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Author Topic: What Did you Major in?  (Read 1274 times) Average Rating: 0
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PeterTheAleut
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« Reply #45 on: October 21, 2013, 09:01:49 PM »

I don't know what your experience is, but it doesn't sound as robust as mine. I could certainly be quite successful as an application developer without another degree, but all of the software engineers I've hung around agree that I could go even farther with a degree. In fact, one of my mentors in this career has consistently recommended to me that I earn a masters in software engineering--he's almost ready to retire after working 35+ years as a software engineer.
Peter aren't you in your 40s? I'm not trying to be rude, and maybe I'm an idiot, but isn't it sort of late to get another degree here?
Not at all. Considering that the average person in today's work force is likely to change his/her career on the average of once every seven years, I don't think it's too late at all.
I also figure that, if God wills that I should remain healthy and avoid any major accidents, I should have another 30 or so years of ability to work. Out of that, I only need to devote another two years to finishing my BS in software engineering, since I've already finished the first two years.
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« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2013, 09:02:20 PM »

^ He should look into building homes.

I mean my step-father is working like 16-18 hours a day on building houses, remodeling, etc. He does all the electrical, plumbing, etc.
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« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2013, 09:03:22 PM »

I don't know what your experience is, but it doesn't sound as robust as mine. I could certainly be quite successful as an application developer without another degree, but all of the software engineers I've hung around agree that I could go even farther with a degree. In fact, one of my mentors in this career has consistently recommended to me that I earn a masters in software engineering--he's almost ready to retire after working 35+ years as a software engineer.
Peter aren't you in your 40s? I'm not trying to be rude, and maybe I'm an idiot, but isn't it sort of late to get another degree here?
Not at all. Considering that the average person in today's work force is likely to change his/her career on the average of once every seven years, I don't think it's too late at all.
I also figure that, if God wills that I should remain healthy and avoid any major accidents, I should have another 30 or so years of ability to work. Out of that, I only need to devote another two years to finishing my BS in software engineering, since I've already finished the first two years.
Is there a secret on staying "forever young", in the sense that you can try to avoid a decline mentally and always pick up on things quick?

Right now I learn very fast and I want that ability to last me forever. Anytime I had to train older folks how to do something, they could hardly retain it.
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« Reply #48 on: October 21, 2013, 09:05:44 PM »

I don't know what your experience is, but it doesn't sound as robust as mine. I could certainly be quite successful as an application developer without another degree, but all of the software engineers I've hung around agree that I could go even farther with a degree. In fact, one of my mentors in this career has consistently recommended to me that I earn a masters in software engineering--he's almost ready to retire after working 35+ years as a software engineer.
Peter aren't you in your 40s? I'm not trying to be rude, and maybe I'm an idiot, but isn't it sort of late to get another degree here?
Not at all. Considering that the average person in today's work force is likely to change his/her career on the average of once every seven years, I don't think it's too late at all.
I also figure that, if God wills that I should remain healthy and avoid any major accidents, I should have another 30 or so years of ability to work. Out of that, I only need to devote another two years to finishing my BS in software engineering, since I've already finished the first two years.
Is there a secret on staying "forever young", in the sense that you can try to avoid a decline mentally and always pick up on things quick?
Have fun, meet people, and always strive to learn something new.
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« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2013, 09:11:02 PM »

I don't know what your experience is, but it doesn't sound as robust as mine. I could certainly be quite successful as an application developer without another degree, but all of the software engineers I've hung around agree that I could go even farther with a degree. In fact, one of my mentors in this career has consistently recommended to me that I earn a masters in software engineering--he's almost ready to retire after working 35+ years as a software engineer.
Peter aren't you in your 40s? I'm not trying to be rude, and maybe I'm an idiot, but isn't it sort of late to get another degree here?
Not at all. Considering that the average person in today's work force is likely to change his/her career on the average of once every seven years, I don't think it's too late at all.
I also figure that, if God wills that I should remain healthy and avoid any major accidents, I should have another 30 or so years of ability to work. Out of that, I only need to devote another two years to finishing my BS in software engineering, since I've already finished the first two years.
Is there a secret on staying "forever young", in the sense that you can try to avoid a decline mentally and always pick up on things quick?
Have fun, meet people, and always strive to learn something new.
I've heard that before, but wanted others to validate it. Thanks.
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« Reply #50 on: October 21, 2013, 09:11:53 PM »

And Willi, already want to drop out? Are you bored?

