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Re-take A levels, or just do a Degree? watch

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    Hi,
    heres my screwed up story, i finished my A levels in 2001 and did really badly, then did a year of pharmaceutical science but had to drop out in jan03 before the exams due to personal and family stuff going on. So i tried sorting out my head, i worked and travelled and thought about going back to uni to do biochemistry, but then saw a cognitive science course which seemed really interesting, so i had been doing that since about october after missing the initial few weeks(when everyone gets to know each other), and have found the classes too much geared towards using computing programs for analysing psychological data, which i dont like.
    I have no idea what to do!, to go back to uni next yr to do biochem, or stick with the cognitive science?, im 21 at the moment and im freaked that im not on the conveyor belt of A levels,degree,masters,job etc, which all of my mates are on; they have all finished their degrees and are travelling/working or are doing a masters.
    I was thinking of doing a/s levels online, in maths,physics,{law or history}, i dunno wether do do my a levels again properly and try to get into a good uni, or try to do a A2 in business to improve my c i got 2yrs ago in addition to my d in chem.I worried that im getting older and drifting, but i dont know what i wanna be when i ''grow up'' ,i dont know wether to go off at a tanget and go for software engineering,comp sci, engineering, law, economics, architecture etc, medcine,pharmacy,dentistry would have been nice, but it doesnt look likely,
    it would have been nice though to think u will always have a decent job. Im just freaking about life etc, it all seemed so clear ''once upon a time''. I just didnt know what i could do with a degree in biochemistry or pharmaceutical science, as i didnt want to work in a lab or research, and didnt like the uni so i thought it was best just to leave, i dont know what i can do with cognitive science either, so ive lost alot of confidence in myself, but i have to get back up as soon as possible.

    Hi, I think the main thing you need to recognise is that you have to make a decision. I know its hard because you're always wondering if its right and not wanting to invest time/money into something and then decide its wrong later - but you could go on forever not deciding and not moving on.

    I did my A-Levels (English, History, Theology) and then did a Sociology degree. I got a job afterwards in business which was totally unrelated to anything I had ever studied. For two years I've been doing this job and I hate it. Meanwhile, I couldn't make up my mind whether to go back to uni and do a Masters, do a law course conversion and become a solicitor, go into social research, join the police or become a teacher! The problem, as I'm sure you'll understand, is that they all cost money and time.

    My advice is to be really honest with yourself and decide what you want from life. What sort of things do you enjoy? What sort of lifestyle would you like? I know everyone wants a nice job which is well respected but that's not the most important thing. I finally dismissed the idea of being a solicitor becasue although I liked the idea that it was a respected profession, it involves very long hours. My current job works over 50-60 hours per week and my life is so dull. I'm tired all the time and have barely any energy for social life etc. So what would be the point of being a solicitor - respected, yes but knackered and no life!
    If you don't enjoy biochem or whatever subject you study at the moment, you probably won't enjoy a job in it later. However are there any elements of your degree that you love? If so recognise them and see what jobs may utilise them. Be honest and decide what skills you like using? Do you want a job that involves interacting with people? Do you want a job that involves verbal/written skills, creativity, numeracy skills? What motivates you - money/ helping people / leardership / intellectual challenge / job security?

    Go to prospects.ac.uk - this is a graduate careers website. I know you haven't graduated yet but they have a wicked job description section. You can explore types of jobs, check pay and work conditions, training you'd need etc. They also have something where you can see what sort of jobs would suit you. Just register and then fill in the four sections on motivations, interests, people skills and general skills. This then matches your answers up to possible occupations. If you stick with biochem but don't want lab/research work, could you teach it?

    Overall, my advice is to try and get an idea of what you want and then work for it. Once you have started it doesn't matter if you change your mind later. At least you'll have got the ball rolling instead of getting more depressed and not going anywhere. I'm still considering a complete change of direction but its a bit easier as at least I can prove my skills. A degree is a degree - whether you choose to use the subject or not. Look at that website, speak to a careers advisor, decide on a course of action and then go for it. Re changing uni's- if poss I do think a good uni helps. There are so many places doing 'degrees' these days that some employers don't know their value. Try to go to a uni that is well known and whilst you're there, get work experience. Take every opportunity you can to try different work areas - it all helps afterwards and it may porvide you with a flash of career inspiration!

    Good luck!
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    Thanks for the reply,

    Its hard to choose a path in life. If u choose a path, and keep going down it for many years, then decide u dont like it, its easier to say to ur self uve come this far u might as well continue, than to go back or change to something else. I think ppl like being comfortable with something they know, than trying lots of new different things that they arnt good at. Because as adults we can easily dismiss things we arnt good at by saying ''i didnt really want to do it in the first place''.

    I am interested in learning how people think and learn and why they make the choices they do, are somethings innate?, like how good u are a certain subject, or is it certain things u say to urself, and can these be applied to other subjects that u ''dislike''?

    However somethimes i feel that instead of wasting time learning about stuff like memory etc, i should be applying it to other subjects like maths, physics etc which can be used to make differences in equipment or society.
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    (Original post by VampireWithSoul)
    Thanks for the reply,

    Its hard to choose a path in life. If u choose a path, and keep going down it for many years, then decide u dont like it, its easier to say to ur self uve come this far u might as well continue, than to go back or change to something else. I think ppl like being comfortable with something they know, than trying lots of new different things that they arnt good at. Because as adults we can easily dismiss things we arnt good at by saying ''i didnt really want to do it in the first place''.

    I am interested in learning how people think and learn and why they make the choices they do, are somethings innate?, like how good u are a certain subject, or is it certain things u say to urself, and can these be applied to other subjects that u ''dislike''?

    However somethimes i feel that instead of wasting time learning about stuff like memory etc, i should be applying it to other subjects like maths, physics etc which can be used to make differences in equipment or society.
    How about just doing something and seeing how it goes, instead of thinking about it, because to be honest you'll probably be thinking about it forever.
 
 
 
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