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    Hello!

    Currently in first year of A-levels and I'm completely stuck; I have no idea what I want to do (well, I want to be a poet, but that's a pipe dream) and I keep finding that I'm only interested in certain bits of degrees.

    You probably want my stats, so -
    GCSEs: 10 A*s, an A in Art and Design (damn) and an A in OCR FMSQ Additional Maths (technically an A^, technically-)

    A-levels (predicted, just after mocks):
    Maths (A*)
    Further Maths (A*/A - should probably do more work)
    Physics (A* - my teacher says I'd be great at material science lol)
    Latin (A*)
    English lit (A*).

    So, I guess my stats aren't bad, but the issue is that I'm not brilliant at maths (i.e SMT is like watching my dreams go down the gutter and I keep getting silver/bronze lol).

    +++++
    General background to each option:

    I'm concerned about doing Economics as I didn't take Economics A level and I think that'd make me unattractive as a candidate, plus the fact that I'd probably have to do an insane amount of extra reading. Our school's economics teacher is rubbish/non-existent/also the ICT teacher, so I don't think I'd have support from him (my FMaths teacher might be able to help, but he didn't do an economics degree). TBH I'm mostly worried that I'd be a horrible candidate and that what I'm interested in will be too nichey for interview (Abenomics, Milton Friedman, etc).

    My parents suggested law, as I'm (imao, take it with a sack of salt) a pretty good writer, and extremely argumentative lol. Also, I speed-read pretty quickly - I've read nearly every book in our school library (it's only got two floors though hahaha), so I guess that might be useful. But, I think I'm more interested in the philosophy of law, and the idea of torts and contracts, logic puzzles aside, strikes me as something mind-numbingly dull.

    This brings me onto studying philosophy itself. But, tbh, I've read most of the undergrad prescription and besides the awesome tutorial system at Oxbridge, I'm not sure the lack of contact time is something that'd be worth £9000 + living costs per year, when it's just revision. Also, my parents are 1st gen immigrants and there's no way they'd be remotely supportive if I chose an arts degree. The graduate prospects don't look that great either.

    Which leads onto English lit. Realistically, I've interned at magazines and they all tell me that print media is dying; I'm fascinated by language and how it holds meaning and there's nothing more appealing than the thought of reading literature for three years. However, like with philosophy, I've read most of the undergrad list (including the Bible, lol - this is what happens when your parents are catholic), and I'm aware that I'm likely to end up as a teacher. Not that that's a bad job (I work as a private tutor in my free time), but it's not a lifelong dream, and I think education's more of a calling.

    +++

    Other factors / options:

    I'm a QPOC (queer person of colour) and I identify/present as female. I have the whole bevy of self-worth/mental health issues common in the community. I'm what a sociologist would call generation 1.5 immigrant.

    I recognise that there's great exit options for law and economics (particularly LSE econometrics) into research, investment banking, private equity, the Bar, etc, but discrimination will always be a huge concern of mine.

    I've heard too many horror stories and I realise that I will
    face - there's nothing probable about it - glass ceiling, bamboo ceiling and rainbow ceiling/homophobia, which does make me lean away from finance and biglaw, and economics and law by association. I can't afford an arts degree (I did consider taking advantage of Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Columbia, etc [got a 1590/1600 on the November SAT lol] and their insane financial aid for someone of my background, but I'm extremely hesitant now that Trump has been elected).

    I feel that I need a stable job, on the strong likelihood that my parents disown me if/when I come out. But, ironically, it's for these same reasons that I feel I won't be able to.

    +++

    Omigosh, this was a massive essay. But any advice/support would be appreciated.
    • TSR Support Team
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    TSR Support Team
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    (Original post by ReluctantWriter)
    Hello!

    Currently in first year of A-levels and I'm completely stuck; I have no idea what I want to do (well, I want to be a poet, but that's a pipe dream) and I keep finding that I'm only interested in certain bits of degrees.

    You probably want my stats, so -
    GCSEs: 10 A*s, an A in Art and Design (damn) and an A in OCR FMSQ Additional Maths (technically an A^, technically-)

    A-levels (predicted, just after mocks):
    Maths (A*)
    Further Maths (A*/A - should probably do more work)
    Physics (A* - my teacher says I'd be great at material science lol)
    Latin (A*)
    English lit (A*).

