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I'm an undecided junior - what should I major in / what careers should I look into?

Junior12345Junior12345 1 replies1 threads New Member
Junior year is the year everyone is deciding what they'd like to go into. As a junior, I'm trying to figure that out for myself. My issue is that I have too many interests and hobbies. In general, my interests include music, languages, math, physics, genetics, and animals.

1. Music
I have always loved music since I was little. I have been part professional choir for years, I sing in my own time, I've played piano for years, and I taught myself ukulele. In general, I prefer contemporary music over classical. I was very passionate about singing a couple years ago, and now I am interested in music theory. I do not know if I could do music as a profession because I have a tendency to get tired of things. Because this is a hobby for me, I would not want to ruin my feeling about music.

2. Languages
I grew up speaking Czech in addition to English when I was little. Although I am not fluent anymore, I sometimes try to improve. For fun, I taught my friend Czech so that we could have 'secret conversations'. At school, I have been taking French for 6 years. I also created a club where people teach each other basic phrases in different languages. In my club, I do enjoy teaching and planning the lessons. In general, I like speaking in other languages, and have attempted to teach myself Italian from Duolingo. However, I am not fluent in anything other than English because becoming fluent requires a lot of stamina. I have watched some videos regarding linguistics (which interested me to some level). Knowing a language would be beneficial because traveling seems like fun.

3. Math
I like math overall. Math is the simplest form of science. Although I'm not the fastest in Accelerated classes, I understand it well. I enjoy answering my friend's math questions when I have the time. In the cases where it can be overwhelming, I prefer applying my math skills to other subjects.

4. Physics
I took physics as my science course last year. Because it was completely new to me, I greatly enjoyed learning about how the world works. I also enjoyed the class because the teacher was great. However, learning a subject is different from actually doing it.

5. Genetics
In middle school, we learned about the cell and all the processes that went on. That year, I greatly enjoyed creating our 'cell' diagrams. We also learned about recessive and dominant traits. With this knowledge, I created a genetic family tree for fun. In high school, we went into more specifics regarding the structure of DNA; this was not very interesting because the topic was too small for me to apply to real life.

For any of the sciences, I cannot see myself working in a laboratory or with needles.

6. Animals
My family and I have a dog who is well-trained. For the past couple of years, I started to teach him cool tricks like closing the door, playing dead, and spinning. I love my dog and I enjoy being in nature / walking in the forest with him on nice days. However, we were blessed with such an obedient dog that it was easy to train him. I know that all animals are not like that. If I could change one issue in the world, I would stop animal abuse. It breaks my heart seeing dogs, cats, monkeys, etc. being abused. Although I know that helping animals would make a change, I don't know if I could deal with seeing animals in pain.

There are many positives and negatives I need to consider. In addition to these topics, I like to use my knowledge to teach, organize, and plan. If I don't want to be in debt after college, I really need to think about finances / pay. Since people have many professions in their lifetime, I know that I'll always have the option to switch.
Any career suggestions or advice would be very helpful!
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Replies to: I'm an undecided junior - what should I major in / what careers should I look into?

  • MWolfMWolf 2205 replies14 threads Senior Member
    In short, you are a regular smart engaged teenager, and you do not really need to decide. You do not need to declare your major when you apply, and even if you do, you can change it.

    A few things are obvious, though - you are not really interested in biological sciences. It was fun for you to construct the family tree, however, that was actually a type of math, not biology. Since you do like math, that is not surprising. However, the actual nitty gritty details which make up biology don't excite you. That's absolutely OK, but it indicates that there is a good chance that you would not enjoy being a bio or genetics major.

    You like animals and you like music, but you don't sound like you would really like to major in either animals science or linguistics. You would likely be happier engaging in animal rights type advocacy, and learning languages as a hobby. Both are great, but it is not clear whether you would actually be interested in the stuff which makes up the basics of these majors.

    You should delve a bit more deeply into things like animal science, linguistics, social sciences, etc. Perhaps if you had a more clear idea as to what a person who engages in these fields actually does, you could have a better idea what you would like to do in life.

    Have some fun exploring these fields and others.
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  • Junior12345Junior12345 1 replies1 threads New Member
    Thank you! This was very helpful.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81177 replies728 threads Senior Member
    3. Math
    I like math overall. Math is the simplest form of science. Although I'm not the fastest in Accelerated classes, I understand it well. I enjoy answering my friend's math questions when I have the time. In the cases where it can be overwhelming, I prefer applying my math skills to other subjects.

    Applied math, statistics, data science?
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  • juilletjuillet 12737 replies162 threads Super Moderator
    Are you a junior in high school? You definitely do not need to decide. This is the year when it *seems* like everyone is deciding, but really, they are trying on different things.

    You do not have too many interests and hobbies. Having a lot of interests and hobbies is GOOD.

    You can major in music without making it your profession. But you can also love music and make it an intense hobby without majoring in it.

    Languages are awesome! But you also do not need to major in a language to learn one. Linguistics is different from learning a language, although they are related.

    Math is also awesome! Math is a great major in and of itself. But there are also lots of majors that use math, like physics and engineering, as well as different kinds of math, like statistics and operations research. There are also majors that involve math at higher levels, like economics and political science.

    If you don't want to spend time in a laboratory, genetics may not be a good match for you. But there are some jobs related to this that don't - check out genetic counseling.

    Lots of people really love animals, and there is a LOT of work you can do with animals without necessarily majoring in anything animal science. (Also, as a side, most animal training techniques come from psychology. I find it very easy to train dogs because I studied psychology and got a PhD in it. I also volunteered in animal shelters and rescues throughout college and graduate school.)

    You certainly do not have to decide on a future career or even a major now. Take some classes your first year of college and see what you enjoy!
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