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Red face New college freshmen could use your imput please! :) - July 27th 2009, 09:38 PM

so, I'm going off to college in the fall and there's a lot to think about:

What major will I have?
-now I thought about Biology since Medical School is all science, but I think I would like to do journalism to set me apart from the 'cookie cutter' biology majors who are also going into pre-med. But what if I don't get into med school? then I have this degree in journalism and I don't know what to do with it? (I know there's always a way to get in if its something I really want, but I can't help but worry about it)

What if I want to transfer?
- I'm going to UW Eau Claire this fall, but I wonder how I'll like it there. I have a twin sister and and older sister going to UW Madison. Madison is closer to home, not to mention, I will be away from my best friend-my twin sister. I'm going to be a little sad because I'm probably going to spend my golden birthday by myself b/c I won't really know anyone yet.
Eau Claire, however is smaller and can give me a lot more personal attention to help my academics which is useful for medical school.

I've been thinking maybe I could go to Eau Claire for the fall semester adn transfer to Madison for a second semester then see which one I like more.

I could really use some advice, maybe help me see something I didn't see before? Please help!

*I mean input for the title*
   
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Re: New college freshmen could use your imput please! :) - July 27th 2009, 09:49 PM

In terms of what to major in, when it comes to professional schools like Medical School and Law School, it's wise to study something that you really enjoy. I think it's a bit easier when it comes to Law School because with Medical School, there are quite a few pre-requisite courses alongside specific knowledge that you should have been introduced to prior to entering Medical School. If you choose to major in something outside of the sciences, your schedule will need some work but it's really nothing that an academic counselor can't help you with.

I'm assuming that you weren't required to choose a major just yet? That's a good thing. During your first year, allow yourself to be exposed to the wide variety of courses offered by your university. Believe me, there are courses offered in university that you won't even believe is a course. For example, there is a "Listening to Music" course at one of the local universities here along with a "Sex" course.

Don't have your mind set on one thing. Go into university with an open mind. The average university student will change his/her major about three to four times during their undergraduate education. Take the courses that you think you will enjoy best and take it from there. Personally, I'd suggest going against the grain and majoring in something other than Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry or anything similar to those that I've just mentioned. Taking this route, however, will be a challenge and I would strongly recommend speaking to an academic counselor before doing anything.

Transferring, especially to sister schools, is not usually a tough thing to do - especially from first year to second year. First year at almost every university is generally the same - general, introduction courses. It's much more difficult to transfer universities once you're in your upper years of your undergraduate education. Try emailing your university and inquire about this for additional clarification.

If you're looking to transfer even before the Fall begins, email the admissions department as soon as possible and ask them if this is still an option. If there is space in your program and depending on the university's policies, you may be able to transfer even before this Fall. Think about what factors you are looking for in a university. If you feel like a small, tight-knit community is best for you, you could always try it out for one year and transfer the following year if it's not what you want.


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Re: New college freshmen could use your imput please! :) - July 28th 2009, 02:17 AM

Hey,

Canuck pretty much covered everything; so all I wanted to say was try not too stress too much about what you want to major in because you definitely have time to figure that out.

I too worried about what I was going to major in when I entered college and it caused me a lot of stress and one way I overcame this was by exposing myself to a lot of different classes. I really wanted to major in psychology but I wasn't sure if I would like it so I took a psychology class. I also have thought about majoring in English so this semester a took an english class. You should do the same; if you are interested in journalism take one or two journalism classes and see if they are right for you.

Also, I don't know if this is an option for you(it might be a little stressful) but you could always do a double major too. That way you could get a degree in journalism and get one in a science(for med school?) I know someone who did this and I am even thinking of doing it; it might be a little bit more stressful but it also can be worth it. Just a thought

As for not knowing people; will you be living in the dorms? If so you will probably meet people easily but don't be afraid to talk and open up. The thing about college(at least from my experience) is that people are more accepting but in order to get to know people you have to talk. Talking to new people can be hard but maybe you can set little goals for yourself:

Introduce yourself to someone in each of your classes in the beginning of the year
Start a conversation with someone
When you get comfortable with someone ask them to go to lunch or get coffee

As for transferring; that shouldn't be too hard but talking to a counselor about it might be a good idea because they will be able to help you out.

Hope this helped and best of luck

~Jenna~


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Re: New college freshmen could use your imput please! :) - July 29th 2009, 03:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by heather_tate19 View Post
What major will I have?
-now I thought about Biology since Medical School is all science, but I think I would like to do journalism to set me apart from the 'cookie cutter' biology majors who are also going into pre-med. But what if I don't get into med school? then I have this degree in journalism and I don't know what to do with it? (I know there's always a way to get in if its something I really want, but I can't help but worry about it)
I'll be in my third year for double major biology and psychology (possibly also a minor added on). You don't need to go to pre-med if you are a biology major, in fact, I have little desire to get a M.D. at all. I'd much rather go for a PhD or PsyD, that way I can still do clinical work focusing on diagnosing.

However, think of back-up options because many people change their majors. Some go from chemistry to biology but others can go from philosophy to physics. In your first year, take a whole bunch of courses just to get a taste of them because you'll find that many questions you had in high-school you can get answered in university. Perhaps you'll find some other field is more appealing to you.

If you don't get into med. school on your first try, you have several other options:

1) Get a master's and re-apply.
2) Get a master's and go for a PhD or some other doctorate.
3) Change your major altogether.
4) Focus more on journalism and if you want, perhaps a BSc in biology.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heather_tate19 View Post
What if I want to transfer?
- I'm going to UW Eau Claire this fall, but I wonder how I'll like it there. I have a twin sister and and older sister going to UW Madison. Madison is closer to home, not to mention, I will be away from my best friend-my twin sister. I'm going to be a little sad because I'm probably going to spend my golden birthday by myself b/c I won't really know anyone yet.
Eau Claire, however is smaller and can give me a lot more personal attention to help my academics which is useful for medical school.
If it is bothering you, then you can do your first year or so then transfer out. However, as said above, take a diverse set of courses. Generally, there's few first-year courses in specific areas, such as few in biology or mathematics or whatever else. So pick a diverse palette and give it a taste.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heather_tate19 View Post
I've been thinking maybe I could go to Eau Claire for the fall semester adn transfer to Madison for a second semester then see which one I like more.
That is an option if you want, although there remains a chance that you'll be hard-pressed and unsure what to decide even after getting a taste of both. Personally, I'd go for whatever one has many options. If Eau Claire is good for med. school, then that's great if you're certain you'll get in and if you even want to get in. If not, then one with more choices would be better.

However, my overall advice is to go in allowing yourself to take multiple and diverse courses. Don't go in thinking only "I'm going to do this". I've seen a few of my friends who will also be in third year with me and they're now discovering they really want out and do something else. In their first years, they didn't have much variety and only now they're thinking they want out.

One of my friends for example is great in microbiology and mathematics. However, he wants to do more than just that. He'll be in third year and is getting tired of just microbiology and math, he gave sociology a try and loved it a lot.
   
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