This is a sort of long post, but my general questions are: Am I able to major in something I never really explored in high school/ What colleges would be best for exploring a variety of interests?
For some background, I am a high school senior who has excelled in soft sciences/ humanities. I have always been interested in political science, economics, literature, and all that jazz. I recently realized that I have never let myself explore the hard sciences and that I might be even more interested in those disciplines than in the subjects I have dedicated my high school studies to. I love research and I am a very curious and creative person, and for some reason, I have never considered the fact that research in the hard sciences would still allow me to be creative and work with other people. I have worked as an editor for a high school research publication for two years, and I have always been given humanities-focused papers because that’s what I’m “strong” in, but the times I have edited chemistry/ biology papers I have been absolutely enthralled by the subjects.
My issue now is that I have taken very few STEM courses. I have never taken any calculus or physics classes, and the only hard sciences I have studied are honors biology freshman year and regular chemistry. I decided to take AP Environmental Science last year, and it was absolutely my favorite class I have ever taken, more so than AP Euro, APUSH, or any of the other humanities AP classes. I decided my schedule for senior year before realizing how much I loved that class, and now I have no real science/ math classes this year besides AP Psych and AP Statistics, which don’t really count. Will I be able to explore chemistry and biology in college without background courses like AP bio and AP chem?
My current list of schools includes mostly liberal arts colleges (Williams, Bowdoin, Washington and Lee, etc), and I am wondering if anyone knows what these schools are like in terms of academic exploration. I have heard great things, but if anyone has a personal story or can actually attest to how these schools support curiosity, that would be great. Also, if anyone has school suggestions please let me know!
Overall, do you think it’s possible for me to change my academic focus? I still love the social sciences, I just feel like the subjects in that field include things I can easily self-study without college, whereas with hard sciences, college-level courses seem very necessary. I also feel as though it would be easier to switch my career from hard sciences to social sciences, whereas social sciences to hard sciences would be extremely difficult after college.
Let me know your thoughts/ advice.