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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Opinions about this...? - November 18th 2010, 06:39 PM

I'm currently in my senior year of high school and have nothing in mind of what to do in my life after that. I wanted to talk about it to my college counselor but she's barely in school (I know, she's useless)

My parents can send me to college but... It's gonna be hard for them; I don't want to see them suffering and stressing themselves about my tuition fee. It's honestly difficult to just look at them go through the bills and have a major headache about it. My older sister wouldn't (or couldn't) help 'cause she's building a life of her own... She's not really in good terms with the family so I guess she wouldn't help me with the college stuff.. I have no chance of getting a scholarship either.. So I just figured that I would not go to college this year. It's my choice, not my parents. They are soo against it but it's gonna save them the troubles and worries.

I posted this thread 'cause I wanted to take everyone's opinion on this. Should I join college after I graduate high school or just take a year off?
I don't mind the gap; I also don't want to go to college and apply to a major which I don't really like (I have no idea what to take). It's just going to waste my parents' money (we barely even have enough..) In my opinion, I think it's wise to take the year off and figure out what I want to do in my life and then apply. I don't want to just apply to some random major and end up hating it.

Opinions please?


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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 18th 2010, 06:54 PM

Hey there!

I took a year off school.. and it ended up turning into 2 years. Its going to take a lot of effort for me to actually go back next fall. So my recommendation, is don't take the year off. You may regret it. Also, most parents have a college fund separate from their money, so that they can pay for their childrens schooling.



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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 18th 2010, 07:10 PM

@ Brittany: They do have the college fund (I guess) but it's still going to be such a waste of money if I go into college and take a course which I don't really like, just for the sake of continuing my education. Right? :/


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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 18th 2010, 08:28 PM

If you lived in the UK I would say yes, but in the US it seems pretty common to change your major and doing so does not put you back. I agree that going back to education after a break is hard. You could always start working full time during the holidays to save up money, and lots of people work whilst at University too


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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 18th 2010, 10:20 PM

The American system seems to be different, but assuming you're going to do a Bachelor's Degree you really only have to narrow it down to an area you're interested. If you do a joint major, or major/minor so many doors will be opened to you - and postgraduate study is where it really matters.

I mean you can narrow what you want to do into several broad categories: science, liberal arts, art & craft, business & commerce.

Now I'm going to use me as an example, I took Classics, i.e. the Greek and Roman stuff. After three years my options for an MA are not restricted to Classical MA's. I could do a a Masters in archaeology, history, philosophy, various culture studies, and hundreds of others.

I know a girl who has a BA in archaeology and has now got an internship in marketing. I know another girl who is doing a BA in philosophy and is applying for an MSc in dietetics.

Having a bachelor's degree opens so many doors for you and if its something you don't like in the end it doesn't mean you're restricted to it. I mean with my BA I can go on and apply for graduate entry medicine or law. With a classics degree I could be a doctor, I could be a lawyer.

Don't think that what you do for your undergrad will set in stone what profession you will find yourself in.
   
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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 18th 2010, 10:42 PM

Over here we have connexions which we can speak to about our options, do you have something similar you can go in and talk to over there?

I think that taking a year out would be a good idea, but I'm not sure what universities are like over there so I don't know how it would effect you.
   
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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 19th 2010, 04:31 AM

Taking a year off can be fine but as mentioned, it can lead to taking more than 1 year off. But if you're going to take a year off, if money is very tight, then get a job. You can work during college/university time although that does make it much harder as it gets hard to find a sympathetic, understanding boss. I'm not sure how your education system works where you live (wherever that happens to be) but most places do help with funding based on how much your parents make. Don't worry about choosing a major, minor or specialist right away, there's no point doing that at first year. I changed my majors multiple times and it has not set me back.

If you take a course and you don't like it at all, you can drop it and you'll get your money back for that course. The amount depends how soon you drop it but I dropped a course, never took it again and it wasn't a waste because I was doing horrible in it, chances are I'd have failed it so it's better to drop a course rather than fail it.

What you do for your Bachelor's may not be what you end up doing later on in life or perhaps you do some courses, take some other course and you love that one. For example, at my university I had to take 1.0 credits in social sciences, so I did a 0.5 credit in 1st year sociology. Despite the average of the course being a C-, I got an A+ on it, got a letter from the head of the sociology department to do some mentoring for sociology students, did another 0.5 credit in a sociology course and got an A there as well. I never planned on doing sociology, I thought it would've been dull and boring (some of it is) but you may find something you love or are amazing at. If you take some amazing courses, do good in most of them but end up dropping 1 course in the process, to me that's still a win.


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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 19th 2010, 05:21 AM

Hey there,

As a first-year undergrad who entered university dissatisfied and confused, I really want to emphasize the sheer number of people I've met so far who were in positions of deciding to switch majors in an upper year, and essentially ended up having to return to first year and do it all over again. Some of these people, and many others as well, are primarily if not entirely relying on loans to finance their education - so you're definitely not alone in your predicament.

