11 Reasons I'm Majoring in Biology

11 Reasons I'm Majoring in Biology

"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." -- Carl Sagan
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Biology, in short, is the study of life. The goal of this major is to have a grasp on the diversity and functions of life forms from micro to macro organisms. If you are not sure if Biology is a good fit for you, check out this list to get a better feel for what it's like and consider how this major might fit into your future! Or, if you've already declared this as your field, you can share this with your family and friends so they can get a feel of the reasons and merits of your choice!

1. Being a biology major is challenging.

I often times spend many nights in the library in a given week. My fellow biology majors and I are typically the stressed students you will see in the library at 3 a.m. writing lab reports, studying piles of worn flashcards, drawing horrifically detailed notes for anatomy, or crying over a general chemistry or OChem textbook. Many biology courses demand a student memorize large chunks of information and it takes a lot of studying to make sure our brains actually encode what we are expected to know. If being a biology major was easy for me, I wouldn’t find it rewarding and I would not be pursuing a degree in this field. However, it is a challenge and I find it to be a very rich and adventurous one that is worth any perceived pains, turmoil, or lack of sleep. If it didn’t challenge me, it wouldn’t change me. At the end of the day, biology is the area I’d love be an expert in!

2. Biology majors are prepared for a wide variety of careers and skills.

This major allows it’s students to pursue incredibly diverse types of jobs. Are you getting a BS in Biology? You can apply for med schools, law school, or MAT programs. You can end up selling insurance, being a science writer, working in pharmaceuticals, being a teacher, a wildlife biologist, a lab tech, professor, a dental assistant, a PA, a veterinarian, and countless other jobs. It’s a wide open door into not just one path, but thousands. Who wouldn’t want to maximize their postgrad college options?

3. Being a biologist positively aids the development your character.

Those who practice science in classrooms and labs become familiar with how to be ethical in their research and experiments. Honesty is vital to being a scientist, and integrity is a must when it comes to reporting data. From doing group work and writing scientific reports, your mind is trained to give credit where it is due, take initiative, practice humility, constructively respond to criticism, and analyze objectively.

4. Biologists learn to also see failures as beginnings, not endings.

If a scientist gave up every time they failed or their research fell through, there would be not advancements in society. However since we learn that failure is an expected part of the scientific process, we learn to draw knowledge from our failures and to keep pushing forward to find new insights.

5. Understanding biology helps me live a healthier life and improve the lives of others.

There is no secret that knowledge is power. Learning about the human body’s complex systems enables me to make better decisions for my health and the health of others. It also motivates me to want to make these healthier choices, because I understand the gravity of diet, exercise, social, and drinking habits on life span and life satisfaction. I want to have a career that involves education in some way so that I may inspire future generations to take care of themselves and the planet. So whether I end up being an education staff member at the aquarium or teaching in a secondary classroom, I know I will get to make a difference in the world by teaching knowledge based on scientific facts.

6. The classes that I take are my favorite, and I love learning the material I am expected to know.

This is an obvious point. If I wasn't in love with what I get to learn about, I obviously wouldn't be doing science. I went through all of my previous grades from kindergarten to the present to be able to take the classes I want to at my University, and these courses are Biology related. My heart beats faster when I think about the beauty of DNA's double helix structure. I read books about the systems of the brain and body for fun. My passion is learning about echinoderms, sponges, cartilaginous fishes and coral reefs. Taking courses such as genetics, ecology, anatomy, marine biology, oceanography, environmental conservation, animal behavior, microbiology, and mammalogy is like a religion to me. I attend these lectures with a pep in my step, as if I'm going to receive knowledge about the divine. They help me be intrinsically motivated as a learner, which means I do these courses simply for the joy of learning. Even though I have battled some serious doubts about changing my major when I first started college, in the end, I know that being a biology major is exactly what I've always wanted to do and I'm sticking to it!

7. Nature is a major source of inspiration to me, intellectually, creatively and spiritually.

When I am walking through a forest or on a beach shore, for example, I am constantly asking myself questions, as any scientist would do. I want to understand the physical and chemical properties taking place. I ache to know about the species of animals and plants inhabiting the area. How do the biological organisms, those we can see and those we can’t, interacting with one another? How are human activities impacting it? How did this area evolve to be the way it is in the present? The more time I spend in nature, the questions I have and the more I want to understand science. Thus, I am motivated by nature to pursue a degree that gives me answers to these questions that frequently circulate and captivate my brain.

8. Biology majors get to "gross out" their friends and family.

It's no secret that many labs involve in-depth dissections, ranging from shark dissections to authentic human cadavers. These provide some interesting stories to scare friends and family. For example, one of my friends owns a pig lung in a baby food jar from a dissection. You never know what souvenirs or stories you'll gain on one given day in lecture or lab!

9. Biology is hands on.

I'm a learner that enjoys immersive and tactile experiences. Exploring on site field labs or visiting a local river for collection is always a fun and refreshing experience. It's different then only doing lecture courses and enables your textbooks to come to life. Scientists also have to do a lot of dirty work for research experiments such as swabbing door handles for microbiology lab to hiking through the woods to identify bird calls for Ornithology.

