Want to pursue chemistry but don't like structures

In summary, the conversation revolves around the speaker's experience in Cegep in Canada, their interest in chemistry and their struggles with understanding atomic structure and chemical bonding in their General Chemistry class. They are considering if there are other branches of chemistry that align with their interests and if further studies in chemistry will involve this aspect. The other person advises them to complete the basics before deciding on a specific area and mentions that organic chemistry is different in terms of structures. They also suggest getting a model kit to better understand the shapes of compounds. The issue with understanding atomic structure and bonding is attributed to the lack of background knowledge and the suggestion is made to wait until a first course in quantum chemistry is completed or to start self-studying.
  • #1
Tyler6
2
3
I'm in Cegep in Canada, which is basically between high school and University. I strongly liked chemistry in the past, and I was very strong. Last semester, our chemistry class was Chemistry of Solutions (covering equilibrium, kinetics, acids-bases, etc), and this semester we have to take General Chemistry, which covers more atom/molecule structure and bonding. I don't like this part as much, and I don't find it as easy or natural to understand. I am told that further in chemistry basically all involves this, I was wondering if this is true or if there's any branch similar to what I like that I can go into?
 
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  • #2
Until you've done the basics: a year of Gen Chem and Organic, it's pretty hard to say which area you like the most or if you are 100% sure about going into chemistry. Organic is an entirely different animal as far as structures.

There are of course areas of chemistry that are more mathematical, but they are a long, long way from algebra. Kinetics and especially thermo is mostly partial differential equations.

Going back to why you don't like the structures. Which part isn't natural? Things want to be as far apart as possible, dipole moments play a part. Maybe look into getting a model kit - it's a good hands on reason as to why many compounds are the shapes they are.
 
  • #3
One of the problem with atomic structure and chemical bonding at the Cegep level is that you don't have the necessary background to understand its origin, and therefore it looks arbitrary and only suited to rote learning. Everything will become clearer when you you have a first course in quantum chemistry. I suggest you try and though it out till then, or start studying it by yourself.
 

Related to Want to pursue chemistry but don't like structures

1. What is chemistry?

Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties, and how it interacts and changes with other substances. It is a broad field that covers everything from the tiniest particles to complex reactions and compounds.

2. What do you mean by "structures" in chemistry?

In chemistry, structures refer to the arrangement of atoms in a molecule or compound. This includes the types of bonds between atoms and their spatial orientation.

3. Why do some people not like studying structures in chemistry?

Structures can be complex and require a lot of memorization and visualization skills. Some people may find this tedious or difficult, which can lead to a dislike for studying structures in chemistry.

4. Are there other branches of chemistry that don't involve structures?

Yes, there are many other branches of chemistry that focus on different aspects of the field. For example, analytical chemistry involves the analysis and identification of substances, while physical chemistry deals with the physical properties and behavior of matter.

5. Can I still pursue a career in chemistry if I don't like structures?

Absolutely! While structures are an important part of chemistry, there are many other areas and applications within the field that may be of interest to you. It's important to find what you enjoy and excel at within the broader field of chemistry.

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