Yeah. The only option I could really pursue is getting a Masters in Entrepeneurship (my school has the best Entrepeneurship program in the country somehow despite being a third-rate public school) and setting up my own Fast Food chain for you to mock in the Politics section. But I don't want to work in a desk, I want to work manually and travel.
LOL, nice dig. Love it.

You sure got this fetish of muscles going on. Insecure over your masculinity?

I just never heard someone aspiring to working manually. Sounds insane to me.

Have you seen the movie Office Space?
lol

+1

It is scary how accurate that movie can be.  laugh

I don't blame you for wanting to get out and do something.  Have you considered doing something like getting an apprentice as an electrician or plumber?  That is decent money and it is a trade that you can easily take with you wherever you want to go.
Trades to consider, that I have personally considered

Ironworking
Steamfitting
Electrician
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« Reply #51 on: October 22, 2013, 12:02:46 AM »

Secondary Education, American History.

Not recommended.
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« Reply #52 on: October 22, 2013, 12:16:01 AM »

Women Studies

LOL
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« Reply #53 on: October 22, 2013, 12:22:51 AM »

I majored in Philosophy and Biblical Studies. It didn't make me rich by any means, but I've never regretted that choice. You only live once, and from a spiritual perspective it seems better to fill your mind with knowledge that will draw you closer to God and bring you peace. Knowledge is it's own reward, and if it's only accrued as a means to an end then I think it's a waste of our God-given mental potential. However, I am a romantic, an idealist, and I confess that I have suffered from a lack of practical skills that certainly could have made my life a bit easier.


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« Reply #54 on: October 22, 2013, 12:35:55 AM »

I majored in Nursing, love my line of work.
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« Reply #55 on: October 22, 2013, 12:49:44 AM »

Mech. Engineering

I was motivated by the engineers who spoke at my high school about building Camden Yards (baseball stadium).  I did very well in college until I realized I was a better computer and systems engineer because the skills learned as a Mech. Engineer transferred to other fields.
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« Reply #56 on: October 22, 2013, 01:47:46 AM »

I was under the impression that you had already graduated, James.

I'm not even sure what I'm doing in college. I got no major and no clue about where I'm headed.

Most folk I know never even bothered. They either went into construction or, more likely, into the fisheries. I myself ain't cut out for those sorts of jobs, so I figured I'd follow the advice of my school counselor. I'll stick with it and see what happens as it's fairly early to judge whether that was the right choice.
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« Reply #57 on: October 22, 2013, 02:55:07 AM »

The Greek system is rather different, but translated into the US system would give me a major in English language & literature with minors in Greek language & literature and Education.
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« Reply #58 on: October 22, 2013, 05:20:58 AM »

Or, if you're still in college, what are you planning on Majoring in?

Classics.

The European system is a little bit different, as Arachne already pointed out.
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« Reply #59 on: October 22, 2013, 05:57:32 AM »

I so wish I would have taken Arabic in college. You will NEVER be out of a job if you know Arabic.

lol Then I don't have to worry.
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« Reply #60 on: October 22, 2013, 09:26:25 AM »

Or, if you're still in college, what are you planning on Majoring in?

I'm graduating from High-School this January, a bit earlier than my peers, and so I'm going to be starting college very soon. I've decided to major in English Composition. I probably won't make very much money, but, at least I'll be happy. My dad told me to do something I enjoy or else I'll spend the rest of my life miserable wishing I was dead, even if I'm making a lot of money.