10. Biology is always all around you; you are biology.

There is never a moment or a time when biology is not relative to who you are. You yourself are biology! Understanding biology means better knowing yourself and all of the many phenomena you experience on a daily basis. Science gives an account of how and why things happen in the physical world, and knowing these things disproves many myths you might have been told by non-scientists.

11. Biology is an endless adventure!

There are constantly new developments being made in this field. A person will never know all there is to know about science or biology. What could be more exciting than always having new things to learn about for the rest of your life? What could be more challenging? Science is about being investigative, thinking critically, always asking questions, and learning for life. I don't know what's more interesting than that. Whether my future takes me underneath the waves observing corals or tagging sharks, or whether I end up in the public school system teaching biology to high schoolers, this degree is one I will always be putting to good use and that I'm incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to earn.

Happy exploring!

Cover Image Credit: ASR Marine Consultants and Research

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7 Truths About Being A Science Major

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Whether your major is Human Bio, Chemistry, Neuroscience or any other that deals with a lot of numbers, theories, experiments and impossibly memorizing facts, you know the pressures of pursuing a career in this field. So without further ado, here are seven truths about being a science major:

1. There is no “syllabus week.”

Coming back to college in the fall is one of the best times of the year. Welcome week has become most students' favorite on-campus holiday. But then you have syllabus week: another widely celebrated week of no responsibilities… Unless you’re a science major that is. While your other friends get to enjoy this week of getting to know their professors and class expectations, you get to learn about IUPAC nomenclature of alkanes on the first day of organic chem.

2. Your heart breaks every time you have to buy a new textbook.

Somehow every professor seems to have their own “special edition” textbook for class… And somehow it’s always a couple hundred bucks… And somehow, it's ALWAYS required.

3. Hearing "attendance is not mandatory," but knowing attendance is VERY mandatory.

Your professor will tell you that they don’t take attendance. Your professor will put all lecture slides online. Your professor will even record their lectures and make those available as well. Yet if you still don’t go to class, you’ll fail for sure. Coming into lecture after missing just one day feels like everyone has learned an entire new language.

4. You’re never the smartest person in your class anymore.

No matter what subject, what class or what concentration, there will always be someone who is just that much better at it than you.

5. You get totally geeked out when you learn an awesome new fact.

Today in genetics you learned about mosaicism. The fact that somebody can have a disease in part of their total body cells but normal throughout all others gets you so hype. Even though you know that your family, friends and neighbors don’t actually care about your science facts, you HAVE to tell them all anyways.

6. There is never enough time in a day.

You are always stuck choosing between studying, eating, sleeping and having fun. If you're lucky, you'll get three of these done in one day. But if you're a risk taker, you can try to do all of these at once.

7. You question your major (and your sanity) almost daily.

This is especially true when it’s on a Tuesday night and you’ve already consumed a gallon of Starbucks trying to learn everything possible before your . Or maybe this is more prevalent when you have only made it through about half of the BioChem chapter and you have to leave for your three hour lab before your exam this afternoon. Regardless, you constantly wonder if all the stress is actually worth it, but somehow always decide that it is.

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Saying "No" Is OK

It is okay to put yourself first and do what's best for you

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It's that time of year again when your days are filled with nothing but class, work, assignments, clubs, extracurricular activities and much more. Your time and brain are going in every possible direction. But what if it didn't have to be that way? What if letting go, actually gave you something back? That's right, I am talking about the word no and all it can do for you.

I too, fall into the trap of doing more is better. Having all my time devoted to activities or work is good for me. Taking nineteen plus credits hours somehow makes me a better person, even smarter person. Well, I hate to break it you, and me, that this thought process is extremely detrimental.

There are no rules that say we must do everything and anything. If there are, they are wrong. And that's why saying no is so important.

Currently, I am taking nineteen credit hours. Soon, I am going to make sure that it is sixteen. After the first week of classes, I discovered I was in a class that would provide me with a wonderful education, but it was not counting towards my major. After thinking about it long and hard, I decided that it would be best to say no to this particular class.

Before this year, I would have said, it's okay (even if it wasn't) and muster through the class. To the old me, dropping a class would be like quitting, but I cannot even begin to tell you, and me, how far from the truth that is.

Saying no is brave. Saying no is the right thing to do. Saying no allows you to excel in other areas. Because I have decided to say no, I am opening two more hours in my day. I am relieving myself of work and projects that would add to my already hectic schedule. I am doing what is best for me.

However, there is a part two to this no phenomenon. Continuing with my example, I now have two open hours in my week. The overachiever in me would try to find something to fill it. Maybe another club or activity. Maybe more hours at work or a place to volunteer. And while none of these are bad things to do or have in your life, you are just replacing a time taker with another. When you say no, mean it and don't fill it.

This is your year to say no. Not because you are lazy. Not because you aren't smart enough. Not because you can't. Say no because it is best for you. Say no because it frees you. Say no because you can!

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