softhbb
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#1
Pls read all of it (I’m desperate)

Basically last month i was a given a chance to take physics A level
To see if I want to drop biology for physics or continue with biology A level (I’m in year 12)

Idk what got into me that I emailed my head of year saying I 100% want to drop Biology because I didn’t like it or enjoy it at all. And if I could fully transfer to physics
Well shes now in the process of switching my subjects
The day I emailed I was happy and confident and felt like I made the right decision for myself
But Now
I suddenly feel so stressed and overwhelmed due to the amount of work I have to catch up on, will I even be able to get a good grade in physics knowing how extremely hard it is to even pass ??
Idk what degree course to take - I love chemistry and maths and a degree related to these 2 would be great (almost perfect if good salary is included too in the job prospect)

Like I want to work in a lab, do some testing, analyse chemicals, walk around my office/lab, I also want it to have an impact on people so like somewhat in healthcare (although the salary sucks) maybe work with drugs/vaccines (but I don’t want to go into research I believe it’s quite boring) formulations idk

Have I done the right thing by swapping to physics ? Like I mean will I be limited in the future for not having a level biology

Degrees I’m considering maybeeee:
- pharmacy
- forensic science
- chemical engineering ( im not really fully interested in the engineering part )
- chemistry (but what will it even lead me to)

I’m dying of stress at this moment
Last edited by softhbb; 8 months ago
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Uni of Southampton Students
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#2
(Original post by softhbb)
Pls read all of it (I’m desperate)

Basically last month i was a given a chance to take physics A level
To see if I want to drop biology for physics or continue with biology A level (I’m in year 12)

Idk what got into me that I emailed my head of year saying I 100% want to drop Biology because I didn’t like it or enjoy it at all. And if I could fully transfer to physics
Well shes now in the process of switching my subjects
The day I emailed I was happy and confident and felt like I made the right decision for myself
But Now
I suddenly feel so stressed and overwhelmed due to the amount of work I have to catch up on, will I even be able to get a good grade in physics knowing how extremely hard it is to even pass ??
Idk what degree course to take - I love chemistry and maths and a degree related to these 2 would be great (almost perfect if good salary is included too in the job prospect)

Like I want to work in a lab, do some testing, analyse chemicals, walk around my office/lab, I also want it to have an impact on people so like somewhat in healthcare (although the salary sucks) maybe work with drugs/vaccines (but I don’t want to go into research I believe it’s quite boring) formulations idk

Have I done the right thing by swapping to physics ? Like I mean will I be limited in the future for not having a level biology

Degrees I’m considering Basically last month i was a given a chance to take physics A level
And see if I want to drop biology for physics or continue with biology A level (I’m in year 12)

Idk what got into me that I emailed my head of year saying I 100% want to drop Biology because I didn’t like it or enjoy it at all. And if I could fully transfer to physics

Well shes now in the process of switching my subjects

The day I emailed I was happy and confident and felt like I made the right decision for myself
But Now
I suddenly feel so stressed and overwhelmed due to the amount of work I have to catch up on, will I even be able to get a good grade in physics knowing how extremely hard it is to even pass ??😭

And when it comes to degree courses, I honestly don’t know what to take
Ik I love chemistry and maths and a degree related to these 2 would be great (almost perfect if good salary is included too in the job prospect)
Like I want to work in a lab, do some testing, analyse chemicals, walk around my office/lab, I also want it to have an impact on people so like somewhat in healthcare (although the salary sucks) maybe work with drugs/vaccines (but I don’t want to go into research I believe it’s quite boring) formulations idk 😭😭😭

Have I done the right thing by swapping to physics ? Like I mean will I be limited in the future for not having a level biology

Degrees I’m considering maybeeee:
- pharmacy
- forensic science
- chemical engineering ( im not really fully interested in the engineering part )
- chemistry (but what will it even lead me to)

I’m dying of stress at this moment
Hi softhbb

I understand how stressed you must be feeling about how your current decisions will affect your future. My initial reaction to your post is that if you really weren't enjoying doing biology then you were right to follow your gut and switch to a course you'll hopefully enjoy better.

