How did you pick a major?

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Hello everyone, I’m having trouble picking a major and looking for advice. I know I want to do something in the science field, but I’m not quite sure what. I enjoy physics, chemistry, math, and psychology so I’m having trouble deciding. I was interested in the medical field but quickly realized that the hospital setting is not for me. I was wondering what others majored in and how difficult it was to find work in your chosen field. I’m 16 and I just started my first year at a local community college. I am currently pursuing an associate in applied science, which is a college transfer degree.

Thank you for your time.
 

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  • #2
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As a kid, I always like science things, and when I took freshman physics (Mechanics), I said, "this is it; this is what I want to do." Then led me to an ME degree. Sixty years later, I'm still studying why/how things move, and I don't see any end in sight.
 
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  • #3
symbolipoint
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Hello everyone, I’m having trouble picking a major and looking for advice. I know I want to do something in the science field, but I’m not quite sure what. I enjoy physics, chemistry, math, and psychology so I’m having trouble deciding. I was interested in the medical field but quickly realized that the hospital setting is not for me. I was wondering what others majored in and how difficult it was to find work in your chosen field. I’m 16 and I just started my first year at a local community college. I am currently pursuing an associate in applied science, which is a college transfer degree.

Thank you for your time.
You are choosing a fair start. At least you know you want something scientific, Mathematics related. Starting with an Associate degree objective in any Science or in Mathematics is good. As you go, you want to narrow to something more specific. Many of the required courses for some science major fields are somewhat the same. The more Mathematics, the better usually.

Figure to decide as you go, which of these seem to be for you:
  • Physics & Engineering
  • Biological - might or might not include studies about food, including food technology
  • Medical - which might be geared later either for the Mind, or physical ailments, or microbial diseases, or other
  • Chemistry
Computer science and computer technology would now be used everywhere and anywhere.
 
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  • #4
symbolipoint
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Hello everyone, I’m having trouble picking a major and looking for advice. I know I want to do something in the science field, but I’m not quite sure what. I enjoy physics, chemistry, math, and psychology so I’m having trouble deciding. I was interested in the medical field but quickly realized that the hospital setting is not for me. I was wondering what others majored in and how difficult it was to find work in your chosen field. I’m 16 and I just started my first year at a local community college. I am currently pursuing an associate in applied science, which is a college transfer degree.

Thank you for your time.
People in my family talked me into choosing a "pre-medical" major (which is not any true specific major field) with the idea or 'target' of trying to go to Medical School; but as I picked a major field for such a route, I found I was not good at Biological things, saw I went further in Chemistry than anything else, and chose Chemistry as a Major and stuck with this because I thought it was 'interesting'.
 
  • #5
gleem
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When I chose physics I had a very narrow view of what the various sciences and engineering disciplines did. If I had more information readily available as you do now I might have chosen a different field. So pay attention to what is going on in science, in industry and the world in general. What are the problems being worked on what are issues of current interest and find the one(s) that pique your interest especially problems that have most recently been identified.
 
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  • #6
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People in my family talked me into choosing a "pre-medical" major (which is not any true specific major field) with the idea or 'target' of trying to go to Medical School; but as I picked a major field for such a route, I found I was not good at Biological things, saw I went further in Chemistry than anything else, and chose Chemistry as a Major and stuck with this because I thought it was 'interesting'.
Thank you for your help. My mom works in the medical field and my dad does a lot work dealing with the mind. They are not pushing me in that direction, but I have been around that kind of work and find it interesting. The problem is I took at biology course last year and I was miserable. I learned a lot of thing that I will never forget but wish I could ?:). However, after saying all of that I still find the psychology portion very interesting.

Physics or chemistry are what I think I am leaning toward. They are two things that have always interested me and I believe I enjoy rather the just something I have become accustomed to.
 
