中考英语动态:高考选择专业的13条大错 双语

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2011-05-22 21:43




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The 13 Biggest Mistakes in Picking a Major


For many students, picking a major is the single biggest academic decision they'll have to make in their college career. It's also the one most fraught with mistakes, ranging from picking at the wrong time to picking for the wrong reasons. So, here's a baker's dozen of the most common—and most costly—mistakes students make in picking a major (and our best advice on how to avoid them):



1. Picking a major too early. At many schools, students are under pressure to declare a major as part of first-year orientation or early in the first year. Guaranteed places in classes, an actual professor as your adviser, a quicker trip to a degree: All of these are benefits touted to students who pick early. But college is really different from high school, and subjects you liked in high school might well be a lot different—and a lot less pleasant—at the big U.

Our advice? Remain undeclared for at least the first two years of college.

2.在考虑所有的选择后做出选择。有些学校,尤其是大型的州立大学,可选的专业超过了100个。不要在考虑过所有你感兴趣的专业之前做出选择。不要因为你不是很清楚什么是免疫学专业(immunology),古生物专业(paleobiology),国际发展研究专业(international development studies),民族音乐学(ethnomusicology)或是土木工程(civil engineering)(这些是加州大学洛杉矶分校的5个专业),而排除这些专业。弄清楚!选择一门课程,或者至少是在系办公室或专业主页上寻求他们所提供的专业简介。

2. Picking a major before you've considered all the choices. At some schools, especially large state universities, there are more than 100 majors to choose from. Don't choose before you've considered all the options you're interested in. And don't be put off just because you don't quite know what immunology, paleobiology, international development studies, ethnomusicology, or civil engineering are (these five are from the UCLA list of majors). Find out. Take a course. Or at least stop by the departmental office or Web page and get a description of what they have to offer.

3. 在至少选修两门专业领域内的高阶课程前就做出选择。很容易只是因为很喜欢课程简介而选择某个专业。然而重要的是在选择专业之前,先看看高年级或高阶课程。很多领域,高年级的学习很具有挑战性,并且有时在思路、方法或是复杂性上与那些“灌了水”,为整个大学服务的课程介绍大相径庭。所以,在虚线上签名前,一定要选修不同教授的两门或三门课程,他们的课程编号很高(300,400,3000,4000或是别的什么)。

3. Picking a major before you've taken at least two advanced courses in the field. It's tempting to pick a major just on the basis of an intro course or two that you really liked. But it's important to take a sampling of upper division or advanced courses before committing to a major. In many fields, the work at that level is more challenging and also, sometimes, different in approach, methodology, or complexity than in the watered-down intro courses designed to service the university as a whole. So, before signing on the dotted line, take two or three courses, from different professors, that start with a high number (300, 400, 3000, 4000, or whatever it is at your school).

4. 选择你有时并不擅长的专业。你可能会对此感到惊讶——总是会有一些学生选择自己并不擅长,或是没有能力修完的专业。经验法则(如果可行的话):选择一个你拿A比B多的专业。

4. Picking a major in something you're not good at. As surprising as it might seem, there is a regular cadre of students who major in fields they aren't doing well in or don't have the skills for. Rule of thumb (if possible): Pick a major in a field in which you're getting more A's than B's.



5. Picking a major in something you don't like. Given that you're going to have to take 10 or 12 courses in the major, it'd be a nice touch if you actually liked the field. Pick something that reflects your interests and true passions.

Extra Mistake: Picking a major to please someone else. Never pick a major just because your parent, older sibling, partner, spouse, best friend, or person you're following on Twitter thinks it'd be a bang-up idea to major in that. They're not the one who'll have to go to the 7:30 a.m. courses that are required for the major (though they will be the one you're steaming at as you sit through those courses).


6. Picking a major because you are enthralled by one professor. A major is going to require you to study with a broad variety of professors, so don't let some cult professor lure you into a department full of mediocre teachers and bad scholars.

7. 选择一个专业只因为学校在这个研究方向上很强。如果你不喜欢那个专业方向,大学的专业实力也是毫无意义的。

7. Picking a major only because the school is strong in that field. The fact that the university has a national reputation in some field won't help you if you don't like that field.

8. 不要因为专业简单或是要求低而选择它。如果你学不到任何东西或是可以为所欲为,这个专业再好有什么用?!说得更多的了。

8. Picking a major because it's easy or has few requirements. What good is a major if you learn nothing or it lets you do whatever you want whenever you want? 'Nuff said.

9. 做好二手准备。有些学生,尤其是小学校的,他们确实是选择自己喜欢的专业,但学校并不提供这个专业。如果你想学的专业不在官方的专业单子上,那么考虑为自己定制一个专业:很多学院允许交叉学科或是自主式的学习模式。如果你发现学校处事并不灵活,没有办法达到这个目的,那么看看同城的大学或其他的学院组成的大学联盟是否允许交叉注册(cross-registration)(例如,马萨诸塞州 Amherst的Five College Consortium(五所学校联盟)或是哥伦比亚大学和Juilliard音乐学院或Manhattan音乐学院的交换项目)。


9. Settling for second best. Some students, especially those at small colleges, pick a major simply because the major they'd really like to take isn't offered at their school. If what you want to study isn't on the official list of majors and programs, consider constructing your own major: Many colleges allow the possibility of interdisciplinary or self-directed programs of study. And if you find there's just no way to make it work given the puny offerings at your school, consider consortiums of schools or other colleges in the same city for which your school allows cross-registration (for example, the Five College Consortium in Amherst, Mass., or the exchange program between Columbia University and either the Juilliard or the Manhattan schools of music).

