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Author Topic: Choosing a Major!
thisonecanbe
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Ugh.. I am having THE hardest time choosing a college major. I am going to Ohio University in Athens. At first I thought I had it all figured out: A major in Computer Science and a minor in Telecommunications. Now I am thinking about doubling in Journalism and Advertising. I really like writing, expressing myself, working with computers, web pages, graphic design.. Grr.. Anyone know of a good field that I should go into that integrates these qualities? I'm about to pull my hair out!

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...i've done all i can do; could i please come with you?


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applet_jacks
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Until you are a junior there is no reason you should have to choose a major at most universities. They beg to differ and protest that you need to be on a given schedule, but in my experience it isnt hard to get back on the right track. At the University of Oklahoma they bullied us to death. Now I will be graduating fall of 2004, because I had given in and chosen a major with classes that don't count for much now.

If you aren't a junior, heck even if you are, you should explore everything that makes you happy. Just take some well-rounded classes like art history, a layout and design through the journalism department, lots of writing classes, languages and communications, some economics, and as a personal favorite take some classics courses. You'll be surprised at how much humans haven't changed, even after two thousand years.


I have taken classes in advertising. You can actually have almost any major and get a job in advertising. Advertising is just capitalizing on a great idea. All kinds of great ideas come from very different people, whether they are accountants, chefs, web designers, or kindergarten teachers.

My professor, who subsequently used to jam with "little Dave Matthews", said, " The real reason you come to college is to think, learn to analyze and make choices."

Also, chances are you will have a career absolutely unrealated to your major once you're in the real world. Statistics also say that you will change career paths around seven times in your life.

I wish you the best of everything, Kelly

[This message has been edited by applet_jacks (edited 11-13-2002).]


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Gumdrop Girl
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have you considered Information Management Systems?

Yeah, there are people who can't decide their majors till the very last minute. i was not one of them. i picked a major and stuck with it. Biology is like that -- you do your prereqs and it's hard to switch out. but i managed to add a double major along the way.

If you are concerned about grades (and i'd worry about grades if the idea of a masters degree or PhD is appealing to you), i'd recommend not doing a computer science major. Instead, I'd do journalism or something humanities and take a bunch of CS classes for electives.

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If the shoe fits, it's probably your size.


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Gumdrop Girl
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http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum7/HTML/000168.html

another relevant link for your amusement

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If the shoe fits, it's probably your size.


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alohamora
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Is there an option at your college to create your own major? I know in California, that's available, and we have something called Interdisciplinary Studies, which allows you to combine the majors of your choice or to make one up on your own (i.e. Biomedical Ethics, Sports Psychology.)

It takes some work, you have to draft up a 8 page proposal and find two professors who will guide and assist you, but I always thought that was kind of cool.

If you like writing though and computers, well, you probably will come into contact with that in most any job *after* college.

And yeah, most likely your career may not have anything related to your major but if all else fails, stay passionate with your interests and pave your own road. Who says you have to follow and fit the pre-existing roles?

Stay creative and all the best!


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BruinDan
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Another thing to remember is that folks like Gummy are actually in the minority at most schools. A 2001 study at UCLA discovered that 79% of students change their major at least once, with 40-something percent doing it twice or more. I came in as Political Science, my ex entered as a Biology girl. As if by magic, we both became English majors at the start of our sophomore year. (However, her noncommital side took over and I recall she added, dropped, and changed minors and specializations about as often as I did my laundry that year...)

I think there is a lot to be learned during that lovely first year of college. I came in wanting to go one route and ended going completely in the other direction as I learned more about what my real likes and dislikes are. Try not to stress too much over it right now. Colleges will go crazy on you if you don't declare a major in a given time, but its nothing to worry about. A hilariously nutty roommate of mine went 4 years without declaring a major. They finally sent someone from the Administrative Offices to his door, sat down with him, and made him choose a major so he could actually graduate with the rest of us. I'm told it was quite the sight to see.

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BruinDan, "Number Three"

"Battery Stolen; Youth Charged"


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LilBlueSmurf
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I wish i were that lucky! Choosing my major was done when i applied to the school ... If i want to change, i'm likely going to have to start from yr 1 all over again. No thx

But really ... it is something you have to give some serious thought to. Pick a few majors, weigh the pros and cons, and don't forget to check what kind of jobs you'd find w/ that major.


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foxfire
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My magor is going to be nursing. My school counselertold me in oreder to be a nurse I simply HAD to take so and so classes, and once I was enrolled no changing it.
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applet_jacks
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Advisors and other college faculty are bullies. I had said that before.

I am honestly graduating later probably because my minor doesn't do anything for my Public Relations stuff. But all the classes you HAVE to take as a freshman to be in the right places in journalism, I took last semester.

I was in the emergency room during my third semester's finals, so I have to retake those courses too, which is a further set back. It doesn't have a thing to do with when I took 1113 or JMC2033.

Another problem was journalism didn't like my choice of foreign language. They want someone who knows how to communicate with living people for some reason or another. Latin is a language they totally gave me a frown about, so I visited the Dean. He cleared me to finish Latin for credit. Now the only problem is scheduling.

Somehow, even though I would appear to be 2 years behind, I am already enrolled in senior and gradtuate courses for next semester. My advisor and registrars really were hell bent on making me take something at the three thousand level but alas I had the better arguement.

They always say that there is a certain way to do things, fact is I think they only bully you into stuff to make their job easier. It might be because they don't really know what will actually get you what you need for your major or something along those lines.

