Think About: A Double Major

What does it look like to have two majors at Bucknell? Will Frost ’18 (who majoring in Chemistry and Economics) shares his thoughts and experiences.

Why did you choose your majors? I came into college knowing science was my favorite subject, but once in college I discovered that I enjoyed so many different things.  I hated the idea of picking a major for a long time, and in a way still do, so I ended up picking the two broadest and most fundamental majors within the two areas of study that I find most interesting and see myself having a career in.

What has been one of your favorite classes so far and why? My favorite class so far was actually organic chemistry in my freshman year.  The class is so well structured and focuses on you actually learning the material and understanding why it is important rather than just memorizing what has been deemed as important.  Professor Krout has been one of the greatest professors that I have had and really solidified my curiosity for chemistry.

How would you describe your classes? They are definitely hard, but a good kind of hard.  I am always happy to do hard and challenging work over busy work that I can do while half asleep.  Chemistry definitely earns its reputation for being a hard major, but I’m happy to get OK grades and enjoy what I’m learning rather than get straight A’s in something I find less interesting.  Econ on the other hand is more up in the air.  It is as hard as you make it.  I know people who only scratch the surface of what the department has to offer.

How would you describe your  faculty? I am much closer to the faculty of the chemistry department because the major usually takes up the majority of my schedule and I have labs to spend more time with professors.  I have also been doing research in the chemistry department this summer, which has allowed me to develop relationships with a lot of the professors.  On the economics side, I have never had trouble getting a meeting with a professor or my advisor and everyone from that department has always been nothing but helpful to me.

What do you plan to do with your degrees in the future? I’ve spent a good deal of time, probably too much for my age, on this question.  One of my biggest fears is ending up in the same job for my entire life and I feel like my major combination reflects that in a way.  The best conclusion to the question that I have come up with is that I will try and end up in a pharmaceutical company after college.  They are the types of companies where I believe I would have the most ability to play both a chemical and economical role in the company at different stages of my career.

Do you have any advice for students who are thinking of double majoring? Do as much as you can.  These are four years of your life that you will never get to have again.  It’s one of your last opportunities to really learn whatever you want and that’s a daunting fact, but one that you should look at as a blessing rather than something to stress you out as I did for too long.  Your major has a lot less to do with your career than you may think.  If I end up wanting to go to law school I still have the opportunity, but while I’m in school I’m going to do what makes me happy and that just happens to be a combination of chemistry and economics.



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