  • #7
symbolipoint
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Thank you for your help. My mom works in the medical field and my dad does a lot work dealing with the mind. They are not pushing me in that direction, but I have been around that kind of work and find it interesting. The problem is I took at biology course last year and I was miserable. I learned a lot of thing that I will never forget but wish I could ?:). However, after saying all of that I still find the psychology portion very interesting.

Physics or chemistry are what I think I am leaning toward. They are two things that have always interested me and I believe I enjoy rather the just something I have become accustomed to.
The misery that you found with Biology, understandable. I would guess you were in maybe just one course other than "introductory biology", maybe been "general biology" and it was not neat. You may find other biological science courses to be better. Took yet an intro Microbiology course? Try yet any Biochemistry course, if you have the prerequisites taken care of?
 
  • #8
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The misery that you found with Biology, understandable. I would guess you were in maybe just one course other than "introductory biology", maybe been "general biology" and it was not neat. You may find other biological science courses to be better. Took yet an intro Microbiology course? Try yet any Biochemistry course, if you have the prerequisites taken care of?
I was in a general biology course. I will look into the intro Microbiology and Biochemistry courses, thanks.
 
  • #9
symbolipoint
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I was in a general biology course. I will look into the intro Microbiology and Biochemistry courses, thanks.
Yes, that is a good idea. Introductory Microbiology is much more focused than "General Biology", so the focus is more specific. You are introduced to fewer ideas but go a little more deeply. Any first Biochemistry course would only come after having studied courses of General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry - each being a year long course at the college or university level, so you would need to have studied Chemistry for two years before enrolling in a Biochemistry course.
 
  • #11
symbolipoint
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I asked my dad.
The discussions you have given about yourself make me think that asking your dad was not necessary because you seem very inquisitive and more decisive about what you have done and how you would pick and select; that you understood yourself and what potential you could satisfy without asking him.
 
  • #12
cobalt124
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To start with I made all my choices without any career prospects in mind and made choices based more on passion for the subject. My first passion was Astronomy, but my grades and the career advice I was given steered me away from this and (in ignorance) towards Chemical Engineering, which didn't last long. My next passion was Mathematics, but my circumstances and my abilities quickly killed that one off. I settled with Computer Science, I enjoy programming and there is also the theoretical/mathematical side which I am also interested in. Like Dr.D decades later I am still interested and still learning, but only as a hobby and not to any great ability yet (but I'm working on it). I have no regrets at the choice (though I suspect if I'd known about Astrophysics and a course had been available, that might have inspired me to work on my maths more). These choices have nothing to do with my (lack of) career. Follow your passions, if circumstances allow.
 
  • #13
ChemAir
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I asked my dad.
Being that my dad was an engineer, I had natural resistance to being like him. When I graduated high school, despite doing well in calculus, I thought I hated math, so I started out pre-med in a private college that was well-suited toward this. After a year, It was apparent I didn't like biology enough to do it for the years required to get an MD, so I switched to chemistry, knowing I didn't want to be a chemist, either.

It was at that point, that despite my best efforts, I realized I was going to be an engineer. No engineering options were available at the school I had chosen, so I worked with my advisor and we found a couple of chemical engineering grad schools that would place chemists that had all the math and physics with a high enough GRE. Fortunately, I didn't slouch on my math classes. A couple of years and a thesis later, I was a chemical engineer, too.

My path, while logical, could have been better. Interestingly enough, being a chemist and a chemical engineer put me in a more unique category that allowed me more options than just having a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. My odd path through two schools was actually a benefit, not a curse.
 
  • #14
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My major kind of fell into my lap.

Went with something a relative went for, and once I discovered a specific niche within that major I instantly knew I wanted to go in that direction in my career.

Some people choose their majors and sometimes the major chooses you. In my case it was quite literally both.

Good luck!
 
  • #15
Stephen Tashi
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Hello everyone, I’m having trouble picking a major and looking for advice.
.
The title of your thread asks about how people did choose a major, not about how a wise person would have chosen one!

