College/Uni-MR: Do family/friends take interest in what you study?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by sikkinixx, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. sikkinixx macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2005
    Rocketing through the sky!
    I've kind of wondered this for a while now.

    Am I the only one who has friends and family that really have zero interest in their studies?

    I mean, I study rather dry material I suppose (Early Byzantine/Late Roman history) but out of everyone I know who isn't in the classes with me, my dad is about the only person who has taken any interest at all in what I am studying. His listens to me ramble on about whatever I am writing about at the time, watches some documentaries and asks me questions, etc. My gf? Yeah... I can see her eyes start to glace over as soon as "I just read how Emperor..." starts :eek: can't say I really blame them I guess... but it's a lil bit of a downer at times when people just look at me and say "Why the hell do we need to know about that stuff?"

    Am I alone on this?
  2. kindablue09 macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2009
    Nope, everyone is there. It just so happens that your material isn't as enthralling as saving poor starving puppies and reviving them back to cuteness; actually on the spectrum of popular interests it is quite boring. Try talking about your topic with people in your own major, they obviously have an interest in the subject. Also you may want to think about how much you talk about your major with "outsiders", you just may be saying too much too often. We've all been there.

    As for family, they are more interested in how you are doing rather than what you are doing. This probably isn't a universal truth, but it applies to me fairly well. I don't mean to say never mention your work again, but the detail (and maybe length) you spend on it could be a bit exhausting for others to sit through. Generally more conversational topics where the other(s) can contribute are preferred. Kinda like how a test went, not what the significance of Justinian's rule was (I hope I got that name right...)

    Btw, none of this was meant to be harsh, sorry if it comes off that way.
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I wouldn't worry about it. My mother couldn't even remember my major (mechanical engineering) until about eight years after I graduated. I'd bet money she couldn't name my graduate school, and I got two degrees there.

    Maybe it's because I'm the only member of my family who has gone to college - the others never showed any interest in going, or really any interest in the fact that I went.
  4. sikkinixx thread starter macrumors 68020


    Jul 10, 2005
    Rocketing through the sky!
    I'm not worrying about it. I was just wondering if it was just my circle of people that didn't care about scholarly kinda stuff :D
  5. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    Rimmer... Is that you?

    Heh, nah my family didn't take an overly keen interest but I never really talked about it to start with. If we're watching the Apprentice and theres some horrible design I'll rant at the TV and anyone around will politely tell me to **** :eek: . It's the same with my games now, if I'm working hardcore on some new coding and then speak to anyone later I'll reel off the code and tell them how awesome it is. Always met with a yawn of course.
  6. Little HZ macrumors regular

    Little HZ

    Nov 15, 2008
    New Mexico
    My problem came down to the same thing. I studied the mass media. Everyone already had an opinion--so weren't the least bit interested in what I was studying! ;)
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    My parents didn't call me for 6 months after I went to college. :rolleyes:
  8. war eagle macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2008
    Wow, that sucks.

    On topic though.. My family asks alots but as another poster said it's more of how i'm doing with grades, living, etc nothing really specific.
  9. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    My parents tried their best, but I was an Information Sciences/Technology (whatever you call it, it's different at every school) major and they barely know how to turn on a computer.
  10. gadgetgirl85 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2006
    I get a bit frustrated at times when my mum/gran don't really ask me about my studies. I suppose I only yammer on about the complex stuff like psychopharmacology and research methods as they are my favorite areas :p They also have trouble deciphering my essays/lab reports when I write.
  11. Ripcurlsurfin96 macrumors member

    Apr 10, 2008
    Greenville/Raleigh, NC
    My dad really doesn't care what I study about or really anything else that has to do w me..:rolleyes: I graduate in May and my mom has known all along that im an Exercise Physiology major and is always asking questions about it...
    Sometimes not having interest is a bit easier :p
  12. Ryan1524 macrumors 68000


    Apr 9, 2003
    Canada GTA
    The only people who don't start to look bored immediately as I start to talk are people who are in engineering with me. I often have to catch myself or keep myself fro talking ANYTHING about my studies. Biomedical Engineering is not as exciting to people outside of the field. ;)
  13. chrmjenkins macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2007
    My dad went to a technical college for electronics. I went to school as an electrical engineer. I did the same thing he would have done if he could have afforded it at the time. So yeah, we have shared interests.
  14. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    The only time people take an interest in what I study is when they run into legal trouble.