    So, I guess my stats aren't bad, but the issue is that I'm not brilliant at maths (i.e SMT is like watching my dreams go down the gutter and I keep getting silver/bronze lol).

    +++++
    General background to each option:

    I'm concerned about doing Economics as I didn't take Economics A level and I think that'd make me unattractive as a candidate, plus the fact that I'd probably have to do an insane amount of extra reading. Our school's economics teacher is rubbish/non-existent/also the ICT teacher, so I don't think I'd have support from him (my FMaths teacher might be able to help, but he didn't do an economics degree). TBH I'm mostly worried that I'd be a horrible candidate and that what I'm interested in will be too nichey for interview (Abenomics, Milton Friedman, etc).

    My parents suggested law, as I'm (imao, take it with a sack of salt) a pretty good writer, and extremely argumentative lol. Also, I speed-read pretty quickly - I've read nearly every book in our school library (it's only got two floors though hahaha), so I guess that might be useful. But, I think I'm more interested in the philosophy of law, and the idea of torts and contracts, logic puzzles aside, strikes me as something mind-numbingly dull.

    This brings me onto studying philosophy itself. But, tbh, I've read most of the undergrad prescription and besides the awesome tutorial system at Oxbridge, I'm not sure the lack of contact time is something that'd be worth £9000 + living costs per year, when it's just revision. Also, my parents are 1st gen immigrants and there's no way they'd be remotely supportive if I chose an arts degree. The graduate prospects don't look that great either.

    Which leads onto English lit. Realistically, I've interned at magazines and they all tell me that print media is dying; I'm fascinated by language and how it holds meaning and there's nothing more appealing than the thought of reading literature for three years. However, like with philosophy, I've read most of the undergrad list (including the Bible, lol - this is what happens when your parents are catholic), and I'm aware that I'm likely to end up as a teacher. Not that that's a bad job (I work as a private tutor in my free time), but it's not a lifelong dream, and I think education's more of a calling.

    +++

    Other factors / options:

    I'm a QPOC (queer person of colour) and I identify/present as female. I have the whole bevy of self-worth/mental health issues common in the community. I'm what a sociologist would call generation 1.5 immigrant.

    I recognise that there's great exit options for law and economics (particularly LSE econometrics) into research, investment banking, private equity, the Bar, etc, but discrimination will always be a huge concern of mine.

    I've heard too many horror stories and I realise that I will
    face - there's nothing probable about it - glass ceiling, bamboo ceiling and rainbow ceiling/homophobia, which does make me lean away from finance and biglaw, and economics and law by association. I can't afford an arts degree (I did consider taking advantage of Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Columbia, etc [got a 1590/1600 on the November SAT lol] and their insane financial aid for someone of my background, but I'm extremely hesitant now that Trump has been elected).

    I feel that I need a stable job, on the strong likelihood that my parents disown me if/when I come out. But, ironically, it's for these same reasons that I feel I won't be able to.

    +++

    Omigosh, this was a massive essay. But any advice/support would be appreciated.
    You do not need economics at A level to do it as a degree, maths is much more important. Not having economics will not make you an unattractive candidate. Doing extra reading is a good thing; universities want applicants to talk about their specific interests in their personal statement.

    Don't do law for the sake of it. So many people take law because they don't know what else to do and because they think it is useful, then regret it later. If you have serious ambitions to be a lawyer then take law, if you only have a vague interest, do something else.

    Re philosophy/English/arts degrees: I am firmly of the opinion that one should study a subject they love. An arts degree is not a barrier to a successful career. Naturally jobs which require specific technical or scientific knowledge will be closed to an arts graduate, but most graduate jobs do not require a specific subject - good grades and work experience are more important these days.

    Trump is a moron, but you can be certain that nobody at Harvard/Yale/Princeton/Columbia or any other elite university will support him. American college towns are bastions of progressivism, so don't let Trump put you off applying.

    Perhaps you should consider doing a joint honours degree? Many top universities allow you to combine English/Philosophy/Economics/Law, and Oxford of course has PPE.
 
 
 
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