If you are asking for advice about how you ought to choose a major, who knows? There is a sense in which the crucial decisions in life are unimportant. By which, I mean that if we are faced with choices that seem equally attractive or equally bad, picking one or the other usually doesen't matter much in the long run. When we face choices and one particular choice stands out as best, we choose it without being conscious of making a crucial decision.

I’m 16 and I just started my first year at a local community college.
If you were to decide now that you'd major in, say, Astronomy, what effect would that have? Would you buy a telescope? Or is your choice of major just to be a basis for vague plans and daydreams - the kind that most people have?
 
  • #16
symbolipoint
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Fig Neutron wrote:
... I was wondering what others majored in and how difficult it was to find work in your chosen field. I’m 16 and I just started my first year at a local community college. I am currently pursuing an associate in applied science, which is a college transfer degree.
I chose my final choice according to interest in the subject and how far I went academically at the time of choosing. I did not have a clear idea what I wanted to do with it other than find a job in some laboratory.

Did/has ANYONE ever heard of "Applied Science" degree? You are trying for an Associate Degree Transfer Program; but the title of your current degree objective is not specific; so what would you be able to do with a Bachelors degree in "Applied Science"? Are you just being general because you prefer to avoid telling use specifically what is you degree objective on the forum. Is it really one of those "Pre-something" degrees such as Pre-Pharmacy, or Pre-Optometry, or Pre-Engineering, or like that?
 
  • #17
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Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond.

@Stephen Tashi Sorry, I know my title was a little unclear. I hoping to see how others chose a major in hopes that how they chose could help me choose.:smile: I also added that I was looking for advice to let everyone know why I was asking the question and hopefully get some advice too.

@Stephen Tashi I am trying to pick a major to get a bit of a head start and avoid making multiple changes to my major. I would like to make the right choice and be as efficient as possible.

@symbolipoint An applied science degree is a college transfer degree. My college put all of the required general courses together and called it a degree. There isn’t much you can do with the degree by itself, it’s designed to transfer to a 4 year college. I hope this link is helpful.
https://www.sbctc.edu/colleges-staf...nsfer/associate-applied-science-transfer.aspx
 
  • #18
symbolipoint
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Sorry it’s taken me a while to respond.

...

@symbolipoint An applied science degree is a college transfer degree. My college put all of the required general courses together and called it a degree. There isn’t much you can do with the degree by itself, it’s designed to transfer to a 4 year college. I hope this link is helpful.
https://www.sbctc.edu/colleges-staf...nsfer/associate-applied-science-transfer.aspx
Other than the information linked about Washington state, most of us ( as I imagine) never heard of that so called Applied Associates Transfer degree. Still, if it works for you, then continue with it. What it actually does and does not prepare you to do, is not clear. You may as well choose an associate degree in Engineering, or Physics, or Chemistry; or alternatively the official pre-medical, pre-pharmacy, pre-veterinary, pre-optometry or some-such program, set of courses.
 
  • #19
symbolipoint
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Hello everyone, I’m having trouble picking a major and looking for advice. I know I want to do something in the science field, but I’m not quite sure what. I enjoy physics, chemistry, math, and psychology so I’m having trouble deciding. I was interested in the medical field but quickly realized that the hospital setting is not for me. I was wondering what others majored in and how difficult it was to find work in your chosen field. I’m 16 and I just started my first year at a local community college. I am currently pursuing an associate in applied science, which is a college transfer degree.

Thank you for your time.
Any Bachelor of Science program for a Physical Science will typically require approximately the same set of common cross-field courses:
  • Trigonometry, Calculus 1/2/3,
  • Fundamental Physics 1/2/3 (kinematics&mechanics, E&M, "Modern Physics")
  • General Chemistry - two semesters
  • English (two semesters, but lower college level, not remedial)

A few exceptions may apply depending on the major field, either omissions or inclusions.
 

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