Maria writes about the difficulty of choosing a major. My reaction is: don’t kid yourself–the pre-meds and pre-laws don’t know what they’re doing either. They are equally uncertain and worried about the future, with the added wrinkle of having a particular goal in mind, and the anxiety that there’s a particular (and hidden) way to achieve it. For example, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges, about 60% of the medical school applicants over the past decade have been biological science majors, yet biological science majors make up only about 45% of those accepted. As a student, what would you gather from that – that it’s better to choose a more unusual major, or that biology majors do pretty well applying to medical school,all things considered? How would that one little fact inform your choice of majors?
Even with law school, which has no specific requirements, the students still put great effort into trying to psych out the process. They tell me they’ve heard that the law schools really want to see logic or constitutional law classes or a political science major on the transcript, even though you will never find a law school that states that.
It seems to me that most pre-meds and pre-laws should do exactly what you’re doing – figuring out what they love, and what they’re good at. That may end up being biology or political science, but it may be French or linguistics. The best applicants show intellectual engagement and passion, in whatever they pursue.
So as you struggle to pick your major, don’t be surprised if the premeds and pre-laws are in exactly the same boat, paddling along beside you.