As I'm doing a physics degree I don't know a lot about different degrees more revolving around chemistry but I'd definitely recommend you doing some research on the required A-levels to do the different degrees you're considering. Hopefully it will put you at ease to know that a lot of universities don't require biology as an entry requirement to do chemistry or similar degrees. What other A-levels are you doing?

Catching up may be difficult (easier for some than others) but that doesn't mean it can't be done or that it will be too difficult to even try. If it makes you feel any better, I was awarded a nice U during my end of year 12 physics exam so I had to do a lot of catching up too and came out of college with an A in physics. It's really up to whether or not you're willing to put in the effort. And hopefully you'll find it more fun than biology and catching up won't seem like such a chore.

The most important thing, I believe, when deciding on things like your A-levels and your uni degree is your enthusiasm and enjoyment of a subject. It would be really hard to succeed in something you hated even if you found it easier than perhaps a harder but more rewarding subject.

If you'd like any more information on uni degrees don't hesitate to ask and also check out some university open days if you get the chance because there you can ask people what their experiences were and it may help you decide what the right path for you is.

Megan
4th year physics student
Last edited by Uni of Southampton Students; 8 months ago
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Uni of Southampton Students
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#3
(Original post by softhbb)
Pls read all of it (I’m desperate)

Basically last month i was a given a chance to take physics A level
To see if I want to drop biology for physics or continue with biology A level (I’m in year 12)

Idk what got into me that I emailed my head of year saying I 100% want to drop Biology because I didn’t like it or enjoy it at all. And if I could fully transfer to physics
Well shes now in the process of switching my subjects
The day I emailed I was happy and confident and felt like I made the right decision for myself
But Now
I suddenly feel so stressed and overwhelmed due to the amount of work I have to catch up on, will I even be able to get a good grade in physics knowing how extremely hard it is to even pass ??
Idk what degree course to take - I love chemistry and maths and a degree related to these 2 would be great (almost perfect if good salary is included too in the job prospect)

Like I want to work in a lab, do some testing, analyse chemicals, walk around my office/lab, I also want it to have an impact on people so like somewhat in healthcare (although the salary sucks) maybe work with drugs/vaccines (but I don’t want to go into research I believe it’s quite boring) formulations idk

Have I done the right thing by swapping to physics ? Like I mean will I be limited in the future for not having a level biology

Degrees I’m considering Basically last month i was a given a chance to take physics A level
And see if I want to drop biology for physics or continue with biology A level (I’m in year 12)

Idk what got into me that I emailed my head of year saying I 100% want to drop Biology because I didn’t like it or enjoy it at all. And if I could fully transfer to physics

Well shes now in the process of switching my subjects

The day I emailed I was happy and confident and felt like I made the right decision for myself
But Now
I suddenly feel so stressed and overwhelmed due to the amount of work I have to catch up on, will I even be able to get a good grade in physics knowing how extremely hard it is to even pass ??😭

And when it comes to degree courses, I honestly don’t know what to take
Ik I love chemistry and maths and a degree related to these 2 would be great (almost perfect if good salary is included too in the job prospect)
Like I want to work in a lab, do some testing, analyse chemicals, walk around my office/lab, I also want it to have an impact on people so like somewhat in healthcare (although the salary sucks) maybe work with drugs/vaccines (but I don’t want to go into research I believe it’s quite boring) formulations idk 😭😭😭

Have I done the right thing by swapping to physics ? Like I mean will I be limited in the future for not having a level biology

Degrees I’m considering maybeeee:
- pharmacy
- forensic science
- chemical engineering ( im not really fully interested in the engineering part )
- chemistry (but what will it even lead me to)

I’m dying of stress at this moment
Hi softhbb,

I totally understand your stress, trying to make decisions that affect your future during college is so hard and very stressful! I wanted to study medicine and then at the last minute changed my mind and chose chemistry, I was full of doubt wondering whether I'd made the right decision. Looking back, it was probably the best decision I've ever made but there's no way I would have known that back then! I followed my gut and it led me in the right direction so I think you've made a good decision by following your gut too.

