How did YOU find the right college/major??

  1. I'm a high school junior, and am midway immersed in the college process. I live in New England, and while I'd prefer to stay closer to home, I'm willing to venture all the way to Cali or Washington if it means I'll be happy. I did a summer program @ Brown University and :heart: it, but the chances of me getting in there are SO slim. I adored NYU, and didn't like Wesleyan. How did you narrow the college process for yourself? To make matters worse, I'm not sure what to major in, even though I realize many people don't decide 'till later in college, but since I'm flip flopping between medecine or creative writing/journalism, it sort of decides my college....I think I have a "gift" with writing, but medecine appeals to me, eben though Chem/Math are difficult for me.

    I realize I just rambled a lot (Law and Order SVU is on in the background:shame: ),
    but could anyone give me some advice?:sweatdrop:

  2. i actually decided my major first, then my school. i wanted to do humanistic psych and, if that's what i wanted to pursue, my options were limited.

    go wherever makes you happy. if you're happy, you'll figure out what you want to do from there. just follow your gut instincts and don't fall for the lure of a major that promises more money. no sense in making lots of money in the future if you're not happy, kwim?

    i would also suggest, if you're not sure about what you want to do... go to a local (and cheaper) school to get your core classes done. figure out what you really want to do...then transfer.

    whatever you do, good luck!!!
  3. there's a lot of things to consider when applying! i applied to georgetown, UT, and UTA (ut arlington) and got in to all three. i turned down georgetown bc i wasn't comfortable being states away from my parents. i turned down UT bc it was tooooo big. i chose uta. at the time, i was hellbent on becoming a nurse and had taken all the AP classes i could according to the nursing major credit requirements so that i could graduate in 3 years. i get to UTA and realize i *hate* chemistry and that i really want to be a teacher. i changed majors but wasn't happy w. UTAs education program, so i left the school. luckily, most of my credits were able to count at my new school.

    my point is, even if you are determined to be an xyz major, things change as you take classes and discover things about yourself. the most important thing is to feel comfortable at the campus that best fits your needs. you may like NYU but not like the idea of being in the middle of new york alone without your family. you may like brown but it's not the best school for your intended major. it's a really tough decision when you're looking at your acceptance letters and trying to pick one.

    i'd suggest searching this forum and seeing if you can't find people who went to the schools you're considering, or people who are your intended majors. they might be able to give you some pointers. most colleges have tours/fairs/students you can contact to help you decide. i wish you the best of luck. oh, and good job on starting early :smile:
  4. Well I picked the "wrong" school for my major at first when I was in high school, then decided to change my major after going to a community college for two years to build up my credits and then transfer to the "right" college after talking to my math professor about it one day. She suggested psychology because of my ability to read people and how my first impressions about people are most often right on. So now I'm a psych major (well, 2 years into it) and am loving it!
  5. Going to college is such a major inve$tment. If you have no limit$ on how far away you want to go, then I suggest you start by making a list:
    1) Location- city, mid-size city, or small town. Consider that you will go off-campus for shopping, events, or other activities. Do you like the outdoors? Are you a city person? Do you like warm weather? Do you get homesick easily?
    2) Size of college: small-private, or big university? Do you want to share a meal with your professors (you can, at a small private college)? Are you comfortable raising your hand in front of 100 people to ask a question? Do you want an enclosed campus or do you mind dodging cars to get to class?Do you like sports? Do you make friends easily (it's harder at a big university)?

    3) Look at available courses: if you are interested in medicine,make sure the college or university has a strong pre-med major. Checking out their labs is a good indication of how good their science department is at the college. Universities usually have good labs and research. (I wish I had compared this aspect before choosing the small, private, liberal-arts college I attended.)

    For creative writing/journalism-this would fall under the English department...that's all I know... even though I took several English courses. I majored in both Sociology and Biology, so consider that many people change their major or even create it. You do not need to know what you want to major in, yet. There are endless possibilities!

    I encourage you to do as many internships as possible...every summer be sure to apply to any job or company of interest in any part of the country. Request info. on internships by October or Nov., apply immediately by Jan. and you will be set by Feb. for your summer internship. This way you will be able to major in something you will apply in the future. Or you can hang out during the summers and waste lots of time after college looking for the 'right' job or career.

    I highly emphasize a study abroad program. Ask about programs at prospective colleges. It will stand out on your future resume, just as your internships.

    Like I said, I attended a small, private liberal arts college, in a small city close to surroundings where camping, rock climbing, kayaking, etc. were popular. But for my sister, I encouraged her to attend Cornell Univ. and I must say that her job placements have been fantastic. Let us know what other universities or colleges you are looking at!
  6. If you're not entirely sure what you want to do, I'd focus on a school that has both programs that interest you. There are plenty of top notch schools that have both a stellar pre-med program and journalism program- NYU, Columbia & Emory (my alma mater) all come to mind.

    If you're a junior, attend as many college fairs as possible & talk to your guidance counselor (or a teacher that knows you well) about what schools will suit you best. Visit schools either this summer or in the Fall, that will give you a great idea of what the schools are like.

    I think I applied to six schools- two reaches, two I had a fair shot of getting into and two safeties. I recommend doing the same thing.

