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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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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High School Seniors Should Be Excited For College, Not Scared

Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.

Cassidy
Cassidy
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Going into the summer after my high school graduation, all I could think about was college, and how I was going to prepare to go to a new school and move away from home. Just know, it is not as stressful as you prepare yourself for it to be. You don't need to worry about not having any friends or not knowing how to get to all the different buildings because you have to remember everyone else on campus has been in the exact same position you are in, and there are tons of people on campus to help you.

One of the things I was most worried about was classes and how to know which classes to take. My advice is to go to counseling and plan out your classes before you register. Planning out classes will drastically help you stay on track and the counselors will help you make a balanced schedule that you can actually handle.

Another piece of advice would be to not bring as much stuff for your dorm as you think you will need. By all means, bring the essential things that you will need, but remember a dorm room is very small and you share it with another person. You won't have a ton of space for extra stuff and you want to have space to move around and actually live in your dorm.

Finally, if you are concerned about meeting people and making friends, just try and be as outgoing and open as possible. Everyone else in the dorms is just as nervous as you are too meet people, it really helps to try to branch out. Joining clubs or greek life also helps you meet people around campus with common interests as you.

College is not something to be scared of. Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.

Cassidy
Cassidy

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