Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Hey everyone, finished my first year of Phys NatSci (Physics, Maths B, Chem and Materials) and really hated it. I don't really know why I applied for natural sciences in the first place, I never really had a passion for science. I just wanted to come to Cambridge and was good at chemistry. I have started to really hate the course and become depressed. The course load is intense (I'm doing over 60 hours of work a week) and I just hate it. I don't really gel with the people on my course who love physics and don't have the time to do other things without my grades taking a serious dip. I feel that everyone is ok or willing to sacrifice a lot of there time to work but you are only at University at once and I feel that I have already wasted my first year. I was wondering if anyone has swapped from Natural Sciences to second year economics successfully? I really wouldn't want to redo first year so may have to slog out the next two years.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    Hey everyone, finished my first year of Phys NatSci (Physics, Maths B, Chem and Materials) and really hated it. I don't really know why I applied for natural sciences in the first place, I never really had a passion for science. I just wanted to come to Cambridge and was good at chemistry. I have started to really hate the course and become depressed. The course load is intense (I'm doing over 60 hours of work a week) and I just hate it. I don't really gel with the people on my course who love physics and don't have the time to do other things without my grades taking a serious dip. I feel that everyone is ok or willing to sacrifice a lot of there time to work but you are only at University at once and I feel that I have already wasted my first year. I was wondering if anyone has swapped from Natural Sciences to second year economics successfully? I really wouldn't want to redo first year so may have to slog out the next two years.
    Ignore the poster above. She obviously doesn't know anything about how things work at Cambridge.....

    The first thing....
    Switching to another course is possible, but only when you completed Part I and only if all parties concerned agree.
    Natsci's Part I is for 2 years, so your transfer can only be considered by all parties concerned (your current DoS/department and those of the course you want to transfer to) nearer the time when you're finishing your second year.
    If they're all satisfied with your suitability/quality for the transfer, then you can switch to the beginning of Part II of the course, in case of Economics that's their second year.
    So you'll be spending 4 years, minimum, at Cambridge until you graduate with Economics degree. So, assuming you're staying only for 3 years on natsci (without Part III option for 4th year), you'll be spending one extra year if you switch to Economics = extra tuition fees.

    I think the best thing you can and should do at the moment is to discuss your problem with your DoS. That's they are there for.

    The first year at Cambridge is the most difficult for many students, both academically and mentally/psychologically. Some people take longer than others to find their own feet and adjust to the new way of life. So don't think you're completely unique in the position like that, and don't make a hasty decision, please. It's quite possible you are feeling completely differently in a few months time. I've seen quite a few who struggled a lot in the first year (and a bit, sometimes), but most of them managed to overcome the issue after all.

    Talk to DoS, and your college parents, as soon as you got back to your college. (or try emailing DoS, if you're really desperate)
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    Hey everyone, finished my first year of Phys NatSci (Physics, Maths B, Chem and Materials) and really hated it. I don't really know why I applied for natural sciences in the first place, I never really had a passion for science. I just wanted to come to Cambridge and was good at chemistry. I have started to really hate the course and become depressed. The course load is intense (I'm doing over 60 hours of work a week) and I just hate it. I don't really gel with the people on my course who love physics and don't have the time to do other things without my grades taking a serious dip. I feel that everyone is ok or willing to sacrifice a lot of there time to work but you are only at University at once and I feel that I have already wasted my first year. I was wondering if anyone has swapped from Natural Sciences to second year economics successfully? I really wouldn't want to redo first year so may have to slog out the next two years.
    As per vincrows, but another point... why do you want to change to Econ? It won't be a walk in the park either, and there's not much chemistry involved...

    Another, and reasonably common, move is to Management Studies.
    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....gement-studies

    That is just a 1 year Part II.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    As per vincrows, but another point... why do you want to change to Econ? It won't be a walk in the park either, and there's not much chemistry involved...

