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Thread: Question for you all.

  1. #1
    nepenthes_ak's Avatar
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    Question for you all.

    It is the eve of my "college" visit, its more like a tour of the school. But its a visit none the less, this school has two things i am very interested it.

    Biological sciences
    Photography

    I know that through out my life I can do photography, as a kinda hobby, just like my mycology experiences. But Science, in botany, and in myrmecology, have just spawned great interest over the past year. Its almost insain.

    I cant sleep, i had gone off to bed just thinking about what would happen tomorrow, would i impress my maybe soon to be teachers? who would be impressed with a shaggy moss patch chin kid like me? That was besides the point i had dealt with worse at school, "cutter cardenas" and silly things like that.

    I quickly brushed aside those moot points in my life, to a bigger question. What am i going to go to college for. This kinda decides what i want to do with the rest of my life?

    What interesting things will i venture off to do, what boundary's will i cross to advance what ever study i go into, or will I just be a stepping stone for something greater?

    And Im stuck with the question of what do i want to do with my life, what do i want to do? I want to travel, I want to keep bee's (which you cant quite do while traveling across the world) but in order to travel. I have to get a job in Myrmecology or magicaly find my way to national geographic and take pictures. But I dont want to take pictures of just scenery, the big things every one notices, I want to take pictures of small things, the workings the basics of life, Insects. With out insects their would be now big animals.

    But on the other hand i want to specialize in the study of Myrmecolgoy the study of the social insect, ants. But this study is almost imposible to get a foot hold in, because its such a scarecly known study, theirs so few people in the study that are well renowned other than O.E. wilson, but thats another story. This study takes years, 7+ years, with classes i have no understanding, or well grasp for. Despite what my chemistry teacher says now. some things are just to small. But it is key and important.

    I realize that what i need to do is relize their will be things we want to do, their will be things we are forced to do do things we might do. Its just hard deciding, it doesnt help when you dont get above a 3.5 grade average, let alone you barely scratch by the 3.0, no one is going to get a schoolarship on that. But I cant seem to figure out how I want to go about getting into Myrmecolgoy, or Photography. Cause either way im forced to choose ONE or the other.

    I love nature i love the idea of traveling for months just looking at ants, i love the idea of sitting in the tree's or on the forest floor waiting for 1 min shot at a rare animal, or traveling to distant country's


    All that to lead up to this question. What do you guys think, am i on the right track am i on a roll? Do i have an idea? What do you think about my choices? Am i just stressing out?

    *uhhhg* i hate the education system!
    Im going to be running on so little energy tomorrow its insain, i lie down and try to relax... but i just cant stop fidgeting with the idea of my future on my mind. My mom allways asked me what am i going to do with my life when i would get introuble for stealing, or getting introuble.

    Its just so hard.... oh well ill figure it out im sure, (that doesnt mean dont post )

  2. #2
    Hello, I must be going... Not a Number's Avatar
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    Why can't you major in one and minor in the other? At the University of California that would be difficult because biology is in the College of Letters and Science and photography is in the School of Fine Arts and typically most of the classes are closed to students not in the School/College/major. Difficult but not impossible. Many Universities will allow a percentage of students to "roll their own" majors. You just have to convince the advisors that it's practical and get their approval and realize your program will be subject to constant review.
    Grand Hotel... always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.

  3. #3
    moonflower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nepenthes_ak View Post

    But on the other hand i want to specialize in the study of Myrmecolgoy the study of the social insect, ants. But this study is almost imposible to get a foot hold in, because its such a scarecly known study, theirs so few people in the study that are well renowned other than O.E. wilson, but thats another story.
    goodness, you're much too worried funny thing about undergraduate studies... you quickly find that your first year or two have nothing whatsoever to do with what you actually want to study. for a four-year degree you have your liberal arts classes etc. and all of your basic majors classes... for anything connected to biology it's all the same, general bio, general chemistry, math of some kind, etc. if you can't find anything with myrmecology specifically, find something close to it (staff specializing in entomology, maybe) and worry about specializing later. for 7 years, i'm assuming you need some graduate training, and they'll certainly understand that there aren't many schools with myrmecology departments so they'll be interested in your grades (of course) and any insect work/research/studies you've done. i have friends who want to be veterinarians but study snail parasites in their undergrad research... grad schools want passion and interest more than highly specific experience, and that much you sound like you have!

    for photography... well, hypothetically, if you went to my school it would be wiser to start with a major in biology and a minor in photography, because photography does not require as many credits to complete, and if you later decide that you want to be a photographer it would be much easier to switch over that way. so wherever you decide to go, look at the amount of time it would take you to complete each major. but hey, who says you can't double major if you're extra ambitious?

