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    Look in any prospectus or course guide and it will say that you need to have a passion for the subject. But what exactly do they mean by that?

    I think I want to study Natural Sciences or Physics. I enjoy my Physics lessons and I've read a few Physics books. If a science documentary comes on the TV I'll probably watch it.

    But I don't know whether I have a passion for the subject.

    Can anyone give any advice on this? Would you say you are passionate about your 'chosen subject' and if so, how do you know you are?

    Thanks, MissSurfer
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    (Original post by MissSurfer)
    But I dont know whether I have a passion for the subject.
    Do you like to study planets and talk about possible extraterrestrial life?

    Do you want a journey to another planet? do you visit www.nasa.gov?

    Physics is broader than just planets but if you like this idea, you like the subject.
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    Yes, I do like to study planets. I'm not sure I'd want to travel to another planet - would be pretty cool but I'd be too scared!!

    I know I like the subject but do I have a passion for it? Hmmmm...
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    How do you know if you have a passion for a subject?

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Look in any prospectus or course guide and it will say that you need to have a passion for the subject. But what exactly do they mean by that?

    I think I want to study Natural Sciences or Physics. I enjoy my Physics lessons and I've read a few Physics books. If a science documentary comes on the TV I'll probably watch it.

    But I don't know whether I have a passion for the subject.

    Can anyone give any advice on this? Would you say you are passionate about your 'chosen subject' and if so, how do you know you are?

    Thanks, MissSurfer
    Well, this is one of the most difficult questions to answer, especially in NatSci or Physics degree. And this is because you maybe are very keen to these subjects, but this could be different than having a career involnving these subjects 40-48hours/week. You should really compare these jobs to the alternatives that you think you may choose as well. Imaging how would you like to be in 20 years or so time would be great for understanding if the passion that you definitely feel now when you are studying physics will be the same in 20 years time. The most important thing is to be honest when you make the comparison, speak with your heart and not with your mind.
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    Being honest, I don't think I could see myself doing Physics in 20 years.. but then I don't think I could imagine myself doing anything else either. I know i get bored easily so I'll probably change careers a lot, knowing me.

    The thing is, I'm not sure if I could be a research scientist or anything like that - but maybe teaching science, or writing about science for a journal or newspaper. Does that still count?
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    Passion... Ok, first off, if you do not love the subject, DO NOT study it! Lol, I speak from experience unfortunately :rolleyes: I studied Neuroscience for a year - and now I'm restarting in Sep to do Art History.

    I've always enjoyed Biology and found Biology particularly interesting in school. I've never minded Science - never been my favourite, but it was interesting. GCSE, Chem teacher inspired me and got me interested in Chemistry. I took both Bio and Chem onto A-Levels, along with English Literature and Art. I dropped Eng Lit after AS - should never have dropped it, but anyway. At this point, I was split between specialising into either Humanities or Sciences. By the end of AS I'd decided on Biological Sciences, but which field? I ended up applying for 5 different courses - Pharmcology, Natural Science, Medical Sciences, Pathobiology and Neuroscience. I got 5 offers.

    I picked Neuroscience because I find brain disorders fascinating, be it brain tumours or schizophrenia - but what I'm truly interested in is abnormal psychology. And I thought Neuroscience would give me insight into this. I watched science documentaries and found them fascinating - one particular one that I remember was called Poison lol. Brain transplant, face transplant, narcolepsy, spinal surgery documentaries - watched them all and found them each fascinating. Although I also noticed how sometimes when the documentary started going on about parts of the brain and that was the end of the explanation, I got bored. Anyway, I found Biology AS interesting, though Chemistry was a bit dull. At A2, I found Biology dull and the Biochemistry involved in Chemistry to be very interesting. I noticed I wasn't intuitive about things but I understood things fast, although I get more out of books than I do lessons, not least because 3 out of 4 teachers were utter crap. By the end of my A-Levels, I was revising both subjects to find myself ploughing through it, so incredibly bored, and constantly escaped using my Art A-Level as an excuse not to revise my sciences, despite going onto doing Neuroscience. I told myself - it's because it's not about the brain, it's because Bio right now is on about the environment and I've never found that part interesting and that won't be involved in my course, so I'll be fine. I'm bored because of crap teachers cus they never taught.

