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Should I add a minor? - August 31st 2013, 10:33 PM

Hey all,

So I'm an American university student, junior, currently a double-major in Psychology and Global health looking to pursue behavioral public health in graduate school. Someday, I'd like to be able to develop risk management and health curriculums along with social, business, or legal policies to promote wellness using health psychology to know how to better change behavior. I love my majors, I feel that they are very related to what I want to go into, etc.

However, recently I've found a minor called "Wellness Foundations" which, as described by the program: "Students will develop a greater understanding of wellness behaviors, healthy lifestyles and disease prevention." There are cool courses involved, such as "Social Determinants of Health and Health Behavior," "Health Behavior Change," and even "Body Image and Wellness." I feel that it'd be a great "topping" to my majors.


1. I'm already a double-major, involving me completing two different programs, capstones, etc. The minor would be 18 credit hours (about six more classes) I'd have to complete in the three semesters I have left.

2. I'm very busy; I'm working two jobs currently, volunteering a lot, applying to research labs and internships...the social science major usual stuff.

3. The minor is on another campus at my university which is about 30 minutes away by city train, and I'd have to go down there multiple times a week for these classes, which could get in the way of my other classes, add traveling expenses, make working a bit harder to schedule, etc.

So...is this a smart idea? As my best friend recently described me as masochistic in that I literally schedule myself to do more work in a week than I seriously have time for...but I love academia too much. #nerdproblems

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Re: Should I add a minor? - August 31st 2013, 11:52 PM

Honestly, I don't think it's the best idea. You have a lot on your plate as it is and adding more could lead to a burnout for you. The minor does sound like a perfect fit for you, but I think you need to think of it realistically.

You'd have to find a way to fit more classes into your schedule, on top of the classes you're already required to complete for your major. I'm not sure how many credit hours you have left to complete both of your degrees, but think about whether or not it's even possible to accomplish. You're already working two jobs and doing a lot here, so you would have to find a way to get even more homework done. And, I know you've struggled with this in the past.

As great as it sounds for you, I just don't think it's a great idea. That being said, it's your decision to make. If you do decide to add the minor, I'm not at all worried about you pulling it off. I know you'll be able to do it. Just think about whether or not it's going to cause too much stress for you right now in comparison to the benefits that you will get from it later.

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Re: Should I add a minor? - September 1st 2013, 12:09 AM

Something I've realized in recent years is that there are a lot of wonderful opportunities out there, if you're willing to look for them. A LOT. As tempting as it is to go crazy and pursue all those opportunities, though, we need to think about what's realistic. We can't do it all, so what are a few really great things we can do to help us get to where we eventually want to be?

It sounds like you're already on track with your double-major in psych and global health. Whenever you begin your internship/lab experience, you'll REALLY be on track (in fact, that may open you up to opportunities you're not even aware of yet - never underestimate the power of networking with your supervisor/colleagues!).

Would the minor be a great "topping" to everything you've done and everything you're currently doing? Absolutely! Is it necessary? Nope. Will the pros outweigh the cons? In hindsight, you may be able to argue they do... but as Sammi said, you need to be concerned about burnout, and I, too, have seen you struggle with fitting everything into your schedule.

Sometimes, the best thing you can do for yourself is to let an awesome opportunity go, trusting that another one will pop up in the future. For someone as talented are yourself, there's no doubt in my mind that another opportunity will fall into your lap when the time is right.

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Re: Should I add a minor? - September 1st 2013, 04:36 AM

I agree with Robin and Sammi, it may be to much to take on right now if you're already as busy as it sounds.

But I was thinking if you didn't mind taking an extra year you could always do that to allow for the minor. But as someone who IS doing a 5th year for what was intended to be a 4 year program I don't think that's necessarily the brightest idea, at least not at decision to be taken lightly, its' been beneficial to me cause it's given me more time to get some experience and think about the kind of career I wanted. It can be a good or bad choice depending on why you choose to do so. At first I was angry cause I didn't have a choice BUT now I am glad for it (even though it's annoying to be in school that much longer). So if you're willing to put thought into that you can.

But I think you might want to consider if a minor is really going to make that big of a difference in the greater scheme of things. I know I wish I'd done more internships, compared to the 0 I've done so far--most of my work is volunteer work, but internships just some how sound more impressive. Not entirely my fault, I was so focused on my academics that it was what was best for me and I'm doing all the internship typed stuff next year I think internships, volunteering etc. can be even more valuable because it gives you real work experience and more real life application to what you do in school as opposed to just adding more academic stress. And if you can go off and show employers and grad school that you had so much volunteering and interships and what ever else to figure out what you wanted to do then that can be ever better for you cause it shows you put though into your education AND into figuring out how exactly you'd like to apply it with real experience which I think would reflect pretty well on your behalf.

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Re: Should I add a minor? - September 3rd 2013, 04:11 PM

Unfortunately, a fifth year isn't an option. I'm on a full-tuition.scholarship that only.covers four years. Unless they'd somehow be willing to renew for.another semester or two, I have to keep at four years.

I counted the amount of classes/credit hours I have left for my majors and it looks like I'd barely fit it in if I keep very full time (17, 18+ credit hours) but it would take up my remaining elective space, not allowin me to take cool classes, as I'm.taking bioethics now. Meh. I agree with Robin, there are too many opportunities in the world.

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Re: Should I add a minor? - September 10th 2013, 12:33 PM

Good call!! You will find that there are always more opportunities for study down the line, and sounds like you'll be able to find those opportunities and run with them

Feel free to email/PM/VM/whatever me if you want. I'll answer as soon as I can.

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Trying to keep it updated more or less daily as I write.
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