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Programs Not sure which science major to study

  1. Jan 26, 2017 #1
    I'm 19 years old and I started studying physics but didn't find myself interested in it, mostly because of personal reasons and the fact that I strongly dislike programming (perhaps because of strict teachers regarding acceptance).

    I'm not really sure what to do at this point, I dropped out and I really want to study Science but I do not know which type of science is right for me. I do have the chance of starting over with physics after summer with a guaranteed slot or I could choose another program such as Marine Science.

    Here's a list of subjects I like/dislike:

    Chemistry - Strongly dislike
    Programming - Somewhat dislike
    Biology - I only like marine science (not much about the human body)
    Physics - Mixed, I like studying physics but I don't like the difficulty. Makes me stressed.
    Mathematics - I'm ok with it as long as I'm reading it with something else such as physics.

    So what science is most suitable for me? For some reason I'm only interested in Marine Science at this point, maybe because I think the ocean and it's creatures are very interesting. I also like Physics but solely for learning, I don't like the difficulty associated with it, especially since I'm procrastinating a lot.

    It's sort of odd since in my spare time I do not do anything related to these subjects (only play video games) so it's hard for me to tell what I might like. Any advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 26, 2017 #2
    It's very difficult to advise you, because you sound very unsure of your future. Sure, you mention marine science, but how do you know you'd be interested in that once you really do it formally, just like physics.

    What are your goals for after university? Maybe you should choose something based on that? Or maybe you should be looking at something other than science? Engineering maybe? Or something entirely different. Or maybe you should do some fulltime job for a while until you actually figure out your future.
  4. Jan 26, 2017 #3
    To me, it sounds as though you really like the idea of studying science, but not so much actually studying science.
  5. Jan 26, 2017 #4


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    Why Science? Why any Science?
    You have not studied enough of them to make a decision. Study the introductory level of several/most/all of them and then you could decide. One of the problems with introductory stuff is that the courses do not always take you too deeply into the subject.

    If you think about Biology, do you believe (if you study far into it enough) you would want to do some biological research? Microbiology field? Botany field? Maybe a change in direction toward Health Sciences?

    Whatever you choose in sciences, you will almost surely need at least 1 year (college level) of Calculus + Analytical Geometry, and more courses in Math would be good, too, if not required.
  6. Jan 27, 2017 #5
    That is probably true. What should I do about that?

    I really want to study science because it's interesting but the idea of studying as you said is not something I enjoy at all. Maybe it's because of procrastination or my depression, not really sure but for some reason I have always like science since a couple of years ago, only started to lose interest as my health got worse.

    Any advice?
  7. Jan 27, 2017 #6
    You will need to take 4 semesters of Chemistry to succeed in Marine Science or any other Biology.

    Success in most areas means figuring out how to succeed in a bunch of classes you do not like with patience and perseverance until you have finished all those courses and can focus on classes you do like.
  8. Jan 27, 2017 #7


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    Go major in Art History or something, and read science books as a hobby.

  9. Jan 27, 2017 #8


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    I believe you should postpone any decision about what area to study until you deal with health issues first. Try to see a psychiatrist and get depression addressed -- depression is a serious mental illness, but with appropriate treatment can be managed.
  10. Jan 27, 2017 #9


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    ZapperZ, if you had read more closely into the OP's posts, he/she states that he/she's suffering from depression, a serious medical condition. Until that issue is somehow dealt with, none of us here can give good advice on what future direction the OP can take.

    I recommend that this thread be closed.
  11. Jan 27, 2017 #10


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    Don't go back to school, go join the Navy or Air-force, after you do four/six years there you'll know what you want more.
  12. Jan 27, 2017 #11


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    Really, you have not studied enough of the various science courses yet. Do them, and you will make a better decision. Understand that the introductory courses do not take you very deeply into those subjects and that the more you go beyond the introduction level courses, the better you know how you like each. The Bio area - not usually as much Math needed, but you need to be comfortable with things that are messy and you must deal with diversity and classifications. The Phys and Chem area - you will use more Math but it gives you better structure to learn to handle. Engineering - if you believe you are more interested in designing things, but still requires some study in the physical sciences.
  13. Jan 30, 2017 #12


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    With all due respect, really? That's your advice to the OP? :confused:

    Do you honestly think that the US military (Navy or Air Force) would accept a candidate with mental health issues?

    See my post #9 earlier.
  14. Jan 30, 2017 #13
    Well why don't you start learning them in your spare time? get to know more about them.