    Another, and reasonably common, move is to Management Studies.
    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....gement-studies

    That is just a 1 year Part II.
    I think I told you this before but most people do Management as an extra course after they completed their original course.
    Switching to Management midway isn't generally regarded very highly......
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by vincrows)
    I think I told you this before but most people do Management as an extra course after they completed their original course.
    Switching to Management midway isn't generally regarded very highly......
    Not regarded highly by whom? The department itself implies its more common to take it after 2 years on another course:

    "The Management Studies Tripos is a one-year course that can be taken only by students who have already completed two, or in some cases three, years of another Tripos at the University of Cambridge."

    Eitherway, it's an option worth researching.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you for all the responses,
    I will really try to hit them all one by one.

    (Original post by vincrows)
    I
    The first year at Cambridge is the most difficult for many students, both academically and mentally/psychologically. Some people take longer than others to find their own feet and adjust to the new way of life. So don't think you're completely unique in the position like that, and don't make a hasty decision, please. It's quite possible you are feeling completely differently in a few months time. I've seen quite a few who struggled a lot in the first year (and a bit, sometimes), but most of them managed to overcome the issue after all.
    Thats good to hear, I really just do think that NatSci is way to time intensive. Unfortunately my college parents are quite recluse and haven't seen them and my sister was a one year masters student so no one there to talk to but will definitely talk to my tutor and DoS. Do you have any tips on how people did this? One path seems to be just accepting that there is more to life and sacrificing your grades but I do think that with NatSci that even the bare minimum is a lot of effort. Talking to second years even getting a 2.2 seems to be a 40 hour plus a week job.

    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    As per vincrows, but another point... why do you want to change to Econ? It won't be a walk in the park either, and there's not much chemistry involved...

    Another, and reasonably common, move is to Management Studies.
    https://www.undergraduate.study.cam....gement-studies

    That is just a 1 year Part II.
    I really did enjoy Econ at School and was very interested in it. I never realised how much I enjoyed being able to discuss concepts and engage with them. natsci seems to be just learning and regurgitating an ungodly amount of equations and theories. I did the IB and did HL Chemistry, Maths, and Econ. I hoped to go and work in finance later and was told that physics would be very well regarded so I applied for chemistry with the plan of specialising in physics. Really odd logic but seemed like a great plan at the time.

    The plan was just to get a degree as part of the process to getting a good career - studying at school was just something that you had to do but could spend the rest of your life as you wanted where as now natsci seems to be my life. Also I feel that I gel with Economists better and that the degree gives you the possibility to spend more time on the other aspects of life. Uni (and life) is meant to be more than just working. In general the economists seem to have a much more balanced life (maybe this is just the grass is greener). The huge amount of contact hours, especially morning lectures followed by labs during the afternoons mean that you really do miss a lot.

    What is the reputation of management studies? Do employers look down on it and is it seen as a cop out? I don't really know anyone who has done it but speaking to one person briefly he said that it was supposed to be much easier.
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    What is the reputation of management studies? Do employers look down on it and is it seen as a cop out? I don't really know anyone who has done it but speaking to one person briefly he said that it was supposed to be much easier.
    Considering that Judge is one of the leading business schools in the world, no.

    Use your raven to check the destinations from this:
    http://www.careers.cam.ac.uk/subject...entstudies.asp

    Specifically http://www.careers.cam.ac.uk/subject...iesdests15.asp
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Not regarded highly by whom? The department itself implies its more common to take it after 2 years on another course:

    "The Management Studies Tripos is a one-year course that can be taken only by students who have already completed two, or in some cases three, years of another Tripos at the University of Cambridge."

    Eitherway, it's an option worth researching.
    There's more to Cambridge than something you can search on internet......
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    Thank you for all the responses,
    I will really try to hit them all one by one.



    Thats good to hear, I really just do think that NatSci is way to time intensive. Unfortunately my college parents are quite recluse and haven't seen them and my sister was a one year masters student so no one there to talk to but will definitely talk to my tutor and DoS. Do you have any tips on how people did this? One path seems to be just accepting that there is more to life and sacrificing your grades but I do think that with NatSci that even the bare minimum is a lot of effort. Talking to second years even getting a 2.2 seems to be a 40 hour plus a week job.



    I really did enjoy Econ at School and was very interested in it. I never realised how much I enjoyed being able to discuss concepts and engage with them. natsci seems to be just learning and regurgitating an ungodly amount of equations and theories. I did the IB and did HL Chemistry, Maths, and Econ. I hoped to go and work in finance later and was told that physics would be very well regarded so I applied for chemistry with the plan of specialising in physics. Really odd logic but seemed like a great plan at the time.

