T Nation

Help Me Decide My College Major


Im a juinor in high school and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I know Im young and have a lot of time to think about it, but I might as well start now. So Id say that weight training and nutrition are two of the things Im most passionate about in life. For this reason a major in exercise physiology/nutrion really interests me. I also really like evolution and human development over time, different cultures etc. so Im think perhaps a major in anthropology would be something to think about. Similarly, I think the human brain function is really interesting, so a major in psychology may be something to think about. I think the works of people such as Sigmund Freud(sp?) are fascinating, however I dont think I like the idea of becoming an actual psychologist. Finally, I have a great interest in theoretical physics and string theory etc. So I was thinking about a physics major. However, after taking AP physics this year I am reconsidering this. The class is nothing like I thought it would be and is very difficult. So I would be very hesitant to major in phyics now.

Anyway, here are some questions for anyone here who took exercise physiology, nutrition, anthropology, psychology, or physics:

  1. What was the workload like in the college courses?( ie. Was there a shit ton of homework and stuff?)
  2. What career options would arise from the respective fields of study?
  3. What kind of money could you be looking at with a profession in the field?

Thanks all. Any comments/ advice are welcome.


First you want us to do your homework, now this?


Go get some pussy and worry about this shit when you get to uni....

just be a good student NOW and through yout sophpomore year...after you finish your general stuff....then you should have a good idea of what you want.

When I started I was ALL ABOUT Exercise sci until I realized I only wanted the training side.. of it.

Dont declare a damn thing yet....have ideas about what you want, thats fine. Have a few of them and take intro classes to them when you are at the school you get into...

enjoy high school man.....dont stress


Physics, but I am biased towards that.

The workload is high (16 hours of studying is a minimum, on top of the work you do for the course), you have to really enjoy physics to do well in it. But with a physics degree you have a better chance of getting a job, opposed to physiology/nutrition.

However, I'd say that an engineering degree would give you better job opportunities than with physics, unless you go for a PhD.

Also, you will be much more useful to society if you choose physics or engineering.


You can't just jump into physics and automatically be like Sheldon from the big bang theory, you need to build up a solid foundation of knowledge that has been piling up over the past 200 years. Once you know all of that like it is second nature, then you can be a theoretical physicist and work on string theory.

Heck, you may have a different theory of your own and completely disagree with string theory.


Become an engineer of some sorts. It's one of the highest paid positions out of college, and it's well respected when you start to move into management roles.


You don't have to decide right now. Take your general education courses and explore your options, chances are you'll change your mind 2 or 3 times before you graduate.

But my advice would be to get a real major, preferably something with a lot of math. Engineering, physics, chemistry, statistics, economics, something with actual value to society. Psychology/anthropology are bullshit degrees, especially if you don't plan on going to graduate school. The job market is tough and the days when just having a college degree was enough are gone, you need real life skills. Depending on the field, some engineering students can start out making 6 figures. Most psychology majors will be lucky to get a job at Starbucks.


you really DON'T have a lot of time so it's good your thinking of this.
I'm 32 and still don't know.

Help anyone?




This might not be what you want to hear, but due to current economic conditions, your educational goal should be to acquire skills that you can use to make a living, not indulge in fun stuff that has no practical value. The days when you can get a useless degree in the humanities or social sciences and expect to have a fighting chance at a good job upon graduation are over. The only majors worth pursuing anymore are technical fields like engineering, computer science, geology, agricultural science and accounting, and most of those things require REAL aptitude and dedication. The kids who major in fields like psychology and exercise physiology will soon find themselves with no job prospects, no useful skills and huge amounts of student debt that will cripple them financially for years after graduation. If I was a young person of average intelligence from a middle-class family today, I would either head to trade school or get my hands dirty right away in some vital sector of the economy like energy, mining or agriculture. I don't know what your level of aptitude is, so I can't say what you should do, but I can tell you that studying psychology, anthropology and exercise science is a total waste of time and money.


Study what you enjoy studying!!!!!!! then you will do a good job and impress the right people. Who you know trumps what you know


I work with a bunch of Physics PhDs now, doing what is basically electrical engineering signal processing work. Picking a major based on how easy it is, will lead to failure. Whatever you do, expect it to be difficult and require years of hard work and study.

If you are good at it, or somebody told you are, stick with it as it never gets any easier, but you just get used to it and learn how to figure things out.

Right now you're fairly young, and have time to learn the stuff, but if you just like it because it seems cool and interesting, stay away. If you like it because its a challenge and you want to understand it further and are willing to put in the work, stick with it.


Start with a general science degree and find what you're good at. If you're good at it you'll probably enjoy it.


I agree with debraD. You never know, you might change your major multiple times throughout your college career anyways.


This is true, I plunged head on into college (university) without thinking too about my choice, I chose geography, ugh.

Then I had a panic and chose special effects, then I realised it was completely fucking useless (why make a cardboard spaceship when you can make a real one?) so I made my third change...

I was torn between biology or physics, I hated/thought I couldn't do maths so I chose biology.

3/4 of the way through biology I decided I wanted to push myself mentally like I push myself physically at the gym, so I spent the next 4 months doing 2 years of maths/physics foundation work on top of my biology, so I could change to physics before the next year.

And doing physics is awesome, it's just like how I feel when I go to the gym, if I find something difficult I love it, because I can work towards understanding it.


Short answers:

  1. Don't worry about course load. Some topics will have a greater burden but it's worth buckling down to get what you want long term. College ends very quickly and I've sadly found the older you get, the smaller 4 - 6 years looks. Some subjects will require more than an undergrad to be worth a shit though so keep that in mind.

  2. Talk to your advisor or even a hs counselor. Usually they provide this info to college bound kids.

  3. See #2 and with a list of potential careers you can search sites such as www.payscale.com (though the numbers seem pretty bogus sometimes)

Figure out what you want ultimately. Do you want to spend your working life making as much money as you can in your "40hrs" or doing something you kind of enjoy, money not a significant motivator?

For the record, people who tell you only chasing money will make you unhappy are lying or did not catch it. With money you can do whatever the fuck you want as a hobby pretty much whenever you feel like it.

My personal theory is that I'm going to have to work a certain number of hours per week one way or another. doing something I love for a job would ruin it for me, like reading in class. I love reading but if I "have to" and then report on what I read I fucking hate it. Same as hobbies becoming a job I would imagine.

So instead I try to make as much money as I can during work hours to support my passions.

It works for me.

Once you figure out what makes you tick, you can pick your path accordingly.


My personal advice...don't take Kinesiology, UNLESS you want to use it as a springboard into something else (ie: physio, OT, med school, etc).

Kines on its own is pretty much useless. You'll graduate with a head full of fascinating yet unemployable facts about the human body, and not much else.


Take film class so you can direct porn /thread


The interesting way to make money would be in the science/engineering fields. If you can do math, follow that because it weeds out many and there are jobs for those who can cut it. Anthropology, sociology, psychology and history are pretty useless jobs unless you get a PhD and then manage to find a job somewhere probably not making enough to pay off your student loans.

If you are worrying about something being hard, McDonald's is hiring. There is a reason why the hard stuff pays better.


Career Projections: http://www.bls.gov/oco/