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    • Thread Starter

    I want some advice about what to study at uni. I've taken a gap year to consider things.

    I love science, all I read are science text books (for fun), I enjoy science fiction and writing it (not saying my stories are any good!), and I am an amateur astronomer.

    I realised at GCSE that I probably wasn't going to be able to be a physicist as I only got a C at maths, I was only put in for foundation tier maths, I wasn't given a choice! I'll never know if I could have done better, probably not. I enjoy maths, but I am not naturally gifted at maths and sometimes get extremely frustrated as I am a perfectionist and because of that I suffered extreme anxiety at school and rarely attended classes. Unfortunately without a textbook to take home with me, as one was never provided, I was unable to keep apace of the class at home. In any case, I took it up at AS-level and dropped it, not because I wasn't getting the right answers, I was getting C's and B's on my tests (so not great but not awful). The main problem I encountered was that I wasn't getting the answers quickly enough, I was probably a few weeks behind the rest of the class and never likely to be ready for the final exams. I think this is because they have a better work ethic than me and/or are more naturally gifted at the subject, whereas I am academically lazy and like to spend time on my hobbies or I feel drained. With regards to Arts and Humanities subjects I can write an essay in a night and still get an excellent grade.

    I want a science career (earth / environmental sciences) but I'm MUCH better at humanities. I got 100% on my A-level philosophy exam and History exam, and got an A in english literature (a subject I absolutely LOATHE so I wasn't likely to get a 100% in that). Why am I good at subjects that I don't like?? I only got a B in environmental science A-level, I think because I feel uncomfortable in a lab, I definitely feel intimidated by being the only female in my class, I struggle to intuitively grasp the maths and am not very creative with experimental design (I don't have a clue what method would be appropriate most of the time and have to research it) but I love learning about the science and do fine on the written tests. I got a D in geography A.S Level because I hated doing the practical work and didn't hand it. I simply didn't get it finished on time as it wasn't good enough, despite getting an A on the written test!
    I took an IQ test which shows that in verbal reasoning I have an IQ of 145!
    In spatial reasoning (I think that was the correct term) I scored 116
    and in numerical reasoning I scored a paltry 105.
    Overall I'm not a genius, and I seem to have quite imbalanced abilities.

    I should also point out I have aspergers, I struggle with spoken communication and expressing emotion, so a career that is suitable for an arts or social science graduate is not going to suit me, i couldn't even handle my summer job as a checkout girl, too much to do and too many people to have to make polite conversation with, so I switched to working nights stacking shelves, much quieter! I am the complete and utter opposite of outgoing, but I do have the ability to become completely dedicated and focused on things that excite me, so I think science is more likely to yield me a place in society than a pointless arts degree.

    Unless I become a science fiction writer (unlikely given the competitiveness of that market) I think I am screwed as my tutor at uni told me I wouldn't be accepted to a good university to study science and I might find it really stressful, but I could go to a top tier uni if I study a humanities subject. Even archaeology (the interesting parts of archaelogy like geophys) require a degree in science! And when I inquired to Durham about their anthropology and archaeology programme they told me they don't except candidates without Biology grade A!

    I do not know what to do! Should I pursue the science and get a 2:2 or a 2:1 or a humanities subject where I might just get a first?


    Given how you actually perform in the sciences you would a) have difficulty getting onto a decent science-based course, and b) doing well at it at degree level.

    Until I reached the part about you having Asberger's, I was about to suggest that you could become a journalist specialising in science and technology - using your writing ability in the area about which you feel most passionate. However, that doesn't seem to be an option?
    • Community Assistant

    Community Assistant
    Have you considered a mixed course such as liberal arts degrees? I know UCL and KCL offer them, I think some other unis are starting to as well.

    I have had the similar thoughts to you in the past. My background is in humanities (history of art, philosophy etc) yet I choose to take a BSc because I knew that that was where my interest really lay e.g. I would rather read the New Scientist than a book on the Renaissance (PLUS there tends to be more funding for science related subjects!). Anyways I'm now about to embark on my dissertation which will involve a range of disciplines within Quaternary science such as geochemistry, physics and petrology and i cannot wait
    Tbh though, I do feel that I have cheated my way into the sciences because I didn't study any at A Level & my GCSE's were mediocre. I am also anxious about all the sciency stuff Im going to have to do but its where I want my academic career to go so Im going to give it a shot.
    Good Luck in whatever you choose
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