Advice from a Dual Degree-er

Advice from a Dual Degree-er

It's not for the weak-hearted.
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Are you ready to lose your life?

Kidding. Kind of. As a college student pursuing a dual degree in both biology and clinical laboratory science, with a minor in chemistry - I can promise you nothing, but give you a few insights on the life of dual degree major. For one, a dual degree does not mean double majoring.

A dual degree, in the United States, is a program created by two universities that essentially has one student finish one major faster, while the other one is still in progress. Whichever one is leftover will be the one the student finishes with the second school. So a dual degree essentially has you working and graduating under two different colleges.

So what is life as a dual degree-er, aka a joint degree program major? Tough. Although, that should not be too surprising to hear, right? When you do a dual degree, you are undertaking more coursework per semester than your other peers. You might even give those STEM and writing majors a run for their money with the amount of time you can expect to accumulate studying or spending in the library.

However, besides calling it tough, I can also tell you that the path is lonely. Take that in whatever sense you want to take it, but it is indeed very lonely. Seldom many people undergo a dual degree program, and so you will find yourself possibly juggling two different peer groups - for example, business and law majors, depending on your program. Besides that, many people might try and convince you to drop one program and switch over to just one major pathway. Why? Because the road is tough, the commitment is huge, and not many people ever completely realize the sacrifice of time and leisure that it takes to get to the destination.

As a dual degree program major, or as a possible candidate for one, I can also advise you to always try and be connected to your advisors and mentors. Since the program is typically an articulation program with two different schools - you will find that your main advisor on your primary campus may not have all the answers to your questions and/or problems. So reach out and find out who the admissions or faculty advisor is on the other campus, and keep in touch with them to make sure you are taking the right classes for the program and not just your primary school's classes.

Also, don't take 'no' as an answer. Like I said, the road is tough and many people will be encumbered by your predicament as well as not believe in your success. The key to pushing past their doubts is by not listening to them and pushing through. You will have to fight for more credits per semester, maybe even more financial support, try to squeeze into other classes, etcetera.

The point is, the path is narrow and bumpy, but if you persevere, your will reap what you sow or maybe even more!



Cover Image Credit: Aurimas

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

Yeah, there's an app for that.

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Technology is the course of the future, why not use it to get on top of your new year? Make 2019 the year you stop sleeping on these great productivity apps and get grinding! Best part, all the apps I've included here are free.

Google Calendar.

Look at that beauty.

I LOVE Google Calendar! Not only is it a great tool to map out your week, it comes with cool features. You can color code tasks and events, get text reminders and so much more. You can even sync your calendar with other people's (this is very helpful for roommates or study buddies).

Google Doc File Folders

Crying.

Sick of that long list of documents in your Google Docs? You can make file folders to organize all of your docs!

Momentum Chrome Extension

This is by far my favorite productivity app. It's a Chrome extension that acts as a home page whenever you open a new window or tab. It comes complete with the weather, a motivational quote and a to-do list! The best feature is their "main focus for the day". It keeps you grounded for sure- especially when it pops up with every tab and forces you to think about all you need to accomplish.

Wunderlist

This is a to-do list on steroids- definitely worth checking out!

Todist

A to-do list app for your phone! I love this just to organize what my top priorities are.

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