    I tell them that despite the fact that I'm in law school, I don't know ****, and to go to a real lawyer. :p
  15. Azmordean macrumors 6502

    Mar 10, 2004
    Silicon Valley
    Alone, nah. I think this is normal. I wouldn't take it as meaning people don't care, or think what you are studying is unimportant, rather, they just aren't that interested in it. And that's not a bad thing. Friends and family should be interested in YOU, not necessarily in your work. And remember, for a lot of people out there, time with friends and family is a time to think about and discuss things other than your work - e.g., hobbies, common interests, music, sports, what's going on with you personally, etc.

    That said, I'm a huge fan of Byzantine history, so *I* think what you are studying is pretty cool :p. Once a friend in our group asked "if you could go back in time and observe one historical event, what would it be?" You got a lot of the standard answers - death/resurrection of Jesus, and so forth. And then I say "the final battle for Constantinople in 1453." Everyone looked at me like "WTF?" :cool: If you ever want to talk about Byzantine history you can always IM me, haha.
  16. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    In the end it matters what makes you happy. There are many of us that gave up on what we were interested in - just to meet expectations.

    In my case I found it nice when diverging interests meet; both sides learn...
  17. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Jan 30, 2008
    I'm a pre-med and psych major, so usually are people are interested in the fact that I'm studying to be a doctor, but they usually don't want to hear about the details.
  18. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    My parents are never all that interested in what I'm studying (interpreting and translation), more with how I'm getting on with it. This doesn't bother me.

    But a friend on my course who's from a particularly bad area did tell me that because neither of her parents (or her friends) are academic, she had found that she couldn't talk about what she was studying with them. It did seem to bother her, but I couldn't really relate.
  19. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    Sorry to hear that :(

    I am seeing someone that has multiple language skills that is currently working an international shipping help desk... I work as as a retail manager.... In the end we learn from each other, sort of what I find with some of my customers....

    Did you know that the Alaskan waters are a hot bed for the drug trade? We only hear about the Caribbean and Florida. I only learned that with a customer of mine the other day....

    Details can expand our knowledge; but at the same time expand our understanding of those that mean the most to us...
  20. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    Almost everyone has at least some passing interest in my political science major insights. :D

    Them: So you're in college...what's your major?
    Me: Political science.
    Them: what's your take on ____ ?
  21. Teh Don Ditty macrumors G4

    Teh Don Ditty

    Jan 15, 2007
    My parents every now and again would ask or I would bring something up that I learned.

    All friends and family now ask me banking questions (worked in a bank in credit union for about 5 years)
  22. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran
    I have to agree with the people that say that parents are more interested in how you are doing emotionally and psychologically rather than what new course material you are going through. While the two are related(you are frustrated with new material, you are enjoying this new topic) the details of each are not really that important. With friends, its a tad different for me only because I am studying networking and several of my friends not in college are geeks as well so the stuff I am covering comes up from time to time.
  23. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Most majors I studied, or thought about studying pretty much bored people and I consider that a good thing. It's not like law or law enforcement where many people will form strong opinions of who you are without really knowing you or the field.

    It seems like what you are studying won't cause anybody to form any negative judgment against you.
  24. Legolamb macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2006
    North of where I'd like to be
    What a wonderfully random thread.

    I'm a cognitive scientist doing research on how people solve problems that require spatial and temporal reasoning. The people I study are filmmakers and animators......
    Anyone left in the room.... anyone, anyone, hello, hello???

    Nah, friends, family, and even my colleagues think this is bizarre. Unless you are making a ton of money in readily understandable professions, respect is hard to come by. When I got my PhD, my family was, like, can you put a shingle on the door like a "real" doctor?
  25. 63dot macrumors 603


    Jun 12, 2006
    Most PhDs I know already know that making a great living usually rests in other fields like business. Somebody out there has to further the knowledge of mankind and either be willing to make nothing, to very little, and if lucky, to just make a living with small house and maybe new car.

    I still respect the person who stays behind and teaches freshmen "enterprise business 101" and talks proudly of his two dropouts who started a beer keg business in a formerly religious/dry Mormon town and became millionaires (before they could drink) yet still not be jealous.

    Dr. S. was very inspiring to me and was one of my mentors in the concept of entrepreneurship. He devoted a whole life to being a state college teacher though I know he could have easily been the one to open up the keg business in town.

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