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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To The Senior Graduating High School In A Month

"What feels like the end, is often the beginning."
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It wasn’t too long ago that I was in your shoes. Just a little over a year ago, I was the senior that had a month left. One month left in the hometown that I grew up in. One month left with the friends that I didn’t want to leave. One month left in the place that I had called “my school” for the past four years. You are probably thinking the same things I thought whenever it came down to only 30 days left. You’re probably scared, nervous, worried, or anxious. Maybe you’re like me and are dying to get out of high school, ready to start a new chapter. Or maybe you aren’t so ready yet. Maybe you’re wishing for a little more time.

As scary as it is, this month you have left will fly by. You’ll blink and you’ll be standing in your cap and gown, waiting for your name to be called to receive your diploma. You’ll look back on your last four years at your school and wonder why time went by so fast. It’ll be bittersweet. However, trust me when I say that you have so much to look forward to. You are about to begin taking the steps to build your future. You are going to grow and learn so much more than any high school class could teach you. You are going to meet amazing people and accomplish amazing things. So, as scared as you might be, I encourage you to take that first step out of your comfort zone and face this world head on. Chase your dreams and work towards your goals. You are smart. You are brave. You are capable of achieving amazing things. All your life, the lessons you have learned have prepared you for this point in your life. You are more than ready.

There are times when you will feel alone, scared, or confused. There are times when it won’t always be easy. But those are the times when you will shine the most because I know you will work through whatever problems you may face. Don’t think of the bad times as a terrible thing. Use them all as learning experiences. As author Joshua Marine once said, “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

You might think that this is the end. However, it’s not. This is only the beginning. Trust me when I say that the adventures and opportunities you are about to face are nothing compared to high school. Whether you are going to college, going to work, or something else, this is the beginning of your journey called life. It will be exciting, it will be terrifying, but it will all be worth it.

So, as you walk out of your high school for the very last time, I encourage you to take a deep breath. Relax. You’ll always have the memories to look back on from high school. But your time is now, it begins today. Embrace it.

Cover Image Credit: http://i.huffpost.com/gen/1152445/images/o-HIGH-SCHOOL-GRADUATION-facebook.jpg

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Mourning The Loss

She had no direction and already felt like she had lost herself, anyway.

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She wore her heart on her sleeve but covered her innermost feeling with laughs, smiles, and awkward jokes that only some thought were funny at all. She was happy on the outside and this got her to the place where she is now. Faking it till she made it made sense until she realized she didn't know what she was making it to.

Regardless, she was a bright light in the hallways of her grade school filled with small plastic chairs and brown square desks. She acted most days as a clown in the classroom in order for her to get some kind of attention. She worked on Accelerated Math and reading books extensively, and in her free time her studying habits were almost obsessive.


Brianna Gavin

When asked to do anything for anyone, she dropped all of what she was doing to help.

High school came around and after being separated from her best friend going to a different school, she knew this time she really had to reinvent herself. At first, she stayed in the bubble of grade school friends and found it hard to ever speak up about anything.


Brianna Gavin

She kept her mouth shut for the first year of high school and lived in the shadows of her siblings' bad decisions. That first year, teachers even called her "little Gavin".

As sophomore year of high school came around, she met a teacher that would forever change her life and brought her out of the shadow of her siblings past. She was the first teacher in that high school to see her as her own person, different from her family.

After meeting this teacher, she stepped into the role of being a leader. She went to summer leadership camps and became actively involved in the Social Committee of Student Council. She created a service club and became the president. She got over 100 hours of service done each year, went on mission trips, led and spoke her story at retreats, went to every football game dressed UP in the theme, and still had time to get a high GPA.


Brianna Gavin

She was KILLING it.

In the mornings before school started, she sat in her car for five minutes by herself to separate her home life from her school life. She listened to "One Man Can Change The World" by Big Sean and sang the words to herself as she began to put on a mask for the day.


Brianna Gavin

She was sometimes a clown. She'd walk around the hallways and go to class while eating boxes of cereal and constantly made jokes about ANYTHING going on. One thing you could always count on her for was authenticity and hope.


Brianna Gavin

Even at her job teaching kids how to swim, the second she came out in her brightly colored swimsuit, her kids were already there and ready to say hi to her. Kids would make her cards and families constantly asked her to babysit and told her stories of how much their kids loved her.


One day during school, she was awarded with a scholarship called "You Can Count On Me", given to her because of how reliable, dependable, and important she was to all those around her. She remembered the words that were said about her when she received the scholarship and those were the driving force for her to continue helping others and being there for herself.

But then came college. And with the goodbye to all of her friends, family, and popular school life also came the goodbye to herself.


Brianna Gavin

She now became something she didn't want to be anymore. She stayed in her room, struggled extensively with mental illness, and looked in the mirror without knowing what she was looking at. She didn't have many friends and she felt alone most of the time.

With change and loss, she lost herself. She, in a sense, died as soon as her relationships with those close friends and family died. And no matter how hard she tries, she will never be the happy, energetic, inspiring, motivational, giving, faithful, loving person she once was.

The truth she has to share...she is gone.

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