My Major Does Not Make Me Stupid, So Stop Pretending That It Does

My Major Does Not Make Me Stupid, So Stop Pretending That It Does

We can't all do the same thing.

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I was totally aware of the reactions I would receive by being a journalism major, and I was OK with it.

I figured that may be one of the hardest things I would have to deal with and I was more than okay with it. I get a lot of people thinking I chose it because I'm too dumb or too lazy to handle anything else. So many people think I am cutting myself short or that they're better than me. The belittling becomes far more regular the farther along I get.

I know there are people who have to work harder while they are in school so they can relax later when they have a degree. And others get through their classes a bit easier, just to have to prove themselves later to get and keep good, solid careers. I'm with the latter group. I knew that when I signed up and I know that now.

Any major is going to come with its hurdles and struggles at times.

I may not complain about mine, but it doesn't mean everything is easy all the time. I just love what I do and I know how lucky I am that I allowed myself to do that, therefore, nothing feels like a sacrifice. I am making a sacrifice like so many others do, just a different one. I am giving up a guaranteed paycheck for the chance to do what I enjoy. Other people will give up four to ten years of extra free time for job security. There is nothing wrong with either decision, especially when we all have to make it.

I am conscious of the fact that what I do matters, so I'm working on not letting it bother me when I get told otherwise.

We cannot all be doctors and lawyers and nurses and engineers and entrepreneurs. Some of us have to take the pay cut and be teachers and writers and musicians and artists. There wouldn't be a balance if we didn't. It doesn't make us any less intelligent or any less willing to work hard for what we want. For that reason alone, I don't have to justify myself.

If I were able to start all over again, there isn't one change I would make. I'm taking my own journey to end up where I want to be and how hard I work only affects me. I know where I can end up and I know how smart I need to be to get there. I'm smart enough to know that I'm making the decision that is right for me.

Once we make it to college, we've proved we all have enough basic knowledge to function on the same level, everything past that is applied knowledge to get us ready for careers.

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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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To The Little Brother Starting College This Week, From Your Proud Big Sister

As a big sister, I feel obligated to bestow upon you some sisterly advice to help you in this transition.

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I'm so proud of you. You've made it this far and now this week you're taking the next step to pursue your passion. College is very different but also similar to your prior experiences. As your big sister, I feel obligated to bestow upon you some sisterly advice to help you in this transition.

College... well, it's time-consuming. Between classes and homework that seems to take up more time then the classes, you'll have a lot on your plate. Add in a social life and working a job, your time management skills are gonna need to be top tier. I'm still trying to find the best method for me and it seems to change each semester depending on what classes and extracurriculars I have going on. If you ever need any help managing everything don't be afraid to ask me. And don't be afraid to say no to people either. You're not going to have time for every event, hangout, and extra shift you're offered. But at the same time, you need to find the best balance for yourself.

As you find your seat in each of your classes please, pretty please, say hi to those around you. Arrive early so you have time for this. Strike up conversations and exchange contact information. If you're ever sick, forget the homework, are stuck, have questions, need a study buddy, or anything else you may need help within that class they're gonna be super helpful. And you're going to be extremely grateful you got their information early on. It's up to you to build some sort of support system in each of your classes. Having at least one or two people you can reach out to will prove extremely useful as you navigate the semester.

These fellow classmates aren't just useful for classes but for the entire college experience. Maybe some of them you'll really hit it off with and you'll become friends. Maybe some of them are first years like you and you can help each other figure out what you're supposed to be doing. Or maybe they are in the same major as you and you guys can help each other figure out what classes you need or be future study buddies if you have future classes together. Just make some friends or at least contacts in all your classes.

Another thing you should do is go to those freshman events they offer! Seriously, I met some great people and really felt introduced to the campus life by attending the many starts of the semester events that were offered by my University. If you have the time, take advantage of this limited time offer and attend. I know this sounds like a bad TV advertisement but it's one you should listen to. Plus they're completely free and often super fun.

Another way to make friends is to join campus organizations! It's important to get involved and to find groups that interest you. Not only is it a great way to meet new friends but it's also a great way to pursue your interests. Don't be afraid to go to a bunch of meetings before finding the people you click with the most. College is another opportunity to explore and it makes it super easy for you to do so. Take advantage of that.

No matter what, remember to stay open-minded. Don't close yourself off to opportunities. I started college as a journalism major in the College of Arts & Sciences and now I'm a pre-social work major in the College of Health & Human Services. Or the fact that I always believed sororities weren't for me and were expensive. Now I'm rushing one and learning that just because I'm broke doesn't mean sororities are off limits to me. I never expected that this would be where I'd end up a year ago but here I am and I'm extremely happy. You might think you have it all worked out but take it from someone who was in that same mindset for years. Life has a funny way of working itself out and if you give it a chance you'll find the right path for you.

Most of all, don't let opportunities pass you by because you're scared. Such as if you decide you might want to switch the direction you were taking in college or if you feel you need to take a lighter course load one semester. Don't worry about taking more than four years as you're not alone. A lot of students decide to switch majors or take fewer classes to work more and end up being in school longer. And if you're scared you might not be good at something try it anyways. As the saying goes “you only regret the chances you didn't take."

I love you and truly believe you're going to do great over these next years. Stay true to yourself, be safe, and don't be afraid to branch out. You've got this and I'll be only a phone call away if you ever need anything.

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