Reactions to your Major

The school experience. School related queries, discussions, and stories that aren't specific to a subject.

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Vieto
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Vieto » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:51 pm UTC

"Engineering Physics"

And they reply

"So, what jobs do that get?"

Clearly, they miss the point.

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Briareos
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Briareos » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:06 am UTC

They also suck at grammar.
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Vieto
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Vieto » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:08 am UTC

har har :P

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Sharkie
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Sharkie » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:16 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:Mine go like this.

"Masters in English Lit"
"Oh, what do you want to do, teach?"
"No, live in a fancy cardboard box. They come with the degree."


I'm working on a bachelor's degree in English right now. I get the same, "Oh, so you want to be a teacher?" response. That always makes me cringe. I'd NEVER want to be a teacher.
Last edited by Sharkie on Sun Jun 05, 2011 4:13 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby SlyReaper » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:16 am UTC

Well I did maths, and one of the common reactions I got was "so you're going to be a maths teacher then?"

Because as we all know, the only use for maths is to teach it to children.
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Vieto
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Vieto » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:52 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Well I did maths, and one of the common reactions I got was "so you're going to be a maths teacher then?"

Because as we all know, the only use for maths is to teach it to children.


"Hello class, today we are going to learn Differential Geometry. Now, what do the three angles of a triangle add up to when the curvature..."

XD

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby supremum » Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:32 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Well I did maths, and one of the common reactions I got was "so you're going to be a maths teacher then?"

Because as we all know, the only use for maths is to teach it to children.

As a math major, I have never heard this one before. Usually I get something along the lines of "so, do you want to be an actuary?"

(I don't, but that's actually a reasonable guess since a lot of pure math majors become actuaries.)

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psychosomaticism
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby psychosomaticism » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:29 am UTC

recon455 wrote:"Why major are you?"
"Math"
"What are you going to do with that?"


Replace this with biology and I have the same experience. People not going to school want you to say that you're not sure what you'll do with your degree so they can feel better about not having gone to college and having a 'real job' without one. At least that's my impression.

My best response to my major went like this:
Him: "so what are you taking in school?"
Me: "Biology."
Him: "...so, like... rocks?"

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Midnight » Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:45 am UTC

"Music"
gets either "Bummer, dude"

or "Cool, what do you play?"
"bass"
"bummer, dude"
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby philsov » Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:42 pm UTC

me: "Environmental Science"

them: "Oh, so you're an environmentalist..." (as they slowly edge away)

me: "Nah, I'm more on a conservationalist. I won't like tie myself to a tree or something."

them: "Oh, ok." (slowly edge back)
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Adaro » Thu Aug 26, 2010 8:01 am UTC

I'm in neurology, physiology, and behavior.

Annoyingly, everyone asks for clarification when I say it. I swear if it's not 1 word they don't know how to respond to it.

So most of the time I get a second or two of staring (where they process the long name and quickly size me up to see if I'm doctor material or if I will be changing majors sometime soon) and then say 'that sounds interesting!' and try to pull some article about artificial limbs they read on yahoo several months back out of their ass. I usually end up changing the subject because I'm just starting as a freshman in 3 weeks, I haven't taken any classes yet -_- why do they expect me to know everything already?! D:

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby ^_^ » Thu Aug 26, 2010 11:02 am UTC

Physics, Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering.
Reactions are usually a mixture of 'woah, so you must be really smart!' and 'No way, but you're female!' and, for people who study other disciplines within engineering/science, 'Oh god, you're going to die.'

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Pansori
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Pansori » Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:38 pm UTC

recon455 wrote:"Why major are you?"
"Math"
"What are you going to do with that?"


My major is Religious Studies and this is the reaction I get 9 times out of 10. The worst reaction I got was "OOOohhhh, you can go teach at a youth camp, or become a youth pastor!" :roll: I didn't bother to to tell her that my minor is Asian Studies and my area of interest is Buddhism.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby supermario » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:06 am UTC

Future computer science major.

Most people haven't been that interested in it. They usually just say that it's a good field career-wise and ask what I'm going to do with the degree.

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Ghavrel
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Ghavrel » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:53 am UTC

Two ways.

First way (mercifully, the more common):
Person: So what do you study?
Me: Well, I'm a double major in International Relations and Ancient Greek & Latin [note: yes, I say "&"].
Person: Oh. So... what are you planning on doing after you graduate?
Me: Law.
Person: Oh.

Second way
Person: So what do you study?
Me (thinking): It's really hard to say "&." I should just say "Classics!"
Me (speaking): Well, I'm a double major in International Relations and Classics.
Me (thinking): HELL YEAH
Person: Oh... so, like, Mozart?
Me: Bwah?
Person: Or do you mean like Shakespeare?
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby demonkc » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:42 pm UTC

Yah mostly I mention that I'm going into mechanical engineering and they start to think cars and such. But soon after I mention my involvement in my highschools robotics team and they get a better idea.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby handiangel » Fri Aug 27, 2010 2:40 pm UTC

Me: Pharmacology
Them: Oh, is that pharmacy?
Me: No. If I was studying pharmacy, I would have said so...

