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AcademicGround >> Give a HS student some advice


10/11/05 9:18 PM
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pats0
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Edited: 11-Oct-05
Member Since: 09/14/2003
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I'm in my final year of high school and I have no idea what I want to go into. I do well in all subjects, but I generally concider myself a math/science person. I am considering going into finance and getting a BBA and then an MBA/Law Degree mainly because there is more money in that. My other option is going into a biology-type field, maybe eventually a doctor or specialist. I think this may be more intersenting, but I'm not sure about the money. If anyone is in these field or majoring in similar subjects I would really appreciate some description and advice. Thanks a lot.
10/11/05 9:50 PM
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jgibson
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Edited: 11-Oct-05
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What do you like to do? What do you have a passion for? Do you have any studies that closely relate to your hobbies?
10/11/05 9:58 PM
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pats0
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Edited: 11-Oct-05
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As of now I'm interested in BJJ, weight lifting, and nutrition. Something like kenisiology/nutrition seems cool, but again, I don't know how much one can make in such a profession.
10/11/05 11:16 PM
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Power Paw
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Edited: 11-Oct-05
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If any universities around you have a program called "_____ Engineering and Management" do that. You'll get all the math and science you want, and you can make good $$. Personally, I would tell you to not even consider the money aspect, yet. See what kind of job you can imagine doing for free, and look forward to doing. So what if you only make half of what you would in another job (even though that half will be very comfortable with something like an engineering degree). Would you rather go through each day just trying to hang in there to make some $$, or would you rather look forward to work and enjoy what you're doing (while getting decent pay).
10/13/05 3:50 PM
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iceman420
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Edited: 13-Oct-05
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my advice to you: have sex with lots of girls in college.
10/13/05 11:44 PM
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macdawg
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Edited: 13-Oct-05
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I was kinda like you, did not know what I wanted to do so I went with a general business degree and my first job out of college was a sales position that I put up with for a year and a half and I just quit & still don't know what I wanna do. My advice: only get a general business degree if you are positive that you will be going to Grad School after you get your bachelors. There has got to be something specific you can find to get into. Spend some time taking tests about what you want to be and what you like to do and try to match something specific to it, cuz if you just move forward with something very general you might end up regretting not exploring and finding something specific, you can always do a career change but by specializing in something specific, you should be off to a better start when it comes time for you to make a living for yourself. Architect? Engineering? Pilot? Safety Mgmt? Law? Law enforcement? If your a bookworm type...accounting? finance? Also, as if you didn't know already, college is the best time and place to get laid and have fun with friends in your life, have fun.
10/14/05 11:09 AM
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BarkLikeADog
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Edited: 14-Oct-05
Member Since: 10/11/2005
Posts: 6
Take your time. Take all your prereqs (foreign language, math, writing, etc.) & sample as many introductory courses as you have time for & can afford. Once you get a grip on what you like, go that route, & don't worry about the money, because that's not what it's all about. Finding your niche is more important. Just don't take that concept too far & get stuck in the theater department or some such. Most people in their thirties still aren't sure what they want to do, so don't sweat it. It's normal.
10/16/05 4:09 PM
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RTWu
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Edited: 16-Oct-05 04:12 PM
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The posts above about keeping an open mind and keeping your options open are true. I started out as a computer science major, switched to business, and am now in medical school. If you are interested in business and biology, biotech/biopharm is a huge up and coming area that you might want to look into. "My advice: only get a general business degree if you are positive that you will be going to Grad School after you get your bachelors" This is not necessarily true, it depends greatly on what undergrad you are graduating from. Most people I know at my school that graduated with a business degree went on to do investment banking/consulting and from there went to private equity, or hedge funds. Graduate degree not required
10/17/05 12:12 PM
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Andrew Yao
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Edited: 17-Oct-05
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Once you're accepted to a school, don't work very hard in your high school classes. It doesn't matter what grade you get anyways.
10/17/05 9:06 PM
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Power Paw
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Edited: 17-Oct-05
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ignore this " Once you're accepted to a school, don't work very hard in your high school classes. It doesn't matter what grade you get anyways." that's a stupid thing to say
10/18/05 4:54 AM
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Revolver of Reason
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Edited: 18-Oct-05
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"Once you're accepted to a school, don't work very hard in your high school classes. It doesn't matter what grade you get anyways." I hope you're being a smartass, Yao - you should know better. besides the fact that those classes help prepare you for college, many colleges have a policy that their acceptance is contingent on a similar level of work in the last HS semester as your prior semesters. if you're an A student and get C's in all of your classes, they can and will withdraw the acceptance and give it to someone else who didn't fuck around.