If all else fails, consider transferring to a college that has what you want: Lack of a major is viewed by admissions officers as one of the best reasons for trading your little college for their ginormous university.

10. 只为职业理想而选择专业。 当然,在紧缩的经济形势下选择专业时最好将眼光放在获得职位上。但这不应当成为你选择专业的唯一考虑。首先,专业和职业之间并没有一一对应关系:你不需要因为在商界发展而选择市场营销或是商学院的专业;同样你也不必因为选择哲学或政治学专业而继续去读法学院。确实有很多的职位是要求专业背景的,但是更多的职位并不看重你所学的专业,他们看重的是你的数学、写作、沟通、外语或是分析的能力,而这些各个专业的学生都可以锻炼获得。

10. Picking a major only because of its career prospects. Sure, in a tight economy it makes good sense to pick a major with an eye to what jobs you can get. But that shouldn't be the only consideration in picking a major. For one thing, there's not a one-to-one relation between majors and careers: You don't need a degree in marketing or business for a career in the corporate world or a major in philosophy or political science to have the inside track to law school. Indeed, there are a slew of jobs-perhaps most jobs-for which a particular major is not required, but what's needed are skills in math, writing, communication, foreign languages, or analytical thinking that could be acquired in any number of different majors.

Also, it's very difficult to bet on what the most lucrative or prestigious jobs will be three to 10 years from now or the amount of time needed to complete a major and, in some cases, postgraduate training. Maybe you think disease mapper, robot programmer, information engineer, radiosurgeon, and Second Life lawyer will be five of the hottest careers in years to come (according to CNN Money). But what will happen when programming is wholly outsourced to India, surgery is all done by physicians working for a nationalized health service, and Second Life has gone the way of Pac Man?

11. 因为职业梦想而错选专业。你可能会对这种情况感到惊讶。我们刚刚还碰到一个学生想去大学教书,而不想要教育专业的学位的(这是为初级学校的老师准备的),而想成为大学人类学专业的“布道者”(在这个专业领域的工作对他而言显然是不可能的)。


11. Picking the wrong major for the career you want. You'd be amazed that this happens. We've recently seen a student wanting to teach on the collegiate level unwittingly taking an education degree (intended for elementary-school teachers), and a would-be missionary about to major in anthropology (a field in which mission work is a complete no-no).

So, if you're matching majors to careers, be sure to ask an expert in the field—for example, a favorite professor or the undergraduate adviser in that department—which careers go with which majors.

12. 拿个双学位。尽管有很多城市传奇,但是选择双学位(double major)没什么好处——相反,还有很多坏处。繁重的任务要求会让你窒息,你会在这些对自己或是自己的职业没有什么用的课程上死的很难看。坚定!只选择一个专业。不要让你的优柔寡断或是内心的矛盾在选择专业上犯错误——选择两个专业。

额外事项。 同样也不要着眼于选修专业。一个更好的办法是放弃很多系为吸引更多的学生而提供的“选修课”,而去选修几门你感兴趣或是对你的专业有用的课程。主修艺术史的Lynn对文学感兴趣,所以对她而言,可以将选修英语——诗歌,创造性写作或是古代文学,这些Lynn一点都不感兴趣的课程——的时间放在选修莎士比亚,乔叟(Chaucer),欧洲小说以及几部伟大现代书籍上。

12 . Piling on majors. Despite urban legend, there's no advantage in being a double major—and there are many disadvantages. You get smothered under tons of requirements, and you can end up taking many courses that aren't of interest to you or of value for your career. Be resolute. Pick one major. Don't externalize whatever indecision or inner conflict you have by doubling (or tripling) up on majors.

Extra Pointer. There is no cachet in piling on minors, either. It's usually a better idea to pick the four or five courses that interest you or support your major rather than taking the prepackaged "minors" that many departments offer to attract additional students. Lynn, who majored in art history but was interested in literature, had a much better time picking courses in Shakespeare, Chaucer, the European novel, and great modern books than she would have had taking the English minor, which included courses in poetry, creative writing, and ancient literature that Lynn had no interest in.

13. 别将走路的时间也花在选择专业上。不要走入死胡同——认为自己的专业选择事关重大,而事实上并非如此。你的专业不能预示你的未来,或是让你走上哪条不归路。劳动部的数据显示美国一般员工的职业会在人生中变上三到五次。所以,放松点!拿出最好的选择,顺其自然!



13. Obsessing every waking hour about what major you ' re going to pick. Don't tie yourself into knots by thinking that your choice of major is a bigger commitment than it is. Your major does not dictate your future or put you onto a career path from which there is no escape. Department of Labor statistics show that average American workers change careers three to five times in their lifetime. So, relax. Make your best pick, and enjoy where life takes you.

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