    All the while, I was telling everyone how useful Science is, how valuable it is and how I'm gonna do a degree in it cus I loved Psychology and I thought Neuroscience is a better road towards that, and it's got good job prospects. And when asked what job I'm gonna get, I reply - I'm just gonna come out and become an artist, or maybe write something. :rolleyes:

    I went into university. Friends who have known me for half an hour told me to switch courses. But I thought - I do like the brain and I find science interesting. I've commited to the course now - I'll enjoy it I'm sure. Throughout the year I defend science, saying how I like the brain, while secretly envious and happy for those doing Humanity subjects and Art subjects. All the while I convince myself that there're no jobs in the Arts and Humanities. Half a year later, I think to myself - the course will get better. This is first year so it's very general. 2nd year - then I'll really learn about the brain and I'll like it. And I wanna do medical neuroscience which is in my 4th year. I carry on. By May, I thought to myself - I can't switch now cus I've wasted a year and my parents would never approve and there're no jobs in the arts. I rang my dad and said my course was a little bit boring, upon which he said "Well maybe you should switch courses." Again I gave him my reasons for not wanting to switch, but my dad insisted - if you don't love the subject, it'll be very hard, so it's better to switch, don't worry about the money.

    Even before I'd hung up, I was in tears because I was so overjoyed. I cried and laughed and grinned like an idiot and rang all my friends to tell them the great news - I was so happy! I'm switching courses! And only then did I realise just how *much* I wanted to switch courses for how very very long. I never realised before then, but when I'd cried because I was so happy that I don't have to do science anymore, I realised then that I *must* switch courses. I finally realised and more importantly, admitted to myself just how much I adore, love, value and respect Art and Literature and just the general Humanity subject. And as soon as I realised it was ok to switch courses, there was no way I'd ever go back to Neuroscience.

    Don't get me wrong, I still like Biology. I'm still interested in abnormal psychology and medical neuroscience. I feel a little sad over not doing science ever again, but at the same time, I'm relieved. I know I want to keep learning science from friends and the odd documentary and am considering going to some 2nd year Neuroscience lectures - but I know I never want to study it ever again.

    You have a passion for the subject if you can't live without it. Try imagining NEVER doing Physics ever again. How do you feel? Try imagining never doing any of the other sciences ever again and ONLY doing Physics. How do you feel now? The one you can't live without is the one you should go with. I thought I could make Art and writing my hobbies and science my career but I'd got it the wrong way round. Science is my hobby - and it will stay as my hobby. My passion and love is in Art and writing. I don't want to do without my knowledge of science - but I CANNOT do without my talent in Art and writing. I am irritated by anyone who does not see the value in science, but I cannot tolerate one who cannot see the value and beauty in Art and Literature. Can you see the difference? I don't want to not learn science ever again, but I'll live. But I cannot live without ever drawing or writing or reading again - I cringe at such a thought. What field do you want a job in? The degree you do now is likely gonna direct your career and affect what jobs you can do and will get. I say I love science, and I do - but I love Art and Literature. And that's the difference.

    Ask your friends - my teachers and friends were all surprised that I hadn't gone for Art in the first place. If only I'd listened to them, I wouldn't have wasted a year, you know? Best of luck

    And btw, if your dilemma is only between NatSci and Physics - NatSci would be the safer option cus you can specialise into Physics through NatSci still. But why you'd wanna spend time in Biology and Chemistry if you know you wanna do Physics for sure is beyond me lol.

