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What degrees make sense for someone with ADD? I also have another question.

I'm stuck between a few choices before going to college and my current dilemma is finding something that I can generally enjoy and live to do. But it isn't easy if I essentially dislike repetitive tasks due to ADD. Not to mention I need something that interests me and changes over time.

I've been split between 4 majors which are:
Criminal Justice, Psychology, Business and Political Science (less so for the other 2 honestly) I just looked into Criminology and the jobs relating to that but

Criminologist seems as if it might need Criminology but it also stated on 2 different places Psychology would work to do that. Is this true?

Also to make you more aware of my goal, I generally speaking plan to dual degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology.

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Herbert’s Answer

Mike

I could say that as someone who did not like repetitive tasks while sitting at a desk and needed things to hold my interest, police work definitely fulfilled the job. It definitely fell in the category of "no tasks being overly repetitive", especially in a larger city police department. The calls for service varied from a vicious dog, to a shooting, to a robbery in progress, to a noise complaint. Even when I was at a desk as an investigator (Special Victims and Homicide), I was headed out to interview witnesses, victims and suspects. I was also going back to crime scenes to see if the Patrol officers missed anything.

The other aspect you will have to deal with is the repetitive report writing. Every story is different and that may help with the repetitive task of report writing, but it will be repetitive. Be prepared also for your trainers in academy, your field training officer, and your sergeant to be reviewing your reports and kicking them back for corrections in grammar, and further establishment of why you did what you did and what your observations were.
This gets even more important when you are writing affidavits for search warrants and arrest warrants. Then presenting your case to the DA and going to court.

I think that police work could be up your alley. You may want to try for a ride along if you are old enough. Try for a Friday or Saturday swing shift (That was where I started and the radio was going off with calls through my entire shift). That should keep your mind going and give you a taste of police work, but do try to stay throughout the entire shift including the report writing and pack a lunch. Some if my ride-alongs were on a swing shift diet plan thanks to calls for service volume.

I would say do the ride along before deciding if you want to do law enforcement. If you are unable before you enroll in college, try an introduction to criminal justice course before diving in to the major.

Good luck in choosing your career.
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Myra’s Answer

No matter what profession you choose, it's possible to mix things up and introduce variety to keep yourself interested. Many jobs have repetitive aspects, but even small decisions you make throughout your day can affect your level of engagement.

You can start practicing this now with a lengthy task. For example, if you have to answer 50 emails or write a 50-page research paper, you can reward yourself with small victories after every 10 emails or pages.

This reward could be sipping a nutritious drink, pressing your thumb and index finger together, marking off a tally with a "win" at the end, or setting up a treat for yourself that you can enjoy after completing the task, such as a special lunch.
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Michael’s Answer

These are degrees that you are able to get but you will find it hard to get a good paying job. These types of degrees are not technical in any way. The jobs that require these degrees are low paying. In the end, you'll be financially frustrated. Stop the frustration before it starts. I refuse to accept ADD or ADHD as a reason to do something or not something. I have ADHD. Who cares! NOBODY cares! When you are in the workplace, you are going to be required to do you job. Not have excuses for not doing your job.

When you are able to make enough money from ONE job, it makes life easier. It allows you to pursue things you enjoy in your off time and the ability to afford those interests. Because you end up having more money at the end of the month vs having more month at the end of your money.

I refuse to blow smoke up your butt to make you feel better about what you think you might like. The more technical your degree is, the money you'll make and life will be easier and you will be able to afford the things you want to do. Nobody can prove me wrong because I am living out my advice! I have one technical degree and one non-technical and the company I work for doesn't care one bit about my master's degree.

Michael
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hey there, Mike!

Selecting a major that fits well with your unique strengths and interests is super important, especially when you're managing something like attention deficit disorder (ADD). You might be surprised to know that folks with ADD often thrive in areas that encourage creativity, problem-solving, and a flexible approach. So, when you're thinking about possible majors, remember to consider the kind of work involved, whether there's room for change and variety, and how stimulating each field is.

