Eruliaf
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Unsure whether to apply for Archeology with Ancient History or for Biomedical Science. I do 3 'science' subjects and history. Opinions would be appreciated.
Thanks
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Sargeant_Nemo
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Hey there. I saw your post and immediately had a flashback. You'll never get a more relevant answer because here I am, someone who is now going to the University of Birmingham to do Biomedical Science, after previously applying for Archaeology with Egyptology.

Long story short, I struggled throughout the entirety of my Sixth Form with whether to do Ancient History/Archaeology/Egyptology, or Medicine/Biomedical Science. I love both fields with a passion, but as you must know, they are so completely different and take you down completely different paths. Ultimately, I chose Biomed, for reasons I will explain in a minute. Background story: I've always been obsessed Egypt, always fancied myself as an Archaeologist working there. Conversely, always loved Science, Biology and Medicine specifically, loved research.

Initially, when the time rolled around to start applying for Universities, I chose Archaeology with Egyptology, applied to UCL, and got an offer. I was thrilled. Top university, something I was truly interested in, I couldn't have been happier. But come August, I failed to meet the conditions of my offer, and got AAC (Biology, Spanish, Chemistry respectively) instead of AAB. I was devastated, but I didn't want to go to any other Uni, so I declined my Insurance and decided to take a gap year. In the end, I took two. I struggled so much over those two years with what to do with myself, and the old Biomed/Archaeology choice came back up to haunt me. I retook my Chemistry A-Level, didn't do better, fell into a rut and ended up doing two years of literally nothing but wallowing at home with the Archaeology/Biomed hovering above me.

In the end, this is how I decided. Archaeology is an amazing subject, but if you want to make a career out of it like I did, it really doesn't go hand in hand with a family, unless your particular area of interest was the UK (where I assume you are from). To pursue it in the way I wanted to, I would be living in Egypt, Mexico, anywhere but home. Many Archaeologists of this manner are pretty solitary. It just doesn't go hand in hand with a family. And then there's job security. You're very unlikely to ever be secure in your job, or to do exactly what it is you want to do. Excavations ultimately lie with University groups - They provide the funding, you go where they say. You'll never be able to search for that lost tomb of Cleopatra unless you're crazy-rich, you're sponsored by somebody who's crazy-rich, or you happen to be part of a University team who is providing the funding to do so. However, you are doing what you love. It's a matter of weighing up the pros and cons.

Biomedical Science, however, while still not exactly providing amazing job security, is a bit better. There is always need of scientists. It leads to so many pathways too, afterwards I could work with the NHS, do Medicine, get a Masters, a PhD, so many things. And it goes better with being able to have a family, a life.

These factors weighed in a lot. But two things ultimately made my decision for me. One of those was knowing that if I did Biomed, I could always have Archaeology as a hobby. It's something you can research and participate in on the side at any time, heck, I could even retire and then pursue Archaeology. But you can't do Archaeology and make a hobby of Biomedical Science. It just unfortunately is not a hobby you can do on the side or retire into. And lastly, was my need to make an impact on the world. I felt, while I love Archaeology, it is not really contributing to any advancement in society on a great level. Sure, study of past societies in my opinion is essential for the simple reason of "If we don't know history, we are doomed to repeat it". But it's not advancing our society. I thought, even though I'll never be one of those ridiculously smart Physicists or Mathematicians or Engineers or Astronauts or Researchers, and it's very unlikely I can contribute something great to society, at the very least I can help make advancements using the field of Biomedical Science.

And that was it. My mind was decided. I applied to Birmingham, Surrey, King's, Leicester and UEA. I accepted an Unconditional from Birmingham, and here I am. And I couldn't be happier. I don't have my heart and head torn in half anymore over trying to decide between Biomed and Archaeology. I think I chose well. I know I can always do both. I'm happy, and excited to see where life now takes me.

