|Quoting AerospaceFan (Thread starter):|
Have you ever wondered why everyone who goes to a traditional college has to declare their major in order to be graduated? I think that the justification sometimes given is that you can't just putter around dabbling at things in life, and that you have to more or less specialize in something eventually.
Actually you can. It's called a general studies BA
That being said, a university has two goals (well, OK
, 2 1/2):
1. Teach you how to think and function in the world
2. Prepare you for a career (or at least pique your interest in one-that's the 1/2
The former goal is usually covered by the school's core curriculum. This set of courses gives you the opporutnity to try a lot of different stuff, but also provides you with the ability to formulate and ask questions about the world around you from a variety of standpoints, Humanities, sciences, mathmatics, theology/religious studies (if it is a religious-sponsored school). The trick is to take that and apply those things to a career or specialized coruse of study.
The reason declaring a major is so adventatgeous is it gives you the opportunity to explore an area in greater depth you become interested in (or didn't think you would become interested in). It also shows you how to apply what you learn in the core to a specialized discipline. It does not necessarily tie you down to one particular route (the average student changes his or her major 3-4 times in the course of four years). It also sets a trajectory if you have wider goals such as studying medicine or law.
My take on universities it's kind of a "life laboratory" where you can try things out not just academically, but socially and practically. It gives you confidence when things go well, and you have the space to make mistakes and not have it be seriously fatal. At least that's the insight three years of teaching at a university gave me...