Megan has given you some excellent advice so I'm hoping to add to that by providing some info about doing a chemistry degree.

Chemistry is such a massive subject and can lead to pretty much any career path you can imagine (e.g. law, medicine, agriculture, finance, teaching etc, as well as all the classic science career paths). If you like the idea of working in a lab and analysing chemicals then chemistry is probably a safe bet but plenty of other degrees will also provide you with similar opportunities. During my chemistry degree I learnt all about the fundamentals of chemistry (inorganic, organic and physical) and had a wealth of optional modules to choose from (analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry, medicinal chemistry, sustainable chemistry, the list goes on...).

I did Chemistry, Biology and Maths at A-level and I have managed absolutely fine. However there are some modules I would have found easier if I had done a physics A-level or at the least an AS-Level (sorry if the A-level system has changed since I did it, I left college about 6 years ago now eeekk!), so if I had my time again I would have swapped my biology A-level for a physics A-level. But that's just my experience!

During a chemistry degree you will have the opportunity to carry out a research project as well as possibly do a placement within industry or academia. So you can get a taste of research before you graduate which is excellent because it allows you to experience what research is like and whether you might like it or not. I was dead set on going into industry when I started my degree and after my research project and my placement I realised research was what I wanted to pursue. Due to the diverse nature of chemistry, the research is equally as diverse - which means that its not all just formulation research! I am currently an analytical chemistry PhD student, I use Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry to analyse different samples so I don't spend a lot of time in a 'wet chemistry lab'.

So in my opinion a chemistry degree is a surprisingly diverse subject and will expand your horizons rather than narrow them, this is essentially true for all STEM degrees so no matter what you decide to do you will have a wealth of opportunities in the future.

Biology vs physics, both are helpful for many STEM degrees so it depends on what you enjoy more!

I hope this helps and I hope your stress levels start to improve!

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions, its what we're here for!

Molly
University of Southampton MChem Graduate
Current Chemistry PhD student
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softhbb
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Last edited by softhbb; 8 months ago
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softhbb
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Report Thread starter 8 months ago
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi softhbb

I understand how stressed you must be feeling about how your current decisions will affect your future. My initial reaction to your post is that if you really weren't enjoying doing biology then you were right to follow your gut and switch to a course you'll hopefully enjoy better.

As I'm doing a physics degree I don't know a lot about different degrees more revolving around chemistry but I'd definitely recommend you doing some research on the required A-levels to do the different degrees you're considering. Hopefully it will put you at ease to know that a lot of universities don't require biology as an entry requirement to do chemistry or similar degrees. What other A-levels are you doing?

Catching up may be difficult (easier for some than others) but that doesn't mean it can't be done or that it will be too difficult to even try. If it makes you feel any better, I was awarded a nice U during my end of year 12 physics exam so I had to do a lot of catching up too and came out of college with an A in physics. It's really up to whether or not you're willing to put in the effort. And hopefully you'll find it more fun than biology and catching up won't seem like such a chore.

The most important thing, I believe, when deciding on things like your A-levels and your uni degree is your enthusiasm and enjoyment of a subject. It would be really hard to succeed in something you hated even if you found it easier than perhaps a harder but more rewarding subject.

If you'd like any more information on uni degrees don't hesitate to ask and also check out some university open days if you get the chance because there you can ask people what their experiences were and it may help you decide what the right path for you is.

