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    Thread: Changing my major perhaps?

    1. #1
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      Changing my major perhaps?

      I've recently been contemplating happiness in life and how to get as close as I possibly can to it. I'm a biomedical engineering major at the moment, but I've realized that I don't really find much enjoyment. I'm unsure of how to tell my dad that I don't want to pursue a $90k average salary career. He's always about money is happiness and all that bullshit. I don't have a knack for mathematics and physics. I truly love talking about things that are abstract and are neither right or wrong. I'm having a bit of an existential crisis if you hadn't noticed. Any advice on what to do?

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      Get a career that pays well. it does not have to be the field you mention. I encoourage students to get a good paying job, and then they can pay for all the things they enjoy on the side and have a great retirement. A perfect example is when a student chooses art as a major. Sure, they enjoy art, but they get in debt and then have no good job, and have to hope someone buys them art supplies for x-mas. Instead, they could have taken a major that provides a good career, and used the income to set up a large shop as an aart studio, bought the finest supplies, and taken any art class they wish as a hobby, retire early and spend thirty years, painnting up a storm in a beautiful art studio, with high end supplies.
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    3. #3
      Xei
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      Obvious question: what do you want to do?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      Obvious question: what do you want to do?
      I was told by one of the greatest professors I've ever had the opportunity to learn under, that I should pursue neuropsychology. He says that my affinity for mental "computations" and the anatomy of the brain is more than suitable for me. I would definitely pursue a doctoral degree given my considerable interest in psychology. With biomed, I couldn't get into a doctoral program in an eternity. I'm just not THAT good with numbers. To answer your question: I want to study the the conscious/subconscious. Why "it" does what it does.

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      Xei
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      You say you like talking about things which are 'abstract and neither right nor wrong'. This sounds a lot like Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud however was a century ago, at the very beginning of the emergence of psychology as a field. Psychology no longer looks remotely like Freud and his theories don't really play a part. Modern psychology is about experimentation, with very specific questions which most certainly have right or wrong answers. It's fascinating, but it no longer resembles philosophical theorising at all. Is that still something you would like to do?

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      Quote Originally Posted by Xei View Post
      You say you like talking about things which are 'abstract and neither right nor wrong'. This sounds a lot like Sigmund Freud. Sigmund Freud however was a century ago, at the very beginning of the emergence of psychology as a field. Psychology no longer looks remotely like Freud and his theories don't really play a part. Modern psychology is about experimentation, with very specific questions which most certainly have right or wrong answers. It's fascinating, but it no longer resembles philosophical theorising at all. Is that still something you would like to do?
      I do understand that things have changed are much is now obsolete, but my inability to learn with numbers because increasingly problematic. As I delve further and further into engineering, it becomes more and more number-based. However, when I took a semester long psychology course in my first year, I loved every minute of it and was 2nd in a class of over 100. Only topped by a girl with a photographic memory. It didn't seem like school because I enjoyed it so much. Work wasn't work, work was fun. In my current classes, every day is dreadful and I can't learn anything. I'm not stupid by any means, but math makes me feel so. I'm in a major that requires an ACT score of around top 11%.. I should feel smart but I'm so incompetent in math.

    7. #7
      Xei
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      If you do pick up psychology, you will learn that 'photographic' or 'eidetic' memory has never been demonstrated to exist. The girl probably just works hard.

      We only do one subject in the UK, but it's kinda like your majors in the US. I study maths. I almost switched last year to a science or philosophy because I was really unmotivated, but in my case I discovered a couple of enjoyable courses and decided to stick with maths, and got decent exam results. The moral isn't supposed to be that you should stick it out because it might be good; it's just that studying something unenjoyable or even discomforting is, firstly, obviously not pleasant, and neither will the majority of your adult life be as it's spent working, and secondly, counterproductive even if you just want an income, because your exam results suffer and you come out with nothing.

      So I would recommend to always do what you enjoy, although make sure you don't make a leap into something without good knowledge of what it is. If you enjoyed the introductory psychology course then it seems like that's a good idea, although maybe do a bit more research into what more advanced classes and careers are like.

      Oh, and I imagine that the mathematical content is a lot less than in an engineering course, but I'm pretty sure you will need to have a good working knowledge of statistics.
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    8. #8
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      And, I see no reason a field like that could not provide a reasonable income at the doctoral level. I am pleased to hear you would take your education that far. Just do some checking to make sure a good livelihood is possable. As long as you find that a good income and life style can be reached, then by all means do something you enjoy more, even if it pays 20-30% less. I would never suggest you do so much school work, unless you can reach an income of at least $50K, but I think with the doctorate, that should be easy enough.
      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

    9. #9
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      I heard that it's easier to get into med/grad school if you can go with a Biochemistry Degree. I don't know about you, but my Biochemistry professors, adviser, and mentor really degrades Biomedical Science and Biomedical Engineer majors.

      To be honest, if you're not good with numbers, and the fact that Biomedical majors essentially just applies everything you learn, Biochemistry might be better. I think the BIM engineering major is a bit harder than the Biochemistry, but since Biochemistry is more spread out and has a lot of requirements to match for MCATs and all that stuff, plus, it's a bit easier, because engineering majors are definitely not a walk in the park.

      If you're in the realms of abstract, subjective nature, I'd say Biochemistry is the better route because it's less on the whole "applied" science nature with BIMS majors and Biomedical Engineering majors. It only seems to be more challenging because Biochemistry gives a bit more flexibility than BIMS and BIME majors, but if you don't want to be an evil scientist with a 90k+ salary, try Biochemistry.

      I'd say that if you can get a major with basic concepts intertwined, and you can use abstract reasoning to apply them to what you want to do, you may be able to get a career related to neuropsychology just from a Biochemistry major.

      I say that because Genetics majors and Biochemistry majors are roughly 90-95% the same in course work, and I'm sure you could tie in neuropsychology with something that's almost identical to genetics (pathways contributing to understanding brain functions and such).

      Over here in Texas, I think the most successful route one can take with Biochemistry is something related to the Oil Companies, but it might be different for where you're living. Also, there has been a revision, at least at the university I attend where they added a physics class for the new Biochemistry degree plan, and I don't know if that's the same for you. Fortunately, I was able to stick with the older Biochemistry plan because I don't like physics at all.

      But either way, the "find the major that matches what you like" mentality doesn't seem so realistic to me anymore. I wanted to be a Video Game Designer, then an Artist (lol), and now I'm doing Biochemistry. Big change.
      Last edited by Linkzelda; 09-24-2012 at 05:17 PM.
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    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by Linkzelda View Post

      But either way, the "find the major that matches what you like" mentality doesn't seem so realistic to me anymore. I wanted to be a Video Game Designer, then an Artist (lol), and now I'm doing Biochemistry. Big change.
      That is exactly my point. Some majors DO NOT equal jobs, much less well paying jobs. Pick the thing that makes money and has jobs, that you hate the least, or kind of really enjoy. I did not love or have any passion for my Doctorate subject. I did not hate it and could do it. That may sound sad, but, here I am Dr So-and-so, and i do not hate my job. I don't love the work, but I have a good income, can buy anything I want for my hobbies I do love, and that truely adds to the quality of my life in general. I can follow any hobby I love, but picked my Doctorate based on, not hating it, being able to do it, and it providing real good jobs.
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      Peace Be With You. Oh, and sure, The Force too, why not.



      "Instruction in Dream Yoga"

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