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What degree should I study/which AS should I drop?

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    Hi,

    I'm in year 12, AS subjects: maths, chemistry, geography, biology, predicted: AAAA, GCSE's: A*A*A*A*A*A*A*A*AA, and I would love to take a gap year.

    Despite all of my research, none of the courses that interest me stand out as being what I was born to do.

    Things that interest me:
    1). The physical side of geography, particularly parts that relate to the chemistry that I'm learning. People have told me that to excel in this area I should do a straight chemistry degree first, but I can't think of anything worse than doing that!

    2). The other option would be earth sciences (geology) but I really don't want to be a scientist.

    3). I'm interested in politics and I love debating, solving arguments through stepping into the minds of each side. And I've been told I'd make a great lawyer.

    4). Mental illness also interests me but I wouldn't like to study medicine, so perhaps becoming a therapist (as I like listening and helping people).

    5). Human geography and economics.

    Any ideas of degrees that you think would suit me, as to which AS I should drop,
    or advice on how you decided on what to study?
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    It might be helpful to stop thinking that your degree course has to be something that you feel you were born to do. Quite a few people aren't overwhelmingly convinced about the subject they want to do before university, and people spend time in their twenties, their thirties (and beyond!) still trying to figure out what it is that they want to do in life. It's all a bit of a myth as well because what you 'always want to do' is always changing. When I was twelve I was absolutely CONVINCED I wanted to be a dustman because I loved the way the truck would pick the dustbin automatically (!), when I was 15 I was convinced by something else, 18 another, 23 another and so on. A bazillion different things have suddenly struck me as being "the thing that I have always wanted to do".

    I know there are people that follow a uni course that they have always been interested in and stay in that career forever, and these people are lucky. But I don't necessarily think this is the norm any more.

    It's helpful to know that there are so many opportunities to change your mind and do something completely different later on down the line. Choosing to study nursing (or whatever) at the age of 17 doesn't mean you're doomed to be a nurse your whole life. You mention that you're interested in being a therapist or possibly a lawyer. These are things you can do after your degree if you still fancy doing them. (or indeed now if you want to).

    Have a poke around at a few geography / earth science type degrees, as you seem predominantly interested in them. Remember to look at the syllabus in detail as some places might be very chemistry-focused, which you say you want to avoid.

    ... Basically there's no real answer to your question and no one can really tell you what the right thing is to study because there is no 'right' thing. Just remember that choosing your uni degree in something relevant to a possible career does help, but it doesn't completely close out all other options and it isn't a tragedy if you find you want to go on and do something else afterwards. As a graduate I always regret being fed this lie by secondary school that everyone needs to decide what they're doing with their life by the time they are 17 or 18 (with the teachers holding a gun to their head saying: ARE YOU GOING TO BE AN ARTIST OR A SCIENTIST?), then spend three years studying a degree, then get a job directly related to it, then work in that career for the rest of your life. It just doesn't happen like that.
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    (Original post by dfw)
    It might be helpful to stop thinking that your degree course has to be something that you feel you were born to do. Quite a few people aren't overwhelmingly convinced about the subject they want to do before university, and people spend time in their twenties, their thirties (and beyond!) still trying to figure out what it is that they want to do in life. It's all a bit of a myth as well because what you 'always want to do' is always changing. When I was twelve I was absolutely CONVINCED I wanted to be a dustman because I loved the way the truck would pick the dustbin automatically (!), when I was 15 I was convinced by something else, 18 another, 23 another and so on. A bazillion different things have suddenly struck me as being "the thing that I have always wanted to do".

    I know there are people that follow a uni course that they have always been interested in and stay in that career forever, and these people are lucky. But I don't necessarily think this is the norm any more.

    It's helpful to know that there are so many opportunities to change your mind and do something completely different later on down the line. Choosing to study nursing (or whatever) at the age of 17 doesn't mean you're doomed to be a nurse your whole life. You mention that you're interested in being a therapist or possibly a lawyer. These are things you can do after your degree if you still fancy doing them. (or indeed now if you want to).

    Have a poke around at a few geography / earth science type degrees, as you seem predominantly interested in them. Remember to look at the syllabus in detail as some places might be very chemistry-focused, which you say you want to avoid.

    ... Basically there's no real answer to your question and no one can really tell you what the right thing is to study because there is no 'right' thing. Just remember that choosing your uni degree in something relevant to a possible career does help, but it doesn't completely close out all other options and it isn't a tragedy if you find you want to go on and do something else afterwards. As a graduate I always regret being fed this lie by secondary school that everyone needs to decide what they're doing with their life by the time they are 17 or 18 (with the teachers holding a gun to their head saying: ARE YOU GOING TO BE AN ARTIST OR A SCIENTIST?), then spend three years studying a degree, then get a job directly related to it, then work in that career for the rest of your life. It just doesn't happen like that.
    Thankyou so much, I really appreciate that you put so much time and thought into giving me advice, and it was really really helpful! Come to think of it I know lots of adults who don't now work in the field that they graduated in. I completely see your point about doing law or counseling later and keeping as many options open for as long as possible!

    This is my first experience with this site and you've made a great one, thanks!
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    I feel like you should study medicine then go into psychology and become a psychiatrist, there are always room for more and the mental illness rate in the UK is increasing as the economic climate drops further into recession.

    Just a thought, from your grades I can see that you are obviously intelligent and will hopefully succeed in life regardless to what you decide to do
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    Choose a degree that you think you might enjoy and remember it does not mean that this is the field you will be in for the rest of your life.

    Have you considered natural sciences? You can combine different areas of scientific related subjects and tailor your degree course to your interests ie an Earth Science Major / Neuroscience modules etc.

    My mate got a top Maths 1st class degree from Imperial and then went and did a social / mental health masters from Oxford and is now a social worker.

    Many different routes very rarely do completely limit your options.

    I wish you all the best
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    (Original post by whitenosugar)
    Thankyou so much, I really appreciate that you put so much time and thought into giving me advice, and it was really really helpful! Come to think of it I know lots of adults who don't now work in the field that they graduated in. I completely see your point about doing law or counseling later and keeping as many options open for as long as possible!

    This is my first experience with this site and you've made a great one, thanks!
    No worries - good luck deciding
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    I am very bad in giving advice...anyway i think drop math AS and then go on to study nursing or thepary.look for something that NHS pays your fees....if you don't like being nurse or therapy after work experience then you can do some other degree in future....but make sure you score GPA 2.1 in your first degree....then study geography or geoscience degree ...if you cant find job there then you will still have ur mental/ therapy/nursing degree as your backup.

    or you can first try geoscience itshelf as your first degree, if this is something you love to do than you always have therapy option later on....i think you should do Math AS.
    Your BIOLOGY A LEVEL can be your backup for your future.......unless you want to be a lawyer.

    In future if you desperately need A level maths or biology, despite having a undergraduate degree...there are colleges that provide 1 year intensive A level maths/psychology/biology for adults.
    Goodluck with your choice. let us know what is your final decision.

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Updated: April 22, 2012
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