Megan
4th year physics student
I really appreciate this, thank you so much. Your story is quite inspiring and has given me some confidence 🥺 i hope I’ll be able to make the right decision like you

Also other A levels I’m doing are maths and chemistry
Last edited by softhbb; 8 months ago
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jessica10293
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too late now, just go study and revise
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softhbb
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(Original post by Uni of Southampton Students)
Hi softhbb,

I totally understand your stress, trying to make decisions that affect your future during college is so hard and very stressful! I wanted to study medicine and then at the last minute changed my mind and chose chemistry, I was full of doubt wondering whether I'd made the right decision. Looking back, it was probably the best decision I've ever made but there's no way I would have known that back then! I followed my gut and it led me in the right direction so I think you've made a good decision by following your gut too.

Megan has given you some excellent advice so I'm hoping to add to that by providing some info about doing a chemistry degree.

Chemistry is such a massive subject and can lead to pretty much any career path you can imagine (e.g. law, medicine, agriculture, finance, teaching etc, as well as all the classic science career paths). If you like the idea of working in a lab and analysing chemicals then chemistry is probably a safe bet but plenty of other degrees will also provide you with similar opportunities. During my chemistry degree I learnt all about the fundamentals of chemistry (inorganic, organic and physical) and had a wealth of optional modules to choose from (analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry, medicinal chemistry, sustainable chemistry, the list goes on...).

I did Chemistry, Biology and Maths at A-level and I have managed absolutely fine. However there are some modules I would have found easier if I had done a physics A-level or at the least an AS-Level (sorry if the A-level system has changed since I did it, I left college about 6 years ago now eeekk!), so if I had my time again I would have swapped my biology A-level for a physics A-level. But that's just my experience!

During a chemistry degree you will have the opportunity to carry out a research project as well as possibly do a placement within industry or academia. So you can get a taste of research before you graduate which is excellent because it allows you to experience what research is like and whether you might like it or not. I was dead set on going into industry when I started my degree and after my research project and my placement I realised research was what I wanted to pursue. Due to the diverse nature of chemistry, the research is equally as diverse - which means that its not all just formulation research! I am currently an analytical chemistry PhD student, I use Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry to analyse different samples so I don't spend a lot of time in a 'wet chemistry lab'.

So in my opinion a chemistry degree is a surprisingly diverse subject and will expand your horizons rather than narrow them, this is essentially true for all STEM degrees so no matter what you decide to do you will have a wealth of opportunities in the future.

Biology vs physics, both are helpful for many STEM degrees so it depends on what you enjoy more!

I hope this helps and I hope your stress levels start to improve!

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions, its what we're here for!

Molly
University of Southampton MChem Graduate
Current Chemistry PhD student
Thank you so much for this, I really appreciate this response. I hope I can make the right decision for myself just like you.

Coincidentally, I started Year 12 with the mindset of pursuing medicine too but I realised it’s definitely not for me
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softhbb
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(Original post by jessica10293)
too late now, just go study and revise
Which subject are you talking about 🥴😂
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hana1306
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#9
(Original post by softhbb)
Pls read all of it (I’m desperate)

Basically last month i was a given a chance to take physics A level
To see if I want to drop biology for physics or continue with biology A level (I’m in year 12)

Idk what got into me that I emailed my head of year saying I 100% want to drop Biology because I didn’t like it or enjoy it at all. And if I could fully transfer to physics
Well shes now in the process of switching my subjects
The day I emailed I was happy and confident and felt like I made the right decision for myself
But Now
I suddenly feel so stressed and overwhelmed due to the amount of work I have to catch up on, will I even be able to get a good grade in physics knowing how extremely hard it is to even pass ??
Idk what degree course to take - I love chemistry and maths and a degree related to these 2 would be great (almost perfect if good salary is included too in the job prospect)

Like I want to work in a lab, do some testing, analyse chemicals, walk around my office/lab, I also want it to have an impact on people so like somewhat in healthcare (although the salary sucks) maybe work with drugs/vaccines (but I don’t want to go into research I believe it’s quite boring) formulations idk

Have I done the right thing by swapping to physics ? Like I mean will I be limited in the future for not having a level biology