10/18/05 9:03 PM
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Andrew Yao
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Edited: 18-Oct-05
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Sorry, I was just being a jerk. I thought it would be obvious.
10/29/05 9:27 PM
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FredHammer
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Edited: 29-Oct-05
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TTT
11/8/05 5:15 PM
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Buddhadev
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Edited: 27-Nov-05 10:16 PM
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Give yourself lots of time to settle on a career path. Don't get your mind set rigidly on one thing at age 18 and tell yourself that's absolutely what you want to do. There are people twice your age who are still changing their careers and settling on new paths. Brainstorm a list of a half-dozen careers/jobs that interest you. Talk to people who do those jobs. Shadow them for a day, if you have the time. It's very difficult to translate what your favorite subject is in school to what you want to do with your life. As for picking a college, look at the following book by noted economist Thomas Sowell (you can read the whole thing for free online): Choosing a College URL: http://www.amatecon.com/etext/cac/cac-toc.html PLEASE read this book. I'd give you more advice and tell you what I REALLY think of our education system and how well it serves kids your age, but your parents would probably kick my ass if I did.
11/13/05 11:55 PM
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Greggie
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Edited: 13-Nov-05
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Buddhadev-Really dig that article you linked to. I like John Taylor Gatto, and I think he has some important things to say. My thoughts run fairly close to yours on that thread, at least as much as I read. I have to grade some labs right now. pats0-my main advice would be to pick a school that has a good reputation for undergraduate education, and spend your first, and possibly even second year taking as wide a range of courses as you can. I'd even recommend a small liberal arts college-you'll get more attention professors, which is important if you're not sure what direction you'd like to take your education. See what's out there, see what interests you, and them make your decision. As others have mentioned, you're only 18. You don't need to choose your career path now. Expose yourself to a broad range of topics, then stick with what interests you. Greg
11/27/05 10:16 PM
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Buddhadev
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Edited: 27-Nov-05
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Greggie, glad you liked that thread. It is an overall very interesting read--much of it moving beyond the primary issue of the Gatto article. You also said "my main advice would be to pick a school that has a good reputation for undergraduate education" -- SPOT ON. Here's an excerpt from that Sowell book above:
Universities are likely to be the best known educational institutions, whether because of their football teams (Ohio State, Notre Dame, Alabama), their basketball teams (U.C.L.A., Georgetown) or their scholarship and research (Harvard, Chicago, Berkeley). None is famous for its undergraduate teaching, though a few may in fact deserve to be. Undergraduate teaching is simply not as newsworthy as a Rose Bowl victory or a Nobel Prize. There is less relationship between institutional renown and undergraduate education in a university than in any other kind of educational institution. Nowhere is it more necessary to avoid being dazzled by big names.
Please IGNORE the impulse to obsess after a name-brand school only to find yourself disillusioned and sitting on a pile of debt. Again, I'll reiterate that finding your CAREER interest requires CAREER RESEARCH which is a different thing from education. Put the time into doing informational interviewing, shadowing, etc.
11/28/05 2:01 AM
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Greggie
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Edited: 28-Nov-05
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I like that passage a lot, though I'd make one exception to it. Liberal arts colleges that have 'big names' (well, for liberal arts colleges, at least) tend to be excellent teaching institutions, since they focus on undergraduate education. Not having grad students, and having, on the whole, much smaller classes, students tend to interact more with faculty from the very beginning. Places like Oberlin, Carleton, Swarthmore, etc, do tend to live up to their reputation as places of undergraduate education. I think they are a great place for a student who isn't certain what they'd like to do with their life. The serious downside to these fine institutions is....they're expensive as hell. They won't have the name recognition of Harvard, or Chicago, etc., but people in the academic world know the reputation of these institutions, such that it's usually a good name to have on a resume. I went to one and loved it, so I'm obviously biased. But when I was in the position of the person who started this thread (6 years ago!) I was having a really hard time deciding between Northwestern University and Oberlin College. Both great schools, one a large research institution, the other a small liberal arts college. I picked Oberlin, much for it's size, and it was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I ended up taking a Geology class, then making it my major, and now I'm in my first year of a grad program in paleontology. A major part of going on in the field was the quality of instruction and amount of attention I recieved from professors as an undergrad. Greg
12/1/05 1:57 PM
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P.V.Jena
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Edited: 01-Dec-05
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Seconding the view for small schools, I went to Illinois Wesleyan Uni, small liberal arts school with no graduate program. Upsides: Tons of professor interaction, classes were small and fun, 3 years of TA/Research experience, over all a great exp. Cons: Not that many course choices, not the same eng/science background guys at UIUC/Berkeley might have. Ideal situation? A top small school. Princeton/Caltech. PVJ
12/4/05 10:20 PM
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Buddhadev
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Edited: 04-Dec-05
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Greggie: I agree with you on name brands for small lib arts schools vs name brand large unviersities. Sowell's point about universities. Here is Sowell on the subject of liberal arts colleges:
COLLEGES VS. UNIVERSITIES

