Disclaimers for Anyone Considering Triple-Majoring

Disclaimers for Anyone Considering Triple-Majoring

If you're gonna do it, you should do it either for a reason or for the fun.

This is my sixth article for The Odyssey Online, and it's my fifth article mentioning that I'm an undergrad triple-major. I think that at this point I need to lay out a few disclaimers for anyone considering the three-major route.

You need a lot of major overlap in order to graduate on time as a triple-major. This means sticking in the same division, almost definitely. The Humanities and Social Sciences will likely be the best places to get the magic three. Even there, you'll need to do a lot of planning in order to get your requirements in without "wasting" classes. I came into college with a few Gen Eds out of the way and tested out of both Elementary French courses, so I've been able to hack away at my majors a little more easily than I would have had I come in at the bottom. All classes totaled, three majors will likely be 120 credits at a minimum. I'm on track to graduate with 140 credits or more, but some of those credits do not serve any of my graduation requirements.

A three-major program need not be extremely difficult. There will be a few more advanced classes than a single-major student is required to take, but for many majors that could work for tripling, most courses are at an intermediate level, at least in theory. If anything, being a triple-major shows that you are skilled at wrangling curriculums. I don't think my three-major program is any more impressive than a typical program in fields such as engineering or biochemistry.

As I alluded with my use of "wasting" above, with three majors, there isn't much room for classes outside of your requirements. This can be negative in a few different ways. There might be some courses that you wish to take for the fun and extra knowledge that they might afford you. Or you may want to take some extra classes in your major. Or perhaps you feel a lack of knowledge in one particular area adjacent to your field of study, but you just can't squeeze that class in when it comes around. Beyond that, you might wish to pick up a minor outside of your division for its practical value or wish to complete a minor that you naturally start by working on your majors and Gen Eds. Of a more sinister nature, you may determine that you'd like to pursue graduate study in something similar but a little different from anything you're majoring in, and you won't be able to take a firm hold of that area of study. I have encountered all of these complications since I started working toward my degree. Urban Sociology? It would've helped my fiction-writing skills, I think, but I had to pass it up. English Literature courses? I'm taking five through my Creative Writing major, but I may be leaving myself disadvantaged for applications to PhD programs in literature. I'll have some French literature classes to bolster my claims, yet that could pigeon-hole me into a Comparative Literature program in the end, if I make it into any program at all.

With these disclaimers come a few benefits. While it might be a little awkward telling people what you’re studying and having to list off three things, most people seem to be impressed by the concept of a triple-major. I don’t think it’s really that big of a deal, but it can be, and in any case, there’s no sense in telling them that. If you wish to stick with your BA or BS and forgo further study, you’ll be well-learned in three areas that could aid you in securing employment in a variety of jobs. Your myriad of expertise can also make you unique in your thinking. Not only can this influence interviewers, but it can also improve your capabilities on the job site. Moreover, having three majors can help you build a wide network of colleagues within your school. If you’re in a small school like UPJ, you may find yourself knowing almost every student in all of your classes by the end.

Adding college majors will always call for tough decision-making. Once you’ve started down a path, it can be expensive to move down another, both for your time and your wallet. If you’re early on in your college career or have been carefully curating your coursework for several semesters, you may be tempted to try to triple-major. This article is meant to caution you in that decision. Consider all of the costs and benefits of having a trio before making such a decision. In the end, it may serve you better to roll with two majors and two minors, one major and three minors, one major and a vast array of sub-areas of study, or any other possible program. Just be aware that the decisions you make can be both more and less important than you think. You won’t know until much later how your choices grade, so put thought to all of them, but try not to tie yourself into knots over it either. That triple-major, if you choose it, will tie you up quite enough on its own.

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Stop Saying You're a Broke College Student

I've had a job since 16, and my money life is thriving.

It's supposed to be funny when someone says "I'm a broke college student" but I think it's stupid. Here's my unpopular opinion.

I've had a job since I was 16. My first day of work was the first weekend after I started my sophomore year of high school. It wasn't too difficult- I was literally only working on Saturdays and Sundays. The shifts were 4-7:30/8 pm on Saturdays and 11-2:30 on Sundays. I wasn't making a huge amount of money, but it paid for my gas money, and that was all I needed. So the first year I had my job, I was spending any extra money I had on food, movie tickets, and clothes.

Then reality hit when I knew I needed to start saving up for college. I started putting money into my savings account, and eventually I had built up enough money to buy a new old car. I know, it wasn't college tuition, but I needed it.

My first year living in the dorms, I figured out a system. I was putting $150 each week in a savings envelope, and each month I knew I had to pay $160 for my car payment. The rest of the money I made I put in envelopes for a new purse, clothes, vacation. I had a system going, and I didn't spend extra money on useless things unless I was rewarding myself. In case you can't do the math, that's at least $600 in my savings account each month, and most people can't figure out how to put away $100.

Now, as a sophomore in college, I watch people trickle into class with to-go food, to-go coffee, smoothies, and candy from gas stations or the shops on campus. Then I hear those same people complain about being "a broke college student." I'm sorry, but you're not a broke college student. You're a college student who pays for things you don't need, with money you have that you shouldn't be spending. You don't need to get Starbucks 3 times a day. You don't have to go to pitcher night at the local bar. You don't need to spend money on those things, but you do. And at the end of the month, you're broke, and begging your parents for money.

So, in my unpopular opinion, you're not a broke college student. You're a dumb one. Make a budget, give yourself some spending money, and stick to it. You'll thank me later.

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11 Tips For a Great Semester

The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens.

1. Have a nice workspace/desk

I recently made this change and I feel 100% better.

2. Dress well

Personally, if I go to class looking like a bum, I feel like a bum. Dress for success!

3. Go to bed at the same time every night

Getting enough rest can really impact the rest of your day. Aim to get 7-9 solid hours of sleep each night this semester to avoid accidentally being grouchy at someone.

4. What am I doing for this upcoming week?

What are my goals this week? What’s going on this week? What do I need to work on for this week? If you go into your week blind, it never really works. I’ve done this before.

5. Don’t lose your class syllabi

This one paper has literally all of the due dates, test dates, readings and homework assignments on it. Make sure you always know where this paper is because you will be looking at it constantly, so don’t lose it.

6. Ask questions

If you’re in class and you have no idea what the professor is talking about ask, or email them! It’s good to ask questions because then your professor knows you care about their class so it’s a win-win situation. You ask questions plus the professor knows you care equals good grade in the class.

7. Take good notes

I can’t tell you how many times over the past semester I would look back at my notes and what I wrote didn’t make sense. Learn what type of learner you are to figure out how to take the best notes for yourself. I either write everything out by hand which takes forever (especially when the professor flies through the lecture) or I print out the notes and just write on those papers so I can actually listen to the lecture.

8. Get some homework done in between classes

In my schedule, I have a lot of time gaps in between classes just waiting around for my next class to start. Take advantage of this 30 minutes or 2-hour gap and work on some homework. You’ll thank yourself later.

9. Don't overload yourself

I’ve made a rule with myself to only do homework Monday to Friday. That’s because if I work super hard during the week on my work then I can have the weekends off as a mental break. There are a couple exceptions to my rule like if I have a 5-page essay due Monday then yes, I’ll work on it during the weekend or if I have tests coming up the next week then I’ll be studying.

10. Don't procrastinate

If you’re avoiding something, just get it done and over with. If you have a really difficult essay to write and then a bunch of easier assignments; start with the hard assignment first to get it done. It’ll take the most time and then you’ll feel relieved when you’re done with it.

11. Don't give up

The moment you’re ready to quit is usually the moment right before the miracle happens.

Just keep going.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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