There are few things worse than being in a job and/or career that is not fulfilling.  However, if you ever do have a wife and family to take care of, you do whatever you can and take whatever jobs are available to provide for them.
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« Reply #61 on: October 22, 2013, 09:26:25 AM »

James, if you're going to major in English Composition, at least do it at UCLA, UCB, USC or Stanford. You should be able get into one of those.

Well, I got a 3.8 GPA and I'm graduating a semester early, so that's the plan. I'll probably do CC for two years to save my parents money before transferring to one of the Universities you listed. If an English major won't make me much money in itself, at least I'll have the prestige of having attended a great University under my belt that may aid me in finding a job.
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« Reply #62 on: October 22, 2013, 09:57:43 AM »

I majored in History and minored in Russian Language.  I really enjoyed my time in college and would love to go back someday.  It is  a matter of money.  I got through college without a scrap of debt.  Mostly I worked 30+hrs a week and had nothing resembling a social life.  I don't know if this would be enough with modern inflated tuition rates.  I graduated 6 years ago. 

If I could go back I would have gotten a certification in machining and welding.  Then after that (prolly two years of study instead of 4.5) I would have done union work for a few years to get the experience and additional paid training.  After that I would have gone into part time gigs at the pipelines up in ND or done some 70hr/week stints during refueling at the nuke.  Living frugally, with these types of gigs I could have worked maybe six months out of the year and then spent the rest of the time taking history classes and writing, not spending the next 40 years of my life pulling 40 hrs/wk in an office.
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« Reply #63 on: October 22, 2013, 10:03:52 AM »

I have suffered from a lack of practical skills that certainly could have made my life a bit easier.

That sounds like me . . . I changed the filter/oil in the lawnmower this year for this first time . . . I was so proud of myself.
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« Reply #64 on: October 22, 2013, 10:05:31 AM »

Computer science and accounting....accounting totally blew. I was so glad to be done with that.
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« Reply #65 on: October 22, 2013, 10:23:03 AM »

English Literature, minor in Spanish Linguistics.  Intellectually stimulating, but not a major that employers are tripping over to hire you.  I got certified as a welder, but couldn't find work and couldn't afford to go where there was/is work.
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« Reply #66 on: October 22, 2013, 12:54:43 PM »

Avoiding the draft, anti-Vietnam war activities, sex'ndrugs'nrocknroll.  Minor in General Social Sciences.

Shoulda gone to a trade school and learned welding.
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« Reply #67 on: October 22, 2013, 12:59:19 PM »

Vamrat,

I've thought about going to school and working my fulltime job to pay the tuition but I'd want to smash my head against a wall.

I already have enough crap on my plate working 40 hrs why add more?
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« Reply #68 on: October 22, 2013, 01:17:38 PM »

1. B.S. in Mathematics

2. Graduate work to earn my teaching license.

3. Just about to graduate with an M.A. in philosophy.

I think it's great to study what one loves in college, but that needs to be balanced with the requirments of gainful employment. If a student really wants to major in something like philosophy or literature, I would encouarage that person to get a second bachelor's degree which will help one find a good job, such as medicine, law, engineering, business, etc.
or have the passion to pursue the studies to the Ph.D. level, and become a prof at an university.
Agreed. But because PhD programs are so competitive, and professorships are so difficult to obtain, I still think it is good to have a back up bachelor's degree.
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« Reply #69 on: October 22, 2013, 01:22:19 PM »

I majored in Nursing, love my line of work.
If I hadn't developed OCD combined with a fear of germs, I would have gone into nursing.  Cheesy
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« Reply #70 on: October 22, 2013, 01:24:40 PM »

I majored in English and have had, to date, three totally different careers (for which I had no training, formal or otherwise), and only the last one has any relationship to anything that I studied in college. I've been a medical assistant, HR manager and now I work for a church organization, writing and editing.

