I have doubts regarding my degree choice

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soundwaves
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#1
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#1
Sorry in advance, this is going to be a bit long! Just to give a bit of a background, I am in year 13 and studying Spanish, English literature and maths at A level, and my predicted grades are A*A*B. I have applied for Japanese studies single-honours and received four offers, but now I am having doubts. I love the Japanese language and languages in general, but I’m equally as interested in psychology, sociology, philosophy, etc. I thought that I could live without studying them formally, but I feel as if I will be missing out, as I have been unhappy about my A level choices since the beginning of year 12 because I feel as if I’m barely learning anything useful. English has been a complete disappointment, I love maths as it’s the only thing keeping me sane, but a lot of the content is completely useless for my future plans, and Spanish is so boring as all we do are repetitive textbook questions. I’ve liked the political side of things, but all the topics from year 1 were so uninteresting.
In an ideal world, I would be studying Japanese and Psychology together at university, but that doesn’t seem to be an option anywhere, especially as I am only studying Maths, and not Biology/Psychology. Whenever people ask me why I’m interested in Japanese and languages, I bang on about Japanese society being so different to ours, about developing a better understanding of myself through studying another culture, and the whole psychology/linguistics side of languages. I’m even doing a 5000 word research report at school, and it is psychology and philosophy based. I do quite a lot of research on psychology, because it interests me so much, and I have even done a couple of presentations at school on psychology. The thing is though, I love languages and maths, and learning Japanese grammar reminds me of learning abstract concepts in maths, and I truly love Japanese. I decided on Japanese single honours as I am thinking of being a Japanese-English translator in the future, but I need to specialise in something, and I’d really like my specialism to be the behavioural sciences, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am so interested in Japan, but my interest in it stems from my interest in sociology, and every time I talk to people about Japanese studies, I feel like I’ve applied for the wrong degree!
Sorry if I am uninfomed, but I believe my options are:
- Stick with Japanese studies as I’ve already applied, and self-study psychology
- Ask the universities I’ve applied to if I can change to Japanese and philosophy or Japanese and sociology
- See if I can change to a psychology and philosophy degree, and do Japanese language classes on the side
- Apply for an English-taught psychology/liberal arts degree in Japan
I’m just torn as I really wanted to become really good at Japanese by the end of the degree as I want to become a translator, but I fear that I won’t be satisfied if I can’t study psychology too. Part of what put me off psychology is the fact that the degree is viewed as useless, but it would genuinely be useful for me, especially as I want to translate psychological studies, etc.
If you read all of that, thank you!
Last edited by soundwaves; 3 years ago
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Toki the Dumdum
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#2
Report 3 years ago
#2
(Original post by soundwaves)
Sorry in advance, this is going to be a bit long! Just to give a bit of a background, I am in year 13 and studying Spanish, English literature and maths at A level, and my predicted grades are A*A*B. I have applied for Japanese studies single-honours and received four offers, but now I am having doubts. I love the Japanese language and languages in general, but I’m equally as interested in psychology, sociology, philosophy, etc. I thought that I could live without studying them formally, but I feel as if I will be missing out, as I have been unhappy about my A level choices since the beginning of year 12 because I feel as if I’m barely learning anything useful. English has been a complete disappointment, I love maths as it’s the only thing keeping me sane, but a lot of the content is completely useless for my future plans, and Spanish is so boring as all we do are repetitive textbook questions. I’ve liked the political side of things, but all the topics from year 1 were so uninteresting.
In an ideal world, I would be studying Japanese and Psychology together at university, but that doesn’t seem to be an option anywhere, especially as I am only studying Maths, and not Biology/Psychology. Whenever people ask me why I’m interested in Japanese and languages, I bang on about Japanese society being so different to ours, about developing a better understanding of myself through studying another culture, and the whole psychology/linguistics side of languages. I’m even doing a 5000 word research report at school, and it is psychology and philosophy based. I do quite a lot of research on psychology, because it interests me so much, and I have even done a couple of presentations at school on psychology. The thing is though, I love languages and maths, and learning Japanese grammar reminds me of learning abstract concepts in maths, and I truly love Japanese. I decided on Japanese single honours as I am thinking of being a Japanese-English translator in the future, but I need to specialise in something, and I’d really like my specialism to be the behavioural sciences, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I am so interested in Japan, but my interest in it stems from my interest in sociology, and every time I talk to people about Japanese studies, I feel like I’ve applied for the wrong degree!
Sorry if I am uninfomed, but I believe my options are:
- Stick with Japanese studies as I’ve already applied, and self-study psychology
- Ask the universities I’ve applied to if I can change to Japanese and philosophy or Japanese and sociology
- See if I can change to a psychology and philosophy degree, and do Japanese language classes on the side
- Apply for an English-taught psychology/liberal arts degree in Japan
I’m just torn as I really wanted to become really good at Japanese by the end of the degree as I want to become a translator, but I fear that I won’t be satisfied if I can’t study psychology too. Part of what put me off psychology is the fact that the degree is viewed as useless, but it would genuinely be useful for me, especially as I want to translate psychological studies, etc.
If you read all of that, thank you!
If I was in your position I think I'd have a viewpoint of what is most likely to get me to the job I want... Is becoming a translator feasible just through doing classes 'on the side' as oppossed to taking a degree? How does it compare with a Japanese (or Japanese with..) degree? How does specialising work for a translator? Do they need to have higher education in a subject before being able to translate in that area?

Those are the kind of things I'd be considering. Can understand not wanting to leave a passion behind but I would probably let practicality rule and choose one of your first two options.
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jenart
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#3
Report 3 years ago
#3
Exeter Flexible Combined Honours
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soundwaves
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#4
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#4
(Original post by Goz Unlimited)
If I was in your position I think I'd have a viewpoint of what is most likely to get me to the job I want... Is becoming a translator feasible just through doing classes 'on the side' as oppossed to taking a degree? How does it compare with a Japanese (or Japanese with..) degree? How does specialising work for a translator? Do they need to have higher education in a subject before being able to translate in that area?

Those are the kind of things I'd be considering. Can understand not wanting to leave a passion behind but I would probably let practicality rule and choose one of your first two options.
Thank you for your response.
I’ve been so anxious regarding higher education and what I want to do in the future that it has clearly been clouding my judgment. I have thought about it more and I think I will just stick to Japanese studies as I think my real passion lies with languages , and it’s more logical to me to self-study the social sciences through books, online courses, etc. rather than trying to self-study a difficult language for which I would not have enough time. I think having a degree in what you want to specialise in is just a bonus rather than a requirement, so a Japanese degree would be a better option for me.
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soundwaves
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#5
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#5
(Original post by ltsmith)
lemme guess u want to study japanese because of animu and mango?
No, my desire to learn Japanese stems from the fact that I’m a languages and cultures enthusiast, although I enjoy watching anime from time to time.
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soundwaves
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#6
Report Thread starter 3 years ago
#6
(Original post by jenart)
Exeter Flexible Combined Honours
Thanks, but I’ve already applied to five universities so it’s a bit too late for that 😂 I will just stick to the universities that have given me offers 😊
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