Choosing a field of study early in life can be a challenge. I am sharing a brief account of my journey to provide insight into what is possible in your academic career.
At 18 years old, I was part of the first generation in my family to attend a major University. Having worked my first full-time job at 14 and growing up in the Midwest, I thought the practical program to enter had to be business related and sound important: I choose to enroll in the pre-Business Program with Accountancy as my goal.
Of course, everyone takes pretty much the same classes in the first few semesters: English, Math, Social Science and Humanities Electives. While the courses themselves are straight forward, I received the greatest lessons from the people I met on campus and in the dormitory.
I attended a University in a “college town”. What this means is that the colleges and universities in the small city accounted for almost all the industry of the area. Almost all students move here for their education and then leave. There is little in the way of distractions, especially if living on campus in a dormitory. In this setting, almost everyone is involved daily with learning, all aiming to acquire the skills needed to reap a bountiful future. This was definitely an easy life compared to what I grew up experiencing.
In my first few years of attending college year-round, I met many people with varied academic interest. Simply stated, I became interested in types of knowledge and the personalities attracted to the different disciplines. Rather than acquire a specialized viewpoint limited to business, I stretched myself and adopted a University-style education.
So what does a University-style education mean?
Consider this: A hundred years ago, picking a major field of study was fairly straight forward. The choices were based mainly on Physics, Math, Civil Engineering, Medical Physician, Agriculture, etc. There was a commonality of understanding that linked the few disciplines available.
Today, fields of study have developed into many options within each category listed above. In fact, the vocabulary of each field of study sets the boundary of understanding. In other words, engineers like to listen to engineers, musicians like to listen to musicians, lawyers like to listen to lawyers, etc.
I decided to get myself a more general education by completing multiple specialized fields. I concentrated on obtaining knowledge in the pure sciences as well as applied sciences. My multi-disciplinary approach to learning is never-ending, but being practical, I obtained degrees to validate my approach.
My Pure Science Degree is in Mathematics, and I have studied advanced Physics as well.
My Applied Science Degrees are Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Chemical Engineering with studies in advanced Industrial Engineering as well.
My Applied Social Science Degree is Economics and my favorite advanced study: Political Economy.
In the 20 years I spent as a full-time student, I immersed myself in a simple yet fulfilling life of study.
I remain inspired and continue learning the vocabulary needed to understand life in the 21st Century.
I continue being a Master Student.
I wish you success in your journey.
Robert Zuniga is a dedicated lifetime learner and enjoys sharing his passion with students. Join Robert on his teleseminars as he helps people be successful in college physics. http://www.problemsolvinghelp.com/
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