I had no burning desire to do anything except be left alone to read books, so a friend got me my first job in Information at a large hospital. From there, I just took each next opportunity that presented itself.

I had no master plan, and I've never made much money but I've done a lot of interesting things along the way.
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« Reply #71 on: October 22, 2013, 01:25:07 PM »

1. B.S. in Mathematics

2. Graduate work to earn my teaching license.

3. Just about to graduate with an M.A. in philosophy.

I think it's great to study what one loves in college, but that needs to be balanced with the requirments of gainful employment. If a student really wants to major in something like philosophy or literature, I would encouarage that person to get a second bachelor's degree which will help one find a good job, such as medicine, law, engineering, business, etc.
or have the passion to pursue the studies to the Ph.D. level, and become a prof at an university.
Agreed. But because PhD programs are so competitive, and professorships are so difficult to obtain, I still think it is good to have a back up bachelor's degree.
I'm seriously thinking of going back to school to get a Bachelor's in Biology, then pursue Physician Assistant studies.  English lit was fulfilling, but what I make now versus the debt I incurred was not worth it.
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« Reply #72 on: October 22, 2013, 01:27:00 PM »

I majored in English and have had, to date, three totally different careers (for which I had no training, formal or otherwise), and only the last one has any relationship to anything that I studied in college. I've been a medical assistant, HR manager and now I work for a church organization, writing and editing.

I had no burning desire to do anything except be left alone to read books, so a friend got me my first job in Information at a large hospital. From there, I just took each next opportunity that presented itself.

I had no master plan, and I've never made much money but I've done a lot of interesting things along the way.

Ha, you and me both.  It has been interesting, but a lot of times I just feel like I'm just wandering about looking for a career.  I would love to be paid to be in a library basement and read, but that's not going to happen.
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« Reply #73 on: October 22, 2013, 01:28:19 PM »

I have decided to become an NFL quarterback.  At age 34, I think I can still put in a few good years.  I just need to learn how to play and get a degree in it.  Any suggestions?
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« Reply #74 on: October 22, 2013, 01:31:51 PM »

James, if you're going to major in English Composition, at least do it at UCLA, UCB, USC or Stanford. You should be able get into one of those.

Well, I got a 3.8 GPA and I'm graduating a semester early, so that's the plan. I'll probably do CC for two years to save my parents money before transferring to one of the Universities you listed. If an English major won't make me much money in itself, at least I'll have the prestige of having attended a great University under my belt that may aid me in finding a job.
There is always a danger in attending a prestigious university, and earning a degree that will probably not lead to a lucrative career field. That danger is being unable to pay off student loans. For example, an inidivual may choose to attend the University of Notre Dame, while majoring in social work. This is a financial disaster waiting to happen. Be careful.
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« Reply #75 on: October 22, 2013, 01:32:13 PM »

I have decided to become an NFL quarterback.  At age 34, I think I can still put in a few good years.  I just need to learn how to play and get a degree in it.  Any suggestions?
I have decided to join the Justice League.  Wink
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« Reply #76 on: October 22, 2013, 01:32:42 PM »

Engineering degrees are always a good option for anyone with the inclination for such an occupation.
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« Reply #77 on: October 22, 2013, 01:33:50 PM »

Vamrat,

I've thought about going to school and working my fulltime job to pay the tuition but I'd want to smash my head against a wall.

I already have enough crap on my plate working 40 hrs why add more?