Psychology is a favorite pick for many people with ADD, and for good reason. It's a vibrant and varied field, with lots of different career paths to choose from. You could go into clinical psychology, counseling, research, or even industrial-organizational psychology. These jobs often mean working with people and tackling complex issues, which can provide the variety and stimulation that people with ADD often crave. Plus, psychology is always changing and growing with new research and theories, so there's no shortage of intellectual challenges.

Criminal Justice is another great option to think about. Sure, there are some routine tasks like paperwork and admin stuff, but there are also exciting roles in areas like criminal profiling, crime analysis, and forensic psychology. These jobs usually need good critical thinking skills and the ability to adapt to changes, which can be really appealing to folks with ADD.

Business is a wide-ranging field that covers lots of different areas like marketing, management, finance, and entrepreneurship. While some business roles might involve repetitive tasks, many positions in this field need problem-solving skills and strategic thinking. Plus, the world of business is always changing with new tech and market trends, creating a dynamic environment that could be a good fit for individuals with ADD.

Political Science could also be a fascinating choice. This field involves studying political systems, international relations, public policy, and governance. Political science offers opportunities for research, analysis, and advocacy work that can be intellectually stimulating. Plus, careers in political science often involve engaging with current events and societal issues, which can give a sense of relevance and change.

As for your specific question about criminology, it's worth noting that criminology is a multidisciplinary field that pulls from various areas of study like sociology, psychology, law, and public policy. While a degree in criminology can certainly lead to a career as a criminologist or in related fields such as law enforcement or criminal justice administration, it's worth noting that a background in psychology can also be helpful for roles in criminology. Understanding human behavior and psychological factors related to crime can be really valuable in this field.

In a nutshell, when you're choosing a major with ADD in mind, it's super important to focus on fields that offer intellectual stimulation, variety in tasks, and chances for creativity and problem-solving. Psychology, criminal justice, business, and political science all have elements that might appeal to folks with ADD. It's a good idea to dig deeper into each field through internships or informational interviews to get a better sense of how they match up with your strengths and interests.

Top 3 Authoritative Reference Publications:

American Psychological Association (APA)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
U.S. Department of Justice - Bureau of Labor Statistics

May you be showered with blessings!
James Constantine Frangos.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Mike !

It's really wonderful to hear that you have such a fabulous interest and career goal. Regardless of what you have mentioned, you seem to be focused and motivated to move toward a career that will greatly contribute to the community.

My advice would be instead of a double major, consider majoring in Criminal Justice and minoring in Psychology. This route may be smoother and quicker for you or for anyone. You can always take on-line courses and on the job trainings in psychology topics, too. But I would suggest that if you minored in Psychology it would give you enough basics and specifics than having to major in it along with an additional major. Also, there may be time constraints at a time that you may want to lean on the Criminal Justice requirements. You may have to do projects in Psychology (for a major) that will take up a lot of your time. You don't want to bombard yourself with too much and I think by minoring in Psych. you can pace it better. Later on, if you feel the need, you can go for an Associates degree in Psychology for two years. So, there is a choice and a way to handle the course of study without making a commitment to too much all at once.

If you have a particular personal cognitive issue there are services on campus. Go to your college's student services office and inquire about specific information. I personally have known people with issues who have successfully attained their Bachelors degree and Masters degree. I would also suggest taking care of your physical body, good nutrition and enough sleep. We all need that.

I hope that this is helpful and I wish you all the best with your pursuits !
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Katherine’s Answer

This is a great question Mike, and so many people honestly wonder about the same thing that if you figure out something that works, you'll be ahead of so many people...but then you'd get to spend the rest of your life running into them and helping them!

I'd recommend reading or listening to the book Scattered by Gabor Mate and see if anything about it rings true to your own experience as you've grown up and lived life. We often don't realize certain things about our own situation with ADD and similar conditions, or we do have our own knowledge gained by our experience but we might never have heard anything helpful about it, or might not have run into anyone else talking about what we would be able to recognize and identify from our own lives.

Other than that, you might enjoy Ken Coleman's book From Paycheck to Purpose for more on helping you envision a great niche and space for yourself as you build your career.
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