Being honest about majors (US colleges)

Getting into college might be much harder if you honestly tell admissions officers what major you have chosen. Why? Because this major might be very popular at the college, thus attracting a lot of applicants and increasing competition. If this is the case, you should show that you have already done something impressive [for your age] in this field – you have prepared an excellent portfolio if you are an artist or a programmer; you have read a number of books related to the field, etc. etc.

If you are keen on science and art, and you’d love to study at Bard College, it might be wiser to focus on your interest in physics and get in much easier as an aspiring scientist. Of course, you don’t need to be secretive about your interest in arts; on the contrary: you should reveal your artistic side too and say that you’d be happy to develop it by taking some art classes, which would be impossible if you majored in Physics in a typical European university. Once in, you will be able to declare whatever major you like.

If you are really keen on studying law or medicine, applying for the very competitive pre-law or pre-med programs might keep you outside the door. Why not apply for the liberal arts option at the same university – you’ll be able to take the classes you need to prepare for LSAT or MCAT later. In fact, there are more successful LSAT takers who DID NOT take a pre-law program than ones who did.

Not enrolling into a very hot program might actually be a better step towards your becoming really good in the field. If you are not really good at the very beginning, you might find it really hard to compete against much more advanced classmates. If you are outside such a program, you might have time to learn at your own speed and reach the necessary level without crushing your self-esteem and giving up your dream. Not being good enough now means you might be brilliant in the future – if you invest effort and TIME 🙂

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