Liberal arts colleges are not watered-down universities. They often provide not only a more stimulating undergraduate education but also a more solid foundation for graduate school. We have already noted the irony that many large universities, with some of the top Ph.D. programs in the nation, have very unimpressive proportions of their own undergraduates go on to receive Ph.D.'s, compared to the proportions among students from small liberal arts colleges. Being larger, universities of course generally have larger absolute numbers of their alumni go on to receive doctorates. But, size for size, the leading liberal arts colleges have no trouble holding their own with even the leading private universities. For example, among the institutions listed below, all with similar numbers of undergraduates and with composite SAT scores of 1200 or more, the following numbers of their graduates went on to earn doctorates during the decade 1977-1986:


Oberlin College 998
Johns Hopkins University 658
Brandeis University 649
Rice University 618
Smith College 605
Wesleyan University 448
Colgate University 334
Holy Cross College 283

Source: National Research Council

No doubt there are many reasons for the variations within this select group, so exact numbers and exact rankings are not crucial. But the point here is simply that graduates of liberal arts colleges certainly hold their own with graduates of universities. Indeed, some even smaller liberal arts colleges have enough doctorates among their alumni to be comparable to the institutions in this group—for example, Mount Holyoke (447) and Swarthmore (535).

12/6/05 2:49 AM
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Greggie
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Edited: 06-Dec-05
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Hahaha. I like this Sowell guy, he seems to know his shit. :) I'm glad you put that up. It's a point of enduring pride at Oberlin that, among it's peer institutions (I think in terms of size, mostly) it usually tops the list for number of students who go on to earn PhD's. I think it has done so consistently, since the 1920's or so. So yeah....totally agree. Just taking an opportunity to brag a bit. Greg
12/6/05 11:27 PM
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Buddhadev
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Edited: 06-Dec-05
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You might enjoy Sowell's columns. I've been meaning to read his book Basic Economics.
3/12/06 11:22 AM
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BlazinAsian
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Edited: 12-Mar-06
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As for small school vs big school. Socially it was "cooler" to go to a big school (I went to Berkeley) for all the sports and parties/events. But you can definitely get "lost in the shuffle" especially in those mega-lecture hall classes. As for your major, study what interests you. I was dumb and majored in chemical engineering and struggled through 5 years, ended with a sub 3 gpa. Luckily I kicked ass on my MCATS and now I'm a doctor. But if had to do all over again, I would have majored in kinesiology/human biodynamics(academic PE). The difference is like reading a book you like to read versus reading a book you "have to" read. Much less stress and burn out. In fact med school felt sooo much easier than engineering. If I were you, I would go the kinesiology/PE/sports med/human performance route. do some interning as an athletic trainer at the school. Visit physical therapist, orthopedic surgeons, chiropracters, podiatrists. It really doesn't matter what you major in if you plan to go to med school, law school, business school. You just do the prereq's and then study want interests you.
3/14/06 5:48 PM
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Xtina
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Edited: 14-Mar-06 05:48 PM
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BTW, I don't remember law school having any prereqs, other than the undergrad degree itself.
4/24/06 3:53 AM
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FightFan424
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Edited: 24-Apr-06
Member Since: 04/10/2003
Posts: 256
ttt
11/8/06 10:44 PM
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robs42
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Edited: 08-Nov-06
Member Since: 07/10/2005
Posts: 640
join the military imo, out

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