EsotericCatalyst

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I know this topic has been posted ad infinitum in these forums, and so much advice has been given. I've used the search function but something is still eating at me to the point where I'm now posting instead of lurking. I love psychology. Ever since I took AP psych in high school i've fell in love with everything associated with psychology. I'm going to be working in a psychoneuroimmunology lab this upcoming semester. I want to major in psych. However, when I first came to college I wanted to major in neuroscience or chemistry. I would like to do neuro but it's pretty bio heavy, and I'm not really a bio person. If my aim is med school I'm going to be doing plenty of bio there anyway. I am an analytical thinker, and the kind of learning that comes with chemistry not only suits my learning type but it's a subject that I'm fascinated by. AP chem opened that door for me. I've been debating whether or not I should pursue a double major in chem and psych because I love both of those disciplines, or whether I should just choose one and minor in the other. I am a math/science oriented person and I enjoy working through math & chemistry problem sets (once I can get myself to sit down and start, that is). I was talking to my roommate about my conundrum. He works in a private practice, and a lot of the doctors in that practice have their bachelor's in psych, and he brought up the point that, "why don't you just major in psych if you love it so much and maybe minor in chem?" He was telling me that the point is to try to get into med school, not to overstretch and be the most overachieving quadruple major you can be. I know that adcoms don't really care if you're a double major, and that being a double major won't increase your chances. That's not why I want to though; I'm interested because I love both of those fields. I've done well in my chemistry courses but as a major I know it would be more difficult to maintain a high GPA in chemistry than it would in psychology, and I don't want to sacrifice my GPA for something extra. I don't really think I have a single question, but I'm just trying to debate the pros/cons between the choices I have available as I've given this a lot of introspection and I just want to hear any advice that you guys might have. Thanks.
 

gonnif

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You already understand the issue.

High GPA is important for medical school admissions. A more challenging major such as chemistry for many students can impact that as well as the extra work of double major.

Exploring intellectual challenges and expanding your mind is the theoretical ideal of college and may be the last major opportunity to do so.

Only you can decide that issue.
 

JJRousseau

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Based on all the advice I've read this decision should be made without regard to medical admissions. It should be about what is most interesting to you as you develop skills as a life long learner and whether you want to specialise in a way of thinking specific to chemists or psychologists. I feel the decision to double major should be made based on whether your interest in those two subjects outweighs the cost of exploring a wider breadth of topics. I loved double majoring in maths and biochemistry, but it cost me a great deal in terms of leveraging the liberal arts and social science opportunities at my University. Despite an extracurricular undertaken specifically to correct this math/science lean and time in graduate school surround by experts in those subjects, I think nothing replaces the tuition of a professor in these fields. So, if you have many other interests perhaps the minor and the major will suffice. Or damn the labels, and choose your favourite (chemistry or psychology) and take your favourite upper level courses of the other one without having some relatively meaningless stamp saying you majored in X as well as Y. Have fun with your degree, trust me it'll show in your GPA. With several years behind me since undergraduate, that's my advice.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Your. Major. Does. Not. Matter.

Major in something you find interesting, and you will likely get better grades than if you major in something you think will "look good."
 
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I know this topic has been posted ad infinitum in these forums, and so much advice has been given. I've used the search function but something is still eating at me to the point where I'm now posting instead of lurking. I love psychology. Ever since I took AP psych in high school i've fell in love with everything associated with psychology. I'm going to be working in a psychoneuroimmunology lab this upcoming semester. I want to major in psych. However, when I first came to college I wanted to major in neuroscience or chemistry. I would like to do neuro but it's pretty bio heavy, and I'm not really a bio person. If my aim is med school I'm going to be doing plenty of bio there anyway. I am an analytical thinker, and the kind of learning that comes with chemistry not only suits my learning type but it's a subject that I'm fascinated by. AP chem opened that door for me. I've been debating whether or not I should pursue a double major in chem and psych because I love both of those disciplines, or whether I should just choose one and minor in the other. I am a math/science oriented person and I enjoy working through math & chemistry problem sets (once I can get myself to sit down and start, that is). I was talking to my roommate about my conundrum. He works in a private practice, and a lot of the doctors in that practice have their bachelor's in psych, and he brought up the point that, "why don't you just major in psych if you love it so much and maybe minor in chem?" He was telling me that the point is to try to get into med school, not to overstretch and be the most overachieving quadruple major you can be. I know that adcoms don't really care if you're a double major, and that being a double major won't increase your chances. That's not why I want to though; I'm interested because I love both of those fields. I've done well in my chemistry courses but as a major I know it would be more difficult to maintain a high GPA in chemistry than it would in psychology, and I don't want to sacrifice my GPA for something extra. I don't really think I have a single question, but I'm just trying to debate the pros/cons between the choices I have available as I've given this a lot of introspection and I just want to hear any advice that you guys might have. Thanks.
I was a psych major and loved it. I would view the major maps of both and see which major is speaking to you as a whole. See which courses are piquing your interest. I say this because at my school, psych gave me the flexibility to double major and I wanted to double major in biology. I had been taking bio classes all along, but when senior year hit, I actually sat down and looked at the bio courses left for the major designation and honestly they didn't really fit my interests, at least in comparison to the other bio courses out there. So I eschewed the double major and just took the classes I wanted in biology and I don't regret it. Also you can definitely start with one and just choose your electives spots with the other major in mind. That way you are studying both and easing your way towards a double major, but can pull back easily if it starts becoming too much to handle. You don't have to choose right now, like I said, I didn't cross that bridge until junior year.
 
