PirateEmily
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Before I ask, I want to point out that due to my family situation there is no chance that I'll be able to take a gap year out so it's now or never.
Essentially, my problem is that, it's a month till my school's deadline to send away uni applications and I still am not sure of what I want to do. I've been saying that I'll do biochemistry or biological sciences/biology for the past few months but to be honest, I don't know if they're for me. I really do enjoy biology and chemistry but:
1. I'm pretty bad at the mathsy part of chemistry so don't really know if I'll do well in Biochemistry
2. I'm worried I won't study enough chemistry if I do Biological Sciences/Biology
3. Unlike the majority of people I know, I feel as though I have zero passion for any subject in particular. I'm aaware that I shouldn't be comparing but next to my two best friends who both have their degree subjects coming out of their ears (History & Politics and Spanish/Foreign Languages) it's really scary to know that there's nothing really drawing me anywhere.
4. Despite the two above stated degree choices, I'm not sure if I am prepared to undertake a degree which potentially will result in my job prospects mainly being lab related. I don't mind lab work, but if I had to do it everyday, well.... Also, it seems to me that if you want to get a high paying job in these areas, you'll need either a doctorate or at least a masters degree which to be honest, I'm not sure that I'm intelligent enough to achieve.

To sum up, I am very scared that I'll make the wrong decision and (call me melodramatic) potentially ruin my life by getting stuck in a career which I don't love. It would be greatly appreciated if some of you lovely people could perhaps give me some advice as to what to do or what you did if you felt/feel like this.

Thank you
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TenOfThem
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(Original post by PirateEmily)
1. I'm pretty bad at the mathsy part of chemistry so don't really know if I'll do well in Biochemistry
2. I'm worried I won't study enough chemistry if I do Biological Sciences/Biology
You need to address these conflicting points

If you cannot do the maths then you will struggle with chemistry but it is worth looking at different biochem courses to see if they definitely require Maths A level - if they don't you may be ok

The second comment suggests that it is chem you are more interested in than bio - if this is the case you really need to search the biochem courses and talk to admissions people to find a suitable one
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dragonkeeper999
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The maths content in Chemistry isn't that bad at all if you stick to the more biological side. The really challenging stuff is in Physical Chemistry (quantum mechanics, rates of reactions, thermodynamics, etc.) whereas for Biochemistry there shouldn't be as much (obviously this varies from uni to uni though). Have a look on the university's website - there may be a syllabus available (so you can see whether there are any major mathematical modules) and you can also have a look at their A level requirements. If they require A level Maths or even Further Maths then perhaps there is a fair amount of mathematical content to the course. However, if they don't then expect any maths to be aimed at GCSE Maths level students, and they should go through things more slowly. If you are concerned about the maths required at a particular uni, perhaps contact their admissions department and ask if you can be put in touch with a current student? Or try asking their representatives on TSR if they have them?

Biological Sciences/ Biology courses will probably have less chemistry in them than Biochemistry - and it may be more of the 'memorise all these metabolism chemical reactions happening in your cells' kind rather than the 'yay chemistry lets understand why these chemical reactions actually happen' kind. It will vary a lot between unis, and some may give you the option to pick more chemistry related modules. You could also consider doing a joint degree in say Biochemistry and Biology or something?

Biology becomes a lot more broad at degree level, and you become more aware of all the different sub-subjects within it - e.g. Zoology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology, Pharmacology, Pathology, Neorobiology, Animal Biology, etc. Depending on the uni, you may be able to pick modules of particular interest to you and discover new subjects you are passionate about Also, many unis are quite flexible with degree courses, so you may be able to switch courses to a more interesting related course after first year if you discover than you are much more interested in e.g. Biology than Biochemistry. Obviously don't rely on this being the case - if a course is oversubscribed (e.g. medicine) and they don't have space then you won't be able to switch, and they may require particular A level/ first year degree modules to have been taken and a good result obtained.

There are so many more job opportunities than just working in a lab! There are areas such as computational biology which are just taking off - so you could still do 'experiments' in an office Also, many graduate programmes want people with any degree type (usually the more business/ marketing/ etc. ones) or with a 'scientific' degree (e.g. scientific consultancy/ business roles within a scientific company). Also, there is the option to take post-graduate qualifications in a different subjects - e.g. MBAs, graduate entry medicine, graduate law schemes, PhDs, etc. Don't worry about being 'intelligent' enough to do post-graduate study, often people discover what they are really good at at university level, and so end up with a much better degree result than expected although perhaps in a slightly different subject area. Also, these courses don't need you to be super-intelligent with straight A*s at A level, as long as you meet their basic academic requirements (often a 2:1 degree result) they will consider other things like your extracurricular experiences too. The same goes for graduate jobs - they want evidence that you don't spend your whole life locked up in a library and actually have other skills too!
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Lexxaa
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(Original post by PirateEmily)
Before I ask, I want to point out that due to my family situation there is no chance that I'll be able to take a gap year out so it's now or never.
Essentially, my problem is that, it's a month till my school's deadline to send away uni applications and I still am not sure of what I want to do. I've been saying that I'll do biochemistry or biological sciences/biology for the past few months but to be honest, I don't know if they're for me. I really do enjoy biology and chemistry but:
1. I'm pretty bad at the mathsy part of chemistry so don't really know if I'll do well in Biochemistry
2. I'm worried I won't study enough chemistry if I do Biological Sciences/Biology
3. Unlike the majority of people I know, I feel as though I have zero passion for any subject in particular. I'm aaware that I shouldn't be comparing but next to my two best friends who both have their degree subjects coming out of their ears (History & Politics and Spanish/Foreign Languages) it's really scary to know that there's nothing really drawing me anywhere.
4. Despite the two above stated degree choices, I'm not sure if I am prepared to undertake a degree which potentially will result in my job prospects mainly being lab related. I don't mind lab work, but if I had to do it everyday, well.... Also, it seems to me that if you want to get a high paying job in these areas, you'll need either a doctorate or at least a masters degree which to be honest, I'm not sure that I'm intelligent enough to achieve.

To sum up, I am very scared that I'll make the wrong decision and (call me melodramatic) potentially ruin my life by getting stuck in a career which I don't love. It would be greatly appreciated if some of you lovely people could perhaps give me some advice as to what to do or what you did if you felt/feel like this.

Thank you
People think that Maths is a talent, but it's a skill. I am not a math genius by any means, not even close and I don't even like maths, but with practice you can learn to apply it to chemistry. Just practice a lot. I still struggle with it but it's doable, so ask for help!

I kind of had the same problem and I decided on biochemistry. I really love biology, but I like chem too, so I wanted a little bit of chem in what I would be studying. I chose degrees which have way more biology than chemistry and those are very common. Biochem gives you a lot of options, so just check the module content .

You said that you enjoy both, biology and chemistry so it's not that bad, at least you like your subjects!

In terms of the lab work, I am sure there are jobs which you can do that don't require constant labwork. If you're unsure what to do, but enjoy sciences just stick with it and see what happens.

I am paranoid too about where I'll end up and what job I'll be doing, but my chill friend is telling me to stop and just do what I like. It's totally scary. Just see what happens.
I feel like this advice is totally useless, but I just want you to know that you're not the only one worried about this and at least you care enough to worry - which is an achievement.
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