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morningstory.42 Offline
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"Major" Decisions - April 10th 2012, 01:54 PM

I am a college freshman, and I need some advice on making a big decision. I am currently a technical theatre major (building sets and whatnot for theatre shows), and I absolutely love it. But I've been thinking about what I want for my future more and more, and tech potentially won't get me there. I've been considering switching my 4 year degree to Environmental Biology which has a greater earning potential and a quickly growing job market. I would have more job security and be able to afford the life I want in the future. The choice seems obvious, but here are the thinks that are keeping me from switching:
1. Scholarships. If I switch, I potentially lose about $14,000 in school-funded aid. I'd be going into more debt by the end of college.
2. If I decide that I made a wrong decision in switching, there is almost no chance that I can get back into the tech theatre program here. It's all or nothing.
3. I'm at a school that specializes in theatre. Not biology. I may have to switch schools later down the road. Is this more effort than it is worth?
4. I love learning and exploring new ideas. Biology gives me that opportunity, and theatre doesn't always do that. Theatre is more of a hobby to me, but if I switch I might not have the opportunity to pursue it in the future.
5. My school does not offer a tech theatre minor, and the tech major offers no time for a minor. I could work in the scene shop (one of my favorite aspects of the major) if I switch majors to Enviro-Bio.

Any advice is appreciated, and thanks for helping in advance!

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Re: "Major" Decisions - April 15th 2012, 02:00 AM

Hey there! If you don't mind my asking, why did you decide on Environmental Biology? What experiences have you had in the past that led you to take an interest in it as a major and career? I think it's very smart of you to think ahead and determine what will work in the long run (ex. a better-paying and more intellectually satisfying career in Environmental Biology vs. Technical Theater); however, if you have not had any real experience in the field, then I would caution you against making any decisions right now. Find an internship with a company in the field, and see how you like it. If you're convinced that Environmental Biology is the way to go after that, then by all means, switch majors (and possibly schools). While it may cost you more now, it will eventually pay off (both financially and emotionally). If you can't get an internship (or any other related experience), then perhaps it would be best to get your major in Technical Theater, save up money over the years, then go back to school to major in Environmental Biology in the future.

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Re: "Major" Decisions - April 17th 2012, 10:29 PM

I wanted to mention some things regarding your points, numbered the same as yours:

1) A large number of university/college students go into some form of debt before they graduate. Although it is always better to not owe money, it is not unusual and should not be something to completely deter your decision.

2) Most major decisions you will make in life will be all or nothing, to some degree. Now that you are in college, it is time to begin making them. Do you choose biology or theatre? Do you get married to whom you are dating or begin dating someone new? Do you have a child and take maternity leave or focus primarily on your career? Do you take the job in California or Montreal? No one can answer which option is best for you in any of these instances. Only you can. However, just because this is a major decision does not mean you cannot logically deduce which is the right one for you.

3) If you have to ask if it is more effort than it is worth, then clearly it is not worth the effort to you on some level. I already know what I will major in. If I had to change schools three times to get the degree I want, I will do so without batting an eye. You are still unsure of your decision and it is evident by your asking if this is worth the effort. Is your future worth changing schools over? If you have a different answer for this question than the earlier one, then perhaps you have found your answer already.

4) If you believe theatre is more a hobby for you, then this should be an obvious choice to make. There is always "community theatre" which you can do for the rest of your life in your free time (and as a hobby). You will not have to say goodbye to your hobby forever. You just have to pursue it in more clever ways.

5) Yes, or you could change schools to a location that has the right programs you desire to take. This way you can get whatever major/minor combination you wish.

I only offer this as advice because you asked.

I wish you luck in what you decide to do.
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