And we’re six weeks into the semester. Six more weeks, and final exams will be over, grades will come back, and the taxation that studies have on us will be all over. But after these six weeks, I’m also making another change in my life. I’ll be dropping commerce and picking up the arts.

The Commerce Degree

For me, the commerce degree isn’t really a good fit. The degree has seven compulsory first year papers, which include courses in management, accounting and information systems. My take on many of these courses is that they provide students with a lot of technical skills, as opposed to other courses which have a larger focus on content and concepts. Now, after speaking to people in the industry, many say that these sort of technical skills can be easily taught on the job, but as long as someone can prove that they have the dedication to learn them, through a degree, it should be fine.


Now, I’m not changing anything about my majors, which will remain as physics and economics. One thing that many aren’t aware of (I wasn’t) about many majors and specializations is that they can be studied under multiple faculties. Economics is one of these, that can be studied either under the arts or commerce. You’d be surprised at what can or can’t be studied under various disciples, for example, mathematics and statistics can be taken under either the sciences or the arts.

Now, another thing about choosing the degree for your major, is that for the most part, the papers that you need to take for your major don’t change at all. It’s just the papers outside your major that you need to change. Commerce makes you take seven compulsory papers in stage 1, which sort of put me off the course. Moreover, some degrees have regulations about what kind of papers you can take outside your faculty, such that in a commerce conjoint, you’d be taking a similar amount of papers anyway.

Sunk Cost

There’s also the issue of courses that have already been sat that don’t qualify under the arts. Well, throughout a conjoint you get to take one general education paper and one paper that comes from any faculty of the university. Thankfully, the only course that I sat that comes under this is Business 101.

What to do?

My main takeaway for any student looking to start any sort of degree, is to firstly check what faculties your degree covers. Secondly, if you’re in a conjoint, take your general education paper as soon as possible. The reasoning behind this is that if you ever want to change into a single degree or change your conjoint, you’ll have taken fewer of the courses for the degree you’re dropping so that you’ll finish university in a prompt manner.

University is far more focused on self-learning rather than anyone pushing you to be here. There’s no-one to tell you to get on with your work but also no-one else responsible if you don’t do well. So, if you’re finding that you find the work you’re doing is uninteresting to you, consider picking a different course next time round.

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for the past fortnight. It’s been a grind and a half  working towards tests and finishing assignments. Hopefully my life becomes more interesting over the next two weeks so we can talk about something more fun than the rules and regulations of degrees.

Until next time.

  • Chenchen