Sometimes, and it might be a little scary depending on your dean, you have to talk to the dean. Sometimes you have to fight for what you know is in your best interest. Sometimes you have to color outside of the lines.

****** Oh and same thing is true at our university BruinDan. About a third of major changes come in people's junior year here at OU, which can be a real set back. I am glad I changed when I was in my fourth semester.

Also I think there shouldn't be shame for anyone who does change their major. Sometimes it is easier to just ride the same pony out that you rode in on ( the major you had started with), but it takes a strong person to rope a mustang(something new). There is so much we aren't exposed to before college.


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KittenGoddess
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Alot of when you choose decide on a major depends also upon what area you are going into. For instance, if you choose to go to engineering school, the major decision generally MUST be made by your second year...that also applies to computer science programs at many schools. Remember that while putting off your major classes may be alright with a major in the Arts or Humanities type major, it may not be the smartest thing to do in a science or math field. You'll potentially be stacking up your schedule to be insane and adding to your stress level. Also, keep in mind that in many science and math programs (and engineering programs), classes MUST be taken in the correct order. Very rarely can you get around those regulations unless you're really a genius (and thus can move on to step C without learning step B first).

I guess I'm just saying that changing your major is fine, and not knowing exactly what you want to do is fine...but also keep in mind the potential for stress (and/or for one or more extra years of study) that you may be setting yourself up for. (there's nothing at all wrong with taking an extra year, as long as you can afford it, of course.)

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KittenGoddess
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ThisGuy
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Hey - what you study might not be what you end up doing, anyway.

I think I've only used a thimbleful of the stuff I learned in uni so far at work. It's all just been basic engineering; problem solving and basic sanity checks.

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Save the environment - use your brain!


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stardustangel
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I would love to try to assist you but I myself am confused about college and I am a junior IN college lol!
So far I have been through 7 different majors but have recently withdrew from college because I began to realize how expensive it was without having a designated major, or field.

Just know that it is not an uncommon thing to be confused. After all, the question of what you want to do for the rest of your life is a huge decision, one that kind of shocks me that you'd have to make before you're 18!


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KittenGoddess
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quote:
Originally posted by ThisGuy:
Hey - what you study might not be what you end up doing, anyway.

That's absolutely right! One of my professors got his undergraduate degree in mathmatics. He then decided he didn't really want to do that, so in grad school he studied history. He's got his PhD in Medieval History and is quite well respected in his field. Lots of people do things like that. They study something they simply enjoy and then do their masters and/or PhD in the area they actually want to work in.

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KittenGoddess
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thisonecanbe
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Just wanted to let everyone know I found out today that I got accepted into Ohio University in Athens! It's not that big of a deal, but I feel excited!

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...i've done all i can do; could i please come with you?


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applet_jacks
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Congratulations!! You'll have a great time ahead of you. Keep up your good work!
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Gumdrop Girl
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high-5! Oh, I remember being so excited when my acceptance letters came in but there's something about california schools that they like to keep us waiting till april...

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Correlation does not equal causation.


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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gumdrop Girl:
but there's something about california schools that they like to keep us waiting till april...


You got yours in April?! Who did you pay to get 'em so quickly, Gums?

I'll never forget when mine arrived in the mail. Santa Barbara's came on the 28th; San Diego and Cal came on my birthday, and UCLA's came on Saturday, May 10. I guess they saved the best for last, right?

Nowadays, the entire UC system has their acceptance lists on the web. Long gone are the days of running home from school to check the mailbox, I guess.

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BruinDan, "Number Three," PSOM

"Battery Stolen; Youth Charged"


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cupcake
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Our acceptance letters come generally in May, unless you've gotten Early Admission.

I got Early Offers almsot everywhere, so I knew where I was going


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Shann2002
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Choosing a major is not easy. I am a first year college student and I am thinking about changing my major from broadcast journalism to advertising. I think that you need to look at this subject very critically. Talk to a career counselor at your school or with someone who can tell you all possible jobs and the outlook of that profession etc. good luck
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Gumdrop Girl
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quote:
Originally posted by BruinDan:
I'll never forget when mine arrived in the mail. Santa Barbara's came on the 28th; San Diego and Cal came on my birthday, and UCLA's came on Saturday, May 10. I guess they saved the best for last, right?


I got UCSB and UCSD the same day. I ran out the door breathless to tell the good news to my best friend and next-door neighbor, who also got her letters from UCSB and UCR that day. That was actually in March, on the 25th, i think.

I got my acceptance to UCLA next, but that was almost an entire month later. Our class president -- a Bruin fan, with no prayer of getting into that sort of school -- congratulated me (funny he had nothing to say to me before, such is life when you're not popular). I was so stoked, I posted it on the front page of my Wallflowers fansite.

The next day came my letter from Cal Berkeley. My guidance counselor pulled me out of class to give me the good news, but i was already so exhausted by good news that I smirked and said, "Yea." I was plumb out of cartwheels.

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Correlation does not equal causation.


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BudofLove
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A lot of college students don't have majors, they just go in w/ general studies until they have made up their mind. My major was easy to chose just because I have been performing my whole life. But if you're really not sure than you should really take the time to think it out and research things you want to do.

This reminds me of a quote that was on Daria once "I don't want to wake up when I'm 40 and realize I'm in a job I hate because I was forced to pick a career in high school." It was something like that...same point.


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