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    I need advice on what direction or what course to choose in my university studies and I hope that this is the correct place for me to ask advice (this is the only forum for students I found on the internet); otherwise you can move it.

    It's going to be a bit long and maybe also boring, but since I cannot come up with many ideas in this moment *sigh*, I'm asking you.
    I'm also "confessing" parts of my personal thoughts since they have been important in my different decisions at different times. I think I really think too much when making such decisions...
    As a premise: this year I'm finishing school, so I can't make many changes.

    Let's come to the point: after so many years, I am still puzzled about what to do in my future!

    What am I really, really, really, really interested in?
    I don't know. I am simply interested in everything that I encounter in my life. And this is also clear in the fact that I was a person who scored A+ in all subjects of school (one short note on my school: in my country/school system, there are no "directions" to take in the last few years, everyone does max. 15 subjects [you can choose to leave 1 or 2 courses], and you can be good in one and bad in another - I used to be good in all) and the best student of the entire year of about 85 people.
    I'm not saying this to boast on the internet but to make it clear that, indeed, I have serious dilemmas, trilemmas, when trying to judge "In what am I really good", etc.
    I guess that if I had the possibility to study everything at university, I would jump and do it, but I also have to do a specific thing, a career, whatever...

    There have been several periods in my life in which I made the effort to focus one singular interest, one direction - so that I would have a better idea on what to choose. But every such decision was followed by disillusion. A disillusion which is often the product of an ideological shift.
    e.g. I see that I like technological stuff, inventions, etc. I start participating at such events, win some prizes, but then I learn about the negative consequences of technology on nature and humanity (eh, philosophy?), I get bored of all inventions, engineering etc.

    The most powerful "philosophical disillusion" was probably my effort to focus on the world of diplomacy and international relations.
    I guess this was a consequence of the numerous events that I attended, and I was also extremely successful at things such as Model United Nations.
    This happened about two years ago and I actually thought that I had found what I was made for. In order to "underline" this decision, I deliberately erased two natural science courses from my schedule, believing that that would help me to focus on the social science/international/diplomatical side.
    It worked well. For two years!

    Infact, now I seem to be annoyed by the never-ending problems in the conundrum of corruption, political injustice, violence, wars, human blahblah, and almost come to the conclusion that I should have not canceled those two natural science subjects just because of this political inspiration...
    My friends scold me when I say things like "I would even repeat the last two years to recover those two subjects".
    Heh, I know, I'm strange... but that's me.

    There's one thing I can state about myself with certainty: whatever I do, as long as I am also "ideologically/spiritually synchronized" with the subject, I do it very well. As soon as my perspective changes, also my efficiency drops.

    I think that is the only criteria in my choice of a university course

    So, my friends, what would you advice to a person who knows too much??
    What should a person with shifting interests study at university first, so that he can also hope to have a secure future/life??

    Just to summarize some of my concrete abilities...(which I do not necessarily LIKE to do for the rest of my life)
    - I know a lot about technology, especially electronics and I.T. related, and I have also done lot of productive/practical work in the field (patented inventions, programmes, etc.)
    - I speak 7 languages among which 4 as mother language status (and I've sometimes also considered a career in the world of arts, played main roles in theaters of different schools or institutions, written dramas, composed musical scores)
    - as for human relations (are they actually an "ability"?) if they are so important, well, all the PR jobs here and there, political/developmental meetings in the city, all the MUNs around the planet, etc.
    - I once also had the idea of entering psychology, and therefore attended summer schools in the field, got a certificate in NLP (pseudoscience!)... but... even here, it's the structure, the ideological conflict that turns me off (e.g. all conflicts among different psychologists theories, etc. such stuff - it's annoying)

    Thanks if you read up to this point!
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    I think you should do Philosophy! Your good at thinking and analysing everything.
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    Have you looked at doing joint honours courses? Maybe something like Computer Science + Philosophy? Or even PPE (Politics, Philosophy and Economics)?
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    You sound very much like myself. Although i do now have a main goal which heads towards the Aviation industry...i did have the same problem when choosing which course to apply for. In the end i applied for Computing Science, Mathematics, Philosophy and combinations of them in joint degrees. Don't forget though, that in your first year of university you are likely to do up to 4 subjects, before narrowing it down in 2nd year. This gives you the opportunity to get a feel of subjects before deciding on your final degree course. But for you definitely a joint degree course in some field of Arts, Technology or Science.
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    What country are you looking to study in? (By the sounds of it you don't do either the English or Scottish system, hence asking)


    You do remind me of me a lot. I was the same, having As in everything from Computing to Music to Geography to Drama, and having interests in all of them (And I still never got to take German or Philosophy or....). I applied for courses that offered me the opportunity to take different subjects, outside modules, or change my degree (in addition to applying for different subjects in case I really changed my mind). Somehow I still ended up doing something completely different, in which I feel my jack of all trades nature helps.

    Personally, I would say go for something (or several somethings) that you really enjoy and have a passion for, and that you can see yourself doing for significant amount of time.

    Visit unis, find out about courses, read prospectuses, write down pros and cons, read books about the things you're interested in.

