How I Found the perfect major for me

How I Found The Major That Was Perfect For Me

My personal journey to finding the perfect fit for me!

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In coming to the University of Arizona as a freshman and deciding what I wanted to study, I chose Neuroscience and Cognitive Science because it was a major that encompassed a multitude of my interests and gave me the foundation to pursue a variety of careers in science. I chose Neuroscience and Cognitive Science because I was interested in learning the science behind the brain; more specifically the why, how, and what it does.

I was so fascinated by how the brain is in control and plays a part in everything that we do in life which lead me to want to learn more about why it does what it does. In my life, I have experienced personal hardships with developmental disorders as well as worked with those that have them which brought me to my professional goal of becoming a psychiatrist. I love science and medicine, but the brain is such a fundamental part of everything in our bodies and in our lives that I want to be able to take the knowledge gained from pursuing this major and use that to fulfill my goals of helping children and adults with developmental disorders.

Through student volunteering programs such as the Civitan Foundation, my interest in learning about the mind, brain, and behavior was fueled. Opportunities such as this one gave me first-hand experience and knowledge regarding developmental disorders, new discoveries in medicine for treatments, as well as the widespread avenues for career opportunities in this field. From this, I began pursuing research internships through various programs which allowed me to work closely and learn from talented professionals.

Having the opportunity to be a research assistant for different faculty in various fields of discipline taught me how to be a collaborative member of a scientific group, how to conduct my own experiments, as well as how to think critically and produce high-quality scientific writings. A culmination of my past and present internships have only increased my knowledge and further fueled my passions to pursue this field. As a student and a scientist, I would be able to bring these qualities to the NSCS community and hope to benefit the community by being an engaged and inquisitive scientist hoping to learn more about the fields of Neuroscience and Cognitive Science.

One specific scientific discovery that led me to realize that science was the field for me was the development and FDA approval of a drug that targets cancers based on DNA instead of the most commonly used method of targeting cancers by location. When hearing about and while reading more up on this new drug, I was particularly captivated by this discovery since cancer is something that hits close to home for me. Cancer has affected many people close to me and has changed the course of life for millions of people and hearing about new groundbreaking developments in cancer treatments has always excited me.

The ability of this drug to target cancers based on genetically similar features or biomarkers in people is fascinating. The approval of this drug by the FDA also demonstrates the acknowledgment of this treatment as legitimate and effective in the trials previously and currently being conducted. In the past, I have heard about many drugs in trials or in the works but never had anything come to fruition. However, in this drug, the ability of biomarkers which can be so universally found being used to target cancers is an amazing scientific discovery.

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I Don't Care How Hard Your Major Is, There Is No Excuse Not To Have A Job While In College

If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

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We seem to live in a generation where everyone wants to go to college.

It is nice to see that people want to invest in their education, but at what expense? It's easy to commit to a school, and it is even easier to get yourself and your parents into thousands of dollars of debt because you're "living your best life."

To me, it's pathetic if you're over the age of eighteen and you don't have some sort of income or responsibilities outside of homework and attendance. The old excuse, "I want to focus on school," is no longer valid. You can get all A's while having a job, and that has nothing to do with intelligence, but rather your will to succeed. "I don't have time for a job/internship," translates to, "I'm really lazy,".

You don't need to overextend yourself and work forty hours a week, but you should at least work summers or weekends. Any job is a good job. Whether you babysit, walk dogs, work retail, serve tables or have an internship. You need to do something.

"My major is too hard," is not an excuse either. If you can go out on the weekends, you can work.

The rigor of your major should not determine whether or not you decide to contribute to your education. If the name on your credit card does not match the name on your birth certificate, then you really need to re-evaluate your priorities.

Working hard in school does not compensate for having any sense of responsibility.

I understand that not everyone has the same level of time management skills, but if you truly can't work during the school year, you need to be working over the summer and during your breaks. The money you make should not exclusively be for spending; you should be putting it towards books, loans, or housing.

Internships are important too, paid or not.

In my opinion, if you chose not to work for income, you should be working for experience. Your resume includes your degree, but your degree does not include your resume. Experience is important, and internships provide experience. A person working an unpaid internship deserves the same credit as a student working full/part-time.

Though they are not bringing in income for their education, they are gaining experience, and opening up potential opportunities for themselves.

If you go to college just to go to class and do nothing else, then you don't deserve to be there. College is so much more than just turning in assignments, it is a place for mental and academic growth. You need to contribute to your education, whether it is through working for income or working for knowledge or experience.

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To The Adults Still Trying To Get Their Lives Together

We'll all get there eventually.

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Someone, please tell me I am not alone.

22 years old, 4 years of college and still no degree, living at home.

So while all your friends and family are getting their degrees, all you can think is "Will that ever be me?" You slowly start to lose hope and question everything.

While all your friends seem to be getting their shit together, all you wonder is "When will that be me?"

But listen, I know there is still some hope in there, so don't lose it quite yet.

I have learned as long as you are working hard on your goal, as long as you are working towards it, you're doing a great job.

Think about it this way. Would you regret it if you caved and gave up, or think about where you might be if you didn't give up? You still have plenty of time to change your mind over and over, just don't give up.

No one said this whole adulting thing would be easy, but did they ever really prepare us for it?

We come into being an adult and we are expected to figure out thousands of things, not really knowing how it is going to affect us. It's a bunch of going left after taking a right. It's going to 2 or more colleges just trying to figure out where you fit in or changing your major a handful of times just because you thought you liked something.

It's living at home because you are still trying to figure out this big world while working and/or attending school. Then it's learning who is really your support system.

So we learn this world is a mess and unfortunately, we are not handed a learning manual.

There will come times where you question everything, thinking everything you are doing is a mess, but our lives are not perfect so yeah, we know we are a mess.

To to the messes like me. Keep working hard- it will all come together, even if it isn't in the timing you want it to.

Don't lose hope, just keep bettering yourself and learning, because what else can you really do?

Sincerely,

An Adult Slowly Figuring Things Out

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