• Question: All of my science results at the moment say I am good in physics but physics isn't my passion. What shall I do?

    Asked by 694cara39 to Christl, Devon, Dmitry, Heather, Jonathan, Michael, Rebecca, Richard, Sarah, Tim.M, Tim.S on 26 Jan 2018.
    • Photo: Tim Millar

      Tim Millar answered on 26 Jan 2018:


      My best subject when I was at school was English! Sometimes its not always obvious which direction is best to take. Physics is also a very broad subject and parts of it come up throughout all science. It might be worth looking at what it is you are really interested in and balancing what might be practical and what might also be fantasy. We probably all tend to move towards something we are good at but it can take some time to really find your area. Keep your options open for now but carry on thinking of what you might enjoy and what you are good at. There is always time to change careers too depeding on how hard you are prepared to work for what you want

    • Photo: Dmitry Dereshev

      Dmitry Dereshev answered on 26 Jan 2018:


      That’s fine. My best result was in biology, but I never pursued it further, choosing Maths instead. Keep up with it, while investigating other options – you might say “I was good in physics, but I rather like my prospects in something else” or you might say “I looked at other options, but compared to how much I can do with being good at physics, they are just not appealing”.
      Passion is subject to change all the time as far as I know. Skills however stay with you longer, so you can apply them to the best of your ability.

    • Photo: Sarah Finnegan

      Sarah Finnegan answered on 26 Jan 2018:


      Just because you are not grade-A in something doesn’t mean you can’t pursue it! I think its more about what you are motivated to try hard in! When I was at school I got my highest grades in Geography, but I loved Chemistry and Biology. I had to work really hard at them but I knew that it was what I wanted so I just kept going. I still got my highest grades in Geography but I am a neuroscientist now because I loved it and just kept trying.

    • Photo: Christl Donnelly

      Christl Donnelly answered on 26 Jan 2018:


      Physics gives great quantitative training. There are some excellent mathematical ecologists and biologists who came from physics backgrounds. For example Lord May who is now retired but rose to the very highest levels (government Chief Scientific Advisor, President of the Royal Society). https://royalsociety.org/people/robert-may-11914/
      Younger examples in the same area who were trained as physicists are
      Prof Neil Ferguson https://www.imperial.ac.uk/people/neil.ferguson
      and
      Prof Christophe Fraser https://www.bdi.ox.ac.uk/Team/christophe-fraser

    • Photo: Tim Stephens

      Tim Stephens answered on 29 Jan 2018:


      I wouldn’t advise you to stop learning about a subject that you’re good at right now because you might discover that you are interested in it later. Similarly, I think that you should do things that *do* interest you, even if you don’t get top grades because you’ll be motivated to work harder at them.

      Even though it seems like you’re choosing what you’re going to do for the rest of your life when you’re picking GCSE/A-level/University courses, that’s not really the case. The most important thing is to get a broad education where you learn *how* to learn about things. Being able to communicate clearly (in written work, conversation, and maybe a second language) and having some ability to work with numbers and maths opens lots of doors that it’s impossible to know about when you’re at school.

    • Photo: Rebecca Dewey

      Rebecca Dewey answered on 5 Feb 2018:


      That’s not a problem. You should focus on becoming good at what you love. Perhaps your natural skill in physics will mean that you’re also good at maths, or programming, or something else. If you’re not motivated to do it now, you don’t want to risk doing something you’ll end up resenting.

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