One of the best ways to figure out what's right for you is trial and error - take a broad range of courses, and even if you don't discover your passion somewhere in there, at the very least you'll have found out what fields are not right - one of the first things I noticed after coming here, was that a lot of subjects I personally found interesting as material for casual but informative reading, completely turned me off as a potential academic pursuit. But there's no way to be sure until you give it a try first. I've decided to change my major and have a much clearer picture of where I wish to see myself, now - which would mean doing an extra year, and thus "wasting" the first year's worth of money. But it's not necessarily a waste, because sometimes we need that opportunity, in that environment which taking a year off can't exactly compare to - even if the insight ends up being "university is just not for me". That's okay too - you've tried it, you have no regrets, and can stand firmly with confidence when faced with the social and familial pressure to obtain an advanced degree.

I've personally decided to not focus as much on the longer-term financial implications anymore - but of course, that's a highly personal decision - reason being, the future is always uncertain. There is a possibility that you will end up better off, and otherwise worse off, no matter what you decide to do now - so why not take this time, while you are still young, to explore the horizons? Living on a tight budget, I'm gradually learning to be mindful of my spending on even the smallest things - but I think that's a very valuable life experience to have.

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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 19th 2010, 07:41 AM

Hi there,

I don't think you should take a year off. I don't really see how that it going to help your parents financially, unless you get a job. Also, it is very easy to change your major in college. Many, many people I know have gone to college without knowing what they want to do in life, but they usually decide on a major in their second year after they've taken the breadth courses a college usually requires. That's not a good reason to take a year off.

If your parents cannot afford to send you to college, you can apply for need-based scholarships and financial aid by filling out a FAFSA form. If your need is as great as you say, then you may get all of your costs paid for by the government. Also, it is a lot cheaper to go to a public, state school, in your state. Or, you could go to community college, which is even cheaper, especially if you live at home, and then transfer after 2 years. And if you need to, you can get a job while in college. So, it's a lot smarter to get started now rather than essentially waste a year. Good luck.



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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 19th 2010, 11:37 AM

Thank you all for the answers, I truly find them useful and as stupid as this might sound, I never thought of getting a job to help my parents with the tuition...

Might I just ask if anyone knows a person who took (or takes) the major International Relations? I'm leaning towards it and I guess it's easier to take that major if you know a few different languages... I know 5, although I'm not fluent in them (yet), I'm willing to learn. I just wanted to ask if you think this is a good course to major in? And what kind of jobs will I be offered after graduating university?


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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 19th 2010, 12:12 PM

I think taking a course in International Relations could probably open up a lot of job offers for you, particularly in politics and business
   
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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 19th 2010, 08:25 PM

@ Cara: do you think its necessary to minor in business while majoring in International Relations?


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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 20th 2010, 10:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeautyKills :O View Post

Might I just ask if anyone knows a person who took (or takes) the major International Relations? I'm leaning towards it and I guess it's easier to take that major if you know a few different languages... I know 5, although I'm not fluent in them (yet), I'm willing to learn. I just wanted to ask if you think this is a good course to major in? And what kind of jobs will I be offered after graduating university?
I'm about as useful as a broken door stop is for courses on international relations but for your last question, this depends if you want to pursue further education or not. It also depends on the job market and where you would work (I'm assuming federal government of some sort?). Knowing the 5 languages would help a lot so you could major in one of the languages or study linguistics while doing international relations courses. Some colleges and universities will notice on your high-school transcript if you've done grade 12 or advanced language courses, and may not allow you to do 1st year courses in that language. This happened to me for French, so if I wanted to do a French course, it'd be a second-year one and many don't interest me at all as they involve lots of reading of novels, poems or whatever else.

To me, international relations sounds like something similar or the same as political science, in which case I know a few people doing that. If it's not quite that, then you'll have to explain what it is.

Minoring in business can help you with a lot of areas. I've seen at campus, it's not uncommon for people to be doing double majors in biology (or chemistry, math, psychology or physics) and economics or management.


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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 20th 2010, 05:07 PM

It's up to you if you want to take a year off or not, but the longer you wait to start the harder it will be to get back into it. If declaring a major is what's scaring you, the first 2 years of undergrad are basically high school 2.0 so you don't have to declare a major right away, you can take up to 2 years to decide; and doing all your core requirements will let you take different stuff to see what interests you and what doesn't. As for what's necessary or helpful and what's not, it really depends on the school you go to. You could also start out at community college to save money while you do all the core stuff.


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Re: Opinions about this...? - November 21st 2010, 07:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeautyKills :O View Post
@ Cara: do you think its necessary to minor in business while majoring in International Relations?
I don't really know a lot about the US system but it could be useful to do that?
   
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