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Trying to Tell My Dad Major Doesn't Matter.... Help?

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dag34

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Hi there,

I have shown my Dad a few threads on here and articles on other sites regarding a major and pre-med reqs. All in all, I know your major does not matter: your MCAT and GPA do. If I don't get into med school, my backup would be to be a PA or Physical Therapist. Because all of these options require more school after undergraduate, I want to major in psychology. I believe it will help me maintain a high GPA and will be something that I can apply later in whatever field I am in (dealing with patients and their emotions). However, my dad does not seem to like the idea. He has told me that I can do nothing with this type of degree, even though I explained that the occupations that I want to chase all need Master's/Medical Degrees. He keeps saying that a degree in Economics (something I pondered as well but was not really interested in these types of jobs) is safer and I can do more with it. While he is right, it is safer, I really don't want to have a desk job like that. If I could get some help and proof from some people that what I'm trying to do is ok, that would be awesome. Thanks so much.
 

Lannister

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You're an adult. Tell him you're majoring in psych and that's that.
 
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RunawayGrape

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I'm not even sure how much a degree in economics would help nowadays. Oftentimes, if you're trying to get a finance job at a big firm with only a bachelor's, it's an uphill batter unless you're graduating from a top-20 undergrad. I have friends from both Ivy Leagues and state schools, and they have had very different experiences getting jobs fresh out of college. It's a tough market.

If your heart is set on getting a graduate degree after college, then you should pursue that. There's no reason being miserable for four years in college just to get a desk job that would make you more miserable.
 
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SpoiledMilk

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First, respect that your Dad means well. He wants what is best for you.
However, tell Dad that he needs to trust that he and your mom raised you to be a responsible and intelligent adult who can make your own decisions.
Major in psychology or whatever other major you find interesting because that is what college is about, exploring and finding out what you enjoy and want to do for the rest of your life.
Continue to be considerate of your Dad and include him in your decisions because fam is highly important.
Tell him that you will need his support when mistakes happen, and they will.
But in the end, make the decision that you think will make you the best adult that you can be.
That will be your parents' legacy.
 
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dag34

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First, respect that your Dad means well. He wants what is best for you.
However, tell Dad that he needs to trust that he and your mom raised you to be a responsible and intelligent adult who can make your own decisions.
Major in psychology or whatever other major you find interesting because that is what college is about, exploring and finding out what you enjoy and want to do for the rest of your life.
Continue to be considerate of your Dad and include him in your decisions because fam is highly important.
Tell him that you will need his support when mistakes happen, and they will.
But in the end, make the decision that you think will make you the best adult that you can be.
That will be your parents' legacy.
Of course I respect that he means well. He is a great father and I will always be respectful of what he wants for me and has done for me.
Thank you for the great reply.
 

dag34

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Unless the dad is paying for tuition/housing/etc...
I am most definitely taking out a student loan. But dad does say he wants to contribute an amount somehow, most likely in form of housing. I am very lucky to have parents' help
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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You're an adult. You get to choose your major, not your parents.

That said, there are a few things to consider:

1) getting into med school is not guaranteed, so it is beneficial to major in something you wouldn't mind doing if med school doesn't pan out--since you have other backups, this is less important, though PA school can be quite competitive as well;

2) college is the time to major in something that really interests you, because you are likely to not have the opportunity to spend ~4 years studying it ever again;

3) MCAT and GPA are all that matter as far as academics go--your major does not matter at all.

If you're looking for some "proof" to show your parents (which you shouldn't have to, but I understand wanting to assuage their concerns), you could show them this: https://www.aamc.org/download/321496/data/factstablea17.pdf

It's a chart that shows MCAT score breakdowns and GPAs for different major categories for applicants and matriculants. Purely from a numbers perspective, it says that for 2016-2017, there were 5075 Social Science major applicants and 2292 matriculants. That's a 45.2% acceptance rate, which is above the acceptance rate for all students (which is 39.6%). Now yes, that includes economics, but it also includes psych, so while economics might be a "safer" backup, you have some numbers to back you up that a social science degree isn't going to hold you back.
 
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Lifeblood_20

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Hi there,

I have shown my Dad a few threads on here and articles on other sites regarding a major and pre-med reqs. All in all, I know your major does not matter: your MCAT and GPA do. If I don't get into med school, my backup would be to be a PA or Physical Therapist. Because all of these options require more school after undergraduate, I want to major in psychology. I believe it will help me maintain a high GPA and will be something that I can apply later in whatever field I am in (dealing with patients and their emotions). However, my dad does not seem to like the idea. He has told me that I can do nothing with this type of degree, even though I explained that the occupations that I want to chase all need Master's/Medical Degrees. He keeps saying that a degree in Economics (something I pondered as well but was not really interested in these types of jobs) is safer and I can do more with it. While he is right, it is safer, I really don't want to have a desk job like that. If I could get some help and proof from some people that what I'm trying to do is ok, that would be awesome. Thanks so much.

I sympathize. I'm majoring in Neuro/Psych as well. My parents always thought that such a degree is useless in finding employment, and always wanted me to do engineering (Which I never will because math makes me sleepy). They seemed to think that premed + engineering is totally OK for me, that I can manage a high GPA AND take all prereqs AND engineering requirements AND do ECs with no problem.

