better understanding of your interests and skills.

Also, becoming a Lawyer is not so bad, they use logic and strategy and some math and science too. Some lawyers specialize in patents and so must have some understanding of math and science, others involved in Oil might need a geology background...
 
  • #3
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Should I take a proof based linear algebra course this summer? I'm afraid if I take it and don't do well in it, then my already low GPA(failed geology) will get lower.
From your other thread, your grade in Calc 3 isn't helping much, either.

If I don't take it then I will have to drop the math major, as I will not be able to graduate on time.
This doesn't seem to be a good reason to drop your major.

Also if I don't take it, I can take other classes that will increase my GPA. High GPA means law school(no other choice). I don't even know if I want to be a lawyer. I'm lost, please help me make a decision.
I don't understand this. Why does "high GPA" equate to law school? Especially since you don't want to be a lawyer.

I'm not sure we can give you any useful advice. The direction you want to go should be based on what you would like to do as a career. An online community such as PF doesn't know much about you, so we are not likely to be able to give meaningful advice. Is there a guidance counselling center at your school? That's where I would look for advice. They might be able to give you some kind of test to see what your aptitudes are and what kinds of things you like to do.
 
  • #4
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I agree with what @Mark44 has said. The description of what should be an optimization problem is quite confusing. A decision tree of possible ways could help here. You write down all possible ways starting at "take linear algebra this summer" and continue with all successive decisions which will have to be made and where it will lead you. Then you can equip every vertex with a probability and calculate the cumulative probability of each path through the tree. This would be an economic approach to the problem. There are still assumptions to be made about your personal risk aversion to finally find the optimal path. However, I've experienced, that those trees often yield results which might be optimal in some sense, but not necessarily pleasant, which brings you back to what you really like and what not.

Curiosity and interest are in my opinion by far more important than grades, will say, grades should automatically improve if you deal with subjects you're interested in and the other way around. Also, you haven't mentioned your general goals, except that you don't like legal science. It's hard to tell from outside. There are so many factors which rule in, that it is almost impossible. A counselor or mentor at school will probably be the better address.

A drop-out is always a restart, too, and there is no guarantee that things will change to the better, even if it short-term might look like it. The same old ghosts will usually still accompany you. This means it's better to confront the causes than to deal with the effects. But the causes cannot be tackled on the internet.
 
  • #5
Aufbauwerk 2045
I see someone has put out a cry for help, so I will try to help if I can.

I learned a technique for making decisions that has helped me very much. It's called 'backward planning."

First, decide on a realistic goal you hope to achieve. Make it as specific as possible. Write it down.

Now think of the very last step before you actually achieve your goal. Write that down.

Then think of the step before that. Write that down. And so on.

Basically, you are making a sort of flowchart, but in reverse. If you do it right, you will end up where you are today. Now you have a step by step plan to achieve that goal. Start from where you are, and follow the plan to your goal.

The reason this works is because you start with the goal. That is the basis for everything else. If you start from where you are, without that specific goal in mind, it is much harder. In fact, if you don't have a specific goal, you have no basis for doing anything.

The worst thing is indecision. You must decide what you want to achieve. If it is realistic, then you should be able to devise a plan, using the method I just described.


P.S.

Here's something I just remembered. A few years ago, I was in a real crisis. I had spent many years studying physics and other STEM subjects at university. I had worked in industry. But I was not satisfied, and wondered if I had chosen the wrong sort of work. Should I be a lawyer? How about going into finance? Should I start my own business? What kind of business? etc etc etc.

So I took a very detailed aptitude test. Basically you answer all kinds of questions, and it figures out based on your honest answers what line of work is best for you.

The answer for me was I was best suited for working in science and technology. Computer programming seemed to be a particular feature of my interests. Then I realized I had certain abilities and interests, and I was stuck with them. This helped me a lot.

So maybe, in your situation, you may consider taking a very good aptitude test, to give you an objective look at yourself.
 
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