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Mad Jack

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I knew someone that tried to major in neuroscience at a competitive university, despite her lack of interest and such, all because she thought it would make her look good for adcoms. It obliterated her GPA.

She's a nurse now.

The point is, just do what you enjoy the most and don't try to put too much on your plate just to impress the adcoms. Only double major if you truly want to spend extra time in your life stapling a whole second degree to your first for no functional reason. You could have earned a MPH or MBA with that extra time...
 

Goro

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Do what you love; love what you do.
 
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EsotericCatalyst

EsotericCatalyst

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Thank you all for the help. It's helpful to hear other people (who have gone thru the same process) give their advice. I wish you all nothing but the best.
 

efle

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Too often I see people say "you'll make As in anything if you love studying it" or "you should just take the easiest possible major (psych, humanities)." Neither extreme is really accurate, good advice. You're not going to get enough brownie points to forgive your 3.3 GPA for double majoring in engineering and physics, but you're also going to miss a chance to learn, full time, about almost anything you want, if you fill your days with underwater basket weaving.

My two cents: major in what most interests you...from among the things you can do exceptionally well in.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Too often I see people say "you'll make As in anything if you love studying it" or "you should just take the easiest possible major (psych, humanities)." Neither extreme is really accurate, good advice. You're not going to get enough brownie points to forgive your 3.3 GPA for double majoring in engineering and physics, but you're also going to miss a chance to learn, full time, about almost anything you want, if you fill your days with underwater basket weaving.

My two cents: major in what most interests you...from among the things you can do exceptionally well in.
I'm not sure anyone said "you'll make As in anything if you love studying it." The advice ITT that I saw was more along the lines of "if you study what you love, you're more likely to put more time and effort in, which gives you a better chance of performing consistently well." I'm sure there are some outliers, but I think that makes pretty good sense for the vast majority of people.
 

efle

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I'm not sure anyone said "you'll make As in anything if you love studying it." The advice ITT that I saw was more along the lines of "if you study what you love, you're more likely to put more time and effort in, which gives you a better chance of performing consistently well." I'm sure there are some outliers, but I think that makes pretty good sense for the vast majority of people.
Wasn't speaking to this thread, but more to the advice I've seen in the hundreds (maybe thousands) of SDN threads I've gone through!

Even this softer stance I find myself disagreeing with, deep down. I studied a big blend of hard science, soft science and humanities, so I don't mean it to sound too critical or negative, but I think you could half-ass a schedule full of cherry picked easy psych/antho/socio stuff and come away with much better grades than a passionate chemist or physicist. There really is an easy way out, but then you miss the chance to grow and be challenged and study something that fascinates you and all that good stuff
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Wasn't speaking to this thread, but more to the advice I've seen in the hundreds (maybe thousands) of SDN threads I've gone through!

Even this softer stance I find myself disagreeing with, deep down. I studied a big blend of hard science, soft science and humanities, so I don't mean it to sound too critical or negative, but I think you could half-ass a schedule full of cherry picked easy psych/antho/socio stuff and come away with much better grades than a passionate chemist or physicist. There really is an easy way out, but then you miss the chance to grow and be challenged and study something that fascinates you and all that good stuff
True to an extent. Personally, I would have had a harder time maintaining my GPA in a bunch of easy courses I wasn't interested in. But that's me.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I know, was just challenging your idea about yourself, since few of us love all the mandatory nonsense but most of us do well in them because they're easy.
Yes, but that isn't four years worth of courses. Gen eds don't take too long to slog through, and I actually found a lot of them interesting. 60 credits of psychology courses would have been torture, easy or not.
 
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