    And remember, that even if you make a wrong decision, there are ways of transferring or changing subjects.
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    I would like to study in the U.K. or the U.S.A., finances and admission permitting...

    You got my point.

    Yes, also my friends say that I "philosophize" a lot in whatever I do. The fact is, whatever I choose I want it to contain something "concrete", something "manual" in its career prospective.
    e.g. With a degree in philosophy I can imagine working a lot with books. It is nice, but no - not for the rest of my life.

    I know joint degrees such as P.P.E., but are they promising or will they make you a "jack of all trades but master of nothing"?

    And as for changing courses, changing career - it won't be as easy as it is now. While you're at school, your parents can always finance you, your school contacts aid you in looking up projects or summer-schools to work at.
    Will independence be as easy as that?
    That's why I hold the view that I should keep my financial stability as a high and important criteria. Might sound cliche, but "if you have enough money, you can finance any study you want to do".

    P.P.E. seems good for "quick starters" in the world of careers (tell me if I'm wrong); but do you honestly think it is "intelligent" to start with something in the field of business, etc. and THEN enter the world of e.g. science by studying maybe Engineering?
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    Honestly? Jobs after university often look at the universtiy, and your mark, rather than the course you went on.

    Only rather job-orientated courses such as Architeture and Medicine really matter for your future job.

    Most jobs you can get into without the course, even if it is a case of doing a job course for another year or something.

    PPE could be quite good for you, IMO.
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    You speak seven languages, you are computer literate and seem fairly intelligent. The goverment are always on the look-out for people like you, I wouldnt worry to much about the course, as long as you know you are going to enjoy it.
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    Hiya, I'm American but live and study in the UK so hope I can help.

    If you want to study in the U.S. you don't have to specialize as much in your degree which doesn't seem right for you. It's not really until your second or third year that you start to really exclusively major in a subject...but that subject is an important choice for your future career. On the other hand maybe this would be good for you as you don't have to choose so early on what you want to specialize in.

    If you want to study here, unless you have a very claar idea about what you want to do with your life, people tend to choose the course based on what they enjoy and what they're good at...not based simply on what's 'prestigious' or 'practical'. As long as you go to a good uni and get a good degree (1st or 2:1) your choose doesn't really matter that much. It sounds like you have to choose between the range of science or modern language degrees but IMHO PPE sounds like a good choice for you and it is a widely respected degree. The really good uni's that offer PPE are Oxford, Durham, York and St Andrews to name a few. Here, combined degrees are respected as much as single hons so don't worry about being just a 'jack of all trades'. The UK is generally cheaper to study than the U.S. although in the U.S. there are a great range of scholarships available so you can look into that. Both countries like International Students! Hope this helps.
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    It is imperative that you pursue a programme that you enjoy rather than doing one for the sake of securing your 'dream job'.
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    Yeah, popsical, but I feel that I can enjoy everything. A bit like a kid though, who gets bored of his old toys after a while and buys new ones, and does this quite often.

    Not everyone can afford that behaviour when having an independent, adult life. Not everyone can be like Elon Musk, founder of a space exploration company, who obtained a Bachelor of Economics and Bachelor of Physics consecutively.

    In this moment, while I'm writing on this forum, I feel that I would really enjoy studying some engineering subject related to aerospace or nuclear physics.
    A moment later, I will be enjoying doing presentations on world economical development and PRing around.

    My problem is, I must be able to predict what I will enjoy for a longer span of time...
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    I'm seeing a Doctor Faustus moment. Make a pact with Satan.
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    Doctor Faustus, just about the only person who can get away with chucking fireworks at the Pope.

    Ahem...

    Certainly, it was recommended that I look into American unis for the number of subjects you can study and the ability to change your major.
    Also, are there any subjects you are interested in that incorporate bits of others? For example, politics and psychology were two things I was interested in studying (and indeed applied for) and I'm getting to do bits of both along with classics, english lit, etc. in my drama course
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    I definitely think it is worth looking into American unis because you don't have to specialise so early. Although, it will be more expensive.

    Is there any particular reason you want to study in USA or UK? I only ask because if you are fluent in several languages, I was wondering if you had considered any other countries. Yuo never specified where you are from, but
    I know in universities in several different EU countries, you specialise less early or not as much as in the UK. And these options are often more affordable than USA (provided you are an EU citizen)
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    maybe university isn't for you. I imagine university to be quite limiting in terms of your learning. You are generally restricted to the subject matter of your course...This might not suit your thirst for knowledge of a wide varieties.
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    Oh, not Faustus again :P

    I want to study in an english environment because, although I live on mainland Europe, I have english roots as well and feel that I should obtain my "basic training/education" on english-speaking homeland.
    However, I am also considering France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland for undergraduate studies - I'm so to say a person who travels a lot, without a real "home".

    Yeah, Mush, but is there a way to train for operative careers in that way?
    Now that I think about it, I would want to go to university to learn for an operative career. A specific kind of job with its definition maybe. The rest I can also learn in my "free time" Maybe. Or after I finished studying for that kind of career/job.
    The pro of that is that I would have something precise to do.
    The contra might be that I won't be able to study other careers while working. I'm not sure.