And this has honest-to-god happened to me...
Me: Pharmacology
Them: Oh, so you're going to run a farm (or something to that effect)?
Me: o_O ummm... no. That would be agriculture... I actually study drugs.

And after that, it's "So, what do you do with that?" Work in a lab...

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby ++$_ » Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:40 pm UTC

Me: "Math."
Other person (pick one):
1. "You must be really smart."
2. "Oh, wow. I wish I could do my own taxes."
3. "Oh, really. You know, I used to be pretty good at math in school, but I just completely hit the wall at at trigonometry."
4. "Oh, really. I hated math in school. I just was never any good at it. I think it takes a certain kind of brain, you know?"
5. "Oh, wow. Are you going to work on Wall Street?"
6. "Oh. Um, I just remembered I have something to do WAY over there on the other side of the room."

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Name
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Name » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:01 pm UTC

One rather memorable conversation:

"So, what are you studying?"
"Psychology."
"Woah. <steps back a little> Are you going to, like, psychoanalyze me while I'm talking to you?"

-_-.

Usually, when I'm off campus, it goes like this:

"So, what are you studying?"
"Psychology."
"...good luck finding a job."

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Cissy
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Cissy » Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:58 am UTC

I'm a senior in high school now, so I get asked what my intended major is a lot.

Me: Psycholinguistics.
Them: *furrowed brow* Huh?

Add to that the fact that none of the colleges I'm considering are well-known, people get very confused and uncomfortable talking to me and soon either change the subject or walk away.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby SlyReaper » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:45 am UTC

Name wrote:One rather memorable conversation:

"So, what are you studying?"
"Psychology."
"Woah. <steps back a little> Are you going to, like, psychoanalyze me while I'm talking to you?"


I know I used to tease the psychology students who I lived with sometimes by telling them to stop reading my mind. I once got the reply "Okay, it wasn't very interesting anyway." That told me.
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby jollygreenerk » Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:34 pm UTC

them: Whats your major?
me: Diplomacy and foreign affairs.
them: thats a major? what are the classes about?
me: Diplomacy and foreign affairs...

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Tetra » Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:26 pm UTC

I recently got my math degree, and I'm heading to grad school in CS. It's interesting how the reactions to "what's your major?" have changed.

With math, I got the typical, "Oh, you must be smart" or "I used to be good at math until [CLASS]" responses, but with CS, it's mostly just been "Eh" (although phrased more politely). Interestingly, I think that both reactions are based on a misunderstanding of what the subjects involve. But that's a rant for another day...

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby picnic_crossfire » Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:06 pm UTC

Last night I was at a social event with people I didn't know, and my goal was to meet just about everybody there. Most of them asked me my major, and after I responded with Aerospace Engineering, I got at least fifteen "O shit" responses.
Also, people do tend to ask if I want to work for NASA, but I really don't mind because, like, I do want to work for NASA.
picnic time!

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby JayDee » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:31 pm UTC

jollygreenerk wrote:them: Whats your major?
me: Diplomacy and foreign affairs.
them: thats a major? what are the classes about?
me: Diplomacy and foreign affairs...

them: What kind of career will that get you?
you: Maybe in the department of Foreign Affairs. As a diplomat, even.
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby kpmelomane21 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:09 pm UTC

People are still for some reason shocked that there are *gasp* female engineers. When I tell people my major, their eyes usually grow big and they say something along the lines of "Woah! You must be really smart!!" And the funny thing is I get this response most from girls. Way to underestimate your own sex, ladies.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby kellsbells » Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:37 pm UTC

That's so sad to hear, and also bewildering to me. Almost all of my good female friends are engineers (six at last count, and one physics major) at various schools around the US. I don't understand why there are so few, or why I seem to know the only ones that exist. I'm not even an engineer!
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kpmelomane21
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby kpmelomane21 » Sat Sep 04, 2010 3:15 pm UTC

There are actually quite a few of us! A lot of people outside of engineering/science just don't realize this!

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby sikyon » Wed Sep 08, 2010 3:20 am UTC

"Nanotechnology Engineering"

Other engineers: "Oh shit you must be smart" (this is generally regarded as the most difficult engineering program at my school)

Other people: "What's that?"

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Andromeda321 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 4:27 am UTC

I'm a physics student, so whenever I go out to a bar and someone asks me what I study the most common reaction is "wow, you must be smart!" To which I reply "well, you know what they say about smart chicks..." 8)

One fun thing to do in such situations is ask people what they think you do. Being a woman, I tend to get some sort of literature guess if I'm lucky- I have a friend with an astrophysics PhD who'd usually get pegged as a construction worker and would say "close enough!" because it wasn't worth scaring everybody away from him.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby shotgun.shenanigans » Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:34 am UTC

My major is Chemistry/Physics education.

From non-science majors:
"Oh, so you want to teach?"
"Nope, I want to design buildings."