    The plan was just to get a degree as part of the process to getting a good career - studying at school was just something that you had to do but could spend the rest of your life as you wanted where as now natsci seems to be my life. Also I feel that I gel with Economists better and that the degree gives you the possibility to spend more time on the other aspects of life. Uni (and life) is meant to be more than just working. In general the economists seem to have a much more balanced life (maybe this is just the grass is greener). The huge amount of contact hours, especially morning lectures followed by labs during the afternoons mean that you really do miss a lot.

    What is the reputation of management studies? Do employers look down on it and is it seen as a cop out? I don't really know anyone who has done it but speaking to one person briefly he said that it was supposed to be much easier.
    If you're thinking of switching because you think economics is easier, you're seriously mistaken.......

    If you really want to switch, choose a course you genuinely love. If you're changing for any other reason, including a hope that'll get you a good job, you'll be repeating a same mistake.
    It's Cambridge, it's hard. And your passion for the subject is often the only thing that would get you going when things get really hard.
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    Hey everyone, finished my first year of Phys NatSci (Physics, Maths B, Chem and Materials) and really hated it.
    Another thought... as you proceed through NST you obviously specialise more and more into the things that actually interest you. Less physics and more chem

    Maybe speak to some 3rd year chemists
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by vincrows)
    If you're thinking of switching because you think economics is easier, you're seriously mistaken.......

    If you really want to switch, choose a course you genuinely love. If you're changing for any other reason, including a hope that'll get you a good job, you'll be repeating a same mistake.
    It's Cambridge, it's hard. And your passion for the subject is often the only thing that would get you going when things get really hard.
    I completely agree with you, you have to do what you enjoy.

    I do think that the difference between subjects is huge though. I have spoken to second years and say that even getting a 2.2 in second year natsci is tough. Even though the second year has slightly less work, it is still a lot of work to get a 2.2. There are 9 lectures, a lab day and 3 supervisions a week. Apparently a lot more time is spent doing independent study as well and many students getting a 2.2 that I've spoken to are putting in 50 hours a week. This is not really the case in say Econ where you can get a 2.2 but have a great social life or get a 2.1 and have a more decent balance.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    I completely agree with you, you have to do what you enjoy.

    I do think that the difference between subjects is huge though. I have spoken to second years and say that even getting a 2.2 in second year natsci is tough. Even though the second year has slightly less work, it is still a lot of work to get a 2.2. There are 9 lectures, a lab day and 3 supervisions a week. Apparently a lot more time is spent doing independent study as well and many students getting a 2.2 that I've spoken to are putting in 50 hours a week. This is not really the case in say Econ where you can get a 2.2 but have a great social life or get a 2.1 and have a more decent balance.
    Higher proportion of maths/science students get a first/2.1 than humanities/arts students because it's more difficult to get higher class in the latter as it's more subjective.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by vincrows)
    Higher proportion of maths/science students get a first/2.1 than humanities/arts students because it's more difficult to get higher class in the latter as it's more subjective.
    Not to go off topic but I guess I must just see the grass as greener. However I don't think that the numbers are true, I know that second year natural scientists are scaled so that 40% get a 2.2 or third. Looking at class lists I can't really see a single humanities which is the same.

    http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/2015-16/special/08/

    That being said it does get better in third year physics and more people get a 1st than 2.1, however I question at what cost. Surely it is better to get a lower degree in something that you enjoy and not really to make your choice on something such as grades.

    If you don't mind me asking what do you study?
    Online

    10
    ReputationRep:
    For Economics, don't you have to write a 7,500 words dissertation? Sounds much harder.
    • Section Leader
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    Not to go off topic but I guess I must just see the grass as greener. However I don't think that the numbers are true, I know that second year natural scientists are scaled so that 40% get a 2.2 or third. Looking at class lists I can't really see a single humanities which is the same.

    http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/2015-16/special/08/

    That being said it does get better in third year physics and more people get a 1st than 2.1, however I question at what cost. Surely it is better to get a lower degree in something that you enjoy and not really to make your choice on something such as grades.