    Quote Originally Posted by nepenthes_ak View Post

    This study takes years, 7+ years, with classes i have no understanding, or well grasp for.
    well that's what you go to class for, silly honestly, i'm a bio major but my natural abilities definitely do not lie within the natural sciences... i have no patience for laboratory work and thinking about math problems gives me hives, but i need bio classes to get where i want to go. if *i* can manage a passable GPA in these classes, anybody can. and believe me, my school is not known for grade inflation!!


    best of luck!
    "Seeds? Oh yeah... sometimes I forget they grow from those. I feel like they should hatch or something."

    ~a friend's observation of my CP's

  4. #4
    NECPS President Dave S.'s Avatar
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    Alot of people study for one thing in college, only to switch to something else in the "real world." It will be difficult to switch from photogaphy to a science, but less difficult from science to photography. Your career/life plans will change over time, so don't see this as a permanent choice.

    Do you expect the information you learn in college will be useful to you later in life?

    One piece of advice that I received, but did not follow, is "study what you love and the money will follow." I did not trust this advice until much later in my career.
    I am in Finance/Accounting field.

    It is not a simple choice, but it is one that is easy to correct while still in th education system.

  5. #5
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Don't worry so much. After a couple semesters of college you might find you want to be an anthropologist or a soil scientist or whatever. Right now the important thing is to head in a general direction that interests you, but don't focus it in a way that might lead you nowhere.

    I completely disagree with the "study what you love and the money will follow" advice. Generations of fine arts and psychology majors have learned the fallacy of that. I'm not saying you should be an accountant if you hate math and all you care about is painting, but there's a reason we've all heard of a "starving artist" but never a "starving accountant". I knew someone who was a single mother and a wildlife biology major. When she discovered what her career prospects really were, she switched to a BSN major so she'd be able to support her kid. That was 20+ years ago and I bet she's still obsessed with wildlife, but was able to raise her daughter with a much more stable life.

    Myrmecology might be the most fascinating thing in the universe but, when I worked for a university Entomology department, its students who didn't head to grad school headed to jobs at Terminix or Chemlawn. I can't believe that's where they expected their interest in insects to take them. And I remember working with more than one "photographer" during my exile at Fotomat. We processed photos for customers who had other careers with incomes that allowed them to pursue photography in a way none of us could. One of our "true photographers" didn't find much time for his art anymore because he basically went home every night of our six day work week and drank until he passed out. And did more of the same on Sunday.

    Photography is a natural fit with the natural and social sciences because so much gets documented by camera. Any workplace having such people will have some amazing photographers. Even if their camera doesn't pay the bills. After meandering around, I'll get to the point and say start with a major in biology and keep your eyes open. If it's an "affordable" college, then you'll have the possibility of changing directions once you're there, even if it adds another semester or two. That's how I got into geology after being accepted into a nuclear engineering program.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

  6. #6
    Doing it wrong until I do it right. xvart's Avatar
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    Yeah don't sweat it. Things have a way of figuring themselves out while in college. As you start to take courses and have more experiences you will be further helped determining what you want to do with the next step in your life. I would focus on the biology since it seems that you are most interested in the sciences. From there, you will be able to decide if and what you want to pursue more specifically and intensely. Meanwhile, you will be having fun and learning about other people and cultures in the petri dish called college (that's the analogy my professor used in my student development class).

    Also, I wouldn't worry too much about your hair. You'll probably be disappointing your future professors compared to some of the people they see on a daily basis.

    xvart.
    "The tragedy of life is not that every man loses; but that he almost wins."

    "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    nepenthes_ak's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks for the response guys, now that i have visited the college i feel allot better its a great environment.

    I guess i had the idea their was going to be some evil dictator making me suffer.

    I guess i dont know why i was so upset, just kinda frustrated i didnt know, but they have a great biology program. Its something that looks really cool. And I realize that entemolgoy and social insects could take me into the field as a Ant specialist or something like that you know, but still it would be cool and while I'm doing that i could have a source of income and still find some kind of place that is looking for a specialized entomologist. The school is inexpensive, but the study of Myrmecolegy isn't. But i figured i could e-mail the prof some questions, and things like that.

    Again thanks for the response, i was just really frustrated, and really the only place i could think to vent.

  8. #8
    herenorthere's Avatar
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    Many entomologists have an esoteric specialty they love and dabble in, plus a marketable specialty that gets them their job. It isn't just entomologists; you'll see the same with people in many fields. Are you looking at OSU or at something with a population less than a small country?
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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