    Also, are there any subjects you are interested in that incorporate bits of others?
    Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Economics... it seems that as long as they belong to one "branch" there's always something incorporated.


    Another way for me to choose could be to proceed per exclusion...
    What am I NOT good at doing?

    - playing an instrument (never went to conservatory and regret it)
    - any sports (well, too late to become swimming champion at this age)
    - biology and chemistry (realistically speaking, will I be able to recover 2 years of both subjects before entering university? I may try though, since I still regret having left the subjects)
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    Ahh, I feel your pain. I'm a lot like you, though I only speak five languages and considered engineering as a career to rebel against my mother :rolleyes: And also, I'm not that bothered with conflicting theories and the imperfection of world/science/everything. If you're looking for a science that is perfect and clear, you'll have to do maths. Otherwise you're going to have to face the fact that we do not know everything and things have two sides.

    Don't stress too much about the choice of your course. I was a top student in 15 subjects too, and genuinely interested in most of them, which made it really hard to choose something. I remember when I was 15 and someone asked how it feels when you could become anything - and although I didn't say it to the asker - it felt amazing. When it actually was time to choose, it no longer did. In the end I did a bit of a compromise and went for a degree called European Social and Political studies which includes politics, a language and some multidisclipinary courses. Yes, I would have enjoyed doing a degree in philosophy, psychology, mathematics, genetics and in almost anything really, but it's just not possible to do all that. It's a bit like getting married. You just need to stop fantasizing about all those other men/degrees and get on with your life, though a bit of flirting with a stranger in the bus or reading a popular science book in another field is ok

    One more idea: Try going to an occupational psychologist. They'll ask you funny questions like "Do you enjoy rolling your feet in mud? Yes, no, or not sure?" and do all sorts of personality tests. It's fun. Also sometimes actually helpful.
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    (Original post by DSM13)
    Oh, not Faustus again :P

    I want to study in an english environment because, although I live on mainland Europe, I have english roots as well and feel that I should obtain my "basic training/education" on english-speaking homeland.
    However, I am also considering France, Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland for undergraduate studies - I'm so to say a person who travels a lot, without a real "home".

    Yeah, Mush, but is there a way to train for operative careers in that way?
    Now that I think about it, I would want to go to university to learn for an operative career. A specific kind of job with its definition maybe. The rest I can also learn in my "free time" Maybe. Or after I finished studying for that kind of career/job.
    The pro of that is that I would have something precise to do.
    The contra might be that I won't be able to study other careers while working. I'm not sure.



    Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Economics... it seems that as long as they belong to one "branch" there's always something incorporated.


    Another way for me to choose could be to proceed per exclusion...
    What am I NOT good at doing?

    - playing an instrument (never went to conservatory and regret it)
    - any sports (well, too late to become swimming champion at this age)
    - biology and chemistry (realistically speaking, will I be able to recover 2 years of both subjects before entering university? I may try though, since I still regret having left the subjects)
    I always thought that Extra curriculars like the above mattered so much but on your personal statement you only have a short paragraph to write about your activities. I'm sure you'll have more than enough to write...what matters most is how passionate you are about the subject you choose to study.
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    Check out Scottish universities. You can study several different subjects over the space of four years, with a far greater degree of flexibility than the English system.

    What else? Oh, yes. Being a jack of all trades isn't necessarily a bad thing, there are plenty of careers out there for people who can keep their fingers in lots of different pies. Consultancy and so on...
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    And also, I'm not that bothered with conflicting theories and the imperfection of world/science/everything. If you're looking for a science that is perfect and clear, you'll have to do maths. Otherwise you're going to have to face the fact that we do not know everything and things have two sides.
    Kismet got my point.

    But well, I have been bothered about the different theories, conflicting intellectuals, opinions, etc. At a certain point, you get fed up with them.
    For example, I "abandoned" my idea of a career in psychology after coming to the conclusion that I completely disagree with the philosophical views underlying mainstream rules for psychatrists/psychologists (DSM-IV, that stuff, for who knows about it).
    I would not like to practice a profession that is based on things I don't like.
    Being a naturalist-materialist, however, I would definitely "go back" to the subject if mainstream rules adapted themselves to newer systems (evolutionary, neuroscience, etc.).
    Often, professions are not updated quickly in order to maintain the economy of the jobs. Otherwise almost every person would "discover" that all he learned in 5 years is "no more valid".
    (most extreme case: careers after fall of soviet domain in eastern countries).

    Being "frightened" by this conundrum of opinions and theories, I think that the best thing to look for is an "operative" career, something that always works.
    Yes, I would go to university to study something that I can not study easily in my freetime.
    A skill that I can gain.

    Skills.
    e.g. a pilot learns to fly, he has the SKILL to fly the plane.
    A doctor learns to cure patients, he has a SKILL.
    etc.

    What "skill" would I have if I studied P.P.E. for three years?
    I mean, business, politics, philosophy... aren't those things one can "learn" without going to university?
    Angela Merkel, chancellor of Germany, was a doctorate in physics...
 
 
 
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