    If you don't mind me asking what do you study?
    Needs raven...

    But according to Unistats both NatSci and Econ approx 10% graduate with 2:2 or worse. 35% NatScis get a 1st, vs 30% Economics.

    Edit: Also, just checked a Part II (Y3) Chemistry classlist:
    1sts 40%, 2:1 48%, 2:2 12%, 3rd 0%
    i.e. the grades improve as you specialise. Y2 classes don't matter.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    Not to go off topic but I guess I must just see the grass as greener. However I don't think that the numbers are true, I know that second year natural scientists are scaled so that 40% get a 2.2 or third. Looking at class lists I can't really see a single humanities which is the same.

    http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/reporter/2015-16/special/08/

    That being said it does get better in third year physics and more people get a 1st than 2.1, however I question at what cost. Surely it is better to get a lower degree in something that you enjoy and not really to make your choice on something such as grades.

    If you don't mind me asking what do you study?
    Yes probably, to your first sentence.
    Economics is one of the most competitive courses. If you think it's easier than natsci, you really are very wrong.
    And it's Cambridge, having to work hard is a part of the deal. But I can assure you you will learn to deal with it better and get used to it.

    As I said, the first year often comes as a shock and some people take longer than others to get over it. And when it happens to you, it may feel like you're in a wrong place and everyone else is in a better place.
    But honestly, I've seen quite a few just like you. Strangely, most of them were natsci.....but they got over it somehow and graduated happily as a natsci.

    You can't switch to other course until you complete Part I, anyway.
    Just try hanging on there for another term.
    And let your DoS know how you're feeling and Seek for advice.
    If you feel the same by the middle of Lent term, you can start discussing about a possibility of switching properly with your DoS.
    Online

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    Hey everyone, finished my first year of Phys NatSci (Physics, Maths B, Chem and Materials) and really hated it. I don't really know why I applied for natural sciences in the first place, I never really had a passion for science. I just wanted to come to Cambridge and was good at chemistry. I have started to really hate the course and become depressed. The course load is intense (I'm doing over 60 hours of work a week) and I just hate it. I don't really gel with the people on my course who love physics and don't have the time to do other things without my grades taking a serious dip. I feel that everyone is ok or willing to sacrifice a lot of there time to work but you are only at University at once and I feel that I have already wasted my first year. I was wondering if anyone has swapped from Natural Sciences to second year economics successfully? I really wouldn't want to redo first year so may have to slog out the next two years.
    In my experience IA NatSci was by far the worst year in terms of workload. Part IB is much better and II even more so.

    If you really want to swap, you'll need to talk to your DoS and the economics DoS at your college.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by vincrows)
    Yes probably, to your first sentence.
    Economics is one of the most competitive courses. If you think it's easier than natsci, you really are very wrong.
    And it's Cambridge, having to work hard is a part of the deal. But I can assure you you will learn to deal with it better and get used to it.

    As I said, the first year often comes as a shock and some people take longer than others to get over it. And when it happens to you, it may feel like you're in a wrong place and everyone else is in a better place.
    But honestly, I've seen quite a few just like you. Strangely, most of them were natsci.....but they got over it somehow and graduated happily as a natsci.

    You can't switch to other course until you complete Part I, anyway.
    Just try hanging on there for another term.
    And let your DoS know how you're feeling and Seek for advice.
    If you feel the same by the middle of Lent term, you can start discussing about a possibility of switching properly with your DoS.
    Thanks for your advice, it all seems really sensible. I am definitely going to talk to my DoS and tutor. I have really lost all my interests this year and just worked 24/7. Something has to change.

    Thanks for answering all my posts, I really do appreciate it.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by alow)
    In my experience IA NatSci was by far the worst year in terms of workload. Part IB is much better and II even more so.

    If you really want to swap, you'll need to talk to your DoS and the economics DoS at your college.
    That's great to hear. If you don't mind me asking, what did you specialise in?
    Online

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Chipclu)
    That's great to hear. If you don't mind me asking, what did you specialise in?
    Chemistry.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    How are your GCSEs going so far?
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.