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Mom doesn't want me to double major..

multilinguistmultilinguist Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
So I got accepted to Penn State and Penn State Abington class of 2018, yay! Unfortunately, it's just my mom and I, and we are..kinda poor. I had to choose Penn State Abington since tuition is cheaper but they still have what I want. My scholarship was good for Penn State UP but not good enough and FAFSA still barely helps.
Anyways, today I looked at the website at majors and minors and I realized I want to double major and have a minor. The school allows it, but my mom won't. I want to major in Biology and Business (Health Services option) and minor in Human Development and Family Studies. I know there's bound to be some overlapping, not much but some. My mom insists I just focus on biology but I want to be competitive for nursing school or medical school (whatever I choose in the future).

I can handle a heavy workload. I'm taking 8 AP classes and the lowest grade I got out of those was a B-. (AP Calculus..I'm not a math person though). I got a 95 average in AP Chemistry and a 92 average in AP Biology while my friends are struggling to get an 80. I also work and volunteer at a nursing home, so I can deal with stress and hard work well. My mom is worried I won't get good grades and she wants me to graduate on time. I honestly could care less if I graduate 2018 or 2020. (might graduate 2020 anyway because I want to study abroad every year I'm there..most likely the summer but it still might hold me back a while which I don't care too much about).

What do you guys think? I even spoke to my school advisor and she knows my grades and my work ethic, and she doesn't think I'm in over my head yet my mom does. Ugh!

Replies to: Mom doesn't want me to double major..

  • JCCsMomJCCsMom Registered User Posts: 240 Junior Member
    If you are concerned about costs, how will your family be able to pay for 1-2 additional years of college? Scholarships usually only cover 4 years, so if you take longer to graduate, you will need to cover the costs somehow. I'm not trying to discourage you from double majoring, but you need to consider the financial implications of taking longer than 4 years to graduate. If you can do the double major in 4 years and get a good enough GPA to get into med school (if that is your goal), then go for it.
  • intparentintparent Registered User Posts: 36,167 Senior Member
    Lots and lots of students switch majors once they get to college. Why don't you plan to try to take a couple of classes in each area and see what you like best, and narrow it down to two areas max (either double major, or major and minor). Sounds like you can't afford to spend extra semesters in school, so you have to be practical. And if you are headed on for graduate studies and don't have a lot of money, it is that much more important for you to finish in four years. And honestly, taking on two majors with a minor will severely limit your ability to take anything else that interests you. And college is all about not just majoring in what you THINK you like, but trying some new things as well.
  • baktraxbaktrax Registered User Posts: 2,563 Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    You might not care whether you graduate in 2018 or 2020, but are you paying for school? If you are, then more power to you. Do whatever you want. But if you're not--if your parents are helping you, if you're taking out loans, if you're scholarship runs out after 4 years--then you better start caring about when you graduate.

    Wanting you to graduate on time is a perfectly valid concern. It has nothing to do with whether anyone thinks you are or are not capable of handling the courseload. You just might not have enough hours in the day to double major and minor and still graduate on time. That's not a critique of whether or not you can handle it. It's just a fact of life. You can't do everything. And if you don't have the money to pay for these extra years in school, then tough luck. Also, studying abroad can be expensive, especially if you go during the summer when you might otherwise be able to save money by working and not taking classes. Keep that in mind when you're planning out these extra two years that you don't care about.

    If you can double major and minor and graduate in four years (or in whatever time frame your parents are okay with), then do whatever you want. I got a double major in four years with room for a minor if I had wanted one, so it's certainly possible. But I wouldn't cavalierly throw around the idea of taking however long you want to finish school because that's a very expensive undertaking, especially if you're planning to go to medical school (which you will likely go into serious debt doing).

    Also, volunteering, working, doing research, teaching, and other things outside of the classes are what is going to make you a competitive applicant to a professional school, NOT double majoring or minoring or whatever you want to do. Double major if you have the time for it and if you can afford to. DO NOT double major if it means taking longer to graduate, taking out more loans, or taking time away from more activities outside of the classroom (like getting clinical or research experience).
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 74,597 Senior Member
    Since cost is a big issue, can you take the extra major/minor without taking any extra semesters?
  • GA2012MOMGA2012MOM Registered User Posts: 5,440 Senior Member
    What Baktrax said. If your goal is Med School, a double major or a combo of majors and minors won't impress them. Major in whatever you want while taking the medschool pre reqs. Spend your time on your EC's such as volunteering, shadowing and research to name a few. Those things will help get you into medschool, NOT double majors or minors.
  • CtesiphonCtesiphon Registered User Posts: 2,112 Senior Member
    I wouldn't recommend it if you won't graduate on time. Save the money for med school and the double major isn't particularly what impresses med schools, its the research, GPA, MCAT etc.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 12,813 Forum Champion
    I thought one would go to nursing school right away...that you get a BS degree there...you don't get an undergraduate degree and then go to nursing school, unlike Medical school.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,176 Senior Member
    Call the Penn State UP financial aid office and see if they can do something for your financial aid package. But PA is lousy for financial aid (lots of state budget cuts) and Penn state is super expensive for instate (worst in the country I believe).
    Anyway: you cantake classes just because you're interested in them, you don't have to minor. So you could take 3-4 classes in business/health or 3-4 classes in Human Development, and still not have to take the required classes for the minor.
    During your first year, take a variety of classes. You'll have a minimum of 5 classes each semester. Make sure to get A's in them. Use the resources available: tutors, writing center, advisers... If you plan on going abroad, go over one semester, so that you can earn money during the summer and get relevant credits during the semester. Make sure you have the language skills for the study abroad program, or that your classes will be credited to your major.
    Typically, nursing is a Bachelor's program, although you have master's but I think those are for nurses who graduated with a BS in nursing and have a few years of experience.
    You can go to med school with any major. Just avoid biology because there's a glut of them right now. Pick any major and show you can handle your premed prereqs.
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