I have done classes after starting full time and there is a world of difference between 30hrs at Walgreens or flipping burgers and doing 40+ hours in a technical field.  Also, the tuition has gone up extravagantly.  When I was there I would usually pull 15 credit hours and spend between $1,500 and $2,000 including books.  I just checked online and it is now just shy of $200/credit hour plus about $500 in assorted fees (including a "cultural enrichment" fee, whatever the hell that is).  In short, I don't think someone could pay for their tuition out of pocket these days working 30 hrs/wk even with living at home, no social life, driving a free vehicle, and getting free gas (was $1.80/gal back then) for picking up your brother from middle school.      
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« Reply #78 on: October 22, 2013, 01:39:23 PM »

I guess since I am contracted through the local university to write and grade tests for introductory linguistics courses, I am technically working in my field at the moment, though it hasn't always been so (I also freelanced in translation for a while, years ago, but that was actually before I even had a BA). It's not really a career by any stretch of the imagination (the contract is up in by the end of December), but it's nice to be working on things I know. I get to slip in questions on Coptic morphology and whatnot, and then be crushed when the students don't answer them correctly (but...but...I made this for you! Cry), so that's...good, I guess. And it opens the door to teaching (I've already been offered twice; the only reason I can't accept is because of my physical condition at the moment), which is very good.

I know it's a cliche, but it really is true that if you do what you love, it's not really like working. I would be nerding out over languages even if I weren't on a monthly salary, so from my point of view the little money I do make is like a bonus that keeps a roof over my head, my bills paid, and food in me...and that's all really so that I can keep studying more linguistics without having to worry about those basic needs being met.

Find something you love like that, then do it. Life is way too short to be sort of committed to something that you will have put thousands of hours (and dollars) into by the time you graduate.

Edit to add: James, don't look down on less prestigious options. They may not be ivy league, but particularly at the BA level this is your introduction to the field (read: it's not worth much in itself) and the relative bump that you could receive might not be worth the price you're paying for it. I had a friend who went to Berkeley and another who went to SF State. They both did language-focused degrees (UC Berkeley Linguistics and SF State Italian). Now, several years later, the UC Berkeley grad works with "Hooked on Phonics" type software to help kids with reading disabilities and earns a modest living that enables him to live in the SF Bay Area in a modest apartment, with roommates to share the cost. The SF State grad works with machine translation in Italian (when not pestering me to move back to California and work in the company's Russian division...I can say "no" in many languages, but somehow it never sinks in)...and earns a modest living that enables her to live in the SF Bay Area in a modest apartment, with roomates to help share the cost. They're at essentially the same level, but I guarantee you that my UC Berkeley friend will be paying off his loans for a longer period of time than my SF State friend.

A lot of which school you choose will have to do with the quality of the department you'll be working in, rather than the reputation of the school overall in comparison to more prestigious universities. Don't be blinded by names. In today's world, they still matter but a BA really just gets your foot in the door for basic jobs (since it's pretty much like saying "I showed up and didn't break anything!", given how many people have one and are going after the same scarce jobs); it's not going to decide whether or not you're hired.
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« Reply #79 on: October 22, 2013, 01:40:02 PM »

Engineering degrees are always a good option for anyone with the inclination for such an occupation.

A lot of it depends on the field.  In my area, a lot of engineering firms (mostly mechanical and architectural engineers are what I deal with) are laying people off.  Also, a lot of firms are hiring techs at BS pay and only keeping a few licensed engineers on staff for their stamp and for important projects.  A lot of people with artistic inclinations became drafters since it was more promising of a career that being a broke artist in a studio apartment and then there was a glut of them.  You will still be better off than if you went into social work or hyphen studies, but it is not a ticket to the high life, and nothing is guaranteed in this economy.
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« Reply #80 on: October 22, 2013, 01:40:48 PM »

Government and Politics.. SGA President , College Radio stuff
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« Reply #81 on: October 22, 2013, 01:41:28 PM »

Engineering degrees are always a good option for anyone with the inclination for such an occupation.
I took my student to a presentation from the engineering department at a local university. I was bored out of my mind. It's unfortunate that I have no interest in that field; if an engineer specializes in the right area, he/she can make a lot of money.
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« Reply #82 on: October 22, 2013, 01:55:49 PM »

Engineering degrees are always a good option for anyone with the inclination for such an occupation.