Degrees I’m considering maybeeee:
- pharmacy
- forensic science
- chemical engineering ( im not really fully interested in the engineering part )
- chemistry (but what will it even lead me to)

I’m dying of stress at this moment
Hey, I totally understand your situation and hope you're not stressing out too much as that would not make much of a difference (don't mean to sound harsh). I'm not sure about the other courses but I will try my best to share what I know, which is Pharmacy (I'm in my 4th year atm). From the ideal job description above, it does somewhat apply to Pharmacy. Majority of the degree however focuses more on the clinical aspect e.g. patient-centred care (2/3) than the formulation aspect e.g. organic chemistry and trials (1/3). Biology (physiology as we call it) is quite important as it does go hand in hand with drug's mechanism of action.

Fun fact, I wasn't a big fan of Biology and Chemistry, and here I am learning about both.

Industry pharmacy (working for pharmaceutical companies in research, distribution, etc.) is a great career path that better fit your ideal job description (and has higher/est salary too), but it is very competitive. These companies often recruit outside of Oriel so you need wide range of experiences to stand out in the pool of applicants.

ps. you should have a look at the Pharmacology degree as well. Wish you luck for the future
Last edited by hana1306; 8 months ago
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softhbb
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(Original post by hana1306)
Hey, I totally understand your situation and hope you're not stressing out too much as that would not make much of a difference (don't mean to sound harsh). I'm not sure about the other courses but I will try my best to share what I know, which is Pharmacy (I'm in my 4th year atm). From the ideal job description above, it does somewhat apply to Pharmacy. Majority of the degree however focuses more on the clinical aspect e.g. patient-centred care (2/3) than the formulation aspect e.g. organic chemistry and trials (1/3). Biology (physiology as we call it) is quite important as it does go hand in hand with drug's mechanism of action.

Fun fact, I wasn't a big fan of Biology and Chemistry, and here I am learning about both.

Industry pharmacy (working for pharmaceutical companies in research, distribution, etc.) is a great career path that better fit your ideal job description (and has higher/est salary too), but it is very competitive. These companies often recruit outside of Oriel so you need wide range of experiences to stand out in the pool of applicants.

ps. you should have a look at the Pharmacology degree as well. Wish you luck for the future
Thank you so much for this useful information,
I really appreaciate this and no you didn’t sound harsh, You just stated facts
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Uni of Southampton Students
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(Original post by softhbb)
Pls read all of it (I’m desperate)

Basically last month i was a given a chance to take physics A level
To see if I want to drop biology for physics or continue with biology A level (I’m in year 12)

Idk what got into me that I emailed my head of year saying I 100% want to drop Biology because I didn’t like it or enjoy it at all. And if I could fully transfer to physics
Well shes now in the process of switching my subjects
The day I emailed I was happy and confident and felt like I made the right decision for myself
But Now
I suddenly feel so stressed and overwhelmed due to the amount of work I have to catch up on, will I even be able to get a good grade in physics knowing how extremely hard it is to even pass ??
Idk what degree course to take - I love chemistry and maths and a degree related to these 2 would be great (almost perfect if good salary is included too in the job prospect)

Like I want to work in a lab, do some testing, analyse chemicals, walk around my office/lab, I also want it to have an impact on people so like somewhat in healthcare (although the salary sucks) maybe work with drugs/vaccines (but I don’t want to go into research I believe it’s quite boring) formulations idk

Have I done the right thing by swapping to physics ? Like I mean will I be limited in the future for not having a level biology

Degrees I’m considering maybeeee:
- pharmacy
- forensic science
- chemical engineering ( im not really fully interested in the engineering part )
- chemistry (but what will it even lead me to)

I’m dying of stress at this moment
Hi softhbb,

Me again! I've just found this on the University of Southampton website about what career a chemistry degree might lead you to - https://www.southampton.ac.uk/chemis...ry-degree.page.

I hope this helps explain more about what you can do with a chemistry degree!

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Molly
MChem graduate
PhD Student
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