Long story short, it's up to you and what you want, but you have to weigh the impact of what each choice would make on your life, and whether you can live with the weight of those. I hope I helped.
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Eruliaf
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(Original post by Sargeant_Nemo)
Hey there. I saw your post and immediately had a flashback. You'll never get a more relevant answer because here I am, someone who is now going to the University of Birmingham to do Biomedical Science, after previously applying for Archaeology with Egyptology.

Long story short, I struggled throughout the entirety of my Sixth Form with whether to do Ancient History/Archaeology/Egyptology, or Medicine/Biomedical Science. I love both fields with a passion, but as you must know, they are so completely different and take you down completely different paths. Ultimately, I chose Biomed, for reasons I will explain in a minute. Background story: I've always been obsessed Egypt, always fancied myself as an Archaeologist working there. Conversely, always loved Science, Biology and Medicine specifically, loved research.

Initially, when the time rolled around to start applying for Universities, I chose Archaeology with Egyptology, applied to UCL, and got an offer. I was thrilled. Top university, something I was truly interested in, I couldn't have been happier. But come August, I failed to meet the conditions of my offer, and got AAC (Biology, Spanish, Chemistry respectively) instead of AAB. I was devastated, but I didn't want to go to any other Uni, so I declined my Insurance and decided to take a gap year. In the end, I took two. I struggled so much over those two years with what to do with myself, and the old Biomed/Archaeology choice came back up to haunt me. I retook my Chemistry A-Level, didn't do better, fell into a rut and ended up doing two years of literally nothing but wallowing at home with the Archaeology/Biomed hovering above me.

In the end, this is how I decided. Archaeology is an amazing subject, but if you want to make a career out of it like I did, it really doesn't go hand in hand with a family, unless your particular area of interest was the UK (where I assume you are from). To pursue it in the way I wanted to, I would be living in Egypt, Mexico, anywhere but home. Many Archaeologists of this manner are pretty solitary. It just doesn't go hand in hand with a family. And then there's job security. You're very unlikely to ever be secure in your job, or to do exactly what it is you want to do. Excavations ultimately lie with University groups - They provide the funding, you go where they say. You'll never be able to search for that lost tomb of Cleopatra unless you're crazy-rich, you're sponsored by somebody who's crazy-rich, or you happen to be part of a University team who is providing the funding to do so. However, you are doing what you love. It's a matter of weighing up the pros and cons.

Biomedical Science, however, while still not exactly providing amazing job security, is a bit better. There is always need of scientists. It leads to so many pathways too, afterwards I could work with the NHS, do Medicine, get a Masters, a PhD, so many things. And it goes better with being able to have a family, a life.

These factors weighed in a lot. But two things ultimately made my decision for me. One of those was knowing that if I did Biomed, I could always have Archaeology as a hobby. It's something you can research and participate in on the side at any time, heck, I could even retire and then pursue Archaeology. But you can't do Archaeology and make a hobby of Biomedical Science. It just unfortunately is not a hobby you can do on the side or retire into. And lastly, was my need to make an impact on the world. I felt, while I love Archaeology, it is not really contributing to any advancement in society on a great level. Sure, study of past societies in my opinion is essential for the simple reason of "If we don't know history, we are doomed to repeat it". But it's not advancing our society. I thought, even though I'll never be one of those ridiculously smart Physicists or Mathematicians or Engineers or Astronauts or Researchers, and it's very unlikely I can contribute something great to society, at the very least I can help make advancements using the field of Biomedical Science.

And that was it. My mind was decided. I applied to Birmingham, Surrey, King's, Leicester and UEA. I accepted an Unconditional from Birmingham, and here I am. And I couldn't be happier. I don't have my heart and head torn in half anymore over trying to decide between Biomed and Archaeology. I think I chose well. I know I can always do both. I'm happy, and excited to see where life now takes me.

Long story short, it's up to you and what you want, but you have to weigh the impact of what each choice would make on your life, and whether you can live with the weight of those. I hope I helped.

Thanks soooo much, tending to agree with you on the whole job security thing
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