    Don't get too hung up on picking a major now. Most people change at least once. I started out as premed, and next year I'm starting my PhD in Russian literature-LOL, what you're sure you want to do at 17, isn't always the path you end up taking as an adult.
  7. Well, I spent my entire early, pre-18-year-old life in the art field (art classes since I was a child, all through school, AP Art in high school...) and spent my first year of college in Fine Arts. And then I dropped it for English/Literature/History :biggrin: I had always had that "gift" when it came to writing ;)

    Don't worry about it too much; there are tons of people that either a. do not know what they want to major in and b. *think* that they know, but end up changing it later on.

    I started out at a very liberal college that I thought would be perfect for me, but then I realized that I needed more a more structured environment to be really serious about what I was doing, so I switched to a slightly more conservative school. And now I'm peachy keen, set to graduate in a couple semesters :yes:

    Think about your study habits and your work environment, and then consider your college options, because it's important to find a school that is really right for you. If you like one-on one attention, go to a smaller school!!!! I can not emphasize this enough!!! Larger schools may give you more prestige (and can be well worth it), but in my case, I needed to be able to sit down and talk to professors regularly and I do best in small class environments (in higher level courses, no more than 9 or less people). It's so nice to be able to sit down at a group discussion with a very knowledgeable professor and a few other students (where the professor will notice and worry if you do not show up), as opposed to my sister's 40+ person classes, where you can easily get signed in if you don't want to show up.
  8. Well, college is a huge decision, and when I used to teach, I would tell my students one of the most important things they can do to help them decide is to visit as many schools as possible, therfore...
    1. Location - you will be spending at least 4 years at this college campus and its surroundings, so you must like where you live.

    2. Weather - my first choice for undergrad was Baylor Univ. in Waco, TX, i was lucky enough to visit the campus before I applied, and I couldn't handle the weather, I didn't like it, so that completely changed my mind

    As far as your major, you can do both, major in creative writing/ journalism and take the necessary classes for medical school, in fact, it will give you a competitive edge b/c most pre-med students major in the sciences....

    In the end, you want to go to a school that you like, offer courses you would enjoy, b/c in my opinion, it doesnt matter where you go as long as you show that you are a great student :smile:

    Good Luck!
  9. I chose my major first (I knew that I wanted to major in Criminal Justice by the time I was 14 and never changed my mind), and then decided on the school. I chose Cal State Long Beach because it's affordable, yet still is a very nice place. Also, it has a good Criminal Justice program and the students are pretty cool for the most part. Lastly, it is also because the school is very diversed; I knew that I didn't want to go to a school that were not "balanced," so to speak.
  10. Everyone has their own list of priorities. I'd pick a school that is strong in a variety of areas, because you really don't know if you'll stay in your original intended major. I went in undecided thinking I'd major in Poli Sci or Journalism... I ended up in Art History! Which wasn't even on my radar when I entered school.

    Back then,lol, I think my biggest priority was that my school was far enough away from home that my parents couldn't just "drop by" unexpectedly and I wanted to be in a city setting. I also knew that I didn't want a very large school, because I know that I do better with small class sizes where the teacher actually knows my name and things about me. I visited all the schools I was accepted to before deciding. That definitely helped me narrow down the choices.

    Good luck with your decisions!
  11. I started with one that my parents wanted. I didn't know what I wanted. Then I picked up the other two on my own around sophomore year.
  12. Thank you to EVERYONE who so kindly replied!! From what I gathered, it is really important to feel the "click" on the I need to go see the schools I'm considering. It was so nice that all of you replied!!!
  13. i started out at the wrong one :lol: in the uk you pick your major straight away and that's what you apply for to get into university. i started out doing law at one university and i HATED it and i didn't click with the people. well i got along with maybe five out of a class of 160 or so, the rest just weren't my kind of people at all. so after the first year i dropped out and on a whim, just so i'd have a place after the summer i applied through clearing and got into my current place and it's soooo much better. i still don't love all the people but the percentage i like is much higher and i actually enjoy all my classes! and i don't really like that many people in general so it would be too much to expect to like all of the ones i study with anyway :lol: i don't really want to say what my major is because you can only study it at one place in the uk and it's a very small faculty so someone could identify me, but suffice to say i'm an artsy fartsy linguist now :biggrin:
  14. I didn't have much of a choice when I completed my A levels - I had the option of choosing to do a math major, or physics , geology, chemistry or Computer Science majors. I chose physics because that was what I liked then. Now I'm doing my Ph.D in physics, so I guess I still like it!
  15. The thing is, with med school, you need to get an undergrad first (unless you are accepted into one of the 6 year med school programs). So technically, you could do your undergrad in creative writing/journalism. You could just make a lot of your electives as science courses.

    Technically, as a pre-med student, your major could be anything as long as you make sure you take:
    Chem I + lab and Chem II + lab
    O Chem I + lab and O Chem II + lab
    Physics I + lab and Physics II + lab
    Bio I + lab and Bio II + lab
    Calc I

    Those classes above are requirements (along with an undergrad and mcat) to get into med school (in the US).

    Most pre-med students major in biology or chemistry because those classes are part of the curriculum anyway.

    In general though, most universities require at least x credits in natural science, x credits in math, etc. These are your general education requirements. So it technically wouldnt be too much extra work to add those to your plan.

    You can also talk to your high school advisor about this. What would be better is speaking to your university advisor, so you can do that when you pick your college. The can work with any major to add the pre-med requirements. I know many med school students that did this.