From science majors:
"Wimp."
-_-

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Turiski
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Turiski » Thu Sep 09, 2010 3:34 am UTC

recon455 wrote:"Why major are you?"
"Math"
"What are you going to do with that?"

This.

Every. Effing. Time.

I used to say pure math but people still asked so I just dropped it. Usually if I want to actually have an conversation with someone I'll tell them math education because I've read a bit about it (i.e. more than just Lockhart's Lament, which is still a pretty sick piece of work).
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby PaulTagg » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:18 pm UTC

digital animation and 3d design;game programing option, takes way to long to pronounce, so i shorten it to game programing and design,.....

usually after that the conversation gets real quiet unless its with a comp sci major or a digital art major.....oddly my barber almost got a degree in cs, so he has some interesting conversations.. other then that, when people brag about games i always say that when i design a hit game ill be able to beat em at it cause id have 2-3yrs worth of time with the game lol

Laup
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Laup » Thu Sep 23, 2010 2:17 am UTC

I'm a CS major and the conversations usually go the same.
"What's your major?"
"Computer science."
"Oh, so you're going to fix computers?"
"No, I'm eventually going to write programs like word, power point, etc."
"Oh, so I was using my computer the other night and X happened, do you think you could fix it for me?"

Depending on the person I'll do 1 of 3 things. I'll fix it for them, I'll tell them I've never heard of that happening before but i'll take a look, then act like I don't know how to fix it because it's going to take more than 3 clicks and I'm lazy, or I'll just tell them I don't fix people's computers.

Everyone that asks usually asks me to fix their computer and/or says I must be really smart. I don't tell them no to the second part of course, let them think I'm a genius.

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Ivor Zozz
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Ivor Zozz » Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:31 pm UTC

Major was philosophy. I had one person ask me, "Oh, is that like poetry?"

Others asked me what I was going to do with it, or told me I should practice saying, "Would you like fries with that?"

The depressing thing is that the last group was not very far off the mark.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:02 am UTC

Laup wrote:I'll just tell them I don't fix people's computers.

I think this totally reasonable. Being an engineering major doesn't mean you know how to, or want to, fix every broken car that comes your way.
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Laup
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Laup » Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:01 am UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Laup wrote:I'll just tell them I don't fix people's computers.

I think this totally reasonable. Being an engineering major doesn't mean you know how to, or want to, fix every broken car that comes your way.


It get ridiculous when you work with 30+ people who all want you to fix their computers. Most of them are older people who have problems with facebook, which I know nothing about.

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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby swimge » Fri Oct 01, 2010 5:38 am UTC

Mine tends to go like this:

Me "Operations Research & Computer Analysis"
Them blank stare
and depending on my mood one of the following replies.
"Applied Math"
"Using math to make decisions for companies based on analytical data, that no one but a fellow OR understands so people pay me big money"
Them "I was never good at math"

For the record I'm in the military so I don't actually do anything with my degree.

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the tree
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby the tree » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:10 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Laup wrote:I'll just tell them I don't fix people's computers.

I think this totally reasonable. Being an engineering major doesn't mean you know how to, or want to, fix every broken car that comes your way.
It does mean that you could probably look it up, and after about a week of trial and error or whatever, you could probably do what a mechanic would do in half an hour. Quite why you would want to do that, I am not sure.

Oh, I'm on a maths degree - so most of the reactions I get have already been listed. Although some of my non-student friends play a game involving trying to convince as many people as possible that they are students, and they do surprisingly well - so it turns out that when people ask what you're studying you can lie.

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Kizyr
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Re: Reactions to your Major

Postby Kizyr » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:34 pm UTC

There are some different reactions depending on the question and answer, none of which are remotely irritating, in fact--mostly because I understand that other people who aren't deeply involved in the field(s) that I study are going to have a different initial understanding of it.

(For undergrad or where I work now, since it's related)
Me: international affairs and economics
Other: Economics? Oh, so... what do you think about the current situation?
Me: [asks follow-ups for specifics, offers a few thoughts]

Occasionally I've gotten a few nonsensical questions resulting from that, to which I just reply "sorry, that question makes no sense." No one ever asks about the international affairs component, though.

(For graduate)
Me: Masters in Public Policy
Other: Oh, so what is that?
Me: [explains the kind of subject matter it covers, how the degree is used in DC, etc.]
Other: What do you want to do with it?
Me: [talks about career goals]

As a general point... not everyone will have the same level of understanding of what pharmacology, biochem, ME/CE/EE, or "classics" means as someone who's actually studying pharmacology, biochem, ME/CE/EE, or classics. If there's any confusion, it's an opportunity to educate someone. All of those majors you can explain to a layperson in under 15 seconds--perhaps not everyone will follow, but it's no reason not to give folks a chance if they're actually giving you an opportunity to explain.

But granted, it's still mildly irritating to get a "oh wow you must be smart" response. With econ. you can usually follow this up with making fun of your own profession though. And "Isn't that a guy's major" would get me rightly pissed off if I were on the receiving end of it. KF
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