A lot of it depends on the field.  In my area, a lot of engineering firms (mostly mechanical and architectural engineers are what I deal with) are laying people off.  Also, a lot of firms are hiring techs at BS pay and only keeping a few licensed engineers on staff for their stamp and for important projects.  A lot of people with artistic inclinations became drafters since it was more promising of a career that being a broke artist in a studio apartment and then there was a glut of them.  You will still be better off than if you went into social work or hyphen studies, but it is not a ticket to the high life, and nothing is guaranteed in this economy.

True. The other day I met a couple of other Chemistry (not engineering) students. When the economy was doing fine, the demand for chemists was ridiculously high. Now, these kids, who had just barely started to work, had lost their jobs because their labs lost funding.

But most of the recent grads in engineering or hard sciences I know have been able to land jobs by now. Could be a regional thing.
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« Reply #83 on: October 22, 2013, 02:03:46 PM »

I have decided to become an NFL quarterback.  At age 34, I think I can still put in a few good years.  I just need to learn how to play and get a degree in it.  Any suggestions?
I have decided to join the Justice League.  Wink

Tight end??
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« Reply #84 on: October 22, 2013, 02:19:03 PM »

Engineering degrees are always a good option for anyone with the inclination for such an occupation.

A lot of it depends on the field.  In my area, a lot of engineering firms (mostly mechanical and architectural engineers are what I deal with) are laying people off.  Also, a lot of firms are hiring techs at BS pay and only keeping a few licensed engineers on staff for their stamp and for important projects.  A lot of people with artistic inclinations became drafters since it was more promising of a career that being a broke artist in a studio apartment and then there was a glut of them.  You will still be better off than if you went into social work or hyphen studies, but it is not a ticket to the high life, and nothing is guaranteed in this economy.

True. The other day I met a couple of other Chemistry (not engineering) students. When the economy was doing fine, the demand for chemists was ridiculously high. Now, these kids, who had just barely started to work, had lost their jobs because their labs lost funding.

But most of the recent grads in engineering or hard sciences I know have been able to land jobs by now. Could be a regional thing.

Yes, I think it very much is a regional thing.  I am finding out how regional the markets can be every day.
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« Reply #85 on: October 22, 2013, 02:21:05 PM »

Criminal Justice, with a concentration on Administrative Justice. Then it's off to law school for me! (Well, first I need to get the LSAT done, but eh). I want to try and graduate sometime in 2014, earliest spring, latest summer-fall. I have 8 classes left, soooo excited. (Well technically 7, but one is a three hour class, plus an hour long lab).

Heh, didn't mean to give my life story xD
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« Reply #86 on: October 22, 2013, 02:24:32 PM »

Criminal Justice, with a concentration on Administrative Justice. Then it's off to law school for me! (Well, first I need to get the LSAT done, but eh). I want to try and graduate sometime in 2014, earliest spring, latest summer-fall. I have 8 classes left, soooo excited. (Well technically 7, but one is a three hour class, plus an hour long lab).

Heh, didn't mean to give my life story xD

Oh no... a wegal wabbit  Grin!
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« Reply #87 on: October 22, 2013, 02:36:37 PM »

Criminal Justice, with a concentration on Administrative Justice. Then it's off to law school for me! (Well, first I need to get the LSAT done, but eh). I want to try and graduate sometime in 2014, earliest spring, latest summer-fall. I have 8 classes left, soooo excited. (Well technically 7, but one is a three hour class, plus an hour long lab).

Heh, didn't mean to give my life story xD

Oh no... a wegal wabbit  Grin!

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« Reply #88 on: October 22, 2013, 02:47:33 PM »

I would love to be paid to be in a library basement and read, but that's not going to happen.

I know, right? (sigh) My dream job... Grin
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« Reply #89 on: October 22, 2013, 02:50:40 PM »

I would love to be paid to be in a library basement and read, but that's not going to happen.

I know, right? (sigh) My dream job... Grin

I'd actually prefer to work in a bookstore than a library. Getting other people hooked on books is almost as satisfying as reading itself. Grin
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