    And yeh, during my year at uni I realised I definitely want a job in Art or writing or working with people. When I'd first applied for my sciences, I thought I could write about science or teach too. As the year progressed I realised something. I realised that I would more likely kill one's passion for Biology rather than inspire, if I ever taught it. How are you meant to inspire passion if you're not passionate about it yourself? And at the sight of scientific journals I cringe - so how can I ever write one? I hate labs and I hate analysing results and hate any form of scans and graphs. And I remember one time, I was in school helping my friend with her GCSE Art and I got really excited giving her loads of ideas lol, and this girl whom I've never met asked me to help her and I said "I love Art" - upon which she said, "You don't say!" - and that's the difference. Passion cannot be supressed. It shows, it burns and it sets alight everything else around you. And I know I love Art - there's never been a moment of doubt there. It's always been Art, and it's always been writing - it never changed. And guess what, I've never had someone respond like that girl when I've said I love science. Well, I've only ever said I like science to people - and every time I would be met with a look that says "Yeh, right." Even when I'd insisted that I really do like science, they never believed me. Why? Because I've never talked about it with as much love, adoration, passion, energy and enthusiasm as I have when I talk about Art. My eyes light up when I talk about Art. My energy disappears when I talk about Neuroscience. Try talking about the subject with your subject teacher - like, a Physics discussion. See how you react. Are you quietly interested? Or are you truly enthusiastic? Cus you should be enthusiastic if you're passionate about it, constantly asking questions. I think about science and think - I want to know more. I think about Art History and I think - I wish I knew more. Not only am I interested in the knowledge, but I truly wished I knew more. I've never felt that it's a shame to not know more science, but I've felt that it's a shame to not know more about Art History or Art. Talk to your friends - sometimes their views are more accurate than your own.

    And I ought to be awarded with the Longest TSR Post award :king1:
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    Irisng,

    Thanks for the reply, it's appreciated. Don't worry about it being long, it was really useful knowing your 'story' because I could relate to parts of it.

    Firstly, I think I would prefer NatSci because I just don't know whether I could see myself doing the same subject (Physics) all day - I do enjoy it but I think I'd go mad if I didn't get a bit of variation. I don't do Chem but I do like Biology (but I'm like you - I don't enjoy the environment bits.. I prefer biochemistry or learning about the heart). In NatSci you can do other things like Psychology and Maths too which I enjoy.

    I was originally torn between Physics and Psychology. But after I'd been to a few open days I realised I was getting bored in the Psychology talks and was thinking 'come on lets get to Physics!'. That's what made me decide Psychology wasn't for me (although I'd still like to study it in a minor way like as part of NatSci - it's more like a hobby).

    Hmmm.. never doing Physics again.. It would feel like I was missing out on something. I don't mind reading New Scientist but I don't know if really I'm reading it 'because I want to do science to uni and so I should be interested in them'.

    Also, the strange thing is, I enjoy Physics now but looking round university physics labs, most look so messy and male-orientated! They sometimes look more like a workshop than a science lab. Maybe I'd prefer Thereoretical (can't spell!) Physics... I've always prefered theory to practical... although that does tend to be for Biology more than Physics!

    They often say when you're trying to decide on a career you should remember what you enjoyed doing as a child. Well one of my favourite things in the world was going to the science museum in London! I loved it there!

    I'm quite quiet at college but there's another person in my class who is definitely passionate about Physics - he's always talking about it! When he starts talking about string theory and all that I'm quietly listening and find it really interesting.

    From reading your post, it seems I do probably have a passion (well, I'm still not sure passion is the right word but I mean i think i like it enough to do a degree in it) for Physics. I love Physics but I like Biology/Psychology/Maths.

    Oops my post is really long now too!

    MissSurfer
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    I would say that having a genuine interest is sufficient, people do change and your interest may wane in the subject, but you aren't going to know that unless you study it further. I don't think it is as strong as not being able to live without it. Many people's passions are only truly ignited during their degree studies.

