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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Your college education experiences?

I'm considering going back into school this semester. I have an associate of art's degree in general studies, but declaring a major has always been an issue for me. I'm only good at English and the arts. My love lies with sciences. I want to declare in botany or wildlife biology/management. I've never gotten above a C in chem, or plant science, or cellular biology. I don't know what to do! If I don't major in what I love, why even bother getting a college education? If I major in what I'm bad at...why waste my money? Advice, anyone? Please?

I want to know what the experiences are of folks here. Study groups, facing difficulty in subjects, or adversity, or even what made college easy...anything, your whole college story. How much time you spent working & studying & schooling. I'm considering trying to find a caretaking job while in college, if it's possible to find one that will let me pay the bills.

So, yeah. Advice and stories, please!


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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 09:59 PM
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I worked full time and went to school 12 to 15 hours a semester. I changed my major 3 times. My first major, Biomedical Science, I couldn't get above a C. Not acceptable. My second major, English, I did well in all my classes, but I didn't want to spend the rest of my life teaching English. What was I going to do with that degree? Useless. So one semester, I browsed the catalog and signed up for a couple of classes outside my major that looked interesting. They were Behavior Analysis and Intro to Social Work. The Social Work stuck, I changed my major and graduated within 4 years of staring school, despite the setbacks.

Now I'm in grad school getting my Masters in Social Work. I love it!

My advice to you, sign up for a variety of classes that look interesting, and see what strikes your fancy. Try to think about what you want to do with the rest of your life, and if getting this degree will help you get where you want to go.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
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That's why I got a degree in general studies. I've taken everything from wildlife management to AutoCAD to women's lit to carpentry...and I still love botany & wildlife management best.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 10:21 PM
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If it's something you love, you'll be willing to study more and try harder.

Most universities offer tutoring - but you have to ask. Study groups are critical, IMO, to survival.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-23-2008, 11:17 PM
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Have you ever taken tests to determine what kind of job goes with your personality? My step daughter just did those and found that Speech Pathology fits her. She did some research about the career and last week spent some time with one.

She has gone back and forth over the past couple of years about what kind of course of studies to follow and this is the first time that she really found something that has excited her.

She was able to do this through the Guidance Center of her local community college.


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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 02:34 AM
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I effectively left school at 14 with no qualifications at all and went back to college some 4 or 5 years later to get my 'school leaver' qualifications (GCSE's).

So, I was always slightly older than the majority of people in my class. Did I find it a problem? Not really. The only sticking point was when I was at my PhD interview - it was suggested I was a little 'old' to be doing a PhD by one of the interviewers (I was 28-29 years old). Didn't stop me from being accepted thankfully.

Its weird but I kinda just 'fell into science'. After my GCSE's I signed up for a pre-university IT course (BTEC - I don't even think they exist anymore). Hated it, wanted to change to Health Sciences after a week. Only course they had with openings was plain old Science. So, plain old science is what I did.

My degree was in Biomedical Sciences (just so you know Huge, I only got a 2.i as well so I don't consider myself exceptionally bright). I loved the course but loathed the university. After Oxford and Cambridge its considered the best out there in the UK so it was filled with 'rich kids' that failed to get into Oxford and Cambridge (I come from very much a working class background). And, even worse, my course was filled with 'rich kids' who failed to get into medical school (being a medical doctor was never an ambition of mine). In other words - do your homework college/university wise. I knew I was wise to keep away from Oxford and Cambridge (later on I was offered a PhD at Cambridge but turned it down flat) but I should have kept away from the one I did choose as well. Academic excellence shouldn't be your only criteria for choosing a university - in my experience anyway. You only get to do it once - enjoy it. Its not just about getting good grades.

Having learnt my lesson (and by then deciding I wanted to do a PhD in Bioinformatics) I got some funding to do a Masters in IT (yes, I know ) at my local university (a former polytechnic). Way down the pecking order for most subjects but had a world class Maths and Computing department. Its a shame the course was only for a year because it was so much more enjoyable than my undergraduate degree. Also, the university I went to was known for attracting mature students which for me was a bonus.

Don't know if that helps, but there it is anyway

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-24-2008, 03:56 AM
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I'm in the second year of my honours degree in ICT.
We do it a course at a time, the courses are worth between 10 and 60 points. I need 360 to get my qual, at the end of all the courses my points are put to the requested qual and its done.

Since I go 2 courses at the same time I push to fit everything in. I spend about 3/4 hours every evening working on them. No study groups or anything, I tried to set one up, didn't work. Tried setting one up through our uni forum and that didn't work either.
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