Sometimes you bust your hump in the classroom trying to keep your head above water in a class that’s kicking your ass, and despite your best efforts, you flunked anyway. You’re vanquished. Defeated by (insert malevolent course here).
That’s what happened to Meghan — twice. Even worse, one of the classes was required for her major and the other was required for her minor. How do you bounce back from that? Turn it into a positive. Here’s Meghan’s plan:
I just finished my junior year of undergrad as a marine biology. My spring semester did not go so well and I failed two courses that will not be offered again until the spring of 2012.
Doh! Shake it off and get back in the game, Meghan.
One of them is required for my major the other one for my minor in environmental studies. I have been considering double majoring in biology with a fisheries conentration. Doing this will mean an extra year of undergrad but would provide me with more job opportunities.
OK, sounds good.
After I failed the classes in the spring I started to think about the double major more. I have two potential options. The first is dropping my minor which takes care of the first class I failed and I can substitute another course for the major requirement I failed. This plan has me graduate next year on time. The second option would be staying the 5th year and getting my double major. This plan would give me the chance to retake both failed classes and improve my GPA.
Well, I don’t think the lack of a minor is that big of a deal, especially when it’s sort of a generalist minor like environmental studies (or anything ending in the word “studies,” for that matter). I think it’s probably unlikely that the environmental studies minor would give you a tipping-point edge over other job candidates, especially since there’s some inherent environmental studying going on in a marine biology major anyway.
The question, as always, is whether the additional cost and time that you incur by taking on the double major and the extra year of school will pay you back over the course of your professional life.
I don’t have any way of verifying or denying that double major in biology will improve your employment prospects, since I really don’t know what you want to do for work after you graduate — although, generally speaking, a biology major is no slouch course of study and without knowing the details, I’d be inclined to agree with you.
I should mention that I go to an out of state school and my pa rents and I each pay for half of my schooling. I’m leaning more towards the double major but my time to make the decision is getting shorter!
I also don’t know how much that extra year of school is going to cost you out of pocket, but whatever it is, I guess it’ll be cut in half since your parents are paying the other half. So, take your half of the cost and then weigh it against the increased job prospects the double major will give you.
Let’s get completely arbitrary for a second and say that it’s $10,000. Will the double major end up paying you more than $10,000 over your professional life? I’m inclined to think that it would. In the grand scheme of things, $10,000 isn’t very much money. I’d support that line of reasoning given that you’re in the environmental field, which should continue to be a pretty healthy market so long as the likes of BP keep spilling oil into the oceans and natural gas companies keep polluting the mother-loving hell out of the air and groundwater via hydraulic fracturing.
(By the way, if you haven’t seen GasLand on HBO, check it out — I’m no radical environmentalist by any stretch, but when you see video of people with tap water so polluted they can light it on fire right out of the faucet, it’ll scare the hell out of you).
So anyway, if I had to guess, I’d say that double major isn’t a bad idea. Now, no more flunked classes! 🙂
That’s all for me today. I took a sleeping pill way too late last night and woke up zombified, and much closer to lunchtime than breakfast time. What about you all — what do you think Meghan should do? Let us know in the comments below.