    My advice is appraise yourself on your mathematic ability, if you are good then go for physics, you will enjoy it. If your maths is not so good you might want to consider chemistry or natural science.
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    (Original post by MissSurfer)
    I'm quite quiet at college but there's another person in my class who is definitely passionate about Physics - he's always talking about it!
    Being passionate about it doesn't mean your toes have to curl whenever you touch a textbook

    I think if you're interested in physics over your other subjects that's probably passionate enough. Most people wouldn't even consider doing physics. Not many people are that impressed by my passion for my physics but I'm pretty sure it's the course I should be doing. I didn't read very many popular physics books until the last year of my A-Levels.

    I wouldn't worry about not enjoying experiments at school. They gradually get more interesting as you go on. I even caught myself enjoying a few this year.

    Also, what chemistboy said.
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    I think its a slight myth/exaggeration that you have to have a passion for a subject, especially at this age, A level is just a drop in the ocean of a subject like science. I've been asking myself the same question recently, but all i know is that i want to learn much more about my subject and would feel rather empty and desolate if i dropped it at this stage, simply because there's so much more for me to learn. I dont spend all my free time thinking about science, but if i see an interesting article i'll read it, and i've read quite a few science books in my time. The thing about science is that its very hard to access, popular science books can often be too basic and real science books are too complex. Out of all the science books i've read, i cant say any of them have inspired me or real captivated me, but i know i still want to carry on with it.
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    (Original post by MissSurfer)
    Yes, I do like to study planets. Im not sure Id want to travel to another planet - would be pretty cool but I\'d be too scared!!

    I know I like the subject but do I have a passion for it? Hmmmm...
    YES!!!!!!!


    You like the subject.
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    Oh good. Reading your replies, I think when universities use the word 'passion' it's a bit OTT. I've always wondered how many 18 year olds can really LOVE a subject so much.. I was just beginning to get a bit worried that maybe I shouldn't be applying for university yet because I don't feel I have a passion for a subject. All I know is I want to go to uni and Physics is my favourite subject.

    So thanks for the replies,
    MissSurfer
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    (Original post by MissSurfer)
    Oh good. Reading your replies, I think when universities use the word 'passion' it's a bit OTT. I've always wondered how many 18 year olds can really LOVE a subject so much.. I was just beginning to get a bit worried that maybe I shouldn't be applying for university yet because I don't feel I have a passion for a subject. All I know is I want to go to uni and Physics is my favourite subject.

    So thanks for the replies,
    MissSurfer
    You can only have a deep passion for science when you are more knowledgable than a-level stage, I think. I certainly was very interested and enthusiastic about chemistry at the age of 18, but I was a bit too ignorant of it to display any real passion for it.
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    The thing is, what if you don't have a passion for any subject? Lol.
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    (Original post by MissSurfer)
    Irisng,

    Thanks for the reply, it's appreciated. Don't worry about it being long, it was really useful knowing your 'story' because I could relate to parts of it.

    Firstly, I think I would prefer NatSci because I just don't know whether I could see myself doing the same subject (Physics) all day - I do enjoy it but I think I'd go mad if I didn't get a bit of variation. I don't do Chem but I do like Biology (but I'm like you - I don't enjoy the environment bits.. I prefer biochemistry or learning about the heart). In NatSci you can do other things like Psychology and Maths too which I enjoy.

    I was originally torn between Physics and Psychology. But after I'd been to a few open days I realised I was getting bored in the Psychology talks and was thinking 'come on lets get to Physics!'. That's what made me decide Psychology wasn't for me (although I'd still like to study it in a minor way like as part of NatSci - it's more like a hobby).

    Hmmm.. never doing Physics again.. It would feel like I was missing out on something. I don't mind reading New Scientist but I don't know if really I'm reading it 'because I want to do science to uni and so I should be interested in them'.

    Also, the strange thing is, I enjoy Physics now but looking round university physics labs, most look so messy and male-orientated! They sometimes look more like a workshop than a science lab. Maybe I'd prefer Thereoretical (can't spell!) Physics... I've always prefered theory to practical... although that does tend to be for Biology more than Physics!