    Thats what I did and I hated maths and now I study it in my free time! something I never imagined I would do (never imagined I would be studying anything in my free time)! :D You are still young and its right to be confused. College sometimes becomes more about passing exams rather than learning, and as one very wise poster above said you will often find yourself in classes you dislike but have to get through anyway, you can still pass with great marks if you work hard enough. I think college is a lot about persistence. Depression can be managed if you get help and work through the issues. I don't believe you dislike science, I think you've not studied it enough to know what you like, also its best not to let past experiences get so deeply imprinted on ones self image...eg a bad performance on one exam doesn't mean you are low intelligence or incapable. I have failed plenty to know, college is really about persistence, a lot of people of below average intelligence pass through and do well, some only know how and care to pass exams. Im saying cause it seems like you might struggle with low self esteem, for unnecessary reasons.Depression: Try to get help and find the reasons for it..
    Solving problems shouldn't be stressful, you should try to enjoy the process so you don't get stressed. All problems can more or less be solved if you learn enough I guess. Each problem is an opportunity to grow. I have a small mental list of all math problems I could not solve, and it gets bigger every day.
    Depression is pretty common, I would say its normal for me.

    I stopped playing video games though, I wasted too many hours in them. Its better to try and learn something new and relevant everyday. they actually make you more depressed, as I was playing them instead of studying or bettering myself. Thats the "odd" feeling you mentioned, the guilt I guess. Everything in moderation.
    I think its not so strange for any 19 year old to be occasionally depressed, the pressure at that age, finding yourself, living up to parents and families expectations etc etc. Its a tough time. I feel your advice was good, if the depression is bad enough op should try and work on it. I was in the same situation, there are plenty of others. However, someone who is depressed may not make the best choices, and would be negative towards themselves and their true abilities.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2017
  15. Jan 30, 2017 #14


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    Have you ever served? Mental illness is a prerequisite. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, when people say they have depression versus having depression diagnosed by a psychiatrists is two different things. OP has probably never seen a doctor. He just sounds lazy and unsure about what he wants to do in the future. Two things the military is good at fixing.
  16. Jan 31, 2017 #15


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    I have not personally served, but have a number of cousins who have (in the US Army, Navy, and the Coast Guard -- one of my cousins served in Iraq, part of a group that saw active service in Fallujah).

    I'm sure you were kidding in the second half of your statement above, but I'm pretty confident that the US military (who have sent home candidates with a mere heart murmur) will not accept a potential recruit with a known history of mental illness.

    You and I have no idea the state or history of the OP's mental health, or whether he/she has sought medical attention for this. So your dismissive attitude about depression in particular, and mental health in particular is frankly unwarranted.

    As far as military service is concerned, I'm sure that's an option that is open to him/her depending on the state of his/her health, but neither that, nor attending college/university, should be a decision that he OP should take in haste before those medical issues are addressed.
  17. Jan 31, 2017 #16
    If you take up some discipline, you have to be sure you like it enough to do what it takes to get there, even if that means doing a bunch of stuff you don't like along the way. Not liking studying a subject isn't the same as not liking the subject, although it can feel that way.

    I've always told people I don't have a love of learning, but I have a love of having learned something.

    -Dave K
  18. Jan 31, 2017 #17
    Anyone with a diagnosed mood disorder (or any mental illness for that matter) is disqualified from joining the military. Joining the military is not going fix such an illness in the same way that joining the military will not fix cancer. I agree with Bipolar Demon and Stat Guy; please get help for your depression. It has a strong potential to spiral into a mess if not treated and avolition is not uncommon with these disorders.

    In addition to what others have said, community college is an option. It is inexpensive and you can take introductory courses for many subjects. Do take care of yourself, though. Your studying will be more productive.
  19. Feb 1, 2017 #18
    It is important to know whats going on, and doctors can help, but medicines can also make it worse. I would recommend avoiding them unless you absolutely have to, I was given a quite strong medicine that made me sleep for 16 hours and more everyday, they refused to change it so I stopped taking all of it and am now totally medicine free for some time now. The first medicines they gave me made me very energetic. So both combinations failed. Quite frankly this suggestion to get on pills may be uneeded for you, and opening this door is a lot of trial and error and damage to your body.

    When I say "get help" I don't mean that I don't think you can help yourself, one must believe in himself and not in pills. Sadly only you can help yourself get out of depression and the methods will depend on you, but one must be careful, there is no single magic cure and it takes time.

    I don't know you and you gave very little details, so its hard to be helpful. I blame my not so good past and terrible childhood. Sometimes we make ourselves depressed, through overthinking and not doing enough. I am sure you can join the business of organised killing (military) and do whatever you want in life, and be good at it too, good luck.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
  20. Feb 1, 2017 #19
    Guess I will just try to get rid of my mental illness somehow and it should be fine, LEARNING physics/maths is really fun, the problem I had was the difficulty accompanied with doing so, part of that is probably because I didn't invest the time necessary in order to learn it mostly because of my health. The only part I really didn't like was programming, very tedious as a beginner and the teachers demanded we did all questions (about 30) correctly else we had to retake the course, didn't really give me a good impression of how university was which might have been a contributing factor for me leaving.

    I will give it another try and this time deal with my personal issues beforehand, I made the mistake of going to university immediately after high school without any thoughts as to why I'm doing so and without making a proper assessment of my mental health which I have had issues with for many years. I'm grateful to all the supportive people here!
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