Our parents definitely mean well; they sincerely want us to get something out of our hard work. Plus, I have been very blessed with my parents paying part of my tuition, so I have felt bad for going against their wishes. It's easy to suggest "be an adult and make your own decisions!" but that sometimes feels senseless to do.

However, it is also important to point out to them that we are the ones responsible for our future career. We are the ones going to school, choosing our paths, and working our future jobs. I have talked to them about my determination to go down this path. I explained what I want to accomplish, and why I want to do it. Now, they have changed their views and accept my decisions.

Of course, it depends on the family situation as well -- do you have to work your long-term job right out of undergrad to support your family? Or do you have the responsibility to assist your parents financially?

My parents came from a science background and did graduate degrees so they are likely more understanding than most. Hope you can talk it out with them in a thoughtful way.
 
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dag34

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Does wanting to be an orthopedic surgeon change the idea of majoring in psychology?
 

Lannister

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Does wanting to be an orthopedic surgeon change the idea of majoring in psychology?

No. And it probably doesn't matter anyways because the vast majority of freshmen pre-meds who say they want to do ortho, do not end up doing ortho. Definitely do not worry about specialties right now.
 

Lucca

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Does wanting to be an orthopedic surgeon change the idea of majoring in psychology?

No, lol. The things that decide whether or not you should be an ortho doc all
happen in med school. Just do well in school, do well on the MCAT, tick the boxes, and you will get into medical school at the very least. Then and only then concern yourself with matching anything let alone ortho.

Also, just tell your dad that in this country at the moment where you go to school is way more important for your employment prospects than the degree you are getting unless you are doing a professional or semi professional degree like CS/Engineering/Nursing (even then it matters) or a technical degree.

Major in whatever you want.
 
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ODea

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Tell him choosing a major that you actually like will show in GPA. If you're uninterested it'll be harder for you to focus and maintain that GPA. You are an adult though or close to I'm sure he just wants the best for you which is always a good thing.

My dad asks me he said why go to medical school and go through all that college when I could be an EMT for the rest of my life. Some parents just don't get it be thankful your dad cares about your education and future!
 

AnxietyNation

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You COULD just take macroeconomics and see how it feels. It would probably count towards a psych degree and you can say, "dad I tried it, just not my cup of tea." Or, you like it and minor in economics.
Or
You don't. Just curious, why not double major? Too much work/time?
 

PreMedMissteps

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Will he not pay if you major in psych?

You can't borrow much as a freshman - only about 5500. So if you'll need more than that, you're going to need your dad on your side.

Show your dad @SubliminalNeuralgia 's MDApps. Your dad will see he had a very successful app year as a philosophy major.

It sounds like you're still in high school. If so, don't be talking about majors right now. Focus on getting into some good affordable schools. You can be undeclared for a year or two if needed - just taking the Gen Ed classes and premed prereqs. Your dad will probably settle down once you're actually in college.

I wouldn't be surprised that if you start as undeclared, take a couple of premed prereqs along with some Gen Ed, and then get top grades, your dad won't really pay attention to what your major ends up being.
 
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•Syzygy•

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So, I see where your dad is coming from. I was an economics major and my reasoning was that if I didn't make it as a pre-med that I would have a useful back up should I want to go into business instead. However, things are not that simple.

For one, it would be in your best interest to go for an MBA if thats the route you are going to take, and your major doesn't matter for that. You know what does matter ? GPA

Which leads me to my next point. Economics was not easy. The intro courses were weed outs just like my pre med courses and it only got harder. I regretted it after awhile because I could have done something easier with less math and done better. Because you know what does matter for med school admissions? You guessed it... GPA.

Do psych if you think you'll get a high GPA. If you have a good GPA, tons of doors will open for you. Life is so much harder if you shoot yourself in the foot in undergrad
 
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PreMedMissteps

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Is that new?


Not new, but since you may have been an independent student when you tried, you may have been able to borrow 9500. (Independent = vet, over 24, married, etc)

When are you talking about? About 10+ years ago, Sallie Mae used to allow students to borrow the full cost, but then too many defaulted. Now, a student needs qualified cosigners to borrow more than the small federal limits.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Not new, but since you may have been an independent student when you tried, you may have been able to borrow 9500. (Independent = vet, over 24, married, etc)

When are you talking about? About 10+ years ago, Sallie Mae used to allow students to borrow the full cost, but then too many defaulted. Now, a student needs qualified cosigners to borrow more than the small federal limits.

2005 lol
 
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PreMedMissteps

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That may have been around the time of Sallie Mae changes. Seriously, there were students borrowing $200k via Sallie Mae, and often for career goals that didn't pay well. Imagine an NYU Tisch grad with Broadway stars in their eyes graduating with $2k a month loan payments....while they wait tables looking for their big break :eek:
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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That may have been around the time of Sallie Mae changes. Seriously, there were students borrowing $200k via Sallie Mae, and often for career goals that didn't pay well. Imagine an NYU Tisch grad with Broadway stars in their eyes graduating with $2k a month loan payments....while they wait tables looking for their big break :eek:

Yeah. They got sued before they turned into Navient. I got a sizeable check because they weren't adhering to the service member civil relief act and charging more interest than they were allowed.
 
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