    They often say when you're trying to decide on a career you should remember what you enjoyed doing as a child. Well one of my favourite things in the world was going to the science museum in London! I loved it there!

    I'm quite quiet at college but there's another person in my class who is definitely passionate about Physics - he's always talking about it! When he starts talking about string theory and all that I'm quietly listening and find it really interesting.

    From reading your post, it seems I do probably have a passion (well, I'm still not sure passion is the right word but I mean i think i like it enough to do a degree in it) for Physics. I love Physics but I like Biology/Psychology/Maths.

    Oops my post is really long now too!

    MissSurfer
    Hehe yeh sometimes I don't know why or how I manage to write so much Glad it's helped you a bit and thanx for the rep! And you only have to worry about long posts when you write more than me, methinks :p:

    NatSci is probably a good path for you cus, like I said, you can specialise by your 3rd year, or not specialise at all I think. A year at uni might really show you what side of science you love most - Neuroscience definitely taught me that I don't like science enough lol! When it comes to applying for uni, you can quite easily apply for 3 NatSci's and 3 Physics, you know? That way, you kinda have more time to think it through. I applied for 5 courses after all

    And as for Theoretical Physics - my friend's doing that course atm. The full name is Theoretical Physics and Applied Maths. I'm a fan of Theoretical Physics too lol, although I'm crap at Maths so I'd be screwed if I ever tried to study it lol.
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    I'm so jealous of people writing their PS's, i still cant decide what to apply for... for some of us, its difficult to say which subject we really enjoy and even then, we're basing it on our very limited experiences.
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    (Original post by silent ninja)
    I'm so jealous of people writing their PS's, i still cant decide what to apply for... for some of us, its difficult to say which subject we really enjoy and even then, we're basing it on our very limited experiences.
    Ok. A year ago I was in a right muddle about careers and all that. I considered doing a business degree because I always thought it would be cool being a business woman in the city! Then I realised I wanted the lifestyle - not the job. It's still something I'd like to be oneday, a business woman, but doing a business degree seemed to be unnecessary. I'm sure it's useful for the career but you don't absolutely need it, whereas another idea I had was becoming a psychologist - you really need a specialist degree for that. Then I loved my sciences. During my AS levels I started thinking about uni. I was torn between a psychology degree and natural sciences/physics. I went to a few talks about 'psychology at x uni' on open days and realised it wasn't for me. I enjoyed Psychology but as a hobby. So science it is.

    Even before that i wanted to do an Art degree.. then did GCSE art and realised that although I wasn't that bad (got a B), there were many people in the class who were much, much better and I'd probably not be a very successful artist!

    So I know very much what it's like to be undecided about things. Don't worry. Go to some open days if you haven't yet. It should help

    MissSurfer
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    As some people have mentioned, you'd be safer doing a NatSci degree, but it wouldnt be as physics based as you might like and therefore might find it annoying with all the unrelated stuff.

    However, I can completely understand where you are coming from with the dilemma. I mean im in exactly the same position, but its between NatSci and Biochemistry, instead of physics (so i guess that makes it not exactly!) . But even now I dont know whether i have a passion for Biochemistry. Put it this way, a year ago I wanted to do a degree in history!

    It's probably my favourite aspect of Science, but i would not be surprised if my interest wore off. Any Ideas anyone?

    (Sorry this started off as advice then got hijacked!)
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    Okay, so I'm not the only one! If i think too hard, i think i'd be passionate about a lot of subjects!
    I wish our universities were a bit broader in the first year. There's a lot of things I can see myself doing in 10 years time, but then at other times there's nothing I can see myself doing in 10 years time. Its confusing.
    Oh well, maybe it will come to me in a dream...well i hope, at least, before the end of September.
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    I would say go to as many open days and visit as many university departments as you can. It's really hard to make a decision with out experience of what the departments and course are like first hand.
 
 
 
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